World Bulletin/News Desk
Iraq's top cleric called again on compatriots on Friday to unite against the "big danger" posed by ISIL militants, whose advances prompted U.S. President Barack Obama to authorise limited bombing.
In a weekly Friday sermon delivered through a spokesman in the sacred Shi'ite city of Kerbala, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani blamed Iraqi politicians for Iraq's biggest crisis since the fall of Saddam Hussein in 2003, saying they are motivated by self-interest.
"All Iraqis should unify ranks and intensify efforts in the face of this big danger that threatens their present and future," said Sistani.
The ISIL swept through northern Iraq in June, almost unopposed by Iraq's U.S.-funded and trained army, and has made gains since then.
Friday's sermon marks the second time that Sistani has called on Iraqis to stand up to the ISIL, which has threatened to march on Baghdad and wants to reshape the map of the Middle East.
Sistani said that politicians who cling to their posts are making a "grave mistake", piling pressure on Shi'ite Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki to drop his bid for a third term.
Sistani urged politicians to stop bickering and choose a prime minister who can unite Iraqis and end the crisis posed by Sunni insurgents.
"All political parties should know that conflicts and differences among each other - which in many times have no justification but self interest or sectarian or national interests - have caused the weakening of everybody and opened the door for the terrorists," he said.
Over the past week, the Sunni militants have made another dramatic push through the north, seizing a fifth oilfield and several more towns and reaching Iraq's biggest dam after routing Kurdish forces.
Reuters photographs published on Thursday showed what appeared to be ISIL fighters controlling a checkpoint near the border with the Kurdish semi-autonomous region.
Electoral coalitions in Iraq are often formed based on sectarian and ethnic lines
Al-Aqsa officials are warned not to carry out any renovation work at flashpoint holy site, local official says
Rescue team has not ruled out possibility of locating more bodies
Israeli officials say Gaza economy was “like from zero to below zero”
Salim al-Jubouri also stresses need to support war-ravaged Nineveh province in post-ISIL era
Press Secretary Sarah Sanders insisted that Trump said "I'd," not "I" as the newspaper reported.
Palestinian minister says Israeli government violates Christian, Muslim places of worship
Five people are still missing after the mudslides, according to an update on the County of Santa Barbara's website, which warned people to "anticipate the numbers of missing persons to fluctuate significantly."
Haider al-Abadi forms Victory Coalition and calls on political groups to join his ‘supra-sectarian national coalition’
‘The U.S. Pacific Command has detected no ballistic missile threat to Hawaii,’ says Pentagon
Palestine Liberation Organization calls for the assurance of the establishment of the Palestinian state
Antonio Guterres says UN supports Colombian peace process
Speculation about Haley's presidential ambitious has picked up since she defended Trump's decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital, staring down friends and foes alike at the world body.
"The G7 serves well as a proving or testing ground for discussions that could eventually go into the G20 or the United Nations or international financial institutions," Peter Boehm, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's G7 representative, said in an interview with AFP.