Saturday, August 30, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Kerry issues warning after Syria bombs Iraq

By
From page A1 | June 26, 2014 |

BAGHDAD — Syrian warplanes bombed Sunni militants’ positions inside Iraq, military officials confirmed Wednesday, deepening the concerns that the extremist insurgency that spans the two neighboring countries could morph into an even wider regional conflict. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry warned against the threat and said other nations should stay out.

Meanwhile, a new insurgent artillery offensive against Christian villages in the north of Iraq sent thousands of Christians fleeing from their homes, seeking sanctuary in Kurdish-controlled territory, Associated Press reporters who witnessed the scene said.

The United States government and a senior Iraqi military official confirmed that Syrian warplanes bombed militants’ positions Tuesday in and near the border crossing in the town of Qaim. Iraq’s other neighbors — Jordan, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Turkey — were all bolstering flights just inside their airspace to monitor the situation, said the Iraqi official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media.

American officials said the target was the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, the Sunni extremist group that has seized large swathes of Iraq and seeks to carve out a purist Islamic enclave across both sides of the Syria-Iraq border.

“We’ve made it clear to everyone in the region that we don’t need anything to take place that might exacerbate the sectarian divisions that are already at a heightened level of tension,” Kerry said, speaking in Brussels at a meeting of diplomats from NATO nations. “It’s already important that nothing take place that contributes to the extremism or could act as a flash point with respect to the sectarian divide.”

Meanwhile, two U.S. officials said Iran has been flying surveillance drones in Iraq, controlling them from an airfield in Baghdad. The officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they weren’t authorized to discuss the issue publicly, said they believe the drones are surveillance aircraft only, but they could not rule out that they may be armed.

A top Iraqi intelligence official said Iran was secretly supplying the Iraqi security forces with weapons, including rockets, heavy machine guns and multiple rocket launchers. “Iraq is in a grave crisis and the sword is on its neck, so is it even conceivable that we turn down the hand outstretched to us?” said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the subject.

The intelligence-gathering and arms supplies come on the heels of a visit to Baghdad this month by one of Iran’s most powerful generals, Qassem Soleimani, commander of the Revolutionary Guard’s Quds Force, to help bolster the defenses of the Iraqi military and the Shiite militias that he has armed and trained.

The involvement of Syria and Iran in Iraq suggests a growing cooperation among the three Shiite-led governments in response to the raging Sunni insurgency. And in an unusual twist, the U.S., Iran and Syria now find themselves with an overlapping interest in stabilizing Iraq’s government.

None-Arab and mostly Shiite, Iran has been playing the role of guarantor of Shiites in Iraq, Syria and Lebanon. It has maintained close ties with successive Shiite-led governments since the 2003 ouster of Saddam Hussein, a Sunni who oppressed the Shiites, and is also the main backer of Syria’s Assad, a follower of Shiism’s Alawite sect.

In a reflection of how intertwined the Syria and Iraq conflicts have become, thousands of Shiite Iraqi militiamen helping President Bashar Assad crush the Sunni-led uprising against him are returning home, putting a strain on the overstretched Syrian military as it struggles to retain territory recaptured in recent months from rebels.

Anthony Cordesman, a prominent foreign policy analyst at the Washington-based Center for Strategic and International Studies, said that with Syria’s apparent willingness to now take on the Islamic State directly, “the real problem is how will Iran, the Iraqi Shiites and the Alawites in Syria coordinate their overall pressure on the Sunni forces?”

Qaim, where the Syrian airstrikes took place Tuesday, is located in vast and mostly Sunni Anbar province. Its provincial government spokesman, Dhari al-Rishawi, said 17 people were killed in an air raid there.

Reports that the Sunni militants have captured advanced weapons, tanks and Humvees from the Iraq military that have made their way into Syria, and that fighters are crossing freely from one side to the other have alarmed the Syrian government, which fears the developments could shift the balance of power in the largely stalemated fight between Assad’s forces and the Sunni rebels fighting to topple him.

Bilal Saab, a senior fellow for Middle East Security at the Atlantic Council’s Brent Scowcroft Center on International Security, said Assad’s immediate priority is to fight the rebels inside his own country.

“His army is already overstretched and every bullet that doesn’t hit enemy targets at home can be a bullet wasted,” he said. “Going after ISIL along border areas could serve tactical goals but is more a luxury than anything else.”

In Brussels, Kerry said Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki appears to be standing by his commitment to start building a new government that fully represents its Shiite, Sunni and Kurdish populations.

However, al-Maliki, in his first public statement since President Barack Obama challenged him last week to create a more inclusive leadership or risk a sectarian civil war, rejected calls for an interim “national salvation government .”

Al-Maliki has faced pressure, including from his onetime Shiite allies, to step down and form an interim government that could provide leadership until a more permanent solution can be found.

Al-Maliki, however, insisted the political process must be allowed to proceed following April elections in which his bloc won the largest share of parliament seats.

“The call to form a national salvation government represents a coup against the constitution and the political process,” he said. He added that “rebels against the constitution” — a thinly veiled reference to Sunni rivals — posed a more serious danger to Iraq than the militants.

Al-Maliki’s coalition, the State of the Law, won 92 seats in the 328-member parliament in the election, but he needs the support of a simple majority to hold on to the job for another four-year term. The legislature is expected to meet before the end of the month, when it will elect a speaker. It has 30 days to elect a new president, who in turn will select the leader of the majority bloc in parliament to form the next government.

More of Iraq’s sectarian tensions boiled over into violence on Wednesday, with Sunni militants shelling a Christian village 45 miles (75 kilometers) from the frontier of the self-ruled Kurdish region, which has so far escaped the deadly turmoil unscathed.

The shelling of the village of Hamdaniya sparked a flight by thousands of Christians from it and other nearby villages toward the Kurdish region. Hundreds of cars, many with crucifixes swinging from their rear-view mirrors, waited to cross into the relatively safe northern Iraqi Kurdish city of Irbil.

Others were forced to walk, including 28-year-old Rasha, who was nine months pregnant and carried her 3-year-old son on her hip. After her husband’s car broke down, the woman, who would give only her first name for fear of militant reprisals, and her mother-in-law walked for miles toward the checkpoint, fearful she would give birth before reaching safety.

Like most others, the women said they had nowhere to go, but hoped strangers would take them in in the Christian-dominated area.

“Otherwise we will sleep in a park,” Rasha said, shrugging.

Meanwhile, pro-government forces battled Sunni militants, threatening a major military air base in Balad, north of Baghdad, military officials said. The militants had advanced into the nearby town of Yathrib, just five kilometers (three miles) from the former U.S. base, which was known as Camp Anaconda. The officials insisted the base was not in immediate danger of falling into the hands of the militants.

 

The Associated Press

The Associated Press

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

.

Solano News

Clarksburg family rolls with times

By Susan Winlow | From Page: A1, 2 Comments | Gallery

 
Fresh, fruity, summer and fall Delta pitstops

By Susan Winlow | From Page: A1

Saving the Gakuen: A bit of history tucked away in Clarksburg

By Susan Winlow | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Old, new collide in Freeport

By Susan Winlow | From Page: A1

Vacaville honors top crossing guards

By Brad Stanhope | From Page: A2

 
 
 
State lifts Solano moth quarantine

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A3, 1 Comment

 
Gallo subsidiary wins bid for Winterhawk Winery

By Barry Eberling | From Page: B10 | Gallery

Green Valley teachers get wet for a good cause

By Susan Winlow | From Page: B12

 
The Leaven helps reach at-risk kids

By Murray Bass | From Page: B12

No plea as suspect in Suisun slaying appears in court

By Jess Sullivan | From Page: A12 | Gallery

 
Fairfield police log: Aug. 28, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

Suisun City police log: Aug. 28, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

 
Weather for Saturday, Aug. 30, 2014

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B13

.

US / World

Man is guilty of murder after his dogs kill woman

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4, 3 Comments

 
California teacher reprimanded for sending tweets

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

N. California officer accused of beating woman

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4, 1 Comment

 
California appeals teacher tenure ruling

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

Lawmakers pass first California groundwater rules

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5, 2 Comments

 
Lawmakers send gun restraining order bill to Brown

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

California marijuana grow stole reservation water

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5, 1 Comment | Gallery

 
Feds critical of California twin tunnel project

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5, 2 Comments

California mentally ill inmates get special units

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5 | Gallery

 
1K-pound alligator caught in Alabama sets record

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

Manatees may lose endangered species status

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

 
Marathon bombing suspect: Delay trial until 2015

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

Border Patrol agent fires at armed militia member

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6, 1 Comment

 
Westerners linked to extremist groups in Syria

By The Associated Press | From Page: A8

Rescuers locate 20 of 24 trapped in Nicaragua mine

By The Associated Press | From Page: A8

 
At heart of Syria fears, extremists returning home

By The Associated Press | From Page: A8

Experimental Ebola drug heals all monkeys in study

By The Associated Press | From Page: A8

 
.

Opinion

Cheers, jeers for the week of Aug. 24-30, 2014

By Daily Republic | From Page: A11

 
Editorial Cartoons: Aug. 30, 2014

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A11

 
Changing election dates: Dems seek more domination

By Thomas Elias | From Page: A11

Zombies are not for fun

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A11, 3 Comments

 
.

Living

Today in History: Aug. 30, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Community Calendar: Aug. 30, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

Our irresponsible sister is getting the house and mistreats Mom

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: B7

 
Horoscopes: Aug. 30, 2014

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: B7

.

Entertainment

Ex-Myanmar beauty queen accused of stealing crown

By The Associated Press | From Page: A8, 1 Comment

 
Cee Lo Green enters no contest plea in drug case

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

Chris Brown due back in DC court for plea hearing

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

 
Fire destroys house on late author Clancy’s estate

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

Chelsea Clinton quits as NBC News reporter

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

 
Daughter: Joan Rivers is in ‘serious condition

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

Hip-hop moves as strong force for Michael Brown

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

 
.

Sports

 
No. 11 Stanford set to open season vs. UC Davis

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

After eventful offseason, Northwestern meets Cal Bears in opener

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
49ers linebacker Aldon Smith suspended by NFL

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
JC women’s soccer: Solano kicks off season with 0-0 draw

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B2

 
Raiders face decisions at QB heading into opener

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

Prep volleyball: Vacaville Christian falls to D-I power Davis

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B2

 
Palmer opens with a 63 to lead in Boston

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

 
Pernice, Bryant share Champions Tour lead

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

I.K. Kim increases Portland Classic lead

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

 
A’s fall back in AL West, blanked by Angels

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4 | Gallery

Posey goes 5 for 5 in 6 innings, Giants rout Brewers

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4 | Gallery

 
Errani’s ‘cottage cheese’ serve tops Venus at Open

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4 | Gallery

 
This date in sports history for Saturday, Aug. 30, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

Tony Stewart back at the track, looking to heal

By The Associated Press | From Page: B13

 
.

Business

.

Obituaries

Jerry Lee Trammell

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4, 2 Comments

 
Florence Virginia Boes

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

Darrell D. Stevens

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

 
Lois C. Clark

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

Hazel Gertrude Wamsley

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
.

Comics

Dilbert

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Baldo

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Garfield

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Get Fuzzy

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Pickles

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
For Better or Worse

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Blondie

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Beetle Bailey

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Peanuts

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Baby Blues

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Rose is Rose

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
B.C.

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Wizard of Id

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Sally Forth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Frank and Ernest

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Cryptoquote

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

Word Sleuth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

 
Sudoku

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

Bridge

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

 
.

Home Seller 08/30/14

Real estate transactions for Aug. 30, 2014

By Daily Republic | From Page: HSR2