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Iraq may descend into civil war: CIA
January 23, 2004 15:59 IST
Iraq will descend into a civil war if the country is trifurcated into three states -- Kurdish, Sunni and Shia -- the Central Intelligence Agency has warned the US administration officials.
The CIA's bleak assessment was delivered orally to Washington this week, according to the Carnegie Foundation.
It starkly contradicts the upbeat assessment President George W Bush gave on Iraq in his State of the Union address three days ago.
The warning echoed growing fears that Iraq's Shiite majority, which has until now grudgingly accepted the US occupation, could turn to violence if its demands for direct elections are spurned.
Meanwhile, Iraq's Kurdish minority is pressing its demand for autonomy and shares of oil revenue.
These dire scenarios were discussed at meetings this week by Bush, his top national security aides and the chief US administrator in Iraq L Paul Bremer, officials said on condition of anonymity.