News / Middle East

Iraq Hopes Tribes Will Oust Islamic Militants

Iraq Hopes Tribes Will Oust Islamic Militantsi
X
February 01, 2014 2:26 AM
Violence continues to escalate in Iraq since al-Qaida-linked militants seized neighborhoods in the cities of Fallujah and Ramadi in Anbar province. As VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports, top Iraqi officials are hoping the country’s military will not be forced to storm the city and risk large-scale civilian casualties.

Iraq Hopes Tribes Will Oust Islamic Militants

TEXT SIZE - +
Meredith Buel
— Violence continues to escalate in Iraq since al-Qaida-linked militants seized neighborhoods in the cities of Fallujah and Ramadi in Anbar province. Top Iraqi officials are hoping the country’s military will not be forced to storm the city and risk large-scale civilian casualties.

Since early January radical Islamic militants have seized territory in restive Anbar province.  

They are members of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria [ISIS] - the most hardline jihadists battling in the region.

Middle East analyst James Phillips said, “It is clear that Fallujah today is the epicenter of a struggle for the future not only of Iraq, but of the broader region, particularly what’s going on in Syria.”

The Baghdad government has been striking back, but mostly on the outskirts of the cities.

The United States is supplying air-to-ground missiles and drones to help with the fight.

Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki said, "The important thing is not to attack the city and kill innocent people because of those criminals. Time is not important. The important thing is to preserve the blood of Fallujah’s people."

The prime minister is trying to reassert control over Anbar by convincing Sunni tribesmen, who have felt neglected by the Shi’ite-led government, to oust the militants.

The central government has approved millions of dollars in payments to the tribes and is arming tribal fighters and local authorities.

Lukman Faily, the Iraqi Ambassador to the U.S., said, “The long-term approach is to have a long view of our relationship with the tribes, with the local authorities, and to make sure that the local police are able to counter that rather than for the military armed to go inside the cities.”

After years of fierce fighting in Iraq, U.S. troops defeated al-Qaida in Anbar by recruiting and arming local tribesmen to fight the militants.

Marines who fought there are frustrated now that jihadists have stormed back into the province for the first time since U.S. troops left Iraq.

Retired General James Conway, the former Commandant of the Marine Corps., said, “If you have a young Marine or soldier sitting with his legs missing, he could at least previously say 'well what we did was the right thing, Iraq is better for it and we won.'  I am not sure that same individual sitting in that chair is thinking those things these days, and that is truly sad.”

Iraqi army units are deployed in Anbar, but remain outside the cities.

Parliamentary elections are scheduled for April.

By then, officials say, the province will have to be a safe place for Iraqis to vote.

You May Like

Multimedia Anti-Keystone XL Protests Continue

Demonstrators are worried about pipeline's effect on climate change, their traditional way of life, health and safety More

Thailand's Political Power Struggle Continues

Court gave Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra until May 2 to prepare her defense over abuse of power charges but uncertainty remains over election timing More

Malaysia Plane Search Tests Limits of Ocean Mapping Technology

Expert tells VOA existing equipment’s maximum operating depth is around 6 kilometers as operation continues on ocean bed for any trace of MH370 More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Godwin from: Nigeria
February 01, 2014 1:20 PM
If you want to cleanse the place of terrorists, simple: declare islam of no avail, that is, remove islam and you have a clean, peaceful and serene state. Islam has meant one thing in the world: VIOLENCE! Check it out everywhere the religion is found, there is no peace, no security, nothing humane happens there except those things you found in human societies of antiquity, prehistoric times, Dark Age, or nearest time - the Medieval. Sorry for Africa already grappling with it; unfortunate for Europe that is embracing it in the name of freedoms and democracy. It leaves only one legacy: REGRET. Today it sounds sweet in the Middle East because they have virtually wiped out every civilization and peoples outside it; they will do the same to Europe and America soon if nothing is done urgently to stem its incursion into those societies.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Messagei
X
Penelope Poulou
April 22, 2014 5:53 PM
Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Message

Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pro-Russian Separatists Plan 'Federalization Referendum' in Eastern Ukraine

Pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine say they plan to move forward next month with a referendum vote for greater autonomy, despite the Geneva agreement reached with Russia, the U.S. and Ukraine to end the political conflict. VOA's Brian Padden reports from the city of Donetsk in Eastern Ukraine.
Video

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

French filmmaker Luc Jacquet won worldwide acclaim for his 2005 Academy Award-winning documentary "March of the Penguins". Now Jacquet is back with a new film that takes movie-goers deep into the heart of a tropical rainforest - not only to celebrate its grandeur, but to make the case for its survival. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Boston Marathon Bittersweet for Many Runners

Monday's running of the Boston Marathon was bittersweet for many of the 36,000 participants as they finished the run that was interrupted by a double bombing last year. Many gathered along the route paid respect to the four people killed as a result of two bombings near the finish line. VOA's Carolyn Presutti returned to Boston this year to follow two runners, forever changed because of the crimes.
Video

Video International Students Learn Film Production in World's Movie Capital

Hollywood - which is part of Los Angeles - is the movie capital of the world, and many aspiring filmmakers go there in hopes of breaking into the movie business. Mike O'Sullivan reports that regional universities are also a magnet for students who hope to become producers or directors.
Video

Video Pacific Rim Trade Deal Proves Elusive

With the U.S.-led war in Iraq ended and American military involvement in Afghanistan winding down, President Barack Obama has sought to pivot the country's foreign policy focus towards Asia. One aspect of that pivot is the negotiation of a free-trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations. But as Obama leaves this week on a trip to four Asian countries he has found it very difficult to complete the trade pact. VOA's Ken Bredemeier has more from Washington.
Video

Video Autistic Adults Face Housing, Job Challenges

Many parents of children with disabilities fear for the future of their adult child. It can be difficult to find services to help adults with disabilities - physical, mental or emotional - find work or live on their own. The mother of an autistic boy set up a foundation to advocate for the estimated 1.2 million American adults with autism, a developmental disorder that causes communication difficulties and often social difficulties. VOA's Faiza Elmasry reports.
AppleAndroid