Fugitive Vice President Tareq al-Hashemi called on the United States to not interfere further in Iraq. He says that this is a Sunni revolt against Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and his Shi’ite-led government. Indeed, the Islamic State appeared only after Sunni rebels had taken over parts of Anbar province. Still hopeful of a peaceful solution, he suggests that the U.S. encourage Maliki to form a neutral caretaker government instead of helping Maliki and involving Iran in order to defeat all Sunnis.
Years of broken promises and harassment led to this situation, claims Hashemi. Hashemi himself fled in 2011, first to Kurdistan and later to Turkey, after Maliki focused his political guns on Hashemi. He was accused of murder and tried in absentia, in what many believe was a kangaroo court. Several of the witnesses were tortured into confession, and some even died.
Late yesterday, Kurdish President Massoud Barzani issued a angry statement implicating Maliki’s two terms as premier as the cause of the current conflicts. He condemned the use of state money to push deceitful propaganda against the Kurds.
Nevertheless, during his weekly, televised speech, Maliki accused the Kurds of harboring Sunni rebels, possibly meaning former Ba’athists, but was unable to provide any evidence. He called Arbil a headquarters for the Islamic State. If Maliki’s plan was to force the Kurds to boycott the cabinet over his remarks, he succeeded.
The Badr Brigade is training Shi’ite women to fight should militants arrive in their neighborhoods while their men are off fighting at the front lines. However, the Shi’ite south is also in danger of breaking out in Shi’ite-on-Shi’ite conflict.
In the village of Khamissiya, near Hilla, 53 dumped bodies were discovered. A mortuary spokesman revealed that the men were killed execution-style at least a week ago. It is unclear where the victims came from or who killed them.
In Mansouriya, clashes left eight soldiers dead and 30 wounded.
Two people were killed and 13 more were wounded in a pair of blasts in Babel province.
Two dumped bodies were found in Baquba.
Gunmen in Dawwaia killed one person and wounded four more.
A sniper in Muqdadiya killed one policeman and wounded another.
An armed attack in Tuz left four Turkmen with injuries.
Three people were wounded when two bombs exploded near Kirkuk.
Three bombs exploded in Hilla, killing three civilians and wounding three security personnel.
A roadside bomb near Saidiya killed an ISIS/DAASH leader and two colleagues. It is believed a rival militant group planted the bomb.
Two foreign ISIS leaders were killed in Tikrit.
Peshmerga forces killed many militants in Jalawla, including a mufti.