Shiite cleric urges Iraqis to defend country

By The Associated Press | Posted - Jun. 13, 2014 at 8:11 p.m.

This archived news story is available only for your personal, non-commercial use. Information in the story may be outdated or superseded by additional information. Reading or replaying the story in its archived form does not constitute a republication of the story.

BAGHDAD (AP) — Iraq's Shiite clerical leadership is calling on all Iraqis to defend their country from Sunni militants who have seized large swaths of territory. A U.N. official is expressing "extreme alarm" at reprisal killings in the offensive, citing reports of hundreds of dead and wounded.

President Barack Obama says he's weighing options for countering the insurgency. But he warned Iraqi leaders that he would not take military action unless they moved to address the country's political divisions.

Obama did not specify what options he is considering, but he ruled out sending American troops back into combat in Iraq.

The fast-moving rebellion has emerged as the biggest threat to Iraq's stability since the U.S. withdrawal in 2011. It has pushed the nation closer to a precipice that could partition it into Sunni, Shiite and Kurdish zones.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

The Associated Press


    Catch up on the top news and features from, sent weekly.
    By subscribing, you acknowledge and agree to's Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

    KSL Weather Forecast