News / Middle East

Obama Welcomes Iraqi PM Nomination, Pledges Support

Obama Welcomes Iraqi PM Nomination, Pledges Supporti
X
August 12, 2014 3:03 AM
President Barack Obama is calling the nomination of a new Iraqi prime minister a promising step forward. Obama took time out of his vacation at Martha's Vineyard on Monday to express support for the prime minister-designate and urged him to quickly form an inclusive government to counter the threat posed by the Sunni militant group Islamic State, also known as ISIL. Aru Pande reports.
Aru Pande

President Barack Obama is calling the nomination of a new Iraqi prime minister a promising step forward. Obama took time out of his vacation at Martha's Vineyard on Monday to express support for the prime minister-designate and urged him to quickly form an inclusive government to counter the threat posed by the Sunni militant group Islamic State, also known as ISIL.

Ever since Islamic State militants began their bloody campaign in Iraq, the United States has called on the country’s leaders to put aside their sectarian differences and form a new government that would unite Iraqis against the threat.

On Monday, Iraqi President Fouad Massoum nominated Deputy Parliament Speaker Haider al-Abadi as new prime minister and gave him 30 days to a form a new government, potentially ending the divisive eight-year rule of current Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki.

Although both men are members of the Shi’ite Dawa Party, Maliki’s supporters remained defiant, saying they would fight the decision.

The veteran Iraqi leader has vowed to sue the president for failing to nominate him for a third term.

While not directly addressing Maliki, Obama on Monday urged all Iraqi political leaders to work peacefully through the political process in the days ahead. Obama said he spoke with the prime minister-designate and pledged U.S. support for a government he says will address the grievances of all Iraqi people.

"Just as the United States will remain vigilant against the threat posed to our people by ISIL, we stand ready to partner with Iraq in its fight against these terrorist forces. Without question, that effort will be advanced if Iraqis continue to build on today's progress and come together to support a new and inclusive government," said Obama.

Although Maliki is resisting calls to step down, the lack of support from even those among his party shows that most Iraqis understand what's at stake, said Middle East expert David Pollock.

“The situation suggests a transition to a new leadership that will probably be more unifying for Iraq, but even after that, they are in very, very dire straits - very, very tough position because of the threat from Daish, ISIS or the Islamic State,” said Pollock.

Pentagon officials said Monday that since August 7, the U.S. military has carried out 15 targeted airstrikes against Islamic State while dropping 310 bundles of food, water and medical supplies to thousands of members of the Yazidi minority trapped by militants in Iraq’s northern Sinjar Mountains.

U.S. Army Lieutenant General William Mayville told reporters in Washington that airstrikes have provided time for Kurdish forces to fortify their defenses, allowing them to hold territory near Irbil and retake towns from Islamic State, or ISIL, militants.

“We assess that U.S. airstrikes in northern Iraq have slowed ISIL’s operational tempo and temporarily disrupted their advances toward the province of Irbil.  However, these strikes are unlikely to affect ISIL’s overall capabilities or its operations in other areas of Iraq and Syria,” said Mayville.

Still, analyst Pollock said, U.S. involvement both militarily and providing humanitarian aid may tip the balance against Sunni militants.

“This will be a continuous effort to maybe not defeat, but at least to contain the threat from ISIS in Iraq, and we can do that,” said Pollock.

Pentagon officials said Monday there are no current plans to expand the air campaign beyond protecting U.S. interests in Iraq.

You May Like

Video US, Japan Offer Lessons as Eurozone Launches Huge Stimulus

Euro falls after European Central Bank announces a bigger-than-expected $67 billion-a-month quantitative easing program More

Saudi King’s Death Clears Succession Route

Prince Mohammed Bin Nayef is Saudi Arabia's New Crown Prince-in-waiting More

Cloud Hangs Over US Counterterrorism Efforts in Yemen

Sources say resignations of Yemen's president, government has left US anti-terror operations 'paralyzed,' yet an American military 'footprint' remains More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Worldwide Photo Workshops Empower Youthi
X
Julie Taboh
January 23, 2015 11:08 PM
Last September, 20 young adults from South Sudan took part in a National Geographic Photo Camp. They are among hundreds of students from around the world who have learned how to use a camera to tell the stories of the people in their communities through the powerful medium of photography. Three camp participants talked about their experiences recently on a visit to Washington. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Worldwide Photo Workshops Empower Youth

Last September, 20 young adults from South Sudan took part in a National Geographic Photo Camp. They are among hundreds of students from around the world who have learned how to use a camera to tell the stories of the people in their communities through the powerful medium of photography. Three camp participants talked about their experiences recently on a visit to Washington. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video US, Japan Offer Lessons as Eurozone Launches Huge Stimulus

The Euro currency has fallen sharply after the European Central Bank announced a bigger-than-expected $67 billion-a-month quantitative easing program Thursday - commonly seen as a form of printing new money. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London on whether the move might rescue the eurozone economy -- and what lessons have been learned from similar programs around the world.
Video

Video Nigerian Elections Pose Concern of Potential Conflict in 'Middle Belt'

Nigeria’s north-central state of Kaduna has long been the site of fighting between Muslims and Christians as well as between people of different ethnic groups. As the February elections approach, community and religious leaders are making plans they hope will keep the streets calm after results are announced. Chris Stein reports from the state capital, Kaduna.
Video

Video As Viewership Drops, Obama Puts His Message on YouTube

Ratings reports show President Obama’s State of the Union address this week drew the lowest number of viewers for this annual speech in 15 years. White House officials anticipated this, and the president has decided to take a non-traditional approach to getting his message out. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video S. Korean Businesses Want to End Trade Restrictions With North

Business leaders in South Korea are calling for President Park Geun-hye to ease trade restrictions with North Korea that were put in place in 2010 after the sinking of a South Korean warship.Pro-business groups argue that expanding trade and investment is not only good for business, it is also good for long-term regional peace and security. VOA’s Brian Padden reports.
Video

Video US Marching Bands Grow Into a Show of Their Own

The 2014 Super Bowl halftime show was the most-watched in history - attracting an estimated 115 million viewers. That event featured pop star Bruno Mars. But the halftime show tradition started with marching bands, which still dominate the entertainment at U.S. high school and college American football games. But as Enming Liu reports in this story narrated by Adrianna Zhang, marching bands have grown into a show of their own.
Video

Video Secular, Religious Kurds Face Off in Southeast Turkey

Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast has been rocked by violence between religious and secular Kurds. Dorian Jones reports on the reasons behind the stand-off from the region's main city of Diyarbakir, which suffered the bloodiest fighting.
Video

Video Kenya: Misuse of Antibiotics Leading to Resistance by Immune System

In Kenya, the rise of drug resistant bacteria could reverse the gains made by medical science over diseases that were once treatable. Kenyans could be at risk of fatalities as a result if the power in antibiotics is not preserved. Lenny Ruvaga has more on the story from Nairobi.
Video

Video Solar-Powered Plane Getting Ready to Circumnavigate Globe

Pilots of the solar plane that already set records flying without a drop of fuel are close to making their first attempt to fly the craft around the globe. They plan to do it in 25 flying days over a five month period. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video How Experts Decide Ethiopia Has the Best Coffee

Ethiopia’s coffee has been ranked as the best in the world by an international group of coffee connoisseurs. Not surprisingly, coffee is a top export for the country. But at home it is a source of pride. Marthe van der Wolf in Addis Ababa decided to find out what makes the bean and brew so special and how experts make their determinations.
Video

Video Yazidi Refugees at Center of Political Fight Between Turkey, Kurds

The treatment of thousands of Yazidis refugees who fled to Turkey to escape attacks by Islamic State militants has become the center of a dispute between the Turkish government and the country's pro-Kurdish movement. VOA's Dorian Jones reports.
Video

Video World’s Richest 1% Forecast to Own More Than Half of Global Wealth

The combined wealth of the world's richest 1 percent will overtake that of the remaining 99 percent at some point in 2016, according to the anti-poverty charity Oxfam. Campaigners are demanding that policymakers take action to address the widening gap between the ‘haves’ and the ‘have nots’, as Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid