Pühapäev, november 12, 2006

Kes kellega Iraagis sõdivad?

Väikest taustainfot jälle. Leidsin üsna hea ja lühikese ülevaate 23. oktoobri The Guardianist. Põhiliselt käib konflikt viiel rindel. Tõlkida ei viitsi, sestap on tekst inglise keeles.

Insurgents v US-led coalition
October was one of the deadliest months for US forces in Iraq since George Bush declared an end to major hostilities on May 1 2003. Nationalist insurgents, including Sunni and Shia tribesmen and militias, as well as former members of Saddam Hussein's Ba'ath party, are waging a sophisticated and unrelenting campaign against multinational forces, using roadside bombs, mortar and rocket attacks and snipers. "We operate wherever there are foreign troops," a former insurgent in Baghdad told the Guardian.

Sunni v Shia
Despite high-profile security crackdowns by US and Iraqi forces, Baghdad appears to be in the process of being torn into two distinct Sunni and Shia parts. Violence by radical armed Shia groups on the one hand, and Sunni jihadists and former Ba'athists on the other, has seen formerly mixed neighbourhoods becoming either wholly Shia or Sunni. One saving grace may be that that the violence appears to be neither spontaneous nor popular, yet intolerance and mistrust, especially among the city's youth, is growing. The Sunni-Shia violence has also spread to towns such as Balad, Baquba and Mahmudiya.

Shia v Shia
The two main protagonists in the struggle for supremacy for the Shia heartlands of southern Iraq are the Badr brigade, linked to the Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution in Iraq, and the Mahdi Army, loyal to the radical Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr. Wars between the two, seen at the weekend in Amara, threaten to undermine the unity of the governing Shia Alliance in Baghdad.

Arabs v Kurds
The ethnic faultlines coursing through the northern oil-rich city of Kirkuk form the backdrop to a surge in suicide and car bombings and politically motivated assassinations. The city is an increasingly tense mix of Kurds, who claim it as their historic capital, Turkomen, who reject the Kurdish claims, and Arabs, many of whom were moved to the area as part of Saddam's programme of Arabisation in the 80s and 90s. Various Sunni Islamic militant groups, such as al-Qaida in Iraq, Ansar al-Islam and Ansar al-Sunna, are thought to be behind most of the bombings, while Sunni tribesmen from nearby Hawija proclaim loyalty to Saddam and attack US forces and Iraqi security forces.

Sunni tribal leaders v al-Qaida
Fed up with the activities of foreign Arab jihadis in Iraq, who have shown little hesitation in attacking Shia civilian communities, a number of senior Sunni tribal leaders in the restive Anbar province, west of Baghdad, have decided to rid their region of al-Qaida activists. The Sunni tribal leaders also insist it is the duty of the domestic insurgency to kick out all foreign troops from Iraq. However, radical Sunni Islamist groups in Anbar continue to stage shows of force in cities such as Ramadi and Falluja.

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