23 June 2014 - Military crisis in Iraq
Obama: U.S. cannot solve Iraq's problems alone
Joseph Tanfani (The Chicago Tribune)
The radical Sunni Muslim group advancing in Iraq, though it puts the Middle East's stability at risk, is “just one of a number of organizations” in the region that pose a threat to U.S. interests, President Obama said Sunday.
Obama said the rapid advances by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, or ISIS, in Iraq could spill over into Jordan and that the group “could amass more arms, more resources” in Syria. But the president, likening ISIS to other groups such as Al Qaeda in Yemen, once again said it was not a problem that U.S. troops could solve.
“And this is going to be a global challenge and one that the United States is going to have to address, but we're not going to be able to address it alone,” Obama said in an interview excerpt aired on CBS' "Face the Nation." “And as I said yesterday, what we can't do is think that we're just going to play whack-a-mole and send U.S. troops occupying various countries wherever these organizations pop up.”
Loveday Morris (The Washington Post)
BAGHDAD — The 300 U.S. advisers authorized to assist the Iraqi security forces will find an army in crisis mode, so lacking in equipment and shaken by desertions that it may not be able to win back significant chunks of territory from al-Qaeda renegades for months or even years, analysts and officials say.
After tens of thousands of desertions, the Iraqi military is reeling from what one U.S. official described as “psychological collapse” in the face of the offensive from militants of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS).
The desperation has reached such a level that Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki is relying on volunteers, who are in some cases receiving as little as a week’s military training, to protect his ever-shrinking orbit of control.
Staff (BBC News)
Sunni militants have seized another town in Iraq's western Anbar province - the fourth in two days.
Fighters of the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (Isis) captured Rutba, 90 miles (150km) east of Jordan's border, officials said.
They earlier seized a border crossing to Syria and two towns in western Iraq as they advance towards Baghdad.
The insurgents intend to capture the whole of the predominantly Sunni Anbar province, a spokesman told the BBC.
Iraq's government said on Sunday it had killed 40 militants in an air strike on the militant-held northern town of Tikrit, although witnesses said civilians died when a petrol station was hit.
Patrick Cockburn (The Independent)
Iran’s spiritual leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has warned against US intervention in Iraq, but US officials suspect that Iran wants to use its cooperation in political changes in Baghdad to extract concessions in negotiations on Iran’s nuclear programme. The Independent has learned that US officials have told Iraqi leaders that the Iranians are linking their agreement to the departure of Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, seen as being under Iranian influence, to greater flexibility by the US in talks on the level of uranium enrichment permitted to Iran.
“The main dispute in Iraq is between those who want Iraq to join the US camp and those who seek an independent Iraq,” said Khamenei, in words that could be interpreted as supporting the political status quo here. He added: “The US aims to bring its own blind followers to power.”
The next few weeks are likely to prove decisive in determining the future political leadership of Iraq as Maliki, Prime Minister since 2006, seeks a third term in office despite recent disasters that have seen him lose control of the north and west of his country.
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"23 June 2014 - Military crisis in Iraq", La Clé des Langues [en ligne], Lyon, ENS de LYON/DGESCO (ISSN 2107-7029), juin 2014. Consulté le 29/11/2023. URL: https://cle.ens-lyon.fr/anglais/key-story/archives-revue-de-presse-2014/23-june-2014-military-crisis-in-iraq