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Obama urges Iraq to include tribal militias in Iraqi army

March 10, 2014 at 1:35 pm

On Wednesday US President Barack Obama discussed with the speaker of the Iraqi parliament Osama al-Najafi the possibility of accepting Sunni tribal militias into the official Iraqi army.

A statement issued by the White House said that Obama’s intervention came during the meeting between his deputy Joe Biden and Al-Najafi in Washington. “The President incited the Iraqi leaders to continue dialogue until legitimate demands of all groups were considered through the political process,” the statement said.

In addition, the statement affirmed: “Both sides [US and Iraqi government] took security and political measures to fight terror. Both discussed procedures to merge the tribal militias in the infrastructure of the security services.”

Previously, Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki called for the residents of Al-Anbar province in the west of Iraq to dismiss militias who fight the army out of their province.

A number of the cities, including Al-Ramadi and Fallujah, are under the control of the tribal militias who said that they have been persecuted by the government.

Fighting between the Sunni militias and the government started three weeks ago when Al-Maliki decided to end a one-year protest which called for releasing prisoners and ending execution sentences aimed at Sunni residents.