Iraqi police man a checkpoint in the capital Baghdad on June 12. (Ahmad al-Rubaye/Getty Images)
Iraq is reeling, with a terrorist group seizing the second biggest city, Mosul, and Kurds seizing another, Kirkuk. Yet no one agrees who’s to blame, or what can be done about it.
Besides taking Mosul and Tikrit, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria apparently just became the richest terrorist group in the world, stealing $425 million. And now the group is pledging to take the fight to Baghdad. (Iraqi state TV declared that the government has re-taken Tikrit.)
At the same time, Kurds have moved into Kirkuk. The city has been part of a regional dispute between the Iraqi government and the semi-autonomous region of Kurdistan. Had the Kurds and the Iraqi government been on good terms, the Kurds said, they could’ve prevented the fall of Mosul.
The danger is of full-fledged civil war, and that the country could fracture along multiple lines, between Shiites, Sunnis and Kurds. Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. had proposed dividing the country into three parts back in 2006, as a senator.
In brief remarks to the press Thursday, Obama said “I don’t rule out anything” and noted that the United States has been providing some assistance to Iraq in an ongoing fashion: Full story