Extreme militant group wreaks violence in Iraq

ISIS militants in Iraq. (CNN)
ISIS militants in Iraq. (CNN)

(FOX19) - Tensions are rising as Islamist insurgents continue to push into the borders of Baghdad.

The attacking militants are part of the group known as 'ISIS,' a group so extreme experts say even Al Qaeda want nothing to do with them. It is believed ISIS is trying to establish an Islamic state in the region that would stretch from Iraq to northern Syria.

Nearly 300 people have been killed in the fighting in the past 24 hours and a  U.S. official told CNN that 50 to 100 military personnel arrived at the embassy in Iraq to keep it protected.

To get some perspective on how the Iraqi crisis threatens to spill over into the entire region, FOX19's Gordon Graham spoke with Xavier University political science professor to find out how American interests are being impacted in the Iraqi violence.

Professor Mack Mariani says the American embassy in Baghdad is beefing up security and relocated some staff.

Mariani says the extremist group ISIS is trying to create what's known as a 'calafate'.

"Their idea of the calafate is something that doesn't respect, you know, traditional national borders, but instead encompasses a large number of Islamic people across many different nations," explained Mariani.

As Iraq becomes more unstable Mariani says the U.S. has ample reason to be concerned.

"I won't even call them insurgents, but extremists. That could potentially cause a danger for every country in the region and certainly potentially cause a danger as a place where terrorists will come from in order to attack the United States and United States interests."

Mariani says those interests include American owned companies in the region.

"Obviously Iraq has oil and there's other countries in the region as well who are of economic interest to us so that's another piece of the puzzle here is what impact will that have on oil prices what impact. What impact will that have on people who've made investments in that region?"

President Obama says he won't send in American troops, but right now three U.S. warships are heading toward the region.

Mariani is concerned about that sending a confusing message about U.S. foreign policy.

"Something we didn't think was that big a deal maybe a couple of years ago now looms large that we didn't have a contingency force, we didn't provide the sort of exit strategy that was going to preserve the gains that we made there."

Professor Mariani says even though not everyone in that region is friendly towards the U.S.,  Americans should be concerned about people being murdered by the thousands and extremists
trying to set up safe haven for terrorists.

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