Western Iraq on Verge of Rebellion

Unhappiness with Shia central government


Iraq's volatile western region was on the verge of all-out rebellion against the central government on Monday. It followed the weekend arrest of a prominent lawmaker and the dispersal of a largely peaceful protest in the city of Ramadi that left at least 13 dead, according to news agencies.

Prime minister Nouri al-Maliki, whose Shia-dominated government has alienated the country's Sunni Arab and Kurdish minorities, described the dispersal of the anti-government protest and other military operations in Anbar province as a blow against al-Qaeda extremists. This year has brought a resurgence of terrorism in Sunni parts of the country with a campaign of bombings in the capital, Baghdad, and elsewhere.