Iraqi leaders fear that the country is sliding rapidly into a new civil war which “will be worse than Syria”. Baghdad residents are stocking up on rice, vegetables and other foodstuffs in case they are prevented from getting to the shops by fighting or curfews. “It is wrong to say we are getting close to a civil war,” said a senior Iraqi politician. “The civil war has already started.”
The situation has suddenly deteriorated since the killing of at least 36 Sunni Arab protesters at a sit-in in Hawijah on 23 April.
Iraqi authorities announced Sunday that they had revoked the operating licenses of pan-Arab broadcaster Al-Jazeera and nine other satellite TV channels, alleging that they are promoting a sectarian agenda as the country grapples with a wave of violence.
The move, effective immediately, comes as Baghdad tries to quell rising unrest in the country following clashes at a protest camp last week.
Militants shot dead five Iraqi soldiers in the Sunni Muslim stronghold province of Anbar on Saturday and protesters said they were forming an "army" after four days of unrest that raised fears of a return to widespread sectarian civil conflict.
Sectarian strife has returned to Iraq from elsewhere in the region, Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki said on Saturday, a likely reference to neighbouring war-torn Syria.
Over the past few days, more than 100 people have been killed and hundreds of others wounded in clashes between Iraqi security forces and Sunni tribes in northern Iraqi provinces, including Salaheddin, Nineveh and Kirkuk.
Activist groups in eastern Syria asserted that the military airstrike, which hit the eastern city of Deir al-Zour, was carried out by a warplane that had flown across the border with Iraq. Some accused Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki of Iraq, whose Shiite-dominated government is engrossed in a worsening conflict with Sunni militants, of ordering the strike. Others said the plane was a Syrian Air Force MiG that had crossed into Iraqi airspace before turning back into Syria for its bombing sortie.
The eastern command of the Free Syrian Army, a rebel group, issued a statement blaming the Maliki government: “This attack is a flagrant violation perpetrated by Maliki forces against our people in Deir al-Zour in collaboration with Assad gangs, and we will not forgive them this brutal, barbaric assault.”
“Brothers, dialogue and understanding can achieve what terror, violence and killing can’t,” Maliki said in a televised address late yesterday after three days of clashes between armed Sunni tribesmen and security forces in the north that police say left at least 100 people dead.
Tensions have been on the rise since Sunnis began anti- government protests in December and worsened on April 23 when troops backed by helicopters stormed a plaza in Hawija, killing at least 20 protesters. Armed tribesmen who lost family members then attacked a number of army checkpoints in the governorate.
Fresh evidence is revealed today about how MI6 and the CIA were told through secret channels by Saddam Hussein's foreign minister and his head of intelligence that Iraq had no active weapons of mass destruction.
U.S. rules of engagement in Iraq flagrantly violated the laws of war. They included: "dead-checking" or killing wounded resistance fighters; orders to "kill all military-age men" during some operations; "360 degree rotational fire" on streets packed with civilians; standing orders to "call for fire", meaning air strikes, even on villages or apartment buildings full of people; and Fallujah and other areas were designated "weapons free" or "free fire" zones, where thousands of civilians were killed.
Turkey has sent ground forces into Iraq in pursuit of rebels, most recently in 2008, and has some 1,000 troops based there under an agreement with Iraq dating from the 1990s.
Iran has been using civilian aircraft to fly military personnel and large quantities of weapons across Iraqi airspace to Syria to aid President Bashar al-Assad in his attempt to crush an 18-month uprising against his government, according to a Western intelligence report seen by Reuters. Earlier this month, U.S. officials said they were questioning Iraq about Iranian flights in Iraqi airspace suspected of ferrying arms to Assad, a staunch Iranian ally. On Wednesday, U.S. Senator John Kerry threatened to review U.S. aid to Baghdad if it does not halt such overflights. ...
“On September 11, 2012, let us not only renew our efforts to expose the truth, but also take our awareness a step further to understand that the wars launched since that fateful autumn day in 2001 – in the bitterly ironic name of “justice” and supposedly to combat “terrorism” – continue to take lives of people across the world. These wars are based on lies and their costs are staggering.”
For years it seems impregnable, then suddenly the citadel collapses. An ideology, a fact, a regime appears fixed, unshakeable, almost geological. Then an inch of mortar falls, and the stonework begins to slide. Something of this kind happened over the weekend.
The veteran peace campaigner said Mr Blair's support for the Iraq war was "morally indefensible" and it would be "inappropriate" for him to appear alongside him.
IRAN (Is Not The Problem) is a feature length documentary film responding to the failure of the American mass media to provide the public with relevant and accurate information about the standoff between the US and Iran, as happened before with the lead up to the invasion of Iraq.
As deformities spike in the Iraqi city, we ask if the US has been honest about weaponry used during the 2004 assaults.
A total of 50 have resigned since January, Mr. Hiali said. Another City Council official said that eight mukhtars had been assassinated in Baquba this year in Al Qaeda’s effort to gain control of neighborhoods, particularly in the west of the city. In addition, seven family members were killed in those attacks, he said. Most were carried out by so-called “sticky bombs,” explosives attached to the underside of victims’ cars, he said.
Al Qaeda in Iraq carried out one of the most coordinated and baldly sectarian series of attacks in years on Monday, aiming for Shiite targets with car bombs, checkpoint ambushes, and assaults on a military base and police officers in their homes in an offensive that its leadership appeared to equate with the Sunni-led uprising in neighboring Syria.
Rupert Murdoch joined in an "over-crude" attempt by US Republicans to force Tony Blair to accelerate British involvement in the Iraq war a week before a crucial House of Commons vote in 2003, according to the final volumes of Alastair Campbell's government diaries.
Bombs targeting Shia pilgrims in Baghdad and police in southern Iraq have killed at least 44 people during a major religious festival, police and hospital sources say.
A man whose lies helped to make the case for invading Iraq – starting a nine-year war costing more than 100,000 lives and hundreds of billions of pounds – will come clean in his first British television interview tomorrow.
"Curveball", the Iraqi defector who fabricated claims about Iraq's weapons of mass destruction, smiles as he confirms how he made the whole thing up. It was a confidence trick that changed the course of history, with Rafid Ahmed Alwan al-Janabi's lies used to justify the Iraq war.
Nine years after Saddam, Iraq still finds itself in the midst of corruption and political negligence. For too long, politicians have blamed their shortcomings on sectarian issues, marginalising the needs of the Iraqi population.
We need a Tony 2012 campaign to hold Tony Blair to account for the lies he told in taking Britain into an illegal war in Iraq which killed over one million people, made millions more refugees and devasted the country.
At least 14 youths have been stoned to death in Baghdad in the past three weeks in what appears to be a campaign by Shi'ite militants against youths wearing Western-style "emo" clothes and haircuts, security and hospital sources say.
In the kabuki theatre of British parliamentary politics, great crimes do not happen and criminals go free. It is theatre after all; the pirouettes matter, not actions taken at remove in distance and culture from their consequences. It is a secure arrangement guarded by cast and critics alike.