Clerics and tribal leaders from the Sunni heartland of Iraq offered a conditional backing Friday for the new Iraqi government, which is hoping to contain the sectarian bloodshed as well as an offensive on the part of Islamic State militants, which threatens to tear Iraq apart with war.
One of the more influential tribal leaders announced he would be willing to work with the prime minister designate who is Shi’ite. He said if Haider al-Abadi provided an administration that respected the Sunni minority’s rights. They were the ones that dominated under former leader Saddam Hussein.
The leader, Ali Hatem Suleiman left the possibility open that the Sunnis would fight against fighters from the Islamic State the way he and others joined the Shi’ite led forces and the U.S. to stop al-Qaeda insurgency from 2006 to 2009 in Iraq.
However, amidst the signs that there were political accords possible in the nation, some 80 members of the Yazidi minority in Iraq were massacred by insurgents from the Islamic State, a lawmaker, who is Yazidi and Kurdish officials announced on Friday.
Abadi faces a very daunting task of trying to pacify Iraq and in particular the huge Anbar desert province. It forms most of the border with Syria and is where the Islamic State militants also control large areas of territory.
Alienation of the Sunnis under Nuri al-Maliki the outgoing Shi’ite Prime Minister pushed some groups in Anbar to join in on the revolt by the Islamic State. That is now pulling in the U.S. and European allies in varying degrees through airstrikes and aid to help contain what is seen as a big threat that could go beyond just Iraq’s borders.
The Security Council of the United Nations blacklisted the spokesman for the Islamic State along with five militants on Friday. The Council threatened to place sanctions against the supporters of the insurgents, giving UN experts 3 months to report on who the supporters are.
Iraq is suffering its worst violence since 2006, with militants from the Islamic State overrunning huge parts of the north and west, which has forced hundreds of thousands to flee and threatens the ethnic Kurds autonomous province.