Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki refuses to hand in his resignation despite the US provision of air strikes against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria. The US views Maliki’s sectarian policies as the driving force behind the Sunni Militant groups’ attacks. Currently, the ISIS holds Iraq’s biggest oil refinery in Baiji.
Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari had publicly asked the United States to send in air strikes against the ISIS, but the United States senior politicians opted to have Maliki removed and have a successor instead. Republican John McCain had agreed to the airstrike, but asked that Obama ensure that it is Maliki’s final time as Prime Minister of Iraq.
US Secretary of State John Kerry said that the government is more concerned with the situation of Iraq’s people, and not Maliki’s situation.
The United States had promised to help Iraq’s military by sending in 300 military advisers. US President Barack Obama said that the US will not directly involve itself in combat, as it is “Iraq’s fight against the terrorists.”
The specialists will be focusing on air support, logistic support, counter-intelligence and training.
Meanwhile, the ISIS militants have raised their banners in the Baiji Oil Refinery. Iraqi soldiers and private security contractors have defended the oil refinery to allow the safe passage of civilians and employees.