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WikiLeaks: 2008-05-09: 08BAGHDAD1446: Kurdish Tactics Alienate Shia Shabak

by WikiLeaks. 08BAGHDAD1446: May 09, 2008.

Posted: Sunday, September 08, 2013 at 12:35 PM UT


Viewing cable 08BAGHDAD1446, NINEWA: KURDISH TACTICS ALIENATE SHIA SHABAK

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Reference ID Created Classification Origin
08BAGHDAD1446 2008-05-09 11:28 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Baghdad
VZCZCXRO9568
RR RUEHBC RUEHDE RUEHIHL RUEHKUK
DE RUEHGB #1446 1301128
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
R 091128Z MAY 08
FM AMEMBASSY BAGHDAD
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 7259
INFO RUCNRAQ/IRAQ COLLECTIVE
RHMFISS/HQ USEUCOM VAIHINGEN GE
RHMFISS/HQ USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL
RUEKJCS/DIA WASHDC
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHINGTON DC
C O N F I D E N T I A L BAGHDAD 001446 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 05/09/2018 
TAGS: PGOV PREL KDEM PHUM IZ
SUBJECT: NINEWA: KURDISH TACTICS ALIENATE SHIA SHABAK 
 
Classified By: Classified by Ninewa PRT Leader Jason Hyland for reasons 
 1.4 (B) and (D). 
 
This is a Ninewa Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT) message. 
 
1. (C/NF) A prominent leader of the minority Shia Shabak and 
Turkmen communities in eastern Ninewa's al Hamdaniya district 
said May 5 that heavy-handed Kurdish pressure in 2008 has 
solidified his constituency's opposition to joining the 
Kurdish Regional Government (KRG).  Islamic Supreme Council 
of Iraq (ISCI) Provincial Council member Mohammad Ibrahim 
told Special Adviser for Northern Iraq Affairs Ambassador 
Thomas Krajeski and PRT Ninewa officers that the Kurdish 
prohibition of Arabic-language signs, ISCI exclusion from the 
provincial Article 140 committee, Kurdish over-representation 
on the Provincial Council and instances of violence between 
Shabak and formerly pro-Saddam Herki Kurds in Hamdaniya all 
contribute to the opposition to the Kurds.  "The Kurdish 
Regional Government is being forced on Hamdaniya," he said. 
Ninewa ISCI chairman Abu Zainab did not defend the KRG, but 
said the region could still be a good option for the Shabak 
if the Kurds would protect minority rights. 
 
2. (C/NF) Although Ibrahim is himself a Shia Turkmen, he is 
the most visible and vocal representative at the provincial 
level of Shia Shabak and Turkmen interests in al Hamdaniya. 
His anti-Kurdish views mirror the national level views of Dr. 
Hunayn Al-Qadu, a Shia Shabak COR member. 
 
Christians Pitch Autonomy within KRG 
------------------------------------ 
 
3. (C/NF) In a separate May 5 meeting with Ambassador 
Krajeski, a group of Assyrian Catholics from al Hamdaniya 
maintained their long-standing support for living 
autonomously within the KRG and presented for the first time 
their vision of what life under the Kurds would look like. 
George Naziya, head of the Chaldean-Assyrian-Syriac Council, 
described how his political bloc contains 10 smaller 
Christian political parties interested in joining the KRG. 
Naziya said the Council's proposal would be to create within 
the KRG an autonomous region connecting a thin ribbon of 
Christian villages in Ninewa's Tel Keif, Mosul and Hamdaniya 
districts.  Under his proposal, the autonomous Christian 
region in the KRG would maintain ownership of oil reserves, 
establish its own autonomous cabinet and parliament, and 
receive a five percent slice of the GOI budget proportionate 
with what he claimed is the area,s percentage of Iraq,s 
total population.  He said life under the KRG would be 
attractive because the Kurds offer minority rights and 
economic opportunities.  The Assyrian Democratic Movement, 
which holds leadership positions in neighboring Tel Keif 
district, is not part of the Council, often voices its 
anti-Kurd sentiment and supports autonomy within Ninewa under 
Article 125. 
 
Comment: Cracks in al Hamdaniya's Support for KRG 
--------------------------------------------- ---- 
 
4. (C/NF) The disposition of these minority groups, who 
comprise most of the Hamdaniya district of Ninewa province, 
is important as Hamdaniya may be one of the first districts 
UNAMI addresses under the Article 140/disputed internal 
boundaries process.  Ibrahim's remarks reflect the antipathy 
for the Kurds among some of Hamdaniya's ethnic and religious 
minorities, who worry that current Kurdish intimidation 
foreshadows a restrictive life for minorities under the KRG. 
While the economic benefits of joining the KRG continue to 
appeal to Hamdaniya's Christian leaders, their proposed 
region may lack the political and economic foundation 
necessary for viable autonomy, and probably in its current 
form asks more than KRG or GOI leaders are willing to give. 
CROCKER

 



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