Kerry presses Maliki as Iraq loses control of Jordanian border
Monday, June 23, 2014 - 01:12
U.S. Secretary of State Kerry meets with Iraqi Prime Minister Maliki on the heels of Sunni militants gaining control of a border crossing with Jordan. Rough Cut (no reporter narration)
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ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION)
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry met Iraq's prime minister in Baghdad on Monday (June 23) to push for a more inclusive government, even as Baghdad's forces abandoned a border crossing with Jordan, leaving the entire Western frontier outside government control.
Sunni tribes took the Turaibil border crossing, the only legal crossing point between Iraq and Jordan, after Iraqi security forces fled, Iraqi and Jordanian security sources said.
The tribes were negotiating handing the post over to insurgents from the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant who took control of two main crossings with Syria over the weekend. Kurdish forces control a third border post with Syria in the north.
Washington, which withdrew its troops from Iraq in 2011 after an occupation that followed the 2003 invasion that toppled dictator Saddam Hussein, has been struggling to help Iraq contain a Sunni insurgency led by ISIL, an al Qaeda offshoot which seized northern towns this month.
Washington is worried that Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki's Shi'ite-led government has worsened the insurgency by alienating moderate Sunnis who once fought al Qaeda but have now joined the ISIL revolt.
While Washington has been careful not to say publicly it wants Maliki to relinquish power, Iraqi officials say such a message has been delivered behind the scenes.
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