World Bulletin/News Desk
The most senior member of former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein's entourage still at large has encouraged Sunni Muslim anti-government protesters to stand their ground until Shi'ite Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki is toppled.
Izzat Ibrahim al-Douri heads Saddam's Baath party, which was banned after the U.S.-led invasion in 2003 that overthrew the Sunni dictator.
Over the past two weeks, tens of thousands of Sunnis, some waving Saddam-era flags, have staged demonstrations in a show of anger against Maliki, whom they accuse of marginalising their community and monopolising power.
"The people of Iraq and all its nationalist and Islamic forces support you until the realisation of your just demands for the fall of the Safavid-Persian alliance," said Douri, addressing the protesters in footage broadcast on Alarabiya television.
Safavid is a reference to the ruling dynasty of Shi'ite Iran from the 16th to 18th centuries that at times also controlled parts of modern-day Iraq.
Surrounded by men in military uniform, Douri said the Baath party leadership was considering launching a campaign to "justly and decisively" punish civilians and soldiers who supported what he described as Iran's "Safavid project" for Iraq.
"It is a clear plan to destroy Iraq and annex it to Iran," he said. "We warn those traitors, agents and spies ... who support the dangerous project ... that the national resistance will confront them before Maliki and his evil alliance".
The authenticity of the video could not be verified. Douri said he was speaking from the Iraqi province of Babil.
After the 2003 invasion, Douri was ranked sixth on the U.S. military's list of 55 most wanted Iraqis and a $10 million reward was offered for his capture. U.S. officials accused him of organizing the insurgency that peaked in 2005-07.
Douri was the deputy head of Iraq's Revolutionary Command Council under Saddam, and took over the Baath Party leadership after Saddam was executed in 2006.
He has seldom been seen since 2003. In a statement in 2009, he called on Sunni insurgent groups to move into politics.
Tillerson, speaking one week after President Donald Trump refused to certify the Iran nuclear deal and left its fate to the US Congress, said that he would address European allies' business concerns.
Until Spain's Senate convenes to discuss the government's move to start imposing direct control over Catalonia Puigdemont "can change course, can return to constitutional legality," Martinez-Maillo said.
One of the organisers said "more than 10,000" people turned out for the march to the trades union congress building. No official figure was immediately available.
The inspection was related to "concerns that several German car manufacturers may have violated EU antitrust rules that prohibit cartels and restrictive business practices," a statement said.
Borut Pahor being tipped to return as president for second 5-year term
"We have reached a critical point," Rajoy told a press conference following an EU leaders summit in Brussels that backed his conservative government.
Just 40,000 people live on Canvey Island in Essex, a 40-minute train ride from London but a world apart from the British capital.
European Council President Donald Tusk hints at 'reflecting' on altering EU pre-accession funding to Turkey
The protests by leftwing radicals that sparked street battles with police and a paralysing nation-wide strike ignited brief fears of revolution and spooked then-president Charles de Gaulle.
Shia cleric sends fighters to ‘restore security’ in Kirkuk amid reports of ‘fierce’ fighting between Iraqi army, Peshmerga
British PM insists she is 'optimistic' after Brussels meeting
Pentagon ignores PKK/PYD's dedication of victory against ISIL to Abdullah Ocalan
‘Fierce’ clashes now underway in Kirkuk between Iraqi forces, Peshmerga fighters, official Iraqi sources report
EU leaders have made clear they will not agree on Friday to move talks on to the future trading relationship with Britain, saying there has not yet been enough progress on the terms of the divorce.
Gulen has a history of corruption and radicalism, Abraham R. Wagner says
The group kicked off its first working session in a seafront hotel on the island of Ischia on how to deal with the potential return to Europe of foreign fighters fleeing a crumbling Islamic State group.