August 7, 2008

Arab Tribes Threaten to “Use Force” in Kirkuk Crisis; Update 6 August

Dubai Al-Sharqiyah Television in Arabic highlighted in its newscasts between 1300 and 2000 gmt on 6 August reports on the end of the Iraqi Council of Representatives' current term and the failure of the Iraqi political forces to reach an agreement on the Provincial Council Election Draft Law. The channel reported on calls by Iraqi parliamentarians to dismiss UN Representative in Iraq Staffan de Mistura, a threat by the Iraqi Islamic Party to withdraw from talks on the election law, and a threat by the Arab tribes in Kirkuk to "use force to defend the Arab identity of Kirkuk." The channel also reported on other political and security developments in Iraq.

Within its 1300 gmt newscast, the channel carried the following reports:

- "Iraqi parliamentarians and politicians have stepped up their calls for excluding Staffan de Mistura, UN secretary general's representative in Iraq, from the Kirkuk file after accusing him of bias and of concluding a biased deal at the expense of Iraqi national interests. The Parliamentary Coordination Gathering called for replacing De Mistura, accusing him of bias in favour of certain sides at the expense of other sides."

- "The spokesman for the Iraqi Al-Tawafuq Front has said that neither the Front nor the Iraqi Islamic Party have authorized any side to speak on their behalf. He said that what came in the news conference of the [Unified Iraqi] Coalition and the Kurdistan Alliance expressed the opinions of these two blocs. Salim al- Juburi, spokesman for the Front and leading member of the Islamic Party, said that the issue of Kirkuk is a national one and that the Party's stand is not to show bias towards any side."

- "Two civilians were wounded in a roadside bomb explosion targeting a convoy of security protection companies in Al-Ulwiyah area in southern Baghdad."

- Iraqi Interior Ministry Spokesman Abd-al-Karim Khalaf has said that the Iraqi forces arrested three suicide women during a large- scale operation against Al-Qa'idah's gunmen in the Diyala Governorate, northeast of Baghdad. Khalaf said that the women were arrested in a house in northern Ba'qubah while preparing for suicide operations against the Iraqi forces deployed in the area."

- "A number of booby-trapped metal containers exploded targeting Iraqi police patrols in Al-Muhandisin Neighbourhood in northern Mosul, northern Iraq. A security source said that the explosion did not result in casualties."

Within its 1500 gmt newscast, the channel carried the following reports:

- "The Iraqi Islamic Party has threatened that it will withdraw from the current negotiations over the Provincial Council Election Draft Law if the political sides fail to reach a consensus agreement on it. In a news conference in Baghdad, Abd-al-Karim al-Samarra'i, a leader of the Party, said that if all sides fail to reach a consensus agreement on the draft law, then the Islamic Party will withdraw from the negotiations. He added that the party will not vote on any draft law in the absence of a political consensus. He said that the Islamic Party demands that the elections be held in all governorates."

- "Hundreds of people have demonstrated in Tikrit City, capital of Salah-al-Din Governorate, north of Baghdad, in protest against the demand of the Kurdistan Alliance in the Kirkuk Governorate Council to integrate the governorate into the Kurdistan Region."

- "A car bomb has exploded targeting an Iraqi Army checkpoint in Mosul City, northern Iraq. A security source said that the explosion took place in Al-Dawwasah area in the right side of Mosul City. The explosion resulted in the martyrdom of one person and the wounding of 11 others."

Within its 1600 gmt newscast, the channel carried the following reports:

- "The Arab tribal chieftains in the Kirkuk Governorate have threatened to use force to defend the Arab identity of Kirkuk, which the Kurds demand that it be annexed to the Kurdistan Region. In a conference for Kirkuk tribes, in which more than 500 tribal figures took part, Husayn Ali al-Juburi, head of the Unified Arab Bloc, said that the patience of Arabs has limits and that if they are pushed to a confrontation, then they will be up to the challenge. He added that the Arab tribes in Kirkuk have extensions in all Iraqi cities. He, however, expressed his hope that violence will be avoided. He stressed that all sides are partners in the political process and that the real goal is to ensure the rights of the Arabs and underscore the Iraqi identity of Kirkuk."

- "The chieftains of the Arab tribes in Kirkuk have addressed a message to the Iraqi parliament, stressing the need to support the demand of the Arabs and Turkomans to adopt the principle of joint administration of the executive and legislative authorities in Kirkuk. The tribes of Kirkuk appealed to the Kurdish leaders to resort to dialogue and reason. They said that the future of Kirkuk will not be decided by one component alone. They expressed their rejection of the annexation of Kirkuk to Kurdistan. They said that they will not accept making the governorate subject to any political bargain."

Within its 1700 gmt newscast, the channel carried the following reports:

- "Former Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Ja'fari made two last-ditch attempts before and after the vote on the budget draft law to bring views closer over the Kirkuk Governorate election crisis. He held a meeting at the office of the Iraqi Al-Tawafuq Front at the Iraqi parliament. The meeting was attended by Iyad al-Samarra'i, vice chairman of the Islamic Party; Salih al-Mutlaq, head of the Arab Dialogue Front; and representatives of the Iraqi List, the Arab List, Al-Sadr Trend, and Al-Fadilah Party. The conferees discussed the means of resolving differences over the issue of Kirkuk."

- "A joint Iraqi-US force has found several weapons caches in various areas of Baghdad. The caches included rockets and various shells, including Iranian-made ammunition. A US Army statement said that it found two Iranian 107-mm rockets and four mortar launchers in Al-Kazimiyah area in northern Baghdad. The statement said that the forces also found 105 60-mm mortar launchers, 11 shells, and timing devices used in bombings in Al-Rashid area in eastern Baghdad."

- "The police has said that a suicide bomber driving a car bomb blew himself up targeting an Iraqi Army patrol in the centre of Mosul City. As a result, three people were killed and 14 others wounded, including a soldier. The police added that it found the bodies of two men which had gunshot wounds in the head and chest in the city. In another development, the police said that gunmen wounded a man and child. The attack was carried out by gunmen riding in a speeding car in an unspecified area in the city."

Originally published by Al-Sharqiyah TV, Dubai, in Arabic 1300 6 Aug 08.

(c) 2008 BBC Monitoring Middle East. Provided by ProQuest Information and Learning. All rights Reserved.