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

Taliban's New Leader Says Jihad Will Continue

Top US Afghan diplomat also meets with Pakistani, Afghan officials following news of Mullah Omar's death More

Video US Landmark Pushes Endangered Species

People gathered in streets, on rooftops in Manhattan to see image highlights that covered 33 floors of Empire State Building More

World’s Widest Suspension Bridge Being Built Over Bosphorus

Once built, Yavuz Sultan Selim Bridge will span 2 kilometers with about 1.5 kilometers over water, and will be longest suspension bridge in world carrying rail system More

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.
Astronauts Train Underwater for Deep Space Missionsi
|| 0:00:00
...    
🔇
X
George Putic
July 30, 2015 8:59 PM
Manned deep space missions are still a long way off, but space agencies are already testing procedures, equipment and human stamina for operations in extreme environment conditions. Small groups of astronauts take turns in spending days in an underwater lab, off Florida’s southern coast, simulating future missions to some remote world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Astronauts Train Underwater for Deep Space Missions

Manned deep space missions are still a long way off, but space agencies are already testing procedures, equipment and human stamina for operations in extreme environment conditions. Small groups of astronauts take turns in spending days in an underwater lab, off Florida’s southern coast, simulating future missions to some remote world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Civil Rights Leaders Struggled to Achieve Voting Rights Act

Fifty years ago, lawmakers approved, and U.S. President Lyndon Johnson signed, the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The measure outlawed racial discrimination in voting, giving millions of blacks in many parts of the southern United States federal enforcement of the right to vote. Correspondent Chris Simkins introduces us to some civil rights leaders who were on the front lines in the struggle for voting rights.
Video

Video Booming London Property a ‘Haven for Dirty Money’

Billions of dollars of so-called ‘dirty money’ from the proceeds of crime - especially from Russia - are being laundered through the London property market, according to anti-corruption activists. As Henry Ridgwell reports from the British capital, the government has pledged to crack down on the practice.
Video

Video Hometown of Boy Scouts of America Founder Reacts to Gay Leader Decision

Ottawa, Illinois, is the hometown of W.D. Boyce, who founded the Boy Scouts of America in 1910. In Ottawa, where Scouting remains an important part of the legacy of the community, the end of the organization's ban on openly gay adult leaders was seen as inevitable. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.
Video

Video 'Metal Muscles' Flex a New Bionic Hand

Artificial limbs, including the most complex of them – the human hand – are getting more life-like and useful due to constant advances in tiny hydraulic, pneumatic and electric motors called actuators. But now, as VOA’s George Putic reports, scientists in Germany say the future of the prosthetic hand may lie not in motors but in wires that can ‘remember’ their shape.
Video

Video Russia Accused of Abusing Interpol to Pursue Opponents

A British pro-democracy group has accused Russia of abusing the global law enforcement agency Interpol by requesting the arrest and extradition of political opponents. A new report by the group notes such requests can mean the accused are unable to travel and are often unable to open bank accounts. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video 'Positive Atmosphere' Points Toward TPP Trade Deal in Hawaii

Talks on a major new trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations are said to be nearing completion in Hawaii. Some trade experts say the "positive atmosphere" at the discussions could mean a deal is within reach, but there is still hard bargaining to be done over many issues and products, including U.S. drugs and Japanese rice. VOA's Jim Randle reports.
Video

Video Genome Initiative Urgently Moves to Freeze DNA Before Species Go Extinct

Earth is in the midst of its sixth mass extinction. The last such event was caused by an asteroid 66 million years ago. It killed off the dinosaurs and practically everything else. So scientists are in a race against time to classify the estimated 11 million species alive today. So far only 2 million are described by science, and researchers are worried many will disappear before they even have a name. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Scientists: One-Dose Malaria Cure is Possible

Scientists have long been trying to develop an effective protection and cure for malaria - one of the deadliest diseases that affects people in tropical areas, especially children. As the World Health Organization announces plans to begin clinical trials of a promising new vaccine, scientists in South Africa report that they too are at an important threshold. George Putic reports, they are testing a compound that could be a single-dose cure for malaria.
Video

Video 'New York' Magazine Features 35 Cosby Accusers

The latest issue of 'New York' magazine features 35 women who say they were drugged and raped by film and television celebrity Bill Cosby. The women are aged from 44 to 80 and come from different walks of life and races. The magazine interviewed each of them separately, but Zlatica Hoke reports their stories are similar.
Video

Video US Calls Fight Against Human Trafficking a Must Win

The United States is promising not to give up its fight against what Secretary of State John Kerry calls the “scourge” of modern slavery. Officials released the country’s annual human trafficking report Monday – a report that’s being met with some criticism. VOA’s National Security correspondent Jeff Seldin has more from the State Department.
Video

Video Washington DC Underground Streetcar Station to Become Arts Venue

Abandoned more than 50 years ago, the underground streetcar station in Washington D.C.’s historic DuPont Circle district is about to be reborn. The plan calls for turning the spacious underground platforms - once meant to be a transportation hub, - into a unique space for art exhibitions, presentations, concerts and even a film set. Roman Mamonov has more from beneath the streets of the U.S. capital. Joy Wagner narrates his report.
Video

Video Europe’s Twin Crises Collide in Greece as Migrant Numbers Soar

Greece has replaced Italy as the main gateway for migrants into Europe, with more than 100,000 arrivals in the first six months of 2015. Many want to move further into Europe and escape Greece’s economic crisis, but they face widespread dangers on the journey overland through the Balkans. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Stink Intensifies as Lebanon’s Trash Crisis Continues

After the closure of a major rubbish dump a week ago, the streets of Beirut are filling up with trash. Having failed to draw up a plan B, politicians are struggling to deal with the problem. John Owens has more for VOA from Beirut.
Video

Video Paris Rolls Out Blueprint to Fight Climate Change

A U.N. climate conference in December aims to produce an ambitious agreement to fight heat-trapping greenhouse gases. But many local governments are not waiting, and have drafted their own climate action plans. That’s the case with Paris — which is getting special attention, since it’s hosting the climate summit. Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at the transformation of the French capital into an eco-city.

VOA Blogs