News / Middle East

Self-Proclaimed 'Caliph' Orders All Muslims to Move to New Islamic State

Militant Islamist fighters wave flags as they take part in a military parade along the streets of Syria's northern Raqqa province, June 30, 2014.
Militant Islamist fighters wave flags as they take part in a military parade along the streets of Syria's northern Raqqa province, June 30, 2014.
VOA News

The self-appointed leader of the newly proclaimed Islamic state in Iraq and Syria is demanding that all Muslims emigrate there and take up arms.

Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi posted an audio message on Islamist websites Tuesday, saying the new state is for all Muslims, regardless of skin color or nationality. He said Syria is not for the Syrians and Iraq is not for Iraqis.

Baghdadi said the holy month of Ramadan is the perfect time for all Muslims to take up weapons and flight.

Sunni extremists from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant proclaimed a sovereign state for Muslims earlier this week. ISIL has seized much of northern Iraq and is one of the rebel groups fighting to topple the Syrian government.

Iraqi newly elected parliament members attend the first session of parliament in the heavily fortified Green Zone in Baghdad, July 1, 2014.Iraqi newly elected parliament members attend the first session of parliament in the heavily fortified Green Zone in Baghdad, July 1, 2014.
x
Iraqi newly elected parliament members attend the first session of parliament in the heavily fortified Green Zone in Baghdad, July 1, 2014.
Iraqi newly elected parliament members attend the first session of parliament in the heavily fortified Green Zone in Baghdad, July 1, 2014.

Also Tuesday, Iraq's new parliament ended its first session since April's election, without selecting a new prime minister.

The lawmakers met for the first time Tuesday since being elected in late April, but acting speaker Mahdi al-Hafidh ended the session after a number of members failed to return from a break.

He said they would continue in a week if there is a possibility of an agreement.

Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki was a favorite to claim his third term after the election, but since then Sunni Islamist militants have captured large areas of northern and western Iraq and thrown the country into crisis.

  • Mourners carry the coffin of a victim of violence before his burial in the Shiite holy city of Najaf. Violence has claimed the lives of 2,417 Iraqis in June, making it the deadliest month so far this year, July 1, 2014.
  • A view of the Wadi al-Salam, or "Valley of Peace" cemetery in the Shiite holy city of Najaf, 160 kilometers south of Baghdad, Iraq, July 1, 2014.
  • Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki (center) attends a session at the parliament headquarters in Baghdad, July 1, 2014.
  • Newly elected Iraqi parliament members attend the first session of parliament in the heavily fortified Green Zone in Baghdad, July 1, 2014.
  • A Kurdish Peshmerga fighter washes in a river under a bridge on the front line with militants from the al-Qaida-inspired Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), in Mariam Bek village, June 30, 2014.

Western leaders have urged Iraqi officials to form an inclusive government to counter sectarian divisions among its Shi'ite, Sunni and Kurdish populations.

Iraq has been operating under a system in which the prime minister is a Shi'ite, the president a Kurd and the head of parliament a Sunni.

The 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 Tuesday 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 were also killed, the most since July of last year.

U.N. data shows 7,160 deaths from terrorism and violence in the first half of 2014, compared to about 9,000 deaths in all of 2013.

In response to the violence, the United States has added 200 more troops to bolster security at its embassy and Baghdad's international airport.

President Barack Obama authorized the deployment Monday, saying in a letter to Congress it will also include helicopters and unmanned drones.

Pentagon spokesman Rear Admiral John Kirby said the troops already have arrived in Iraq. They join the 275 troops sent to protect the embassy last month.

These forces are separate from the up to 300 military advisers the president authorized to assist Iraq as it battles the militants from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, who have taken over major cities and threatened to attack Baghdad.

The latest announcement brings to nearly 800 the number of U.S. forces in Iraq.

You May Like

Unpaid Kurdish Fighters Sign of Economic Woes

Sharp cuts in Kurdistan's budget by Baghdad, falling oil revenue, coping with refugees, inflated public sector have hit regional economy hard More

Koreas Exchange List of Envoys for Family Reunion Talks

Officials will discuss date, venue and number of participants for reunion; Seoul hopes to hold event late this month More

China Targets 197 in Online Speech Crackdown

Nearly 200 punished for 'spreading rumors' online in ongoing crackdown on free speech More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Sunny Enwerem from: Lagos Nigeria
July 02, 2014 5:57 AM
All this events is simply the fall out of the inability of the leader or leaders of free nations to act against killers of innocent blood ,now they scramble to send troops were they said no boots on ground only to send and are still sending more! (Medicine After Death)

by: Gerald O'Hare from: New Jersey
July 01, 2014 10:12 PM
This is the perfect storm for Americans. Let them kill each other and we do nothing. Saudi Arabia and Iran will have to join the fight. Turkey may get dragged into this also. ISIS is bringing down hell on itself and these jihadists from the west will never return home alive. It will be like the children's crusade of the Middle Ages. The only way to win is to not get involved. ISIS will be destroyed and the jihad will die never to return. After it is done the civilized people of the world will rebuild Iraq and Syria.

by: MUSTAFA from: INDIA
July 01, 2014 9:46 PM
The Best Solution of current crisis, do not support Terrorism by USA, EU, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, Jordon and UAE. If these countries do not support Terrorist Group in the name of Freedom Fighters then this world will be a place to live with peace and security. Due to interference by these countries we have seen Human Blood in street of Syria, Iraq, Bahrain, Libya, Afghanistan and Pakistan. Now human blood is cheaper than chicken or goat.
In Response

by: 1worldnow from: Earth
July 01, 2014 11:02 PM
Well said. It is time to put humanity first, religion last! Anyting that justifies inhumane acts should be characterized as TERRORISM! Time to clean all these bibles and religious doctines to promote the peace they all claim to believe in.

by: Ali baba from: new ork
July 01, 2014 6:04 PM
The picture of the person who carry the flag is oriental and he is not Syrian. It looks to me the jihadist come from different countries and they have common goal .they goal is barbaric .it give us proof positive about the barbaric behavior of radical Muslim. We shall see them killed with the same manner that they behaved in last month when attack a town and ask people to stand up in a place then executed them .they find happiness of mass killing and we shall keep the last laugh

by: ALIbaba from: new york
July 01, 2014 5:48 PM
A trap which set for other, they themselves have been caught .ISIL Are acting as a barbaric and continue killing people. they believe that God will secure a victory for them. They are wrong .sooner, they will be defeated and run like women. They are punch of coward and they will get it right away

by: meanbill from: USA
July 01, 2014 9:11 AM
Only in a Democracy can you have political gridlock, (like the US is experiencing now), and that is the curse and benefits of a Democratic government, where the "minority" Sunni Muslims and Kurds in the Iraq government, can prevent the Shia Muslim "majority" from forming a new Iraq government... (DEMOCRACY?)... In a communist, dictatorship, socialist, or monarchy governments, they don't have political gridlocks, do they?

Maliki must find the wisdom of King Solomon, to find a way to work with the Sunni Muslims in the Iraq government and army, to fight the (ISIL) "Emir of the Believers" and now the "Caliph of all Islam" army..... with the majority of Sunni Muslims in the Iraq government, and army, (that swore to Allah), the (Bay'ah), oath of allegiance to al-Baghdadi....

The Iraq army is about half Sunni Muslim, and Maliki must either disarm them, or segregate them from Shia Muslim troops, because they'll refuse to fight other Sunni Muslims, and even shoot Shia Muslim troops in the back. Do like Hulagu Khan would have done, lay siege to Tikrit and Mosul, and completely destroy them to rubble, to save Iraq..... and make ALL Muslims in Iraq, (swear to Allah), allegiance only to Allah and Iraq... (AND?)... Don't listen to the advice given, by those countries that arm your Sunni Muslim enemies....

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Calais School Offers Another Face of Europe’s Migrant Crisisi
X
Lisa Bryant
September 02, 2015 6:19 PM
Europe is facing mounting criticism over how it’s handling its biggest migration crisis since World War II. But not all Europeans believe building walls or passing repressive policies are the answer. A school for migrants in the French port city of Calais, is opening doors and building bonds across nationalities. VOA's Lisa Bryant reports.
Video

Video Calais School Offers Another Face of Europe’s Migrant Crisis

Europe is facing mounting criticism over how it’s handling its biggest migration crisis since World War II. But not all Europeans believe building walls or passing repressive policies are the answer. A school for migrants in the French port city of Calais, is opening doors and building bonds across nationalities. VOA's Lisa Bryant reports.
Video

Video Russia-Japan Relations Cool as Putin Visits China for WWII Anniversary

Russian President Vladimir Putin is in Beijing for commemorations of the 70th anniversary of China's WWII victory over Japan. Putin is expected to visit Japan later this year, but tensions between Tokyo and Moscow over islands disputed since the war, and sanctions over Ukraine, could pour cold water on the plan. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Kurdish Fighters on IS Frontline Ready for Offensive

Finger on the trigger, the Kurdish Peshmerga soldier stared across the dust at a village taken over by Islamic State extremists. The Kurdistan’s Khazir frontline, just 45 minutes from the Islamic State stronghold of Mosul. And at this point, the militants were less than two kilometers away. VOA's Sharon Behn reports.
Video

Video Yemen ‘on Brink of Disaster’ as Medical Shortages Soar

Aid agencies warn Yemen is on the brink of humanitarian disaster – with up to half a million children facing severe malnutrition, and hospitals running out of basic medicines. There are fears Yemen's civil war could escalate as the coalition led by Saudi Arabia tries to drive back Houthi rebels, who seized control of much of the country earlier this year. Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Apps Helping Kenyan Businesses Stay Ahead of Counterfeiters

Counterfeit goods in Kenya cost the government as much as $1 billion each year in lost tax revenues. The fake goods also hurt entrepreneurs who find it hard to carve out a niche in the market and retain customers. But as Lenny Ruvaga reports from Nairobi, information technology is being used to try to beat the problem.
Video

Video Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOA

Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Iraq's southern wetlands are in crisis. These areas are the spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, and source of livelihood for fishermen and herders. Faith Lapidus has more.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Rebuilding New Orleans' Music Scene

Ten years after Hurricane Katrina inundated New Orleans, threatening to wash away its vibrant musical heritage along with its neighborhoods, the beat goes on. As Bronwyn Benito and Faith Lapidus report, a Musicians' Village is preserving the city's unique sound.
Video

Video In Russia, Auto Industry in Tailspin

Industry insiders say country relies too heavily on imports as inflation cuts too many consumers out of the market. Daniel Schearf has more from Moscow.
Video

Video Scientist Calls Use of Fetal Tissue in Medical Research Essential

An anti-abortion group responsible for secret recordings of workers at a women's health care organization claims the workers shown are offering baby parts for sale, a charge the organization strongly denies. While the selling of fetal tissue is against the law in the United States, abortion and the use of donated fetal tissue for medical research are both legal. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.

VOA Blogs