US battles Mahdi Army —PKK next?

At least eight people were killed and 13 injured May 6 as US aircraft bombed positions of the Mahdi Army militia in Baghdad’s Sadr City. (DPA, AP, May 7) Civilians are fleeing Sadr City, but the fighting is spreading beyond the enclave. A rocket slammed into Baghdad’s city hall and another hit a downtown park. (AP, May 7) Iran says it will not hold a fourth round of talks with the US on security in Iraq, as long as US forces continue what it called “open bombings” of Shi’ites. (VOA, May 5)

Meanwhile, Peritan Derseem, a leader of the PKK’s Iranian wing, PEJAK, said the group is considering attacks on the US in response to Turkish air raids on their positions in northern Iraq—and said it could lift its ban on suicide bombings. “We have changed our stand toward the United States government and we are standing against them now,” she said. “Maybe some day… individual combatants might launch suicide attacks inside Iraq and Turkey, and even against American interests.” (Middle East Online, May 7)

See our last post on Iraq, Iran and Kurdistan.