Iraq Gov't Showdown Looms as Islamists Rampage


Political turmoil is adding to the mounting challenges facing Iraq.

The country's new president announced his choice to replace divisive Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki Monday. But al-Maliki isn't stepping aside.

Instead, he's trying to undermine President Fouad Massoum, accusing him of violating Iraq's constitution.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is urging Iraq's leaders to quickly form an inclusive government so they can start addressing the crisis in the north.

Kerry said the United States will work "to fully support a new and inclusive Iraqi government, particularly in its fight against ISIL," the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.

The United States is delivering more food, water, and other aid to thousands of refugees forced from their homes in the latest wave of violence from the so-called Islamic State.

The U.S. Agency for International Development said the aid mostly will go to members of an Iraqi religious minority known as Yazidis, who've been trapped on a mountaintop in northwest Iraq by the Sunni Muslim terrorists.

Meanwhile, Lt. Gen. William Mayville, director of operations for the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told reporters that targeted strikes have slowed the Islamic State's advance but done little to degrade their capacity as a fighting force.

"In the immediate areas where we've focused our strikes we've had a very temporary effect," Mayville said. "I in no way want to suggest that we have effectively contained, or that we are somehow breaking the momentum of the threat posed by" the Islamic State group.

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