Iraqis Flood Volunteer Centers To Fight Militants

Some good news is finally emerging from Iraq as a call to arms by Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, seems to be working and hundreds of volunteers are coming to their aid.

Some good news is finally emerging from Iraq as a call to arms by Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, seems to be working.

Hundreds of young Iraqi men gripped by religious and nationalistic fervor streamed into volunteer centers Saturday across Baghdad, answering a call by the country's top Shiite cleric to join the fight against Sunni militants advancing in the north.

Dozens climbed into the back of army trucks, chanting Shiite slogans and hoisting assault rifles, pledging to join the nation's beleaguered security forces to battle the Sunni group known as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, which has launched a lightning advance across the country.

"By God's will, we will be victorious." said one volunteer, Ali Saleh Aziz. "We will not be stopped by the ISIL or any other terrorists."

The massive response to the call by the Iranian-born Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, issued via his representative Friday, comes as sectarian tensions are threatening to push the country back toward civil war in the worst crisis since U.S. forces withdrew at the end of 2011.

Jawad al-Bolani, a lawmaker and former Cabinet minister close to Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, said a military offensive was underway Saturday to drive the insurgents from Tikrit, Saddam's hometown north of Baghdad, although fighting in the area could not be confirmed.

AP Television News footage showed Kurdish fighters, known as peshmerga, driving out militants who had taken over an army outpost some 24 kilometers (15 miles) west of the oil city of Kirkuk. The position had earlier been abandoned by Iraqi army troops. Long coveted by the Kurds who have a self-rule region in northern Iraq, Kirkuk fell under the control of the peshmerga this week after Iraqi army forces left.

Republicans are concerned that Iran will start helping Iraq, but they are a free nation and can choose to do what they want. Let's hope the Iraqi army and the new recruits began to mobilize themselves against the militants because in the end nobody can protect their land like they can.


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