Iraq Arabic News Summary, January 23

Iraq Arabic News, January 23, 2008 Arabic News From Iraq, January 23, 2008 Summarized in English by Nathaniel Rabkin

American Forces Arrest Anbari Sheikh

An anonymous source in the Anbar police says that American forces arrested a tribal leader on Thursday, January 10th in a dawn raid on the al-Mudiq area, two kilometers west of Khalidiyah in the Anbar province. According to the source, an American force transported in about 20 humvees arrested Hajj Ibrahim Ahmad Ali, a Sheikh of the Karabilah tribe, along with five of his sons. Aswat al-Iraq reported that it tried but was unable to obtain any comment from US forces on the incident. (Aswat al-Iraq, January 10th: “Source: American Army Arrests an Anbari Tribal Sheikh”)

Diwaniya Police: 350 Have Been Arrested

Safa Sahib Akmoush, the chief of the Qadisiya province police force, said earlier this month that judicial proceedings have begun against 350 suspects arrested since November in “Operation Lion Leap,” the joint US-Iraqi effort to restore security to the province. (Aswat al-Iraq, January 13th: “Arrest of 350 Suspected Participants in Acts of Violence in Diwaniya”)

Dulaymi and Hashimi Talk of Returning to Maliki’s Government; Parliament Moves Towards Amnesty Law

The Iraqi Accord Front is forming a committee to discuss resolving its differences with Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki and returning to the cabinet which he leads. According to a statement released by the office of Tariq al-Hashimi, Iraq’s Deputy President and a key IAF figure, “There are positive signs and new developments with regards to the demands that the IAF has presented to the government, particularly with regards to the Amnesty Law which has been presented to the parliament.” IAF leader Adnan al-Dulaymi said that “the government has shown good will and understanding towards the IAF’s demands, and has shown willingness to meet these demands in the near future.” According to Dulaymi, “the important demand is passing the General Amnesty Law.” However, Dulaymi also said that the IAF was demanding that it be given “an active role” in the government’s decision making process. The IAF, which has 44 seats in Iraq’s 275 seat parliament, is considered the largest political bloc representing Iraqi Sunnis. Its ministers left the government in August of last year after the Prime Minister failed to meet demands they had issued. (al-Sharq al-Awsat, January 22, “IAF Hints of Returning to the Government - After Its Demands Are Met”)

The Amnesty Law has been approved by the cabinet and parliament is scheduled to vote on it in the next few days - however, votes on sensitive laws have often been delayed repeatedly in the past. The exact text of the law is not yet publicly available, but according to unnamed “parliamentary sources” interviewed by the London-based al-Hayat newspaper, it will result in the release of about 20,000 of the 46,000 prisoners in Iraqi jails. (al-Hayat, January 21st, Husayn Ali Daoud “7,000 Prisoners Released Since Start of Last Year; IAF Considers the Amnesty Law a Step Towards Its Return to the Government”)

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