Iraqi PM Nouri al-Maliki gained high court endorsement for a third term after accusing Iraqi President Fouad Massoum of conspiring to replace him with an opposition candidate to meet Washington’s demand for a national unity government as the price for expanding air support against Islamist expansion. A US official reported Monday that America has begun directly arming the Kurdish Peshmerga, which claims to have begun recovering villages overrun by the Islamic State, south of Irbil in northern Iraq, with the help of limited US air strikes. All the same, US personnel have been evacuated from the Kurdish capital away from the Islamist advance.
Hundreds of thousands of refugees are in flight from towns captured by IS, some even choosing to seek haven in Syria in Kurdish areas rather than face Islamist atrocities.