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Amid Iraq turmoil, US insists on 'united' government

A member of the Iraqi Kurdish Peshmerga forces patrols the front line in the village of Tuz Khurmatu on June 26, 2014 during an operation to repel Sunni militantsThe United States stuck to its position Monday that uniting Iraq’s sectarian factions was the only way to repel advances by Sunni jihadists, despite the deepening dysfunction of the country’s political system. Washington is looking on with increasing dismay as political structures set up under the US occupation are increasingly unable to fill a political vacuum exploited by Islamic State (IS) radicals who have seized vast tracts of the country. On Monday, bickering in Baghdad led to the delay of a key parliamentary session to select a new government until August 12 — likely meaning any fresh administration will not be in place until well after that. Last week, Iraq’s Kurds further rattled the political structure by confirming plans for an independence referendum, in a blow to hopes of a unified federal government.

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