The mood in Bagdhad is a sombre one as Iraq’s armies seem to melt away as the Sunni militants advance on Iraq’s capital.
Mosques and city squares are quiet on what is normally on of the busiest days of the week, and the streets are all but deserted, with shoppers stocking up in the market in the first signs of panic buying.
It is highly unlikely Baghdad could fall; for one thing it has a large Shi’ite population protected by well-armed Shi’ite militias and the insurgents have so far made their gains in Sunni territory, where they get support. Baghdad also has the army’s elite units to guard it, but people are still concerned.
“We are shopping these days because the situation is not good and there is no security. We do not know what will happen in the days to come,” said one worried man.
Ayatollah Sistani, the leader of Iraq’s Shi’ites, has called on everyone to take up arms to defeat the advancing Sunnis and defend the country, but it is a country whose unity is increasingly under threat.