Archive | May, 2007

Kurds and Shia Fight for Power in Baghdad

BAGHDAD — A massacre by members of Shia Cleric Muqtada al-Sadr’s Mehdi army on Sunni worshippers earlier this month sparked clashes between patrolling Kurdish militiamen in southwest Baghdad and the Mehdi army, raising tensions that fighting between the groups could spread.

Sadr, who emerged from hiding Friday, delivered a fiery anti-occupation sermon at a mosque in the city of Kufa, south of Baghdad and near Najaf. On the same day, Iraqi police told reporters that the leader of the Mehdi army in the southern city of Basra, Abu Qadir, was killed in a gun battle with British soldiers.

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“Baghdad is a smashed city…”

Below is an email I have just received from my close friend and translator Abu Talat. While he has fled Baghdad with his family and is now a refugee in Syria, he recently had to return to Baghdad in order to try to salvage what is left of his former life (his car, belongings from his house, etc.) before returning back to Syria. His note is instructive as to the current living conditions in the capital city of Iraq. Here is the full text of his message:

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Where Nobody Is Accountable

BAGHDAD — Killings, crime, lack of medical care, collapse of education, the list goes on. But with the occupation by U.S.-led forces now into a fifth year, and a supposedly democratic government in place, no one knows who to hold accountable for all that is going wrong.

It is the occupation forces, particularly the United States and Britain, that must be held accountable, many Iraqis say.

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