Turkmen tribesmen join Iraq army in war on ISIL


Turkmen tribesmen in the northern Iraqi town of Tal Afar, in Nineveh province, have formed vigilante groups after militants from the Al-Qaeda-linked Islamic State of Iraq and Levant (ISIL) seized the provincial capital Mosul.

According to tribal sources, several Turkmen tribes in Tal Afar, 65km west of Mosul, have formed vigilante groups to support security forces and defend their town against any attack by ISIL militants.

The Turkmen community makes up some 5-6 percent of Iraq’s 30 million population.

A security source in Tal Afar said that security troops had managed to destroy three ISIL vehicles and kill their passengers.

Meanwhile, Kurdish peshmerga forces took over al-Kask military base, around 45km west of Mosul, in cooperation with the Iraqi army, a military source said.

Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki said that Iraq had been placed on “maximum alert” and called on parliament to declare a state of emergency.

Iraq has seen a marked uptick in violence in recent months, which the government blames on ISIL, an offshoot of the Al-Qaeda.