WHAT IS REALLY GOING ON IN IRAQ?

WHAT IS REALLY GOING ON IN IRAQ?

ABDULLA HAWEZ

24 December 2011

(This article was first published at “A Middle Eastern View” and republished under Abdulla Hawez‘s permission)

Nouri Al-Maliki
Nouri Al-Maliki
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The recent tension in Baghdad between Nouri Al-Maliki’s Shiite Iraqi prime minister with both Iraqi president’s deputy Tariq Al-Hashimi, and his deputy for service affairs, Salih Mutlaq, which both are Sunnis is highly connected with the regional tension between Iran and Turkey on Syria, also the timing is connected. That’s despite Al-Maliki’s desire for power, and his autocratic approaches to wipe out his rivals one another.

As its obvious there are strong ties between Iran and Iraq’s ruling, Shiites, especially with the Prime Minister Nouri Al-Maliki which remained in power by a secret deal between Iran and United States. However, Al-Maliki is highly connected with the leaders in Iran regarding whatever he could do on Syrian case, as we have seen a delegation from Iraqi government arrived in Damascus to show Iraq’s support to Al-Asad’s Syria, even though Iraqi government announced they are trying to mediate that’s in one hand. On the other hand, Iraqi Sunnis have a strong tie with Turkey; Tariq Al-Hashimi, in particular, has a special relation with the leaders of Turkey’s AKP government, only this year he met with Turkish authorities many times. The recent tension between Iran and Turkey on Syria and NATO missile defense has certainly affected on the Iraqi leaders, especially Iran wants to move the center of attention from Syria to other friendly countries like Iraq.

The declaration of the Sunni cities of Salahadeen, Anbar, and later Dyala to become regions by the Saudi-Turkish support is another reason, as Shiites accuse such a step as a sectarian one that tries to divide the country. That led Muqtada Al-Sadr’s Mahdi militia to intervene in Dyala that around 20% of the province’s population is Shiites. Moreover, according to some sources, another possible scenario is linking part of the Sunni region with Jordan, specifically both cities of Anbar and Dyala. Whereas, Jordan’s King Abdullah arrived in London recently to discuss this possible scenario with the British officials, including British prime minister. According to the source, Britain is the spearhead of the scenario of linking part of the Iraq’s Sunni region with Jordan. While Mosul province which is dominated by the Iraqi parliament speaker’s Sunni leader, Asel Nujifi will become a federal region under Turkish supervision. Furthermore, Arabs will go out from Kirkuk, only Kurds and Turkmen will remain-

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-there, and both Kurdistan and Turkey will share the oil revenues with giving Mosul province some of the revenue, as well.

Nouri Al-Maliki’s autocratic approaches also part of the tension. Paul Bremer defined Al-Maliki as the Saddam of Shiites. In the recent years, after his partial success in limiting violence Al-Maliki strengthened its hand over the government and security forces. Only one day-after United States’ official withdrawal from Iraq, Al-Maliki accused Tariq Al-Hashimi for being behind terrorist attacks in Iraq. In addition, today Nouri Al-Maliki officially dismissed Salih Mutlaq from his position as deputy prime minister because Mutlaq described Al-Maliki as a new dictator while described Saddam as a good dictator, in an interview with CNN . A close source from Tariq Al-Hashimi told me, Al-Hashimi also has strong evidence that proves Al-Maliki’s engagement in terrorist attacks, but he will keep it for now. Most of the politicians in Iraq, including Shiites believe that Al-Maliki is trying to erase his rivals, including his Shiite allies one day. Nevertheless, Al-Maliki denies this; he says the diverse Iraq with a wide range of parties in parliament won’t become dictatorship again. The days will, at the end, show how Al-Maliki’s desire for power will end the state called Iraq.

Kurds who try to show themselves as neutrals aren’t, in reality. Historically, Iraqi President Jalal Talabani’s Patriotic Union of Kurdistan has strong ties with Iran, which that clearly reflects in the many visits of Talabani to Iran. After the accusation of Al-Hashimi, he tried to meet with Talabani, but he refused. Paradoxically, the other Kurdish leader, Masoud Barzani the president of Kurdistan region met with Al-Hashimi, and refused to surrender him to the Iraqi authorities in Baghdad. Barzani has strong ties with Turkey, last year Turkey’s Recep Tayyip Erdogan paid a historic visit to Barzani’s stronghold, Kurdistan region’s capital, Arbil. Erdogan is the first Turkish high official ever has visited Kurdistan. The regional game even divides the Kurdish leaders in Iraq. The formula is obvious.

A radical political dilemma is looming in Iraq, the recent standoff is only the fore. However, this political game will lead either to a bloody internal war that the consequences unknown, or to a demise of a country called Iraq. Let’s see!

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ABDULLA HAWEZ
The recent tension in Baghdad between Nouri Al-Maliki’s Shiite Iraqi prime minister with both Iraqi president’s deputy Tariq Al-Hashimi, and his deputy for service affairs, Salih Mutlaq, which both are Sunnis is highly connected with the regional tension between Iran and Turkey on Syria, also the timing is connected" />