US Secretary of State John Kerry has intensified his meetings with journalists and TV channels on the side lines of his tour of the Arab region, promising new developments in Iraq during the next few days.
Kerry described the developments in Iraq as a “civil conflict that has not yet reached the level of full-scale civil war”.
He reiterated his position that forming a new Iraqi government could prevent civil war and serves as a first political move to face the State of the Islamic government in Iraq and the Levant (ISIS).
Speaking on American television, Kerry said: “The very future of Iraq depends on choices that will be made in the next days and weeks, and the future of Iraq depends primarily on the ability of Iraq’s leaders to come together and take a stand united against Isis.
“This is a critical moment for Iraq’s future. It is a moment of decision for Iraq’s leaders and it’s a moment of great urgency.
“Not next week, not next month, but now.” He also said no country – including the US – should try to pick a new leadership for Iraq.
In an interview with Fox News, Kerry said: “Defending Iraq is the responsibility of Iraqis and the United States will act only as a catalyst.” He suggested that “President Barack Obama may take further decisions on the military level, but the presence of a new government that is acceptable to all political forces is a crucial factor for coordination to face ISIS and other armed groups.”
Meanwhile, Kerry ruled out that the United States might be forced in the near future or long term to cooperate with the Assad regime to fight ISIS and said that Al-Assad is “one of the main reasons for the existence of ISIS and his departure will put an end to the organisation.”