The United States has launched a mass evacuation of Americans in Baghdad to prevent a bloodbath at the hands of the terrorist group ISIS, Newsmax TV has learned.
"I've just gotten a report that three planeloads of American citizens have evacuated so far," retired U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Paul E. Vallely told "The Steve Malzberg Show" on Newsmax TV.
"And it looks like more planes will be taking off, evacuating within the next 24 hours … There are around 4,000 Americans there, including contractors, U.S. military advisers, embassy people."
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ISIS — the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria — is a considered a spinoff of al-Qaida, but more dangerous. In the past few weeks, ISIS has seized several major Iraqi cities including Mosul, beheading, brutalizing and terrorizing residents. It is said to be just miles from Baghdad.
"They are marching towards Baghdad now … Obviously ISIS is on the road," Vallely confirmed.
"They've captured a number of soldiers … as well as tanks, armored personnel carriers, weapons, ammunition.
"It's hard to determine what size that force is. Some are estimating somewhere between 4,000 and 5,000 ... Whatever their numbers, they're very effective."
Vallely added that neither the U.S. nor neighbors of Iraq such as Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, are sending aid.
Frederick Fleitz, chief analyst at the global forecasting and intelligence website LIGNET, said the U.S. was caught "flatfooted" in the face of ISIS' aggressive military operations in Iraq.
"ISIS used to be associated with al-Qaida, but there was a split last year when ISIS tried to unite with the al-Nusra front, which is the official al-Qaida franchise in Syria," said Fleitz, a former CIA official.
"They have extreme Islamic law where they're chopping off heads and chopping off hands … This is a terrorist army that's using military tactics."
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