The United States is condemning a siege of Iraq's second-largest city by Islamic militants "in the strongest possible terms." White House spokesman Josh Earnest is deploring "despicable" acts of violence targeting civilians.
Militants overran much of Mosul on Tuesday, seizing government and military buildings. The assault was a heavy defeat for Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki amid a widening insurgency by the al-Qaida-linked Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant. (AP)