In Face of Insurgency, Political Process Collapses in Iraq
Members of Parliament walk out of session; casualty figures rise
The situation in Iraq inched closer to chaos on Tuesday, as a parliamentary session to name new leaders collapsed when Sunni and Kurdish politicians walked out.
The Council of Representatives was due to elect a speaker, but when Kurdish and Sunni Arab members of parliament did not return after a break, there were not enough people present to hold a vote. Acting Speaker Mahdi al-Hafez said parliament would reconvene in a week.
This bodes poorly for any effort to create a unified front in the face of the jihadist-led rebellion in the north and west; on Sunday the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIS) declared the establishment of a caliphate covering the land it holds in Iraq and Syria.
According to U.N. casualty figures released Tuesday, there were more civilians killed in Iraq in June than in any other month this year; 1,531 civilians were killed (including 270 civilian police), while the number of civilians injured was 1,763 (including 276 civilian police). A further 886 members of the Iraqi Security Forces were killed, and 524 were injured (not including casualties from Anbar operation). About 300 new U.S. troops were deployed to Iraq yesterday.
Meanwhile, in a speech released Tuesday, ISIS commander Ibrahim Awwad al-Badri called on followers worldwide to wage jihad in countries including India, China, and Egypt.