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 Internet Giants, EU Reach Deal to Combat Online Hate Speech

    Facebook, Twitter, Google and Microsoft commit to ‘quickly and efficiently’ act to clamp down on use of social media to incite violence, terror

    Video Tunisia’s Ennahda Party Begins a New Political Chapter

    Party now moves to separate its political and religious activities; change described by party members as pragmatic response to political and economic challenges facing Tunisia today

    Virtual Reality Fine-tuned at Asia Tech Show

    Microchip designers hope to improve resolution for users of systems that can turn your bedroom into the ocean floor

    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.
    Tech Startups Showcase Wares at Amsterdam Conferencei
    X
    Serginho Roosblad
    May 30, 2016 5:11 PM
    More than 20,000 tech enthusiasts, entrepreneurs and lovers of digital technology came together in Amsterdam recently at the Next Web Conference to discuss the latest developments in digital technology, look to the future and, of course, to connect. In recent years, there has been an explosion of so-called startup businesses that have created devices and applications that have changed the way we live; but, as Serginho Roosblad reports for VOA, there are pitfalls for such startups as well.
    Video

    Video Tech Startups Showcase Wares at Amsterdam Conference

    More than 20,000 tech enthusiasts, entrepreneurs and lovers of digital technology came together in Amsterdam recently at the Next Web Conference to discuss the latest developments in digital technology, look to the future and, of course, to connect. In recent years, there has been an explosion of so-called startup businesses that have created devices and applications that have changed the way we live; but, as Serginho Roosblad reports for VOA, there are pitfalls for such startups as well.
    Video

    Video US Military's Fallen Honored With Flags

    Memorial Day is a long weekend for most Americans. For some, it is the unofficial start of summer -- local swimming pools open and outdoor grilling season begins. But Memorial Day remains true to its origins -- a day to remember the U.S. military's fallen.
    Video

    Video Rolling Thunder Rolls Into Washington

    The Rolling Thunder caravan of motorcycles rolled into Washington Sunday, to support the U.S. military on the country's Memorial Day weekend
    Video

    Video A New Reading Program Pairs Kids with Dogs

    Dogs, it is said, are man's best friend. What some researchers have discovered is that they can also be a friend to a struggling reader. A group called Intermountain Therapy Animals trains dogs to help all kinds of kids with reading problems — from those with special needs to those for whom English is a second language. Faiza Elmasry has more on the New York chapter of R.E.A.D., or Reading Education Assistance Dogs, in this piece narrated by Faith Lapidus.
    Video

    Video Fan Base Grows for Fictional Wyoming Sheriff Longmire

    Around the world, the most enduring symbol of the U.S. is that of the cowboy. A very small percentage of Americans live in Western rural areas, and fewer still are cowboys. But the fascination with the American West is kept alive by such cultural offerings as “Longmire,” a series of books and TV episodes about a fictional Wyoming sheriff. VOA’s Greg Flakus recently spoke with Longmire’s creator, Craig Johnson, and filed this report from Houston.
    Video

    Video Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trend

    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Reactions to Trump's Success Polarized Abroad

    What seemed impossible less than a year ago is now almost a certainty. New York real estate mogul Donald Trump has won the number of delegates needed to secure the Republican presidential nomination. The prospect has sparked as much controversy abroad as it has in the United States. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Drawings by Children in Hiroshima Show Hope and Peace

    On Friday, President Barack Obama will visit Hiroshima, Japan, the first American president to do so while in office. In August 1945, the United States dropped an atomic bomb on the city to force Japan's surrender in World War II. Although their city lay in ruins, some Hiroshima schoolchildren drew pictures of hope and peace. The former students and their drawings are now part of a documentary called “Pictures from a Hiroshima Schoolyard.” VOA's Deborah Block has the story.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese Rapper Performs for Obama

    A prominent young Vietnamese artist told President Obama said she faced roadblocks as a woman rapper, and asked the president about government support for the arts. He asked her to rap, and he even offered to provide a base beat for her. Watch what happened.
    Video

    Video Roots Run Deep for Tunisia's Dwindling Jewish Community

    This week, hundreds of Jewish pilgrims are defying terrorist threats to celebrate an ancient religious festival on the Tunisian island of Djerba. The festivities cast a spotlight on North Africa's once-vibrant Jewish population that has all but died out in recent decades. Despite rising threats of militant Islam and the country's battered economy, one of the Arab world's last Jewish communities is staying put and nurturing a new generation. VOA’s Lisa Bryant reports.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora