Kurdish President Massoud Barzani has once again charged Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki with moving Iraq towards a new dictatorship. Although Barzani has made this accusation several times in the past, he reiterated his feelings in an interview this week in the Arabic newspaper al-Hayat.
He also complained about the prime minister’s inordinate control of several ministerial posts and alluded to Kurdistan’s possible secession if solutions are not found for the current crises. The two that figure most prominently involve oil payments between the two government and an arrest warrant for Vice President Tareq al-Hashemi, who sought refuge in Iraqi Kurdistan.
Separately, the Kurdish Bloc, gave a toned-statement in which they said they would not seek to remove Maliki, even though the Hashemi’s Iraqiya party is encouraging the two groups to work together toward that end. Maliki, himself, asked Iraqis to keep their opinions of the ongoing tensions to themselves. The United States has remained uninvolved except for asking the Kurds to work through the conflict.
Meanwhile, at least seven Iraqis were killed and five more were wounded in new violence, including a rare attack in Kurdistan.
In Mosul, two policemen were killed and a third was injured during an attack on their checkpoint.
In Baghdad, an improvised bomb killed one civilian and wounded four policemen when it exploded in Amiriya.
Gunmen killed a policeman and his civilian driver as they traveled in Shirqat.
One person was killed in a rare bombing in Arbil.
Gunmen killed a civilian near his home in Barud.