Amidst the push of ISIL militants to Baghdad, the Iraqi army has launched its counter offensive. Iraqi fighter jets pounded militant strongholds in Tikrit. The first joint operations command of Iraqi and US military experts has started working in Baghdad. They will follow up and gather information about the situation in the field about the readiness of the Iraqi Armed Forces.50 more US special forces and advisers have arrived in Iraq to help Iraqi army counter the threat of ISIL. Meanwhile Britain has promised to provide diplomatic, counter-terrorism and humanitarian support to Iraq in its drive against the jihadist militants.
On the political front, Iraqi parliament meets next Tuesday to form a new Government with a new speaker, president and prime minister Our West Asia correspondent reports that the Iraqi parliamentary session comes at a time when ISIL militants have made deep inroads in the country’s north and west and are making a push towards the capital Baghdad. On the political front, standoff continues. Shiite dominated ruling State of Law party leader and the premier Nouri Al Maliki has rejected the idea of a national emergency Government.
Sunni opposition leaders are demanding premier Maliki to quit. Kurdish leaders have made no secret of their intentions to have an independent status after the gain of oil rich Kirkuk province. Meanwhile a prominent Shiite leader, Moqtada al-Sadr has given a call to form a national government that comprises all sides to counter the sectarian threats to Iraq.
United States and Britain have promised enhanced support in tackling the jihadist militants of ISIL and sought a more inclusive government to address the concerns of all Iraqi citizens. Hopes are now pinned on a new dispensation to bring Iraq out of the turmoil and chaos.