137 Killed in Iraq; Cleric Wants Security Forces To Resolve Their Conflicts

The U.S. military admitted that four killed in an airstrike near Hatra in March were most likely civilians. Among the fatalities was a child.

In his Friday sermon, leading Shi’ite cleric Abdul-Mahdi al-Karbali urged Shi’ite militiamen and Kurdish Peshmerga to resolve their differences. Last week, tensions flared between the two sides in the city of Tuz Khormato. About 20 people were reported killed. The conflict threatened to expand into neighboring Diyala province, where close contact between the two security groups has led to similar clashes in the past.

Meanwhile, Karim al-Nouri, a spokesperson for the Shi’ite militia Hashd al-Shaabi suggested implementing Article 140 of the Iraq Constitution to resolve these continuing conflicts. Article 140 (the Kirkuk status referendum) was designed to reverse the Arabization policies of the Saddam Hussein administration. That program relocated Arab Iraqis into traditionally Kurdish regions.

Through an Article 140 plebiscite, locals could determine whether they want to rejoin Iraqi Kurdistan or not, but that vote has been postponed several times, and there is little chance it will take place in the near future. Nouri believes so long as implementation of Article 140 remains delayed, Kurdish forces are merely an occupying force in these Arabized regions and should be treated as such.

At least 137 were killed and 37 were wounded across Iraq:

In Baghdad, a suicide bomber killed 10 people and wounded 28 more at a mosque in Nahiyet al-Rasheed. Five people were killed and nine were wounded in two other bombings.

Ten policemen were executed in Hadher.

Militants killed seven Peshmerga during an attack on Makhmour.

In the Makhoul Mountains, 54 militants were killed in airstrikes.

Fourteen militants were killed in airstrikes in Sinjar, Mosul, and Shirqat.

Airstrikes in Mosul left 22 militants dead. A roadside bomb killed 14 militants.

In Arbil, a lone gunman killed himself after taking shots at Peshmerga headquarters.

Author: Margaret Griffis

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