Reporter Says Iraqi Government Feeling More Confident

In this photo taken on June 19, 2014, a column of smoke rises from an oil refinery in Beiji, some 155 miles north of Baghdad, Iraq. There are reports today of more fighting at Beiji. (AP Photo)

Financial Times reporter Borzou Daragahi says U.S., Russian, and Iranian help has forced a stalemate on the ground in Iraq, and changed the mood in Baghdad.

“If you compare it to two weeks ago, when I first got here, there was a real real sense that an ISIS attack on the capital was imminent, and the momentum was all with ISIS,” Daragahi told Here & Now’s Robin Young. “But if you look at the situation now, it’s essentially turned into a stalemate, and I think the difference been the U.S. intelligence, the U.S. targeting help, as well as the air power that has been launched, we’re talking about Russian planes that have been arriving, and of course the mobilization of these volunteers said to have been organized by Iran.

Daragahi says all the outside help “has absolutely had an impact, you can feel it on the streets.” One sign Daragahi says that shows the government’s confidence is that it has lifted all the restrictions on the Internet, including allowing people to access social media.

Guest

  • Borzou Daragahi, Middle East correspondent for the Financial Times.
Copyright 2014 WBUR-FM. To see more, visit http://www.wbur.org.