Maliki: “Iraq Now Has al-Qaeda Headquarters in Anbar”
Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki (photo) recently said al-Qaeda has established a headquarters for itself at a site in al-Anbar Province used by anti-government protesters for sit-ins.
“I say clearly and honestly that the sit-in site in Anbar has turned into a headquarters for the leadership of al-Qaeda,” AFP quoted al-Maliki as saying.
“We now have a headquarters for al-Qaeda leading the armed operations against Iraq and the Iraqi people, and this is something about which we cannot be silent,” he said.
He urged anti-government protesters camping out for a year to leave the area before Security Forces move in.
The Iraqi Prime Minister called on the Iraqi Forces to take a “firm stance to end” the sit-in in Ramadi which is the largest city in the province.
He further noted, “The headquarters of al-Qaeda has become a danger not only for Anbar, but for Iraq in general."
Al-Maliki’s comments came a day after at least 18 Iraqi Military Officers were killed in an ambush in the Sunni Muslim-dominated province.
According to military sources, the Commander of the army's Seventh Division and the Commander of its 28th Brigade as well as several other high-ranking Officers were among those killed in the attack.
Iraq’s Interior Ministry has said that militants have launched an open war in Iraq and they want to push the Middle Eastern country into chaos.
“The country is currently facing an open war from bloodthirsty sectarian forces that aim to plunge the country into chaos,” the Interior Ministry said in a statement issued on July 30.