Saturday, January 11, 2014

Flurry of talks as Anbar assault continues

Clashes continued today in Falluja.  Nouri's air bombings killed 3 people in Ramadi with seven more injured. Anbar's Dept of Health announces that 60 people have been killed and 297 injured since the campaign against Anbar started. Iraq Times reports Anbar's Human Rights counts  73 people dead in the 10 days of the assault (21 were children, 13 were women) and 297 injured (155 were women and children).

And if you aren't getting how out of control Nouri is, Kitabat reports there are 40 MPs Nouri wants the judiciary to charge and right now the judiciary is considering imposing a travel band on these 40 MPs to ensure they are unable to leave Iraq.

Nouri's madness is leading to a flurry of meetings.

Ayad Allawi posted the photo above of his meeting with Stephanie Duhaime today in Baghdad.  She's Canada's Charge D'Affaires in Iraq, top diplomat.  All Iraq News notes the two discussed "the political and security situations in Iraq."   NINA adds that Allawi also met "with religious authority, Seid Hussein Ismail al-Sadr" today.

Other meet-ups today?  NINA reports Speaker of Parliament Osama al-Nujaifi met with Chaldean Patriarch Louis Sako and the two agreed on the need for dialogue to resolve the conflicts.  Mohammad Sabah (Al Mada) reports US Vice President Joe Biden has personally asked al-Nujaifi to enter into a series of dialogues to resolve the issues.  Sabah also notes the US State Dept's Brett McGurk is meeting with various officials.

NINA reports McGurk went to the KRG today and met with KRG President Massoud Barzani.  McGurk met with the head of the Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq Ammar al-Hakim.  All Iraq News reports Barzani endorsed Hakim's plan for Anbar.  Al Mada notes that is is hoped that the Kurds, who are not involved in the current conflict, will be able to act as mediators.  NINA reports:

Kurdistan leader Massoud Barzani expressed concern over the political and security situation in Iraq, especially what is happening in Anbar province.
He stressed that "the current situation is the result of the previous accumulation and it was better for the government to deal with these problems in a more rational manner.
A statement by the presidency of the Kurdistan Region, said that Barzani met at the resort of Salahuddin the consuls and representatives of foreign diplomatic corps in the Kurdistan region.
Barzani outlined that there is a dangerous situation in Anbar province, and is likely to move to other Iraqi provinces, and dealing with the situation by force could exacerbate the problems, it has been on the federal government have to respond to the demands of the people and respect them and blocks the road to the risk of turning the war on terror into a sectarian war between Sunnis and Shiites
On the relations between Erbil and Baghdad , Barzani declared that the Kurdistan Region welcomes a solution to the problem of oil and gas, and Article 140 of the Peshmerga and all other problems and that visits and delegations of both parties would continue."

The Iraq Times reports Nouri is using his US-face time to press for a third term and to get the US government to back him on it while Alsumaria notes that there is a growing cry that Nouri is the brains behind al Qaeda in Iraq.

The following community sites -- plus Tavis Smiley, Jody Watley, Jake Tapper,, PBS' The NewsHour and the Pacifica Evening News  -- updated last night and today:

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