Iraqis Stream Out of Mosul as Army Flees Islamist Advance

Nearly three years after the withdrawal of U.S. military forces from Iraq, Islamic militants on Tuesday overran the northern city of Mosul, the country's second-largest city, and claimed their biggest prize yet in what has become a metastasizing insurgency that has resurrected a level of violence not seen since the darkest days of the country's brutal civil war.

The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, which had been affiliated with al Qaeda until a falling out between the two groups, has reportedly seized police stations, military bases, prisons, and government buildings across the city. Iraqi security forces put up little resistance, fleeing the rapid onslaught of ISIS forces and leaving behind large numbers of U.S.-provided Humvees and other military equipment.

Earlier this year, ISIS seized control of the restive city of Fallujah, but their conquest of Mosul represents something very different. Fallujah had long been a hotbed of the anti-American insurgency and a homebase for large numbers of Islamist militants. U.S. forces, even at the peak of their powers, had trouble holding the city. Mosul, by contrast, has never been seen as a militant hotbed. In earlier years of the war, Iraqis even visited the city for vacation.

The fall of Mosul sparked an exodus of people from the city and led Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki to declare a nationwide state of emergency. Meanwhile in Mosul, images and video poured out of the city, where militants exulted in their relatively bloodless victory.

In the aftermath of the battle, Iraqi army uniforms littered the area, reportedly after having been discarded by the soldiers to whom they belonged:

As Iraqi security forces fled the city, children threw rocks at their retreating vehicles:

Some American military equipment has reportedly now landed in the hands of Islamic militants in Syria, where ISIS forces are actively engaged in fighting the government of Bashar al-Assad. 

More captured American military equipment:

Inside Mosul, footage shows vehicles on fire, and widespread destruction, and militants cruising around the city on the back of pickup trucks:

More destruction in Mosul:

Meanwhile, residents of Mosul are fleeing the city: 

Here, cars can be seen jamming the roads out of Mosul:

And, here, families are pictured queuing at a checkpoint into the autonomous Kurdistan region:



Egypt's Awful Math: 99 Percent of Its Women Have Been Sexually Harassed

During his campaign to become Egypt's next president, Abdel Fattah al-Sisi insisted that he would restore the "sense of shame" that he claimed had once kept sexual assaults in check in Egypt. No more than 24 hours after his inauguration, that pledge is being sorely tested.

In a video circulating online Monday, a woman can be seen being sexually assaulted by a crowd in Tahrir Square celebrating Sisi's inauguration. The video shows a woman being extricated from a violent crowd, her thighs and buttocks visibly bruised. It's an ugly, awful scene, and the video has caused a sensation online. One version being circulated has garnered more than 300,000 views. But it gets worse: The video shows just one of five women reported to have been sexually assaulted Sunday in the square, which was once synonymous with the pro-democracy movements of the Arab Spring.

It was far from the first time a sexual assault occurred in Tahrir. In one of the most notorious incidents, CBS reporter Lara Logan had her clothes ripped off by a crowd of men the night that former Egyptian strongman Hosni Mubarak stepped down. Logan, who required hospitalization, said she was repeatedly violated during the attack and feared that she would be killed.

Indeed, the sexual violence marring Tahrir has been a near-constant subplot to the last three years of upheaval in Egypt. The country has a serious problem with sexual assault, and it's only gotten worse since the revolution that brought down Mubarak.

A 2013 study by the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women found that virtually all Egyptian women have been victims of sexual harassment and paints a dismal picture of women's status in Egyptian society:

The study surveyed Egyptian women and found that there is virtually no place they can go where they do not experience harassment:

Moreover, sexual harassment is a depressingly regular feature of life in Egypt:

And the problem of sexual harassment has only gotten worse since Mubarak's fall:

While violence toward women can escalate to the level seen Sunday, the most common form of harassment is "whistling and verbal abuse":

And when that violence escalates to physical harassment, Egyptian women say their countrymen typically target their bodies in the following ways:

Typically, bystanders do nothing in response to sexual violence:

Meanwhile, Egypt's women suffer immensely as a result: