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Iraq's Ambassador to U.S. Lukman Faily: ‘Airstrikes need to be wider and more intense’

August 11th, 2014
04:06 PM ET

By Henry Hullah

U.S. airstrikes and aid drops have given hope to many in Iraq, where a large portion of the country is still under the control of ISIS militants.

However political turmoil has peaked in Baghdad with the new Iraqi president's nomination for Prime Minister: Haider al-Abadi. It's a job the incumbent Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki pronounced he wanted for a third term.

A defiant al-Maliki has stated that the nomination of his former aide is in breach of the constitution, while al-Abadi has thirty days to form his new government.

Iraq's Ambassador to the United States, Lukman Faily, remains hopeful about the situation and told Fred Pleitgen, sitting in for Christiane Amanpour, that he is "confident it will be resolved soon".

"What we have seen over the last six weeks we have never seen it before. Previously it took six months and the previous election nine months, now we are talking about six weeks. We are making significant progress now."

'We are working with our American friends'

The American aid drops have provided relief to thousands of the Yazidi minority who are suffering from starvation, thirst, and extreme temperatures on Mount Sinjar, after the extremist militants forced them to flee there.

Ambassador Faily told the program that U.S. support has been appreciated but more is needed:

"We are working with our American friends in relation to regional issues on the politics. ISIL isn't a local issue, it's a regional problem, a global problem."

"We are requesting, and keep saying, that the airstrikes need to be wider and more intense: conveys, supplies, communication centers, command and control of ISIL. These are all targets," the Iraqi Ambassador told the program. "We still think there is more to do.”

Pleitgen questioned the Ambassador about a  lack of urgency in Iraq regarding ISIS - who were knocking on the door of Baghdad and Kurdistan with weapons from the Iraqi military.

"We are working with the KRG, local Peshmerga, that wasn't the case a few weeks ago,” said Faily.

"These are all a reflection of the sense of urgency we're working on. However you have to appreciate that the culture before was for a slow pace in relation to political movement, now that is no longer the case."

“We are on the right track. We need to just be a bit more patient and I'm sure our politicians back home will sort it out.”


Filed under:  Iraq • Latest Episode
soundoff (4 Responses)
  1. Robert A Stephenson

    Disappointed with Hilary Clinton.Arming the rebels in Syria would have been a gift to the extremists.. Does she really think the secular rebels would have stood a chance against these Muslim fanatics. As for MacCain complaining that the President has no strategy. I don't think the President was thinking it was a strategy to rush humanitarian aid where it was needed. His strategy is to give as much help in the form of air power and military supplies as is required to get the job done. A part of his strategy is not to involve US military on the ground. McCains knee jerk reaction is a sign of creeping senility hastened by the guilt that Republicans carry, for stirring the hornets nest under the Bush dynasty!

    August 11, 2014 at 7:00 pm | Reply
  2. RLTJ's

    I have a feeling we have idiots there running Iraq who are no better than people running Libya now. IS came from scratch.

    War is not really about carrying a big stick to whack or to scare enemies. War is politics. And politics is about people and popular support.

    So, what makes it hard to defeat a ragtag enemy? Are we getting the right pictures?

    August 11, 2014 at 8:53 pm | Reply
    • Plexus

      "War is politics". Sorry, war is the failure of politics.

      August 12, 2014 at 6:28 am | Reply
  3. ashok

    We have been seeing pictures of triumphant ISIS convoys with an air of invincibility about them for some weeks now. Perfect targets for US firepower.

    August 12, 2014 at 11:25 am | Reply

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