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Iraq president pleads for help in ‘very vulnerable situation’

September 4th, 2014
02:27 PM ET

By Mick Krever, CNN

Iraqi President Fuad Masum appealed for international support to fight ISIS in an interview with CNN’s Christiane Amanpour on Thursday.

“If there is cooperation and coordination between Iraq and the United States, and the neighboring countries, I believe that that organization can be quickly wiped out.”

NATO has not received any request for support from Iraq, Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said Thursday, but any application would be “considered seriously.”

Amanpour put that to President Masum.

“From here, and through this interview with you, I request … support for Iraq, to fight those terrorists, because Iraq now is in a fragile situation, very vulnerable situation.”

“And when that organization defeats Iraq, it can proceed to other countries.”

The Iraqi President confirmed that his country had not appealed to NATO, but has asked for help from individual NATO countries, such as the United States.

“We need several things: we need expertise, we need know-how, we need some types of weapons that can be only obtained through agreements. But individuals, or boots on the ground – maybe we don’t need that.”

Iraq has its own military, he said, albeit one that may need “rehabilitation.”

U.S. President Barack Obama has authorized airstrikes against ISIS in Iraq to protect American interests, but is under pressure to do more in the wake of the brutal ISIS executions of two American journalists.

President Masum said that those airstrikes have been a “very decisive factor.”

Amanpour asked whether it was indeed a historic combination of U.S. airstrikes, combined with Iraqi fighters and Iranian militiamen, that helped liberate the town of Amerli; President Masum confirmed that it was.

“Gradually we are hopeful that we will wipe that organization completely in Iraq, and follow them wherever they are – even if we have to follow their sleeping cells in many other countries.”

ISIS enjoys a stronghold in Syria, which is three and a half years into its bloody civil war.

“It is important to strike ISIS wherever it is, because if ISIS takes over Syria then the danger will remain. If we can follow ISIS into Syria, we can do that through cooperation with other powers in Syria until we wipe it out.”

Meanwhile, questions remain over the formation of a new Iraqi government, since Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki said he would step down from his post.

The country’s Prime Minister-designate, Haider al-Abadi, has been tasked with forming a new government.

“In the next few days…the formation of the new government will be declared. It will be inclusive of Shiites, Sunnis, and all other components of Iraq,” President Masum said.

Filed under:  Christiane Amanpour • Iraq • Latest Episode • Syria
soundoff (34 Responses)
  1. Sindbad

    The terrorist Iran regime revolutionary guards and hezbollah and asaeb are in Iraq to occupy it:

    September 4, 2014 at 8:59 pm | Reply
  2. StanCalif

    Nuri al-Maliki sold out Iraq. We, the West, trained his generals and equipped his forces. Nuri al-Maliki decided that most of his generals had to be fired, just not the "right kind" of Muslims for his taste. His troops went into battle with no leadership but well armed. What did they do? Drop their weapons, tear off their uniforms and ran away. Now ISIS owns all these American supplied weapons. Good job Nuri al-Maliki! I hope you live long enough to suffer from your stupidity!

    September 4, 2014 at 9:48 pm | Reply
  3. Freddie Nerk

    Seriously. The West already gave hundreds of billions of dollars in weapons. Their military has been trained for over ten years. ISIS is a small force in comparison. The real issue is that this is now a civil war along religious lines. And he is asking us to help him wipe out Sunnis.

    September 4, 2014 at 11:43 pm | Reply
    • whoisbock

      President Masum is a Sunni Kurd

      September 5, 2014 at 1:21 pm | Reply
  4. bo

    Bush liberated Iraq from the jihadists. Obama gave it back to them.

    September 5, 2014 at 12:34 am | Reply
    • Toussaint foster

      Wow. Exactly WHICH alternate reality are you living in? Bush W and his neo-cons dragged America into a 3 trillion dollar war (against the wise advice of Colin Powell) that was not even necessary since the Arab Spring would have eventually weakened Saddam without costing the American tax payer a dime. To make matters worse, Bush and the neo-cons decide to fire the Iraqi army which was the same as turning them into underground guerrilla fighters against America. In what twisted logic do you blame Obama for this mess considering the fact that he was against the Iraqi war in the first place.

      September 5, 2014 at 3:29 am | Reply
      • whoisbock

        The islamic state in some form or iteration has been around since the late 90s. If you are going to blame Bush for the current state of things you need to blame the Russians instead. The Arab Spring was a direct result of the liberation of the Arab world which includes Iraq and may have never even occured if it had not been for the events. I personally have my own reservations on the invasion but both of you are incorrect. Also, Obama had offered to leave troops in Iraq. An offer that was rejected by Maliki so It makes no sense to blame the commander in chief.

        September 5, 2014 at 1:26 pm |
      • Clavers

        It is not twisted logic; it is empirical fact. Just look at the figures for Iraqi civilian casualties.

        The situation was indeed grim in the first couple of years of he insurgency. Monthly civilian deaths in Iraq peaked at 3297 in July 2006. But by the time Bush handed over to Obama in January 2009 they had fallen to 372 per month, a decline of 89 percent.

        Over the past twelve months however, civilian deaths in Iraq have averaged 1109 per month, with a peak of 1934 in June 2014. That is more than five times the level of violence that was occurring when Obama came to office.

        September 7, 2014 at 11:20 am |
    • Sam

      What??? ISIS is the Bush/Cheney gift to the world!! ISIS wouldn't exist if Secular Saddam was still in Iraq! So if you supported Bush, you are partly to blame for bringing the fanatic groups like ISIS to power. Interestingly enough you people never learn from you past mistake. All Republican neo cons are still pushing to get rid of secular Assad in Syria again!! Just to be replaced by the religious nut cases like ISIS.... Honestly, when was the last time you guys were right about the foreign policy? Certainly not in my life time ...

      September 5, 2014 at 1:41 pm | Reply
  5. TruthSeekaTSA

    ISIS coming to help. Zionist puppet heads going to role.

    September 5, 2014 at 1:12 am | Reply
    • true !!

      ISIS is the cure against Judes.

      September 5, 2014 at 1:25 pm | Reply
      • thebodytalk

        actually they also do okay against muslim sects. no lost love between any muslim. needs t be able to love for that

        September 8, 2014 at 5:09 am |
  6. Nostradamus

    Bush eliminated the only Iraqi that hurt hard the Muslim Sects vendettas: Saddam Hussein. Bush invaded Iraq to steal the oil on behalf of Halliburton. It was a crime. Now, for first time, we have a real enemy in Iraq. If we don't act NOW, strongly, with all our military power, ISIS can control whole Iraq, and if they are also successful in Syria, It's only time matter when we'll see the pirate black flag in our Capitol Hill.

    September 5, 2014 at 1:43 am | Reply
    • Lizzie

      Halliburton is NOT an oil company, but a Oil service company

      September 5, 2014 at 9:21 am | Reply
  7. Nostradamus

    Sometimes I think Obama confuses ISIS with the Republican Party. All smiles, low voice, motionless and same diplomatic lack of balls rhetoric. Excuse me Mr. President, but I'm sure most Americans think like me. Btw, I'm diehard democrat.

    September 5, 2014 at 1:49 am | Reply
  8. silva

    Jews rule the world by proxy it can be Iraq,Saudi Arabia UAE or elsewhere except GAZA.

    September 5, 2014 at 2:31 am | Reply
  9. yakimo

    Since the news of the beheadings of the two American journalists was on the air, i have been struggling with myself to comprehend how a rational human being can brutally cut the neck of his fellow human being in cold blood to propagate a message to the world,for the sake of their religion.I have often tried to be in the shoes of both journalists at the time of their ordeal,to feel how it could be like,knowing that they were going to die the next minute.Haven't those killers hearts and conscience in their beings? If they are really men who think they are doing right,why are they covering their faces? May the the souls of these two innocent men, James Foley and Steven Sotloff rest peacefully in the arms of the Lord, and may God sooth the sorrows of their families and heal their hearts.

    September 5, 2014 at 2:51 am | Reply
  10. Madex

    ISIS came from Syria using Western supplied weapons and training that were meant for them to overthrow the 'Assad Regime' to strike Iraq. It is only people in the West who watch MSM evening news on TV that wont see ISIS as a US creation.

    September 5, 2014 at 5:28 am | Reply
    • whoisbock

      ISIS has been around since the 90s and were just awaiting a time to strike following their defeat in Iraq. Although some details do point to arms provided by the US but those were mainly distributed to more moderate rebel forces that Al nusra and ISIL fought against.

      September 5, 2014 at 1:33 pm | Reply
    • desertvoice

      There are two things to keep in mind in this ISIS equation. First is the outrageous behavior of Assad, who nas offered ISIS a no-fly zone over their Raqqa headquarters! The West must shatter this no-fly zone, and I believe that, with advanced technology, this can be done from Iraq, without even initially crossing the border (you can send drones over Raqqa, and then silence the ground-to-air Syrian artillery, which will respond)! And secondly, It is in the interest of the West to encourage by every means the alliance of Shia with the Sunnis against ISIS. I believe that such brothership-in-arms will, in the longer run, result into an amazing reconciliation between Shia and Sunni!

      September 6, 2014 at 9:54 am | Reply
  11. Mok

    Al Quaida was created by USA to fight Russia and later destroyed by them. Present ISIS is again the creation of USA to fight Asad regime in Syria and will be destroyed by them in due time.

    The very purpose of Worldwide Muslims being destroyed by themselves be served effectively.

    September 5, 2014 at 8:33 am | Reply
  12. Kunat Dauda.

    It's unfortunate that conflict can not be manage this days throughout the world by the application of dialogues, destroying the best profounded theory of Karl Marx which say we disagree to agree when we believe in the intrest of all humanity irrespective of race,colour, gender and above all religion. war's signifies weakness and defeat, killing in anyway is retrogressive, enimical and barbaric be it in the name of religion or economic interest.

    September 5, 2014 at 12:02 pm | Reply
  13. geopolitical perspective

    When President Obama was asked if the US had a strategy to defeat ISIS and the President said no, conservatives as well as democrats and the mainstream media all attacked the President as though he said something that was detrimental to our survival. So was the President wrong in saying that the US does not have a strategy to DEFEAT ISIS? Absolutely NOT. Note, the question posed to the President was NOT whether we had a strategy to CONTAIN ISIS, but rather we had a strategy to DEFEAT ISIS. With that being said, let me ask a simple question...Is it possible to DEFEAT ISIS? The answer is NO. Then, is it possible to CONTAIN ISIS? Well, the answer is YES. Do you understand my point? Perhaps not YET. So then let me explain...Shortly following the collapse of our Twin Towers in NYC on 9/11, GWB stood on the rubble of the collapsed towers and said "we will go after al-Qaeda and we will hunt them down wherever they are and we will defeat them." Well, 13 long years later, though OBL is dead (thanks to President Obama and Seal Team 6), and its main network is destroyed, al Qaeda is still alive and well all over the world and continues to terrorize and kill civilians. Furthermore, when GWB stood on the rubble of the WTC, he declared a war on terror and pledged to hold all those responsible for harboring terrorists to be brought to justice. Well, I believe that so-called war on terror was supposed to defeat ISIS too. But again, 13 longs years later, both ISIS and al Qaeda are alive and well and the countries and groups who funded them, continued to do so under the Bush administration. So before you people go around bashing President Obama, please get your facts right.

    September 5, 2014 at 12:29 pm | Reply
    • Sam

      Couldn't say it any better myself! 🙂

      September 5, 2014 at 1:47 pm | Reply
    • GGaia

      Very well said. Thank you for sharing, and knowing your well researched history. Your posting is the most intelligent comment here.

      September 5, 2014 at 11:14 pm | Reply
  14. meganjazelle

    Iraqi Army does so little. It's the Peshmerga saving your tails....

    P.s. CNN you wrote "Iraqi Peshmerga forces." We all know their Kurdish.

    September 5, 2014 at 5:49 pm | Reply
    • meganjazelle

      *They are Kurdish. Whew... Can't speak my own language...

      September 5, 2014 at 5:50 pm | Reply
  15. rajadiablos

    I disagree with boots on the ground also but it is foolish to tell your enemy what you will or will not do.

    September 6, 2014 at 7:45 am | Reply
  16. Anthony Kovic

    The ideal strategy for the US and the "West" would be to strategically supply the various factions in the region with enough small arms so the different warring Muslims can kill each other, or least least keep each other at bay – and in the process prevent local tribal squabbles from leaching into the rest of the world.

    A century of imperialistic intervention by Western colonial powers, first Britain and France, more recently the US and Russia (previously Soviets) have totally failed to implant any semblance of civilized, prosperous, liberal modern society in the region.

    These Muslims refuse to embrace modern values. They prefer to rely on their barbaric beliefs, taking great pleasure in killing "infidels" and anyone who disagrees with them. Against this mindset there is no point for the US & the "West" to invest too heavily in the region, or to ponder sending Western ground troops there. A century of history provides good lessons.

    September 7, 2014 at 3:42 pm | Reply
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