Tuesday, February 12, 2013

A curfew goes into effect Wednesday at midnight, western Iraqis not allowed to enter the capital

How free is Iraq when Nouri al-Maliki shuts down Baghdad, prevents Iraqis from entering their own capital?  We noted yesterday morning and in yesterday's snapshot what was taking place.  Al Jazeera, the Christian Science Monitor and PRI's Jane Arraf was the only non-Iraqi journalist to cover what was taking place.

If Barack shut down DC, refused to let anyone who wasn't a resident of DC into the nation's capital, it would be considered news.  It's interesting how the non-Iraqi press is ignoring this.  Alsumaria reports that there will be a ban on 'roaming' in Baghdad starting Thursday and that "security reasons" are being cited for the curfew that kicks off at midnight tonight and for the refusal to allow 'outsiders' into Baghdad. Dar Addustour adds that security forces have been put on "high alert" and that there is pressure on various mosques in Baghdad not to call for demonstrations on Friday while i.d.s continue to be checked and people from western Iraq are being refused access to Baghdad.  The Iraq Times notes that two military brigades are being used to stop cars attempting to enter Baghdad.

This is all in response to a request, not a threat.  An official request prompted this alarm and panic from Nouri.  From Saturday:

Kitabat reports that yesterday some protesters in Anbar Province announced their intent to march to Baghdad next Friday.  All Iraq News notes National Alliance MP Qasim al-Araji is calling out the plan to stage a sit-in in Baghdad.  The Ministry of Interior (run by Nouri al-Maliki since he never nominated anyone to head it) had its own announcement.  Alsumaria reports that today it was declared their intent to crack down on any protest -- anywhere in the country -- that they felt was a threat or lacked a permit.  Al Mada notes that the spokesperson for the Anbar protests, Sayad Lafi, states that the protesters have written Baghdad seeking permission to pray in the city on Friday and return the same day. 

Alsumaria notes that the National Alliance is calling for the western protesters not to come to Baghdad and that this call follows a hastily put together meet-up in the office of National Alliance leader Ibrahim al-Jaafari -- a meeting that Nouri personally attended.   Now when provinces wanted to break off -- using the Constitution's provisions for that -- and become semi-autonomous, Nouri told them they couldn't.  But now he won't allow western Iraqis to enter Baghdad, to enter their own capital?

Not only did Nouri attend a meeting at al-Jaafari's office but Alsumaria also reports -- and provides a photo -- that al-Jaafari visited Nouri at Nouri's office late last night.  When you think of all the foot dragging by Nouri over the last weeks, it's rather amazing how motivated he can get out of the fear that Iraqis from outside Baghdad might show up to demonstrate.

All Iraq News reports that late yesterday the Anbar protesters who hope to demonstrate in Baghdad state that they still planned to demonstrate in Baghdad on Friday.

Alsumaria notes that Iraqiya is decrying the "illegal and arbitrary practices" to prevent Iraqis from Anbar Province from coming to Baghdad.  Iraqiya is the political slate that won the 2010 parliamentary elections.  Ayad Allawi is the head of Iraqiya.

Yesterday, we noted the confusion with regards to Moqtada al-Sadr:

News outlets are reporting conflicting claims regarding the movement leader and cleric.  Al Rafidayn reports that Moqtada has decreed that his followers will not participate in the demonstrations this Friday.  By contrast, All Iraq News reports that Moqtada's called on his supporters to participate in the demonstrations this Friday to show support for the people of Bahrain.  Al Rafidayn states Moqtada called off participation because of Nouri's actions, Nouri issuing a statement through the Office of the Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces calling on the Iraqi military to physically stop protesters.

Today, Alsumaria reports Moqtada al-Sadr released a statement saying that he calls for his followers to demonstrate on Friday throughout Iraq following morning prayers and to support the second anniversary of the Bahrain revolution.

Turning to violence,  Alsumaria reports a tribal leader and his driver were injured in a Baquba roadside bombing, and Sheikh Khaled Ahmed Husein al-Obeidi was shot dead in KirkukAll Iraq News notes that last night a collection server was shot dead in Baghdad, a Baghdad bombing injured a national security officer and a soldier was injured in a Baghdad shooting.  Alsumaria also notes that last night a Mosul home invasion resulted in 4 family members being killed.

The e-mail address for this site is common_ills@yahoo.com.


iraq iraq iraq iraq iraq iraq