Iraq PM asked to form an inclusive govt or quit as US readies diplomatic push with advisers set to visit Iraq
Washington/Baghdad : Amid reports that more than one million Iraqis have fled their homes as Sunni militants continued their advance towards Baghdad, US President Barack Obama has again asked Iraqi leaders to come up with a political solution.
Because “if they don’t, there won’t be a military solution to the problem”, Obama told CNN in an interview to be aired on Monday.
“We gave Iraq the chance to have an inclusive democracy,” he said, asking Iraq to create a command structure that includes Shias, Sunnis and Kurds, the country’s three chief groups.
“If we don’t see Sunni, Shia and Kurd representation in the military command structure, if we don’t see Sunni, Shia and Kurd political support for what we’re doing, we won’t do it,” Obama said.
Senior US officials cited by CNN said the Obama administration believes that Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki who leads a gov ernment dominated by Shias is not the leader Iraq needs to unify the country and end sectarian tensions.
Shiite fighters make show of force in Baghdad
Thousands of fighters loyal to powerful Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr paraded with weapons in the Sadr City area of north Baghdad, vowing to fight against a major militant offensive.
The parade, which was called for by Sadr, began with mud-smeared trucks mounted with tubes for launching rockets. Then came rank upon rank of fighters, armed with weapons including Kalashnikov assault rifles.
Second town in Anbar seized
The mayor of a town northwest of Baghdad says it has fallen into the hands of Sunni militants, the second to be captured by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant in the mainly Sunni Anbar province, reports AP.
PUTIN CALLS MALIKI
Russian President Vladimir Putin, meanwhile, offered Moscow’s “complete support” in a telephone call with Maliki.