Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki recently said his country was involved in a real war with terrorism. In a meeting with a Russian official he requested that the Iraqi army be equipped with weapons and ammunitions to fight against terrorism.
In recent months different parts of Iraq, particularly Shia populated areas, have been targeted by terrorists and there are daily reports in media about bombings and civilian deaths in different parts of Iraq.
Based on a UN report, nearly 1000 people were killed and over 2000 others injured across Iraq in September, making it one of the bloodiest months in Iraq in recent years.
There are three reasons for the wide spread violence in Iraq, which can be reviewed on three domestic, regional and international levels.
In recent years the Iraqi government has taken a wide range of measures to promote security across the country and despite being successful in many cases it appears that certain groups are trying to portray Maliki as incapable of governing the country by provoking ethnic, religious groups.
Though, a number of basic problems in the Iraqi government, including lack of political coherence, bureaucratic corruption intelligence organizations and the contact of certain security forces with terrorists contribute to the situation.
The majority of these groups try to spread insecurities by provoking ethnic and religious disputes, because they no longer have access to political and economic power centers. These individuals, who are considered as members of the political elite, are supported by certain regional countries such as Saudi Arabia and Qatar, and in certain instances they consult with the Americans counselors to further their goals.
The most important tool used by anti-Maliki groups is resorting to religious and ethnic disputes in Iraq. In the case of fugitive Iraqi Vice President Tariq al-Hashemi, who was member of a group famous for obstructing the Maliki government, the al-Iraqiya List, one can clearly see US involvement in terrorist incidents and the crisis created in Iraq.
In this case Hashemi and the al-Iraqiya List were accused of involvement in terrorist operations with the cooperation of al-Qaeda. Considering United States cooperation with the al-Iraqiya List, such collaboration with al-Qaeda definitely took place with the green light from the White House.
The rule of foreign security firms in Iraq, which started their activities following the US attack on the country, cannot be overlooked in the spread of violence in Iraq. The security firms affiliated to the Pentagon and the US defense ministry can provide terrorists with the weapons they need upon demand.
On a regional level the impact of developments in Syria cannot be overlooked in Iraq’s insecurity. In truth the extremist groups in both countries have a structural and organizational relationship with one and another. These groups are mostly affiliated with al-Qaeda and swap experience, expertise and equipments in terrorist activities. The group known as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), which is a major al-Qaeda offshoot, is active in both Syria and Iraq.
The notable issue in this matter is that whenever al-Qaeda suffers a major defeat in Syria it tries to make up for it by intensifying violence in Iraq, for them it makes no difference whether their bomb is set off is in Kurdish regions, Shia Hosseiniyeh or a Sunni mosque.
On other hand one can point to the efforts made by Saudi Arabia and Qatar in support of Sunni extremist groups. These two follow different goals such as economic ones by creating insecurity in Iraq. They fear role Iraq can play in international oil markets. Saudi and Qatari officials know that if security prevails in Iraq the attractiveness of investment in the country’s different oil sectors will increase and investors and oil buyers may choose Iraq over other Arab countries.
In the opinion of certain political pundits, establishing a secure country based on democratic principles is another case for concern for Saudi Arabia, Qatar and other regional monarchies as they fear that such expectations will start emerging in their respective countries. The majority of these countries, including Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar and Saudi Arabia have Shia minorities, who are deprived of their basic rights. This is the reason why these countries not only want sectarian war in Iraq, but also fight democracy seekers in Bahrain.
There are many documents on proof of Qatari and Saudi activities in Iraq. Iraqi lawmaker Karim Elewi, member of National Alliance, talked of an elaborate plan by Saudi Arabia and Qatar to prevent political development in Iraq and said that with al-Qaeda support they seek to create ethnic war in Iraq.
On an international level, it seems that the US and certain Western countries are unhappy with the independent actions of Maliki and prefer to have an Erdogan style government in Iraq, because then they would face fewer obstacles to overthrow the Syrian government. Although, the bigger plan by the West’s allies, such as Saudi Arabia and Qatar, is to disintegrate Iraq.
In reality international groups supporting terrorism try to promote ethnicism and insecurity to achieve their goal of disintegrating Iraq into three parts of Sunnis in the west, Kurds in the north and Shias in the south. This plan would prepare the group for the Zionist plan for the Middle East which seeks to dominate from the Nile to Euphrates.
In general it could be said that there are many factors behind the surge of violence in Iraq, which they can be summarized as the structural issues of the Iraqi government, the support of foreign countries of terrorism, the spread of violence from Syria and al-Qaeda links in both countries, lack of sufficient control on border areas and existence of different ethnicities and religions in the country.