Middle East

US weighs pressing Iraq leader to step down

U.S. President Barack Obama meets with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and Speaker of the House John Boehner to discuss the situation in Iraq in the Oval Office of the White House June 18, 2014. (REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque)

WASHINGTON: The Obama administration is weighing whether to press the Shiite prime minister in Baghdad to step down as a last-ditch effort to prevent disgruntled Sunnis from igniting a civil war.

More so than airstrikes or other American military action, senior U.S. officials believe that giving more credence to Sunni concerns about Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki can stave off another deadly round of sectarian fighting of the kind that engulfed Iraq less than a decade ago.

President Barack Obama is expected to discuss U.S. options for responding to the crumbling security situation in Iraq with his national security team Thursday.

It is unclear whether Obama or other administration officials would publicly call for al-Maliki to resign.





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