WASHINGTON – The Iranian-backed government of Shi’ite Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki is experiencing increasing opposition from what sources say are efforts by Sunni Saudi Arabia and Turkey to overthrow him and install a more favorable Sunni government, according to a report in Joseph Farah’s G2 Bulletin.
Sources said that other Sunni regional countries of Jordan and Qatar also are involved.
Their efforts are aimed at diminishing the increasing influence that Shi’ite Iran is acquiring in the Arab countries as shown in Shi’ite majority Bahrain, its close alliance with Shi’ite Alawite Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and now with the Shi’ite minority in the eastern province of Saudi Arabia where much of the country’s oil production takes place.
In effect, Iran, which has historical roots in the area, has sought to maintain its hold on a region that encompasses the Middle East to Central Asia.
Iraq has become the latest proxy war that has been simmering for some time between Shi’ite Iran and Sunni Saudi Arabia. Other areas where Shi’ite-Sunni proxy wars have been ongoing have been in Bahrain, Syria and Yemen.
It began when al-Maliki sought to have the former Iraqi Vice President, Tareq al-Hashemi, arrested last year for allegedly having run a death squad. He fled the country to Turkey and began a movement to seek al-Maliki’s overthrow.
Turkey also is involved, having sought to draw closer to the Kurds in northern Iraq who are at odds with the al-Maliki government over oil policy issues. The Kurds also happen to be Sunnis.
The Turks, however, have ulterior motives for drawing closer in the north. It is where large deposits of oil are located under Kurdish control.
As a result, Iraqi legislators who support al-Maliki have accused Turkey of working with various groups to “wreak havoc” inside Iraq.
A senior Iraqi legislator, Shakir al-Daraji, said that he had “secret information” suggesting that Turkish Prime Minster Recep Tayyup Erdogan was working with tribal leaders from Iraq’s al-Anbar province – a Sunni stronghold – to “direct Iraq’s current crisis in Turkey’s interest.”
Erdogan also has sought to establish a base in the north to allow his forces to chase Kurdish terrorists of the Kurdish Workers Party before they could launch continued raids in Turkey, which has a large Kurdish minority. Erdogan also opposes al-Maliki’s support of Syria, and has sought to get him to halt that support. Al-Maliki, however, is under continued pressure from Iran to continue that backing.
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