Can't form a lasting Union if you keep betraying Kurds and Sunnis....
Scores dead in attack on Sunni mosque in Iraq
Shia armed group kills at least 73 people inside place of worship near the city of Baquba in eastern Diyala province.
Last updated: 22 Aug 2014 22:52
|At least 73 people have been killed after a Shia Muslim armed group opened fired inside an Iraqi Sunni mosque in the village of Bani Wais in the country's eastern Diyala province, medical sources have said.|
A security source said bodies had been arriving at the hospital in the city of Baquba in Diyala province on Friday.
Footage posted later on YouTube appeared to show the dead strewn across the mosque floor, including the body of at least one child.
Al Jazeera's Jane Arraf, reporting from Erbil, said that according to local sources, the attack could have been in retaliation for a roadside bomb attack at a recruitment event organised by the same militia.
Two Sunni parliamentary blocs have suspended talks on forming a new Iraqi government to protest the attack.
The blocs affiliated with Parliament Speaker Salim al-Jabouri and Deputy Prime Minister Saleh al Mutlak are demanding that outgoing Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and the main Shia parliamentary bloc hand over the perpetrators within 48 hours and compensate the families of victims, the AP news agency reported.
Iraq's newly appointed prime minister condemned the attack on the mosque.
"I strongly condemn the killing of civilians and worshipers in Diyala province and I call on the citizens to reject these attempts by the enemies of Iraq to exploit the incident in order to stir up strife between the sons of the same homeland," he said.Attacks on mosques have in the past unleashed a deadly series of revenge killings and counter attacks in Iraq, where violence has returned to the levels of 2006-2007, the peak of a sectarian civil war.
In July, Shia armed groups executed 15 Sunni Muslims and then hung them from electricity poles in a public square in Baquba, police said.
Diyala police officials told the Reuters news agency they had provided Shia militias with names for hit lists so that suspected members of the Islamic State group could be tracked and executed.
Iraqi security forces killed more than 255 Sunni prisoners in July in apparent retaliation for killings of Shias by the Islamic State group, according to Human Rights Watch .
Kurdish Commander Says Baghdad Blocking Foreign Arms to PeshmergaBy Alexander Whitcomb 1 hour ago
On the frontlines, Peshmerga commanders say their men are still fighting with outdated equipment. AP file photo.
KHAZIR, Iraq – Peshmerga commanders on the frontlines of the war with the Islamic State armies say their men have received none of the weapons delivered by foreign governments, blaming interference by Baghdad.
“We have not had the delivery of weapons from our international partners,” said Rowsch Shaways, Iraq’s outgoing deputy prime minister, who is a Kurd and serves as a commander of Kurdish forces leading an offensive toward Mosul.
“Right now Baghdad is the reason why this hasn’t happened,” Shaways toldRudaw from a command center southeast of Mosul, only a kilometer from enemy lines.
At another base near Gwar, General Sirwan Barzani also lamented that his division has “seen nothing of the new weapons.”
The United States, France, Albania, Italy, Germany and Britain have expressed their willingness to provide military aid to the autonomous Kurds in the fight against the Islamic State (IS/formerly ISIS).
Yet, each has sought to coordinate the process through Baghdad, whose relations with the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) remain severely strained. Much of the tension has been blamed on Nouri al-Maliki, who was recently forced down from seeking a third term as prime minister.
Since the IS began a rout of the Iraqi army in June, the Peshmerga have emerged as the only local force standing up to the militants.
Over the past several weeks, Kurdish military officials have said their forces had new, heavy weapons, without revealing their origins or other details. But the comments by commanders did not confirm that.
On the frontlines, several officers explained they were making progress in the fight against IS, but Shaways remained adamant that they need American and European weapons.
Kurdish leaders acknowledge an arms upgrade will be necessary to face the well-armed and disciplined insurgent force without suffering heavy casualties, since a series of difficult challenges, such as the recapture of Mosul, still lie ahead.
Asked if he believed the delivery would happen soon, Shaways struggled to contain his concern: “If (Baghdad) wants to defeat ISIS ---- our common enemy -- then they will make sure we get the weapons as soon as possible,” he said.
Although Iraqi security forces and the Peshmerga cooperated in the recapture of the strategic Mosul Dam this week, Baghdad has been reluctant to take any measures that would further strengthen the Kurdish military, a formidable force despite its outdated equipment.
Kurdish parties are working with Prime Minister-designate Haider al-Abadi to form a government, but there is no guarantee that the new administration will be able to reverse the disastrous course set by Maliki and prevent the further disintegration of Iraq.
Cooperation on pressing matters of national security, such as the fight against IS, remains the most basic stress-test of Erbil’s current relationship with Baghdad, lending the arms delivery a heightened importance.