Saturday, November 18, 2017

Rawa, Last Iraqi Territory Liberated From Islamic State


The Iraqi forces freed the last section of Iraqi territory held by the Islamic State. That happened as Rawa in western Anbar was liberated in just a matter of hours. There are still some lawless areas of the country where IS operates in, but Rawa was the last actual city it controlled marking a major turning point.  
(Institute for the Study of War)

This Day In Iraqi History – Nov 18


1914 British launched second attack on Ottoman forces in Zain, Basra
1963 Pres Arif removed Baathists from positions in govt including PM Bakr
1963 Pres Arif and brother Gen Arif and army put down Baath National Guard
            militia in Baghdad Mosul and Kirkuk
1968 KDP called on UN to intervene in Iraq during Kurdish revolt
1979 Naji Suwaidi became premier of Iraq
1997 KDP recaptured lost territory from PUK
1997 UN told that dramatic increase in Iraqi oil smuggling through Iran violating
            UN sanctions
1997 Wash Post OpEd by Wolfowitz and Khalilzad called for US to overthrow Saddam
2002 New UN inspectors arrived in Baghdad
2005 House Republicans attacked Democrats for trying to cut and run in Iraq by
            backing withdrawal US policy was withdrawal
2005 Al Qaeda in Iraq bombed Shiite mosque in Khanaqin Diyala 74 dead
2005 Study 90-96% of insurgency were Iraqis only 4-10% foreign fighters
2006 Pentagon and Joint Chiefs papers on Iraq said US should follow Gen Casey plan to
            withdraw turn things over to Iraqis
2006 Joint Chiefs paper on Iraq said Iraq falling into civil war US strategy not working
2006 US intel report on Iraq said US had no good options in Iraq
2006 VP Cheney’s office memo on Iraq said US should back Shiites and Kurds and
            forget about Sunnis
2008 US signed Status of Forces Agreement with Iraq that set 12/31/11 withdrawal
            date for US forces


Friday, November 17, 2017

This Day In Iraqi History - Nov 17


1975 France-Iraq agreement to build nuclear facility
1980 Iraq’s Susangard offensive failed after 3 days
1982 Mohammed Baqir al-Hakim announced Supreme Assembly of the Islamic
            Revolution in Iraq formed in Iran
1993 Iran reported 60,000 Iraqi refugees entered country after Saddam drained southern
            marshes
2001 Wolfowitz wrote Rumsfeld that if any evidence found of Iraq involvement in
            9/11 US should act
2005 Congressman Murtha introduced resolution to withdraw US troops from Iraq
            saying war going badly
2005 Head of central criminal court in Baghdad Samarrie said special Inter Min forces
            didn't need arrest warrants or file court papers to detain people
2006 State Dept memo suggested US should pull back from Iraq and have same
            relationship as all other states
2006 State Dept memo argued against a surge in troops in Iraq to help quell violence
2015 VP Nujafi filed lawsuit to remain in office after Abadi dismissed vice presidents
2015 3 dozen protesters in Baghdad taken away by police Some beaten

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Security In Iraq, Nov 8-14, 2017


The greatly improved security environment continued for another week in Iraq. From Nov 8-14, there were less than 100 incidents, but the number of dead was very high due to another mass grave being discovered.

This Day In Iraqi History – Nov 16


1914 British forces attacked Ottomans in Zain, Basra
1918 UK commissioner for Iraq Arnold Wilson wrote that Iraqis were happy with British
            occupation
1922 PM Gaylani’s second govt resigned
1930 Iraqi parliament ratified new Anglo-Iraq treaty ending British mandate but
            maintained British influence
1961 Mustafa Barzani asked for UN aid to Kurds
1980 Iraq sent letter to the Iran saying Baghdad was still following 1975 Algiers
            Accord on Shatt al-Arab and Tehran was violating it 
2004 Major fighting in 2nd Battle of Fallujah said to be over
2005 Cheney said people that claimed US lied about causes of Iraq war undermined the troops
2005 White House rebutted NYTimes editorial that questioned pre-war WMD argument
            for Iraq war
2005 Sunni MP Falluji accused Iraqi forces of carrying out sectarian extra judicial killings
2006 Rumsfeld asked Gen Casey what was going on with National Police Casey
            said training was doing good but not their performance
2014 IS posted video of execution of American aid worker Peter Kassig


Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Ninewa Politicians Settling Scores Rather Than Governing & Rebuilding


As soon as Mosul was liberated in July 2017, the Ninewa council moved against Governor Nufal Hamadi al-Akub. It took four months, but Akub was eventually removed from office. Similar situations have played out in other provinces that were once occupied by the Islamic State where politicians have decided to settle their scores after liberation. The problem is that these local officials should be restoring governance and rebuilding Ninewa, but instead are vying for power.

This Day In Iraqi History – Nov 15


1914 British troops began attack on Ottomans in Basra City
1924 Frontier Commission started demarcating border between Iraq and new nation of Turkey
1971 Baath issued Charter for National Action to try to draw Communists into govt
1986 Saddam told aides US wanted to keep Iraq and Iran balanced Was reason why US
            sold weapons to Iran in Iran-Contra scandal
2000 UK Foreign Office report Saddam felt like he was winning in breaking down sanctions
2001 Powell told Blair that after Afghanistan Right in US would push for bombing Iraq
2002 US asked UK and other allies for military support against Iraq
2002 Saudi Amb to US Bandar visited Bush Said Saudis wanted to know US intentions on Iraq
2002 Bush told Saudi Amb Bandar he would tell Saudis if he decided on war with Iraq
2003 CPA and Iraqi Governing Council agreed to return sovereignty to Iraq early by July 1 2004
2003 Pentagon claimed UnderSecDef Feith’s intel unit on Iraq-Al Qaeda ties was
            authorized by intel community but it wasn’t
2004 Heavy gun battles break out in Baquba Diyala between insurgents and US forces
2005 PM Jaafari admitted that prisoners found by US forces at secret prison in Baghdad were
            tortured
2005 Interior Min Gen Kamal claimed abuse done by inexperienced police and would lead
            to reform within ministry
2005 Secret prison was actually one of many run by Badr Interior Min forces throughout
            Baghdad
2005 28 Sunni men found shot in head in Jasan Diyala near Iranian border
2006 Amb Khalilzad said Maliki should be given more control over Iraqi forces and
            US should push him towards reconciliation
2006 White House staff began first day of Iraq strategy review
2007 Maliki said referendum on Kirkuk’s future would be held on this date Didn’t happen

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Iraq’s Dilemma What To Do With Kirkuk’s Oil?


The Iraqi federal government recently asserted control over Kirkuk province, which had been run by the Kurds since 2003. That included taking several oil fields such as Bai Hassan and Avana that the Peshmerga seized in 2014 when they were abandoned by the North Oil Company in the face of the advancing Islamic State. Prime Minister Haidar Abadi now wants to diversify the outlets for the province’s petroleum, and has the Oil Ministry exploring several options.

This Day In Iraqi History – Nov 14


1963 Baath Sec Gen Sadi said 8 Baathist leaders had been ousted and that he was returning to
            Baghdad with Syrian Baathists
1980 Iraq offensive to take Susangard, Iran started
1991 Kurds announced tentative deal with Saddam to end blockade of Kurdistan in return for
            Peshmerga withdrawing from cities
1998 Iraq agreed to work with weapons inspectors after US threatened attack
2001 Def Policy Board head Perle speech at For Policy Research Institute Said Iraq behind 9/11
            and should be attacked
2001 Cheney said he knew 9/11 hijacker Atta met with Iraq intelligence in Prague in 2001
2002 UK For Sec Straw told cabinet UN Resolution 1441 authorized military action against Iraq
            without a 2nd resolution
2002 UK intel report said Iraq accepted new weapons inspectors to avoid US led attack
            and would continue to hide its most important WMD programs
2003 Japan decided to hold off deploying troops to Iraq due to rising violence
2003 South Korea ordered its 464 troops in southern Iraq to suspend operations due to rising
            violence
2003 Denmark rejected call to send 100 more troops to Iraq due to rising violence
2003 US army intel report said insurgency successfully preventing CPA from providing
            safe and secure Iraq
2003 US army intel report said US failing in Iraq because relying upon conventional
            military tactics and didn’t understand Iraqi culture
2003 US army intel report said insurgents were targeting tribal structure in Iraq while
            US ignoring it
2004 Insurgents kidnapped wounded police from Mosul hospital and dismembered
            them Led to ½ of city’s police to quit
2004 Iraqi police commandos sent into Mosul to recapture police stations after all
            but one fell to insurgents in city
2004 Report UN official Sevan accused of getting kickbacks from Iraq under Oil for
            Food Program Told his staff not to investigate corruption
2005 Pentagon’s Insp Gen announced investigation into Pentagon intel unit on Iraq-
            Al Qaeda ties to see whether it did anything illegal
2006 National Police arrested 159 people from Higher Educ Min in Baghdad who were
            never seen again presumed killed
2013 US Natl Counterterrorism Center testified to Congress that ISIS was strongest since
            its peak in 2006


Monday, November 13, 2017

Human Cost Of The Mosul Campaign


The Mosul campaign, which lasted from October 2016 to July 2017 was the largest and most important battle against the Islamic State in Iraq. The fighting was some of the most intense the world had seen in decades, and broke the back of the militants as a conventional force that held territory in the country. The human toll was tremendous as well, and likely never to be fully accounted for due to Iraqi government censorship on casualties. Based upon daily media coverage from over 40 sources, along with human rights and United Nations reports a rough total can be estimated.