News from Iraq are almost imperceptible against the background of events in Syria, Egypt, Turkey, the Iranian problem. However, it is already clear that the multi-way operation to destabilize Iraq, which has required enormous costs and led to many victims, has led to the emergence of a new “zone of chaos”. Iraq has become an unhealing wound in the Middle East region and is on the verge of collapse into several state entities.
The "demolition" of Iraq took place in several stages. The Americans occupied the country in 2003 year, destroyed the power of Saddam Hussein and the Baath Party. As a result, the force connecting the artificial state formation was destroyed. It must be said that after the First World War, the Western powers formed a significant number of artificial state formations in the Middle East without creating several natural states (such as Kurdistan), thus laying a "mine" for the future of the region. At the same time, repressions began in Iraq against those who occupied more or less significant posts under the regime of Saddam Hussein. And soon, not only prominent functionaries of the former regime, but also minor officials and ordinary citizens began to undergo repression. This caused a deepening split between the Shiite and Sunni communities of Iraq (Shiites in Iraq represent 65% of the population, Sunnis - 35%).
When Americans so-called. The “Sunni Triangle” —the central part of Iraq north and west of Baghdad — has been repeatedly stripped. Moreover, Shiite and Kurdish troops actively participated in them. They belonged to the Sunni settlements as enemy territories. A significant number of local residents were killed, many became refugees, lost sources of income. It is clear that all this did not add to the love between the Sunnis and Shiites. The social base of resistance and Islamist movements has seriously strengthened.
The Shiite ruling bloc Nouri al-Maliki (head of Iraq’s government since 2006) has been pursuing a clearly discriminatory policy towards the Sunni community. The central government has repeatedly "cleansed" the state apparatus, the armed forces, special services and law enforcement agencies from the Sunnis. Attempts to start a dialogue for national reconciliation have not been successful. All Sunni protests were harshly suppressed.
It is clear that all this should have caused a backlash. Peace in Iraq after the withdrawal of American troops did not come. Moreover, an escalation of violence has recently occurred. In 2013, more than 9 thousand people were killed in Iraq, and several times more wounded. Only in January 2014, more than 1 thousand people were killed. In total, 795 civilians, 122 military and 96 policemen died. More than 2 thousand people were injured. Attempts by the authorities to put all the blame on chaos in the country on the intrigues of external enemies and Al-Qaida can no longer hide the real picture. In Iraq, there is a real civil war. And it is becoming more fierce. Large-scale terrorist acts have become commonplace, and Islamist gangs seize entire areas and cities.
The destruction of Iraq well characterizes the position of the Christian community. During the rule of Saddam Hussein, the Christian community was under the protection of the authorities. Since the beginning of the American occupation, a wave of pogroms against Christians has swept Iraq. Thus, in November 2013, Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia met in Moscow with the Iraqi ambassador to Russia, Ismail Shafiq Muhsin, and called the position of Christians in Iraq "a civilizational catastrophe." The number of Christians in Iraq has fallen 10 times, from about 1,5 million to 150 thousand people. According to other data, the number of Christians in Iraq has decreased from 1,8 million people (in 2003 year) to 500 thousand people. A significant number of Christians moved from the most dangerous provinces to Iraqi Kurdistan.
The collapse of the Republic of Iraq may soon become a political reality. Iraqi Kurdistan is, in fact, not controlled by Baghdad and is an independent state entity with its foreign and domestic policies, with almost all the institutions, symbols and armed forces inherent in an independent state. Baghdad has repeatedly expressed dissatisfaction with the active bilateral contacts between Turkey and Iraqi Kurdistan.
The security situation is critical. Terrorist acts and massacres occur almost every day. And now the topic of confrontation between the Shiites and the Sunnis has faded into the background, the Islamists, who are trying to create their own state formations on the ruins of Iraq and Syria, have taken the offensive. For example, on January 30, a militant detachment took several dozen hostages during the seizure of the Ministry of Transport building. Iraqi special forces stormed the building. At least 20 people died. On the same day, a mined car was blown up in the south of the Iraqi capital. Killed 8 people, 20 injured. On January 31, Baghdad International Airport was rocket-fired. Three missiles were fired at the airport. There are no dead, but economic damage has been done. In particular, one rocket hit the plane.
3 February came the news of the undermining of three mined cars in different parts of the Iraqi capital. As a result, 12 people died, more than a dozen were injured. February 5 in the center of Baghdad, in the most protected area, in the so-called "Green zone", four explosions immediately thundered. Two mined cars blew up at the Foreign Ministry building, another car was blown up at a restaurant. The fourth explosion occurred near Kullani Square, in the city center. At least 33 people died, dozens were injured.
6 February came the news of a new series of terrorist attacks in Baghdad. Four cars filled with explosives (according to other sources, there were six explosions) were blown up in the eastern part of Baghdad: al-Kadkhimiya and Karada. At least 13 people died, about 50 injured. February 7 a powerful explosion shook the city of Tuz Khurmatu in northern Iraq. A suicide bomber in a mined car blew himself up near the walls of the people's hospital, which is located near the city market. As a result, four people were killed, 17 injured. 9 in February in the same city, militants killed six policemen, and in the city of Baiji terrorists executed a member of the Sunni pro-government militia group "Sahwa" and two of his relatives.
10 February bandits attacked the motorcade of the Speaker of the Iraqi Parliament Osama an-Najifi. Several guards of the speaker were injured. 11 February came the news of the militant attack on a military base in the city of Mosul in northern Iraq. The attackers at night approached an off-road base, broke into the barracks and killed 15 soldiers. Militants seized weapon and left. February 12 during a raid north of the capital, an army patrol blew up. Six soldiers were killed.
Head of Government Nuri al-Maliki said that "the fight against terrorism in the country will continue." He promised that all those who support the terrorists "will be targeted by the security forces." In addition, the Prime Minister of Iraq stated that the international community should take a clear position in relation to states and organizations that support extremists, and force them to stop providing political and financial support to terrorists. Apparently, al-Maliki hints at Saudi Arabia and a number of other Arab monarchies that support the Islamists in Syria and other countries in the Middle East region.
Activization of terror in Iraq is taking place against the backdrop of a major military operation in the western province of Anbar. Islamists for more than a month control several areas in this province, and part of large cities (Ramadi and Fallujah). The extremists captured Ramadi and Falluja in December 2013. Moreover, the seizure took place against the backdrop of confrontation between the security forces and the Sunnis. Tens of thousands of citizens were forced to flee the battle zone. Hundreds of militants from Islamic organizations such as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, Ansar al-Sunna and Al-Qaeda are going to create their own state formation in Iraq and use the territory of Iraq as a supply base and a springboard for waging war in Syria.
Government forces and Sunni self-defense units opposed the gangs. On December 21, the counter-terrorist operation began. And in the operation they used the army Aviation, armored vehicles and artillery. However, terrorists continue to hold a number of positions and inflict sensitive counterattacks on the authorities. Thus, Major General Al-Karaoui, close to the prime minister’s circle, and several other senior officers of the 7th Division, which is the core of the Iraqi forces involved in the fight against Islamists, were killed. Islamists are trying to expand the war zone, striking in various cities and provinces.
In early January, the central authorities agreed with the Sunni elders that government forces would not take Fallujah by storm, so as not to expose local residents to additional danger. The Sunni Al-Sahwa self-defense forces were to independently clean the city of extremists. However, the militias of the local Sunni tribes could not eliminate the bridgehead of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.
The siege of the city began in mid-January. The authorities pulled considerable forces, blocked the suburbs. The quarters occupied by the Islamists are subjected to intense shelling of artillery, tanks and helicopter strikes. Among the civilian population of the city, which did not have time to escape, there are many victims. On January 20, Lieutenant General Rashid Falih was appointed commander of the operation in Anbar province. In early February, it was announced about the preparation of a new large-scale operation in the city of Fallujah. However, Iraqi troops still have not been able to solve the task of eliminating gangs. This is not surprising. So, the Syrian army far surpasses the Iraqi armed forces in combat effectiveness, but the war in Syria continues. The Iraqi army, despite large financial injections and the purchase of weapons abroad, has not regained its combat capability.
The situation is critical. There are even rumors that Iran is ready to send its special forces to fight jihadists in Iraq. Tehran provides military support in the fight against the Islamists, behind whom stands Saudi Arabia and Qatar, in Syria, but Baghdad still tried to do on its own. At the same time, Baghdad and Tehran actively cooperate in the political-diplomatic and economic field. In particular, Iraq spoke out against the Syrian opposition, supporting the official authorities. The destabilization of Syria has a very negative effect on Iraq. As the date of parliamentary elections approaches in spring 2014, when the fate of the current Iraqi government is decided, Baghdad may resort to external assistance to keep the situation under control. Iraq has already asked the United States to increase military aid.
The Sunni bloc led by Riyadh openly incites the war in Iraq. The country has become a “front line” between the Sunni bloc and the Shiite coalition led by Iran. Saudi Arabia and Iran are fighting for dominance in the Islamic world. In addition, igniting a fire in Iraq, Riyadh disrupts attempts to establish a negotiation process in Syria, trying to worsen relations between the United States and the West with Iran. There is in this opposition and economic overtones. Riyadh wants to thwart the development of the oil industry in Iraq. Approximately in 5-7 years Baghdad could bring the production of “black gold” to 8-9 million barrels per day (in May 2013, the export level was about 2,5 million barrels per day), equalizing the level of oil export with the Arab monarchy. In the long term, Iraq even plans to reach the level of 12 million barrels per day, surpassing the largest producers - both Saudi Arabia and Russia. Iran will increase the sale of oil to 3-3,5 million barrels per day. Thus, Baghdad and Tehran can push the Wahhabi kingdom into the background, which will reduce its attractiveness for the countries of the West and the East, for the Islamic world. The Shiite bloc may become the economic leader of the region. However, at present, Baghdad is not yet able to reach such a level of oil export due to terrorism. Extremists de facto support the economy of Saudi Arabia.
Regional confrontation is growing in Iraq. Some provinces are unhappy with the policies of the center. April 30 in Iraq must pass regular parliamentary elections. At present, the parliament is incapable, many deputies do not participate in its work. Sunnis boycott parliament over discriminatory government policies. The lack of a quorum does not allow making important decisions. A huge number of projects remains on paper.
Between the center and the provinces began the confrontation on the financial issue. Huge funds derived from the sale of hydrocarbons, go to the West. The Ministry of Finance refused to comply with the law adopted in 2013 of the year on the increase from 2014 of the year to payments to provincial budgets from 1 to 5 US dollars per barrel of oil produced there. This caused great irritation among local authorities. Governors and provincial councils have begun work to coordinate actions to influence the government. 11 January in the city of Diwanija of the province of Cadisia was the so-called "Congress of the Middle Euphrates." The governors of five provinces took part in it. They demanded "a fair distribution of income in proportion to the population." It must be said that such a movement is one of the most serious signs of the collapse of the country.
On January 25, in Basra, the oil capital of Iraq, a congress was held with the participation of representatives of eight oil-producing provinces of the country. On January 26, the governor of Basra, Majid an-Nasravi, announced that he had sued the Ministry of Finance for violating the 2013 law of the year. In addition, the Basra authorities have given official permission to hold protests criticizing government actions. In Basra demand the satisfaction of the legal rights of the inhabitants of the richest province of the country.
Government representatives are accused of rampant corruption. According to the parliamentary anti-corruption committee, the country was stolen and taken abroad to 200 billion dollars. London has become a buying area for elite real estate on the part of representatives of former representatives of the "new democratic government." Many former top officials left for the West. Corruption of suspected and current members of the government.
Trying to strike at their opponents, the central authorities started talking about their readiness to carry out administrative reform and increase the number of provinces from the current 18 to 30. Thus, Baghdad wants to dismember the "rebel" provinces (like Iraqi Kurdistan and Sunni areas). In the chaos of reform, it will be possible to change the balance of power by pushing its people to new leadership positions.
However, due to the weakness of the center, this initiative may be another impetus for the collapse of the country. For example, the governor of the province of Ninawa has already said that if administrative reform is implemented and the province is divided into new districts, he will seek autonomy. This statement was supported in the provinces of Basra and Maysan. In the oil-producing South, they talked about the possibility of creating a “confederation of the South”, following the example of Iraqi Kurdistan, which is practically independent of Baghdad.
In this way, There are already all the prerequisites for the final decentralization of Iraq, its collapse into several autonomous centers, united on the basis of religious community, economic interests and tribal ties. The interests of external global and regional players - the West, led by the USA, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Turkey and Israel, can play a huge role in the final disintegration of the Irk. Practically all of them are interested in Iraq never being able to rise to the level of a powerful regional power with a strong military and economic potential. At present, Iraq is a semi-colony of raw materials, a fully controlled supplier of hydrocarbons. The corrupt elite exports and stores the main cash in the West. Finances are invested mainly in the development of oil fields to increase revenues, as well as in special services, the armed forces and law enforcement agencies necessary to maintain power. The bulk of the population lives in poverty. Against the background of such a picture, the regime of Saddam Hussein seems simply exemplary.
The prospects for Iraq are sad. Apparently, it will be divided among themselves into spheres of influence of Saudi Arabia and Iran.