Friday, February 24, 2006

Gates of Hell Are Open - CIVIL WAR In Iraq Is Imminent

The Australian

The threat of a large-scale civil war in Iraq is imminent, reports Middle East correspondent Martin Chulov

IN a land of daily bloodshed and bombings, it took another explosion this week to hammer home what many in Iraq and among its Arab neighbours have already accepted: a civil war is already being fought in the nation the US liberated.

It was an audacious attack even by the brutal standards of the new Iraq. When the giant dome of the Golden Mosque in Samarra, the holiest Shia shrine in the country, fell just before 7am on Wednesday, the inter-Islamic battles of the past 12 months reached a new nadir.

The toppling of a sacred site urged into the open the Shia fighters who had previously battled the Sunni uprising in the back lanes of towns and villages.

The Shias now have a lightning rod to make their rebellion public. The gates of hell, slightly ajar for a year, have been flung wide open.

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