Iraq Turmoil: Sistani calls for Maliki to step down

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Iraq Turmoil: Sistani calls for Maliki to step down

There were reports of vicious fighting in several key areas of Iraq on Friday, including the country’s main oil refinery and an airport in the northern town of Tal Afar. However, after a week of rapid territorial gains by the Sunni militants, the combined forces of the Shia militia, the Iraqi army and the Kurdish Pershmerga, seems to be holding them out of Baghdad. Even so, Iraq’s most powerful Shia cleric is calling for a change in government. CCTV’s Tony Cheng has details from Northern Iraq.

Kurdish fighters fan out to search for militants in a village to the south of Kirkuk.Here the battle lines have blurred as territory changes hands daily. However, the Kurdish army, the Pershmerga, have held on tightly to the oil rich city of Kirkuk, not previously part of their territory.

It seems unlikely they will want to give it back.These foreign workers were clearly relieved to get into the new Kurdish territory, over forty employees of a construction company, who had been caught by the rapid advances of the Sunni militants.

Turks, Turkmens, Nepalese and Bangladeshis: they were now safe in the enlarged Kurdistan, but at Friday prayers in Baghdad, representatives of the highest religious authorities seemed to be calling for cohesion. This was not the call to arms seen earlier in the week.

Today the Ayatollah called for a government to be formed: a government acceptable to everyone in Iraq.However, the Shia militia are still arming themselves, as they prepare for the defense of Baghdad. Also, the Sunni militants they face are putting up a ferocious fight.Iraq’s leaders might want to step back from the brink of destruction, but it could be too late.

Iraq Turmoil: Sistani calls for Maliki to step down

Iraq Turmoil: Sistani calls for Maliki to step down

There were reports of vicious fighting in several key areas of Iraq on Friday, including the country's main oil refinery and an airport in the northern town of Tal Afar. However, after a week of rapid territorial gains by the Sunni militants, the combined forces of the Shia militia, the Iraqi army and the Kurdish Pershmerga, seems to be holding them out of Baghdad. Even so, Iraq's most powerful Shia cleric is calling for a change in government. CCTV's Tony Cheng has details from Northern Iraq.
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President Barack Obama’s decision to send nearly 300 military advisers to Iraq is getting a mixed reaction around the world. CCTV’s Jim Spellman joined us with that part of the story.

World reacts to President Obama sending troops to Iraq

World reacts to President Obama sending troops to Iraq

President Barack Obama's decision to send nearly 300 military advisers to Iraq is getting a mixed reaction around the world. CCTV's Jim Spellman joined us with that part of the story.
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For more on the role of these U.S. military advisers, CCTV spoke to CATO Institute political analyst Benjamin Friedman.

Benjamin Friedman on the turmoil in Iraq

Benjamin Friedman on the turmoil in Iraq

For more on the role of these U.S. military advisers, CCTV spoke to CATO Institute political analyst Benjamin Friedman.
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Jay Garner was the first American to be in overall control of Iraq “after” the launch of Operation Iraqi Freedom. He was Director of the Office of Reconstruction and Humanitarian Assistance in Iraq in 2003. Having been there at the start, General Garner gave us his insights into the current troubles there.

Jay Garner on Iraq: ISIL major concern

Jay Garner on Iraq: ISIL major concern

Jay Garner was the first American to be in overall control of Iraq "after" the launch of Operation Iraqi Freedom. He was Director of the Office of Reconstruction and Humanitarian Assistance in Iraq in 2003. Having been there at the start, General Garner gave us his insights into the current troubles there.
Download Video