U.S. says backs Iraqi president after Maliki forces deploy in Baghdad
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States "fully supports" Iraqi President Fouad Masoum as the guarantor Iraq's constitution, the State Department said on Sunday after Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki accused Masoum of violating the constitution.
"We reject any effort to achieve outcomes through coercion or manipulation of the constitutional or judicial process," Marie Harf, deputy spokeswoman of the State Department, said in a statement.
She said the United States is closely monitoring the situation in Iraq and is in touch with Iraqi leaders.
Special forces loyal to Maliki were deployed in strategic areas of Baghdad on Sunday night after he delivered a tough speech indicating he would not cave in to pressure to drop a bid for a third term, police sources said.
(Reporting by the Washington Breaking News Team; Editing by Sandra Maler)