Wednesday, July 2, 2014

June 2nd IRAQ SITREP by Mindfriedo


How strange! How strange! By Allah my heart sinks to see the unity of these people on their wrong…and your scattering away from your right. Woe and grief befall you. You have become the target at which arrows are shot”
---Ali ibn Abi Talib (as) to the people of Iraq

Today’s SITREP has been divided for clarity; a lot can happen in 24 hours

Government Areas
1st July: The followers of the anti Iranian Shia cleric Mahmud al-Hasani al-Sarkhi march on the Imam Hussain (as) shrine in Karbala and clash with security personnel blocking them. The clashes are reported to be fierce with 25 people killed. The exact cause of the confrontation is unclear. Al-Sarkhi is opposed to the influence of “Iranian Marjas” such as Sistani. It is interesting to note that Sistani is Iranian born but has lived in Najaf most of his life.
2nd Junly: Karbala is under curfew and security forces have laid siege to the office of Al-Sharkhi where he has taken shelter along with a number of his followers. His followers have also blockaded roads in Nasiriyah and Basra (both southern Shi’ite cities) and clashes have been reported between the army and his supporters in other cities of the south of Iraq.
2nd July: A second batch of five Sukhoi fighters has arrived in Iraq. The Iraqi Air Force now has 10 SU25s supplied by Russia. Seven helicopter gunships have also been delivered by Russia, three MI-28M Havocs and four Mi-35s. A further 24 MI-35Ms and MI-28NEs are to be delivered till 2016 under a 4.2 billion USD contract signed in 2012. The helicopters are believed to have night warfare capabilities.
2nd July: The Iraqi Government has released footage of army operations in Tikrit to corroborate its claims of having entered the city. Army personnel are seen patrolling the streets and clearing the University Campus.
2nd July: The Iraqi army’s advance into Tikrit has been slowed down by booby traps, IEDs, and traps installed by militants. The army’s engineering wing his assisting the regular forces identify and contain them. Traps were found in government buildings and roads. The withdrawal of rebel forces from parts of Tikrit is being seen as a trap to cause non combat casualties amongst the army. Clashes in some areas have been fierce with the army calling in air strikes to dislodge entrenched rebels.
2nd July: The Iraqi army claims to have defused over 40 IEDs and to have painstakingly removed Daash flags from buildings and roadsides in Tikrit.
2nd July: The Iraqi ambassador to the US, Luqman Al-Faili, has asked the United States for much needed Military aid and airstrikes. In his address to the Carnegie Institute he stated “Baghdad would be unable to wait for more to receive additional assistance from the United States.” He stressed that Iraq would turn to other governments and Iran for military aid. He stated that both Iran and Turkey could be asked to aid with airstrikes.
2nd July: Dr Haider Al-Abadi, senior politician and spokesperson for Maliki, to Huffington Post UK “We have to be careful not to become involved in a sectarian war,” he said, adding: “Shias are not against Sunnis and Sunnis are not against Shias.” And that “Isis has got its own agenda regarding what it’s doing in Iraq. Whatever we do, even if we bring in a Sunni prime minister, they’ll be against him.. They fought against (former Iraqi prime minister Ayad) Allawi because he was secular, even though he wasn’t a Shia.” He also pointed out threat of returning Daash fighters to the UK.
2nd July: Analysts at the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS), UK, claim that the jets delivered to Iraq on the 1st of July originated in Iran and not Russia.
2nd July: Maliki has offered an amnesty to rebels “I announce the provision of an amnesty for all tribes and all people who were involved in actions against the state but who now ‘return to their senses,’ excluding those involved in killings.”
2nd July, Government claims for the day:
Iraqi government releases a video showing “Russian” supplied Su-25s attacking Daash/rebel positions
Iraqi government releases further videos of its air force bombing Daash/rebel fighters in Anbar and Baylon
The Iraqi army is in control of the University of Tikrit and is using it as a base of operations to “liberate” Tikrit
The air force is reporting killing 60 Daash fighters in the Jurf al-Sakhar district of northern Babel.

Sunni/contested Areas:
2nd July: Athel al-Nujaifi , the Governor of Nineveh has called for the creation of a “Sunni Territory” within Iraq. He states that the Sunnis no longer trust the army or the government in Baghdad. He has pointed out that the region is rich in natural oil wealth such as the 15 unexploited newly discovered oil fields in Anbar province. He has also citied ample water resources and agriculture as arguments for secession or autonomy.
2nd July: Daash had in a meeting held on Tuesday in Mosul asked its allied tribes and Ba’athist fighters to lay down their arms and swear allegiance to their caliph. This call has been made throughout the Sunni areas it controls in Iraq and Syria. Strangely Daash’s insistence on allegiance to stay within the DI (Daulat Islamia) of Daash is very similar to what is required of the citizens of the United States.
A funny thing that needs to be mentioned is that Al Baghdadi, the caliph of the DI of Daash’s real name is Ibrahim ibn Awwad ibn Ibrahim Ali ibn Muhammad al-Badri al-Hashimi al-Husayni al-Qurashi. His name implies that he is from the lineage of the Prophet and from the same tribe. The devil is in the detail. This information needs to be dusted for fingerprints.
2nd July: A rocket attack in the Shirqat district, north of Tikrit, has left 16 people dead and injured 5. It is not clear who was responsible for the rocket attack that damaged seven houses. The district is located close to Baiji and has seen clashes between the Iraqi army and Daash/Rebel fighters.
2nd July: Senior Jordanian Al Qaida figures/clerics Abu Mohammed Al Maqdissi and Mohammad Shalabi have condemned the DI of Daash.
2nd July: Clashes break out between Daash fighters and Naqshabandi fighters in Himreen in Nineveh province leaving four dead.

Kurdish areas
2nd July: Amir-Abdollahian, Iran’s Deputy Foreign Minister speaking in Russia “Although Iraq has a strong army, Iran is ready to send military consultants to the neighboring country to help with battles against the al-Qaeda splinter Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).” Further “All Iraqi factions should respect the country’s constitution.”
2nd July: Maliki refers to the Kurdish bid for an independence referendum as unconstitutional.

2nd July: Daash fighters in Syria have captured the Syrian/DI of Daash town of Boukamal from the rival Al-Qaida linked “Obama moderate” rebel Al Nusra front. Al-Nusra fighters had earlier defected to the ranks of Daash. Daash is now advancing to the Al Nusra stronghold of Shuheil that is also the birth place of Al Nusra’s leader Abu Muhammed Al Golani. Heavy fighting is expected and residents of Shuheli are fleeing in mass.
2nd June: More Bandars for Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia has appointed Prince Khaled Bin Bandar as its intelligence chief. The earlier Bandar, Prince Bandar Bin Sultan, was sacked three months ago. The King has put the armed forces on a high state of alert fearing violence from Islamic militants.
2nd July: Rebels in Syria released this statement “We, the leaders of the brigades and battalions...give the National Coalition, the [opposition] interim government, the [rebel] Supreme Military Council and all the leading bodies of the Syrian revolution a week to send reinforcements and complete aid. Should our call not be heard, we will lay down our weapons and pull out our fighters,"
2nd June: Number of Turkish tourists visiting Israel in 2013, not on flotillas of course, 24,385.
2nd June: Jordanian forces on the Iraq Jordan border have been on a heightened state of alert since June 16th.

Short Analysis, America’s plan B:
America’s plan B, or was it plan A all along, is now becoming clear: The division of Iraq into three autonomous regions. This is primarily to weaken the Shia block. Following the rebel takeover of Sunni Cities, this has been brought about by:
Undermining the security forces of the Iraqi government, by questioning their credibility and effectiveness and by denying military assistance.
Questioning the validity of Maliki’s reelection and repeatedly calling for a unity government. By making Aid conditional on Maliki resigning, they made it harder for him to do so.
Using Iraqi Kurdistan as an example to follow, asking the Iraqi government to be inclusive while exemplifying the autonomy of Iraqi Kurdistan
Support and encouragement of Sunni politicians looking to break away. Constantly referring to them as marginalized and excluded.
In all conflicts, a political solution follows a military one. The Americans are insisting that a political solution precede the retaking of Iraqi cities by Baghdad. They are asking the Iraqi government to negotiate from a position of weakness and with those advocating sedition. They never spoke to Saddam in the same way even after defeating him. This is not just double standard; they seem to want to create chaos even where there is a possibility for peace.
Martin Dempsey, Chairman of the Joint Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces has stated that some of the work carried out by the US military personnel will be to assess the Iraqi army, its capabilities and representation: What are they doing?, what is there Composition? Are they still force that represents all Iraqis?” then “When we get this assessment, We will take decisions on some other types of support that we can provide…” and finally “the ability to reach a political reconciliation between the groups, and provide a comprehensive way to the people of Iraq, will lead to the formation of an important factor in DETERMINING what we will do in the FUTURE.”