Iraqi native worries for her family in Baghdad - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Iraqi native worries for her family in Baghdad


More than 20 people were killed today in Baghdad as Iraqi forces battle Sunni militants. Many shops there remain empty because most people are staying off the streets.

They worry about Sunni extremists who are getting closer to Iraq's Capital.

Rawaa Al-Mukhtar, an Iraqi native, recently received her Masters from LSU Health Sciences Center.

As she works to secure a residency in Dermatology, she's also extremely worried about her family in Baghdad as the militant group, ISIS, continues to make violent advances in Iraq.

"It's happening so quickly and there is not much hope in the picture right now," says Al-Mukhtar.

Iraqi cities seem to be falling one by one and Baghdad is now being threatened by the militants' advance.

Al-Mukhtar doesn't believe the country is stable enough to handle what's happening there.

"They don't have much options of what they can do. They don't have much in their hands. Unfortunately, years of events happened because of a lack of leadership that led us here," says Al-Mukhtar.

In recent days, Iran has sent hundreds of troops to fight alongside Iraqi Government Security Forces.

Meanwhile, nearly 300 armed American forces are being positioned in and around Iraq to help secure U.S. assets.

There's also been discussions about possible air strikes.

"We need that to stabilize the country to some extent right now because I don't see the Iraqi forces themselves can protect the current situation," says Al-Mukhtar.

She believes help from the U.S. may be the only way to stop the attacks, fearing the possibility of a future civil war in her native country.

President Obama, though, has ruled out sending any troops into combat.

Al-Mukhtar spoke with her family today.

"I try to tell them to stay safe, but they cannot do much to stay safe. I keep them in my heart and thoughts over time," says Al-Mukhtar.

House and Senate leaders from both parties are expected to visit the White House tomorrow to discuss the current situation in Iraq with President Obama.

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