From Al Jazeera. Any opinions expressed are those of the authors, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News.
In its fight against the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, ISIS, IS), Iraq is now desperate for advanced weapons and help from the United States.
A delegation led by Iraq’s Prime Minister Haider al-Abbadi is at the White House trying to convince US President Barack Obama to provide substantial financial and military aid.
For Iraqi Foreign Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari, however, defeating ISIL is really just a matter of time, he says.
But there are serious problems. Iraq’s army has been weakened over the last few years, so instead the fight is led by predominantly Shia militias known as Popular Mobilisation Forces, and they are at the forefront of the battles in Tikrit, Ramadi and Mosul.
But even as they push back against ISIL, they now have to defend themselves against allegations that they, in turn, are committing atrocities against Sunnis; accusations that al-Jaafari denies.
Iraq of course is not the only area in the Middle East where fighting along sectarian lines is taking place.
In Yemen, a Saudi-led coalition is now waging attacks on the Houthis who are receiving assistance from the Iranians. But Iraqis have decided to stay out of the fight, saying that diplomacy should be given a chance.
Iraq’s Foreign Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari talks to Al Jazeera about the fight against ISIL, sectarianism and the ongoing confrontations in the Middle East.