13 June 2014 - Jihadists push on Baghdad: possible US action
Obama warns of U.S. action as jihadists push on Baghdad
Ahmed Rasheed and Isabel Coles (The Chicago Tribune)
BAGHDAD/ARBIL (Reuters) - President Barack Obama on Thursday threatened U.S. military strikes in Iraq against Sunni Islamist militants who have surged out of the north to menace Baghdad and want to establish their own state in Iraq and Syria.
Iraqi Kurdish forces took advantage of the chaos to take control of the oil hub of Kirkuk as the troops of the Shi'ite-led government abandoned posts, alarming Baghdad's allies both in the West and in neighboring Shi'ite regional power Iran.
"I don'€™t rule out anything because we do have a stake in making sure that these jihadists are not getting a permanent foothold in either Iraq or Syria," Obama said at the White House when asked whether he was contemplating air strikes. Officials later stressed that ground troops would not be sent in.
Loveday Morris (The Washington Post)
IRBIL, Iraq — Iraq was on the brink of falling apart Thursday as al-Qaeda renegades asserted their authority over Sunni areas in the north, Kurds seized control of the city of Kirkuk and the Shiite-led government appealed for volunteers to help defend its shrinking domain.
The discredited Iraqi army scrambled to recover after the humiliating rout of the past three days, dispatching elite troops to confront the militants in the central town of Samarra and claiming that it had recaptured Tikrit, the home town of the late Iraqi strongman Saddam Hussein, whose regime was toppled by U.S. troops sweeping north from Kuwait in 2003.
But there was no sign that the militant push was being reversed. With the al-Qaeda-inspired Islamic State of Iraq and Syria now sweeping south toward Baghdad, scattering U.S.-trained security forces in its wake, the achievements of America’s eight-year war in Iraq were rapidly being undone. Iraq now seems to be inexorably if unintentionally breaking apart, into Shiite, Sunni and Kurdish enclaves that amount to the de facto partition of the country.
Gary Strauss (USA Today)
Escalating tensions in Iraq spilled over to energy markets again Thursday, pushing crude oil prices to eight-month highs and setting the stage for stubbornly high gasoline prices in the U.S. to rise even further.
Benchmark West Texas crude oil jumped $2.13 to $106.53 a barrel, and Brent crude surged $3.21 to $113.16 as oil-rich northern Iraq descended into chaos and militants threatened to seize control of the south, where much of the nation's daily 3.4 million barrel output is refined. Gasoline futures climbed 8 cents to $3.08 a gallon on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
The jumps are likely to drive the price of regular unleaded gasoline — now about $3.64 a gallon — up 5 to 10 cents in the coming days and keep summer prices elevated, says Tom Kloza, senior energy analyst at gasbuddy.com.
Owen Jones (The Guardian)
I have encountered no sense of vindication, no "I told you so", among veterans of the anti-war protest of 15 February 2003 in response to the events in Iraq. Despair, yes, but above all else, bitterness – that we were unable to stop one of the greatest calamities of modern times, that warnings which were dismissed as hyperbole now look like understatements, that countless lives (literally – no one counts them) have been lost, and will continue to be so for many years to come.
In July 2002, the Guardian warned that Britain was "sleepwalking to war". Blair's commitment to invade come what may – which the Chilcot inquiry (when it is finally published) will either confirm or whitewash – is now established. By September 2002, the inevitability had sunk in. In the first demonstration, hundreds of thousands of people took to the streets in London on 27 September – me and my grandfather among them – full of determination and foreboding. Three weeks earlier, Amr Moussa, then-secretary general of the Arab League, warned that the Iraq war would "open the gates of hell".
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"13 June 2014 - Jihadists push on Baghdad: possible US action", La Clé des Langues [en ligne], Lyon, ENS de LYON/DGESCO (ISSN 2107-7029), juin 2014. Consulté le 28/11/2023. URL: https://cle.ens-lyon.fr/anglais/key-story/archives-revue-de-presse-2014/13-june-2014-jihadists-push-on-baghdad-possible-us-action