Abandoned Iraqi army helmets
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Iraq conflict: Panic, disarray and ignominious flight

The collapse of the US-trained Iraqi military in the face of the initial onslaught from ISIS fighters and their allies underscores the perilous position confronting Iraq's rulers.

On paper, Iraq's military is a sizeable force - an army of over 193,000 to which can be added some 500,000 police and paramilitary forces of one kind or another.

Nonetheless it is a force where - in the aftermath of the US military's departure in 2011 - some units at least might have been expected to acquit themselves well in combat.

Instead, they have largely abandoned their weaponry, stripped off their uniforms and fled.

Paul Wood reports.

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