The Islamic State of Iraq and the Sham seized control of Mosul, which is the provincial capital of Ninewa and Iraq’s second largest city, after five days of heavy fighting with Iraqi forces. Mosul is the second major city to fall to the former al Qaeda affiliate this year.

Fighters from the ISIS took control of government buildings, including the provincial headquarters, as well as police stations and military installations inside and outside of the city, according to reports. Several police stations were torched by the ISIS. Some Iraqi soldiers and policemen are said to have shed their uniforms before fleeing their posts to avoid being captured and executed by ISIS fighters.

The ISIS has raised the black flag of jihad and “announced over loudspeaker that they had ‘come to liberate Mosul and would fight only those who attack them,'” the BBC reported. […]