Ahead of the March 7 Iraq election, tensions between Arabs and Kurds are soaring after an incident involving Kurdish troops and forces loyal to the Arab governor of Ninevah. Kurdish President Massoud Barzani told the Monitor that a warrant will soon be issued for the governor's arrest on a kidnapping charge.
Abu Mahdi al Mohandas is one of more than 6,000 candidates on the ballot in the Iraqi elections on March 7. But the Shiite politician, now hiding in Iran, says the US considers him a terrorist and a weapons supplier to Iraq militia groups.
Just two weeks before crucial Iraq parliamentary elections and amid a dispute over the disqualifications of some candidates with ties to Saddam Hussein's banned Baath party, a suicide bomber killed 11 in Anbar Province. Some in Iraq are worried that the controversial disqualifications are heightening tensions.
On the second consecutive day of major suicide bombings in Iraq, top US Gen. Raymond Odierno says Al Qaeda in Iraq had changed focus in the past six months.
Iraq elections can now go forward after Kurds and Sunnis agreed to a new, amended law. Obama's 11th-hour call Sunday night was part of a crucial US role in sealing the deal.
Top Iraq election official says the Iraq elections cannot be held by the January deadline. US Gen. Ray Odierno reserved judgment on whether a delay would affect the US withdrawal.
The murder of 13 in Abu Ghraib this weekend has some worried that Al Qaeda in Iraq may be exploiting gaps between withdrawing US forces and Iraqi troops not yet ready to stand alone.
He must help weak elected leaders amid conflict in all three Islamic nations.
Ahead of January elections, supporters of the Sadr movement cast ballots for individual candidates – rather than parties – for the first time in a primary poll.
By next summer, more than half the US troops in Iraq will have come home. Meanwhile, General McChrystal wants up to 40,000 more in Afghanistan.