Following the reemergence on the scene of Ezzat Ibrahim al-Douri, i.e. Saddam Hussein’s vice president, Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki was left with nothing to do but wait for a new Zarqawi to revive the Organization of the Islamic State of Iraq, or for the announcement of the unification of the Jihadists in both Iraq and Syria. This would tighten the siege around the leader of the State of Law Coalition who has mastered the art of provoking all his opponents at once, both domestically and abroad. These opponents include Turkey, whose Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan is saying that Maliki’s government “is acting as a sectarian Shiite government,” thus calling for a government of “fair democracy.”
They also include the Gulf states which have yet to forgive the transformation that affected the legitimacy of the authority and power in Baghdad, considering that these states do not appreciate Maliki’s positions towards the Sunni sect, his submission to Iran, and his open lines with the regime in Damascus. There is also Egypt under the Muslim Brotherhood, which sees itself as the sponsor of the Sunnis in the Arab world and is naturally supporting the Anbar province population and the remaining provinces showing solidarity with it.
Domestically, Maliki knows he is engaged in an open conflict with Kurdistan, although Washington and Tehran intervened to contain the situation for the time being. In addition, President Jalal Talabani, who is now being hospitalized, might not be able to act as a safety valve between the prime minister and President of the Kurdistan province Massoud al-Barzani, as well as between him and the Sunni forces. Indeed, at the level of the latter, Maliki did not settle for banishing one of their symbols, i.e. Vice President Tarek al-Hashemi, thus launching a battle against one of their most prominent leaders Finance Minister Rafeh al-Issawi.
The conflict over power in Baghdad will strengthen the idea of sectarian federations in IraqGeorge Semaan
More dangerously, the leader of the State of Law Coalition missed a very important point – which was not missed by his partners/opponents within the ruling Shiite coalition – related to the fact that what is happening in Syria will be deeply echoed inside Iraq. This is why these partners, at the head of whom are Moqtada al-Sadr and Ammar al-Hakim, expressed solidarity with the Al-Anbar population and its demands, fearing the expansion of the Syrian revolution to the Iraqi provinces under the slogan of the “injustice” affecting the Sunnis. For their part, Sunni leaders called for the containment of the situation to prevent its slide back to what it used to be in the middle of last decade - during which the voices of Al-Qaeda and the extremists rose – as this would cause Iraq’s fall in a new sectarian war.