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"Al-Qaeda" in Iraq Threatens Iran. Thousands of Sadrists Demonstrate against al-Maliki.
by juan cole (reposted)
Monday Jul 9th, 2007 6:35 AM
From a Monday, July 9, 2007 entry on Informed Comment, Juan Cole's blog

"Al-Qaeda" in Iraq Threatens Iran
Thousands of Sadrists Demonstrate against al-Maliki

The "Islamic State in Iraq" led by Abu Umar al-Bagdadi, has theatened to target Iran unless it ceases its support for Shiite groups in Iraq.

Izzat Ibrahim al-Duri, a right hand man of Saddam who still leads a major Baathist cell in the north, isued a videocassette statement maintaining that the guerrilla movement is winning against the Americans; eh also called for more attacks on the latter. The Baathist component has been ignored or downplayed by most observers.

Al-Zaman reports in Arabic that the crisis between the Sadr Movement and Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki has reached a nadir. It says that thousands of angry Shiites, followers of cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, demonstrated against al-Maliki in Baghdad on Sunday. Al-Hayat says that big demonstrations in the Baya' district of the capital by Sadrists protested the US arrest of two Sadrist commanders.

The Sadrists are complaining bitterly that al-Maliki has turned on them after they put him into power. They say that his role has effectively ended. Members of the movement were especially outraged by al-Maliki's charge that Baathists and Saddamists are leading some factions within the Sadr Movement. One pointed out that if this allegation was true, then al-Maliki owes his position to Baathists and Saddamists. Sadrist Ahmad al-Sharifi accused al-Maliki of encouraging the Occupation forces to hit the Sadrists. He said al-Maliki's Islamic Call [Da'wa] Party and the Supreme Islamic Iraqi Council had been going behind the Sadrists' back to form a new coalition that would ensure political perquisites for the two parties.

Ahmad al-Shaibani, an aide to cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, said that the al-Maliki government was coming to an end, which would become apparent in the next few days.

Shaikh Hamad al-Rikabi, a Sadrist leader in the Karkh district of Baghdad, said that the American forces had detained Shaikh Nasir al-Sa'idi and three of his sons in a raid on the Shu'la District of the capital late on Saturday.

In other news, al-Zaman says, the Iranians shelled positions inside Iraqi Kurdistan. (There are Iranian Kurdish guerrillas from a group called PEJAK, who hit targets in Iran and then seek refuge in Iraqi Kurdistan).

Iraq's Sunni fundamentalist Vice President, Tariq al-Hashimi, on Sunday accused the al-Maliki government of weakness and inability to protect Iraqis, especially after the massive carbombing near Tuz Khurmato on Saturday. (-al-Zaman).

McClatchy reports that 29 bodies were found in Baghdad on Sunday. It adds, "Ten civilians were injured in a parked car bomb explosion near Ali Al Lami restaurant in Jadriyah neighborhood downtown Baghdad around 10:35 a.m."

Reuters reports political violence for Sunday:

' BAGHDAD - One U.S. soldier was killed and three wounded on Sunday by a suicide car bomb near their patrol west of the Iraqi capital, the military said.

HASWA - A suicide truck bomber killed 23 new Iraqi army recruits and wounded 27 others near Haswa, 50 km (30 miles) south of Baghdad, police and army sources said.

BASRA - A British soldier died on Saturday from wounds received during a fierce clash in the southern Iraqi city of Basra the day before, a military spokesman said on Sunday. . .

BAGHDAD - A roadside bomb killed three civilians and wounded five others in a busy market in the Shurja, an important commercial district in central Baghdad, police said. . .

BAGHDAD - Six people were killed and seven wounded by a car bomb in Karrada, a busy Shi'ite area in central Baghdad.

BAGHDAD - Two people were killed by a car bomb in Jadriya, a southern district of Baghdad near the al-Hamra hotel, which is popular with westerners working in the city, police said.'

Pakistan developments covered at the group blog on global affairs.

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