Kerry arrives in Baghdad amid crisis in Iraq
US secretary of State, John Kerry has arrived in Iraqi capital Baghdad. His visit comes at a time when ISIL militants have made deep inroads in north and west Iraq and are continuing their march towards capital Baghdad.
Ahead of his visit to Iraq, John Kerry warned in Cairo that that ISIL and its ideology of violence and repression is a threat not only to Iraq but to the entire region.
He urged Iraqi leaders to rise above sectarian motivations and form an inclusive Government which can address the concerns of all Iraqi citizens at this critical moment. Meanwhile, Iraqi Foreign Minister, Hoshyar Zebari, discussed the latest political and security situation with the US Undersecretary of the Foreign Affairs, Brett McGurk, in Baghdad yesterday..
In a statement, Iraqi foreign ministry said two sides emphasized the need to activate the Strategic Pact between the two sides and support to Iraq to tackle the security challenges.
Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has condemned the prospect of US intervention in Iraq. He told in Teheran that Washington’s main intention was to keep Iraq within its own sphere of power. The Iranian supreme leader dismissing talks of sectarianism and said the main dispute in Iraq is between those who want Iraq to join the US camp and those who seek an independent Iraq.
In the fighting zone, the push of ISIL militants to Baghdad continues. The jihadist militants have already captured four towns, Qaim, Rawah, Anah and Rutba in sunni dominated Anbar province. They are already in control of Falluzah and most of Ramadi. The militants have claimed that they have seized Iraqi border crossings with Syria and Jordan after Iraqi troops pulled out.
However, Iraqi Interior Ministry spokesman Brigadier General Saad Maan said Iraqi forces are still in control of the border crossing point of Al-Walid with Syria, as well as Tribil crossing point with Jordan. Iraqi army spokesman, Lt.Gen. Qassim Atta told in Baghdad that security forces have made a tactical withdrawal from the western cities for the purpose of Iraqi deployment.
Iraqi airforce carried out airstrikes in Saluddin province and Tikrit in which 42 ISIL militants were killed.