PM Maliki says KSA, Qatar "responsible" for Iraq's sectarian violence
Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri Al Maliki accused Saudi Arabia and Qatar of destabilizing Iraq vis-a-vis supporting militant groups during an interview broadcast Saturday, according to Agence France Presse.
"They are attacking Iraq, through Syria and in a direct way, and they announced war on Iraq. These two countries are primarily responsible for the sectarian and terrorist and security crisis of Iraq," Maliki said during his interview with France 24.
Maliki, who is a Shiite leader, continued to say that Saudi and Qatari "incitement" has fueled sectarian divides and the marginalization of Iraq's Sunni minority, adding that Riyadh and Doha are providing political, financial and press support to opposition militant groups. The Iraqi leader even accused the two Gulf nations of "buying weapons for the benefit of these terrorist organizations" in reference to the opposition militant groups.
Maliki's commentary represents a "rare direct attack" on the Gulf powers.
Iraq has been enveloped in the highest level of sectarian violence over the past five years, leaving nearly 1,000 people dead every month.