. . . with 'militants' being another word for terrorists who have indiscriminately killed many civilians. Item:
Militant fighters of the Islamic State of Iraq and Levant seized Mosul after battling government forces for control of the northern Iraqi city, extending their reach over the country as central authority crumbles.
The group also captured the airport in Mosul as the Iraqi army pulled out of its positions inside the city, Dubai-based Al Arabiya television station said today, citing the Nineveh governor Athil al-Nujaifi. Images on Al Jazeera satellite television showed cars burning in the city and citizens fleeing the fighting. Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki called for parliament to declare a state of emergency.Story.
The "Islamic State of Iraq and Levant" was affiliated with al Qaeda until recently. It's admittedly hard to pin down exact affiliations and alliances, even for Iraqis. But one of the key things going on in Mosul - once the most peaceful major city in Iraq - is the radicalization of Sunnis completely disillusioned and disenfranchised by the Shia government in Baghdad and the east. The majority of people there don't necessarily like ISIL, et al, let alone violence, but they detest the "central" government. The terrorists are the only viable opposition.
We're watching the long-predicted breakup of Iraq into three distinct countries along sectarian lines. The only question is how many innocent people will die in the process.