Saturday, June 28, 2014

June 27th IRAQ SITREP by Mindfriedo

26th June: Another 50 US advisors arrive in Baghdad taking the tally up to 180, of the legendary 300 promised. Hope they don’t face the same fate as the Spartans.
26th June: Main backers of the Sunni insurgency meet with their Godfather in Paris:
27th June: The Iraqi government releases a video showing Baiji refinery in government hands. Army spokesperson Qassim Atta: “ISIL militants who tried to approach the Baiji refinery were crushed. We assure that the refinery has become a graveyard for ISIL coward terrorists.”
27th June: The Iraqi government is trying to wrest control of Tikrit. Airborne commando raids were carried out on Tikrit University on Thursday. Low flying helicopters carrying elite forces landed in a stadium opposite the university. One was reportedly shot down by insurgents.
27th June: Sunni residents of Tikrit claim that there are no militants in Tikrit. Daash had taken Tikrit on the 11th and 12th of June and executed 190 Shia army recruits. Daash militants are reported to have fled towards Kirkuk in anticipation of government strikes.
27th June: The government claims to have gained control of Alam district in Western district (I’m not familiar with Tikrit but the only Alam district seems to be east of the city on the other side of the river)
27th June: The government forces have gained control of the main highway from Tikrit to Samarra. Spiker military base is also now in government hands.
27th June: Daash claims responsibility for the suicide bombing that took place in Beirut yesterday.
27th June: Iran denies repatriating 130 fighter aircraft to Iraq. The Iranian spokeswoman, Marzieh Afkham, said “The news has been denied by the Iraqi authorities, and we have nothing to add about these unfounded allegations but to deny them."
27th June: Maliki has ordered military aircraft from the Russians which he expects will be delivered in two to three days. It remains a mystery who will fly these planes, Iraqis, Syrians, Russians, Iranians, US Advisors. Regarding the purchase of US aircraft Maliki stated "I'll be frank and say that we were deluded when we signed the contract [with the US]”.
27th June: Sistani has asked in his Friday sermon that key government ministries be decided before parliamentarians meet on Tuesday. His statement reads “What is required of the political blocs is to agree on the three presidencies within the remaining days to this date.”
27th June: The government of Baghdad is citing a human rights group that is claiming human right violations and genocide in the Shia village of Bashir. Daash fighters (a coalition of Sunni Tribes, Ba’athist, and disenfranchised Sunnis along with foreign fighters if people wish to call them) entered the village on the outskirts of Kirkuk on the 12th and 13th of June. There they are reported to have recorded the raping of women, crucifying those they killed, and beheading children.
27th June: Kerry clarifies that the US did not ask for an emergency government. Maliki had earlier dismissed any national emergency unity government. Iyad Allawi had made the call earlier for an emergency government.
27th June: Militia members from local provinces have arrived at a crossing in Nukhaib west of Karbala to hold it against Daash infiltration of the south of Iraq. They fear Daash getting through from Anbar province.

Further reading:
Baghdad’s Fifth Column:
This is an interesting article by the Guardian,
It talks about Sunni young men in Baghdad waiting for Daash’s advance on the capital to begin. They claim to have sleeper cells waiting to join the insurgency.

I wanted to cover these topics today, but will write about them tomorrow as a short analysis
Forget what to call ISIS or ISIL, Who to call Daash?
Are the Sunnis tougher than the Shia?
Iraqi Towns, their size and taking/holding them