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Fugitive Iraqi Vice President Says PM Targeting Sunnis

April 05, 2012

Fugitive Iraqi Vice President Tariq al-Hashimi has accused Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki of waging a systematic campaign against Iraq's minority Sunni Arabs.

In an interview with Al-Jazeera television, Hashimi, a Sunni, alleged that the policies of Maliki, a member of Iraq's Shi'ite majority, pose a threat to Iraq's unity.

He also said that Maliki had been allowing Iraqi airspace to be used to carry weapons to President Bashar al-Assad's regime in neighboring Syria.

This is seen as suggesting the involvement of Shi'ite Iran in helping arm Tehran's Syrian ally.

Hashimi also claimed Iraqi Shi'ite militiamen have been fighting alongside the Syrian regime's forces.

Hashimi, who is facing terrorism charges in Iraq over allegations he operated death squads, arrived in Saudi Arabia on April 4 after a four-day visit to Qatar.

Based on reporting by AFP and AP


Copyright (c) 2012. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.

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