RELIGIOUS WAR LOOMS IN IRAQ

The abduction and criminal murder of Sunnis by Maliki with Tehran’s involvement

THE PROSPECT OF RELIGIOUS WAR IN IRAQ

The arbitrary execution of Sunnis in Baghdad, as well as other cities in Iraq, by Prime Minister Maliki’s forces and the militia affiliated with Iran, pushes Iraq more than ever toward a sectarian and religious war.

1. In a recent case, the 9 Badr paramilitary forces commanded by Hadi al-Ameri, the Minister of Transportation, abducted dozens of Sunnis in the city of Baquba and the towns of Khalis and al-Adhim in the Diyala Province and after murdering them hanged their corpses in public places in the main cities of this province. Ameri is a faction of the terrorist Quds Force and has assumed command of the military and paramilitary forces in Diyala Province.

2. Human Rights Watch (HRW) announced on July 11 that “Iraqi security forces and militias affiliated with the government appear to have unlawfully executed at least 255 prisoners in six Iraqi cities and villages since June 9, 2014. In all but one case, the executions took place while the fighters were fleeing ISIS and other armed groups. The vast majority of security forces and militias are Shia, while the murdered prisoners were Sunni. At least eight of those killed were boys under the age of 18.”

3. HRW announced on July 31: “Government-backed militias have been kidnapping and killing Sunni civilians throughout Iraq’s Baghdad, Diyala, and Hilla provinces over the past five months. HRW documented the killings of 61 Sunni men between June 1 and July 9, 2014, and the killing of at least 48 Sunni men in March and April in villages and towns around Baghdad, an area known as the ‘Baghdad Belt’. The government seems to think that if people blame militias for killings it can wash its hands of the matter.” HRW considers the Shia militias of Asa’ib Ahl al-Haq which is said to have close ties to Iran and the Lebanese Hezbollah, as responsible for most of these atrocities.

4. The bodies of five decapitated Sunni citizens after their abduction by the militias in the Albu Khalifa area were found in al-Taji.

5. The paramilitary forces affiliated with the government abducted 15 people from the Albu Fahad Tribe in al-Taji Township. 

6. The Asa’ib militias abducted four from the Abu Khalifa Tribe in al-Taji Township north of Baghdad. The commander of this operation in collaboration with the militias was Brigadier General Jalil Abdulreza. The decapitated corpses of the abductees were found three days later.

7. On July 24, in a criminal conspiracy, 52 Sunni prisoners who were being transferred from Taji Base were massacred by forces affiliated with Maliki.

Unmistakably, these criminal measures that have turned into a daily routine in Iraq are the consequence of the sectarian and tribal policies of Maliki whose tenure has ended. The perpetrators of these atrocities are the militias associated with the prime minister’s office that are directly supported by Nouri al Maliki himself.

In view of the abovementioned facts, the European Iraqi Freedom Association (EIFA) urges the international community, the United States and the European Union to condemn strongly these vile atrocities and to adopt specific measures to end this criminal behaviour by the militias affiliated with Maliki.

Support for the general demand of the Iraqi people to oust Maliki and to form a national unity government would be the first essential step to solve the current crisis and to prevent the growth of extremist tendencies.