by Sadeq Khanafer – Hussein Mallah, Al Manar
In Part I of the “After Syria, Sedition in Iraq,” We presented a report on Iraq’s position, its strategic importance, oil and resources. Those elements are considered to be among the most attracting elements to list this country on the American-Western plans to disintegrate and weaken the region until totally destroy it through divisions and finding disaccords on the sectarian, doctrinal, ethnic and even tribal levels between the small countries-to-be.
In Part II, we are going to present the political background of the recent crisis broke out in the western and northern governorates. We will also highlight the foreign role in this regard, starting from the American administration and not ending with Turkey, some Gulf countries, especially Qatar and Saudi Arabia.
It might be political stupidity to limit the ongoing events in Iraq within local political affairs, noting that some demands, such as reforms and releasing the detainees, might be righteous. Therefore, this case must be viewed in general.
The Western Scheme
Targeting Iraq is not new matter. Since the Sykes-Picot agreement, it has been a target of many western plans. However, the most seriousness today is that it comes at a time of “mobile sedition” hitting several Middle Eastern countries. Symbols of division are quiet clear, in addition to the already set plans among Washington strategies.
The organized scheme started with dividing Sudan into clashing north and south. This plan is applicable to many countries in our region. For instance, the way to tribal divisions is being paved in Libya, since sectarian and doctrinal divisions do not exist. Southern Yemen is also very close to division, not to mention the struggle in Egypt, the confederation of Palestinians in Jordan, and Syria which is meant to be the starting point of divisions.
Perhaps the main causes behind acceleration in implementing the scheme in Iraq was the humiliated withdrawal of US occupation troops from Iraq, and its disability to set any military base that serves its interests to control the region. For this reason, the Americans hurried to take advantage of their allies, locally and regionally, to ignite struggles inside Iraq.
This is what Iraqi political analyst, Abbas Al-Mousawi, assured during an interview with Al-Manar website. “The US support to the current incidents on the Iraqi lands is clear, especially its good relations with the Turkish and Qatari governments, the most two supporters and seditious parts in the ongoing events,” Mousawi stated.
Mousawi’s opinion came along with that of Habib Fayyad, the expert in strategic affairs, who reminded us of “the US-West project, in cooperation with some regional sides, based on worsening the sectarian atmosphere and going on with the sedition.”
Fayyad told Al-Manar website that regarding the critical political and social combination in Iraq, “we can expect that the current events would spread sedition more and more, and enlarge the gap between Muslims.”
He further considered that “among the causes of what is taking place in Iraq, are the sanctions imposed on the Prime Minister Nouri Al-Maliki due to his refusal to apply western policies in dealing with the Syrian issue.”
Alternative for Syria
According to the expert in Turkish affairs Mohammad Noureddine, “the recent events in Iraq occurred during the past weeks aren’t different from those happening in Syria. Countries seeking to topple regime there are the same countries seeking to move the crisis to Iraq. This aims at hitting many birds with one stone. The pioneers of those countries are Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Turkey.”
Mousawi also assured this analysis. “There is intimidation, as well as Qatari and Turkish intervention in the crisis after failing to settle the struggle in Syria, besides the highly expected peaceful solution on the basis of applying the Geneva Accord; therefore, they started provocation in Iraq,” says Mousawi.
Turkey’s Role, Goal
Ankara’s way of intervention in the Iraqi affairs unveiled the true face of Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s governmental policy towards Iraq and the whole region. This was especially after announcing his positions on the Syrian crisis. Turkey’s Justice and Development Party found the changes in the region, especially in Egypt, Libya and Tunisia, an opportunity to play a regional role after it had lost the chance to join the European Union. Why not? It’s a way to revive the Ottoman Empire’s glories.
To achieve its goals, Ankara took advantage of the Syrian events. It supported, armed and sheltered militant groups. The same was done in Iraq, where Turkey directly intervened several times in its affairs. It also ignited sectarianism calling some groups to oppose the government and the protestors not to recede their demands. Among those interventions, for example, sheltering the sentenced to death Iraqi Vice President Tareq Al-Hashemi, who is accused of committing “terrorist” crimes, as well as attempting to lobby the Kurds and ignite them against the central government.
Governorates protests in the west of Iraq assured the total Turkish involvement in attempting to destabilize Maliki’s government, since slogans supporting divisions by establishing sectarian provinces were raised, along with signboards and flags of the foreign sides supporting these protests, the first of which is Turkey for it seeks the following:
Increasing pressure on Maliki after his positions on the Syrian crisis
Intervening in the Iraqi affairs
Lobbying the Iraqi Kurds and building political and economic relationships with them
Benefiting from the oil resources, especially in the North
Pressuring on Iran in an attempt to change its position towards Syria
In this context, Noureddine explained that “Turkey’s ultimate goal is Syria and its regime.” In addition, he said “the Turkish role is more influential than that of other states due to its geographic position between Syria and Iraq.”
He also noted that Ankara followed a two-goal policy with Baghdad:
Adopting the suggestions of Maliki’s opponents, among which are the Kurdish Coalition and the Iraqi List
Igniting sectarianism, especially that Turkey considers itself as one of the Sunni Muslims’ guardians
Ankara’s targets inside Iraq intersect with some regional countries’, especially the Gulf States, which had frozen relations with Baghdad for some time. The most significant among them are Qatar and Saudi Arabia, that were accused by Iraqi milieus of direct involvement in the mobile explosions , as well as in the ongoing events through funding some movements and organizations, and supporting their leaders.
Perhaps Arab satellite channels’ coverage of the Al-Anbar movements uncovers the identity of the supporting countries, especially since such channels are owned and funded by those countries, led by Saudi Arabia and Qatar.
According to Iraqi sources, the clearest goals of those two countries from igniting struggle in Iraq are:
Cracking down Maliki’s government, and trying to topple it and change the regime
Disconnecting links between Iraq and Syria after the failed plans to topple the regime in Damascus
Targeting Iran by hitting Syria and weakening Iraq
Making Iraq busy with its local afairs to prevent it from playing its regional role
In this context, Fayyad considered that “the Gulf (Qatari-Saudi) standpoints in the region are fixed on the Syrian crisis in the meantime, through their insistence to stay till the end of the regime toppling battle and the bloody events.”
“It is not strange that those countries tend to hit and dry up the sources of the Syrian government’s power,” Fayyad added, believing that the Gulf goals in Iraq are:
Causing local sectarian and ethnic riot
Pressuring Maliki’s government to recede its positions from Syria
Causing local instability, which – in their opinion – makes Iran busy and leads it to recede its support to the Syrian government.
Western Movements… Messages to the East
Because Syria represents the bound in the opposing axis that links Iran with resistance movements in Lebanon and Palestine, it was a must to target it for being the main pillar of this axis. This is with respect to the Western-Gulf viewpoint, which seems unable to get closer to the Islamic Republic, due to the latter’s strategic position and military abilities; thus, their only escape to press on Tehran is to humiliate its Iraqi allies.
Moreover, Fayyad assured to Al-Manar website that there is Western and regional annoyance from the Iranian support to the Syrian regime. This is because those sides hold Tehran responsible for Syria’s steadfastness.
“West, in the meantime, considers Iraq an Iranian backyard, and is convinced that playing in this place might influence the Iranian position’s immunity and support for Damascus,” he stated.
On the other hand, Fayyad said that “the forthcoming new round of negotiations between Iran and the six countries about the nuclear issue, in addition to the riot inside Iraq, might cause pressure on Iran to retreat during the negotiations.”
All the above do not keep aside the Turkish actor that, beside the Gulf position towards Iraq, wants to set a base from which it can spread the discord in Syria into several places in the region, starting from Iraq and reaching…
After Syria, Sedition in Iraq I