News / USA

US, Iraq Vow to Fight al-Qaida Surge

US, Iraq Vow to Fight al-Qaida Surgei
X
August 16, 2013 5:06 PM
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry welcomed his Iraqi counterpart to the State Department on Thursday, as part of a 2008 agreement outlining long-term cooperation on counterterrorism and other issues. VOA's Alex Villarreal reports from the State Department the talks came as Iraq is facing a surge in violence from the Iraqi branch of al-Qaida, a group now spreading into Syria.
US, Iraq Vow to Fight al-Qaida Surge
Alex Villarreal
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry welcomed his Iraqi counterpart to the State Department on Thursday, as part of a 2008 agreement outlining long-term cooperation on counterterrorism and other issues.  The talks came as Iraq is facing a surge in violence from the Iraqi branch of al-Qaida, a group now spreading into Syria.

It was another bloody day in Baghdad, as Secretary Kerry and Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari vowed to confront Iraq’s ongoing security challenges together.

“Sunni and Shi'ites extremists on both sides of the sectarian divide throughout the region have an ability to threaten Iraq’s stability if they're not checked.  And al-Qaida, as we have seen, has launched a horrific series of assaults on innocent Iraqis, even taking credit for the deplorable bombings over the past weekend.”

The attacks have raised fears of a return to widespread sectarian violence, fears Foreign Minister Zebari sought to allay.

“Iraq is not heading - is not crashing, and it's not heading to civil or sectarian war," he said. "There is a clear determination by the Iraqi leadership that, really, we've been there before in 2007, 2008.  We are not going to go there again.”

But just across the border, Syria already is there.  And extremists from Iraq are playing a role.

“This al-Qaida network, we know, stretches beyond Iraq’s borders.  With many al-Qaida leaders now operating in Syria, we all need to accelerate our work in order to set the conditions for a diplomatic settlement to the Syrian crisis," said Kerry.

Zebari stressed Iraq is “neutral” on Syria’s war and not providing arms or support to either side.

“No Iraqi volunteers are going to Syria with the consent of the Iraqi government at all,“ he said.

Kerry said Iraq has made progress in stopping the flow of weapons to and from Syria, but needs to do more.

Not even two years have passed since the United States withdrew from Iraq, after eight years of war and reports of a “weakened” al-Qaida.  But Johns Hopkins University professor Daniel Serwer, a scholar at the Middle East Institute, says the current expansion of the group in Iraq and beyond cannot be blamed on the United States.

“I don't think it represents a failure of U.S. efforts at all.  It was clear we were never going to kill every al-Qaida member in Iraq.  It represents a failure of the Iraqi government since the American withdrawal to contain and repress al-Qaida in Iraq, and, of course,  it represents al-Qaida taking an advantage of an opportunity in Syria,” said Serwer.

Thursday’s meeting is part of the Strategic Framework Agreement the United States and Iraq reached in 2008.  In addition to counterterrorism efforts, the accord covers joint commitments in economics, energy, education, health and justice.

You May Like

Republican Majority in Congress Off to Rough Start

Standoff over Homeland Security funding exposes philosophical, tactical problems within party More

Pakistan Blocks Baloch Activist from US Trip

Human Rights Commission of Pakistan slams Islamabad officials for stopping people from leaving country to attend human rights conference More

Video Muslims Long Thrived in North Carolina Before Students Killed

Idyll shattered February 10, when three Muslim university students living in Chapel Hill were gunned down by a neighbor More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Muslims Long Thrived in N Carolina Before Slaying of 3 Studentsi
X
Jerome Socolovsky
March 05, 2015 9:04 PM
The killings of three Muslim students in North Carolina early last month came as Muslims across the United States have felt under siege, partly as a result of terrorist attacks being committed internationally in the name of their faith. But Muslims have long thrived in university cities in this part of the American South. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Muslims Long Thrived in N Carolina Before Slaying of 3 Students

The killings of three Muslim students in North Carolina early last month came as Muslims across the United States have felt under siege, partly as a result of terrorist attacks being committed internationally in the name of their faith. But Muslims have long thrived in university cities in this part of the American South. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Fuel Shortages in Nigeria Threaten Election Campaigns

Nigeria is suffering a gas shortage as the falling oil price has affected the country’s ability to import and distribute refined fuels. Coming just weeks before scheduled March 28 elections, the shortage could have a big impact on the campaign, as Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA.
Video

Video Report: Human Rights in Annexed Crimea Deteriorating

A new report by Freedom House and the Atlantic Council of the United States says the human rights situation in Crimea has deteriorated since the peninsula was annexed by Russia in March of last year. The report says the new authorities in Crimea are discriminating against minorities, suppressing freedom of expression, and forcing residents to assume Russian citizenship or leave. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video 50 Years Later African-Americans See New Voting Rights Battles Ahead

Thousands of people will gather to mark the 50th anniversary of a historic civil rights march on March 7th in Selma, Alabama. In 1965, dozens of people were seriously injured during the event known as “Bloody Sunday,” after police attacked African-American demonstrators demanding voting rights. VOA’s Chris Simkins introduces us to some civil rights pioneers who are still fighting for voting rights in Alabama more than 50 years later.
Video

Video Craft Brewers Taking Hold in US Beer Market

Since the 1950’s, the U.S. beer industry has been dominated by a handful of huge breweries. But in recent years, the rapid rise of small craft breweries has changed the American market and, arguably, the way people drink beer. VOA’s Jeff Custer reports.
Video

Video Video Claims to Show Shia Forces in Iraq Executing Sunni Boy

A graphic mobile phone video is spreading on the Internet, claiming to show Iraqi forces or Shia militia executing a handcuffed Sunni boy. Experts have yet to verify the video, but already Islamic State followers are publicizing it across social media, playing on deep-rooted sectarian fears. VOA’s Jeff Seldin reports.
Video

Video Ukrainian Authorities Struggle to Secure a Divided Mariupol

Since last month's cease-fire went into effect, shelling around the port city of Mariupol has decreased, but it is thought pro-Russian separatists remain poised to attack. For the city’s authorities, a major challenge is gaining the trust of residents, while at the same time rooting out informants who are passing sensitive information to the rebels. Patrick Wells reports for VOA.
Video

Video Volunteer Gauge-Watchers Help Fine-Tune Weather Science

An observation system called CoCoRaHS is working to improve weather science, thanks to thousands of volunteers across the country who measure precipitation in their own backyards, then share their data through the Internet. VOA's Shelley Schlender reports.
Video

Video NASA Spacecraft Approaches a Dwarf Planet

NASA’s Dawn spacecraft will make history on Friday, March 6, when it becomes the first man-made object to orbit a dwarf planet named Ceres. It is located in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, almost 500 million kilometers from Earth. Among other objectives, Dawn will try to examine two mysterious bright white spots detected on the planet’s surface. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Muslims Radicalized Online

Young Muslims are being radicalized ‘in their bedrooms’ through direct contact with Islamic State or ISIL fighters via the Internet, according to terror experts. There are growing concerns that authorities and Internet providers are not doing enough to counter online extremism - which analysts say is spread by a prolific network of online supporters around the world. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Positive Messaging Transforms Ethiopia's Image

Ethiopia was once known for famine and droughts. Now, headlines more often point to its fast-growing economy and its emergence as a regional peacemaker. How has Addis Ababa changed the narrative? VOA's Marthe van der Wolf reports.
Video

Video Answers Elude Families of MH370 Passengers

For the families on board Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, an airline official’s statement nearly one year ago that the plane had lost contact with air traffic control at 2:40 AM is the only thing that remains confirmed. William Ide reports.

All About America

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