Aug 13 2014

As Iraq’s PM Refuses to Step Down, US Bombs Drop In the North

The US has sent 130 military advisers to Iraq as part of its operation to deter the Sunni rebel group ISIS that has taken over large swathes of the north. A US bombing campaign began late last week. At the same time the French government has decided to send arms to the besieged Yazidi ethnic group that ISIS has targeted, as well as to Kurdish forces who are battling to keep their towns safe.

The Guardian newspaper reported that, “A senior Pentagon planning officer expects the current US air strikes in Iraq to have minimal and fleeting impact,” on ISIS.

Despite the naming of a new Prime Minister to replace him, Iraq’s two-term leader Nuri Al Maliki has said that he refuses to step down. His refusal could spark a political crisis in the capital, Baghdad. There are fears of military units remaining loyal to Al Maliki possibly challenging the government.

The United Nations High Commission on Refugees has reported that more than 1.2 million people have been internally displaced, of which 700,000 are in the Northern Kurdish dominated region.

GUEST: Patrick Cockburn, award winning journalist, correspondent for The Financial Times, and The Independent, and author of the new book, ‘The Jihadis Return: Isis and the New Sunni Uprising. He was named the Foreign Commentator of the Year at the 2013 Editorial Intelligence Comment Awards

Click here to find out more about Cockburn’s new book, The Jihadis Return.

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