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U.S. troops, advisors arrive in Iraq as militants seize air bases

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
6/26/2014 (3 years ago)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Analysts to aid Iraqi government in mounting Sunni insurgency

The situation is rapidly deteriorating in Iraq, and the United States is quick to send in advisers and armed troops. Militants attacked one of Iraq's largest air bases and seized control of several small oilfields. In response, U.S. Special Forces troops and intelligence analysts arrived to help Iraqi security forces counter a mounting Sunni insurgency.

Nearly a million people have been displaced in Iraq this year. Amin Awad, director of Middle East and North Africa bureau for the U.N. refugee agency, on Wednesday called Iraq 'a land of displacement.'

Nearly a million people have been displaced in Iraq this year. Amin Awad, director of Middle East and North Africa bureau for the U.N. refugee agency, on Wednesday called Iraq "a land of displacement."

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)
6/26/2014 (3 years ago)

Published in Middle East

Keywords: Iraq, Sunnis, new government, U.S. advisors, displacement


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki says that he is starting the process of forming a new cabinet within a week.

He also dismissed the call of mainly Sunni political and religious figures, some with links to armed groups fighting Maliki, for a "national salvation government." He says to do so would bypass the election held nearly three months ago.

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Sunni militants in northern Iraq have extended a two-week advance that has been led by the hardline Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant, or ISIL.

Various Sunni groups blame Maliki for marginalizing their sect during his eight years in power. The ongoing violence threatens to rupture the country two and a half years after the end of U.S. occupation.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry during a visit this week pressed Iraqi officials to form an "inclusive" government. He also urged leaders of the autonomous Kurdish region in Iraq to show their support to Baghdad.

A new government in Iraq is planned within a week in a session of parliament. The meeting will start the process of a new government based on the results of elections held in April. Maliki's Shi'ite-led State of Law coalition won the most seats, but needs the support of other Shi'ite groups, Sunnis and Kurds in order to build a new government.

"We will attend the first session of parliament," Maliki declared on state television.

Shi'ite Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, the most respected cleric among Iraq's Shi'ite majority, called for the government formation process to begin last week.

He also warned the demands by Sunni politicians with ties to the non-ISIL fighting groups who belong to the armed revolt against Baghdad calls for an emergency government -- not based on the will of the people, "represents a coup against the constitution."

The fighting waged by armed Sunni groups, with ISIL blazing the path, has knocked towns and cities across the north and west from the central government's control. Northern Iraq's largest city Mosul fell to Sunni insurgents on June 10.

The United Nations says more than 1,000 people, mainly civilians, have been killed during the Sunni insurgents' advance in Iraq.

Nearly a million people have been displaced in Iraq this year. Amin Awad, director of Middle East and North Africa bureau for the U.N. refugee agency, on Wednesday called Iraq "a land of displacement."

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