Sunday, January 24, 2010

Sadr Vs Hakim, Split In The Iraqi National Alliance

On January 18, 2010 the leader of the Supreme Islamic Iraqi Council (SIIC) Ammar al-Hakim traveled to Beirut, Lebanon to meet with some of that country’s leaders. During an interview with Lebanon’s New TV Channel Hakim was asked why he didn’t fight the U.S. occupation. He replied, that unlike Lebanon or Israel there was no clear resistance, and those who fought in Iraq killed innocent civilians. The Sadrist representative in Lebanon took issue with this and asked Moqtada al-Sadr for a response. He said that Hakim’s comments were “illogical and unacceptable,” saying that Hakim didn’t recognize the resistance because he wanted the U.S. to stay in Iraq. The SIIC and Sadrists are long time rivals that often fought each other throughout southern Iraq after the U.S. invasion. Despite that, and the fact that they disagree upon almost everything from a southern Shiite federal region to the demands of the Kurds to the role of the central government, the two parties joined together to form the Iraqi National Alliance in August 2009, with ample help from Iran. The internal tensions are still there however, as expressed in this latest spate between Hakim and Sadr. It’s still an open question whether this alliance of convenience will last past the March 2010 vote.

SOURCES

Aswat al-Iraq, “Sadr says Hakim wants “occupation” forces to stay,” 1/22/10
- “SIIC chief arrives n Beirut,” 1/18/10

International Crisis Group, “Iraq’s Civil War, The Sadrists And The Surge,” 2/7/08

Roads To Iraq, “Sadr vs Hakim again,” 1/22/10

Sullivan, Marisa Cochrane, “Iraq’s Parliamentary Election,” Institute for the Study of War, 10/21/09

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