Air strikes imminent as US tells Iraq to form a government now

Kate McCann
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US SECRETARY of state John Kerry has urged political leaders in Iraq to form a new government urgently, warning that the US may not wait to begin air strikes if the decision-making process drags on.

The call comes after Kerry met with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki in Baghdad yesterday, as militant fighters from the Islamic State of Iraq in the Levant (Isis) gained control of all border crossings between the nation and its neighbours Syria and Jordan.

Despite having far fewer fighters than the Iraqi army, Isis is understood to have positioned heavily-armed militia outside the capital Baghdad and yesterday took control of the airport in the northern town of Tal Afar.

The terrorist group also advanced on the Haditha dam yesterday, a key part of Iraq’s electricity grid. Iraqi military forces are understood to be protecting the dam, which remains under government control.

“The very future of Iraq depends on choices that will be made in the next days and weeks. Not next week, not next month, but now,” Kerry said yesterday. The US already has forces on the ground and two aircraft carriers in the Gulf and President Obama is understood to have shifted away from demanding Maliki’s resignation as a condition of military action.

The price of Brent Crude oil dropped to $114.12 yesterday after days of rising prices in response to the crisis in Iraq.

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