News / Middle East

Iraq's Maliki Vows to Defeat Militants

Iraqi men raise up weapons and shout slogans as they demonstration in the central Shiite Muslim shrine city of Najaf on June 14, 2014 to show their support for the call to arms by Shiite cleric Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani.
Iraqi men raise up weapons and shout slogans as they demonstration in the central Shiite Muslim shrine city of Najaf on June 14, 2014 to show their support for the call to arms by Shiite cleric Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani.
Edward Yeranian
Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki vowed again Saturday to defeat Sunni militants who have captured large chunks of territory north and west of the capital, Baghdad.

The Iraqi Army, meanwhile, claimed that government forces have regained their momentum, after a string of recent defeats. 

Fighting continued Saturday in scattered regions north of Baghdad, with conflicting reports over which side-- forces loyal to Maliki's government, or a mix of Sunni Islamist militant groups-- had the upper hand.

In quick strikes this week, militants of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, or ISIL, took control of Mosul, Iraq's second largest city, and advanced within 55 miles of Baghdad.
 
Late Thursday, ISIL fighters seized the towns of Jalawla and Saadiyah in the ethnically divided eastern province of Diyala.
 
A spokesman for the Sunni militants vowed they would push into Baghdad and on to Karbala, a city southwest of Baghdad that is one of the holiest sites for Shi'ite Muslims.

Iraqi state TV showed Maliki, who is Shi'ite, addressing a round table of dignitaries in Samarra, north of Baghdad, insisting that the Iraqi military would defeat Sunni fighters, whom he called “terrorists.”

Maliki's comments contrasted with initial reports on the ground earlier this week, when government military forces were reported to be giving up without a fight. 

Maliki said troops who abandoned their positions and left their uniforms in the streets of Mosul earlier this week must return to their units or face possible severe punishment, including the death penalty.

One man in Karbala said that hundreds of men were volunteering to defend Iraq, and in particular holy sites like those in Karbala. The vast majority of volunteers appear to be Shi'ite.

On Friday, Iraq's top Shi'ite cleric, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, issued a religious edict, calling on men to volunteer.

Iraqi military intelligence chief, meanwhile, told a news conference Saturday that the situation in Baghdad was stable and that the government had a plan and resources to keep ISIL militants away from the city.

Qassem Mohammed Atta also claimed that government forces had recaptured most of Salaheddin province and that military commanders in Salaheddin, Diyala and Samarra told him they were holding firm.

It was impossible for VOA to independently confirm the information.

Broadcast media reports have said Iran has sent fighters from its elite Revolutionary Guards' “al-Quds Forces” to help the Iraqi military.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani insisted in a speech Saturday that his country would consider any Iraqi government request for help, but that no such appeal has been made.

Amid growing speculation that the United States may be forced to intervene, U.S. President Barack Obama indicated Friday that he would consider different options in coming days. He also said that Iraq needed to “fix its internal problems” or U.S. military help would not make much difference.

In a sign that Washington indeed may be preparing for air strikes, the aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush moved from the North Arabian Sea to the Gulf Saturday, Pentagon spokesman Rear Adm. John Kirby said.

The move provides Obama "additional flexibility should military options be required to protect American lives, citizens and interests in Iraq," Kirby said.
 
A guided-missile cruiser and a guided-missile destroyer will accompany the aircraft carrier, he said.

You May Like

On Everest, Helicopters Rescue Stranded Climbers

Choppers transport some of more than 100 mountaineers trapped after deadly quake, avalanches More

Video Ten Years After Riots, France Searches for Answers to Neglected Suburbs

In 2005, a Paris suburb exploded into violence after two teenagers were electrocuted as they hid from police; since then, somethings have changed, others not More

US, Japan Announce Historic Revision of Defense Cooperation Guidelines

Nations say new guidelines will be 'cornerstone for peace and security' in Asia-Pacific region while also serving as 'platform for a more stable international security environment' More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: MUSTAFA from: INDIA
June 14, 2014 9:59 PM
Every body knows very well, after Syria these terrorist will enter Iraq and then start killing innocent peoples and burn their properties, what they did in Syria. Now this the duty of Iraqi Govt should be alert and vigilant. Iraqi Govt should capture these human killers and give them heavy punishment in front world media. These Terrorist of Al Qaida will kill innocent peoples, because this is their aim and object. I feel sorry the role played by Saudi Arabia in this human killing drama. These terrorist came from SA and Syria very well finance and equip by SA. SA feel God will not ask any question from them because they born in Mecca and Madina. Then this is their blunder mistake, show me any book where God gave them discount because of M & M. Human killer is human killer in front of God court so be ready for your answer.

by: Hallalah from: Iran
June 14, 2014 12:51 PM
Maliki doing the job like Africa buffalo, he have enough ppl but he don't know how to use them to protect Iraq. When lion coming he is ready to die. Iraq is one of oil richest on earth, US got billion of $ for Maliki gov. to setup his army, this money may be used for corruption only. Now Maliki crying hahaha.

by: meanbill from: USA
June 14, 2014 10:39 AM
THE WISE MAN said it; --- "Where others see defeat, the wise man see's victory" - from the book "The Art of War" by Sun Tzu. --- The Iraqis couldn't be defeated by the US and NATO military forces, (the greatest military forces in the history of the world), and they won't be defeated by these (ISIL) terrorists, no matter what anybody says.... I guarantee it.. .... REALLY

NOW is the time for Maliki to lead his country to victory against the (ISIL) Iraqi terrorists -- and show the Iraqi people and the world -- (that he and the Iraqi people and country won't be defeated by anybody in the world), -- (AND?) -- Iraq will be the graveyard for foreign invaders.....

by: Ted Nelson from: Gold Bar Washington
June 14, 2014 9:24 AM
There are Sunni terrorists. There are also Shiite terrorists. But the overwhelming majority from each sect is moderate not terrorist. The problem Iraq faces is the Sunni terrorists, because of unpopular and unequal government policies, are becoming the group of choice for Iraq's overall Sunni population. This is a dilemna for the United States. We have an obligation and duty to root out terrorism wherever it arises, however it is not in our interest to get involved in any Shiite-Sunni civil war or religious dispute. To this end, we must attack the terrorists with all our weapons and eliminate them. At the same time, we must make peace with the Sunni, and take them out of the battle, if need be, one by one if necessary. The Sunni know who we are. They also know ISIL would stand no chance against us. This repatriation of the Sunni would not be as difficult as one might think. The worst thing we could do would be to be perceived as being a proxy for the Government.

by: pete from: us
June 14, 2014 8:33 AM
Sort of doubting that Uncle Sam isn't signing their paychecks. We need to cut the cord, lesson learned, no more oil globalists!

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
‘Angel of the Migrants’ Helps Desperate Syrians Arriving in Europei
X
Henry Ridgwell
April 26, 2015 10:36 PM
Waves of migrants are continuing to arrive on the shores of southern Italy from North Africa. After their dangerous journey across the Mediterranean, they face an unknown future in Europe. In the Sicilian city of Catania there is an activist dedicated to helping the refugees on their journey.
Video

Video ‘Angel of the Migrants’ Helps Desperate Syrians Arriving in Europe

Waves of migrants are continuing to arrive on the shores of southern Italy from North Africa. After their dangerous journey across the Mediterranean, they face an unknown future in Europe. In the Sicilian city of Catania there is an activist dedicated to helping the refugees on their journey.
Video

Video Ten Years After Riots, France Searches for Answers to Neglected Suburbs

January’s terrorist attacks and fears of more to come are casting a spotlight on France’s neglected suburbs. Home to many immigrants, and sometimes hubs of crime, they were rocked by rioting a decade ago. Lisa Bryant visited the Paris suburb of Clichy-sous-Bois, where the 2005 violence first broke out, and has this report about what has changed and what has not.
Video

Video Gay Marriage Goes Before US Supreme Court

This week, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments on whether gay people have a constitutional right to marriage. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, the case could lead to the nationwide legalization of same-sex marriage, or a continuation of the status quo in which individual states decide whether to recognize gay unions.
Video

Video Study: Insecticide Damaging Wild Bee Populations

A popular but controversial type of insecticide is damaging important wild bee populations, according to a new study. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Data Servers Could Heat Private Homes

As every computer owner knows, when their machines run a complex program they get pretty hot. In fact, cooling the processors can be expensive, especially when you're dealing with huge banks of computer servers. But what if that energy could heat private homes? VOA’s George Putic reports that a Dutch energy firm aims to do just that.
Video

Video Cinema That Crosses Borders Showcased at Tribeca Film Festival

Among the nearly 100 feature length films being shown at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival in New York City are more than 20 documentaries and features with international appeal, from a film about a Congolese businessman in China, to documentaries shot in Pakistan and diaspora communities in the U.S., to a poetic look at disaffected South African youth. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video UN Confronts Threat of Young Radicals

The radicalization and recruitment of young people into Islamist extremist groups has become a growing challenge for governments worldwide. On Thursday, the U.N. Security Council heard from experts on the issue, which has become a potent threat to international peace and security. VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports.
Video

Video Growing Numbers of Turks Discover Armenian Ancestry

In a climate of improved tolerance, growing numbers of people in Turkey are discovering their grandmothers were Armenian. Hundreds of thousands of Armenians escaped the mass deportations and slaughter of the early 1900's by forced conversion to Islam. Or, Armenian children were taken in by Turkish families and assimilated. Now their stories are increasingly being heard. Dorian Jones reports from Istanbul that the revelations are viewed as an important step.
Video

Video Migrants Trek Through Western Balkans to Reach EU

Migrants from Africa and other places are finding different routes into the European Union in search of a better life. The Associated Press followed one clandestine group to document their trek through the western Balkans to Hungary. Zlatica Hoke reports that the migrants started using that route about four years ago. Since then, it has become the second-most popular path into Western Europe, after the option of sailing from North Africa to Italy.
Video

Video US Businesses See Cuba as New Frontier

The Obama administration's opening toward Cuba is giving U.S. companies hope they'll be able to do business in Cuba despite the continuation of the U.S. economic embargo against the communist nation. Some American companies have been able to export some products to Cuba, but the recent lifting of Cuba's terrorism designation could relax other restrictions. As VOA's Daniela Schrier reports, corporate heavy hitters are lining up to head across the Florida Straits - though experts urge caution.
Video

Video Kenya Launches Police Recruitment Drive After Terror Attacks

Kenya launched a major police recruitment drive this week as part of a large-scale effort to boost security following a recent spate of terror attacks. VOA’s Gabe Joselow reports that allegations of corruption in the process are raising old concerns about the integrity of Kenya’s security forces.
Video

Video Japan, China in Race for Asia High-Speed Rail Projects

A lucrative competition is underway in Asia for billions of dollars in high-speed rail projects. Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Malaysia Thailand and Vietnam are among the countries planning to move onto the fast track. They are negotiating with Japan and the upstart Chinese who are locked in a duel to revolutionize transportation across Asia. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Bangkok has details.
Video

Video Scientists: Mosquitoes Attracted By Our Genes

Some people always seem to get bitten by mosquitoes more than others. Now, scientists have proved that is really the case - and they say it’s all because of genes. It’s hoped the research might lead to new preventative treatments for diseases like malaria, as Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Bible Museum Coming to Washington DC

Washington is the center of American political power and also home to some of the nation’s most visited museums. A new one that will showcase the Bible has skeptics questioning the motives of its conservative Christian funders. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Afghan First Lady Pledges No Roll Back on Women's Rights

Afghan First Lady Rula Ghani, named one of Time's 100 Most Influential, says women should take part in talks with Taliban. VOA's Rokhsar Azamee has more from Kabul.

VOA Blogs