Children in ISIS-captured Mosul
Children in ISIS-captured MosulReuters

The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS) is moving in on Baghdad after already having taken over several cities in Iraq, but the Iraqis are unfazed.

A group of Shiite Iraqi poets, who spoke at a religious gathering in Karbala last week, roused the crowds in anti-ISIS rhetoric.

"You want to march on Baghdad?! Bring it on as soon as possible. By Allah, we have already dug your graves," poet Hussein Al-Karbalai cried, to the cheers of the crowds.

The recitations were posted to the internet on June 13, and were translated by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI).

The ISIS Islamists took control of the northern cities of Mosul and Tikrit in a rapid advance last week, and took over Tal Afar on Monday.

Advancing toward Baghdad, large-scale clashes have erupted in Samarra; on the eastern front, Kurdish forces took Kirkuk to fend off the Islamist advance on Thursday

Last week, Iraq's most senior Shiite cleric, Sheik Abdulmehdi al-Karbalai said, issued a call to arms against the ISIS rebels.

"Citizens who are able to bear arms and fight terrorists, defending their country and their people and their holy places, should volunteer and join the security forces to achieve this holy purpose," he said.