CBS’ Holly Williams reports Mosul, Iraq, is under control of Islamic militants -- a disaster for Iraq's government, which continues to lose its grip on power across entire segments of the country.
However, the White House doesn't seem too concerned with the news as spokesman Josh Earnest said Tuesday that President Barack Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton can be proud of their success in "ending the war in Iraq."
"Ending the war in Iraq and winding down in a responsible fashion the war in Afghanistan, and doing that after the success of our our efforts to dismantle and destroyed Al-Qaida core that had established a base of operations in the mountains of Afghanistan and Pakistan," Earnest said.
An al Qaeda splinter group seized control of the Iraqi city of Mosul on Tuesday, putting security forces to flight in a spectacular show of strength against the Shi'ite-led Baghdad government.
The capture of the northern city of 2 million by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant - Sunni Muslims waging sectarian war on both sides of the Iraqi-Syrian frontier - complements ISIL's grip on key western towns and followed four days of heavy fighting in Mosul and the border province of Nineveh around it.
The United States, which pulled out its troops two and a half years ago, pledged to help Iraqi leaders "push back against this aggression" as the government of Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki asked parliament to declare a state of emergency that would give him extraordinary powers to tackle the crisis.