Iraq’s president Fouad Masoum has ousted Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, who has been in power for eight years, by naming a new prime minister. However, al-Maliki refused to abandon his post and has deployed militias on the streets of Baghdad.
The U.S., which had been instrumental in placing al-Maliki in the post after its 2003 invasion of Iraq, congratulated the new prime minister, Haidar al-abadi, on his appointment to the position. However, al-Maliki’s Dawa Party has declared the new appointment “illegal and a breach of the constitution,” reported Reuters.
The new political crisis in Iraq comes in the wake of targeted airstrikes launched by the U.S. at the jihadist group Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS), who have been violently taking over parts of Iraq and executing non-Muslims, such as Christians, Yazidis and others.
ISIS terrorists consider members of the Yazidi minority to be “devil worshipers” and have ordered them to convert or die. Tens of thousands of Yazidis have fled from areas taken over by ISIS and have gathered on a mountain, where they have limited access to food and water.