While Maliki’s efforts to push the Sunnis out of the cabinet and the political process, his harsh statements towards Turkey and the interference of Iran in the Syrian politics are assessed as the first signs of Iraq that is likely to be disunited, Maliki, still keeping the ministries related to the security such as Ministry of Defense and the Interior Ministry under control, is arming expeditiously. Maliki made a deal with USA 11bn-worth of weaponry. The political actors are interpreting it as “the Saddamisation of Maliki”.
Maliki, preparation for a coup
The Iran-centric Syria policy of Maliki and his harsh statements towards Turkey push the balance in domestic policy while the struggle of the Shiites to dominate the destiny of Iraq causes its decomposition. The active political actors in Iraq are worried about what Maliki will do to country.
Maliki, who has tried to send Hashimi to prison and forced Kurds to make a choice between the Sunnis and the Shiites, causes the tension between the Shiites and the Sunnis to increase day by day. The rumours are increasing the concerns about the preparation for a coup by Maliki through using the forces of the Ministry of Defence and the Interior Ministry, which are represented by him except for the prime ministry.
Maliki is not afraid of a civil war threat. He has already set up private military units and intelligence service, which are dependent to him. Putting into use the security forces, Maliki is striving to reconstruct his government beyond the Kurdish region.
Maliki becoming severe
The presence of the security units, which have stepped into action upon the instruction of the Prime Minister Maliki for a year, can be assumed as Maliki’s show of force. While the private units, depending on Maliki, are being criticized because they launch operations by themselves, take people into custody and interrogate them unlawfully and also the detention period is against the international law, it is seriously ominous that Maliki falls on deaf ears for the criticism and keeps on carrying out the operations particularly against the Sunnis.
The private units constituted three military quarters in Baghdad, one in Basra, two in Mosul, one in Baqubah, one in Samarah, one in Qadisiyah, one in Kut in a year. The Iraqi state that these quarters are operating as the torture offices and the relatives of the people who are taken into custody cannot take any legal action. Besides, it is indicated that in case of releasing the detainees, they are forced to sign that they are not tortured.
Maliki, trying to dismiss Chief of Staff of the Iraqi Army
The Prime Minister of Iraq Maliki is concerned about keeping hold of the military force. Maliki, who represents the Ministry of Defense and the Interior Ministry except for the Prime Ministry, portioned out the ministries and the important establishments between the ethnic and sectarian groups in terms of the forces and political balance in Iraq. As a result of this partition, Babiker Zebari was appointed as Chief of Staff of the Iraqi army, who is Kurdish originated and known with the closeness to Barzani.
Since the former Maliki government, there has been a problem in the relations between Maliki and Zebari, occupying the General Staff, because the pashmarga units had problems with the security forces in the troubled regions, particularly in Kirkuk and Diyala, and Maliki wanted to appoint some Shiite commanders, dependent to him, in important cities. It is reported that Maliki has been concerned about dismissing some remarkable Sunni and Kurd commanders in the army.
Maliki, against whom is he arming?
The fact that Maliki is in the stage of making a deal with some American companies 11bn-worth of weaponry worries the ethnic and sectarian groups in Iraq, where the conflicts are gradually increasing between these groups. The Iraqi, who had been living under the suppression of Saddam Hussein’s administration for long years, are curious and worried about how Maliki will provide the control of the weapons. Particularly, considering the experiences during the Saddam era in the past, the Kurds thinks that Maliki is “Saddamized”. The political party representatives have the opinion that the arming of Maliki will pose a threat against the Iraqi people in the long run.
Maliki will buy fighter aircraft
It is said that the Ministry of Defense, under control of Nouri al-Maliki, is about to sign the weaponry agreement and the tanks and the fighter aircrafts are also included. According to the information received, Maliki has sent 14 pilots abroad to be trained.
Maliki can be a threat as Saddam was for the regional balance
Nouri al-Maliki has made the Air Forces Command prepare a report to identify the necessities and envisage the reinforcement of the Air Forces. In this report, it is emphasized that Iraq needs 180 fighter aircraft. The fact that Nouri al-Maliki, who causes Iraq to have conflicts between some Arab countries as well in the Middle East, in particular with Turkey, wants to increase his military and armed force, raises the concern in the region.
Çetiner Çetin, Journalist- ORSAM Advisory Board Member