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Sunday, September 26, 2021

Qatar slams Iraqi PM as militants make gains

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Khalid Al Attiyah

Two high-profile Qataris have weighed in on the deteriorating security situation in Iraq this week, criticizing the country’s president for his “narrow partisan policies” and warning the US not to interfere.

Iraq’s prime minister, Nouri al-Maliki – a Shia Muslim – has previously accused Qatar and Saudi Arabia of “attacking … (and announcing) war on Iraq” by providing weapons as well as political, financial and media support to Sunni fighters battling government forces.

Earlier this month, the militant group Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) seized the northern cities of Mosul, Tal Afar and Tikrit, prompting concerns that fighting could reach Baghdad.

As the conflict intensifies, Qatari Foreign Minister Dr. Khalid bin Mohammed Al Attiyah took a verbal swing at al-Maliki this week, accusing him of adopting policies “of marginalization and exclusion,” according to a copy of his remarks carried by Qatar News Agency.

Al Attiyah also hinted that the prime minister’s actions could result in foreign intervention:

“Injustice, exclusion, marginalization and use of security and military solutions exclusively to suppress popular demands can lead to the interference of other parties.”

While he did not name any specific religious group, Al Attiyah’s remarks were widely interpreted to be a criticism of the Iraqi government’s treatment of its Sunni minority. He said:

“(These policies) deepened division and rift between the components the Iraqi people and increased the sense of persecution among large groups of Iraqis. In view of these rapid developments, we swiftly urge those concerned to pay attention to the demands of large segments of the population who only seek equality and participation, away from all forms of sectarian or denominational discrimination.”

Regional conflict

While the origins of ISIL are said to date back to the mid-2000s and include former supporters of Iraqi president Saddam Hussein – who was captured by American forces following the 2003 invasion – the group has recently been actively fighting government forces in bordering Syria.

Qatar has been an active player in Syria’s civil war, supporting rebels – including extremist fighters – that have been battling President Bashar al-Assad.

However, Qatar is now focusing its aid on more moderate forces, and the governments of Saudi Arabia and Kuwait officially oppose ISIL – although some of those states’ wealthy citizens are reported to be among the group’s financial backers.

Observers say ISIL’s recent gains have put the Gulf countries in an “awkward” spot as the extremist group approaches its backyard.

Kuwait has called for its fellow GCC states to take a strong stand against ISIL after it releases a map showing the militant organization pushing through Kuwait’s oil fields to build an Islamic caliphate across the Middle East, according to Gulf News.

Advice for US

Regardless of ISIL’s advances, it seems some want to find a solution without Western military assistance.

On Sunday, Qatar’s former ambassador to the US, Sheikh Nasser bin Hamad al Khalifa, tweeted that American intervention would spark outrage across the region.

Days later, the US said it was sending 275 additional military personnel to guard its embassy in Baghdad and provide security.

Thoughts?

18 COMMENTS

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MIMH
MIMH
7 years ago

Sunni Qataris attack Shia Iraq PM, what a shocker….

As the Americans found out with Bin Laden be careful what you wish for.

Ibrahim Ali
Ibrahim Ali
7 years ago
Reply to  MIMH

Why do you assume you’re expert in everything. If you were, you would have gotten job back at your country.

Mohammed Albanai
Mohammed Albanai
7 years ago
Reply to  MIMH

well hes not wrong, the iraqi government has separated the people instead of bring them together. there incompetence and sectarian leadership has worsened an already dangerous situation

MIMH
MIMH
7 years ago

You may be right but Isis is not the answer, Qatar siding with the Sunnis just makes matters worse.

I’m starting to think Iraq breaking up into smaller countries is the right way to go like the Balkans. It was an artificial country to start with anyway.

Mohammed Albanai
Mohammed Albanai
7 years ago
Reply to  MIMH

First of all isis are not representatives of sunni’s same way maliki isn’t a representative of shia. So siding with isis and siding with sunni’s are two very different things.

The problem with Iraq and Syria is both sides of the conflict are criminals. Bashar is criminal, isis are criminals. The iraqi government are horrible and alqaeda are horrible. No matter who you side with your siding with evil, everyone is just arguing over who is the lesser evil here. Breaking Iraq up into smaller nnations based on ethnicity and religious would be sad, but it seems to be the way things are heading

Doc
Doc
7 years ago

^^^^I couldn’t agree more^^^^^

MIMH
MIMH
7 years ago

I tend to agree, both sides are nasty. Pity the poor ordinary Iraqis stuck between these two evils

William
William
7 years ago

Despite the intent, Al Attiyah is further causing sectarianism by posting statements in support of the Sunni. I believe the Americans are more concerned about the rise of a new set of dangerous rebels who want to gain more power. I don’t think they are pretending to side with Sunni or Shia or be a part of that never ending conflict. Reports say that Saudi, Qatar, and Kuwait (at least wealthy members of these states) funded the growth and existence of Isis. Money, power, wealth. Someone always has it. Someone else is always trying to take it away.

johnny wang
johnny wang
7 years ago

It does not make sense for anybody to support this brutal murderers and killers as once they get where they want to they might then come knocking at your door just like in Afghanistan and Somalia and the americans would be well advised to let this lunatics alone to continue their mayhem and to destroy themselves instead of letting others get involved.

Jaded
Jaded
7 years ago

What a shame that this Sunni / Shia divide, instead of reducing is gaining strength and leading to more death and destruction. Whether it’s used as a cover for ulterior motives or the root cause itself, such a shame when you think of all the lives lost and ruined. Especially when you see images of children in Iraq & Syria that have lost the joy and innocence of childhood, as has happened in other places over the years. I hope one day all this hatred and aggression will only live on in history books, but that’s probably wishful thinking.

BBCA
BBCA
7 years ago
Reply to  Jaded

Amen. Cheers I wish for the same peace and harmony.

Anon
Anon
7 years ago
Reply to  Jaded

Yes, religion (especially in combination with messy geopolitics) poisons everything…..again.

Mr. B
7 years ago

The sectarian card has been played just as hard and just as well by these Gulf monarchies accusing Maliki of sectarianism.

Iraq is better off in three – Kurdistan, a Sunnistan, and a Shiastan. Nobody should pretend that a united Iraq is possible anymore. But elites will do what they do and learn the hard way; meanwhile, their stubbornness will get people killed.

سـقـر الأسـود
سـقـر الأسـود
7 years ago

I believe Iraq is better off as three independent states – Kurdistan (which is already semi-autonomous), the Sunni Iraq and the Shia Iraq. This way each one will have their own state and their own set of rules. Many lives would be saved. No matter how sad it may sound, but this is the most appropriate solution which can bring lasting peace in that country.

The Reporter
The Reporter
7 years ago

Totally agree that no western power should involve itself in any way in this latest conflict in the centuries old war between Suinni and Shia. The west looks on in sadness at a region tearing itself apart.

snoogles
snoogles
7 years ago

It is a shame as said in other comments that the Sunni/Shia divide is picking up

BBCA
BBCA
7 years ago

I wish that Dr. Khalid bin Mohammed Al Attiyah could talk to Obama personally and explain to him that he needs to do what he can to make the United States mind its own business and perhaps take care of its own people. If Iraq wants to remain sovereign and unified then it is up to them at this point. This is no one else’s business except Iraq. If the people want to allow Malaki to marginalize and separate his country then they deserve to be separate and that means that he is not a good politician and the US failed by supporting him to begin with, Therefore, the US needs to keep its fingers to itself and let them divide their country the way they want it. No matter what, there are some really good people in Iraq and I just wish that they could find some peace and harmony. No one deserves to die like some of the extremist would have them die. I just hope that they find a way.

Anon
Anon
7 years ago

Can’t Qatar, Kuwait, KSA and UAE prevent large, dubious financial transactions to ISIS etc.? I ‘m sure they know who may be providing funding from the local populations and they could freeze accounts, if the genuine will was there……

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