Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Maliki has turned the heat up on his
Arab neighbors after last month’s double bombings at the foreign and
finance ministries, which killed about 100 people. Maliki and his
government have repeatedly accused Syria of providing shelter to those
behind the blasts. Syria has denied the charge, and some Iraqi
politicians have raised serious questions about whether Syria or the
Baath Party was involved.
Today, Maliki once more slammed
his neighbors. “We will continue looking [for a way] to close all the
gaps and the doors from which the killers can breathe again. We censure
the others from our brothers, friends and the neighborly countries,”
Maliki said on a visit to the southern city of Karbala. “They used to
say that they are with us and they did stand with us in certain
situations, but how can we describe the practice of embracing the
killers. To where will they be exported [next] time, to Iraq again or
to a different country? Can the evil be contained to one specific
Maliki has asked the U.N. Security Council to
establish a formal investigation into the bombings. He has also accused
Syrian intelligence agents of sitting in on a meeting in July of Baath
Party officials and Islamic militants. The government sees it as the
latest episode in which Syria has allegedly been complicit in the
activities of anti-Iraq militants. Iraqi security officials confirmed
today that they had sent additional security forces to reinforce the
vast Syria-Iraq border.
Since the bombings, the
government has revived the practice of showing taped confessions from
alleged militants. Two confessions have been shown on state television
and a third was aired at a news conference. The first confession was of
an Iraqi arrested for the Aug. 19 attack, who blamed Baath Party
leaders in Syria for planning the attack. The other confessions have
shown foreign fighters recounting their alleged travels through Syria.
There is no way to verify whether the taped remarks were genuine or
staged. But they mark a concerted effort to blame Syria in part for
recent security breaches.
On Wednesday and Thursday,
the state channel broadcast the purported confessions of an alleged
fighter from Yemen named Mohammed Oud.
The following are excerpts from the broadcast: