Thursday, April 26, 2018

KDP Arrest PM Abadi Candidates

Prime Minister Haidar Abadi is in full campaign mode touring the country recently visiting Ninewa, Muthanna, Diwaniya, Anbar and Maysan. His latest stop was Sulaymaniya. Abadi’s Nasr list is running 25 candidates in Kurdistan including 10 in Sulaymaniya. That has apparently raised the ire of the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP). On April 24, it was reported that three Nasr candidates were arrested by the Asayesh. This blatant intimidation tactic was a warning that the Barzani clan did not appreciate the premier’s move into their territory.

This Day in Iraqi History – Apr 26

1916 British arranged a ceasefire with Ottomans in Kut, Wasit after 146 day
1923 UK’s Iraq committee presented findings and okayed by cabinet to stay path in
1941 PM Gaylani asked Axis for military and financial aid against British
1947 Iraq left SF Conference on creating UN to protest creation of Israel
1987 Jordan and Saudis arranged meeting between Saddam and Syria’s Assad to try to
            improve ties
1990 Report Bush pushed greater economic ties with Iraq
1991 Kurdish refugees began leaving Turkish mountains for refugee camps in Kurdistan
            Baghdad offered amnesty to Kurds that fled during uprising
2003 Report Bush invaded Iraq to try to transform Middle East by creating a
            democracy and countering draw of terrorism
2003 White House said evidence Iraq might have destroyed its WMD right before
            war and that proved war right
2003 Report no WMD found in sites Powell mentioned in his 03 UN speech
2003 Ayatollah Haeri issued fatwa from Iran saying clerics needed to fill power
            vacuum left by US invasion
2003 Sheikh Naifus of Albu Alwan in Babil arrested for taking part in executions of
rebels after 91 uprising
2004 Zarqawi announced his group Tawhid wal-Jihad
2004 US announced Iraqi police returning to Fallujah and would start join patrols
            with Iraqi Civil Defense Forces
2004 Aid agencies claimed Geneva Convention was violated in Battle of Fallujah due
            to civilian casualties
2006 Maliki told Rice and Rumsfeld he was going to fight terrorism improve services
            clean up police
2006 Barham Salah said Maliki was step towards reconciliation
2006 Amb Khalizad took credit for creating new coalition that appointed Maliki
2007 Congress passed bill calling for US withdrawal from Iraq by 10/1/07 Was
            vetoed by Pres Bush
2008 Chalabi called Petraeus saying he could speak for militias to negotiate ceasefire
            in Sadr City
2008 VP Hashemi said Accordance Front interested in ending its boycott of cabinet
2008 ISF said cleared last Sadr stronghold in Basra
2010 Baath exile faction led by Ahmad Yunis said wanted to unite with other faction
led by Izzat al-Duri during meeting in Damascus
2010 Human Rights Watch interviewed prisoners who were held at secret
            prison at Baghdad Muthanna Airport and tortured by ISF
2010 Kurdish member of Kirkuk council said displaced Arabs had to leave province
            and go home
2011 Maliki admitted his 100 day deadline to reform ministries was not enough time
2011 State of Law held counter protest in Mosul supporting Maliki
2011 Ninewa Gov Nujafi called for strike in response to security forces attacking
            protest camp in Mosul
2012 Sulaymaniya court gave protest organizer life in prison after policeman killed
            at protest in Halabja
2012 Report that Kurds being threatened and driven out of Khanaqin district northeast
2012 Sadr went to Irbil to meet Pres Barzani over no confidence vote against Maliki
2013 4 Sunni mosques bombed in Baghdad after noon prayers
2013 Anbar protest leaders called for a popular army to be formed to protect demo sites
2013 Fallujah protest site announced formation of Pride and Dignity Army to protect
            demonstrators from ISF
2013 5 Intelligence officers killed at Fallujah protest site
2013 ISF retook Suleiman Beq from insurgents who seized town for several days
2015 Kataib Hezbollah withdrew from southern Fallujah claiming Abadi and
            US were preventing it from fighting there
2015 Head of Anbar council announced Abadi okayed recruiting locals for Hashd
2016 Sadrists protested while parliament voted in 5 new ministers as part
            of Abadi’s technocratic cabinet
2017 Hashd took Hatra Ninewa

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

No Enforcement Of Foreign Funding Law In Iraqi Election

The Iraqi Election Commission continues to fine parties for violations of campaign rules before May’s voting. Those include the lack of good conduct, putting up materials in the wrong places and times, etc. There are much bigger violations going on that the Commission has done nothing about. That is enforcing the ban on foreign funding for campaigns.

This Day In Iraqi History – Apr 25

1920 San Remo Agreement created British Mandate in Iraq France agreed to
            give up Mosul vilyat in return for oil concessions in Iraq
(Musings On Iraq article on how Mosul province became part of Iraq)
1929 Iran officially recognized Iraq as a country Hadn’t before due to complaints of
            mistreatment of Persians in Iraq
1991 Kurdish parties agreed to deal with Saddam including autonomy to end
            revolt after Gulf War
1991 Turkey told UN 30,000 Iraqi Kurds had entered Turkey in 2 days and 220,000
            were on there way as Kurdish uprising put down
1994 Iraqi govt announced completion of Mother of all Battles Irrigation Canal meant to
            drain southern marshes to drive out displaced and rebels
1995 Turkey’s Op Steel ended Withdrew 20,000 troops but left 15,000 in Kurdistan
1998 Was story that bin Laden sent delegation to Iraq for Saddam’s birthday and
            Uday agreed to train Al Qaeda Report false
2002 For Sec Straw said UK had to stand up to “bullies” like Saddam
2002 IAEA report that during inspections in 1990s Iraq’s nuclear program was
            dismantled and no ability to produce nuke material
2003 US arrested ex-Iraq Amb to Tunisia Farouk Hijazi who reportedly met with Al
            Qaeda in 90s and cited as proof of Iraq-Al Qaeda ties
2003 Bush said Iraq’s WMD were either hidden or were destroyed but US would find
2003 White House official told NY Times Iraq may not have had WMD just agents to
make them
2003 Only Iraqi policemen to help US in Fallujah executed outside his house
2003 US Cmdr in Iraq Gen Franks said didn’t know how long it would take to
            rebuild and stabilize Iraq
2003 Iraqi opposition met in Madrid but failed to agree on an interim govt
2004 Marine generals met with Iraqis to discuss creating a Fallujah brigade after 1st
            battle of Fallujah
2005 Iraq Survey Group found Gulf War and UN sanctions destroyed Iraq’s WMD
            programs and Saddam didn’t try to rebuild them
2005 Iraq Survey Group found no evidence that Iraq’s WMD were sent to Syria
2005 White House said Iraq Survey Group found Saddam wanted WMD in the future
2006 Memo by Gen McCaffrey said that Iraqi army was making real progress but was
            badly equipped lacking armor air support etc
2006 Memo by Gen McCaffrey said Iraqi police heavily infiltrated by insurgents and
militias Said that Al Qeada in Iraq had been defeated as a strategic threat to the Iraqi govt
2008 Sadr said he was only opposed to US occupation not Maliki govt
2008 Report Badr and Mahdi Army setting up checkpoints and killing each other in
Qadisiyah and Baghdad
2008 Maliki said all parties supported his crackdown on Sadr and sign of reconciliation
2008 Maliki said if Sadr disarmed dropped politics turn in wanted militiamen would
stop Charge of Knights
2008 Fmr Under Sec of Def Feith said he warned of postwar chaos in Iraq but
            was ignored and Pentagon was on top of issue not State or CIA
2009 Gorran List founded by former PUK leader Mustafa
2009 Shiites protest in Khalis, Diyala claiming Baathists taking over new provincial
council after elections
2009 Arab tribes in Makhmour and Qaraj demanded Asayesh withdraw claiming
2010 Iraqi Airways flew to London for first time in 20 years
2010 Court upheld Accountability and Justice Comm banning 52 winning candidates
            for Baathist ties
2011 Maliki claimed power had been decentralized in response to national protests
2011 ISF tried to stop protesters from gathering in Mosul Led to clash killing 1
            demonstrator and wounding 9 others
2011 Protest in Ramadi demanding US withdrawal close secret prisons and stop
            Iranian influence in country
2011 Peshmerga Minister accused Kurdistan Islamic Group and Kurdistan Islamic
            Union of being saboteurs and fostering jihadists
2011 Kurdistan Islamic Union said KRG had cut its monthly budget
2011 Soldiers and KDP security got into shoot out in Kirkuk City after brother 12th Div
commander killed a taxi driver and was arrested
2011 Speaker Nujafi said Iraq didn’t need US troops anymore and any extension
            would have to go through parliament
2012 Accordance Front and Iraqiya threatened no confidence vote against Maliki unless
he followed Irbil power sharing agreement
2012 Pres Barzani said that unless Maliki shared power would be a revolt by
            other ruling parties Said Maliki was like a dictator
2013 Maliki gave TV speech saying security would be restored after ISF attack
            on Hawija protest site led to spike in violence
2013 Heavy fighting in Mosul 10 police and 31 insurgents killed
2014 Boko Haram pledged support to ISIS
2014 US sent intelligence officers to assist Iraq with fighting insurgency, started
            training Iraqi Special Forces in Jordan
2014 KRG offered North Oil Company to use its pipeline to Turkey
2014 Report that insurgents were split over whether to support elections or not
2015 Abadi said Hashd should include all Iraqis from all backgrounds
2015 Kudish Alliance said opposed National Guard in disputed areas because
            peshmerga could secure them
2015 Yazidi militia leader Haider Sesho said that Yazidis would form their own
            party in Sinjar and be independent of KDP
2015 IS took over army base in Thar Thar, Anbar 141 soldiers killed in fighting
2017 Turkey bombed PKK positions in Sinjar Ninewa

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Security In Iraq Apr 15-21, 2018

April has been different from previous months during the year. Each week the number of security incidents has gone up and down. The two main trends during the third week of April was the ongoing fighting between the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) and Turkey in northern Kurdistan and more attacks upon candidates and political parties before next month’s parliamentary elections.

This Day In Iraqi History – Apr 24

1916 British attempt to re-supply besieged garrison at Kut failed
1920 UK gave France 25% of Turkish Petroleum Company in return for agreeing to
            British mandate in Iraq
1941 PM Gaylani and Mufti of Jerusalem met with Italian amb Told him they were
            angry Axis had done nothing to help Iraq vs British
1974 Iraqi planes bombed Qala Diza during Kurdish rebellion killing 130
1991 Kurdish leaders announced tentative deal with Saddam over autonomy and
            returning refugees who fled during revolt
1999 Were clashes between Iraqi forces and Iraqi opposition in south
2002 Gen Franks me with commanders in Qatar Said they needed to start war
2003 Bush said Iraq might have destroyed its WMD before invasion but US would
            find them
2003 NY Times article Iraqi scientists said Saddam expanded WMD programs and
            secret facilities but destroyed stocks Wasn’t true
2003 US seized warehouse in Baghdad thought to contain WMD agents Proved false 
2003 Trailer found near Mosul was suspected of being mobile WMD labs Turned out
            not to be
2003 Dep PM Tariq Aziz surrendered to US Said Iraq had no WMD
2003 INC’s Zubeidi declared himself mayor of Baghdad
2003 ORHA head Garner met with 60 Iraqis in Kut to talk about security and how city
            should pick city council
2003 ORHA head Garner blamed Iran for anti-US protests in Kut
2003 ORHA head Garner said INC’s Chalabi was not US’s choice to run Iraq and
            Iraqis could pick their own leaders
2003 Gen McKiernan ground commander in Iraq told ORHA’s Garner security #1
            priority for postwar Iraq
2003 Rumsfeld called Powell to propose Paul Bremer as new presidential envoy to Iraq
2003 Rumsfeld called Garner and told him he would be replaced by Bremer Garner said
            he would quit Rumsfeld asked him to stay
2003 Rumsfeld said that Iraqis could form any govt they wanted as long as it wasn’t
            a theocracy like Iran’s
2003 UN Res 1476 extended Oil For Food Program past US invasion
2003 2 drive by shootings on US base in Kut, Wasit
2003 Was anti-American march in Kut, Wasit
2003 UK cabinet agreed to expand control from Basra & Maysan to Dhi Qar and
            Muthanna despite warnings might not have capabilities to deal with them
2003 UN SecGen Annan said US Coalition had to follow intl law as occupying
            power in Iraq US rejected occupier title
2004 US reported that 40% of Iraqi police deserted during Sadrist uprising in
            Najaf and Kut
2004 Insurgents launched boat attack upon Basra oil terminal killing 2 US sailors
2006 Sunni politicians accused SIIC of taking over Interior Min and staffing it with
            Badr militiamen and killing civilians
2006 Zarqawi released video portraying himself as military commander in Iraq
2006 Fmr CIA officer Drumheller said Iraq war was a policy failure by White House
            not intel one Said Bush committed to war no matter what the intel
2006 Iraqiya MP said new Maliki govt wasn't national unity one but just Shiite
            Kurdish and Sunni parties dividing up ministries
2008 ISF gained full control of central Basra from militias during Charge of Knights
2008 Captured ISI letters showed complaints about War Min Masri not consulting
            with others and didn't take criticism
2008 Captured letters said ISI was passing off old Zarqawi videos as new operations
2009 2 suicide bombers targeted Baghdad’s Khadmiya shrine
2011 Ayatollah Haeri in Iran issued fatwa against extending US troop presence in
            Iraq past 2011
2011 Sadrists said they opposed any troops extension for US past end of year
2011 Kurd opposition parties said KRG could either negotiate with protesters or
            suppress them
2011 Press freedom group said 226 violations by KRG against media trying to cover
            Sulaymaniya protests
2011 Bomb at Sacred Heart church in Baghdad
2011 6,000 protested in Mosul demanding reform and releasing prisoners
2012 Sound bomb at offices of Ayatollah Najafi in wave of attacks upon leading
2012 Pres Barzani said that Exxon would follow through with its contracts to work
            with KRG despite threats from Baghdad
2013 Maliki called for dialogue with Sunni protests after raided and killed protesters in
            Hawija Also called for law and order
2013 Mutahidun complained Maliki allowing militias to operate in Iraq
2013 Insurgents took control of Suleiman Beq, Salahaddin after ISF attacked
            Hawija protest site
2013 Hawija protest group announced that it was joining Naqshibandi after ISF
            attacked protest site
2014 Was fighting between ISIS and Military Council in Fallujah
2015 report that ISF were charging displaced Anbaris money to get into Baghdad

Monday, April 23, 2018

Number Of Displaced Continues To Drop In Iraq

The war against the Islamic State that started in 2014 caused the second major displacement of Iraqis since 2003. Over 5 million people left their homes. Now that the conflict is over, more and more people are returning.

This Day In Iraqi History – Apr 23

1917 British Samarra Offensive ended in victory over Ottomans British suffered
            18,000 casualties
1920 Ataturk gave speech demanding Turkey’s southern territories include Mosul and
(Musings On Iraq article on how Mosul province became part of Iraq)
1941 PM Gaylani asked for German military intervention in case of war with England
1941 London decided to land an entire division from India in Basra
1948 Kirkuk oil workers protested against Anglo-Iraq Treaty
1989 Ali Hassan al-Majid’s special powers over northern Iraq for Anfal ended
(Musings On Iraq article on Anfal campaign)
2003 Iraq oil started flowing for fist time since US invasion Iraq shut down oil flow
            day war started Mar 20
2003 USAID official told Nightline rebuilding Iraq could cost US $1.7 bil and
            Iraqi oil and donors would pay for rest
2003 ORHA head Garner came up with list of 9 objectives to accomplish for postwar
            Iraq including paying salaries return police and ministries etc
2003 White House said confident Iraq’s WMD would be found
2003 NY Times article Iraqi scientists told US Iraq destroyed all its WMD equipment
            before invasion US now looking for programs rather than WMD stocks
2003 NY Times article US would be getting info on Iraq’s WMD from Chalabi and
2003 Up to 3 mil participated in Arbaeen ceremony that had been banned under
2003 Protest in Kut, Wasit blocked US convoy for 4 hours
2003 Report thousands of Arabs were being evicted from Kirkuk by Kurds and
            forming militias to protect themselves
2003 1st US troops arrived in Fallujah 2 weeks after end of invasion
2004 Bremer said ex-soldiers welcomed back into army said complaints about
            deBaathification were legitimate US streamlining how it deal with prisoners
2004 US Cmdr in Iraq Gen Sanchez ordered investigation into military intel practices
            due to Abu Ghraib prison scandal
2005 UN Sec Gen Annan blamed US and UK for Iraq smuggling under Oil For Food
            program in 90s rather than UN
2009 KRG Premier Barzani criticized Hadbaa party for monopolizing all the seats
            on Ninewa council
2009 Iraq claimed it captured IS leader Abu Omar Baghdadi Didn’t happen
2010 5 car bombs hit Shiite mosques in Baghdad kill 72
2011 Karbala governor said province should think about becoming a federal region
2011 5,000 protested in Mosul demanding release of prisoners
2011 Sadrists marched in Baghdad against US occupation
2012 Iran tried to work out deal between Maliki and Sadr but failed Sadr moved
            into growing critic of Maliki’s rule
2012 Iraq’s Foreign Ministry called in Turkey’s ambassador complaining about
            Ankara’s interference in Iraqi politics
2013 Maliki ordered raid on Hawija protest camp run by Naqshibandi leading to over 40
            dead and 70 wounded
2013 Violence spiked in Iraq after Hawija raid and helped mark return of Iraqi
2013 Mohammed Abu Risha called for protesters to arm themselves after ISF attack
            upon Hawija protest site
2013 Clash between protesters and ISF in Ramadi 6 soldiers killed
2013 Fighting broke out between ISF and insurgents in Suleiman Beq
2013 British court found maker of fake bomb detectors guilty of 3 counts of fraud
2016 Fighting broke out again between Hashd, Turkmen vs Peshmerga Kurds in
            Tuz Kharmato

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Musings On Iraq In The News

I was mentioned by Coline Clarke and Haroro Ingram in "Defeating the ISIS Nostalgia Narrative" in Foreign Policy Research Institute. The article was also republished by RAND.

Review Foulk, Vincent, The Battle for Fallujah, Occupation, Resistance and Stalemate in the War in Iraq

Review Foulk, Vincent, The Battle for Fallujah, Occupation, Resistance and Stalemate in the War in Iraq, Jefferson and London: McFarland & Company, Inc.: 2007

The Battle for Fallujah is a bit misleading as the book is really about the period from 2003 when the U.S. forces first entered Fallujah until the 2nd Battle of Fallujah at the end of 2004. Each chapter has a theme such as kidnappings, car bombs, Moqtada al-Sadr and his uprisings, etc. It’s a quick read on what the American military was facing during this period of the Iraq War.