Updated at 9:51 p.m. EDT, March 30, 2010
At least six Iraqis were killed and seven were wounded in light attacks. While violence may have taken a breather today, haggling and complaining over creating the new Iraqi government has not. Neither has the debate over the De-Ba’athification laws. Also, a Dutch-Iraqi man convicted of conspiracy to kill Americans has returned to serve out his time in a Dutch prison.
An Iraqi man who is also a Dutch citizen was flown back to the Netherlands to serve time in an unusual case. He was extradited to the United States and convicted there of conspiring to kill Americans in Iraq. He had been seen filming himself planting roadside bombs in an area where Americans were later killed; however, there is no evidence proving his bombs killed anyone. As part of the extradition deal, he will serve time in a Dutch prison.
The State of Law party is negotiating with the Iraqi National Alliance in hopes of forming the largest bloc in parliament. The main hurdle seems to be the SOL’s insistence that Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki remain Iraq’s leader. Sadrists are part of the INA coalition, and Maliki’s 2008 crackdown on followers of Shi’ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr preclude him, in their eyes, from the post. Sadr currently lives in Iran and was even the recent target of an arrest warrant issued by the former Iraqi government. However, several major compromises from Maliki, including releasing Sadrist detainees, could win them over. A special referendum could also be in the works.
Iraqi Vice President Tariq al-Hashimi is worried that Iran might be playing a role in forming the new Iraqi government. Ayad Allawi, whose Iraqiya party won the most seats in the recent election, expressed similar fears.
The Commander of Sahwa forces in Iraq, Sheikh Ahmed Abu Risha, asked the new Iraqi government to change the controversial De-Ba’athification Law. Meanwhile, 50 former Ba’athists in Wassit province signed a document that states they no longer have ties to the outlawed party. Hundreds of candidates were banned from running in recent elections or holding posts thanks to the law. The De-Ba’athification or Accountability and Justice Commission seeks to ban another 52 candidates, presumably from the Iraqiya party, but they are frozen until the parliament is in session.
In Mosul, two people were killed in a small arms attack in Jamasa. A bomb wounded a civilian. An al-Qaeda leader was arrested.
Gunmen killed one person in Kirkuk. A rocket was defused.
In Tal Afar, a bomb wounded two people. An unidentified corpse bearing gunshot wounds to the head was discovered. A woman was shot to death and her daughter was injured in another attack. A four-year-old girl was killed in the crossfire of a shootout east of the city. Security forces are planning to gradually remove concrete blocks.
A bomb planted on a railroad in western Anbar province wounded three railroad workers.
Four suspects were captured in Jalawla.
Eight suspects were detained in Ramadi.
A cannon and 31 mortar shells were found in Amara.
Missan’s former governor Adel Mahoudar is out on bail after three months of incarceration. He turned himself in on terrorism charges. Two of the three charges have so far been dropped.
Near the Iraqi border in Turkey, three Turkish soldiers were killed and two more were wounded during "spring thaw" operations. The winters are so harsh in the mountainous region straddling the two countries that any military operations generally cease during the coldest months. When spring returns, so do maneuvers. The region is home to a number of Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) camps. Although the PKK signaled through a unilateral cease-fire that they are ready for peace talks, Turkey has continued operations against them.