A month of Sunni demonstrations against unjust arrests has led the government to release over 1,800 Sunni prisoners. The protestors accuse the Shia dominated police of using anti-terrorist laws to arrest any Sunni they didn’t like or to intimidate other Sunnis to leave their homes. The Shia led government is afraid that the hostility of the Sunni Arab (15 percent of Iraqis) and Kurds (20 percent) is creating a disunited country that will be in a constant state of unrest. Terrorist attacks so far this year, most of them carried out by Sunnis, have killed or wounded over 500 people. The Sunni Arabs believe they should run the country. This is supported by many other Sunni Arabs in the region. Saudi Arabia and Iran both nurture hatred between the two Islamic sects. Sunni Arab terrorists believe it is their duty to kill Shia Moslems, as these people are considered heretics by Sunni Islamic conservatives. Many Shia consider the Sunni misled and corrupt and unworthy to be running the most sacred Islamic shrines in Mecca and Medina. The Iraqi government has managed to contain Shia terrorism against Sunni Iraqis but has not been able to halt Sunni Arab attacks on Iraqi Shia and government officials (both Sunni and Shia). The Kurds want nothing to do with any Arabs and would prefer to be left alone.
Nearly 5,000 people died from terrorism related violence last year. Most of the deaths were in Sunni Arab areas in the west (Anbar province), the north (not including Kurd controlled areas), and Baghdad. Most of the country has escaped this violence but where there are Sunni Arabs there is some support for Sunni Arab terrorist groups who seek to restore Sunni Arab rule to Iraq.
January 23, 2013: In the north a suicide bomber got into the funeral for a prominent tribal leader killed the day before. The explosion killed 42 people in the mosque and wounded another 75.
January 21, 2013: North of Baghdad a roadside bomb wounded an army general.
January 18, 2013: A Shia propaganda video appeared on the Internet showing Iraqi Shia gunmen fighting to defend the Assad dictatorship in Syria. The Iraqi Shia were also shown cooperating with Lebanese gunmen described as members of the Shia Hezbollah militia that controls southern Lebanon. Both Hezbollah and Shia radical groups deny that they have gunmen in Syria. Many Iraqi Sunnis are fighting with the Syrian rebels, who are largely Sunni Arabs (as are about 80 percent of Syrians).
January 15, 2013: The border crossings with Syria and Jordan were reopened. The border had been closed for a few days in response to reports that Sunni terrorists would be trying to get into Iraq from Syria and Jordan.
In the west (Fallujah) a suicide bomber killed a Sunni Arab member of parliament. Six others died in the explosion. The dead man was an anti-terrorist tribal leader and his killer was apparently from a Sunni Arab terror group.
January 14, 2013: Turkish warplanes again hit PKK (Turkish Kurdish separatist) rebel camps in northern Iraq.
January 13, 2013: Turkish warplanes hit PKK (Turkish Kurdish separatist) rebel camps in northern Iraq.
In the west (Fallujah) a roadside bomb was used against the finance minister (a Sunni Arab who opposes terrorism). The finance minister escaped injury.
January 11, 2013: A dozen Sunni Arab terrorists, some of them condemned to death, escaped from a prison outside Baghdad. It appears that some guards were bribed to help with the escape.
January 8, 2013: Thousands of Shia demonstrated in favor of the government in several cities. These demonstrations are in response to two weeks of Sunni Arab demonstrations against the government.
January 1, 2013: Despite some shipments blocked by the Kurdish government in the north, oil revenue was up 13 percent last year to $94 billion.
Turkish warplanes hit PKK (Turkish Kurdish separatist) rebel camps in northern Iraq.