Sunni Awakening Leader Killed
The leader of a US-allied Sunni group was killed yesterday, along with six of his men:
Unknown gunmen attacked the convoy of Sheik Ibrahim al-Karbouli in Youssifiyah on Monday, said the group member who spoke on condition of anonymity out of fears for his own security. The sheik was a senior leader of the so-called awakening council in the town, which is a former al-Qaida stronghold about 12 miles south of Baghdad.
Al-Qaida has frequently mounted reprisal attacks against awakening councils because of their success in cutting into support for the terror movement among Iraqi Sunni Arabs.
Police also discovered the bodies of three awakening council members who were abducted several days ago, police Brig. Gen. Sarhat Qadir said.
This goes along with an apparent upsurge in suicide bombings. The news on the political reconciliation front isn’t much better:
Meanwhile, Iraqi leaders remain deadlocked in talks over a power-sharing dispute that is blocking U.S.-backed provincial elections. The disagreement over the oil-rich city of Kirkuk forced parliamentary officials to delay a planned vote on the provincial elections bill until Tuesday, at the earliest. The United States considers provincial elections, which are expected to redistribute power at the local level, essential to reconciling Iraq’s rival ethnic and religious communities.
But Kurds object to a measure that would equally distribute provincial council seats among Arabs, Kurds and Turkomen in Tamim province, which lies just south of their own semiautonomous region in Iraq’s north.
Some political violence may simply be a fact of life; after all, the Israelis continue to endure it and nobody contends that they’re a failed state and almost nobody calls what they have there a “civil war.” But reaching a meaningful political accord that addresses the most serious concerns of the three dominant groups is simply crucial. Otherwise, a massive resurgence of violence is possible at any time.