Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Ziad Qatan, Allawi Govt Defense Official Wanted For Corruption Extradited By Jordan


On April 15, 2018, a former Defense Ministry official under Prime Minister Iyad Allawi was extradited by Jordan. In September 2017, a Jordanian court approved Ziad Qatan’s deportation to Iraq, and he was arrested in January 2018. He finally arrived in Baghdad in April to coincide with the 6th ministerial conference of the Arab Network for the Promotion of Integrity and Combating Corruption. Premier Haidar Abadi’s office trumpeted his detention as a sign that the government was following through with its promise to fight corruption. That is a main part of the PM’s re-election campaign. Ziad Qatan is accused of stealing up to $800 million during the Allawi period.

This Day In Iraqi History – Apr 18


1919 France and England signed Long-Berenger oil deal France got 20% of Iraqi
            oil via Turkish Petroleum Company
1919 France agreed to help build oil pipeline from Iraq to Mediterranean
1941 Britain landed 20th Infantry Brigade in Basra in response to PM Gaylani and Golden
            Square officers coup
1941 British battalion from India completed deployment to Shaiba air base in Basra
1941 PM Gaylani asked Italian Amb if Axis would give Iraq military aid against
            British and Axis air power 1st time Iraq asked for military intervention from Axis
1980 Iran said Baath at war with Islam and called on Iraqi army and people to
            overthrow Saddam
1984 Iraq escalated its attacks on tankers heading for Iran
1988 Iraq recaptured Fao Peninsula, Basra using chemical weapons
1991 Report 500-1,000 displaced Kurds were dying a day along Iraq-Turkey border
1991 Saddam agreed to UN setting up offices in Iraq to help displaced following
            Shiite and Kurdish uprisings
1991 Iraq provided first disarmament declaration to UN Was incomplete and hid
            lots of activities like nuke and WMD programs
1996 State Dept official Deutsch went to Kurdistan to try to broker ceasefire in
            PUK-KDP civil war
2002 CIA report said Iraq might have been able to make chemical weapons since
            1999
2003 Sadrists held demonstration in Sadr City to condemn U.S. and western culture
2003 Some American officials worried that Iraq had sent its WMD to other countries
            That’s why wasn’t found
2003 INC head Chalabi said he expected an interim govt to be formed soon to run most
            duties in Iraq
2003 Rumsfeld said it would take time to find Iraq’s WMD
2003 Arabs that were expelled from Daquq Kirkuk by Kurds tried to retake town but
            driven off by Kurds
2004 Bremer admitted that Iraqi forces would not be able to deal with insurgency
            on their own when sovereignty returned in June 05
2004 Spain’s new PM Zapatero announced he would withdraw 1300 troops from Iraq
2004 British report said Coalition troops and Iraqi police would soon restore law and
            order in Iraq
2006 Report CPA plan to disarm and integrate militias never funded and followed
            through with
2007 Baghdad bombings killed almost 200
2008 50 soldiers fled their posts in Sadr City rather than fight Mahdi Army
2008 Sadrist said Mahdi Army might disarm if Badr Brigade did the same
2008 Al Qaeda’s Zawahiri speech said US had been defeated in Iraq
2008 Shiekh Abu Risha complained that authorities were trying to stop his organizing
            for 09 provincial elections by shutting down offices
2008 Suicide truck bomb hit funeral for Sahwa members killing 50 in Baghdad
2009 US and British officials went to Jordan to talk with ex-Gen Hamdani to
            talk about reconciliation with former regime members
2010 U.S. and Iraqi forces killed ISI leaders Abu Masri and Abu Omar al-Baghdadi
            near Tikrit
(Musings On Iraq interview with Naval War College’s Prof Whiteside on who Abu Omar al-Baghdadi was)
2011 Parliament repealed Article 136(b) that allowed ministers to stop corruption
            investigations
2011 Anbar anti-terror police arrested 12 officers involved with insurgents Some were
            working with Syrian intelligence
2011 Protest in Mosul Baghdad other areas calling for better services Some said
            Maliki should step down
2011 Kurdish security forces moved to evict protesters from Sulaymaniya Police
            fired into crowd wounding 6, 1 died, another 90 hurt by beatings
2011 Kurdish court sentenced spokesman for Sulaymaniya protests to one month
            in jail for defaming a KRG MP
2011 Were first protests in Irbil Were beaten by police 22 wounded
2012 Oil Min Shahristani said Exxon would not start working in KRG until Baghdad
            approved contract Exxon went ahead anyway
2014 ISIS commander killed fighting Ansar al-Sunna in Rashad, Kirkuk
2014 Anbar council asked if ISF were competent enough to retake Fallujah
2014 Former Diyala governor and Mutahidun MP said militias were trying to take over
Mukhisa and force people out of town
2014 Maliki gave speech in Babil calling for majority govt after elections
2015 Khorasani Brigade pledged allegiance to Ayatollah Khamenei and said it
            followed valayat al-faqih Same time said didn’t take orders from Iran
2015 Govt claimed it fully controlled Baiji Refinery but IS still held sizeable amount
            of complex


Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Security In Iraq, Apr 8-14, 2018


After a major dip in violence in the first week of April the Islamic State was back to work from April 8-14, 2018. Incidents were back to what they have been for most of the year. There was also on going fighting between Turkey and the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in northern Kurdistan.

This Day In Iraqi History – Apr 17

1916 British took Beit Asia from Ottomans and pushed Turks out of Edheim
            River in Diyala
1921 UK High Comm in Iraq Sir Cox exiled Sayid Talib to Ceylon because he aspired
            to be king and opposed Feisal for position
1941 PM Gaylani asked Germany for military aid in case of war with British
1941 British naval convoy moved towards Shatt al-Arab waterway in Basra
1941 British battalion from India started arriving at Shaiba air base in Basra
1963 Iraq made initial agreement for union with Egypt
1966 Abd Rahman Arif elected president to replace his brother who died in
            helicopter crash
1983 Iran’s Op Wa al-Fajr to cut Basra-Baghdad road in Maysan failed
1983 Saddam invited Ayatollah Khomeini to Baghdad for Islamic conference to try to
            end Iran-Iraq War
1991 British intel report said Iraq had around 600 ballistic missiles left after Gulf
            War
1991 US forces began moving into Kurdistan to set up camps for displaced
1991 Germany agreed to $262 mil in humanitarian aid to Kurds
1993 During military operation against Kurds Iraqi army arrested 7,000 people
            including members of Kurdistan parliament
2001 US Dept of Energy report said didn’t have enough info to tell whether Iraq had
            restarted its nuclear program
2003 Chief UN inspector Blix cited Iraqi scientist who said Iraq had no WMD
2003 CENTCOM head Gen Abizaid said no organized military left
            in Iraq Plan was for Iraqi military to impose order after invasion
2003 CENCTOM head Gen Abizaid suggested US create 3 divisions of interim
            Iraqi army from soldiers and opposition groups
2003 US officials said 3 new Iraqi divisions needed to be formed to protect country
            after US invasion
2003 US signed deal with Bechtel to repair Iraq’s electrical grid after instead of before
            invasion
2003 ORHA head Garner got into argument with Gen Franks who didn’t want Garner
            going to Baghdad Garner said vacuum in country
2003 US forces called for people to return to work in Kirkuk City after days of unrest
            after city taken during invasion
2003 US forces captured Saddam’s half brother Barzan Ibrahim al-Tikriti
2004 3,000 police abandoned posts during insurgent and Sadrist uprisings
2006 Ret Gen Newbold former Director of Ops at Joint Chiefs wrote Time OpEd saying
            Iraq war unnecessary
2007 Islamic Army complained ISI was trying to take over Diyala by threats and
            killings
2007 ISI head Abu Omar Baghdadi issued message calling for unity amongst
            insurgents Said ISI would remain despite any criticism
2008 Govt said it would recruit local Shiites from Sadr City and Shula into security
            forces to try to break hold of Mahdi Army
2008 Army officer complained many of his commanders were pro-Sadr and would
            give info to Mahdi Army
2008 Sadrist spokesman said Mahdi Army wouldn’t disarm unless top clerics told
            them to
2008 Badr’s Hadi Ameri said that only Al Qaeda and Mahdi Army were fighting govt
2011 Ninewa Gov Nujafi joined anti-govt protests in Mosul and broke curfew imposed
            by Ninewa Ops Command to try to stop demonstration
2011 Around 90 injured in clashes between Kurdish security forces and protesters
            in Sulaymaniya 7 shot
2011 Sadrist MP said ISF was capable of defending country without US help and
            blamed US for all of Iraq’s problems
2012 Sadrists accused Sate of Law of trying to cancel elections so it could stay in power
            Said was why Election Comm head was arrested
2012 Maliki’s adviser on Kurdish Affairs Adel Barwari removed from post
2012 Maliki accused Kurds of smuggling oil to Iran
2013 KRG said it was ready to export oil to Turkey directly when it finished its
            pipeline
2014 IS attacked Al Qaeda saying that it was no longer leader of jihad
2014 Insurgents blew up pipeline in Baiji leading to large oil spill contaminating
            water all the way to Baghdad
2014 KDP and Gorran said they had agreement to form new government in KRG
2015 Police and councilman in Ramadi said IS had almost taken center of city IS began
            attacking Ramadi city center Albu Alwan sheikh said city could fall any time
2016 Sadrists restarted protests in Baghdad demanding new cabinet to be voted on


Monday, April 16, 2018

This Day In Iraqi History - Apr 16


1941 Britain told Iraq that troops would be landing in Basra soon under Anglo-
            Iraq Treaty
1941 PM Gaylani agreed to allow British troops landing in Basra but demanded that
they immediately set out for Palestine or Egypt
1941 German letter arrived saying it would support Iraq revolt against British
1968 Baath Nasserites and other army officials called for coalition govt return of
            parliament dismissal of PM Yahya
1969 Shah unilaterally voided 1937 treaty over Shatt al-Arab Iraq took issue to UN Iran
            refused to go to court over matter probably knowing it would lose
1969 Shah decided to give military support ot Kurds to put political pressure on Pres
            Bakr over Shatt al-Arab
1987 Iraqi planes dropped poison gas on Sheikh Wasan and Balisan villages killing
            over 100 civilians
1988 Iraq offensive to recapture Fao Peninsula Basra from Iran began Largest
            Iraq land offensive since 1986 Used nerve and mustard gas
1990 White House met to discuss limiting military equipment sales to Iraq
1991 Pres Bush said that US would set up relief camps in Kurdistan to help refugees
            after Saddam put down revolt
1991 Bush said UN sanctions on Iraq would stay until Saddam removed from power
1991 State Dept met with Iraqi opposition including Ahmed Chalabi for first time
2002 NSC meeting talked about training Iraqi exiles for help with invasion
2003 Genk Franks issued declaration to Iraqi people saying US would only be there
            temporarily
2003 Gen Franks announced that Baath Party was no more in Iraq
2003 Gen Franks ordered withdrawal order for 60-120 days for US troops to drop from
            175,000 to 30,000 by Aug 03
2003 Gen Franks told his staff that an interim Iraqi govt would be created in 30-60
            days
2003 US Central Command made official announcement that America was the authority
            in Iraq
2003 Congress appropriated $2.475 bil for rebuilding Iraq as part of Iraq Relief
            and Reconstruction Fund
2003 Report Kurds were forcing Arabs out of Kirkuk city
2003 INC’s Chalabi arrived in Baghdad and set up office in Hunting Club
2003 US forces captured Palestinian terrorist Abu Abbas Claimed proved Saddam
            backed terrorism
2003 Dep head of SCIRI Ayatollah Abdul Aziz al-Hakim returned to Iraq from Iran with
            4,000-5,000 Badr militiamen
2004 2 weeks 12,000 members of the Iraq Civil Defense Corps quit during insurgent
            offensive and Sadrist uprising
2006 Report Iranian Revolutionary Guard set up camp in Diyala to train militias
2006 CIA report Karbala police chief made deals with Sadr to attack US forces Gave
            them police IDs to get through checkpoints
2006 GAO report US worried Iraq didn’t have money or know how to run 8,000
            reconstruction projects
2006 GAO report As of June 2005 $52 mil of $200 mil completed large scale water
projects not working or below capacity due to looting lack of power trained Iraqi staff
2006 GAO report $13.5 mil Karkh sewage treatment plant in Baghdad not operating
            $32 mil garbage landfill in south Baghdad not operating after manager killed
2006 GAO report 40-60% of purified water never used in Baghdad because of
            leaks in system
2007 Sadrist ministers boycotted cabinet to protest US occupation
2008 Accordance Front announced that it would end its boycott of cabinet
2008 Integrity Committee said it was investigating corruption in arms deal with
            Serbia
2008 Around 50 Iraqi soldiers abandoned their units during fighting against Mahdi
            Army in Sadr City
2008 Maliki said $100 mil would be spent to rebuild Basra after Charge of Knights
            offensive
2008 Dep Foreign Min said Baghdad was worried about Iran’s support of Mahdi
            Amy and other militias
2008 Maliki made major concessions to Kurds agreeing to change oil law and allow
            Kurds independent oil deals Never happened
2008 Gen Petraeus told Congress that Charge of Knights was not well planned
            op by Iraqis
2010 Maliki said new government would include Allawi’s Iraqiya Iraqiya said it won so
            it should be only party trying to put together new government
2010 State of Law said it and National Alliance would soon merge into one list
2011 Fin Min investigated charges of $17 bil dinars being embezzled from Central
            Bank of Iraq Nothing comes of inquiry
2011 Iraqiya accused Baghdad Operations Command of trying to limit protests
2011 Anbar council announced deal to end arbitrary arrests in province after
            negotiations with Maliki
2011 Iraqiya threatened no confidence vote against Maliki claiming his govt was
             a failure
2011 Allawi said Iraqiya would withdraw from govt if power sharing agreement
            wasn’t impelemented by Maliki
2011 Kurdish security forces started arresting over 300 protesters in Sulaymaniya
2012 Report Maliki had shut out his adviser for Kurdish Affairs Adel Barwari
2012 Iraqiya in talks with Kurdish Alliance and members of National Coalition to
            remove Maliki
2012 State of Law said it would run on its own and not with other Shiite parties in 2013
            provincial vote
2012 Integrity committee said it voted on dismissing Baghdad’s mayor Issawi for
            wasting money on fake contracts
2012 Dep PM Mutlaq announced that 1100 prisoners would be released as concession
            by Maliki
2013 500 protested at West Qurna 2 oil field demanding jobs and benefits from
            Lukoil that ran site
2015 PM Abadi said all the pictures of Iranian Gen Suleimani in Iraq sent the wrong
            message that Iran was saving Iraq instead of Iraqis
2015 Anbar Governor Rawi called on Hashd to be sent to province to help fight IS 3000
            Hashd sent to Ramadi to help
2015 IS said to be in control of 70% of Ramadi

View the Iraq History Timelines 

Sunday, April 15, 2018

This Day In Iraqi History - Apr 15


1969 Iraq complained to Iranian ambassador that Tehran violating 1937
            agreement over navigation of Shatt al-Arab
1979 Pres Bakr welcomed new Islamic Republic in Iran and again asked for
            good relations Invited PM Bazargan to Baghdad
1980 Iraqi opposition group attempted to assassinate Information Minister
            Latif al-Jassim
1984 State Dept said that Iraq stopped using chemical weapons in Iran-Iraq War
            after U.S. warning in 83 but started again in Feb 84
1987 Iraq attacked KDP HQ in Zewa Shkan, Dohuk PUK HQs in Sergalou and
            Bergalou, Sulaymaniya with chemical weapons
1987 Iraqi chemical attacks retaliation for KDP and PUK helping Iranian offensive
            in Kurdistan
1993 Iraqi army began two week operation to attack Kurdish towns 5,000 Kurds
            displaced
2002 Rumsfeld claimed that UN inspectors in 90s were ineffective 
2002 End of deadline set by Bush for invasion plan for Iraq to be completed
2003 ORHA head Garner met 100 Iraqi leaders in Nasiriya Called for democratic and
            federal Iraq
2003 20,000 protested in Nasiriya against US
2003 US killed 7 Iraqis trying to break up demonstration in Mosul
2003 Bush reviewed US withdrawal plan that had most troops out by Sep 03
2003 Bush talked about foreign peacekeepers taking over for US troops in Iraq
2003 White House thought countries would give up opposition to Iraqi invasion and
            offer troops
2004 Joint Chiefs head Gen Myers said Sadr uprising and battle of Fallujah signs
            that US winning in Iraq
2008 US began building wall around Sadr City to cordon off areas controlled by
            Mahdi Army
2008 Breakaway Mahdi Army faction said it would not disarm in Basra
2008 Report by refugee group said govt was not taking care of displaced and militias
            filling vacuum
2009 US stopped Iraqi police from raiding Diyala prov council building and arrested
            new councilmen
2009 Head of Sinjar said district should become independent and join Kurdistan to
            protest new Hadbaa controlled Ninewa govt
2010 VP Hashemi went to Saudi Arabia to talk about forming new govt after national
            vote
2010 Iran said it wanted all parties to be included in new govt after national vote
2011 Protest in Baghdad demanding Maliki resign and prisoner release Was broken
up by police 20 protesters arrested in Baghdad and taken to secret prison at Muthanna Airport
2011 Turkmen Front said peshmerga and Asayesh not needed in Kirkuk and caused
            divisions
2012 Head of Elec Comm released after being arrested on corruption charges trumped
            up by Maliki to get rid of him
2012 Kurdish members of Ninewa council stopped from entering Mosul at army
            checkpoint
2012 Central Bank of Iraq set new rules on dollar auctions to try to stop large
            sales being manipulated by insurgents foreign countries politicians banks
2014 New security operation launched in Jurf al-Sakhr, Babil
2014 Flyers dropped over Fallujah telling people to leave due to impending security
            operation to free city Wasn't taken until 2016
2015 UN received reports that up to 700 homes had been looted and burned 200
blown up in Tikrit area after it was freed
2015 IS took control of 1/3 of Baiji Refinery
2015 Albu Ghanim tribal head called for Hashd to help fight IS in Anbar
2015 Abadi said there were 110 Iranian military advisers in Iraq
2016 Protests in 7 provinces against ethnosectarian quota system in govt

View the Iraq History Timelines 

Musings On Iraq In The News

I was quoted by Paul Iddon in "Peshmerga can play important role in securing and stabilizing Kirkuk" in Rudaw.

Saturday, April 14, 2018

Review Couch, Dick, The Sheriff of Ramadi, Navy SEALs and the Winning of Anbar

Review Couch, Dick, The Sheriff of Ramadi, Navy SEALs and the Winning of Anbar, Annapolis: Naval Institute Press, 2008

In one of Bob Woodward’s Iraq books he mentioned that the U.S. Special Forces played an important, but largely unreported role in defeating the insurgency in Iraq. The Sheriff of Ramadi, Navy SEALs and the Winning of Anbar covers the deployment of this special unit to Anbar from 2005-07 when the tide against the militants turned. Unfortunately, the author couldn’t stay focused upon that topic and got lost in the details.

This Day In Iraqi History - Apr 14


1915 Ottoman campaign to try to retake Basra from British failed
1948 2nd Railway strike against Anglo-Iraq Treaty
1969 Bakr govt executed opponents in central Baghdad
1983 Iraq claimed it repulsed Iran’s Op Wa al-Fajr killing 9,800 Iranians
1983 Iraqi High Command warned Iran that had new modern weapons and would use
            them for first time in war Meant new WMD capabilities
1992 US UK France warned Iraq to stop military buildup along border with Kurdistan
1995 UN Res 986 created Oil for Food Program allowing $1 bil in Iraq oil exports
every 90 days for food and humanitarian aid
1995 Saddam initially rejected UN Res 986 thinking that inspectors would clear Iraq
            of WMD and sanctions would soon end Proved wrong
2002 Vanity Fair article talked with Iraqi defector Saadi who claimed Iraq building
WMD
2003 Pentagon said major fighting in Iraq was over Bush claimed there was some
            evidence Saddam was dead
2003 White House said Iraq had WMD that was what war was about and they would be
            found
2003 Local tribes in Najaf scattered Sadrists threatening to expel Ayatollahs Sistani,
            Hakim and Fayadh from city
2003 Association of Muslim Scholars founded by Harith Dhari
2003 1st joint patrol in Baghdad between Iraqi police and U.S. forces
2003 Final IAEA report given to UN Found no active Iraq nuclear program Niger
            docs were fakes aluminum tubes for rockets not centrifuges
(Musings On Iraq article on Iraq-Niger uranium story)
2003 Report PUK was telling Arabs to leave villages around Kirkuk city
2003 Report 40 people killed in fighting between Kurds and Baathists in Kirkuk City
2004 UN representative Brahimi outlined power of interim Iraqi govt including
positions
2004 5 bridges connecting central to southern Iraq destroyed limiting movement of US
forces
2004 Russian announced it would withdraw 800 civilian contractors from Iraq due to
            security concerns
2004 Italian security guard became first foreign hostage executed by insurgents
2006 US Amb to Iraq Khalilzad said militias were bigger problem than insurgents due
            to sectarian violence
2006 Iraqi general said militias would not put down their weapons as long as ISF
            couldn’t provide security
2008 Sadr returned to Iraq from Iran Fled to Qom during Surge fearing US would
            target him
2008 Awakening Council in Baghdad and Abu Ghraib formed political party to run in 09
            provincial elections
2008 Kurd delegation met with Maliki over peshmerga budget oil law and Kirkuk
2009 Parliamentarians picked Iyad al-Samarraie to become new speaker
2009 Was reconciliation meeting in Abu Saifan, Baghdad between Sahwa, tribes
            and Mahdi Army
2009 VP Mahdi said Sahwa had been infiltrated by ISI while Anbar Awakening was
            legitimate
2009 Army had to take over 10 checkpoints in Iskandiriya after Sahwa walked off job
            because hadn’t been paid
2009 Insurgents blew up 4 houses belonging to displaced families that had returned in
Baquba Flyers said returnees would be attacked
2010 State of Law complained about parties going to other countries to discuss
            putting together new govt
2010 Dep PM Issawi went to Iran to talk about forming new govt
2010 Pres Talabani said when Shiite parties agreed on premier Kurds would support
            them
2010 Iraq asked to buy 24 F-16 fighters from US
2010 Iranian Amb to Iraq said trade between two countries had reached $7 bil in 2009
            Was almost all Iranian imports to Iraq
2011 State of Law parliamentarians walked out of session to vote on vice presidents
            stopping election
2011 Media activist beaten by Asayesh in Kalar
2012 KRG official said there were around 700 advisers experts and general managers
            in Kurdish govt
2012 Dep PM Mutlaq said arrest warrants for Election Commission members was
            political move
2012 Pres Barzani said arrest of Election Commission head was another attempt by
            Maliki to centralize control over govt
2012 Sadr said Maliki was behind arrests of Election Commission head so that he
            could control future votes
2012 Integrity Comm reported prisons not following orders to release prisoners found
            not guilty or who had served sentences unless got payoffs
2012 Followers of Mahmoud Sarkhi held protest in Baghdad demanding release of
            their followers
2013 Maliki said he would expose politicians connected with terrorism if he was made
            to appear before parliament for questioning
2013 Maliki said provincial elections would be step to forming majority govt
2013 Were coordinated bombings in Baghdad, Babil, Dhi Qar, Salahaddin, Anbar,
            Kirkuk, Diyala and Ninewa
2013 Sulaymaniya mayor died in custody Asayesh said he hung himself His family
            claimed he was tortured
2013 Gorran leader said he was against 3rd term for Pres Barzani
2015 Haider Sesho said that his arrest by KDP was illegal That he would work with
            Peshmerga but not follow their orders
2015 New offensive to take Garma from IS in Anbar launched
2016 Maliki Allawi and Sadr MPs voted to dismiss Speaker Jabouri but didn’t have
            votes Maliki and Allawi wanted to weaken Abadi

View the Iraq History Timelines 

Friday, April 13, 2018

Iraq, One Of The Worst Intelligence Failures In US History


In the run up to the 2003 invasion of Iraq there were a few that questioned U.S. claims about Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction. It was only afterward that no WMD was discovered and official inquiries were made that the true extent of this failure was known. American intelligence agencies assumed that Baghdad had restarted its nuclear and WMD programs after U.N. inspectors left in the late 1990s and by the 2000s were looking for reports to confirm their suspicions rather than basing their opinions off of what they collected.