Saturday, July 10, 2010

Turkey wants information turned over

AFP reports that the Turkish government has informed the governments of the US, Iraq and the KRG that it wants it to hand over rebels in nothern Iraq which they number at 248 and one official (unnamed) is quoted stating, "The net is tightening." Press TV adds, "The list included senior PKK chiefs such as Murat Karayilan, Cemil Bayik, and Duran Kalkan. The call was made shortly after military and civilian leaders in Turkey voiced growing frustration with Baghdad and the Iraq-based US military over their inaction in confronting the PKK." Meanwhile Turkish military planes have again bombed northern Iraq today.

March 7th, Iraq concluded Parliamentary elections. Three months and two days later, still no government. 163 seats are needed to form the executive government (prime minister and council of ministers). When no single slate wins 163 seats (or possibly higher -- 163 is the number today but the Parliament added seats this election and, in four more years, they may add more which could increase the number of seats needed to form the executive government), power-sharing coalitions must be formed with other slates, parties and/or individual candidates. (Eight Parliament seats were awarded, for example, to minority candidates who represent various religious minorities in Iraq.) Ayad Allawi is the head of Iraqiya which won 91 seats in the Parliament making it the biggest seat holder. Second place went to State Of Law which Nouri al-Maliki, the current prime minister, heads. They won 89 seats. Nouri made a big show of lodging complaints and issuing allegations to distract and delay the certification of the initial results while he formed a power-sharing coalition with third place winner Iraqi National Alliance -- this coalition still does not give them 163 seats. They are claiming they have the right to form the government. It's four months and three days and, in 2005, Iraq took four months and seven days to pick a prime minister. The political stalemate continues. Caroline Alexander and Kadhim Ajrash (Bloomberg News) reports, "Iraq’s senior Shiite Muslim clergy signaled it’s ready to intervene to help end a political deadlock that’s hampering the formation of a new government four months after inconclusive parliamentary elections." Tariq Alhomayed (Asharq Alawsat Newspaper) offers:

When Sayyid Ammar al-Hakim said that his party's alliance with the State of Law coalition was like a permanent Islamic marriage where there is no divorce [Asharq Al-Awsat Talks to Ammar Al-Hakim, 27/05/2010], Asharq Al-Awsat responded by saying that divorce is permissible in Islamic marriages – although this is the most detestable thing that is permitted in Islam – as is polygamy, the followers of the Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq and the State of Law coalition responded with insults and accusations of treason.
What is clear today – with the noticeable rapprochement between the Iraqiya bloc that is led by Dr. Iyad Allawi, and the State of Law coalition that is led by Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, and the talk of an alliance between the two that will lead to the formation of a new Iraqi government – is that the al-Hakim – al-Maliki alliance, or the alliance of the major Shiite parties, is not an alliance where divorce is impossible, but rather it is more like a temporary marriage that has split even before the ink has dried [on the marriage certificate]. This is to be expected, especially as Tehran tried to unite what cannot be brought together, this alliance will not survive because it is built upon sectarian logic rather than the rhetoric of national interests; it is an alliance that is meant to exclude Allawi and the Iraqis who elected him.

Turning to today's reported violence, Sahar Issa (McClatchy Newspapers) reports a Mosul sticky bombing which claimed the life of 1 Iraqi soldier, a Mosul assassination attempt on police Col Eed al Namis who was injured along with two police officers (one police officer was killed and another wounded in the aftermath), a Falluja roadside bombing claimed the life of 1 police officer and wounded three more. Reuters notes an Abu Ghraib bomb that claimed the life of 1 man, another Aub Ghraib bombing which claimed the life of "a tribal chief" and a Baghdad sticky bombing which injured "two government officials."

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