Posted by | December 18, 2011 18:12 | Filed under: Top Stories

Sunnis and Shiites began fighting the moment the last American left Iraq.

Within hours of the last U.S. troops rolling out of Iraq on Sunday, Shi’ite Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki had asked parliament to sack his Sunni deputy, and security sources said an arrest warrant was issued for the Sunni vice president.

Add to this a parliamentary boycott announced Saturday by the secular Iraqiya bloc, backed by many Sunnis, and the risk is growing of an intensified power struggle between Sunni, Shi’ite and Kurdish politicians that could leave Iraq vulnerable to meddling by Sunni Arab nations and Shi’ite Iran…

Sunni-backed Iraqiya said it was suspending its participation in parliament over what it called Maliki’s failure to deliver on promises. Maliki’s office then called on parliament for a vote of no confidence in his Sunni deputy, Vice President Saleh al-Mutlaq, a prominent leader of Iraqiya, saying he lacked faith in the political process.

Iraq’s Sunni minority are chafing under what they see as the increasingly authoritarian control of Maliki’s coalition. Some local leaders are already pushing mainly Sunni provinces such as Salahuddin and Diyala to demand autonomy from Baghdad.

Kurds are also likely to be involved in rivalries with the other Iraqi factions.

A dispute between the semi-autonomous Kurdish region and Maliki’s central government over oil and territory is also brewing, and is a potential flashpoint after the buffer of the American military presence is gone.

The Kurdistan Regional Government last month stepped up pressure on Maliki’s central government by signing exploration deals with Exxon Mobil, a move Baghdad said was illegal. That move is testing Maliki’s resolve to centralise control over oil resources.

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Copyright 2011 Liberaland
By: Alan

Alan Colmes is the publisher of Liberaland.