Friday, September 26, 2014

Iraq SITREP Update 26th September: Enemy of my enemy

NB: These SITREPs that Saker allows to be posted here will now be twice a week. Significant news events will be posted, recurring ones like the repeated failed attempts to take back a city, like Tikrit by the Iraqi military, will be avoided; unless there are other repercussions to that event. Also body counts are too depressing to keep reporting and there are other sources that list the everyday dead of Iraq.

The Saker has been very kind to allow these SITREPs from the start. I am grateful for his efforts and his commitment.

As always these are compilations of news stories from the MSM and non MSM sources. If I express an opinion commentators are welcome to question them, and in some extreme 'Takfiri' cases, my faith as well.

30th Aug: The Iranians claim progress is being made on developing an indigenous alternative to the S300:
The Israelis finger Belarus:
17th Sep: The Islamic practices of Daash: Four minor Yazidi girls are transferred to Mosul Hospital after sever Uterine Bleeding. The girls were reported to have been subjected to repeated sexual assault by "brave" Daash terrorists.
18th Sep: There will be blood: Daash vehicles roam the streets of Mosul calling for blood donations as Daash casualties mount.
20th Sep: Daash releases 49 Turkish hostages including the counsel general of Turkey in Iraq. However, Turkey refuses to participate in coalition airstrikes on Daash.
21st Sep: More than a 100000 Kurds are reported to be fleeing a Daash onslaught in north east Syria with the Kurdish city of Kobani coming under attack. The refugees head north towards Turkey.
22nd Sep: The US and its alliance of the willing (GCC excluding Kuwait and Oman, and non GCC member Jordan, a total of 30 countries) start to bomb Daash targets in Syria. Prior warning is given to the Government of Bashar Al Assad and an Iranian lawmaker states that Iran was also informed about the air assaults on Daash.
US airplanes also target Al Nusra Front positions and also those of the "Khorrasan" terrorist group.
The US authorities state that a female pilot from the UAE also participated in the airstrikes on Daash.
Belgium and The Netherlands send their F16 fighters and Belgium asks its military personnel not to wear their uniforms when not on duty out of fears of retaliatory attacks.
22nd Sep: Daash tries and executes Samira Salih al-Nuaimi, a lawyer and rights activists, on charges of Apostasy for having criticised the DI of Daash's destruction of shrines and mosques in Mosul. Torture marks are clearly visible on her corpse.
23rd Sep: Brigadier General, Ahmad Reza Bordstan, of the Iranian Ground Forces clarifies that Iran will launch a much more penetrating assault on Daash positions in response to any attack on Iran's border with Iraq.
24th Sep: Daash carries out a heavy assault on Baiji refinery. It involves three car bombings and blow up tankers using a suicide bomber. The military personnel protecting the refinery are backed by the Iraqi Airforce but suffer heavy casualties. Senior military commanders warn of a repeat of Spykar if the government does not degrade Daash's capability to assault the refinery.
24th Sep: The US led coalition starts to bomb Daash positions on the outskirts of Kobani in Northern Syria.
24th Sep: Kurdish forces warn of the fleeing of Daash fighters from Syria to Iraq and ask the US led coalition to bomb Daash convoys entering Iraq.
24th Sep: Iraqi Security Forces and Peshmergas work in coordination in Qara Tapa, north east of Baqouba, Diyala to clear villages of Daash presence
24th Sep: Hassan Nasrallah states that he is opposed to the US led coalition that is bombing Daash. He stated that the Hezbollah fought the "infidel" Daash and will continues to do so, but referred to the US as the "mother of terrorism"
24th Sep: German ammunition, anti tank weapons and assault rifles arrive in Iraqi Kurdistan
24th Sep: An Algerian terrorist group with links to Daash beheads French hiker Herve Gourdel after the Afrench Government refuses to stop its participation in the coalition of the willing.
25th Sep: Rouhani blames the West and it's allies (certain intelligence agencies: CIA) of creating Daash, refers to it as a global threat and asks the west to stop supporting dictators.
25th Sep: Two bombings in Baghdad leave 6 dead and 18 wounded
25th Sep: France confirms that it has carried out its first airstrikes on Daash positions in Iraq. The UK is expected to join the coalition of the willing soon.
25th Sep: The UAE claims that its woman pilot, Mariam Al -Mansouri, took part in its raid on Daash positions. Daash vows revenge.
25th Sep: Kurdish forces in Syria repel an assault on Kobani.
25th Sep: Jassim Mohammed Hassan al-Attiyah of the Salah al Din provincial council states that over 13000 US troops are expected at the Speicher Military Base. This is contrary to what Obama has stated, what Prime Minister Abadi has asked for, and what Sadr and Sistani have clearly opposed.
25th Sep: Daash blows up the historic Al Arbain mosque in Tikrit.
26th Sep: Bombing of Daash positions to the North and to the West of Mosul: Sinjar and Zammar has continued for three days ands ongoing. The "coalition of the willing" is bombing the monster it helped create.
26th Sep: Iranian expert refers to US assault on Daash as America's plan B:

Arabian Nights, night 2: the downfall of Ali Duba:

Reports suggest that Ali Duba was sidelined to make way for Bashar to take over power in Syria. However, a Syrian tale goes like this:

Hafiz Al Assad was having trouble with a senior member of the Muslim Brotherhood and asked his intelligence chief to get rid of the man. Ali Duba however, was made an offer of a large sum of money to let the man slip into exile. Duba took the money and the brotherhood man fled to Germany. Hafiz was assured that the man was with his maker.

Years later, the same man was terminally ill and dying. Away from home, he longed to return. His people approached Ali Duba and offered an even larger pot of gold to the let the man die in Syria. For this, Ali Duba had to approach Hafiz and it is then that Hafiz learnt of his instructions not being carried out. Ali Duba was no longer a trusted man.

Short Analysis: Are the Houthis linked to Iran?

Some commentators suggested that Iran is in no way involved in the Houthi uprising in Yemen, or in Bahrain. Although claims and allegations that Iran is backing rebels in Yemen and Bahrain play into the hands of the Empire, there is a grain of truth to them.

Iran has come under attack, with its embassy staff being kidnapped and shot in Yemen. The now deposed President had also accused Iran of meddling, which Iran denied. Saudi Arabia has also at one point in history been allied to the Zaidis in Yemen against the communist South. Saudi Arabia has more recently been paranoid and accused Iran of backing the Houthis. So why say Iran is siding with them now?

1) A religious argument

Islam in General, and the Shia faith in particular underwent a transformation with the events of Karbala. The Sacrifice of the Grandson of the Prophet reminds the Shia to oppose oppression, and to refrain from it too. While the Sunnis have generally been more pro establishment throughout history, it is the Shia that have resisted over time and over geographic distances. A reading of Shia history after the events of Karbala will show that in every few decades a Shia uprising has taken place against oppressive government.

Iran, perceiving itself to be the centre of the Shia faith, backs its co-religionists in, to name a few places, Kashmir, Pakistan, Iraq, Syria, and Nigeria. It even backs opposition to oppression against Muslims in General (Sunnis) in other places: Sudan, Bosnia, Kurds in Iraq, and the Northern Alliance in Afghanistan. It sees this as a religious purpose. Although, the Iranian revolutionary "Islamic" state was more aggressive in the past it has become much more pragmatic, but also a lot more tenacious and politically astute.

So why would Iran not back the Houthis and Bahraini Shias, in the latter case morally if not with material aid (physical, geographic restrictions, the invasion of the island by Saudi troops, and the US Naval base prevent Iran from giving more direct support; However, if Bahrain shared a land border with Iran, weapons would be smuggled across). Not supporting them on Iran's part would be contrary to common sense.

2) A practical understanding

No guerrilla movement survives for long against a government backed by foreign powers for long without external support. A case in point is the Hezbollah. Even though it is a very powerful, if not the most powerful, resistance militia, it cannot survive or wield as much power as it does without Iranian/Syrian support. Similar examples are the Taliban, which no one can defeat as long as the Pakistani state continues to back it.

Although the Houthis may be a majority in the north, how long can they sustain a conflict without material help? Yes everybody in Yemen is armed, but where do you replenish stocks from and sustain an offensive? Why would Saudi Arabia allow the deposed President to negotiate a deal if did not feel threatened?

Now consider the Tibetan resistance against China that withered away after all India did was provide vocal support. The North Vietnamese had Chinese and Soviet support, the rebels in Syria have petrodollars backing them, the MEK had US/Israeli support after Saddam was overthrown. In fact it's hard to point out to any opposition group that can last without external backing.

3) Coincidence: there are none

The first coincidence is the timing of the Houthi takeover. It conveniently occurred after Daash has taken over most of Sunni Iraq.
The second coincidence is form. In this 2010 article by Bhadrakumar: He mentions that the Houthi armed groups are being modelled on the Lebanese Hezbollah.

Finally, to cut things short, I will agree that there is a remote possibility, a completely illogical one, that Iran is not involved in some way with the Houthis. But it is possible.

Further Reading:

US intelligence flying blind when it comes to the Hezballah