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IdentifierCreatedClassificationOrigin
07BASRAH103 2007-11-04 16:49:00 CONFIDENTIAL//NOFORN REO Basrah
Cable title:  

PROMINENT SUNNI DEVELOPS NEW BLOC, WARNS OF VIOLENCE

Tags:   PGOV PREL PINR PINS PHUM IR KU SA TC BA IZ 
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VZCZCXRO7408
RR RUEHDE RUEHDIR RUEHIHL RUEHKUK
DE RUEHBC #0103/01 3081649
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
R 041649Z NOV 07
FM REO BASRAH
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 0631
RUEHGB/AMEMBASSY BAGHDAD 0214
INFO RHEHAAA/NSC WASHINGTON DC
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHINGTON DC
RUEPGAB/MNF-I C2X BAGHDAD IZ
RHEFDHP/DIA DHP-1 WASHINGTON DC
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHINGTON DC
RUCNIRA/IRAN COLLECTIVE
RUCNRAQ/IRAQ COLLECTIVE
RUEHDO/AMEMBASSY DOHA 0001
RUEHRH/AMEMBASSY RIYADH 0002
RUEHMK/AMEMBASSY MANAMA 0001
RUEHBC/REO BASRAH 0665
					  C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 BASRAH 000103 

SIPDIS

NOFORN
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 11/4/2017
TAGS: PGOV PREL PINR PINS PHUM IR KU SA TC BA IZ
SUBJECT: PROMINENT SUNNI DEVELOPS NEW BLOC, WARNS OF VIOLENCE

REF: A. BASRAH 102 B. BASRAH 100

BASRAH 00000103 001.2 OF 002


CLASSIFIED BY: Louis L. Bono, Director, Regional Embassy Office
- Basrah, Department of State.
REASON: 1.4 (b), (d)





1. (C) Summary: Sheikh Abdul Karim al-Dosari, a leading member
of the Iraqi Islamic Party (IIP), told Regional Embassy Officers
on October 31 that tribal sheikhs and nationalists were forming
a new political bloc to be called the National Tribal
Confederation. The Confederation seeks to unite nationalists
regardless of ethnicity or religion and replicate the success of
Anbar's tribal engagement. The Confederation has established an
office in Basrah and plans to open other offices in the region;
it is receiving some moral and financial support from Iraqi Vice
President Tariq al-Hashimi. Dosari also described Basrah's
security environment as the "calm before the storm." He said the
Sunni community was daily targeted by Shia militias and noted
the Gulf States, fearful that Basrah's problems would spill
over, are seeking to increase their influence. He also suggested
a plan for improved security that nearly mirrors that of
Basrah's Security Chief. End Summary.

National Tribal Confederation


--------------------------





2. (C) Dosari told us that he was helping to organize a new
political bloc called the Nationalist Tribal Confederation.
Organizers, however, were waiting to make a formal announcement
because the bloc's name, with its tribal connotation, might
cause the political parties to view it as a threat, especially
after the "Anbar Salvation's" political ascendancy in that
province. Dosari said that Basrawis are disappointed with the
sectarian parties, are looking for alternatives, and that
nationalism is on the rise. He admitted that the Confederation
hopes to provide that alternative by emulating the success of
the Anbar model. In fact, the bloc was already coordinating
with Anbar's tribal sheikhs to "learn from their experience."
He described the Confederation as non-sectarian Sunni and Shia
nationalists, as well as some Christians (Saabians and
Assyrians).



3. (C) He indicated the Confederation is developing in southern
Iraq, but has national aspirations. A headquarters office was
established in Basrah and they intend to open offices soon in
Amara and Nasiriyah. Dosari said that political, social, human
rights, services, and agricultural committees have already been
formed. On the national-level, the Confederation is getting
support and funding from Vice President Tariq al-Hashimi's IIP.
Dosari explained that the Confederation shared many of the same
goals and ideas as the Sunni nationalist parties and he
envisioned a possible future merger with the IIP, Iraqiyya, and
Hiwar. He stressed, however, that the Confederation is not
sectarian, but seeks to include as many nationalists as
possible. He stressed that the Gulf States were not funding
them, but did provide some monies to local Sunni charities.

Basrah's Sunni Population


--------------------------





4. (C) According to Dosari, there are approximately 150,000
Sunnis in Basrah province. Sunnis used to live in the Khamsame,
al-Qibla, and al-Hiyaniah neighborhoods of Basrah city, but 95
percent of them have been expelled by Shia militias. He
estimated that one to two Sunnis are killed by Shia militias
each day. The Sunni community lives in fear, and they now have
to travel in groups for security. He noted that educated
Sunnis, Sunni religious leaders, and former Sunni Army officers
are particularly targeted. Sunnis are mostly concentrated now
in al-Faw, al-Zubayr, and Abu Khasib. The strongest Sunni
tribes are the al-Saddun, al-Ghanam, al-Duwasir, al-Rashid,
al-Howajir, and the Beni Khalid.

Sunni Perspective of Security in Basrah


--------------------------





5. (C) Dosari said Basrah was in the "calm before the storm" and
urged us not to be fooled by the decreased attacks on the
Coalition following the British accommodation with the Jaysh
al-Mahdi (JAM). The security gap, created by the British

BASRAH 00000103 002.2 OF 002


departure from Basrah Palace and a weak ISF, is being filled by
the militias on Basrah's streets. Militias continue to
stockpile weapons, and as the events of October 23 demonstrated,
one JAM cell could throw the city into chaos within half an hour
(ref A). The ISF, he opined, are unwilling and incapable of
confronting the militias. Iran exacerbates the problem by
supporting any militia willing to accept its lethal aid. One
ISF source told Dosari that Iran has given externally supported
JAM leaders 1 million Iraqi dinar ($67,000) and 250 vehicles to
ignore Muqtada al-Sadr's cease-fire. The Gulf States, he said,
previously had little interest in Iraq, but Iran's influence and
fears of a potential conflict spilling over are prompting them
to get involved.



6. (C/NF) Dosari's recommendations to improve Basrah's security
nearly mirror the plan of Basrah Security Chief, General Mohan
Hafith Fahad (ref B): use the Iraqi Army to secure the Iranian
border; disarm the militias with an amnesty or weapons buy-back
program; cordon and search neighborhoods for illegal arms;
switch local ISF units with others outside Basrah; and bring in
more capable ISF units. He also suggested that Prime Minister
Nuri al-Maliki should officially disband all militias and in
parallel provide militiamen some employment. The British, he
said, were only concerned for their own safety and he pleaded
for U.S. troops to deploy to the region. He also believes that
early elections would help to redress the political imbalance at
the national and provincial levels.

Biographic Information


--------------------------





7. (C) Al-Dosari was born, raised, and obtained a college
education in Basrah. He was an Iraqi Army conscript for four
years and afterwards began to work for the Ministry of Religious
Affairs. He is a part-time Sunni cleric and religious
instructor. In 1996 he joined and secretly worked for the
Islamic Party, which he says was a secular organization back
then.
BONO