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China backs Iraq’s terror crackdown
July 4, 2014, 4:09 pm

People demonstrate outside the White House against U.S. involvement in Iraq [AP]

People demonstrate outside the White House against U.S. involvement in Iraq [AP]

China will back Iraq’s efforts to safeguard independence and fight terrorism, the Foreign Ministry said on Friday even as prospects of an early national unity government to save Iraq from collapse look dim.

“China supports Iraq’s efforts to safeguard independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity, speed up political reconstruction and national reconciliation and crack down on terrorism,” said Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hong Lei at a press briefing in Beijing.

All parties in Iraq should come up with an inclusive government to hold the fragmenting country together as Sunni insurgents bear down on Baghdad, said Hong.

More than two weeks ago, armed Sunni insurgents spearheaded by the al-Qaida splinter group the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant, launched a surprise offensive that led to the fall of a large part of the country’s northern and western territories.

Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki on Wednesday warned that the latest declaration of an Islamic state by Sunni extremists is a threat to the entire region.

The leader of Iraq’s autonomous Kurdish region on Thursday asked the regional parliament to prepare for a referendum on the independence of the region as well as the disputed areas adjacent to the country’s north, an official Kurdish website said.

The project to partition Iraq into its disparate ethnic constituencies was seen as a security imperative by more than one Middle Eastern power, writes Firas Al-Atraqchi, associate professor of Journalism at the American University in Cairo.

“Israeli military strategist Oded Yinon, for example, mapped out as early as 1982 a blueprint for dividing Iraq into Kurdish, Shia and Sunni entities. He drew on the ideas of earlier Israeli thinkers,” writes Al-Atraqchi.

“But the first real opportunity to ‘physically’ divide Iraq emerged in the aftermath of the 1991 Gulf War when France, the UK and the US sponsored and enforced a No-Fly Zone in the north. This was a turning point because it effectively ‘shielded’ (isolated) the Kurdish autonomous territories from the rest of the country,” he adds.


TBP and Agencies

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