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

Video VOA EXCLUSIVE: Iraq President Vows to Fight IS 'Until They Are Killed or We Die'

In wide-ranging interview with VOA Persian service reporter, Fuad Masum describes conflict as new type of fight that will take time to win More

Video Russian Anti-Corruption Campaigner Slams Putin’s Crackdown on Dissent

In interview with VOA Alexei Navalny says he believes new law against 'undesirable NGOs' part of move to keep Russian president in power More

Video On The Scene: In Ethiopia, 'Are You a Journalist?' Is a Loaded Question

VOA's Anita Powell describes the difficulties faced by reporters in fully conveying the story in a country where people are reticent to share their true opinions 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.
Expelled from Pakistan, Afghan Refugees Return to Increased Hardshipi
X
Ayesha Tanzeem
May 28, 2015 6:48 PM
Undocumented refugees returning to Afghanistan from Pakistan have no jobs, no support system, and no home return to, and international aid agencies say they and the government are overwhelmed and under-resourced. Ayesha Tanzeem has more from Kabul.
Video

Video Expelled from Pakistan, Afghan Refugees Return to Increased Hardship

Undocumented refugees returning to Afghanistan from Pakistan have no jobs, no support system, and no home return to, and international aid agencies say they and the government are overwhelmed and under-resourced. Ayesha Tanzeem has more from Kabul.
Video

Video Britain Makes Controversial Move to Crack Down on Extremism

Britain is moving to tighten controls on extremist rhetoric, even when it does not incite violence or hatred -- a move that some are concerned might unduly restrict basic freedoms. It is an issue many countries are grappling with as extremist groups gain power in the Middle East, fueled in part by donations and fighters from the West. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video Floodwaters Recede in Houston, but Rain Continues

Many parts of Texas are recovering from one of the worst natural disasters to hit the southwestern state. Heavy rains on Monday and early Tuesday caused rivers to swell in eastern and central Texas, washing away homes and killing at least 13 people. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Houston, floodwaters are receding slowly in the country's fourth-largest city, and there likely is to be more rain in the coming days.
Video

Video 3D Printer Makes Replica of Iconic Sports Car

Cars with parts made by 3D printers are already on the road, but engineers are still learning about this new technology. While testing the possibility of printing an entire car, researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy recently created an electric-powered replica of an iconic sports roadster. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Al-Shabab Recruitment Drive Still on In Kenya

The al-Shabab militants that have long battled for control of Somalia also have recruited thousands of young people in Kenya, leaving many families disconsolate. Mohammed Yusuf recently visited the Kenyan town of Isiolo, and met with relatives of those recruited, as well as a many who have helped with the recruiting.
Video

Video US Voters Seek Answers From Presidential Candidates on IS Gains

The growth of the Islamic State militant group in Iraq and Syria comes as the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign kicks off in the Midwest state of Iowa.   As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, voters want to know how the candidates would handle recent militant gains in the Middle East.
Video

Video A Small Oasis on Kabul's Outskirts Provides Relief From Security Tensions

When people in Kabul want to get away from the city and relax, many choose Qargha Lake, a small resort on the outskirts of Kabul. Ayesha Tanzeem visited and talked with people about the precious oasis.
Video

Video Film Festival Looks at Indigenous Peoples, Culture Conflict

A recent Los Angeles film festival highlighted the plight of people caught between two cultures. Mike O'Sullivan has more on the the Garifuna International Film Festival, a Los Angeles forum created by a woman from Central America who wants the world to know more about her culture.
Video

Video Kenyans Lament Losing Sons to al-Shabab

There is agony, fear and lost hope in the Kenyan town of Isiolo, a key target of a new al-Shabab recruitment drive. VOA's Mohammed Yusuf visits Isiolo to speak with families and at least one man who says he was a recruiter.
Video

Video Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thought

Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Kenya’s Capital Sees Rise in Shisha Parlors

In Kenya, the smoking of shisha, a type of flavored tobacco, is the latest craze. Patrons are flocking to shisha parlors to smoke and socialize. But the practice can be addictive and harmful, though many dabblers may not realize the dangers, according to a new review. Lenny Ruvaga has more on the story for VOA from Nairobi, Kenya.
Video

Video Iowa Family's Sacrifice Shaped US Military Service for Generations

Few places in America have experienced war like Waterloo. This small town in the Midwest state of Iowa became famous during World War II not for what it accomplished, but what it lost. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the legacy of one family’s sacrifice is still a reminder today of the real cost of war for all families on the homefront.

VOA Blogs