Iraq PM says Kurdish Arbil becoming a base for 'Islamic State' militants

BAGHDAD Wed Jul 9, 2014 5:48pm IST

Iraq's Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki (C) and acting Defence Minister Saadoun al-Dulaimi (R) attend the funeral ceremony of Major General Negm Abdullah Ali, commander of the army's sixth division, at the defence ministry in Baghdad July 7, 2014.  REUTERS/Stringer

Iraq's Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki (C) and acting Defence Minister Saadoun al-Dulaimi (R) attend the funeral ceremony of Major General Negm Abdullah Ali, commander of the army's sixth division, at the defence ministry in Baghdad July 7, 2014.

Credit: Reuters/Stringer

Related Topics

BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki said on Wednesday the Kurdish-controlled city of Arbil was becoming an operations base for the Islamic State militant group that seized swathes of northern and western Iraq last month.

Maliki is under pressure as Sunni Muslim militants, led by the al Qaeda offshoot Islamic State, hold large parts of the north and west of the country and have threatened to march on the capital.

"We will never be silent about Arbil becoming a base for the operations of the Islamic State and Baathists and Al Qaeda and the terrorists," Maliki said in his weekly televised address.

Maliki's relationship with Kurdish President Massoud Barzani has deteriorated amid the sectarian insurgency that has threatened to split the country.

Barzani last week asked the parliament of the autonomous Kurdish region to plan a referendum on Kurdish independence, signalling his impatience with Baghdad.

Maliki, meanwhile, has accused the Kurds of exploiting the crisis to push for statehood.

Many Sunni Muslims who fled the mostly Sunni northern city of Mosul during the militants' offensive have ended up in Arbil.

"These are politicians in the Sunni community and they have been deprived of participating in the political process," one senior Kurdish official said, speaking on condition of anonymity this week to Reuters.

(Reporting By Isra'a El Rubei'i and Ned Parker; Writing by Maggie Fick; editing by Ralph Boulton)

FILED UNDER:
Comments (0)
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.

  • Most Popular
  • Most Shared

SpaceShipTwo Crash

REUTERS SHOWCASE

Ukraine Crisis

Ukraine Crisis

Europe won't recognise vote in eastern Ukraine, Merkel tells Putin.  Full Article 

Islamic State

Islamic State

Kurdish peshmerga forces enter Syria's Kobani after further air strikes.  Full Article 

Notorious Killer

Notorious Killer

Canada dismemberment killer had troubled childhood, his father says.  Full Article 

Burkina Faso Protests

Burkina Faso Protests

Protests force out Burkina president, soldiers vie for power.  Full Article 

Ebola in U.S.

Ebola in U.S.

Judge rejects isolation for U.S. nurse who treated Ebola patients.  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device.  Full Coverage