- The Washington Times - Wednesday, July 2, 2014

In an attempt to win over tribal leaders who sided with the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) against his Shiite-led government, Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki offered amnesty to those who renounce the Islamic extremists.

“I announce the provision of amnesty for all tribes and all people who were involved in actions against the state” but who now “return to their senses,” the prime minister said Wednesday during a televised address, Agence France Presse reported. The amnesty would not apply to those involved with killings.

The international community urged Mr. al-Maliki on Wednesday to find a way to reconcile with disaffected Sunni and Kurdish populations before it is too late.

United Nations special envoy Nickolay Mladenov said that Iraqi politicians “need to realize that it is no longer business as usual,” and State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf warned that “time is not on Iraq’s side,” AFP reported.

The Obama administration plans on having a U.S. presence in Iraq of roughly 1,000 troops and advisers to protect its embassy in Baghdad. Apache attack helicopters and unarmed surveillance drones are being sent to Iraq to help them gather intelligence on ISIL.

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