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WikiLeaks: 2006-03-26: 06MOSUL35: Ninewa: "Civil War is not on the Agenda"

by WikiLeaks. 06MOSUL35: March 26, 2006.

Posted: Sunday, February 05, 2012 at 12:26 PM UTC


Viewing cable 06MOSUL35, NINEWA: "CIVIL WAR IS NOT ON THE AGENDA"

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
06MOSUL35 2006-03-26 16:38 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL REO
Mosul
VZCZCXRO1935
PP RUEHBC RUEHDE RUEHIHL RUEHKUK
DE RUEHMOS #0035/01 0851638
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 261638Z MAR 06
FM REO MOSUL
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 0448
INFO RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHINGTON DC
RUCNRAQ/IRAQ COLLECTIVE
RHMFISS/HQ USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL
RHMFISS/HQ USEUCOM VAIHINGEN GE
RUEHLU/AMEMBASSY LUANDA 0042
RUEHMOS/REO MOSUL 0467
C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 MOSUL 000035 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL:  3/26/2016 
TAGS: PREL PINS PINT PGOV PHUM IZ MARR
SUBJECT: NINEWA: "CIVIL WAR IS NOT ON THE AGENDA" 
 
 
MOSUL 00000035  001.2 OF 002 
 
 
CLASSIFIED BY: Cameron  Munter, PRT Leader, Provincial 
Reconstruction Team Ninewa, State. 
REASON: 1.4 (a), (b), (d) 
 
 
 
------------------- 
SUMMARY AND COMMENT 
------------------- 
 
1.  (C) Since the bombing of the Golden Mosque in Samarra on 
February 22, we have asked contacts if they believe civil war is 
imminent.  Several point to areas with high populations of Shia, 
such as Tal Afar, as ripe for civil war once Coalition Forces 
are drawn down.  Actual incidents range from threat letters, 
kidnappings for ransom, and random killings targeted at certain 
groups (such as a widely reported March 16 incident where six 
Turkoman Shia university students on a school bus were executed, 
while Sunnis on riding with them were set free by the killers). 
We interviewed political party, Iraqi government and security 
officials to gauge their opinions and insight into this issue. 
Our conclusion: in Ninewa, there's heightened tension, but 
mudslinging as usual.  End Summary and Comment. 
 
------------------------------ 
SUNNI VIEWS: IT'S THE IRANIANS 
------------------------------ 
 
2.  (C) Sunni Arabs denied there was any evidence of civil war 
in the province.  Iraqi Islamic Party (IIP) spokesman Younis 
Hashim said he believed relations between the varying political 
parties had actually improved over the past few months.  There 
had been fewer incidences of improvised explosive devices 
(IEDs), for example, but he did claim the number of kidnappings 
and assassinations had risen.  National assembly delegate and 
Iraqi National Dialogue Council (INDC) member Mahmood Al Azzawi 
shifted blame for local tensions on "Coalition Forces."  He 
claimed they had been "working with the press" to foster stories 
of violence in Baghdad and southern Iraq that was contributing 
to local tensions.  Other than that, he said, the security 
condition in Mosul was "very good."  Both Hashim and Al Azzawi 
pointedly accused Iran and Syria for creating problems in the 
country, especially among Shia.  "The Shia are under the 
influence of Iran," said Al Azzawi, "and that is the source of 
all of these problems." 
 
-------------------------------- 
KURDISH OPINION: IT'S THE SUNNIS 
-------------------------------- 
 
3.  (C) The Kurds, on the other hand, said Sunni Arabs were 
increasing ethnic tensions.  Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) 
spokesman Sheikh Mohayadeen Ma'roof accused IIP of infiltrating 
local NGOs to ally them with "Islamic parties."  There was an 
overall sense of unease, he said, with increased kidnappings, 
attacks, and killings of Kurds by "Arabs," which was forcing 
hundreds of Kurdish families to flee to relative security in 
Iraqi Kurdistan.  Ma'roof believed there were "signs of civil 
war" between Sunnis and Shia, and that the real cause of 
problems in the country was with the "Iranians" and "Baathists." 
  Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) member Mehdi Herki claimed an 
increase in killings and assassinations targeting Kurds, then 
Assyrians, Yezidis, and some Arabs were a result of terrorists 
moving to Mosul from Samarra and Baghdad.  He said the recent 
killing of Turkoman Shia students on a school bus last week 
occurred because of the students' identities.  Herki believed 
the impetus for the attack was to "ignite sectarian conflict 
amongst the people of Ninewa."  Omer Azzo of the PUK concurred 
claiming the level of violence had risen substantially over the 
past few months.  Kurds were targeted in Mosul because of their 
"close connection" to Coalition Forces (CF).  He said many 
threats received by Kurds were made by "Baathists and 
Islamists."  Azzo believed that violence in Ninewa was in direct 
relation to the formation of the new Iraqi government. 
Terrorists did not want the government to function, he said. 
 
------------------------------------------- 
MINORITY OBSERVATIONS: IT'S EVERYONE BUT US 
------------------------------------------- 
 
4.  (C) Minority group opinions varied considerably.  Shabek 
Shia claimed there was "no sign" of tensions between Sunni and 
Shia, mostly due to the small number of Shia in Ninewa.  Yousef 
Muharam of Shabek Democratic Assembly (SDA) claimed, however, 
that tensions in Tal Afar, where there were considerable numbers 
of Shia, were a different story.  Muharam said tensions there 
between Sunni and Shia have caused several Shia to leave the 
area for refuge in southern Iraq.  Dr. Haneen Al Qado, national 
assembly delegate and SDA leader, disagreed with his colleague, 
 
MOSUL 00000035  002.2 OF 002 
 
 
believing that Shia Shabek and Turkoman settling in Mosul were 
"increasingly becoming targets" of terrorists who were bent on 
waging sectarian strife on them.  Aref Yousef of Supreme Council 
of Islamic Revolution of Iraq (SCIRI) had a different take on 
the situation in Mosul.  The left bank of Mosul -- mostly Arab 
side -- was becoming tense.  Over the past four days, he said, 
20 people were killed, including a doctor.  He claimed the most 
pronounced problems between Sunnis and Shia were in Tal Afar and 
Al Baaj in the southwestern part of the province.  However, the 
situation in those to areas had improved after visits by 
provincial government leaders, he said. 
 
5.  (C) Christians had a very different take on the situation. 
While noting an increase of kidnappings and murders, they 
claimed that civil war in Ninewa, specifically Mosul, was 
"highly unlikely."  Dinkha Patros of Beth Nahrain Patriotic 
Union said although there was some tension in the city, the 
markets were still functioning and people were walking on the 
streets.  "But the situation was worse a month ago," he said. 
He claimed security in the western part of the city had improved 
since CF had shifted more security operations to Iraqi Security 
Forces (ISF).  "Still there are people leaving the city, and 
even my own family is resettling to Dohuk," said Patros.  While 
there might be civil war in southern Iraq and Baghdad, claimed 
Edmon Yohanna of Assyrian Democratic Movement (ADM), there would 
never be war throughout the whole country.  Yohanna believed the 
Badr and Mehdi militias were the "main forces" behind ethnic 
tensions in the south.  He, too, related problems with security 
in the whole country to government formation in Baghdad.  "The 
Sunnis want to make a point that the Ministries of Interior and 
Defense will never be Shiite," he said.  Yohanna claimed any 
"war" going on in Ninewa was a different kind of war.  He said 
the root of the problems in Mosul was a "weak" provincial 
government dominated by the Kurds.  Yohanna credited any 
stability in Mosul to "Arabic forces" of the ISF, since the 
Kurds "don't care about security" in non-Kurdish areas. 
 
------------------------ 
SECURITY FORCES ANALYSIS: IT'S THE GOVERNMENT 
------------------------ 
 
6.  (C) Members of the Provincial Joint Coordination Center 
(PJCC) believed tensions were rising but security incidents were 
not (the number of murders stayed the same at about 30 per 
month, they said).  Col Ismael Hussein Khader, an Iraqi Army 
(IA) 2nd Division liaison officer at the PJCC, claimed security 
problems were escalating, which was due to corruption at the mid 
and upper levels of the ISF.  He and PJCC colleague Col Khaled 
Suleiyman, also a liaison officer with the IA 2nd Division, 
believed that "too many terrorists" were freed from prisons by 
CF, ISF, and judges (septel).  They did not believe the cause of 
the violence was due to civil strife or ethnic tensions, but 
rather to a criminal justice system that was not working. 
Khader claimed that each time a "terrorist" was set free the 
public's trust in the government fell even lower.  He and 
Suleiyman also claimed that the number of terrorists reported by 
CF and ISF was false; instead of numbering in the hundreds 
terrorists were somewhere in the thousands.  They failed to 
understand how CF and ISF could not be winning the war unless 
the number of terrorists was much higher.  In Tal Afar, Khader 
claimed that terrorists, not necessarily ethnicities, were 
behind problems there.  He said the city "would fall" once CF 
was drawn down.  Khader and Suleiyman believed that kidnappings 
and extortions in Ninewa were a result of terrorist financing to 
support insurgent operations.  They blamed "death squads" in the 
south for causing troubles there, and the "Kurds" for 
contributing to problems in the north.  Chief Judge Faisal 
Hadeed claimed there was "no civil war" brewing in Mosul.  There 
were simply "groups" spreading fear and propaganda to frighten 
the public, he said.  He believed any problems now would "stop" 
in the near future. 
 
---------------------------- 
COMMENT: "NOT ON THE AGENDA" 
---------------------------- 
 
7.  (C) Ninewa's Kurds and Shia believe that they are being 
specifically targeted because of their ethnicity.  The 
Christians, on the other hand, have a more cynical view of the 
whole situation.  They appear to believe there is no civil war 
brewing, but rather a concerted and continuous effort to push 
them out of the province.  We conclude that each group is 
choosing to confirm its existing prejudices.  In the meantime, 
we should be mindful of these events but hope that as PUK 
national assembly delegate Abdelbari Al Zebari told us earlier, 
"Civil war is not on the agenda." 
MUNTER

 


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