111 Killed or Found Dead in Iraq on Monday
Al-Maliki to Ankara
Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki has accepted the Turkish government’s invitation to visit Ankara. Al-Maliki says he is worried about PKK terrorism.
Al-Maliki should be careful. When his predecessor, Ibrahim Jaafari, flew to Istanbul for talks on Kirkuk, the Kurds in the Iraqi parliament and government engineered his downfall, with the help of the Sunni Arab MPs and the US ambassador.
The good news is that Iraq is not the most unstable failed state in the world according to a new study. The bad news? Only Sudan is worse.
30 tortured bodies were found in Baghdad on Monday and military and political violence took at least 81 more lives.
Two car bombs in the Saidiya section of Baghdad killed 9 persons and wounded 25, according to Reuters. The US fought pitched battles against Mahdi Army militiamen in Maysan Province (from which the British military had earlier withdrawn), leaving some 20 persons dead. The militiamen were suspected by the US of importing explosively formed projectiles from Iran. There was plenty of other mayhem in various part of the country. For instance, “A car bomb killed five Interior Ministry special forces personnel and wounded six others in the town of Samarra, north of Baghdad, police said.”
There was also fighting between Iraqi government troops and the Mahdi Army in Nasiriyah.
Iran is open to further talks with the US about security in Iraq, according to its foreign ministry.
A warm congrats to Rajiv Chandrasekaran for winning the UK Samuel Johnson Prize for his “Imperial Life in the Emerald City. For my interview with Mr. Chandrasekaran, see here and here.