Former US Ambassador to Baghdad Christopher Hill says Saudi Arabia is sponsoring violence in Iraq and represents the biggest challenge to the Iraqi government.
In secret US cables dating back to 2009, talking about Iraq’s relationship with its neighbors, Hill said, “Saudi Arabia constitutes the biggest challenge and the problem is more complex in relation to the Iraqi politicians who are trying to form a stable and independent government.”
He also stressed that Riyadh funds al-Qaeda attacks in Iraq.
The cables showed that “Saudi Arabia was sponsoring sectarian incitement and allowed elders issue fatwas (decrees) enticing to kill followers of other sects.”
Hill also pointed out in his message that “intelligence sources reported that Saudi Arabia is based in the effort to destabilize the government of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki.”
Iraq has seen a surge in violence since the beginning of this year.
More than 60 people were killed and some 200 others wounded in a wave of bomb attacks across Iraq on Saturday, mostly in the capital Baghdad.
Iraqi authorities said nine blasts have rocked mostly Shia neighborhoods as people were celebrating Eid al-Fitr holiday, which marks the end of the fasting month of Ramadan.
The United Nations said on August 1 that a total of 1,057 Iraqis were killed and another 2,326 were wounded in acts of terrorism and violence in the month of July, making it the country’s deadliest month since 2008.
More than 4,000 people have died in terrorist attacks in Iraq so far in 2013, with Baghdad province being the worst hit.