|Maliki accuses Kurds of hosting terrorists||
Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki said Wednesday the Kurdish-controlled city of Arbil was becoming an operations base for the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) militant group that seized swath of northern and western Iraq last month.
"We will never be silent about Arbil becoming a base for the operations of ISIS, Baathists and Al-Qaeda and the terrorists," Maliki said in his weekly televised address, according to the Daily Star.
Maliki's relationship with Kurdish President Massoud Barzani has deteriorated amid the sectarian insurgency that has threatened to split the country.
Barzani last week asked the parliament of the autonomous Kurdish region to plan a referendum on Kurdish independence, signaling his impatience with Baghdad.
Maliki, meanwhile, has accused the Kurds of exploiting the crisis to push for statehood.
Many militants who fled the mostly Sunni northern city of Mosul during the militants' offensive have ended up in Arbil.
However, Barzani on Tuesday withdrew from some of his recent stances about the independence of Kurdistan.
In an open letter to the Iraqi people, Barzani said and its national powers that the threat to the future of Iraq and the Iraqis, is the responsibility of those who insist on dividing the fabric of Iraqi society, and violate the constitution, and putting Iraqis in the face of a new style of dictatorship.
Barzani had illicitly called for independence of the Kurdish region from Iraq.
Iraq loses control of CWs
The Iraqi government has officially informed the UN that it has lost control of a former chemical weapons facility, north of the capital Baghdad, to the ISIL elements, Anadolu news agency reported.
In a letter sent to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, Iraq's Permanent Representative to the UN Ambassador Muhammad Ali Hakim said that his government had lost control of the Muthanna facility north of Baghdad on 11 June, and that ISIL militants now have the chemical substances stored at the facility in their possession.
Hakim pointed out in his letter that the Iraqi government could no longer meet its international obligations to destroy the toxic substances, because of the poor security situation in the region.
Reports indicate that the chemical installations remaining from the era of former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein have toxic chemicals or remnants of them.
ISIL, which poses a serious threat to the government of Iraq after seizing Mosul and its surroundings, announced the establishment of an Islamic Caliphate on 29 June in the territories it controls in Iraq and Syria.
53 blindfolded bodies found south of Baghdad
Meanwhile, Iraqi security forces found 53 corpses, blindfolded and handcuffed, in a town south of Baghdad early on Wednesday, local officials said.
They said the bodies had been left in the mainly Shia village of Khamissiya, about 25 km (15 miles) southeast of the city of Hilla, near the main highway running from the capital to the southern provinces, Reuters reported.
The head of the provincial council, local police and the governor's office all confirmed the discovery of the bodies, but had no immediate information on the identity of the dead, who appeared to have been killed execution style.
ISIL terrorists seized control of large parts of northern and western Iraq last month, sweeping toward Baghdad in the most serious challenge to the government of Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki since the withdrawal of U.S. forces in 2011.
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