IRAQ UPDATE: Kerry Confronts Threat Of New War In Iraq - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

IRAQ UPDATE: Kerry Confronts Threat Of New War In Iraq

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UPDATE:  BAGHDAD (AP) - Secretary of State John Kerry has arrived in Iraq, a nation that saw the departure of American troops just three years ago and now faces threat of a civil war.

Kerry's scheduled to meet today with Iraq's Shiite prime minister and top Sunni and Kurdish leaders.

He wants to help foster a power-sharing agreement in Baghdad in hopes of diluting an insurgency fueled by widespread Sunni anger at the Shiite-led national government.

PREVIOUS COVERAGE:

BAGHDAD (AP) - A Shiite cleric in Iraq is warning that the 300 U.S. military advisers that President Barack Obama plans to send to Iraq will be attacked.   

The cleric (Nassir al-Saedi) is loyal to the anti-U.S. cleric Muqtada al-Sadr (mook-TAH'-duh ahl SAH'-dur), whose militia fought the Americans in at least two rounds of street warfare during the eight years U.S. troops were in Iraq.
    
Meanwhile, there's more pressure on Iraq's prime minister today -- with a call from the spiritual leader of Iraq's Shiite majority for a new "effective" government.
    
The comments at Friday prayers contained thinly veiled criticism that Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki (NOO'-ree ahl-MAHL'-ih-kee) is to blame for the continuing offensive by Sunni militants.

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