Sunni Bloc Withdraws from Parliament
AMS Condemns US over Rape
Adnan Dulaimi of the Iraqi Accord Front (Sunni Arab fundamentalist) announced Sunday that his bloc had suspended its participation in parliament in protest against the kidnapping of one of its members. Taysir al-Mashhadani, a woman MP from Baqubah, was captured by gunmen on Saturday.
The announcement is a huge blow to the Maliki government, which had prided itself on presiding over a government of national unity that included the Sunni Arabs. The Iraqi Accord Front has 44 deputies in the 275-member parliament.
Al-Zaman reports running street battles in the al-Jihad district of Baghdad between Mahdi Army militiamen loyal to Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr and armed locals, involving light and medium weaponry.
Reuters reports on civil war violence in Iraq on Sunday. Among the important bombings (read the link for other incidents):
Guerrillas set off at least four bombs in the capital of Baghad. They detonated one outside a popular restaurant in central Baghdad, killing 2 and wounding 13. Then they set off a car bomb in the Huriyah district, wounding 13. They detonated a car bomb near a police patrol in the center of the capital, killing one civilian and wounding 3 other persons. They set off a roadside bomb in southern Baghdad, targetting secular Shiite member of parliament, Iyad Jamal al-Din. The bomb wounded two of his guards and four civilians, but missed the legislator.
That is 36 casualties in the capital.
In Baquba to the northeast, guerrillas set off bombs outside the house of a family, killing 2 and wounding 3. In nearby Buhriz, guerrillas detonated a roadside bomb near an Iraqi army patrol, wounding a soldier. (North of Baqubah in Muqdadiyah, guerrillas stormed the house of the police chief and wounded him; not a bombing put pretty appalling even so.)
In Mahmudiyah just south of the capital, guerrillas exploded a bomb in a market, killing 2 and wounding 21.
There were also numerous shootings, assassinations and gun battles in a number of cities, including Mosul to the north.
US forces invaded the Sunni Arab Adhamiyah district of Baghdad, with bombings and gunfire audible from that neighborhood, according to Reuters.
Spokesmen for the Sunni Arab guerrilla groups, the Army of Muhammad and the 1920 Revolution Brigades, are rejecting the reconciliation program of PM Nuri al-Maliki, on the grounds that it offers no amnesty for those guerrilla fighters who have harmed US troops, and that the current Iraqi government is powerless and they would have to talk to the US. Both groups are primarily ex-Baathist Arab nationalists.
The Association of Muslim Scholars condemned the US military for the incident of alleged rape and murder of an Iraqi woman, and the murder of her family, by GIs. The story is so explosive that most Iraqi newspapers have declined to report it.
Of the hundreds of foreign fighters captured by the US military in Iraq, most are from Egypt, with Syria, Saudi Arabia and Sudan also represented. Note how Iran is not in the running. (These captured fighters are Sunni Arabs, probably mostly religious hard liners; the Iranian Shiites support the new government and aren't fighting against it.)
AFP reports that Shaikh Baghdadi, an old-time jihadi who knew Bin Laden in Afghanistan and who now is a leader of the Mujahidin Consultative Council in Iraq, issued a statement calling for attacks on Iraqi firms that supply US and Coalition troops, saying: "I call on the sons of the Sunni community in Arab and Islamic states to... hit out at those who supply the crusaders in Iraq from inside their own countries... and to work by whatever means to impose a political, economic and military boycott on Iran . . ."
Talk of a Bush resurgence at the polls may be premature if a new Time poll is correct. It shows him continuing to sink. I don't think the bounce he got from the killing of Zarqawi will last for him, and if things continue as they are in Iraq and gasoline prices remain high, the slow grind of bad news will pull him down again.
The USG Open Source Center paraphrases highlights of the Iraqi Press for July 2:
. . . Al-Muwatin runs on page 2 a 400-word report citing Sadr al-Din al-Qubbanchi, official in charge of SCIRI in Al-Najaf, outlining conditions for national reconciliation, including the prosecution of criminals and continuation of the de-Ba'thification process, during Friday (30 June) prayer sermon. . .
Al-Adalah runs on the front page a 100-word Buratha news agency report citing Akram al-Hakim, state minister for national dialogue affairs, confirming that a Gulf state has stopped its financial aid to some Iraqi insurgent groups, urging them to invest Al-Maliki's National Reconciliation Initiative and enter into dialogue with the government. The minister declined to identify the state but observers said that it is either Saudi or UAE. . .
Al-Da'wah carries on the front page a 200-word report citing Shaykh Khudayyir al-Ka'bi, Al-Shamiyah Mosque imam and senior member of Al-Sadr trend, confirming that Muqtada al-Sadr has banned mosque imams from dealing with political issues in Friday prayer sermons in Al-Diwaniyah for a month.
Al-Da'wah publishes on the front page a 240-word report citing Adil Abd-al-Mahdi confirming that foreign forces will leave most Iraqi cities by the end of this year. . .
Al-Mu'tamar carries on page 3 a 600-word report that notables in Maysan have demanded that the governorate council resigns due to administrative corruption.
Al-Mashriq runs on page 2 a 120-word report that over 700 policemen have protested against being appointed to police stations in Mosul. . .
Tariq al-Sha'b publishes on page 2 a 120-word report citing Al-Najaf Major Crimes Director Colonel Muhammad Dayyikh confirming the arrest of five people stealing oil from the strategic pipeline in Al-Haydariyah District.
Tariq al-Sha'b runs on page 2 a 120-word report citing an official source at Tourism and Artifacts Ministry confirming the arrest of artifact traffickers in Al-Nasiriyah. . . .
Al-Sabah carries on page 4 a 400-word report that thousands of Maysan's inhabitants staged a demonstration calling on the government to stop assassinations in the governorate. . .
Dar al-Salam carries on the front page a 40-word report that unidentified gunmen attacked Basra Deputy Governor Qusay al-Battat's house. The report adds that a body guard was injured. . .
Al-Mu'tamar carries on page 5 a 600-word report on the migration of Iraqi merchants and businessmen outside Iraq and its impact on Iraqi economy.
Al-Mashriq runs on page 4 a 1,300-word report on the severe fuel crisis in Baghdad. . .