The dream of a united Iraq has been souring for years

June 14, 2014 12:10 AM
By David Ignatius
The Daily Star

Story Summary
The stunning gains this week by Iraq’s Sunni insurgents carry a crucial political message: Nouri al-Maliki, the Shiite prime minister of Iraq, is a polarizing sectarian politician who has lost the confidence of his army and nation.

A retired U.S. four-star commander asks in an interview: “How in the world can you keep betting on this number [Maliki] given what’s happened?” He believes Maliki is incapable of retaking the territory he has lost, and he wonders when Iran’s Quds Force will intervene to rescue Maliki’s collapsing army.

Maliki’s U.S.-trained army has suffered a series of crushing defeats, as Sunni insurgents from an offshoot of Al-Qaeda captured the northern Sunni cities of Mosul and Tikrit and swept toward Baghdad.

Maliki’s forces are said to be drawing their battle lines just above a huge arms depot at Taji, about 20 miles north of Baghdad, a key U.S. logistics base during the American occupation, from 2003-10 . By consolidating his forces so far south, Maliki is, in effect, conceding the northern cities.

Read more: http://dailystar.com.lb/Opinion/Columnist/2014/Jun-14/260076-the-dream-of-a-united-iraq-has-been-souring-for-years.ashx#ixzz34gpeAVNO
(The Daily Star :: Lebanon News :: http://www.dailystar.com.lb)

Categories: Arab World, Asia, Iraq

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