Syria’s Foreign Minister has pledged his support for the Iraqi government on a landmark trip to Baghdad. Walid al-Moualem’s visit is the first time a Syrian minister has been to Iraq since the US-led invasion in 2003. Washington has accused Syria of doing too little to prevent Islamic militant fighters from crossing the border into Iraq and fomenting a Sunni insurgency. But in a joint news conference with his Iraqi counterpart, Moualem rejected the charge saying Syria condemns terrorism. He also said that a setting timetable to withdraw US troops would reduce violence.
Iraq’s security and stability is crucial to the region with insurgent violence and sectarian attacks threatening to tear the country apart. More than a hundred people were killed or murdered across Iraq on Sunday. In one attack in Hilla, a suicide bomber killed more than 20 people. The victims were Shi’ite workers – queuing up in line for labouring jobs.
Dozens more were wounded as they stood waiting to be hired. Elsewhere, Iraq’s deputy Health Minister was kidnapped from his home in a Sunni neighbourhood.