Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Key players in the battle for Iraq

Key players in the battle for Iraq

Islamic State of Iraq and Syria: The jihadist group, an offshoot of al-Qaida, has a fighting force that is probably larger than the 10,000 or so members estimated in most reports. They are well-armed and have boosted their arsenal after looting equipment from Mosul's main army bases. Sometimes referred to as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.

Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi: The Iraqi-born leader of ISIS, who has a $10 million U.S. bounty on his head, has been described as "the new bin Laden" by Time magazine and, while a deadly ideologue, has managed to assemble an incredibly cohesive, capable outfit that is well-funded and well-armed.

Kurds: The autonomous government in the Iraqi region of Kurdistan has rallied its own forces, known as the pesh merga, to combat ISIS. Although the Kurds have had an adversarial relationship with Baghdad, reports suggest that they are now more closely coordinating efforts to counter ISIS. They possess some light armored vehicles as well as artillery and will probably be the key to winning back Mosul.

Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki: Iraq's premier rose to prominence in the wake of the U.S. invasion and, as a leader of a prominent Shiite political party, assembled the government in 2006. He has managed to remain in power, but presides over a deeply polarized political landscape. Critics accuse his government of marginalizing the country's Sunnis while strengthening his political base.

Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Husseini al-Sistani: Iraq's top Shiite cleric, who is 83 years old. His statements carry enormous weight among not just the Shiite majority but members of other groups including some Sunnis. On Friday, Sistani called on Iraqis to take up arms to combat the marauding Sunni extremist militants. Within hours, thousands of Iraqi Shiites responded to the call.

Iran: The Shiite state looks upon developments in Iraq with great concern. ISIS is a foe, and its success in Syria and Iraq is an existential challenge to two staunch allies of Tehran. On Thursday, reports emerged that two battalions of the Quds Force, the overseas wing of Iran's Revolutionary Guards, were in Iraq, helping the government battle ISIS.

Washington Post

Key players in the battle for Iraq 06/13/14 [Last modified: Friday, June 13, 2014 10:32pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

Copyright: For copyright information, please check with the distributor of this item, Washington Post.
    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Pinellas licensing board needs cash. Will the county give it any?

    Local Government

    LARGO –– The grand jury that said Pinellas County should not take over the troubled construction licensing board also said the county should bail out the agency before it goes broke in 2018.

    Pinellas County Commission chair Janet Long isn't keen on the idea of the county loaning money to keep the Pinellas County Construction Licensing Board afloat. The county has no say over the independent agency, which could run out of funding in 2018. [SCOTT KEELER   |   Times]
  2. Is the Bundt cake back? How retro baked goods are becoming trendy again

    Cooking

    Once there were grunts and slumps, buckles and brown betties. Oh, and pandowdies and sonkers. In the olden days, people routinely made angel food cakes, tomato soup cakes and hummingbird cakes. These were not Duncan Hines mixes, but rather confections made from scratch following yellowed and stained recipes in your …

    Nothing Bundt Cakes in Tampa offers a variety of options, from tiny “bundtinis” and 10-inch cakes that serve 18 to 20 people. Core flavors include lemon, marble, red velvet and chocolate-chocolate chip, with featured flavors like confetti.
  3. What you need to know for Monday, Sept. 25

    News

    Catching you up on overnight happenings, and what you need to know today.

    Craig Butz, executive director of Pepin Academies and former professional hockey player, died in a crash with a boat Saturday. His daughter Teagan, 4, remained in critical condition Sunday afternoon. [WILL VRAGOVIC   |   TIMES, 2013]
  4. Two boys in critical condition after Largo crash

    Accidents

    LARGO — A 7-year-old boy was thrown from a car in a head-on crash on Starkey Road, and both he and a 6-year-old boy were in critical condition Sunday night, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.

  5. Trump's new order bars almost all travel from seven countries

    National

    WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump on Sunday issued a new order banning almost all travel to the United States from seven countries, including most of the nations covered by his original travel ban, citing threats to national security posed by letting their citizens into the country.

    President Donald Trump speaks to reporters Sunday upon his return to the White House in Washington.