A new surge in sectarian violence went from a fear to a reality today, as bombings killed at least 74 people across Baghdad’s Shi’ite neighborhoods, leaving growing doubts about Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s attempts to centralize power.
Maliki, for his part, blamed the bombings on the nation’s Sunni politicians, which he has been moving against over the past few weeks. Today he doubled down on that effort, accusing the nation’s finance minister of supporting assassinations.
The finance minister is just the latest in a number of Sunni politicians being targeted, with Maliki still seeking to arrest Vice President Tareq al-Hashemi, who is in hiding in Kurdistan, and is demanding parliament oust Deputy Prime Minister Saleh al-Mutlaq for publicly criticizing him.
Hashemi, for his part, dismissed rumors that he was going to flee the country, saying he was waiting for Maliki to be removed from office. With every Kurdish and Sunni Arab bloc out of the government, and Maliki indicating yesterday that they are permanently out of the political picture, the effort to centralize power is going to be increasingly unwelcome, fueling more discontent and calls for autonomous regions.
Last 5 posts by Jason Ditz
- Cluster Bomb Attack Against East Syrian Village Kills at Least 30 Civilians - June 28th, 2017
- Russia: Trump and Putin Probably Should Talk During Hamburg Summit - June 28th, 2017
- US Special Forces Deployed to Kurdish City on Turkish Border - June 28th, 2017
- ISIS Looks to Expand Presence in Northern Afghanistan - June 28th, 2017
- South Korea Leader Reverses Stance, Now Backs Trump Against North Korea - June 28th, 2017