Monday, August 4, 2014

August 3rd adn 4th Iraq SITREP by Mindfriedo

3rd Aug: Qassim Atta, spokesperson for the Iraqi Army states that the Iraqi government is willing to back local fighters from Mosul in their fight against Daash. He said that they should come within the fold of/assimilate into the regular armed forces.

3rd Aug: The Iraqi Army’s spokesperson, Qassim Atta, singles out two Television channels: Al Babiliya and Tagheer, as being sectarian. The Channels are owned by Saleh al-Mutlaq (Iraqi Front for National Dialogue) and the Iraqi Islamic Party, respectively. Both these parties are Sunni Islamic parties that have worked with the government of Iraq and have been part of it in the past.

3rd Aug: A Committee established to investigate the mass murder of 1000 student cadets by Daash Jihadists at the Speicher Base in Tikrit concludes that the murders did in fact take place. Local sources unfriendly with Daash have confirmed the movements of the students prior to their execution.

3rd Aug: Daash terrorists enter Sinjar to the west of Tal Afar and destroy a Shiite Shrine: The local Sayeda Zainab (as) Shrine. They execute 10 Kurdish Shias. Daash fighters overrun Sinjar, Zammar, Wana and Mosul dam that leads to an exodus of its minorities including Yazdis. An oil field was also captured by Daash. These areas were earlier with the Peshmergas. The Peshmergas made tactical withdrawal from Sinjar to allow the Iraqi Air Force to carry out airstrikes on Daash targets.

The capture of the dam seems significant as Daash can now withhold water supply (a medieval battle tactic) or flood areas as a tactical defensive measure (Saddam’s tactics in the Iran Iraq war). The Peshmergas withdrew without offering much resistance. They withdrew their mechanized troops before the deadline set by Daash expired. Iraqis in the north are questioning the “rushing toward death” of the Peshmergas in view of them fleeing.

3rd Aug: The Kurds are engaging Daash/rebel fighters to the west of Mosul. The attempt appears to be to cut the supply lines of Daash into Syria. The attack has centered on Sinjar west of Tal Afar and close to the Syrian Border. Heavy reinforcements are reported to be heading west.

3rd Aug: Security Forces backed by local militias have attacked and dislodged Dassh/rebel fighters from an old airport in Muqdadiya, east of Baqouba. Daash/rebel fighters abandoned villages near the area and have fled to the mountains north in fear of Air Strikes.

The free men of Saadia, the militia assisting the security forces, hang the body of a Daash Commander on display as a message to Daash.

3rd Aug: The irrelevance of the United States: Atta announces the arrival of additional Sukhoi SU 25 jets to Iraq.

4th Aug: Daash bulldozes a graveyard east of Saadia and refers to the practice of visiting graves idolatry. Daash fighters have given the residents of Saadia 72 hours to surrender their weapons and join the ranks of Daash. Daash executes two men it suspects of belonging to the “free men of Saadia.”

4th Aug: Wana area in between Tal Afar and Mosul and south of Mosul Dam has been recaptured by the Peshmergas after the arrival of reinforcements.

4th Aug: Yazidi Iraqis have released photos of those displaced by Daash in Sinjar. The displaced number 200000 and are hiding in the mountains north of Sinjar. There is no access to drinking water or shelter and women and children have to face extreme temperatures. Reports of atrocities being committed by Daash are also surfacing. Sinjar also had a substantial Christian population. Shia refugees are also taking shelter in the mountains.

4th Aug: In a World of his own, a lot like the politicians of the Lebanese Future Movement: Former Vice President and Sunni Politician Tariq al-Hashimi, wanted by the Judiciary for his involvement in sectarian bombings and currently under the protection of the Turkish Government, states that Daash should ally itself and cease attacking the Peshmergas. He stated that the Sunni Arabs and Kurds should find common ground against the Shia Government.

4th Aug: Government airstrikes have killed Abdul Rahman al- Pakistani, as his name suggests a Pakistani national and a founding member of Daash, in al-Tayaran, Mosul city. The strike was coordinated with intelligence on the ground.

4th Aug: Lufthansa is continuing to fly its planes to Erbil in Iraqi Kurdistan but it will avoid Daash “controlled/threatened” airspace.

4th Aug: The Kurds tell Washington to put their money where their mouth is. Falah Mustafa, Foreign spokesperson for Iraqi Kurdistan asks Washington to stop thanking and praising the Kurds and start supplying them with weapons and ammunition.

4th Aug: Athel al-Nujaifi, Governor of Nineveh plans and envisions the setting up of a Sunni Arab force similar to the Peshmergas. He has referred to the “Awakening Members” as ineffective and divisive.

4th Aug: The National alliance fails to agree on a Prime Ministerial candidate. Maliki is expected to be able to garner more votes than his rivals, but is being resisted by Sadr’s Ahrar bloc, the Supreme Council, and Sunni and Kudish parties.

4th Aug: The UN approaches the US to airlift supplies to Yazidis sheltering in Sinjar Mountains.

4th Aug: The Iraqi Army arrests 24 suspected individuals, including a woman, in Maysan in the East of Iraq. Another 4 wanted individuals are arrested in Karbala. Police arrest another 6 in Maysan on terrorism charges.

4th Aug: The Iraqi Army is organizing a major offensive in Haditha, Anbar to flush out Daash fighters. The army is being backed by the air force, and tribal militias.

4th Aug: Awakening Members assist the Security Services in arresting 4 Daash fighters in Tuz Khurma, Salah al Din, east of Tikrit.

4th Aug: The Iraqi Army kills 8 fighters of Daash and destroys eight vehicles belonging to them in the north of Babil.

4th Aug: Daash kidnaps the 11 year old daughter of a Peshmerga fighter, after killing his brother earlier, in an attempt to coerce him to join Daash in Saadiya, Diyala.

4th Aug: The Iraqi army replaces its Babil Commander Abdulhussein al-Baythani with his recently appointed deputy Kadhim Risan.

3rd and 4th Aug: Government claims for the Day:

3rd: 300 Daash fighters killed in the west of Mosul in Air Strikes

3rd: Government air strikes target a gathering of Daash fighters in Baiji district

4th: Government airstrikes kill 35 Daash/rebel fighters in Eastern Mosul

4th: Government airstrikes kill 117 Daash fighters north of Baghdad, destroy 24 vehicles, and kill the Mufti of Daash Jalal Arak al-Halbosi. His assistant Mahmoud Hussein Kasar al-Lehebi is also reported killed.

Skepticism over government claims: The body count that the government reports in terms of Daash fighters killed in airstrikes should be taken with a pinch of salt. Most government claims are by way of airstrikes, the government at times does not have sources on the ground that can corroborate claims being made by pilots. In most likelihood, the government is killing a number of Daash fighters in air strikes but not at the scale at which it reports. However, the government has been accurate in its reporting of killings of specific members within Daash in Mosul and elsewhere. This indicates the presence of some sort of intelligence network behind enemy lines.

Reports where Government security forces fight/Peshmergas/allied militias claim to kill Daash fighters are likely to be more accurate, since they can be verified in terms of number of dead bodies, but may be inflated as well.

All terrorist acts committed by Daash, and advertised/used as propaganda, appear to be accurate. But conflict reports by Daash may be just as misleading for propaganda purpose and their psychological effect on enemy morale.


3rd Aug: Walid Jumbaltt changes his views once again and refers to blaming of Hezbollah’s involvement in Syria as being responsible for terrorism as incorrect and something that needs to stop. He is pessimistic of the future and the survival of minorities.

3rd-4th Aug: The Lebanese army detains Abu Ahmed Jumaa in Ersal Eastern Lebanon, on a suspected Hezbollah tip off. Following his arrest hostilities break out and under the orders of Abu Hassan al-Filastini, the commander of the DI of Daash (ISIS) in Qalamoun, Daash overruns the town. The Al Nusra Front after a pause joins the fight and overruns the Base of the Lebanese 85th Battalion. Daash takes 6 soldiers hostage, but the Lebanese Army claims 13 are missing. The bases were overrun after Daash fighters flooded the streets and intersections.

Daash is preventing civilians from fleeing or leaving the town as this will allow the Lebanese and Syrian army and air force to pummel the town.

4thAug: General Jean Qahwaji, Lebanese army commander, terms the militant attack on Ersal premeditated and states that the army is ready to take on the takfiris. Sixteen Lebanese army soldiers are now reported killed.

4thAug: Hezbollah issues a statement that it is willing to fight shoulder to shoulder with the Lebanese army against the militants.

4th Aug: The Lebanese army begins shelling the mountains around Ersal and the Syrian Air force starts carrying out air strikes.

4th Aug: Prime Minister Tammam Salam, a Sunni Politician, meets with Salafi cleric from Tripoli, Sheikh Salem al-Rifi’I, and Sunni Bekaa Mufti, Khalil al-Mais, to try and reach a cease fire in Ersal.

4th Aug: Hezbollah refers to the current crisis in Ersal as a reaction by the militants to avoid their encirclement. Hezballah has been progressively encircling militant positions and Ersal would have been the next focal point. The militant takeover has been seen as a means to complicate the situation and a result of their fear of being encircled.

Further Reading:

George Galloway:

Illustrated SITREP for Iraq, 2nd Aug:

Daash Recruitment: