13 June 2014
Statement No. 2
An uprising by millions of Iraqis or an attack by a terrorist group?
Removal of Maliki from office, ending Iranian meddling and the establishment of a temporary nationalist, democratic and non-sectarian government, is the sole solution to the crisis in Iraq that is endorsed by significant sections of Iraqi society. The popular uprising in Iraq and the liberation of its cities one after the other, together with the collapse of Maliki’s forces and their mass desertion and retreat in face of the tribes, is continuing on a rapid basis. A number of facts on this development are as follows:
1. The propaganda by Maliki and his masters in Tehran, generously repeated by the Western media, that these regions have fallen into the hands of extremist terrorists of the Islamic State of Iraq in the Levant (ISIL), is ludicrous and baseless. Liberating around 100,000 square kilometers of Iraqi territory with a population of several million by an isolated and extremist group of several hundred or even several thousand members is preposterous. It is the tribes and ordinary Iraqi citizens who have risen up in anger against Maliki.
2. Under the pretext of fighting terrorism, Maliki and the Iranian regime on the one hand try to justify the interference of the Iranian terrorist Qods Force and the invasion of Iraq by the revolutionary guards and on the other hand attempt to encourage the United States to militarily interfere in favour of Maliki to repeat its past blunder in Iraq, on an even more dangerous scale. We in the West have to acknowledge that this is a popular revolution against Maliki and the suppressive and criminal regime, organized with the assistance of the United States and of course under the guidance and leadership of the religious fascists ruling Iran with the expenditure of hundreds of billions of dollars of the assets and oil wealth of Iraq.
3. The Iranian regime is now poised to save Maliki. In a telephone conversation, President Rouhani has promised Maliki every kind of cooperation. Fox News wrote on June 13: "Some 150 fighters from the Revolutionary Guards elite Quds force have already been dispatched by Tehran, and the division's powerful commander, Qassem Suleimani, met with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki Thursday and pledged to send two notorious Iranian brigades to aid in the defence of Baghdad." And The Wall Street Journal of June 12 wrote: “At least three battalions of the Quds Forces, the elite overseas branch of the Guards, were dispatched to aid in the battle against the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham, an offshoot of al Qaeda rapidly gaining territory across Iraq, they said: “One Guards unit that was already in Iraq fought alongside the Iraqi army, offering guerrilla warfare advice and tactics and helped reclaim most of the city of Tikrit on Thursday; two Guards' units, dispatched from Iran's western border provinces on Wednesday, were tasked with protecting Baghdad and the holy Shiite cities of Karbala and Najaf.” These reports only reveal part of the reality and support our constant warnings about the meddling of Iran.
4. Reports on Nineveh and Salahaddin provinces filed by journalists from CNN, al-Jazeera and BBC among others, support our previous intelligence that no violence or aggression has been carried out against the indigenous population. The residents of these areas are happy that Maliki’s forces have fled and public and private properties now enjoy relative security. The mass exodus of refugees from these cities is due to the bombardment by Maliki’s forces, although 48 hours after the liberation of Nineveh, the wave of refugees has markedly ebbed and some have already begun to return.
5. Yesterday, in its 12-article statement, the Association of Muslim Scholars in Iraq that plays an important role in the developments in the country called on the Iraqi revolutionaries to treat people well, help solve their problems, treat the ethnic groups well, refrain from taking hostages, forgive and forget and treat believers of all religions without prejudice. In this framework, the armed tribes refrained from entering Samarra in Salahaddin Province where the shrine of two Shiite Imams is located and are trying to gain control of the city through negotiations with the government forces in order to prevent any killings and bloodshed. General George Casey disclosed on June 2013 that when he was the commander of U.S. forces in Iraq in 2006, the Iranian regime blew up this sacred shrine and blamed it on the Sunnis instigating a great massacre in Iraq. Casey stated that he had personally reported to Maliki that Iran had been behind the explosion, but Maliki took no action.
6. Sheik Abdulqader Nael, one of the sheiks of al-Anbar Province, stated on June 11 that the revolutionaries are calling for the formation of a national salvation government, a technocratic Iraqi government to hold a fair election within a specific timeframe.
7. Sheik Ali Hatam, the chief of Al-Dulaim Tribe and one of the leaders of the current revolution, in a 6-article statement on June 11 called on all the people and fighters to protect the “lives of all citizens and all public and private properties” and to avoid taking revenge and not to allow “any form of terrorism”. He added that “all soldiers and government employees that have been coerced by Maliki and driven to sectarian war” will be forgiven. He thanked “all security forces that did not open fire on the people” and stated that they will be rewarded. Sheik Ali Hatam asked for the removal of Maliki from office and the establishment of a temporary government to save Iraq. He said that the tribes are fully prepared to take on the security file in the liberated provinces.
8. In addition to the revolutionary guards, Maliki is using the paramilitary forces associated with the Iranian regime such as Asai’b Ahl al-Haq and Kata’eb Hezbollah to suppress the popular uprising. These paramilitary forces blew up some of the bridges over the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers in order to hamper the advancement of revolutionary forces creating massive problems for the population.
9. On June 11, Maliki admitted his forces are fleeing and said, “…the leaders who acquiesced with this conspiracy and those who retreated and those who showed weakness should all be punished…all those who laid down their arms should be prosecuted. They shall never avert punishment”.
10. In such conditions, the Iraqi al-Taghier TV channel revealed on June 13 that on the orders of Maliki, billions of dollars of cash has been transferred in armored vehicles from Iraq's Central Bank to the Baghdad Green Zone to be subsequently transferred to Iran.
I once again repeat the proposal of the conference in Brussels on June 11 as the sole practical solution to the crisis in Iraq in order to avert further bloodshed. This solution includes the removal of Maliki from office, ending all Iranian meddling in Iraq and the formation of a nationalist, democratic and non-sectarian government that encompasses all segments of Iraqi society. This solution is widely supported by Iraqi nationalistic and democratic forces. Instead of assisting Maliki, that will only lead to more blood being spilled, the United States and the European Union should force Maliki to accept this solution and immediately step down from power.
STRUAN STEVENSON, MEP
President of the European Parliament’s Delegation for Relations with Iraq