Fugitive Iraqi Vice President al-Hashimi says ISIL should ‘face action’

Fugitive Iraqi Vice President al-Hashimi says ISIL should ‘face action’

Fugitive Iraqi Vice President al-Hashimi says ISIL should ‘face action’

Hashemi during an interview with The Associated Press in Istanbul. AP Photo / Emrah Gürel

Firm action should be taken against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), which has taken 80 Turkish citizens hostage as it spreads across northern Iraq, Iraq’s fugitive Sunni Vice President Tariq al-Hashimi has told daily Hürriyet.

However, al-Hashimi also said it was not only ISIL that was behind the uprising in Mosul, but the main cause was the “injustice, marginalization and oppression” of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki against Arab Sunnis.

 “In fact the tribes, old army individuals, armed groups that fought against the Americans and others, including ISIL, all participated,” he said.

 Al-Hashimi said he did not agree that ISIL started the uprising in Mosul. “I agree that ISIL is relatively powerful in Mosul, but the organization was not behind the recent uprising,” he told Hürriyet.

The former vice president blamed Prime Minister al-Maliki for the current developments and violence in Iraq. “The main reason behind the uprising is primarily the injustice, marginalization and oppression of al-Maliki against the Arab Sunnis. Components lost hope in making change, or in ensuring equal footing or similar styles of life like Kurds or Shiites through the political process or through democratic means,” he said, while also accusing the international community of “turning a blind eye to the aggression of al-Maliki toward the Sunnis.”

 “Even the international community has turned blind eye to their tragedy and has done nothing but watch the ongoing aggression of Prime Minister al-Maliki against al-Anbar province for five months. There is no option left for them but to adopt change through revolution. This is what happened in Mosul and is expected to extend south to other Sunni provinces,” al-Hashimi said.

He added that difficult days were expected for the Iraqi people. “Prime Minister al-Maliki is a man of crises, so there is no way that the Iraqi people can expect him to diffuse the bomb in a wise manner. Therefore, we are expecting fairly difficult days to come,” he said.  

 Al-Hashimi, a Sunni sentenced to death in 2012 after an Iraqi court convicted him of running death squads while vice president, something he denies, has long accused Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki of a witch-hunt against his Sunni opponents.