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Iraq's Maliki warns Sunni insurgents to expect defeat

Saturday, June 14, 2014 - 01:29

June 14 - Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki warned insurgents that his forces ''will not stop fighting them'' even as he called on deserting Iraqi soldiers to rejoin their units. Deborah Gembara reports.

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Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki was defiant, warning Sunni insurgents on Saturday not to underestimate his forces. (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) IRAQI PRIME MINISTER NOURI AL-MALIKI, SAYING: "With all seriousness, and by the name of God, if our heads are turned into bombs or our bodies turned into courses for tanks and vehicles to move on, we will not stop fighting them, so, let them not to be deluded." The defiant tone was in stark contrast to reports Iraqi soldiers retreated as the group, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), made lightning advances on Mosul and Tikrit. Maliki says there was a conspiracy or plot to create confusion within the military that led to some soldiers leaving their positions. Acknowledging the week's setbacks, he issued a warning to the soldiers. (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) IRAQI PRIME MINISTER NOURI AL-MALIKI, SAYING: "Those who abandoned their positions should not imagine that they can take refugee in their homes or with their mothers. If they do not join their units or any unit near their units and if they don't do that quickly, they will be considered deserters and they will be liable for harsh punishment, which might be tantamount to execution." His message came as thousands of men in Kerbala answered a Shi'ite cleric's call to arms. These men say they're ready to join the fight against Sunni militants who gained so much ground so quickly during the week that Washington began considering air strikes to halt their advance on Baghdad.

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Iraq's Maliki warns Sunni insurgents to expect defeat

Saturday, June 14, 2014 - 01:29