Iraq crisis: Baiji refinery ‘falls’ as Kerry visits Irbil – live updates / WATCH KERRY SPEECH IN IRBIL

Live Kerry to urge Kurds to help prevent break up of Iraq / Matthew Weaver – THE GUARDIAN – The US secretary of state pledges support for Iraq’s security forces as they battle against Islamist insurgents Isis. John Kerry claims Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has committed to forming a new government in Iraq from 1 July. It comes after Barack Obama offered up 300 American advisers to help co-ordinate the fight. Click for Video: John Kerry has insisted that Kurdish leaders are backing his efforts to form a new government in Baghdad. -In an interview for CNN after his meetings in Irbil, Kerry played down President Barzani’s remark that Iraq is facing a “new reality”. Barzani’s observation is being seen as a rejection of the US secretary of state’s call for unity.

But Kerry said:Even President Barzani today, who is opposed to the prime minister [Nouri al-Maliki] made it clear that he wants to participate in the process that he wants to help chose the next government. And other leaders that I met with were all engaged and energised and ready to go to bat for a new governance. So while he says there’s a new reality. The new reality is that they are under attack from Isil and they have realised that they cannot continue with this sectarian division.


It wasn’t just the body language that was different in Ibril and Baghdad. There was no need for body armour in the Kurdish region, notes Kurdish campaigner Abdulrahman Hamdi.