As violence rages in northern Iraq, a political battle is being waged at the heart of the country’s government.
New president Fuad Masum has snubbed incumbent prime minister Nouri al-Maliki, by nominating deputy parliamentary speaker Haider al-Ibadi to form Iraq’s new government.
Al-Maliki fought back against al-Ibadi’s appointment, saying: “We won’t accept this violation of the constitution since we are among those who formed the constitution and this democratic process, so be sure that we will continue in our candidacy.”
The political infighting in Baghdad comes as the United States steps up its role in fighting back a insurgency in northern Iraq by militants from the jihadist group Islamic State.
US President Barack Obama backed the new Iraqi government: saying: “The United States stands ready to support a government that addresses the needs and grievances of all Iraqi people.”