Friday, May 24, 2013
Thursday, May 23, 2013
In the wake of arrest warrants being issued for former Finance Minister Rafi Issawi’s bodyguards in December 2012, protests and an eventual boycott of the cabinet by several ministers began. The Agricultural Minister Izz al-Din al-Dawla left in March 2013 after demonstrators were killed and wounded by security forces in Mosul. Industry Minister Ahmad Nasser al-Dalli Karbuli, Technology Minister Abdul al-Karim al-Samarraie, and Education Minister Mohammed Tamim followed suit after the Hawija incident in April. Tamim is now returning to the council of ministers, while Dawla has also reportedly attended at least one cabinet session. All four ministers come from the now defunct Iraqi National Movement (INM), which was one of the prime minister’s main opponents. The four however, all had friendly relations with Maliki, and broke with their list several times beforehand. It is no wonder than that they should eventually return to their jobs, and resume their work.
Education Minister Tamim recently announced that he was returning to office after a short boycott over the Hawija incident in April 2013 (Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty)
On May 22, 2013, Industry Minister Ahmad Nasser al-Dalli Karbuli announced that Education Minister Mohammed Tamim was returning to his position. Tamim resigned in April after the security forces attacked protesters in the town of Hawija. Karbuli, and Technology Minister Abdul al-Karim al-Samarraie joined him. The month before, Agricultural Minister Izz al-Din al-Dawla gave up his office after demonstrators were killed and wounded in his hometown of Mosul. Its recently been reported that he has attended at least one cabinet session recently as well. Tamim is from Deputy Premier Saleh al-Mutlaq’s Iraqi National Dialogue Front, Karbuli is from the Solution Movement, Samarraie is a member of the Renewal Party, while Dawla belongs to Speaker Nujafi’s old Iraqiyoon party that is now part of Mutahidun, the Uniters List. All of them gained office through the Iraqi National Movement (INM) after the 2010 parliamentary vote. Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki immediately rejected Tamim’s resignation. That was likely due to their close relationship beforehand. In fact, all four have consistently broken with their list to work to stay part of the government.
In December 2011 and March 2013, the INM announced that it was withdrawing its ministers from the cabinet to protest Maliki’s government, but neither worked. At the beginning of March, the National Movement stopped going to the council of ministers to support the protesters. In less than a month, Education Minister Tamim, Industry Minister Karbuli, and Deputy Premier Mutlaq were all back at meetings, which helped lead to the end of the INM as a coherent list. Before that, at the end of 2011, the INM held another unsuccessful boycott against the prime minister. Karbuli, Tamim, and several other National Movement ministers never followed their party. Samarraie, Tamim, and Dawla all eventually met with the premier letting him know that they wanted to return to their offices, which effectively put an end to the boycott. In turn, Maliki gave them concessions, such as releasing 43 prisoners directly to Tamim’s protection in February 2012. The conventional wisdom on Iraq is that the government and country is wracked by sectarianism, and the divide between Sunnis and Shiites is becoming worse by the day. That’s how the increasing violence is also explained. This overlooks the fact that several Sunni ministers such as Karbuli, Tamim, Samarraie, and Dawla have actually had quite friendly relations with Maliki, and have been more than willing to work within his government, even when that directly contradicted their list’s strategy.
Given the protest movements and occasional violence the government has used against them it was predictable that these ministers would again step away from the government. At the same time, it was foreseeable that they would eventually come back to the cabinet as well. They did that the last two times they were supposed to be boycotting, and all of them will likely do so again on this occasion. Not only do they not have as many issues with Premier Maliki as some of their brethren, but they also lose out on the patronage and power that holding a ministry bestows upon them. That is another driving force for them to go back to work. If nothing else, the power, money, and corruption that accompanies holding office is one of the great unifiers that exists in the country.
AIN, “Urgent….Karbouli: Timim to resume his work as Minister of Education,” 5/22/13
- “Urgent….Maliki rejects Education minister’s resignation,” 4/23/13
Ibrahim, Haidar, “Iraqiya’s controversial remarks over ministers’ boycott termination,” AK News, 1/13/12
- “Maliki to tackle absent minister issue soon, advisor says,” AK News, 12/29/11
- “Protest-related violence kills 53 in Iraq,” Agence France Presse, 4/24/13
National Iraqi News Agency, “Iraqiya calls on Mutlaq to review his position and not be a false witness,” 3/27/13
- “Iraqiya: Statement ascribed to Al-Ani allowing some ministers attend cabinet session not accurate,” 1/12/12
- “Jubouri: three IS ministers return to ministries evidence of patriotic awareness,” 2/1/12
- “MP demands Iraqiya to hold a meeting to overcome differences,” 3/31/13
- “Nijaifi calls on Iraqiya ministers to resign,” 3/8/13
Sadah, Ali Abel, “Iraqiya List Frays As Constituents Splinter,” Al-Monitor, 3/28/13
Schreck, Adam and Salaheddin, Sinan, “Iraq fears rise as clashes spread to northern city,” Associated Press, 4/25/13
Sowell, Kirk, “Inside Iraqi Politics No. 31,” 1/25/12
- “Inside Iraqi Politics No. 32,” 2/9/12
- “Inside Iraqi Politics No. 33,” 2/29/12
Visser, Reidar, “How Iraq can pull back from the brink,” The National, 5/22/13
Yacoub, Sameer, “Iraqi minister resigns after protesters shot,” Associated Press, 3/8/13
Wednesday, May 22, 2013
Iraq recently held provincial elections in twelve of its eighteen provinces. Voting did not take place in Anbar and Ninewa however, because the government had indefinitely postponed them there. Now a date has finally been given for those governorates to have their day at the ballot box in June 2013. Security was the official reason given for the delay, but it was widely believed that Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki wanted to stop candidates supported by the protest movements there from gaining power. That move has likely backfired as the demonstrations are going on as strong as ever, and security is even worse than before.
Iraq’s government recently said that Ninewa and Anbar would be allowed to vote on June 20, 2013. The cabinet claimed the date came from the Election Commission. That could be true as last month the news was that the two provinces would cast ballots on July 4 instead. The postponement was originally announced on March 19 with security being the rationale. This came after the Anbar provincial council voted to delay the elections a few days beforehand. There definitely was violence going on in those two governorates with 14 candidates haven withdrawn from the city of Mosul for example in Ninewa due to death threats. (1) Al Qaeda in Iraq has consistently been against all elections in the country, and Mosul has always been one of their urban strongholds, so they were likely behind the intimidation there. That being said, overall security was not much different in March than it had been the previous months. The real reason for the delay was probably the protests in major cities such as Ramadi, Fallujah, and Mosul, which started after Baghdad issued arrest warrants for former Finance Minister Rafi Issawi’s bodyguards on terrorism charges. These demonstrations quickly focused upon Sunni victimhood, which they blamed on Prime Minister Maliki. Not wanting to have these forces be institutionalized through winning seats on the provincial councils, the premier pushed through a delay in the balloting in those areas.
The move immediately provoked condemnations by political forces in the two provinces. Speaker Osama Nujafi and his brother the Governor of Ninewa Atheel Nujafi both attacked the delay. A member of their Al-Hadbaa Party and a Christian councilman also said that voting should happen on time. In Anbar, the Iraqi Islamic Party accused Maliki of attempting a coup against the political process, while Sheikh Ahmed Abu Risha a leader of the Awakening Movement and the protests called on the council of ministers to reverse its decision. Anbar Governor Qasim Fahadawi was one of the few voices that supported the delay. (2) He claimed that with the security forces deployed to protect the protest sites there would not be enough soldiers and police to defend the polling areas as well. Speaker Nujafi has become one of the leading critics of the prime minister, and his base is in Ninewa, so it was obvious that he could come out against any postponement of voting there. In Anbar, the criticisms were a bit ironic. Both the Islamic Party and Abu Risha’s Awakening of Iraq and Independents held a large number of seats on the Anbar provincial council, which voted overwhelmingly for a delay. Either those politicians have developed their own base and no longer rely upon their leadership or there was some secret maneuvering behind the scenes to perhaps provoke the central government, and give a rallying point for the protests, which Abu Risha and the Islamic Party are both heavily involved in. Whatever the case, all of these parties are likely to do quite well when the votes are finally cast. Nujafi’s Mutahidun, Uniters, emerged as the leading Sunni vote getter in the provinces that did hold elections in April. Abu Risha and the Islamic Party are likely to come out with a large number of ballots as well. In fact, after the Hawija incident, any hope Maliki might have had to change the political situation with the postponement has now evaporated, and the general public is even angrier than before at the authorities as shown from the huge increase in violence across northern and central Iraq in recent weeks.
Delaying the vote in Anbar and Ninewa was always a very controversial move. The weak institutions in the country meant that there was nothing to challenge Premier Maliki’s decision. With demonstrations growing in those two provinces he didn’t want them to put their voices into action through the ballot box, and was hoping that his allies might be able to gain more support or the protests might have lessoned or been broken up by now. Instead, the situation is even more inflamed. If security was the rationale for the postponement in March, it will be even harder to gain control of the two governorates in June to ensure the security of the polling stations. The prime minister’s plans have thus backfired, and whether the demonstrations end anytime soon or not, they and their political backers will at least be able to place officials into office that will carry on with their spirit if not demands for the next several years.
1. Al Rafidayn, “Electoral Commission: the withdrawal of the 14 candidates for the provincial elections in Mosul after receiving threats,” 3/18/13
2. Alsumaria, “Anbar governor attributed the postponement of the elections for the preoccupation with security forces to protect protesters,” 3/20/13
Agence France Presse, “Iraq delays polls in two provinces for security reasons,” 3/19/13
AIN, “IIP describes postponing local elections in Anbar, Nineveh as disappointing,” 3/20/13
Ali, Ghassan, “Decision to postpone local elections in Anbar and Nineveh,” Radio Free Iraq, 3/19/13
Alsumaria, “Anbar governor attributed the postponement of the elections for the preoccupation with security forces to protect protesters,” 3/20/13
- “Iraq Anbar candidates file lawsuit to challenge elections postponement,” 3/22/13
- “Iraq Anbar unanimously decides to postpone provincial council elections,” 3/13/13
Aswat al-Iraq, “Delay of elections worsens situation, Ninewa officials,” 3/19/13
Haider, Roa, “Mixed reactions to the decision to postpone the elections in Anbar, Nineveh,” Radio Free Iraq, 3/20/13
National Iraqi News Agency, “Ahmed al-Alwani: Salah al-Mutlaq reneged of Iraqiya Slate and playing a suspicious role,” 3/29/13
- “Anbar and Nineveh’s elections on 4, July, council of ministers say,” 4/23/13
- “Araji: Absence of Anbar, Niniveh from participation in provincial councils’ elections unconstitutional,” 3/21/13
- “Cabinet sets June 20 for the provincial elections in Nineveh and Anbar provinces,” 5/20/13
- “Islamic Party: Postponing election a coup against the political process,” 3/19/13
- “MP: Postpone elections in Anbar and Nineveh is to stop a major fraud in the elections,” 3/21/13
Al Rafidayn, “Electoral Commission: the withdrawal of the 14 candidates for the provincial elections in Mosul after receiving threats,” 3/18/13
Shafaq News, “Anbar and Nineveh’s Polls to be Held on May,” 4/2/13
- “IHEC: We haven’t received the letter regarding postponing the ballots,” 3/24/13
Visser, Reidar, “The Postponement of Provincial Elections in Anbar and Nineveh: Initial Reactions,” Iraq and Gulf Analysis, 3/20/13
- “The Question of the Legality of the Delay of the Iraqi Local Elections in Anbar and Nineveh,” Iraq and Gulf Analysis, 3/22/13
Wicken, Stephen, “2013 Iraq Update #9: Issawi resignation presents opportunities to Maliki,” Institute for the Study of War, 3/1/13
Wicken, Stephen and Ali, Ahmed, “2013 Iraq Update #12: Maliki and Sadr Raise Electoral Stakes,” Institute for the Study of War, 3/22/13
Tuesday, May 21, 2013
In May 2013, Jim McCormick the owner of the company that sold 7,000 fake bomb detectors to Iraq was sentenced to ten years in prison by a British court on three counts of fraud. The fallout in Baghdad is just beginning to be felt. The government is trying to act like nothing happened, while two anti-corruption groups are pushing for new investigations, and implicating Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, and other top officials. Unfortunately, while committees can look into these matters there is little likelihood that anything substantive will happen.
A fake bomb detector still being used at a checkpoint in Baghdad, May 2013 (AFP)
After the news broke in Iraq that Jim McCormick had been convicted there was little change on the ground. Deputy Interior Minister Adnan Asadi, who is the de facto head of the ministry told the press that the bomb detectors would eventually be replaced, but he did not mention how or when. Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki said that the authorities took care of the bomb detectors a long time ago seemingly blowing off the McCormick conviction. Later he told a press conference that some of the detectors actually worked. This was despite the fact that the British court proved that there were no working parts within the so-called detectors. Agence France Presse quoted a policeman in Baghdad who said that they were under orders to continue to use the anti-explosive devices even though they knew they did not work. Only in Dhi Qar did the police announce that they would stop using the detectors, and would be using bomb-sniffing dogs instead. That province happens to be in the south where there are hardly any attacks, so its decision would not have a real effect upon security in the country. Baghdad on the other hand sees the most violence, yet the government is acting like the McCormick case means nothing. The premier’s statement is a perfect example since the detectors are still in daily use, so obviously they have not been dealt with properly.
Parliament and the anti-corruption Integrity Commission are taking the matter much more seriously. Immediately after the sentencing of McCormick Iraq’s integrity committee in the legislature said that officials from the Office of the Commanding General of the Armed Forces and former Interior Minister Jawad Bolani were involved in buying the fake detectors. Parliamentarian Jawad Shihili stated that both the inspector general at Interior and the Science Ministry objected to the purchase, but higher officials insisted upon it. Al-Mada received a memo from Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s office as commander and chief that okayed buying the devices. That was despite a British officer warning the Interior Ministry that the detectors did not work. This new evidence led the integrity committee to form a joint committee with the Interior and Defense Ministries’ inspector generals to investigate the matter. The independent Integrity Commission went on to issue arrest warrants for five directors of companies involved with buying the anti-bomb equipment. A further look into the matter is definitely required as the McCormick trial revealed that at least 15 Iraqi officials received bribes from his company to finalize the deal. So far only General Jihad Jabiri the former head of the explosives department at the Interior Ministry and two others have been jailed over the devices in 2011. That occurred after Minister Bolani was removed from office, because he was protecting Jabiri and the others from prosecution.
The problem with investigating corruption in Iraq is that it can only go so far. Bribes and thievery are so imbedded within the government that it has actually become part of the way of running the country as pilfering from the state is considered part of the payoff of holding office, and a way to reward followers. That severely limits the ability to charge and successfully prosecute people, because the political parties and their leadership will block it just as Minister Bolani did. New documents can be uncovered, people can be named, new information revealed about the fake bomb detectors, and maybe even some company heads might be taken to court, but those that were truly responsible will never be touched. That would open the door to everyone involved in the system being charged, and that simply won’t happen in Iraq right now.
Agence France Presse, “Iraq PM insists some fake bomb detectors work,” 5/20/13
- “Iraq province to ditch fake bomb detectors,” 5/14/13
- “Iraq still using James McCormick’s fake bomb detectors at checkpoints,” 5/3/13
AIN, “Shihaili: Maliki’s assistants, MOI officials involved in corruption,” 5/5/13
Booth, Robert, “Fake bomb detector conman jailed for 10 years,” Guardian, 5/2/13
Al-Mada, “A document proving that Maliki’s office instructed to purchase sonar despite warnings from British inability for detecting explosives,” 5/12/13
- “Iraq’s Integrity Committee pursuing the inventor of explosives detectors and 5 local companies,” 5/14/13
Morris, Steven, Jones, Meirion and Booth, Robert, “The ‘magic’ bomb detector that endangered lives all over the world,” Guardian, 4/23/13
Al Mustaqbal News, “The names of directors of companies involved with explosives detection devices,” 5/14/13
Monday, May 20, 2013
Iraq’s Anbar province is seeing increasing tension. Since December there have been two large protests going on in Ramadi and Fallujah. After the government raid upon the Hawija demonstration site in Tamim governorate in April 2013 there has been an uptick in attacks as well. In May, things picked up with raids upon the residences of two leaders of the protests, as well as the kidnapping of several dozen soldiers and police, and the collapse of an offer to talk with Baghdad. With the way things are going this could be leading up to a security crackdown in the governorate aimed at not only clearing out militants, but shutting down the demonstrations as well.
The latest incident was a raid upon Mohammed Khamis Abu Risha, the nephew of a leading Awakening chief and organizer of the Ramadi protests. On May 18, there were clashes between tribesmen and security forces outside of Ramadi as the latter were looking for Abu Risha. That resulted in the deaths of a woman and her three children, and four army vehicles being set on fire. Abu Risha has an arrest warrant out for him for his alleged involvement in the murder of five soldiers on April 27. The government blamed the leaders of the protest movement for the incident, including Abu Risha, the demonstrator’s spokesman Said al-Lafi, and a prominent preacher Qusay al-Janabi. Abu Risha is the nephew of Sheikh Ahmed Abu Risha who helped found the Awakening movement in the province, and is currently one of the organizers in Ramadi. Initially it appeared that local politicians and the protesters were attempting to defuse the situation by cooperating with the authorities. The Anbar provincial council for instance, said that it worked out a deal with the security forces to allow them to search the protest area in Ramadi to look for the culprits, and turned over the names of three suspects soon after the soldiers were killed at the end of April. The Sunni Endowment demanded that the demonstrators hand over the killers, while Sheikh Abu Risha claimed that two people had been given to the Ramadi police. That obviously didn’t work as the army and police are still looking for the younger Abu Risha as the raid showed. The fact that the incident led to fighting is also bad news as it can only increase the already high tensions in Anbar.
Sheikh Sulaiman now has an arrest warrant out for him on terrorism charges (Los Angeles Times)
The government also has an arrest warrant out for Sheikh Ali Hatem Sulaiman on terrorism charges. On May 16, Sulaiman told CNN that the army raided a farm he owned near Ramadi looking for him. His tribesmen surrounded the army headquarters in Ramadi in response, telling them they had to withdraw from the governorate, and threatening violence by the Pride and Dignity Army if they didn’t. Sulaiman is allegedly one of the organizers behind the tribal army, which was set up to defend the Ramadi protesters after the Hawija incident. The sheikh is a member of the powerful Dulaim tribe, and has attached himself to the Ramadi protests. He has been known to give inflammatory speeches threatening violence against the security forces and government, which might be why they are looking for him. This could be another cause for increased violence in Anbar as it could lead Sulaiman’s followers to follow through with his threats.
On top of that insurgents are attempting to exploit the anger in Anbar for their own ends. Gunmen ambushed and kidnapped a number of police and soldiers in the province on May 18. At first, it was reported that 10 policemen were taken at a fake checkpoint outside of Ramadi. Then a spokesman for the Defense Ministry said that 35 soldiers had also been abducted. The Anbar Salvation Council later stated that the army launched an operation around Ramadi looking for the missing security force elements. The Council blamed Al Qaeda in Iraq for the incidents. Three people from Karbala who were travelling through Anbar after visiting Jordan were also said to have been kidnapped. Immediately afterward, a member of the Anbar Tribal Chiefs Council Mohammed Alwani condemned the security force members being taken. It also prompted the protest leaders in the province to hold a meeting to talk about the deteriorating security situation. They told the press they were trying to keep the demonstrations peaceful despite the worsening situation in Anbar. In the last couple years Al Qaeda in Iraq and other insurgent groups had lost most of their standing in the governorate. The Awakening movement started there, and successfully pushed the militants to the outskirts of Anbar with the help of the Americans. Now, after Hawija, the insurgency has a new life exploiting the growing resentment Sunnis have towards Baghdad. It has used Hawija to claim that the government will ignore their demands, and that the only alternative then is to fight the authorities, which they claim are Persians controlled by Iran. As a result, there has been a dramatic increase in attacks in Anbar and other provinces in the last few weeks.
Spiritual leader of the Anbar protest movement Sheikh Saadi said he gave up on talks with the government (Al Sharqiya)
Finally, the Ramadi movement has given up on negotiating with Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki. Sheikh Abdul Malik Saadi who is the spiritual leader of much of the protest movement in Iraq said that he was ending his initiative to talk with the government. He blamed Baghdad for ignoring his offer, and warned that there might be “dire consequences” as a result. In May, Saadi endorsed forming a committee that would meet with the government. He suggested Samarra in Salahaddin as a suitable site since it is in a predominately Sunni province, but the city holds a holy Shite shrine. The idea of talks between the two sides seemed to come about after the efforts of Deputy Premier Saleh al-Mutlaq to meet with various officials such as Governor Qasim al Fahadawi, protest organizers, and tribal leaders in Anbar. Afterward, they agreed to negotiate with Baghdad. Saadi then announced that a committee be formed. How far any talks would have gone is an open question. The protest movement has some unrealistic demands such as completely ending deBaathification and calling for the removal of Premier Maliki. At the same time, negotiations could have helped the two sides come to some kind of compromises. Now that option has ended for now.
Anbar has been a hotbed of opposition to the government for the last several months. When arrest warrants were issued for former Finance Minister Rafi al-Issawi’s bodyguards in December 2012, Anbar immediately began organizing protests in support since the minister was from Fallujah. This eventually became the impetus for similar movements across several other provinces. Originally, the demonstrators voiced complaints about what they saw as their victimization by the authorities such as mass arrests, the use of the anti-terrorism law, and secret informers. Since then the movement has become more militant and sectarian with constant denouncements of Baghdad being run by Iran, and some organizers being connected to the insurgency. The recent raids, kidnappings, and the end of the call for talks with the authorities can only add to this growing fire. Even if the mainstream protest movement like the one in Ramadi attempts to remain peaceful, it is apparent that more and more people in the governorate are at least open to the passive if not active support for attacks upon the security forces. That is giving new life to the insurgency, which has been attempting to exploit the demonstrations since they began as an organizing and rally point for a renewed fight against the government. The political deadlock in Baghdad is not helping the matter, because parliament is incapable of passing any legislation right now that might satisfy some of the demands made by Anbar. This all might be leading to a larger and sustained security operation in the province to crackdown on the insurgency, and perhaps end the protest movement at the same time. That would end two problems for the prime minister with one stone. If that choice is made there’s no telling what the lasting effects might be. It could simply make the situation worse by proving the militants’ propaganda correct that the government has no intent of dealing with the demonstrators, and that violence is the only answer. That doesn’t mean Iraq is heading for a new civil war, but security is definitely worsening with no end in sight for the immediate future.
Al-Abdeh, Malik, “Sunnism is Our Slogan,” The Majalla, 4/30/13
AIN, “AOC assures kidnapping 5 security elements,” 5/18/13
- “Breaking news…Several tribes form military force in Anbar,” 4/27/13
- “Sunni Endowment calls Anbar protestors to hand over killers of 5 soldiers soon,” 4/28/13
- “Urgent…..IPs kidnapped eastern Anbar,” 5/18/13
- “Urgent….Many tribes withdraw from Anbar protests yard,” 4/27/13
- “Urgent …Security forces allowed entering demonstrations square,” 4/30/13
Al-Ali, Daoud, “ball in PM’s court: anbar’s protestors agree to negotiate,” Niqash, 5/16/13
Aswat al-Iraq, “Two Fallujah killers handed over,” 4/28/13
Independent Press Agency, “Anbar operations threaten stormed Square sit-in and a curfew imposed,” 4/27/13
Al-Janoob, “Mohammed al-Askari declares the readiness of the army to attack and free the kidnapped soldiers in Anbar,” 5/19/13
Al Jazeera, “Deadly Iraq violence spills into fourth day,” 5/18/13
National Iraqi News Agency, “BREAKING NEWS Anbar’s protest organizers hold emergency meeting,” 5/18/13
- “BREAKING NEWS. The declaration of formation of “ Alizah wa-Akharamah/pride and dignity/ army by the protestors in Anbar province,” 4/26/13
- “BREAKING NEWS. Maliki threatens to confront armed elements formed in Anbar sit-ins,” 5/1/13
- “Member of Anbar Tribal Chiefs Council condemns kidnapping soldiers,” 5/18/13
- “Saadi directs to form a committee constituent of protesters to negotiate with the government,” 5/13/13
Parker, Ned, “Sword of division is poised over Iraq,” Los Angeles Times, 5/10/13
Reuters, “Thirteen killed, 10 police kidnapped in Iraq violence,” 5/18/13
Sadah, Ali Abel, “Sunni Tribes in Anbar, Kirkuk Prepare for Battle,” Al-Monitor, 5/3/13
Saeed, Samer Elias, “Inside Iraq: Sunni tribes call for arms,” Azzaman, 4/26/13
Shafaq News, “Anbar reveal disagreement within Ramadi and Fallujah Sit-in squares,” 5/13/13
- “Breaking News … Iraqi army forces backed by helicopters start security operation in Ramadi,” 5/19/13
- “Saadi gives up his initiative,” 5/19/13
Tawfeeq, Mohammed, “Tribal fighters clash with Iraqi army amid rising tensions,” CNN, 5/16/13