Iraq: Shi’ites Get Apology from US Envoy, Sunnis Get Trouble from Iraqi Premier

Only four attacks were reported today. In them, one Iraqi was killed and another was wounded. In polictical news, a U.S. ambassador is apologizing to Shi’ite Iraqis for not supporting their "Arab Spring" 20 years ago. The Iraqi premier, however, continues to harass Sunnis under the guise of chasing Ba’athists.

The United States ambassador to Iraq, James F. Jeffrey, has recently apologized to various Iraqi leaders for the United States’ inaction during a 1991 Shi’ite uprising. Many Iraqis resent how American troops stood by as dissidents were massacred towards the end of the Gulf War. Then, like now, U.S. officials fretted over Iranian support of Iraqi rebels, so even after first encouraging the rebellion, officials eventually decided to allow Saddam to retain some power as a buffer to Iran.

In Karbala, Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki said suspected Ba’athists would have to sign documents renouncing their allegiance to the now-banned political party or else face trial. In recent weeks, several hundred people were detained under suspicion of belonging to the Ba’ath Party, but many Sunnis believe it is just an excuse the Shi’ite-led central government is using in order to harass them. Under Saddam Hussein, the Ba’ath Party controlled Iraq.

Separately, the premier also warned provincial leaders that this isn’t the time for secession and the creation of semi-autonomous regions. Because of the Ba’ath Party crackdown, Salah ad-Din province began the process of converting itself into a region much like Iraqi Kurdistan. Diyala province soon followed.

Sheikh Ali Shekhan al-Makadmi was killed when a bomb attached to his car exploded while in Dujail. He belonged to the Sahwa movement.

A blast in Jalawla wounded one civilian.

In Mosul, guards were able to repel an attack on a mayor’s home.

A police officer escaped an assassination attempt in Mualameen. 

Joint Base Balad was handed over to Iraq. At one time, the base housed 36,000 personnel, both military and civilian, second only to Camp Victory.

Author: Margaret Griffis

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