Thursday, September 18, 2014

Iraq and Syria: On Political and Military Fronts

Iraqi President Fuad Masum today held a meeting with his three newly appointed vice-presidents. The highlight of the occasion was the presence under one roof of two former premiers and one-time foes, Nuri al-Maliki and Ayad Allawi, now vice presidents in the national unity government (photo above).

On the military front, U.S. military forces continued to attack ISIL positions in Iraq today, and for the first time hit an ISIL training camp, situated in southeast of Mosul. CENTCOM reported that the airstrike destroyed a “large ISIL ground unit” in the area. Also destroyed in the attack were ISIL-occupied buildings and armed vehicles. A second strike southeast of Baghdad damaged and ISIL ammunition stockpile. CENTCOM has so far conducted a total of 176 airstrikes against ISIL positions across Iraq.

Meanwhile in France, President Francois Hollande authorized airstrikes against ISIL positions in Iraq.

In Syria, the Syrian Kurds appealed for help when ISIL overran a large number of towns and villages in Kurdish areas in the northeastern region, specifically calling for external help to defend the town of Kobani. Reports from the region indicate that Turkey’s Kurdistan Workers Party, PKK, appealed to all Turkish Kurds to defend Kobani and the Syrian Kurdish group, the YGP.

Photo credit: Iraqi President Fuad Masud, center, with his three vice presidents, from left, Nuri al-Maliki, Osama al-Nujaifi, and Ayad Allaw. (AFP)

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