By Brandon Mercer

SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX) — “It’s like a punch in the gut,” is how one Bay Area Iraq War veteran describes news today that Mosul, Tikrit, Ninevah, and so many other Iraqi cities fell to the terrorist army known as ISIS, and its militants are now just 80 miles from Baghdad.

At a veterans’ event in Fort Mason, Army human resources specialist Starlyn Lara reacted to the insurgents’ success.

“You know it’s really hard, because part of what you learn in the military is mission success, mission accomplishment and never to accept failure,” the two-time Iraq War veteran said.  “It can make you feel a lot of loss was in vain.”

In December 2011, nearly all American troops left the war-ravaged nation, and leaders in Baghdad failed to negotiated a security agreement that would have retained a U.S. presence.

The Iraqis on their own have not been able to stop the uprisings, and with daily suicide bombings in Baghdad, the terrorists are vowing to take over the capital city as well.

ISIS is so extremist they even broke off from Al Qaeda, and they continue murdering police, killing soldiers, and conducting public executions in a wave of terror and attacks marching toward Baghdad.

ISIS–standing for Islamic State of Iraq and Syria– plans to impose strict religious Shariah law in Mosul and other towns.

Will the U.S. need to go back to Iraq? President Obama won’t rule it out, saying, “It’s going to need more help from us, and it’s going to need more help from the international community…. I don’t rule out anything because we do have a stake in making sure that these jihadists are not getting a permanent foothold in either Iraq or Syria.”

But the support wouldn’t be in the form of ground troops, clarifies White House spokesman Jay Carney, who said, “We are not contemplating ground troops. I want to be clear about that.”

While overseas news may feel like Déjà vu, Bay Area veterans are still struggling to get through the trauma of war here. Watch Thursday at 11 p.m. to hear how they’re facing that reality, after battle.





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