Turkish and Iraqi leaders met today to discuss relations between the two countries, particularly the question of Kurdish rebels in northern Iraq. Separately, Shi’ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr came out supporting the current government of another Iraqi neighbor, Syria. Meanwhile, Iraqis are still suffering attacks. At least 11 were killed and 10 more were wounded in them. Also, the government executed 11 men who were found guilty of participating in terrorist activities.
During a meeting between Turkish and Iraqi politicians, Turkish Parliament Speaker Cemil Çiçek asked Osama al-Nujaifi, his Iraqi counterpart, to stop Kurdish rebels from launching attacks from the northern Iraqi provinces into Turkey. The fighting between Turkey and the rebels escalated this summer, but Iraq is powerless to stop either party from fighting. Even today, Turkey staged another air strike on Iraqi territory. Nujaifi, for his part, emphasized the good relations between the two neighbors. Separately, the prime ministers of Turkey and Kurdistan met as well. Barham Saleh traveled to the Turkish capital to discuss relations with Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. Other than discussion Turkey rejected all Iraqi and Kurdistani offers to mediate between the P.K.K. and Ankara.
Shi’ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr came out in support of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and claimed that the Syrian demonstrations are different from those in other restive Arab countries. He particularly stressed how Syria is against the United States and Israeli. The Iraqi government has also recently expressed unity with the Assad regime. Although Iran’s influence cannot be ruled out, Iraq also fears that further escalation of hostilities would cause the many Iraqi refugees there to return home. Many of those are Sunnis and some are Ba’ath Party members.
Iraq executed 11 people who were found guilty of various terrorism-related charges. The most prominent one was a Tunisian man convicted of staging a 2006 bomb attack at the al-Askari Mosque in Samarra. Yusri Fakhir’s father insisted his son was innocent of the bombing that left over 1,300 dead in the revenge attacks that followed. An Egyptian man was also executed.
Several attacks occurred today, leaving at least 11 Iraqis dead and 10 more wounded.
Four people were killed and eight more were wounded during a car bombing in Mahmoudiya. Although the bomb targeted a military patrol two of the dead were civilians.
In Mosul, a double bombing killed two people, one of them a police official. One civilian was killed and another was wounded in a separate bombing. A civilian was killed in another blast. A soldier was wounded in a fifth explosion. An official was killed in a blast south of the city in the Wadi Hajar district.
In Baghdad, gunmen killed policeman who was driving in a car.
A sticky bomb planted on a bulldozer in Tuz Khormato killed one civilian.