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Kerry Holds Talks as 4th Iraq Town Falls to ISIS

09-08-2014
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U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is in Iraq as the country continues its violent downward spiral at the hands of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

The Obama administration hopes high-level talks with the country's ethnic and religious faction leaders may help unite Iraq and stop ISIS from taking any more territory.

"This is a critical moment where together we must urge Iraq's leaders to rise above sectarian motivations," Kerry said.

Meanwhile, at least 70 percent of Anbar province is now under the control of the jihadist army. The terror group is on a mission to create an Islamic caliphate across Sunni areas of Iraq and Syria.

Gaining ground in four new towns over the weekend, ISIS continues to overpower a weak Iraqi army.

Security officials say Iraqi forces have now withdrawn from Haditha, which could put Iraq's power grid at risk.

In the meantime, the United States is sending 300 military advisers. But Iraq leaders say what they need are American airstrikes.

"We have an agreement that says whenever the new Iraqi democratic government is threatened, America is ready to help," Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari said.

Many Republican lawmakers also want President Barack Obama to order an air assault.

"I think that we should cut off ISIS' access to their command and control structure in Syria, and I think primarily that involves air power," Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., told CBS "Face the Nation."

Former Vice President Dick Cheney said the Obama administration needs to "be realistic about the nature of the threat."

"When we're arguing over 300 advisers when the request had been for 20,000 in order to do the job right, I'm not sure we've really addressed the problem," he told ABC's "This Week."

But Obama said Iraq's leaders must begin working together before any kind of military solution can be effective.

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