Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Iraq situation ( August 5 , 2014 ) -- Tunnels of Saddam to used by jihadist and Baathist forces to haunt Maliki's Baghdad ? US to now arm and give air support to the Kurds as they battle ISIS forces to retake Sinjar ? Update on the state of play in Iraq ...... Tweets of note for the day......

The Saker.....


Agust 5th Iraq SITREP by Mindfriedo: Cry havoc and let slip the dogs of war

Quote of the Day, Castro on Israel: I think that a new and disgusting form of fascism is emerging with considerable force at this moment in human history

4th Aug: Red Crescent is reporting the detention of 100 Christian and Yazidi families by Daash at Tal Afar airport on Monday. The men were executed while the women and children were sent off to be sold as slaves. 

4th Aug: Nuri al Maliki asks the Iraqi Air Force to back the Peshmerga Forces in Sinjar and Zammar. The Iraqi Air Force starts bombing Daash positions. 

4th Aug: President of Iraqi Kurdistan orders the Peshmergas to hit Daash with full force and for the Peshmergas to go on the offensive. 

4th Aug: Attrition: The Iraqi Air Force bombs a Daash convoy to the south of Sinjar, in Baa’j, West of Mosul, Nineveh. The convoy consisted of over 60 vehicles, many of which were destroyed. 

4th Aug: Iraq’s white Elephants: The first of the 36 ordered F16s is expected to arrive in Iraq at the end of the week. 

5th Aug: On Cue: The Iraqi Air Force carries out airstrikes on Daash fighters in Sinjar. Over 2oo Daash fighters are reported killed and 150 injured. The airstrikes are in coordination with the Iraqi Directive of Intelligence. 

5th Aug: The Kurds launch a counter attack on Sinjar and Zammar. They are now in control of large parts of Sinjar. Their counter offensive was started after the Iraqi Air force bombed Daash positions. Peshmerga forces are back in control of Zammar and Rabia. 

5th Aug: Deception: The Kurds find fleeing Daash fighters wearing Peshmerga Uniforms in Sinjar and Zammar. The Daash fighters had shaved off their beards and were using Kurdish Peshmerga insignia on their vehicles 

5th Aug: IMPORTANT/ATTENTION: Gunmen dressed as US Commandoes storm a Daash prison in Saadia, Diyala. The “US Troops” are armed with silenced weapons and kill four guards and injure another three that are guarding the prison and destroy two Daash vehicles. They free 17 prisoners believed to be important security personnel, government officials, and their families. 

5th Aug: Qobad Talabani, the Vice President of Iraqi Kurdistan visits Yazidi refugees in Dohuk, north of Mosul. 

5th Aug: Daash fighters attack Ouja and burn the grave site of Iraq’s bloody dictator and one time American ally Saddam Hussain. They were resisted by the Iraqi Army and loyal militias. 

5th Aug: The Kurds are requesting for international humanitarian and military aid. Kurdish controlled territory is overwhelmed by refugees. The Peshmergas are in need of military assistance. Kurdish politicians are requesting the UN for aid. 

5th Aug: Khaled al-Obeidi, a Sunni politician from the National Union Forces (A coalition of mostly Sunni Iraqi Parties) calls on the Iraqi Armed Forces to work closely with Kurdish Forces on the ground to try and avoid collateral civilian casualties. In a recent airstrike in Sinjar the Iraqi Air force bombed a mosque where arrested policemen were being held by Daash. 

5th Aug: The Iraqi parliament meets and discusses the refuge problem in Iraq. 

5th Aug: The Yazidi refugees in the mountains north of Sinjar are reporting the deaths of 120 children and 60 elderly refugees. The deaths are on account of harsh conditions and a lack of food and water. The Yazidis are referring to their plight as a “Second Karbala.” The Iraqi army is now planning to airdrop supplies to the mountains. 

5th Aug: The Peshmergas are now reported to be fighting Daash on the outskirts of Mosul. The Iraqi army has inched closer to Mosul. The army is now in full control of Al Shirqat to the north west of Hawija. 

5th Aug: Iraqi Securit Forces arrest 8 wanted individuals (including one woman) in Thi Qar, while police in Najaf arrest three (including one woman). 

5th Aug: A car bomb goes off in Kirkuk province, casualties are yet unconfirmed; another car bomb explodes in Karbala, casualties remain unascertained. Two Civilians are killed and 5 injured in Jalawla when an IED explodes. A suicide bomber attacks a café in central Jalawla and kills three civilians and injures 6. 

5th Aug: Government Claims for the day: 

Airstrikes by the Iraqi Air Force kill 2 and injure 10 Daash fighters in Sinjar
20 Terrorists, including two suicide bombers, are killed by security forces in Taji, north of Baghdad

4th Aug: The Grant Mufti of Saudi Arabia, blind since 18, issues a Fatwa against Palestinian Solidarity Marches. Abdul Aziz Al Ash-Sheikh “are just useless demagogic actions, that won’t help Palestinians.” “Demagoguery does not work. It is just an exaggeration.” 

4th Aug: Abu Hassan al-Filastini, Daash’s Emir in Qalamoun is killed in clashes on Monday. He is reported to have been fatally wounded in army shelling on Sunday. 

5th Aug: 40 Nurses from India who were trapped in Tikrit have returned to their homes in India. Meanwhile, two men are arrested in southern India for posing in a group photograph wearing Daash (ISIS) T shirts. The photograph features 26 men wearing pro Daash t Shirts. 

5th Aug: Saudi money on both sides. The Lebanese military requests France to speed up the delivery of weapons that Saudi had paid for as fighting in Ersal intensifies. France has delayed the delivery of these weapons. 

Two Lebanese soldiers are reported killed, both brutally. 

While Hezbollah has backed the Lebanese army no such political backing has been forthcoming from Lebanon’s Future Movement. Their masters in Saudi Arabia are also silent. The Cease fire referred to as a “humanitarian truce” being brokered by the “Association for Muslim Scholars” has so far failed. 

5th Aug: Sunni Cleric Sheikh Abu Taqiyeh in Ersal blames Hassan Nasrallah and the Hezbollah for continued fighting and the failure to broker a cease fire. 

The Takfiri militants in Ersal and their Ulema are trying to broker a cease fire to try and prevent them from losing their foot hold in Lebanon. The Hezbollah is unlikely to allow them breathing space as not fighting them now, will imperil Lebanon’s future. 

5th Aug: Takfiri terrorists in Ersal are executing civilians trying to flee and those suspected of being informants.

Further reading: 

Recommended by Hezbollah’s Al Manar: 


Fleeing for Survival: 


Anti War......

Using Tunnels, ISIS Aims at Baghdad From the South

Aims to Take Area South of Baghdad

by Jason Ditz, August 04, 2014
ISIS efforts to encircle the Iraqi capital city of Baghdad continue apace, with their latest operations focusing on seizing the rural Sunni area south of Baghdad, known colloquially as the “triangle of death.”
The triangle was a nightmare for US occupation forces in the last decade, and ISIS is said to be using an elaborate collection of tunnels built by the Iraqi government during the Saddam-era to infiltrate areas close to Baghdad itself and outflank the Iraqi military.
The Sunni towns south of Baghdad are small, but strategically important, as ISIS already holds the whole western highway into the capital, as well as much of both northern highways.
The loss of these towns is not just a threat to Baghdad but a major blow to Iraq’s Shi’ite majority, as they span the area between Baghdad and the Shi’ite holy city of Karbala. Even if neither city falls, the loss of the surrounding area could be a nightmare for pilgrims going forward.

ISIS Seizes Key Iraqi Energy Infrastructure

Doubling Down on Territorial Gains, ISIS Eyes Dams

by Jason Ditz, August 04, 2014
Massive territorial losses have put Iraq on its heels against ISIS, and while the loss of enormously important cities like Mosul and Ramadi have grabbed headlines, it is the infrastructure losses likely to be felt hardest.
Instead of focusing on more territory, ISIS now seems to have turned its attention toward important hydroelectric dams, seizing the Mosul Dam over the weekend, and attacking the Haditha Dam. Both lie in their new territory, but actual control over them would give them enormous new power over their conquered lands, and leverage against the Iraqi government in the ongoing war.
Control over the dams would not only give ISIS broad control over Iraq’s electricity generation, but over water flow along its major rivers, allowing them to flood out invading troops, or simply prevent the irrigation of Shi’ite farms.
The resources ISIS have already taken in both Syria and Iraq, and the additional resources they are likely to seize in the days to come are giving them unmatched power and influence as an Islamist faction, and raising the credibility of their claim to be the new Islamic caliphate.

Report: US to Give Air Support, Arms to Iraqi Kurds

Officials Had Previously Downplayed Chances of Arming Kurds

by Jason Ditz, August 04, 2014
Kurdish newspaper Rudaw is quoting an unnamed high-level American official as saying the United States has “offered the Kurds air support in their fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS).”
Rudaw has been reliable on reports about the situation in Iraqi Kurdistan, and reported not only the air support, but other direct US involvement as well.
The official source who didn’t want to be named said that the US would also provide the Kurdish Peshmerga with arms and military expertise.
The American offer is said to include humanitarian aid to be transported by air to the people of Shangal and Zumar who have been displaced as a result of fighting in their areas.
This newspaper has also learned that a number of European countries have contacted the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) with offers of military support.
There has been no confirmation from US officials of this report anywhere else, andindeed late last week the indications were that the Pentagon was not looking at arming the Kurds. The recent ISIS gains against Kurdish territory in the northwest could be changing their minds, however.
Maliki Orders Iraqi Air Force to Aid Kurds in ISIS Battle
Iraqi Premier Nouri al-Maliki has ordered the Iraqi Air Force to provide air support for Kurdish Peshmerga fighters as they attempt to stall the latest ISIS advance in the nation’s northwest.
It’s the first cooperation between the Iraqi and Kurdish forces since the ISIS march into Mosul in June, and could portend a new effort at rapprochement between the two factions.
Kurdish forces have been scrambling to reinforce their position in Nineveh after a major ISIS offensive over the weekend ousted them from some key areas near the Syrian border.
The Iraqi military has at times come close to open warfare with the Kurdish Peshmerga over territorial disputes, and both sides are likely to offer aid only to a limited extent to one another. Still, that could be changing, as ISIS continues to gain territory against both, amid the growing recognition that the Peshmerga is not invincible when defending their territory from ISIS.

Fears of Yazidi Genocide Grow As over 450 Killed Across Iraq
by , August 04, 2014
Fighting raged in Sinjar today where Peshmerga forces began their campaign to retake the Sinjar, which they call Shengal. Iraqi forces bombed parts of the city and other nearby locations. Militants, however, are removing victims from Sinjar and executing them deeper within their consolidated territory. One Yazidi spokesperson claimed that thousands were already slaughtered. That has not been independently confirmed, yet. At least 457 people were killed and 63 were wounded.
A spokesman for the Yazidis community, Jawhar Ali Beggsaid that thousands of Yazidis have been killed, and tens of thousands have fled their homeland in northern Iraq. It is unclear if that many people were killed in Sinjar overnight, but dozens of members of this persecuted minority group certainly have already lost their lives.Khodhr Domli, a Yazidi rights activists, accused the militants of ethnic cleansing. Other minorities in the region are also suffering.
After surprising losses by Kurdish forces over the weekend, the Iraqi government has offered air support in their fight against Islamic State militants. Some airstrikes may have already been implemented. The Kurds have apparently declined the offer. There are also rumors that the United States may offer similar air support.
Kurdish President Massoud Barzani complained that "Iraq and International forces haven’t helped Peshmerga to fight IS and have even obstructed Peshmerga buying weapons in order to defend ourselves."
Fighters affiliated with the Syrian Democratic Union Party (P.Y.D.) have already crossed over the border and engaged in fighting.
The Kurdistan Workers Party (P.K.K.) is also getting involved. They called on Kurds everywhere to take up arms. With a Turkish peace deal in the works, P.K.K. guerrillas can be redeployed against ISIS/DAASH. They fought a decades-long war against Turkey that only recently started to wind down.
The Kurdish government is asking a United States court to dismiss a lawsuit brought by the Iraqi government. At issue is the sale of a tankerfull of Kurdish crude oil waiting for permission to enter U.S. waters off Texas. Baghdad insists only it has the right to sell oil overseas; however, they have been shorting the Kurds money owed them, so the Kurds feel they have the right to sell their own oil.
Should they be allowed, they could easily afford arms to use against the Islamic State. But, once again, Baghdad claims the right to make foreign sales for Kurdistan and would resist allowing them to freely buy all they weapons they can.
The northern front:
At the very least 58 more Yazidis were killed since militants stormed Sinjar (Shengal) yesterday, bringing the known number of dead up to 88 killed. The actual figure is likely higher.
The Red Cross said about 100 Yazidi families were taken to the airport in Tal Afarwhere the men were killed. The women may be forced to marry ISIS fighters. About 100 Shi’ite Turkmen families are trapped without supplies at a cement factory outside Sinjar.
Iraqi warplanes bombed southern parts of the Sinjar, while Peshmerga forces made gains the north. Two militants were killed in the airstrikes and eight more were wounded, but more deaths may have occurred.
The Kurds say that the Mosul Dam is still under their control.
Peshmerga troops recaptured Wana, near the Mosul Dam.
Thirteen militants were killed in Rabeaa where Syrian Kurds were reported deployed yesterday.
Operations in Aziz Balad and al-Hardaniya left 20 militants dead.
Airstrikes in Baaj killed 117 militants.
In Mosulone militant was gunned down. The bodies of three militants were discovered.
Security and tribal forces repulsed an attack on DuluiyaThree militants were killed.Four policemen and a civilian were wounded.
Islamic State militants are also attempting to grab hold of the Haditha Dam.
Ten militants were killed when helicopter gunships attacked Falluja. At least 13 more were killed. Shelling also killed four civilians and wounded 11 more.
Three people were killed and six more were wounded during a mortar attack inGarma.
Four policemen were wounded in a double bombing in Karbala.
In Jurf al-Sakharten snipers were killed.
Clashes left four militants dead in Ramadi.
In Baghdadfour militants were killedNine militants were killed, including a wali, in an air strike south of town.
A bomb wounded three people at Kilo 35 in Anbar.
Security forces killed 120 militants in Amerli.
militant was gunned down in Mansouriya.


ISIS now advancing on the Christian town of Tel Keppe north of Mosul- Kurdish peshmerga fighting to stop them.

Bābil Operations Command cmdr Gen. Abdulhussayn al-Baythani sacked and replaced w/ his deputy cmdr Gen. Kadhim Risan.

As ISIS expands into Lebanon, someone shoots the ceasefire negotiators sent to Arsal to try to sort it out

Reports anti armed groups have destroyed parts of the oil pipeline..

Launching U.S. drones from Kurdistan Region might be the best option.

SIS pics from Sinjar/Kisik here spotted by Lots of insights to be gleaned: only couple of graphic images.

Eight Lebanese Army soldiers wounded in Tripoli

So please do see my new article, "Iraq's Second Sunni Insurgency."

Actual death figures probably much higher as Baghdad has stopped reporting ISF casualties in engagements w/militants

 Retweeted by Joel Wing