Iraqi PM offers amnesty in bid to undermine militants
BAGHDAD - Agence France-Presse
Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, center, greets lawmakers at the first session of the newly elected parliament in the heavily fortified Green Zone in Baghdad, July 1. AP PhotoIraq Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki on July 2 offered an amnesty to some backers of a sweeping militant offensive, in an apparent attempt to undercut support for the insurgents.
"I announce the provision of an amnesty for all tribes and all people who were involved in actions against the state" but who now "return to their senses", excluding those involved in killings, Maliki said in televised remarks.
A major Sunni Arab militant offensive, spearheaded by jihadists from the Islamic State group, has overrun large areas of five provinces since June 9.
Iraqi security forces folded under the weight of the initial onslaught, in some cases shedding uniforms and abandoning vehicles to flee.
They are now performing better, but are still struggling to regain lost territory.