Sadrists Protest, Turkey Hints, And Violence Continues For Iraqis

At least 10 people were killed and 18 more were wounded in new violence across the country. Meanwhile, followers of Shi’ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr staged demonstrations in a number of cities, and the Turkish Prime Minister warned of uniting with Iran against Kurdish rebels.

Sadrists across southern Iraq protested the U.S. presence in Iraq, government corruption and the lack of services among other complaints during demonstrations in several cities. The demonstrations had been scheduled earlier in the month but were postponed for unclear reasons. Sadr had previously told Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki that the premier must create 50,000 jobs, share oil wealth with Iraqis, and step-up efforts at other reforms or face these protests. Meanwhile, a Sadrist affiliated political bloc, the Ahrar Trend, separately called for the removal of foreign security contractors, alleging that they are responsible for 90 percent of all assassinations in Iraq.

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan hinted that a new anti-rebel operation in northern Iraq could involve Iran, but then retracted the statement somewhat while talking to reporters during a trip to Tunisia. Recently, Ankara and Baghdad have discussed the possibility of sending Turkish troops after the Kurdistan Workers Party (P.K.K.), which is based in northern Iraq. Both Turkey and Iran, which is targeting the offshoot Party of a Free Life of Kurdistan (P.J.A.K.), have conducted air and artillery strikes in northern Iraq for several weeks.

In Mosul, the Islamic State of Iraq is openly extorting the area’s businesses to fund their operations. The businesspeople say they are too afraid to report the crimes, because they believe the I.S.I. has infiltrated the police. Many also do not want to deal with the Iraqi Army because most of the soldiers are from the Shi’ite south.

Meanwhile, attacks continued across Iraq. At least 10 people were killed and 18 more were wounded in them.

In Jbela, a car bomb wounded three people. A second blast occurred when first responders arrived, wounding seven more people. The first bomb may have been targeting the governor’s convoy.

An army officer was killed and three soldiers were wounded during an army raid in which a policeman was also wounded. The raid, which took place in Haditha, also left two suspects dead. A third suspect was arrested.

In Baghdad, two policemen were killed and two others were wounded in the Doura neighborhood.

A police lieutenant colonel was shot to death in Garma.

A roadside bomb in Moalimeen wounded two civilians.

Two border guards were found beheaded near Rutba.

Gunmen killed an army captain in Jazeera.

A dumped body was found in Mosul.

Author: Margaret Griffis

Margaret Griffis is a journalist from Miami Beach, Florida and has been covering Iraqi casualties for since 2006.