Saturday 28 June 2014

Helicopter gunships have conducted strikes on the northern Iraqi city of Tikrit, the Iraqi military says

Iraq crisis: Helicopter strikes on Tikrit rebels

New recruits to Iraqi army from Shia militias in Kanaan, Diyala province - 26 JuneThe Iraqi army has been boosted by new recruits from Shia militias
The attacks come amid reports of a major offensive to retake Tikrit from Isis-led Sunni militants, who control large parts of north and west Iraq.
The news came hours after the US confirmed it was flying drones in Iraq, to protect US personnel on the ground.
Meanwhile Iraq's most influential Shia cleric has called for a prime minister to be appointed by Tuesday.
In an attempt to defuse the country's political crisis, Grand Ayatollah Sistani said that key positions should be agreed before the new parliament meets on Tuesday.
Pressure has been building for a national unity government.
Current Prime Minister Nouri Maliki wants to continue for a third term, even though he is seen by many as having precipitated the crisis through sectarian policies that have pushed Iraq's Sunni minority into the hands of Isis extremists.
'Flee or be killed'       

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