News / Middle East

    Iraq Prime Minister Vows to Fight for Third Term

    Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, center, attends the first session of parliament in the heavily fortified Green Zone in Baghdad, Iraq,  July 1, 2014.  Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, center, attends the first session of parliament in the heavily fortified Green Zone in Baghdad, Iraq, July 1, 2014.
    x
    Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, center, attends the first session of parliament in the heavily fortified Green Zone in Baghdad, Iraq,  July 1, 2014.
    Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, center, attends the first session of parliament in the heavily fortified Green Zone in Baghdad, Iraq, July 1, 2014.
    VOA News

    Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki is vowing to fight for a third term in office despite growing pressure for him to step down.

    In a statement read Friday on state television by an announcer, Maliki said "I will never give up my candidacy for the post of prime minister." He vowed to remain in office until the Islamic militants who have overrun large areas of the country are defeated.

    Maliki's alliance of Shi'ite parties won parliamentary elections in April. At that time he was favored to win a third term in power, but since then Sunni Islamist militants have captured large areas of northern and western Iraq and thrown the country into crisis.

    Iraq's parliament met earlier this week, but failed to agree on a prime minister to unite the ethnically and religiously divided country.

    The country's leading Shi'ite cleric, Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, said Friday that parliament's inability to quickly form a new government was a "regrettable failure."

    Recapturing Awja

    In another development Friday, Iraqi government troops recaptured the village of Awja, the birthplace of former leader Saddam Hussein. The military action is part of an ongoing offensive that aims to retake Tikrit.

    Also Friday, a group of more than 40 Indian nurses who were trapped in a northern Iraq city by anti-government fighters were released in the autonomous northern Kurdish region. The are expected to soon fly home.

    Masoud Barzani, president of Iraqi Kurdistan, wants a vote on independence for the region.Masoud Barzani, president of Iraqi Kurdistan, wants a vote on independence for the region.
    x
    Masoud Barzani, president of Iraqi Kurdistan, wants a vote on independence for the region.
    Masoud Barzani, president of Iraqi Kurdistan, wants a vote on independence for the region.

    On Thursday, the president of Iraq's Kurdish region, Massoud Barzani, asked his parliament to prepare for a referendum on independence.

    Barzani told the region's legislature that it is "time to decide about our self-determination and not to wait for other people to decide for us."

    Sectarian divisions

    Iraq is divided among its Shi'ite, Sunni and Kurdish populations.  

    Western leaders have urged Iraqi officials to form an inclusive government to counter the recent violence that has killed thousands and threatens to upend the government.

    The recent surge by militants from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant came with a rise in violence that made June an extraordinarily deadly month for Iraqi civilians and for the country's security forces.

    The United Nations mission in Iraq said that 886 military personnel were killed last month, a number that is higher than the first five months of 2014 combined. At least 1,531 civilians also were killed, the most since July of last year.

    You May Like

    US Lawmakers Vow to Continue Immigrant Program for Afghan Interpreters

    Congressional inaction threatens funding for effort which began in 2008 and has allowed more than 20,000 interpreters, their family members to immigrate to US

    Brexit's Impact on Russia Stirs Concern

    Some analysts see Brexit aiding Putin's plans to destabilize European politics; others note that an economically unstable Europe is not in Moscow's interests

    US to Train Cambodian Government on Combating Cybercrime

    Concerns raised over drafting of law, as critics fear cybercrime regulations could be used to restrict freedom of expression and stifle political dissent

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: meanbill from: USA
    July 05, 2014 7:26 PM
    Maliki has been purging his military leadership, and removing those generals who's religious beliefs caused them to side with the (ISIL), and he is also removing those generals who were incompetent, in forming any Iraq army military response, to stop the (ISIL) in their advance..... Maliki needs new generals, with fresh ideas, and not the ones trained by the US in big war tactics, but quick small action response special forces, with air power.....

    Maliki can "win" this war, and defeat the al-Baghdad (ISIL) army..... by simply destroying and bombing all the gas stations, and fuel trucks, and bridges, and any pickup trucks outside any city or town held by the (ISIL) army.... and lay siege, and not attack, those cities and towns the (ISIL) army holds, till they surrender.....

    Because the al-Baghdadi (ISIL) army is spread out over thousands of square miles of Iraq and Syria, (and it needs millions of gallons of gas), and if that gas supply is suddenly cut off, the al-Baghdadi army will come to a complete stop, and his (ISIL) "Caliphate of Islam" al-Baghdadi dream, will die and rust, in the sands of Iraq and Syria, and history..... REALLY

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Baghdad Bikers Defy War with a Roari
    X
    June 28, 2016 10:33 AM
    Baghdad is a city of contradictions. War is a constant. Explosions and kidnappings are part of daily life. But the Iraqi capital remains a thriving city, even if a little beat up. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on how some in Baghdad are defying the stereotype of a nation at war by pursuing a lifestyle known for its iconic symbols of rebellion: motorbikes, leather jackets and roaring engines.
    Video

    Video Baghdad Bikers Defy War with a Roar

    Baghdad is a city of contradictions. War is a constant. Explosions and kidnappings are part of daily life. But the Iraqi capital remains a thriving city, even if a little beat up. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on how some in Baghdad are defying the stereotype of a nation at war by pursuing a lifestyle known for its iconic symbols of rebellion: motorbikes, leather jackets and roaring engines.
    Video

    Video Melting Pot of Immigrants Working to Restore US Capitol Dome

    The American Iron Works company is one of the firms working to renovate the iconic U.S. Capitol Dome. The company employs immigrants of many different cultural and national backgrounds. VOA’s Arman Tarjimanyan has more.
    Video

    Video Testing Bamboo as Building Material

    For thousands of years various species of bamboo - one of the world's most versatile plants - have been used for diverse purposes ranging from food and medicine to textiles and construction. But its use on a large scale is hampered because it's not manufactured to specific standards but grown in the ground. A University of Pittsburgh professor is on track to changing that. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Orphanage in Iraqi City Houses Kids Who Lost their Parents to Attacks by IS

    An orphanage in Iraqi Kurdistan has become home to scores of Yazidi children who lost their parents after Islamic State militants took over Sinjar in Iraq’s Nineveh Province in 2014. Iraqi Kurdish forces backed by the U.S. airstrikes have since recaptured Sinjar but the need for the care provided by the orphanage continues. VOA’s Kawa Omar filed this report narrated by Rob Raffaele.
    Video

    Video Re-Opening Old Wounds in a Bullet-Riddled Cultural Landmark

    A cultural landmark before Lebanon’s civil war transformed it into a nest of snipers, Beirut’s ‘Yellow House’ is once again set to play a crucial role in the city.  Built in a neo-Ottoman style in the 1920s, in September it is set to be re-opened as a ‘memory museum’ - its bullet-riddled walls and bunkered positions overlooking the city’s notorious ‘Green Line’ maintained for posterity. John Owens reports from Beirut.
    Video

    Video Brexit Resounds in US Presidential Contest

    Britain’s decision to leave the European Union is resounding in America’s presidential race. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, Republican presumptive nominee Donald Trump sees Britain’s move as an affirmation of his campaign’s core messages, while Democrat Hillary Clinton sees the episode as further evidence that Trump is unfit to be president.
    Video

    Video New York Pride March A Celebration of Life, Mourning of Loss

    At this year’s march in New York marking the end of pride week, a record-breaking crowd of LGBT activists and allies marched down Manhattan's Fifth Avenue, in what will be long remembered as a powerful display of solidarity and remembrance for the 49 victims killed two weeks ago in an Orlando gay nightclub.
    Video

    Video NASA Juno Spacecraft, Nearing Jupiter, to Shed Light on Gas Giant

    After a five-year journey, the spacecraft Juno is nearing its destination, the giant planet Jupiter, where it will enter orbit and start sending data back July 4th. As Mike O'Sullivan reports from Pasadena, California, the craft will pierce the veil of Jupiter's dense cloud cover to reveal its mysteries.
    Video

    Video Orlando Shooting Changes Debate on Gun Control

    It’s been nearly two weeks since the largest mass shooting ever in the United States. Despite public calls for tighter gun control laws, Congress is at an impasse. Democratic lawmakers resorted to a 1960s civil rights tactic to portray their frustration. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti explains how the Orlando, Florida shooting is changing the debate.
    Video

    Video Tunisian Fishing Town Searches for Jobs, Local Development Solutions

    As the European Union tries to come to grips with its migrant crisis, some newcomers are leaving voluntarily. But those returning to their home countries face an uncertain future.  Five years after Tunisia's revolution, the tiny North African country is struggling with unrest, soaring unemployment and plummeting growth. From the southern Tunisian fishing town of Zarzis, Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at a search for local solutions.
    Video

    Video 'American Troops' in Russia Despite Tensions

    Historic battle re-enactment is a niche hobby with a fair number of adherents in Russia where past military victories are played-up by the Kremlin as a show of national strength. But, one group of World War II re-enactors in Moscow has the rare distinction of choosing to play western ally troops. VOA's Daniel Schearf explains.
    Video

    Video Muslim American Mayor Calls for Tolerance

    Syrian-born Mohamed Khairullah describes himself as "an American mayor who happens to be Muslim." As the three-term mayor of Prospect Park, New Jersey, he believes his town of 6,000 is an example of how ethnicity and religious beliefs should not determine a community's leadership. Ramon Taylor has this report from Prospect Park.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora