ISIS Declares A Caliphate; Crucifies 9 Syrian Rebels For Being "Too Moderate"
Submitted by Tyler Durden on 06/29/2014 13:01 -0400
Erstwhile leader of ISIS, Sheikh Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi has declared himself Caliphate, Amir Al-Mu'minin - Leader of Believers, as militants bear down on Baghdad. This comes as the extremist group demands that all Al-Qaeda and Jihadi branches must now pledge allegiance to ISIS.. if not there are consequences as nine rebels have been crucified for being too 'moderate' or accused of receiving support from Western powers. We suspect this may slow 'demand' for Obama's latest cunning plan to offer 'aid' to only "moderate" terrorists.
ISIS have declared their Caliphate...
Tweets..... FWIW - note call for partition !
#Iraq'i General Ali al-Saidi head of of #Maliki's "crisis team": "Only 10% of insurgents are #ISIS terrorists"
#Iraq'i General Ali al-Saidi head of of #Maliki's "crisis team" calls to divide the country into 3 autonomous zones
Despite apparent failure of Tikrīt assault, shows ISF have regained initiative in Şālaḩuddīn, ISIS nor longer dictating pace of operations.
ISF were also able to carry out a complex, coordinated three-pronged assault op w/ air support tens of kms from logistics hubs
@MemlikPasha US advisors and drone ISR likely playing a role in capacity for rapid strike and coordinated ops shown by ISF.
Apparent failure of ISF assault on Tikrīt another major blow to credibility of OCINC spox Gen. Qasim Atta and gov media (1/2)
Seems like ISF thrust from south was stopped 10km south of city center in Tikrīt outskirts by defensive IED belts and ISIS attacks
To reiterate, I don't believe today's ISF assault on Tikrīt was Fallūjah-style assault from a secured perimeter, but coordinated operation
Retweeted by Memlik Pasha
Everyone I've spoken to in #Tikrit tonight has disputed goverment in control. Say troops were stopped by clashes/bombing on roads in. #Iraq
Confirmed reports that #ISIS repelled ISF assault in Tikrīt outskirts, insurgents remain in control of central urban area.
Insurgents brought down an army helicopter over the northern city of Tikrit on Sunday as the military sent in tanks to try to dislodge them on second day of a major pushback against a Sunni militant takeover of large stretches of Iraq.
Iraqi Army Retreats From Saddam's Hometown As Assault On ISIS Falters
The army retreated to the south, BBC reports, striking a blow to the first major offensive to counter an Sunni insurgency led by extremist ISIS militants.
Meanwhile in Baghdad, threatened by the rebel advance, top Shi'ite, Sunni and Kurdish lawmakers scrambled to agree cabinet nominations before parliament meets on Tuesday to try to prevent the rebel advance threatening Iraq's future as a unitary state.
Iraq's top Shiite cleric has told political leaders to pick a new prime minister by Tuesday, and Iran Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) General Qassem Soleimani — who calling the shots in Baghdad — has "a list of potential prime minister candidates for Iran's leadership to consider ... [and] is expected to return within days to inform Iraqi politicians of Tehran's favorite."
Iraq's forces are racing against time as Sunni insurgents who loathe Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki's Shi'ite-led government consolidate their grip on the north and west.
Maliki's political future will be the most contentious issue.
Troops backed by helicopter gunships began the assault on Tikrit, the birthplace of former President Saddam Hussein, on Saturday, to try to take it back from insurgents who have swept to within driving range of Baghdad.
The army sent in tanks and helicopters to battle ISIL militants near the University of Tikrit in the city’s north on Sunday, security sources said. Two witnesses said they saw a military helicopter gunned down and crash near a market.
Earlier on Sunday, Deputy Prime Minister for Energy Hussain al-Shahristani, one of Iraq's most senior politicians, faulted the U.S. for not doing enough to bolster the country's military.
"Yes, there has been a delay from the Americans in handing over the contracted arms. We told them, 'You once did an air bridge to send arms to your ally Israel, so why don’t you give us the contracted arms in time?'" he told al-Hurra television.
U.S. officials have disputed similar statements from Iraqi officials in the past and say they have done everything possible to ensure the country is equipped with modern weaponry.
In a sign of Iraq's attempts to bolster its lackluster air force, five Russian Sukhoi jets were delivered to Baghdad late on Saturday, which state television said "would be used in the coming days to strike ISIL terrorist groups".
A Reuters photographer saw the jets unloaded from a transport plane at a military airport in Baghdad as Russian and Iraqi soldiers stood on the tarmac. Iraq has relied largely on helicopters to counter militants and has few aircraft that can fire advanced missiles.
Target ISIS: First batch of Russian Su-24 jets arrives in Iraq
Published time: June 29, 2014 00:25
Edited time: June 29, 2014 08:38
Edited time: June 29, 2014 08:38
The first ten Russian Sukhoi (Su-24) fighter jets arrived in Iraq on Saturday, the country’s Defense Ministry said. Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki is hoping the jets will make a key difference in the fight against ISIS.
“The fighter jets landed today in the morning on different military airfields,” MP Abbas al-Bayati told Iraqi media.
The official spokesperson for the Iraqi Ministry of Defense, Mohammed al-Askari, also confirmed the information, Al Iraqiya TV channel reported.
The fighter jets will be stationed at an airbase located in the southern part of the country, PressTV reported, citing military sources.
Earlier this week, Prime Minister Maliki revealed that Iraq purchased jets from Russia and Belarus in order to help its fight against Sunni militants from the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIS/ISIL).
At the same time, Maliki criticized the US for taking too long to deliver on its own contract after Iraq purchased F-16 jets from America.
On Friday, Iraqi Air Force Commander Hameed al-Maliki confirmed the shipment of MI-35 and MI-28 Russian helicopter fighters to "keep the momentum" in the attacks against ISIS, Ruptly reported.
The commander said that he signed three contracts with the Russians and stressed the importance of the choppers as "excellent anti-terrorism weapons."
The radical Sunni Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIS or ISIL) has taken large parts of the country's north from the Shia government.
Hundreds of Iraqi soldiers have been killed by insurgents since the Sunni militants began their offensive on June 9, according to Iraqi forces.
The United Nations says more than 1,000 people – mainly civilians – have been killed during the surge thus far.
"The Battle For Baghdad" - A Backgrounder On ISIS' Grand Plan
Submitted by Tyler Durden on 06/28/2014 20:44 -0400
It is no secret that the extremist al-Qaeda Jihadist group known as ISIS for short, which in the span of weeks has overrun the northern part of Iraq, has grand ambitions to not only preserve its power in the north and central regions, as well as the border with Syria, but to ultimately proceed south where not only Baghdad is located but also the great energy infrastructure of the country: "the grand prize" for ISIS as it would make the extremist group viable and financially self-sustaining.
But how and when will this "Battle for Baghdad" take place?
For the answer we go to a backgrounder prepared by the Institute for the Study of War titled, as expected, "ISIS Battle Plan for Baghdad" which lays it out in detail.
* * *
There are indications that ISIS is about to launch into a new offensive in Iraq. ISIS published photos of a military parade through the streets of Mosul on June 24, 2014 showcasing U.S. military equipment, including armored vehicles and towed artillery systems. ISIS reportedly executed another parade in Hawijah on June 26, 2014.2 These parades may be a demonstration of force to reinforce their control of these urban centers. They may also be a prelude to ISIS troop movements, and it is important to anticipate where ISIS may deploy these forces forward. Meanwhile, ISIS also renewed the use of suicide bombers in the vicinity of Baghdad. An ISIS bomber with a suicide vest (SVEST) attacked the Kadhimiya shrine in northern Baghdad on June 26, 2014,3 one of the four holy sites in Iraq that Iran and Shi’a militias are most concerned to protect. ISIS also incorporated an SVEST into a complex attack in Mahmudiyah, south of Baghdad, on June 25, 2014 in a zone primarily controlled by the Iraqi Security Forces (ISF) and Shi’a militias on the road from Baghdad to Karbala.4 These attacks are demonstrations that ISIS has uncommitted forces in the Baghdad Belts that may be brought to bear in new offensives. ISIS’s offensive has not culminated, and the ISIS campaign for Iraq is not over. Rather, as Ramadan approaches, their main offensive is likely imminent.
ISIS seeks to create an Islamic Emirate that overcomes the modern states of Iraq and Syria. The Syrian war began without ISIS, but ISIS succeeded in instigating a sectarian war in Iraq in order to destabilize the state. ISIS has systematically targeted sectarian fault lines in Iraq over the past two years in order to precipitate a civil war, but ISIS also intends to break the Iraqi state permanently so that it cannot recover. This is essential in order to protect the Islamic Emirate from external attack. ISIS may not seek to make Baghdad its capital; Baghdad is far from the center of Iraq’s Sunni heartland and sits along the contested corridor that separates the Sunni and Shi’a majority lands in Iraq. Rather, ISIS likely seeks to destroy the government of Iraq, to destroy the Iraqi Army, and to ensure that Baghdad does not remain a viable Shi’a capital. It is more reasonable to expect that ISIS has a battle plan for Baghdad than to presume that ISIS would not create one because they recognize how difficult the task of controlling the city.
ISIS now has artillery and other indirect fire capability, in addition to heavy machine guns. This is visible in their social media coverage of their acquisitions in Ninewa. ISIS can induce a surface-to-air threat against IA aircraft at Balad Airbase, Taji Base, and Baghdad International Airport that effectively neutralizes Iraq’s air assets. ISIS can also attack fortified positions in downtown Baghdad through medium-range direct fire via the artillery pieces it has seized. ISIS likely intends to strike the Green Zone and other fortress targets that have adequate ground protection. ISIS likely has presence inside Baghdad that can facilitate accurate fire through visual observation, and the emergence of SVESTS on June 26 in lieu of the more detectable SVBIEDs likely illustrates its adaptation to the new Shi’a militia environment. ISIS may also layer explosive attacks through SVBIEDs against checkpoints or infrastructure in order to open temporary movement corridors that will permit ground assault against targets in Baghdad. ISIS may still be designing and sequencing its plan for Baghdad, but from a threat perspective, the most dangerous outcomes that ISIS could precipitate against U.S. interests in Baghdad are feasible. ISIS’s revived capability for spectacular attacks in Baghdad and its ability to harness medium range artillery comes just as the U.S. has placed 300 personnel in country, in addition to those essential personnel already stationed at the Embassy. There is no safe place in Baghdad against the threat of ISIS.
A ground campaign to deny Ramadi and Baghdad to ISIS in the near term and to begin to retake lost territory is critical to overcome the offensive spirit and message of victory that are currently fueling ISIS. The Sunni population in Iraq may very well unite in order to counter ISIS deep within the Sunni heartland if they perceive that ISIS can be defeated, and that their tribes will be protected from ISIS and Iran. The Sunnis are not looking to the government of Iraq for these assurances right now, because they perceive more than ever that Maliki’s government is part of an Iranian axis. Syrian air strikes into Iraq’s Sunni lands only underscore this point. With no army to protect them, and no army that can outmatch ISIS on the ground, the Sunnis are faced with an existential crisis on two-fronts: the threat of ISIS, and the threat of Iran, both assaulting Iraq’s Sunnis with military force. The war in Iraq and the war in Syria have the potential to engulf the region, while ISIS usurps the terrain lost by states that may never recover their former likeness.
* * *
There is much more in the full report below (pdf link):
Federal Court Ruling on Kurdish Oil Sales Means Financial Relief for ErbilBy Harvey Morris 5 hours ago
The unanimous ruling prompted the KRG to declare victory in its dispute with Baghdad over independent oil sales. Photo: Rudaw
LONDON – Iraq’s Supreme Court has rejected a bid by the oil ministry in Baghdad to outlaw direct oil exports from the Kurdistan region.
In a setback for the central government in its long-running battle with Erbil, the court turned down a request from oil minister Abdul Kareem al-Luaibi to issue a temporary injunction against the Kurdistan Regional Government.
The unanimous ruling prompted the KRG to declare victory in its dispute with Baghdad over independent oil sales.
The judgment, dated June 24, comes as the KRG continues to ship 100,000 to 120,000 barrels of crude daily via its new pipeline to the Turkish port of Ceyhan. Shipments from Ceyhan began late last month, prompting Baghdad to threaten legal action against the KRG, Turkey and potential buyers of the disputed crude.
Welcoming the Supreme Court decision, the KRG noted that the Baghdad oil minister’s case was based on his own interpretation of constitutional provisions by which he claimed that the oil and gas affairs fall within the exclusive powers of the federal government.
A statement from the KRG natural resources ministry in Erbil said: “With this Court decision, the Kurdistan Regional Government has another important clarification of its acquired rights as stated in the Constitution. Such a decision by the highest court in the land is binding on the Minister and cannot be challenged in any way.”
The injunction was rejected on legal grounds and the court did not rule explicitly on the constitutional issue.
However, the ruling effectively lifts a further barrier to independent Kurdish oil exports, which initially struggled to find international buyers in the face of Baghdad’s threats. The KRG argues that it not only has the constitutional right to market its own oil but it has been forced to do so by Baghdad’s decision to freeze Erbil’s 17 per cent share of the national budget.
A Baghdad-based legal expert who didn’t want to be named said that the Iraqi Supreme Court rejected the bid “for how it was drafted only, otherwise the ministry of oil can file a new lawsuit against the same issue.”
“It was that the measures taken by the Iraqi Ministry of Oil were not done properly,” he said. “The court’s rejection doesn’t mean consent for KRG’s oil exports.”
The dispute, which reached a climax with the first shipment of Kurdish oil in May, has since been overshadowed by the sudden collapse of the security situation in Iraq, prompted by the capture of Mosul by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS).
Before the latest crisis, Baghdad took separate legal action against Turkey by filing a complaint with the International Chamber of Commerce in Paris and requesting its arbitration. The Iraqi government claimed that by transporting and storing Kurdish oil without Baghdad’s permission, Ankara was in violation of its bilateral obligations.
The statement from the KRG natural resources ministry said that, in the light of the Supreme Court ruling, the federal oil ministry and its oil marketing organization SOMO should abandon their “illegal and unconstitutional interventions” to prevent oil exports from the Kurdistan region.
“They must also cease sending intimidating and threatening letters or making false claims to prospective traders and buyers of oil exported legally by the Kurdistan Regional Government for the benefit of the people of Kurdistan and Iraq,” the statement said.
It described the ruling as “a clear victory for justice and for upholding KRG’s rights.”
Makki al-Rikabi, an Iraqi economist told Rudaw that the court’s ruling will enable the KRG to earn much needed money for its Peshmerga forces and civil servants, particularly after the central government cut their budget several months ago.
“The Kurdistan Region needs money, especially now that the threat of the ISIS is there and KRG’s own takeover of the new territories,” said al-Rikabi.
Adel Fakhir from Baghdad contributed to this story.
Baghdad politics in focus....
|BAGHDAD / NINA / al- Arabiya Coalition, headed by Saleh al-Mutlaq announced on Friday that they would not attend the parliamentary session scheduled next Tuesday, unless the National Alliance offers a clear and prior vision to the change.|
Spokesman for al-Arabiya Coalition Muhannad al-Bayati, said in a press statement that the Arabiya Coalition and other coalitions would not attend the parliamentary session scheduled next Tuesday without there being any prior action by the National Alliance to provide a clear vision for reform and change and the involvement of others in the administration of the state.
He stressed the need to solutions to be able to achieve real political, security and social reforms, and to be a true partnership of the components of the Iraqi society in the political and security decision-making before starting with any agreements for the formation of a new government.
He stressed that the first step in the solution is to give the National Alliance a candidate and an approach acceptable to all components, to give assurances to the Iraqis and provinces experiencing troubles, that there are solutions that will satisfy all parties.
The Presidency of the Republic issued a decree on Thursday about the invitation of the House of Representatives to be held next Tuesday, the first of July, and Motahedoon Coalition, headed by Osama Nujaifi linked his deputies attendance the first session of the new parliament that the National Alliance provides a candidate for prime minister.
For his part, Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki during his visit to Baghdad Operations Command today said : "We will be present in the House of Representatives on the first of July, and there will not be only the elections and its results of which the government will be formed. / End