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Anchored by Jake Tapper, The Lead airs at 4 p.m. ET on CNN.

Anchored by Jake Tapper, The Lead airs at 4 p.m. ET on CNN.

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July 1st, 2014
05:39 PM ET

Some tough questions for Iraq's ambassador to the U.S.

(CNN) – Iraq is calling on the U.S. to provide air support, specifically drones and F16s, to "defeat that immediate threat of ISIL to the integrity of Iraq," says Iraq's ambassador the U.S. Lukman Faily.

American and Arab diplomats have told CNN that the United States probably won't launch military strikes against the militant group ISIS (also known as ISIL) and its allied fighters before a new government is formed in Iraq.

But Faily said ISIS is getting dangerously close Baghdad, securing pockets in the northern provinces, and near Tikrit.

"We're talking about something like 100 miles away," said Faily.

Many expected Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki to call for the formation of a new government Tuesday as Iraq battles militants from the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. But Iraq's parliament postponed its first session until next week, citing a lack of a quorum.

Faily says it is unfair to blame Maliki for the current situation in Iraq, but many in the Obama administration, as well as world leaders, say much of this crisis could have been avoided if Maliki had been more inclusive and brought more Sunnis into the government.

"The formation of the government will take place soon. Who's the prime minister is an issue to be discussed at the Parliament," said Faily.

But will Maliki step aside of another prime minister is elected? That's up to Iraq's Parliament, says Faily, where Maliki's block holds about 100 out of 328 seats.

"He still (has) a good chance of getting it. I think the issue doesn't need to be personalized," said Faily.

For more of our interview with Iraq's ambassador the U.S. Lukman Faily, check out the video above.

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