Report: Rift Between al Zarqawi and Iraqi Insurgent Groups

IRAQ NEWS

Armed Groups Disagree with Al Zarqawi, In Talks with U.S. Forces

New disagreements have erupted between armed groups in Iraq and Abu Musaab al Zarqawi's group - al Qaeda in Iraq - following two attacks that the group carried out in Karbalaa and al Anbar, sources close to the armed groups told al Hayat. The attacks killed a number of insurgents who intended to volunteer in the Iraqi police force. Sources said they had agreed with U.S. forces - through mediators - to secure that the groups would have control over the police and military in the Sunni areas. According to the agreement, members of the armed groups would gradually enroll in Iraqi security agencies in al Anbar, Salah El Din and al Mosul. The disagreements with al Zarqawi's group, which al Hayat notes could turn into clashes, are because of the targets of the attacks. Armed groups insist that the operations should focus on occupation forces, while al Zarqawi insists on launching a war on Shiites and rarely attacks U.S. forces. (Al Hayat)

U.S. Trying To Widen Iraqi Rebel Split With Al Qaeda

U.S. officials are talking with local Iraqi insurgent leaders to exploit a rift that has opened between homegrown insurgents and radical groups like Al Qaeda, and to draw the local leaders into the political process, according to a Western diplomat, an Iraqi political leader and an Iraqi insurgent leader. (NY Times)

Attack at Iraq Police Celebration Kills 29

Two suicide bombers tried to attack National Police Day celebrations Monday, with police shooting one dead and the other exploding his vest, killing 29 people, police and the U.S. military said. (AP)

12 Killed in Crash of Copter in N. Iraq

An Army helicopter crashed in bad weather in northern Iraq shortly before midnight Saturday, killing all 12 Americans aboard, military authorities reported Sunday. (Washington Post)

Toll Rises in Iraq Ministry Attack

The death toll from a twin bombing in Iraq's interior ministry in Baghdad has risen to 28. (Al Jazeera)

INVESTIGATIONS

Jordan

Western Embassies Shut in Jordan

Canada and Australia have closed their embassies in the Jordanian capital, Amman, amid concerns over security. (BBC)

Iran

Iran Ready to Remove U.N. Seals at Nuclear Sites

Iran confirmed it would resume research on nuclear fuel on Monday, prompting swift warnings by Germany of "consequences" and by the head of the U.N. nuclear watchdog that the world was running out of patience with Tehran. (Reuters)

Plane Crash Kills Iran Commander

The head of Iran's Revolutionary Guards ground forces and at least 10 other officers have died in a plane crash. (BBC)

Avian Flu

Human Bird Flu Spreads in Turkey

Five new human cases of bird flu have been identified in several Turkish provinces, pushing the number of infected up to 14, officials say. (BBC)

Syria

EU Council to Suggest Imposing Sanctions on Suspects in Al Hariri Assassination

The Council of the European Union will suggest to the EU Parliament imposing sanctions on individuals suspected of being involved in the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Al Hariri, diplomatic sources in Beirut told Elaph. The Council will suggest a number of procedures on the January 17th, which will include freezing the assets of the suspects. (Elaph)

Syria Ex-VP Sees U.N. Investigator

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