Thursday, June 19, 2014

June 19th IRAQ SITREP by Mindfriedo

18th June: A tweet purported to belong to Saudi National Abdullah Al Turki:
Getting rid of Kafir Shia in Syria and Iraq is more important than getting rid of Zionist
We will dig up the grave of Ali ibn Abi Talib inshallah and bring out the Mahdi from the underground and kill him. This is not a threat but a uprise.
It's a wish to dig up the grave of Zainab too
(Not sure if this is genuine or propaganda)
18th June: The United States Air Force is formally asked by the Iraqi government to bomb Daash targets and prevent the advance of militants. Any such request would have, at the least, involved the Iranian commander of the Qods force.
18th June: the Saudi embassy in London has issued this statement: "The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia wishes to see the defeat and destruction of all Al-Qaeda networks and the Islamic State of Iraq and Al Sham (ISIS) operating in Iraq. Saudi Arabia does not provide either moral or financial support to ISIS or any terrorist networks. Any suggestion to the contrary, is a malicious falsehood. Despite the false allegations of the Iraqi Ministerial Cabinet, whose exclusionary policies have fomented this current crisis, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia supports the preservation of Iraq’s sovereignty, its unity and territorial integrity. We wish to see the protection of all civilians and the alleviation of their current suffering. We oppose all foreign intervention and interference in the internal affairs of Iraq. Instead, we urge all the people of Iraq, whatever their religious denominations, to unite to overcome the current threats and challenges facing the country.”
18th June: Hillary Clinton has expressed her view that it was a mistake on the part of Iraq to ask for the withdrawal of US military personnel.
18th June: Massoud Barzani, the president of the Kurdish region, announced a general mobilisation to bolster Peshmerga forces in defending Iraqi Kurdistan. He has asked former members to consider enrolling and has appealed to the Kurdish population for support.
18th June: Pro government Afaq TV is airing commercials calling for the boycott of Turkish and Saudi goods.
19th June: Ali Al Qureshi confirms that the refinery in Baiji is in government hands. A truce between the government and local tribes allowed for the evacuation of 300 refinery staff. Army aviation was instrumental in forcing Daash to withdraw its forces. Skirmishes between the two sides are ongoing. The Iraqi oil ministry is now threatening to sue news agencies that include AFP and Reuters for airing false reports.
19th June: The US has started reconnaissance sorties over Iraqi Air Space with F-18 Hornets.
19th June: Over 100000 Kurds from the refugee population in Arbat Camp in Sulaimaniyeh have volunteered to join the Peshmergas. They have expressed a desire to work without pay.
19th June: the Turks expect that with Baiji refinery out of action, Iraq will be forced to import refined petroleum products from, surprise-surprise, Turkey. Baiji refinery used to meet 25% of Iraqi refined petroleum needs.
19th June: Iranians are now sure that disinformation played a major role in the fall of Mosul. Rumours of the fall of the city were spread before it had actually fallen. Something similar was planned for other parts and prompted the Iraqi government to curtail phone and internet access.
19th June: the spokesperson for the Iraqi army, Qassim Atta, has mentioned that Iraqi Special forces were used in wresting control of Baiji.
19th June: Confrontations took place between Security services and Daash in Fallujah and the army has gained control of Saqlawiyah north west of Fallujah after killing 250 militants.
19th June: According to Qassim Atta the Iraq Army is making preparations to retake Mossul.
19th June: Iran's foreign minister Javad Zarif has announced the drafting of the final nuclear agreement between Iran and the Group 5+1

NB: This is from an unusual source, but very interesting:
19th June: Indian media reports from an escaped Indian worker who fled Mosul a month before it fell, Ahmad (Indian Worker): Around a month ago, a friend of mine told me that it was better that we got out of Mosul as a major invasion was being planned by the Al Qaeda-offshoot Islamic State of Iraq and Syria. He also told me that Mosul would be taken over and after that it would be living hell to be here... I am being told that in the days to come even Bhagdad will not be safe.
Ahmad: All stories about those barbaric acts that you hear are true. The ISIS are not human beings; they butcher people at will. It is fun for them to kill people and as long as they are around no part of Iraq is safe.

19th June: Twenty trucks carrying food supplies for the displaced in Sinjar, west of Tal Afar, were blocked and looted by Daash. Daash has asked the city authorities to expel refugees from Tal Afar to be allowed access to aid.
19th June: Kurdish authorities are now rationing fuel being supplied to drivers. An odd and even system is being used to ration fuel. There is an acute shortage of fuel.
19th June: Petro China is now evacuating a limited number of staff from Iraq. It has renewed its offer to assist the government in Baghdad but not specified if military assistance would be forth coming. China is the largest investor in Iraq's oil sector and also the largest customer of Iraq's oil. This could explain why Iraq is now facing this crisis.
19th June: The elders of Kirkuk City and the tribal elders of nearby Bashir have entered negotiations to return the bodies of civilians killed by Daash. Most victims are women and children.
19th June: Baiji refinery is still being fought over with both sides claiming victory. Daash had draped its flags on the refinery earlier in the day.
19th June: A Saudi woman is beaten to death in Colchester, UK. Daash has asked Muslims in the UK to take revenge. The tweet to avenge the woman's death was from a British "Muslim" member of Daash.
19th June: Baghdad airport is seeing heavy traffic of passengers since the crisis began. Ticket rates have gone up by 50%. The government has expedited imports of food stuffs to prevent shortages. People are sticking to local markets and avoiding larger bazaars.
19th June: Maliki has announced the court martial of 59 officers for abandoning their duty.
19th VERY INTERESTIG: Tayyip Erdogan, the Turkish Prine Minister has asked the US not to bomb Daash targets as it will result in CIVILIAN casualties.
19th June: Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Khamenei has tweeted that Daash is an instrument of US policy
19th June: The telegraph is reporting heavy damage to Baiji refinery and has posted images of Daash fighters burning a stash of cigarettes. Smoking is prohibited in areas controlled by health conscious Daash.

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