IRAQ: Paths off the Mountain and Towards Forming a New Government

In my previous post I mentioned what was a crisis on Mount Sinjar in northern Iraq where tens of thousands of Yasidis were trapped by ISIS.   Since then a path down the mountain leading to a circuitous route to freedom in Kurdistan has been opened up and only a few thousand still remain on that mountain, so that potential “genocide” has been averted. 
Also, I mentioned that steps were being taken to replace Prime Minister Maliki with another man from his own party.  At the time Maliki seemed willing to resist the change by any means possible, which could have prolonged the gridlock.   However, yesterday he decided to step down opening the way to form a new government under Haider al-Abadi, a member of his own party who is acceptable to most factions there, in addition to both the U. S. and Iran, the two foremost external power brokers. 
That is great news, but Haider al-Abadi will have a huge challenge to face in developing some degree of national unity, enough to gather its forces and crush ISIS, with likely considerable outside help.   We can only hope he is up the task.  It will be a very tricky process indeed. 

For those looking for background information to both situations mentioned above, I suggest clicking this article in the Wall Street Journal published a few days ago.   Even if you don’t wish to read the article you might find a map there enlightening as it locates Mount Sinjar and the escape path as well as areas under ISIS and Kurdish control, a fluid situation to be sure.