Updated at 10:42 p.m. EDT, July 22, 2009 Violence struck a group of Iranian pilgrims in Diyala province. The attack left five Iranians dead and 37 wounded and was the most significant event of the day. Iraqis fared better only a day after the worst violence in weeks. At least six Iraqis were killed and 20 more were wounded. Meanwhile, PM Maliki is in the U.S. for talks with President Obama, and a House key committee approved more funds for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Also, the U.S. State Department issued a report stating that the U.S. embassy in Baghdad is significantly overstaffed.
Updated at 8:37 p.m. EDT, July 20, 2009 Shi’ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr met with Syrian leader President Bashar al-Assad in Damascus, where Assad urged the cleric to press forward with reconciliation efforts. Back home, at least 15 Iraqis were killed and 19 more were wounded in violent attacks. Meanwhile, a brigade commander in Baghdad spoke on the current relationship between U.S. troops and security forces in the capital.
Updated at 8:25 p.m. EDT, June 23, 2009 On an otherwise quiet day, Sadrist lawmakers demanded the defense ministry to explain how uniformed gunmen entered Sadr City last week and murdered four individuals. Across the country, only two Iraqis were reported killed. Sixteen Iraqis were also wounded.
The IAEA chief needs a gut check, says Gordon Prather
Former U.S. senator George Mitchell is due to arrive in Syria’s capital, Damascus, Friday on his first visit there since being named Pres. Barack Obama’s special envoy for Arab-Israeli peace. In an exclusive interview with IPS in Damascus on Jun. 4, Syria’s foreign minister, Walid Moualem, made clear that Mitchell will receive a warm welcome. … Continue reading “Syrian Foreign Minister Eager to Work with Obama”
Conn Hallinan on covert operations out of control
Updated at 7:10 p.m. EDT, May 24, 2009 The Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) offered to end a decades long conflict with Turkey if the Turks are willing to negotiate a settlement. At least nine Iraqis were killed, along with a Syrian fighter, and another eight were wounded in the latest attacks. Meanwhile, Speaker of the Iraqi Parliament Iyad al-Samarraie said that Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has the right to reshuffle or select cabinet ministers in order to implement government programs. Political pressure had prevented Maliki from doing so previously.
U.S. President Barack Obama issued a statement on May 8 calling for the renewal of sanctions on Syria, which were set to expire on Monday. The declaration came at the end of a busy week in which both high-level U.S. officials and the Iranian president visited the Syrian capital, Damascus. Though Syria has recently sought … Continue reading “US Thaw With Syria Stalls”