Turkey warns Iraqis against sectarian
ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily News
Prime Minister Erdoğan warns Iraqis against sectarian clashes. AP photoTurkey’s prime minister called on Iraqi parties to refrain from sectarian clashes and said Turkey did not aim to intervene in Iraq’s internal politics.
“We sincerely warn to prevent bloodshed based on sectarian and ethnic clashes. We stood next to our Iraqi brothers during the oppression of the Saddam era, and we worked to reconcile all sides during the transition after U.S. intervention,” Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said to his deputies in Parliament yesterday. Saying sectarian tension became apparent after the U.S. forces’ withdrawal, Erdoğan said not only Turkey but the entire region and Islamic world were concerned with the possibility of new sectarian clashes that could resurface in Iraq “in lands that experienced the Karbala tragedy and Hussein [ibn Ali] was martyred.” Hussein ibn Ali was the Prophet Mohammed’s grandson who was beheaded in the Battle of Karbala in 680.
Meanwhile, Iraqi officials say they have arrested a ring of 21 Sunni insurgents allegedly involved in attacks in Baghdad, the Associated Press reported. Deputy Interior Minister Adnan al-Asadi said the cell is linked to the Baath party and was responsible for about 300 attacks against government employees and security forces.