Friday, July 18, 2014

Iraq Update ( July 18 , 2014 ) Latest news on the ongoing sectarian war , news from Kurdistan , items on the political front ......

Vineyard of the Saker......

July 18th Iraq SITREP by Mindfriedo

Iraq SITREP 18th July: Who wants to live forever ? 

Quote of the day, Imam Ali ibn Abi Talib on being hit by the (Muawiya’s) assassin’s sword when in prayer: Today Ali is successful/has succeeded!

18th July: Abdul Raqib Amin, 26, a Daash fighter killed near Ramadi by Security Forces is believed to be one of the three British Nationals who appeared in a recruitment video last month 

18th July: State of The Law Coalition (Maliki’s Party within the National Alliance) states that others cannot expect a party that polled 28% of the vote and holds 90 seats in Parliament (by far the largest, exceeding the representation of all the Sunni party’s put together) to not be given the Prime Minister’s post. 

18th July: A UN report lists 5576 Iraqi deaths in 2014. Most deaths have been attributed to Daash and its allied Jihadist militias. 

18th July: Iraqi Forces have regained control of Speicher Military Base north of Tikrit. This was after Dassh/rebel fighters tried to overrun the base and managed to capture a runway. They were later repulsed. 

18th July: Abu Yousif al-Janabi, a leader of Daash is killed by security forces in Baiji. 

18th July: The house of Qutaiba al-Jobouri, a member of parliament, is robbed by Daash north of Tikrit. 

18th July: Daash terrorists have ordered Christians to convert to Islam, pay tax, or die. Daash’s version of the IRS 

18th July: Jalal Talibani, the President of Iraq is expected to return to the country tomorrow. He has been under treatment in Germany for blocked arteries. 

18th July: India news media reports that Indian intelligence agencies have stated that the four Sunni Jihadist that travelled to fight for Daash had visited the holy city of Karbala before heading north to Mosul. It took just 5 months for them to be indoctrinated.


18th July: Turkish protestors try to enter the Israeli Embassy 

18th July: P5+1 and Iran are expected to extend negotiations beyond Sunday’s deadline 

18th July: Syrian Kurds have imposed compulsory military service to fight the onslaught of Daash. Kobane in northern Syria is under sustained Daash attacks. 

18th July: Christians in Jordan distribute “Iftar” to motorists at sunset

Short/Long Analysis: Shia Militias Evolving 

I had mentioned this before, but would like to point out that others are corroborating it: The Shia Militias in Iraq are evolving. There is also a stark difference between the American backed militias of the 2000s and those that Iran has developed during and after the Syrian uprising. The biggest difference is the purpose for which they have been established.

The militias trained by Iran are primarily Iran’s proxies, but they do not fight only for Iran. Nor does Iran wish for a Shia only force in Iraq. The motivation for these militias---other than Iranian interests---is primarily to protect the interests of the Iraqi Shia community, the Shrines that take precedence over all else, and a united Iraq. Their constitution/membership is sectarian but their long term aims are not. This is because Iran does not believe that sectarian forces or those that are perceived as sectarian serve its purpose of fighting or challenging American power, having a stable Iraq on its west (not a fragmented one with an anti Iranian Sunni statelet), and bridging its resistance arc.

The video I linked earlier: , by augmentedether talked about those militias that were formed by the US as part of its counter insurgency efforts. They constituted mostly members of the Badr brigades. The Badr brigades were/are the military wing of the Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution in Iraq, an Iranian backed organization. 

The ones that Iran is now training have a different objective. 

The objective of the Americans was to bring down coalition casualties. They did this by forming Shia militias or death squads in a counter insurgency role, such as the Wolf Brigades: 

(One of the commanders of the Wolf Brigade, Abu al-Walid, was leading the defenders of Tal Afar against Daash led rebels in Tal Afar. He is later believed to have fled to Iraqi Kurdistan after Tal Afar fell)

The Iranian backed militias include: 

Kata’ib Sayyid al-Shuhada, Kata’ib Hezbollah, Liwa’a Abu Fadl al-Abbas, Kata’ib Sayyid al-Shuhada
And the Asa’ib Ahl al-Haq (An Iraqi lady had pointed out the role of Asa’ib Ahl al-Haq’s in sectarian killings; her family members had been killed by the militia) 

My argument remains that these militias are going to slowly and eventually move away from sectarian warfare and become professional fighting forces modeled on the Hezbollah in Lebanon. The reason for this is not just religious/sectarian, but political and pragmatic. For these militias to thrive they need broad based support and a purpose that goes beyond and narrow mindedness of “Takfir.”

Please refer to this analysis: 

It is a very good read. It summarizes or lays out the strategic thinking of Iran. The lessons it learnt after the Iran Iraq war, from confronting the Taliban, the Lebanese Hezbollah and the Syrian conflict. 

In each of these conflicts Iran’s proxies have fought non sectarian confrontations, or at least those that were given a non sectarian appearance. In Lebanon, Hezbollah primarily fights or confronts Israel/Zionism; In Syria, it is terrorism; in Afghanistan, extremism; and once again in Iraq, Terrorism. But this is not just a pretence on Iran’s part. Iran’s allies in the region, through its proxies, include Christian parties in Lebanon, the Sunni Northern Alliance in Afghanistan, and the “Sunni” Army of Syria. One example of a very pro Iran Sunni politician is Ismail Khan of Heart, who claimed that Iran was an “Islamic state.”

This link is from the BBC: 

It talks about the armed forces being supported and fed in liberated Shia towns by locals and that supplies from other southern Shia towns are being sent north. But this is the most interesting part: 

“Unlike everybody else on the meals-on-wheels run, the Kataib Hezbollah men did not take any of the food on offer. 

They looked to me like they probably had quite enough of their own supplies. Perhaps they got them from Iran.
Anyway, they were well armed and wore crisp military uniforms. 

From what I could see they were under an organized chain of command. 

I have heard many people here describe them as a "militia". But they looked to my eyes like a well-drilled army.” 

See what the author states, “Kataib Hezbollah men did not take any of the food on offer,” they were “well armed and wore crisp military uniforms,” “under an organized chain of command,” and “were to my eyes like a well-drilled army.” 

Compare this professionalism to any of the parades or videos of Daash. The behavior of not accepting a “freebie” also shows resolve as opposed to Daash sequestering all property, private and public. It is these militias that will eventually evolve into a state within a state and will be the vanguard of Iraq’s push against the DI of Daash and their Ba’athist, former regime supporters, and later the Anglo Zionist. The speed at which they evolve will be a factor in determining whether or not Iraq will split along sectarian lines. 

If the hypothesis that the US has backed Daash as an instrument of terror to weaken the Axis of resistance is true, than the US and its ally Saudi Arabia may have bitten off more than they can chew. Once the dust has settled, it’s going to be a very different Middle East.

BAGHDAD: Fighters from the jihadist-led coalition that controls large parts of Iraq launched a brazen raid on an Iraqi air base near Saddam Hussein’s hometown of Tikrit, military sources said Friday.
The army and a statement by ISIS differed on the outcome of the battle and the death toll, but a military intelligence officer admitted the air field known as Speicher was stormed late Thursday.
“Last night, gunmen infiltrated the base. There were snipers and suicide bombers among them, they managed to reach the runway,” the officer, who witnessed the attack, told AFP on condition of anonymity.
ISIS fighters and their allies control the nearby city of Tikrit but Iraqi federal forces had managed to hold on to Speicher – named by U.S. troops after a navy pilot whose plane was shot down by Saddam’s forces in 1991 – despite repeated attacks in recent weeks.
“When the clashes erupted, the pilots flew the base’s aircraft out” to save them from destruction, the officer said. “But one Russian-made helicopter which had not taken off was destroyed.”
He said a unit of special forces soon arrived, sparking a bloody battle. “When it was over, I counted 35 dead attackers inside the base. We had at least three special forces killed and four wounded.”
In a statement posted on Internet sites close to the Islamic State, the jihadist group said it had killed many pilots and soldiers during its raid on Speicher, which lies a few kilometers north of Tikrit.
It said it shot down two helicopters in the air, disabled or burned several aircraft on the ground, destroyed army vehicles, fuel reserves and communications equipment.
The intelligence officer, however, said that Speicher’s fleet had managed to take off and that, on their way out, one or several aircraft attacked another ISIS convoy they spotted heading toward the base to join the battle.
He was not able to provide a casualty toll for the air raid.
ISIS fighters also launched a mortar attack on a police checkpoint near Balad, some 70 kilometers north of Baghdad, killing six people including three policemen, police said.

Tweets .......Great maps from Noria Research !

representative Ahmed : Shia Marja demands formation of a broad-based government that includes most...

foreign ministry recalls its ambassador to Amman for consultation after hosted a conference of Iraqi government oppositions.

IS puts down three conditions for Mosul Christians- convert to Islam, pay tax or leave city.Saturday is deadline to make their choice.

A map for the distribution of militant groups within Mosul’s administrative boundaries

Cartography - 3 maps on - "New dynamics co-exist within traditional dynamics of tension and civil war"

: Fascinating account intra-insurgent infighting, extent of actual , JRTN, etc. control on ground, infiltration of the ISF (1/2)

Update on COB Speicher attack: confirmation that fighters penetrated base perimeter, intense mortar, RPG fire inside the base (1/2

: Fascinating account intra-insurgent infighting, extent of actual , JRTN, etc. control on ground, infiltration of the ISF (1/2)

launched a suicide assault team attack on COB Speicher/al-Sahra air field, penetrating the base perimeter at the main gate (1/2)

 Retweeted by Phillip Smyth