Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari warned July 9 against a quick withdrawal of US troops. Zebari said Iraqis “understand the huge pressure that will increase more and more in the United States” ahead of the progress report by the US ambassador and top commanders in Iraq. “We have held discussion with members of Congress and explained to them the dangers of a quick pull out from Iraq and leaving a security vacuum. The dangers could be a civil war, dividing the country, regional wars and the collapse of the state… In our estimations, until Iraqi forces are ready, there is a responsibility on the United States to stand with the government as the forces are being built.”
Zebari also warned of an imminent threat of Turkish intervention in Iraqi Kurdistan. “There is a great mobilisation on Iraq’s northern international border that the security services and intelligence (agencies) estimate at more than 140,000 military personnel with all sorts of equipment,” Zebari told a news conference. (Daily Times, Pakistan, July 10)
A July 7 truck-bomb attack in the impoverished Shiite Turkmen village of Amerli, 100 miles north of Baghdad in Salahuddin province, has has left some 150 dead, highlighting fears that Sunni insurgents facing military crackdowns in Baghdad and Diyala province are simply directing their attacks to areas outside the concentration of US troops. Bombs were hidden under watermelons in the Amerli attack, perhaps the most deadly since the US invasion.
In Baghdad July 8, two coordinated car bombings in the Karrada neighborhood killed eight Iraqis and wounded 12 others. (NYT, July 9)
We have been arguing for over a year that it is already a civil war in Iraq.