Kerry presses Maliki as Iraq loses control of Syrian, Jordanian borders

John Kerry - Photo by thierry ehrmann

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry met Iraq’s prime minister in Baghdad on Monday to push for more inclusive leadership, as Nuri al-Maliki’s forces abandoned the border with Jordan, leaving the entire Western frontier beyond government control.

Sunni tribes took the Turaibil desert border crossing, the only legal crossing point between Iraq and Jordan, after Iraqi security forces fled, Iraqi and Jordanian security sources said.

Tribal leaders were negotiating to hand the post to Sunni Islamists from the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) who took two main crossings with Syria in recent days and have pushed the Shi’ite-led government’s forces back toward Baghdad.

Ethnic Kurdish forces control a third border post with Syria in the north, leaving government troops with no presence along the entire 800-km (500-mile) western frontier which includes some of the most important trade routes in the Middle East.

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