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Iraq Turns to US for Help as Violence Increases

By: CBS
By: CBS

Islamic militants are pushing deeper into Iraq just 18 months after U.S. forces withdrew from the country. White House administrators say the security situation has deteriorated.

Islamic fighters have already captured two key cities, including Saddam Hussein's former hometown of Tikrit. Many Iraqi troops ditched their uniforms and abandoned their posts.

The Sunni fighters are vowing to seize Baghdad and topple the government of Shiite Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki.

Iraq's government is asking the U.S. for airstrikes against militants, but so far the Obama administration is saying no. Instead, the U.S. will focus on sending more weapons to Iraq's military.

On Capitol Hill Senators are getting a closed briefing on the security situation.

"Hourly they are experiencing greater gains while the Iraqi military, and police seem to be dissolving before our very eyes," said Sen. John McCain, R-Arizona

Iraq's Prime Minister asked parliament to declare a state of emergency so he'd have more power to fight the insurgents but not enough lawmakers showed up at today's session to vote.

Increased violence in Iraq is causing oil prices to increase.

Light crude oil futures reached $106 a barrel in afternoon trading in Europe. That's the highest price since September of last year.


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