Tuesday, June 10, 2014

War Watch ( June 10 , 2014 ) - Despite or perhaps due to Iraq's Election where it would appear Prime Minister Maliki will get a third divisive term , Iraq has become deadlier than ever - Al Qaeda forces attacking Mosul now and Government forces seem powerless to withstand the pressure ! Syria rebel infighting continues even as the Free Syrian Army blasts the US for creating War Lords ( by supplying weapons to rivals of FSA ) ....... Libya chaotic political situation becomes even more chaotic ( coup d'etat in process while Libya Supreme court just nullified the election of PM Maiteeq ) .... Pakistan reeling from the Taliban attack at its main Airport fears worst thing are coming , Security forces shown to be ineffective !

Iraq ......


Al Qaeda Militants Capture US-Made Black Hawk Helicopters In Iraq

Tyler Durden's picture

Just when one thought US foreign policy couldn't sink any deeper into the hole of its embarrassment, it takes out a shovel and starts digging. Overnight, in whatAP describes as a stunning assault that exposed Iraq's eroding central authority,Al Qaida-inspired militants from ISIS, or the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham, overran much of Mosul on Tuesday, seizing government buildings, pushing out security forces and capturing military vehicles as thousands of residents fled the second-largest city.
For those who may have forgotten, Iraq was one of those countries "liberated" by the the United States, which unlike Afghanistan where the opium trade is still important, did pull out its troops two and a half years ago.
Ths shocking takeover of Mosul took place months after Al Qaeda-linked fighers took over another Iraqi town, Fallujah, earlier in the year and which they have successfully defended against government attempts to reclaim it. 
That however, was just the appetizer: Mosul is a much bigger, more strategic prize. The city and surrounding Ninevah province, which is on the doorstep of Iraq's relatively prosperous Kurdish region, are a major export route for Iraqi oil and a gateway to Syria.
"This isn't Fallujah. This isn't a place you can just cordon off and forget about," said Michael Knights, a regional security analyst at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, cited by AP. "It's essential to Iraq."
The WSJ adds that hours after government forces fled Mosul in disarray following four days of fighting, Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki declared a nationwide "state of maximum preparedness" but didn't indicate whether government forces were mobilizing to retake the Iraqi city, 220 miles north of the capital Baghdad.
The capture of Mosul by rebels linked to the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham, or ISIS, is the latest evidence of the weakness and disorganization that have beset Iraq's security forces since the U.S. forces withdrew from the country in December 2011.
Residents of Mosul said they were shocked at the ease of the rebel takeover of government buildings, television stations and military installations where U.S.-supplied fighter airplanes, helicopters and other heavy weaponry are based.
"The whole of Mosul collapsed today. We've fled our homes and neighborhoods, and we're looking for God's mercy," said Mahmoud Al Taie, a dentist. "We are waiting to die."
Videos showed victorious insurgents waving black flags emblazoned with an Islamic script—the standard brandished by al Qaeda militants world-wide.
The biggest irony here is that while the US is arming "rebels" in neighboring Syria, among which numerous Al-Qaeda rebels, the weapons and the trained "fighters" then promptly make their way across the border and continue fighting the US-blessed government in Iraq!
Jessica Lewis, a former U.S. Army intelligence officer, said ISIS fighters won a notable victory in Mosul.
"ISIS is designing its campaign around the state that it believes it has already created," said Ms. Lewis, currently research director for the Institute for the Study of War in Washington, D.C.
"I think that means that Iraq is going to start to look more like Syria. It's a gauge of the severity of the conflict and the trajectory that it's on. That's a very bad sign."
The ISIS-controlled areas of Iraq.
And to think none of this could have been accomplished without the assistance of the US state department.
The Obama administration, responding to the fall of Mosul, said ISIS "is not only a threat to the stability of Iraq but a threat to the entire region."

State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said the group has drawn strength from the Syrian civil war, where it can acquire recruits, weapons and other resources for its fight in Iraq.
Perhaps miss Psaki should have answered questions about where the ISIS force was getting its weapons. The U.S.-trained and equipped Iraqi security forces, which have floundered since the U.S. pullout, haven't succeeded in thwarting ISIS's emergence as a formidable paramilitary force.
Below is a detailed narrative of just how Al-Qaeda managed to take over yet another garrison in the middle east:
Despite the security precautions, ISIS fighters raided the western half of Mosul early Friday, forcing military personnel and federal police forces to retreat over bridges to the eastern bank of the Tigris River, which divides the city.

For three days, residents in the eastern half of the city huddled in their houses and parceled out their ever-dwindling supply of food and other staples, as authorities tried to secure the city.

Mosul governor Atheel Nujaifi, appearing Monday evening on national television, made a desperate call for city residents to form ad hoc committees to defend themselves. But he fled on Monday night.

In the early-morning darkness of Tuesday, local resistance dissolved, as insurgents poured across the bridges separating east from west. According to witnesses, government soldiers fled on foot, leaving the streets littered with abandoned army vehicles, weapons and uniforms.

The vanquished soldiers knocked on doors and begged for civilian clothes, so they could escape without being identified, said Ahmed Khaza'al, a cosmetic dealer.

The victory by ISIS and its allies means they control sizable regions in at least three of Iraq's 18 provinces. Upon news of Mosul's fall, fears of more fighting rippled across the country.
The US has pledged to help Iraqi leaders "push back against this aggression" as the government of Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki asked parliament to declare a state of emergency that would give him extraordinary powers to tackle the crisis. The rampage by the black banner-waving insurgents was a heavy defeat for Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki as he tries to hold onto power, and highlighted the growing strength of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant. The group has been advancing in both Iraq and neighboring Syria, capturing territory in a campaign to set up a militant enclave straddling the border.
But the battle, for the time being, seemed to be over. Some police were discarding uniforms and weapons and fleeing a city where the black flag of ISIL now flew over government buildings.
"We have lost Mosul this morning," said a colonel at a local military command center. "Army and police forces left their positions and ISIL terrorists are in full control.
"It’s a total collapse of the security forces."
This is the aftermath in clips and images:

Assyrian church set ablaze...

Iraqi troop uniforms left behind...

Smoke everywhere...

As the roads are full amid the mass exodus...

* * *
But the worst news by far for the US is that as a result of the takeover of Mosul by ISIS forces, an unknown number, and at least one, US ultramodern Blackhawk and Kiowa helicopters parked at the Mosul airport, are now in, you guessed it, Al Qaeda hands.

View image on Twitter
airport is normally crowded with and helis. Let's see how many ended up in hands...

View image on Twitter
Guys, a base of these was captured by Dawla in Mosul... Imagine what could be done with them. Black Hawk choppers.

So Mosul has fallen and the ISIS jihadists now have blackhawks and humvees and guns,courtesy of Uncle Sam

PT: Worth noting that ISIS has captured parts of airport, where forces maintain a fleet of UH-60 Blackhawk helicopters.

Mosul airport viewed through Google maps: grounded helicopters can be easily seen just east of the main airstrip:

Thank you US State Department: once again, this smashing Al-Qaeda success could not have been achieved without your help.


Turkey says investigating reports 28 truck drivers kidnapped in Iraq

ISTANBUL: Turkey is investigating reports that 28 Turkish truck drivers ferrying diesel to the northern Iraqi city of Mosul have been abducted by militants from an al Qaeda splinter group, senior Turkish officials said on Tuesday.
Insurgents overran the headquarters of the provincial government in Mosul late on Monday, making further gains in a fourth day of fighting in the country’s second-largest city. Turkish media reports said the drivers were taken hostage by militants from the Sunni Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) while carrying diesel from Turkey’s southern port of Iskenderun to a power plant in Mosul. “The situation in Mosul looks a bit grim ... Concerning the 28 truck drivers, we are trying to confirm through our consular department but we have nothing as yet,” one Turkish official told Reuters.
An official at Ikra Logistics, a trucking company based in the southern Turkish city of Adana which ships diesel to Mosul, said it had lost contact with some of its drivers and that they could be among those reportedly abducted. “Their phones are switched off,” the official said, declining to be identified or to comment further as the situation remained unclear. An official in Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan’s office also said the reports were being investigated, while Transport Minister Lutfi Elvan said he had no information of an abduction. The western side of Mosul is now under the control of the militants, three Iraqi army officers told Reuters, while a senior Iraqi security official warned the whole city could fall into their hands if supporting troops were not sent in. Turkey has for years supplied refined oil products to Iraq, which is chronically short of diesel due to a lack of refineries and increasing power consumption.
ISIL is also active in Syria’s civil war, controlling patches of territory along the Turkish border. It was disowned by al Qaeda’s central command earlier this year after it fell into territorial and power struggles with Jabhat al-Nusra rebels, who comprise al Qaeda’s official Syria wing. Syria, tugged by various regional conflicts, has fragmented into a patchwork of warring ethnic and sectarian pockets, and fighters from neighbouring Iraq and Lebanon have joined both sides of the civil war. Turkey has been a staunch backer of the Syrian opposition, letting it organise on Turkish soil and hosting hundreds of thousands of Syrian refugees. But the rise of Islamist militants in rebel ranks presents it with a growing security risk. Turkish special forces raided a suspected ISIL hide-out in Istanbul in March, leading to a gun battle, weeks after two members of the security forces were shot dead in southern Turkey by militants suspected of links to militant groups in Syria.


Al Qaeda in Iraq (ISIS: Islamist State of Iraq and Syria), captured the northern Iraqi oil city of Mosul, capital of Nineveh Province, Tuesday, June 10, after the Iraqi military defenders caved in and fled. Mosul is Iraq’s third largest city after Baghdad and Basra with a population of around two million.

Ministers in Nuri al-Maliki’s government have sent desperate appeals to the Obama administration for help to save Baghdad and Iraq from doom.

DEBKAfile’s military sources report that the Iraqi army’s command facilities and bases in Mosul are ablaze and many bodies of Iraqi soldiers are lying in the town’s streets. Convoys of fleeing troops were ambushed by the invaders and destroyed.

The fall of Mosul with heavy casualties is the worst disaster suffered by the Iraqi army in its feeble attempts to fend off the deep inroads Al Qaeda has been making in the country for more than a year. ISIS now controls two major Iraqi cities, after capturing Fallujah earlier this year, has overrun parts of Ramadi and Tikrit, as well as eastern provinces bordering on Iran, Diyala province and parts of the town Baquba, where just Tuesday, 20 people were killed in two explosions.

The loss to Islamist terrorists of Mosul, home to Arab, Assyrian, Christian, Turcoman and Kurdish minorities - and the site of Old Testament prophets such as Jonah - is critical for six additional reasons outlined here by DEBKAfile’s counter-terror and military sources:

1. Mosul’s conquest gives ISIS the key to the highway to Baghdad, enabling its fighters to advance on the capital from three directions: the west from Fallujah and Ramadi, the east from Diyala and now the north, from Mosul.

2. ISIS can  merge its Iraqi and Syrian fronts and move its forces freely between them.

3. Mosul straddles the two banks of the vital Tigris-Euphratest river system shared by Iraq, Turkey, Syria and Iran. The Iraqi Islamists now have their hand on its flow.

4. With Mosul’s capture, Bakr Al-Baghdadi, commander of ISIS, had taken a flying leap towards his avowed goal of establishing an independent Islamist state in the heart of the Middle East. No army has been able or willing to stem his steady advance, including the United States, although his state would present a direct threat to Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Turkey and Israel.

5. Mosul is a vital link in Iraq’s northern oil trade; one third of its exported crude is pumped past this city from Kirkuk and it also has a refinery.

6.  Iran and Hizballah face a second front in Syria opened by Al Qaeda from Iraq. To save their proudest strategic gains in Syria, Tehran will have to send troops into Iraq to save Baghdad from falling to the Islamists, or else see Syria falling into another abyss, this one of vicious Sunni-Shiite warfare.


Iraq PM calls emergency after Mosul seized

Nouri al-Maliki says he will arm civilians after al-Qaeda inspired ISIL take second-largest city and Nineveh province.

Last updated: 10 Jun 2014 20:15
Listen to this page using ReadSpeaker
Email Article

Print Article

Share article

Send Feedback
The Iraqi prime minister has called for a national state of emergency after the city of Mosul and parts of the northern province of Nineveh fell to al-Qaeda-inspired fighters.
Nouri al-Maliki said on Tuesday that he would ask parliament to declare the emergency after the overnight takeoverby the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.
Nouri al-Maliki, Iraqi prime minister
He said: "We will not allow Mosul to be under the banner of terrorism, We call on all international organisations to support Iraq and its stance in fighting terrorism. The entire world will suffer if terrorism spreads."
He stated that the government would arm civilians who volunteered "to defend the homeland and defeat terrorism".
Osama al-Nujaifi, the parliament speaker, said Iraqi soldiers abandoned their posts in Mosul when the attack began, action he described as "a dereliction of duty".
Nujaifi said parliament would discuss the call for a state of emergency on Thursday.
Reports by AFP later on Tuesday quoted Iraqi police sources as saying fighters had taken over areas of Kirkuk and Salaheddin province.
Syrian activists meanwhile said ISIL fighters had taken over the Syrian side of al-Yaroubiya crossing, one of three crossings into Iraq.
Al Jazeera cannot verify those reports.
'Foreign invasion'
Nujaifi, who is the brother of Atheel al-Nujaifi, the state governor, said he had asked the US ambassador in Baghdad for help in order to stop what he described as "a foreign invasion by ISIL".
pro-ISIL Twitter feed said the group had released about 3,000 people from three prisons, although other estimates were lower.
Mosul is Iraq's second largest city, and the second city to be captured by fighters this year after Fallujah.
"We have lost Mosul this morning," a colonel at a local military command centre told the Reuters news agency. "Army and police forces left their positions and ISIL terrorists are in full control. It's a total collapse of the security forces."
Al Jazeera's Imran Khan, reporting from Baghdad, said Maliki faced opposition to his call for a state of emergency, which would grant him sweeping powers.
Khan said: "Many politicians have vocally criticised Maliki's handling of the crisis. Many in Iraq are asking why a lightly armed group like ISIL have been able to take over huge cities.
"Some here worry that a state of emergency will give Maliki sweeping powers that once he has, he may well find difficult to give up."

Al-Qaeda in Iraq Seizes Provincial Govt Headquarters in Mosul

Governor Urges Locals to Fight Off AQI Invasion

by Jason Ditz, June 09, 2014
A weekend of bloody fighting in Mosul is going worse than anyone thought for government forces, and the district that is the provincial capital of the Nineveh Province has now fallen to al-Qaeda in Iraq (AQI).
AQI fighters by the hundreds poured into the capital district,briefly trapping Governor Atheel Nujaifi before he was rescued by police and ferried out of the area.
Gov. Nujaifi seems short on ideas at this point, and issued a televised plea for the civilians of Mosul to take up arms and defend their neighborhoods from the outsiders.
Top security officials were even less circumspect about their prospects, saying that without some major change on the ground Mosul could fall outright in a matter of days.
If that happens, it becomes the biggest city in an AQI-held territory that spans the borders of Iraq and Syria, and which includes seemingly large portions of both countries.
AQI’s territory is already a de facto Islamist state, even if its borders aren’t easily defined. The loss of Mosul to them, however, would mean one of Iraq’s richest and most important cities would be falling into the AQI state.

Three Iraqi Kurd Party Offices Bombed in Two Days, 63 Killed

Second Round of Truck Bombings Tear Through Northern Offices

by Jason Ditz, June 09, 2014
Yesterday, 30 people were killed in a bombing attack on the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) party in Jalawla, in Iraq’s Diyala Province. Today, the bombers hit two more Kurdish party offices in the far northern town of Tuz Khormato, near Kirkuk.
Today’s attacks hit another PUK party office as well as a nearby office of the Kurdistan Communist Party, with a suicide car bomber hitting a checkpoint near the offices, and a remote truck bomb detonation causing massive casualties in the chaos that followed.
The initial figure in today’s attack was 22 killed and 150 wounded, along with several homes and buildings destroyed. The final death toll was put at 33, putting the two-day figure against Kurdish political offices at 63.
Al-Qaeda in Iraq (AQI) has claimed credit for yesterday’s Jalawla attack, and while they haven’t confirmed today’s yet, it seems likely they were behind these attacks as well.

Northern Iraq Under Siege: 123 Killed, 261 Wounded
by , June 09, 2014
Two of today’s attacks focused on Kurdish political party offices, but this time the bombers targeted Tuz Khormato. Yesterday, bombers attacked an office in nearby Jalawla. Also, militants overran the provincial government building in Mosul. It is unclear how much of Mosul is occupied by militants at this point, but it is considerable. The city could fall within days, according to a senior security official. Also, Baghdad suffered a series of bombings. At least 123 people were killed and 261 were wounded.
In Ramadi, fifteen members of the University of Anbar are still unaccounted for after Saturday’s attack on the campus. A booby-trapped home exploded, killing five security personnel and wounding five more. A clash left three policemen dead and three wounded.
A rocket attack in Garma killed 10 people and wounded two more, including women and children.
A car bomb lured first responders and rubber-neckers to a truck bomb outside two political party offices in Tuz Khormato. At least 30 people were killed. Because the blasts also damaged nearby buildings, at least 185 people were wounded. This attack targeted a Patriotic Union of Kurdistan office and one belonging to the Kurdistan Communist Party. Yesterday, a PUK office was targeted in nearby Jalawla. Unrelated to the bombing, five people were kidnapped.
In Mosul, militants stormed the Ninewa provincial headquarters. Governor Atheel Nujaifi was inside the building during the attack but was able to escape. A suicide bomber killed three people and wounded 15 more at an army base. Authorities said 40 militants were killed, among there were four Afghans.
A late evening bomb blast in Sadr City killed four people and wounded nine more.
A clash left one policeman and one gunman dead in Buhriz.
In Baquba, a civilian was gunned down.
truck driver’s body was found near Kirkuk hours after he was kidnapped.
Three bombs in Abu Saida wounded five soldiers.


CAIRO, June 10. /ITAR-TASS /. The militants have seized the northern Iraqi province of Nineveh with its administrative center in Mosul, the Iraqi Parliament Speaker Osama al-Nujaifi.
According to him, the gunmen from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) after the seizure of Mosul moved towards the province of Salah al-Din (the administrative center is the city of Tikrit).
The government has not yet appealed to the parliament to impose a state of emergency in the country, he said.
Earlier, the militants from the ISIL linked to al-Qaeda had taken control of Mosul in northern Iraq.
The clashes between armed extremists and Iraqi security forces in Mosul began on Tuesday morning. According to Sky News Arabia, the fighting took place near the headquarters of the Armed Forces of Nineveh province and the regional administration.
The extremists managed to occupy the governor's office after guards had escaped. Then the militants moved to the southern outskirts of the city, where the military airfield, army base and security forces jail are located. Hundreds of the most dangerous prisoners escaped. Strategic objects came under the command of extremists. Arms dumps and guns, as well as the central bank, were seized by the militants.
Iraqi police and army forces abandoned their posts in the city of Mosul, which shocked the locals. 
Kurdistan region Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani accused the government of the country of inaction. According to him, they have warned Baghdad about possible developments, but the Iraqi government did not respond to it, and finally the representatives of the army command escaped the city. The Kurdish fighters Peshmerga are as always in full readiness to protect the neighboring areas of Mosul to repel the possible attack of Sunni militants, the prime minister added.


CAIRO, June 10. /ITAR-TASS/. Militants from the Sunni group Islamic State of Iraq and Levant linked to al-Qaeda took control of Mosul in northern Iraq, Al Arabiya TV channel reported.
The clashes between armed extremists and Iraqi security forces in Mosul began on Tuesday morning. According to Sky News Arabia, the fighting took place near the headquarters of the Armed Forces of Nineveh province and the regional administration.
The extremists managed to occupy the governor's office after guards had escaped. Then the militants moved to the southern outskirts of the city, where the military airfield, army base and security forces jail are located. Hundreds of the most dangerous prisoners escaped. Strategic objects came under the command of extremists. Arms dumps and guns, as well as the central bank, were seized by the militants.
Iraqi police and army forces abandoned their posts in the city of Mosul, which shocked the locals, the governor said. 


Rebel General: US Arms to Syria Creating Warlords

Direct Shipments to Fighters Undermining Secular Leaders

by Jason Ditz, June 09, 2014
For a long time, Free Syrian Army (FSA) complaints about US aid were that they weren’t sending enough weapons. Now that the spigot is loose, the FSA’s leadership is being forced to rethink its old position.
FSA Brigadier General Abdelilah al-Bashir, one of the top leaders of the Supreme Military Council of the secular rebel faction, says the growing US arms shipments are undermining the FSA and creating myriad Somali-style warlords.
Brig. Gen. Bashir’s complaintsseem to center around the US bypassing the ineffectual FSA council and are directly shipping arms to various fighters on the ground.
Those shipments aim at giving the US some more control over the rank-and-file rebel soldiers, but is also making them less dependent on the FSA leadership, and more inclined to operate independently.
US arms are chiefly going to “secular” rebels, who amount to a small minority of the rebellion. Israeli military intelligence has put the rebellion’s Islamist factions at about 80 percent of their overall fighting force. The US has offered almost no information on who it is sending the arms to, but some indications are that some of the weapons are winding up in the hands of Islamist factions.

45 Killed as Rival Syrian al-Qaeda Factions Fight in East

AQI, Nusra Front Fight in Deir Ezzor

by Jason Ditz, June 09, 2014
A new round of fighting has erupted in eastern Syria, as al-Qaeda in Iraq (AQI) clashed with rival al-Qaeda faction Jabhat al-Nusra in the town of Khosham, in Deir Ezzor Province.
Fighting began Sunday night, according to rebel mouthpiece the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, and continued into Monday. By the end, 17 Nusra and 28 AQI fighters were dead.
AQI tried to absorb the Nusra Front in early 2013, but since then what remains of Nusra’s fighters have openly challenged them with the rebel “war within a war” becoming more violent than the ongoing civil war is.
AQI has mostly gotten the better of these fights, and is carving out a territory of its own starting in Aleppo Province and moving deep into neighboring Iraq, where AQI is fighting for control of Fallujah and Mosul.

Libya ......

Libya High Court Rules PM’s Election Unconstitutional

Insists Interim PM Remains in Power

by Jason Ditz, June 09, 2014
In the middle of a coup d’etat and what seems to be a growing civil war, Libya’s parliament couldn’t possibly be more divided. Prime Minister Ahmed Maiteeq’s status is in further doubt today, as the Libyan Supreme Court declared his election “unconstitutional.”
Maiteeq was the third prime minister Libya had in just two months, after Premier Ali Zeidan lost a no-confidence vote and his replacement, interim PM Abdullah Thinni, insisted he didn’t want the position.
But Maiteeq’s election after weeks of stalemate came at a chaotic time, and Thinni refused to hand over the office officially to him for weeks, insisting his election wasn’t legal. Finally Maiteeq’s supporters simply bypassed him and declared Maiteeq the PM. The court seems to have agreed with Thinni, and put him back in power.
Or what passes for power in Libya. Parliament barely even exits to begin with at this point, after Gen. Khalifa Hifter declared it dissolved in his coup attempt. Hifter-backed forces, including much of the military, continue to attack rival militias, many of which are loyal to parliament.
Whichever side ends up winning, Libya’s government continues to hemorrhage money as its oil exports grind to a halt.

Libya Herald.....

Maetig accepts Supreme Court ruling and resigns

By Ashraf Abdul-Wahab.
Ahmed Maetig accepts the Supreme Court ruling (Photo: TV grab)
Ahmed Maetig accepts the Supreme Court ruling (Photo: TV grab)
Tripoli, 9 June 2014:
In a very short press conference today, Ahmed Maetig accepted the Supreme Court’s earlier ruling that his election as prime minister by Congress on 4 May was unconstitutional.  He has resigned the appointment.
A spokesman for caretaker Prime Minister Abdullah Al-Thinni has said that the acting government also accepted the decision and would continue in office. That will almost certainly now be until the new House of Representatives, which will replace Congress, meets and appoints a new government, probably sometime in September.
Elections to the House of Representatives take place in just over two and a half weeks’ time.
The court ruling is seen as major blow to the Muslim Brotherhood which had supported Maetig’s appointment, and to the many Congress members who wanted to get rid of Thinni and his government. Nor will it be happily received in Misrata, Maetig’s home city.
However, the decision is elsewhere seen as resolving the month-long political crisis of competing prime ministers which was threatening to tear the county apart. In the east of the country, where Thinni is currently based, Ibrahim Jadhran’s Cyrenaica federalists have welcomed the ruling.
The east as a whole was largely opposed to Maetig’s appointment.
Although Congress Second President Saleh Makhzoum who chaired the controversial session that elected Maetig has also said that Congress respects the judgement, he called for emergency session tomorrow to debate the decision.
Theoretically, Congress could call for a new vote and appoint Maetig afresh, but he is unlikely to accept a second appointment. He is known to have had misgivings about accepting the job in the circumstances in which it offered. To do so again, with a deeply unpopular Congress all but finished, could destroy any future chances he has of becoming prime minister.
In any event, with so many Congress members from the east unable to travel to Tripoli, it is unlikely that the 120 votes needed to appoint any new prime minister will be forthcoming.  And with elections for the House of Representatives in16 day’s time, such a move would almost certainly be resented and rejected by the bulk of Libyans.


Iran Meets US for Bilateral Talks, Proposes Extension of Negotiations

Pushes Six Month Extension of July 20 Deadline

by Jason Ditz, June 09, 2014

US and Iranian officials met today for five hours of private bilateral talks on the sidelines of ongoing nuclear negotiations aimed at obtaining a final P5+1 agreement for a nuclear settlement with Iran.
The talks have been going fairly well, but with several key points to still sort out, the six month window from the interim deal is rapidly approaching. July 20 is not so far away anymore, and a deal might not be done by then.
But while both sides were panning the idea of an extension early on, the momentum the talks have seems to be warming many to the idea of continuing them beyond July. Iranproposed a six month extension today, allowing talks to continue into early 2015.
Western officials haven’t staked out a public position on this yet, and are likely to wait until the last minute to retain a sense of urgency in the talks. In the end though, it’s hard to imagine they’ll be willing to just walk away in July, and let the negotiations so far be for nothing.


Pakistanis Fear Worst Is Yet to Come After Taliban Airport Attack

Peace Talks in Shambles After Coordinated Karachi Strike

by Jason Ditz, June 09, 2014
Pakistanis have a pretty thick skin when it comes to terrorist attacks, after the 2001 US invasion of neighboring Afghanistan kicked off 13 years of increasing violence on their northern frontier. Yesterday’s strike on the Jinnah International Airport in Karachi has many in shock, however.
That’s because the Pakistani Taliban is usually a northern problem, and yesterday’s attack struck their largest, best guarded airport in the far south. If they can hit here, where can’t they hit?
Many are worried the worst is yet to come, after the well-trained and heavily armed fighters stormed the Karachi airport, sparking an all-day gunbattle in which they aimed to hijack planes and destroy others. 29 were killed and many others wounded.
The attack reflects a growing aggressiveness among Taliban fighters, even as some were looking to break off and get peace talks with the government restarted, and while Pakistani officials tried to downplay the incident, the impact is obvious.
Not only is this another blow to Pakistan’s security forces and their already struggling credibility, it is also a sign that the Sharif government simply doesn’t have a handle on the nation’s Taliban problem. After promising peace talks they never followed through on, there’s very little reason to hope the Sharif government can prevent future attacks anywhere in Pakistan.