Black Friday for Turkmen worshippers in KirkukSeptember 29, 2012 at 10:11 pm | Posted in Turkmens | Leave a comment
Tags: 7th September bomb attacks Kerkuk, Killing Shia worshippers in Kirkuk, Targeting Turkmens in Iraq
Two of our relatives killed in a bomb attack targeting Turkmens in Kirkuk
As Violence Increases in Kirkuk the Turkmens Are Targeted
by Bilgay Duman, ORSAM Middle East Specialist
12 September 2012
If this situation increasingly continues, it might lead to a sectarian conflict in Kirkuk. The most damaged group would be Turkmens. Because almost all Arabs and Kurds in Kirkuk are Sunni. But there are both Shiites and Sunnis among the Turkmen in Kirkuk. In case a potential sectarian conflict takes place, Turkmens might become polarized (even if a low possibility). It is important to note that Turkmens are politically divided in Kirkuk. Shiite Turkmen parties formed a Turkmen coalition. Even though their goal is to form a Turkmen unity, the fact that this coalition only includes Shiite Turkmen parties might be considered as the major obstacle before creating this unity.
Even during the most violent sectarian conflict in Iraq, sectarian problems did not take place among Turkmens in Kirkuk which is the stronghold of the Turkmen identity. Nevertheless, the consequences of such a situation to directly take place in Kirkuk might not be in favor of Turkmens. Therefore, it would be good for Turkmen institutions and organizations, Turkmen people and particularly for Turkmen politicians to be moderate. It can be assessed that there might be those who would want to prevent the rise of Turkmens in the Iraqi politics in the recent period.
Turkmens are the balance factor in Kirkuk. There might be some groups that would like to create division among Turkmens. Because whenever Turkmens act in unison with any group, it is highly possible that the aforesaid group will become stronger. Disturbing this balance would bring grief not only to Turkmens but also to Kirkuk in general. And a major trouble to take place in Kirkuk would easily reflect badly on all across Iraq.
Below are some articles reporting the bomb attacks of 7 September 2012:
Iraq: Multiple Bombings Kill 8 at Mosques in Kirkuk
By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
Published: September 7, 2012
Eight killed in Kirkuk bomb attacksString of bomb attacks targeting Shiite places of worship kills at
least eight people, wounds 33 others.Middle East OnlineKIRKUK, Iraq – A series of apparently coordinated bombings
targeting Shiite places of worship, or husseiniyahs, in north Iraq
killed at least eight people and wounded 33 on Friday, a medical
official said.A car bomb targeted the Khezal al-Tamimi husseiniyah in central
Kirkuk at about 12:55 pm (0955 GMT), followed by a bombing
at Imam Ali husseiniyah in the city’s northeast, and three bombings
at Al-Mustafa husseiniyah in south Kirkuk, security and medical
officials said.Sadiq Omar Rasul, the head of Kirkuk health department, said
that eight people were killed and 33 wounded in the attacks.An AFP correspondent saw the burned bodies of two children and
dozens of burned-out cars at Al-Mustafa husseiniyah.Hadi Qanbar, who had been praying at Al-Mustafa husseiniyah,
said that worshippers were told about the attack on Khezal
al-Tamimi and began to leave.”But when we left, explosions happened one after another,” he said.
“We do not know why we were targeted.”
Azhar Kamal, who was also at Al-Mustafa husseiniyah, said: “We
Hassan Hussein, who was at Khezal al-Tamimi at the time of the
“We saw our brothers and friends killed and wounded by this
Politics driving Iraq Shia killings: Analyst
More than 33 others were also wounded in apparently coordinated bombings targeting Shia places of worship or Husseiniyahs in Kirkuk on Friday.
Two children are reported to be among the dead.
Iraqi security officials say at least three Husseiniyahs, including Khezal al-Tamimi Husseiniyah which is the site of powerful Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr’s main office in Kirkuk, were attacked.
Press TV has conducted an interview with Saad al-Muttalibi from the State of Law Coalition from Baghdad to shed more light on the issue.
What follows is an approximate transcription of the interview.
Press TV: Saad a-Mutallibi what do you think is the reason behind these attacks today?
al-Muttalibi: In the name of God, the most gracious, the most merciful.
It is quite unusual; usually we have atrocities and violence when there is an escalation of violence or escalation of political unrest.
Now we are passing through a quiet political time where political parties are talking to each other and the negotiations are going on and usually with such an easy political environment, we do not have such an escalation of violence and in particular targeted at one sect of the society, i.e. in this case targeting the Shiite in Kirkuk.
This is quite suspicious, we cannot really understand the reason for such a violent escalation of violence targeting places of worship, targeting Shiits in a city that is known for its multiethnic…, multitude of different ethnicities and religions and beliefs and even nationalities.
Therefore it is quite unknown that, the increase in violence, and I personally think that it has something to do with the unrest between the KRG [Kurdistan Regional Government] government and the central government here in Baghdad.
Maybe they are supporters of KRG which are using al-Qaeda or people close to al-Qaeda to put pressure or blackmailing the central government through violence.
Press TV: so you are saying that…, if I am correct to understand this, that since political parties are talking and since negotiations are taking place between political parties that maybe this escalation in violence which we have six blasts as a case in point that has targeted a mosque belonging to Shiite Muslims is to, maybe, have an effect on these negotiations or to throw it off its path?
al-Muttalibi: Yes, most likely. People are targeting…, I mean those criminals are targeting this particular sect in society for a political reason.
I mean we know hate has its limits but this coordinated attack and coordinated efforts in derailing any negotiations or at sometimes putting a political bill as for blackmailing one political party against another.
So the circumstances are, as I said, very suspicious and need a very, very thorough investigation into how the bombs got into this areas and basically who is behind the explosions?
Press TV: And you have stated this relation between the KRG and al-Qaeda, given that context what should the central government [of Iraq] do?
al-Muttalibi: Well, we do have…, I mean the central government has, at present, quite unresolved issues with the regional government of Kurdistan and the tension is quite high between the two entities.
The KRG or the Kurdistan Regional Government is behaving outside of the constitution causing a lot of problems, causing a great loss up to now we are thinking [estimating] in the region of [about] 6.6 billion dollars in lost revenue, lost oil revenue.
There is an interference in the Syrian conflict; Kurdistan [region] is allowing certain violent elements to enter Syria from Kurdistan.
There are talks of camps in Kurdistan which we have no control of.
So there are unresolved issues and what can the central government do? The federal government is tied by the constitution and tied by the political map that we are governed by, through democracy and very much the government cannot deal with this directly; unless they can manage to rally behind the government, the different political blocs within the Iraqi parliament.