"Various actions by the Iraqi government have undermined the reconciliation initiatives of the surge that enabled the sense of Sunni Arab inclusion and contributed to the success of the venture. Moreover, those Iraqi government actions have also prompted prominent Sunnis to withdraw from the government and led the Sunni population to take to the streets in protest. As a result of all this, Iraqi politics are now mired in mistrust and dysfunction," David Petraeus writes for Foreign Policy.
"It has been almost two years since American troops withdrew from Iraq. And despite the terrorist threats we face, we are not asking for American boots on the ground. Rather, we urgently want to equip our own forces with the weapons they need to fight terrorism, including helicopters and other military aircraft so that we can secure our borders and protect our people," writes Iraqi prime minister Nuri al-Maliki in the New York Times.
"In the early morning hours of Sept. 1, Iraqi gunmen raided a camp in the hinterlands of Iraq where 100 members of an Iranian opposition group lived. Unarmed civilians were running around trying to not get shot while their assailants systematically gunned them down. The attackers were not there to talk. They were there to kill. And they succeeded," Rep. Ted Poe (R-TX) writes for TheHill.
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North Korea Accused of 'Gross Human Rights Violations'
The UN's first-ever human rights investigation into North Korea reported "gross human rights violations" in the country. The reported atrocities included a woman forced to drown her own baby and children imprisoned from birth and starved (BBC). The UN inquiry panel interviewed witnesses in South Korean, Japan, and the UK, and was not given access to North Korea.
Senior Afghan officials plan to begin talks with former Taliban leader Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar in Pakistan with hopes of restarting a stalled peace process. Baradar, a close friend of Taliban leader Mullah Omar, is believed to have enough influence to make peace (ExpressTribune).
Assad Regime Reportedly Using Starvation as a Tactic
Syrian soldiers have allegedly blocked food and medicine from reaching besieged areas in Syria, many of which were attacked with chemical weapons on August 21, as part of a war tactic dubbed the "Starvation Until Submission Campaign" (Reuters).