Former Iraqi Prime Minister Ayad Allawi urges restraint amid crisis

Iraq has fallen into crisis after the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) seized control of Mosul and the main oil refinery in the country. They have also said they are preparing for an invasion in Baghdad.
By Aileen Graef  |  Updated June 18, 2014 at 11:05 AM
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BAGHDAD, June 12 (UPI) -- Former Iraqi Prime Minister Ayad Allawi urged against military intervention in response to the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), a jihadist group that recently seized the city of Mosul, after reports said the current Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki sought help from the U.S.

The New York Times reported that Maliki secretly asked President Barack Obama to consider authorizing air strikes against extremist strongholds in the country as ISIS increases their control in key regions. The Obama administration, which has been reluctant to engage in the country since it began withdrawing troops in 2011, rebuffed the requests.

Politico reported Thursday that Obama, "isn't ruling out any potential responses" to the situation in Iraq and is monitoring the escalating violence carefully.

"What we've seen over the last couple of days indicates Iraq's going to need more help," from the U.S. and the international community, said Obama.

"We do have a stake in making sure that these jihadists are not getting a permanent foothold in either Iraq or Syria for that matter," he continued.

Allawi said that executing air strikes in the region will only make things worse.

"I think this will add fuel to the fire. I think the international community should not respond in this way. They should seek another alternative to get out of this mess," he told the BBC. "They should refrain from interfering and from creating a big war in and around Iraq."

He also said that it is a strong possibility that the country will break apart due to the rising sectarianism.

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