Islamic State (ISIS) fighters are only a mile away from Baghdad, according to a spokesman for the Foundation for Relief and Reconciliation in the Middle East.
Battles between ISIS and Iraqi forces have also been raging in the strategic city of Amiriyat al-Fallujah, 25 miles west of Baghdad.
Battles on both fronts have been calmed over the past several days, and Iraqi bombing and ground forces have been successful in keeping the ISIS forces from entering the capital. The threat on Baghdad is still very real, however.
"They said it could never happen and now it almost has," a spokesman for the organization, a Christian aid group, said in an interview. "Obama says he overestimated what the Iraqi Army could do. Well, you only need to be here a very short while to know they can do very, very little." So reports The Clarion Project, an organization that aims to "challenge extremism and promote dialogue," according to its website.
The spokesman, Canon Andrew White, said that the U.S. airstrikes had proven to be ineffective against the Islamic State and that they had merely killed civilians. Ground troops are needed, he said, to defeat the Islamic State.
White clarified several important points. He said that Iraqi soldiers are simply not as motivated as are the ISIS terrorists, whom they greatly fear. In addition, he said, it is very difficult, if not impossible, for civilians to leave Baghdad at present, given ISIS control of key parts of Iraq.
ISIS terrorists have captured an Iraqi army base 50 miles northwest of Baghdad, while slightly to the east, a U.S.-backed Iraqi tribe in the Sunni Arab town of Dhuluiyah has held out under a two-week attack by Islamic State fighters.
It is believed that if Iraq falls to ISIS, it will be the first time in history that a terrorist movement will have control of a nation.