Monday, August 4, 2014

Iraq / Syria centered Regional War Updates ( August 4 , 2014 ) Updates for today focusing on Iraq including Kurdistan , but also items of note touching on Lebanon


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:


Anti armed groups launching a wide scale attack only 5km away from airport in .

Another huge explosion just rocked ..

WOHA! Series of massive explosions rocking again..

Massive explosion rocked ..

U.S. Air Force will support forces — Rudaw has learned from a high ranking American source.

No significant &/or proven progress for kurdish forces / against in N/W so far- only words

self defence-leader Heyder Qasim Seso calls for punishment of for their withdrawal from

PKK leader Murat : "PKK will intervene in tonight to protect the Yezidi Kurds from attacks"

air force to support fighters

Out of the spotlight (for now), ISIS are also gaining ground south of Baghdad, slowly encircling the capital

n refugees camp in after a joint bombardment by and army of .. v

Kurdistan Region officially asks U.S. to assist Peshmerga with military weapons to combat ISIS militants.

in appeal for help against militants in .

, , , , and Ayn are currently under the control of militants.

Rudaw's maps with positions of ISIS, Kurdish peshmerga and YPG

BREAKING: 13 soldiers, six civilians and 50 militants dead in three days of clashes in northeast

Residents of Bashiqa, town of 50,000+ majority Yazidis N-W of Erbil, told me they fled their homes earlier 2day 4 fear of ISIS attack

government reckless air strike in killed University lecturer Dr Hayali, his wife & 4 children, 2 boys & 2 girls, in their home

Everyone is warning of imminent atrocities in Kurdish areas overrun by ISIS, but doesn't seem anyone will do anything to stop them.

Anti War .....

Iraq Horror: Hundreds Killed As Yazidi 

Homeland in Jeopardy

Sunday: 730 Killed, 47 Wounded
by , August 03, 2014
Islamic State militants have reportedly taken over the Mosul Dam on the Tigris River and the town of Sinjar, in which the U.N. fears could be the beginning of a "humanitarian tragedy." Meanwhile, the Iraqi government reported they had killed over 650 militants, mostly in airstrikes.
At least 30 people have been killed in Sinjar (Shengal to the Kurds), where Islamic State militants have also destroyed three significant sites. Some women may have beenkidnapped. Multiple witnesses say they have been shot at or seen others executed. The militants claim to have killed scores of Kurdish fighters during the takeover. The actual casualty toll is likely to be much, much higher.
Many residents are now hiding in the nearby Sinjar Mountains, where the United Nations believes as many as 200,000 people have fled. Others are heading to Dahukand Zakho. Sinjar was hosting a number of refugees from Tal Afar. They likely have joined the exodus.
Haji Ghandour, a Yazidi parliamentarian said that he difficulty escaping the city due to fighting. He also warned that they Yazidis have suffered "72 massacres" in the past and this could their 73rd one.
Peshmerga forces had been providing security but they withdrew when they ran out of ammunition. Advanced weapons are said to have arrived in Arbil, from an undisclosed source.
Because Kurdistan is not a sovereign nation, weapons purchases must be made through Baghdad, a complicated process even when relations are smooth. Since the Islamic State took over parts of Iraq, the Kurds have also expanded their territory, enraging Baghdad.
Karwan Zebari, the Kurdish representative in Washington D.C., hopes the rapidly deteriorating situation will encourage the U.S. to bypass Baghdad and send arms directly to the Kurdish region and Peshmerga fighters. That appears unlikely because the U.S. wants to thwart Kurdish independence measures.
The Yazidis are one of Iraq’s minority groups. Although they are Kurdish, neighboring Muslim groups have mistreated them because of their unique religious practices. In 2007, they suffered what is considered by many to be the second deadliest terrorist attack in world history. They were about to begin celebrating the Cle Havine feast when this occurred.
Other locations near Kurdistan:
Near Mosul, militants may have taken over the city’s dam, which powers Mosul. It appears at this point that it has already occurred. At other dams in Iraq, the militants have tried to flood towns and farmland. It is unclear if they plan to do this in Mosul, considering they will be cutting off their own power supply and further aggravating residents, who have already been forming resistance groups.
Those armed groups killed at least three militants in Mosul itself today. Security forces killed 300 more in airstrikes. Five civilians were killed in an airstrike.
The town of Wana, near the Mosul Dam, was also claimed by the militants.
Fighting is also taking place in Rabeaa, where Syrian Kurdish fighters have reportedly replaced Iraqi Kurds. At least 27 Peshmerga were killed.
Peshmerga have agreed to a ceasefire south of Kirkuk. Tribal leaders want to talk the Islamic State into leaving the area voluntarily.
Militants have ordered fighters to withdraw from Tal Kief and Shikhan.
In Tal Afar, airstrikes killed over 100 militants.
Elsewhere in Iraq:
In Saidiya, militants killed the brother of a Peshmerga member and kidnapped his 11-year-old niece in a bid to have the member change allegiances. Militants kidnappeda guard at a water station they destroyed.
car bomb exploded in Haditha, but the number of casualties was not released.
Nine security personnel were killed in Jurf al-Sakhar. Dozens of militants were killed as well.
Airstrikes left 14 militants dead in al-Bag.
Security forces killed 150 militants in Amerli. At least 45 were wounded.
In Latifiya35 militants were killed.
Security forces killed 24 militants in two areas of Garma.
In Baghdadfive militants were killed in al-KaragholTwo militants were killed inArab Jassim.
Nine militants were killed when they tried to take over Kubaisa.
Security forces killed eight militants in Iskandariya.
In Arab Jabour, security forces killed six militants and wounded two more.
Four carloads of militants were killed near Baiji.
Militants kidnapped two women in Shirqat.
In Tikrit, seven young men were abducted.
Clashes took place in Ishaqi.

13 Lebanese Soldiers Killed as Battle Rages With Syria Rebels

ISIS, Nusra Fighters Retain Presence in Arsal

by Jason Ditz, August 03, 2014
Yesterday’s attack on the Lebanese border town of Arsal by Syrian rebels led by Jabhat al-Nusra continued apace today, with Lebanese officials now convinced this was no one-off raid but a concerted effort to capture the town outright.
13 Lebanese soldiers were reported killed since the fighting began Saturday, and a fourth civilian was slain today. The toll among the rebels is unknown, and no updated figures have been released since yesterday’s report of 11 killed.
To make matters worse, the Lebanese military has confirmed yesterday’s reports of kidnapped soldiers, saying 13 soldiers are now unaccounted for and believed held by the rebels.
At one point Jabhat al-Nusra held much of the Syrian side of the border with Lebanon. Those the Syrian military has retaken that, the faction seems to be keen on seizing Arsal, likely to use as a staging ground for operations against Syrian border regions.

Al Jazeera....

Iraq's hospitals caught in the crosshairs

Wounded Iraqi civilians have flocked to hospitals under fire from Islamic State fighters and government forces.

Last updated: 04 Aug 2014 08:00

The Iraqi air force struck Fallujah General Hospital with barrel bombs, a type of IED dropped from aircraft [AP]
Kirkuk, Iraq - Three days ago, Akram and his daughter made the perilous drive from Tikrit, a city situated on the Tigris River, to Kirkuk Hospital, 120km away. The drive once took two hours, but it now takes nine.
Akram's daughter only had a short window to receive the urgent medical care she required before she would run into serious, irreversible trouble. Wearing a light blue caftan and smoking a cigarette outside the hospital's main entrance, Akram's eyes welled up with tears as he took a long drag from his cigarette.
"There was blood everywhere and there are no hospitals operating in Tikrit," he told Al Jazeera, preferring not to use his full name for security reasons. "My eight-year-old daughter was shot in the head by armed men - by Daesh [the Islamic State group]. The bullet was lodged in her head."
We had to drive to Kirkuk, but she lost a lot of blood and fell into a coma on the way here three days ago. She's on life support but she won't wake up.
- Akram, patient's father at Kirkuk hospital
"We had to drive to Kirkuk, but she lost a lot of blood and fell into a coma on the way here three days ago. She's on life support but she won't wake up," the father continued. "She won't wake up ever again," he said, tears rolling down his face.

RELATED: Islamic State evicts Iraq farmers

The Islamic State group, which quickly came to control a large swath of territory in Iraq during a blitzkrieg in June, has threatened the stability of an already fragile country as well as the wider region.
In Tikrit - the home town of executed Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein - the Iraqi air force has launched air strikes targeting Islamic State cells, but some of the strikes have ended up killing and wounding innocent civilians.
Meanwhile, in Iraq's second-largest city, Mosul, air attacks continue to target fighters after the Iraq army abandoned its post in a stunning defeat on June 10.
Consequently, hospitals and other medical facilities have been seriously hampered by the renewed conflict, often bearing the brunt of intense shelling and aerial assaults, according to Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF). "Medical staff have fled, fearing attacks on the health facilities where they are working," Fabio Forgione, MSF's head of mission in Iraq, said in a statement.
"We are extremely concerned that significant numbers of people are now deprived of the medical assistance they need."
While under the control of Kurdish soldiers, the area is surrounded by territory controlled by Sunni armed groups. Staff at Kirkuk Hospital, which serves as the first point of contact for many patients because it is located in the city centre, told Al Jazeera that they were overwhelmed with patients.
While exact figures for the number of patients were not available, a doctor told Al Jazeera that 200 patients had arrived from areas across Iraq - Tikrit, Mosul, Talafar, and Fallujah, to name a few - since early June.
Check out our complete coverage of the crisis in Iraq 
An emergency department doctor, who didn't give Al Jazeera his name because he wasn't allowed to speak with the press, said the hospital was experiencing serious drug and staff shortages. "People from Mosul are sleeping in the gardens of the hospital, waiting for medical treatment. There are too many people to treat and we have drug and staff shortages," the doctor said, as he moved from patient to patient.
"There is no difference between the emergency department and a clinic these days. People are just crammed everywhere. This is Iraq. It's destroyed. There are no rules. It's crazy. We just don't have the facilities or medicine to deal with this issue. Healthcare in this country is just plain crazy."
Khalid, a healthcare worker at the hospital mirrored his concerns. "We had 13 nurses from India here and they've left; they're afraid. What can we do?" he said.

RELATED: No Eid celebration for Iraqi refugees

At the hospital, eight-year-old Hassam lay motionless on a bed, blood spilling from his abdomen as hospital staff redressed his wound. Hassam had just had surgery to remove shrapnel that had become wedged in his stomach. "Nine days ago as we were sleeping at home in Tikrit, our house was hit by an air strike from the Iraqi air force," Hassam's father, who didn't give Al Jazeera his name, said.
"It took us nine hours to drive here because the roads were blocked. There are no doctors left in Tikrit. We had nowhere else to go."

In the Intensive Care Unit (ICU), another young boy was pronounced brain dead from injuries sustained as a result of intense shelling that had hit his home. "He's on life support but we've told the family that after one or two weeks we'll have to turn it off," a nurse told Al Jazeera.
Chaotic scenes played out both inside and outside the hospital as a never-ending line of injured people entered the grounds. Security guards and police surrounded the hospital, checking people's IDs and cars before being allowed through.
The job is continuous, but we're discharging people quickly so we have enough beds. We're trying to get more doctors.
- Dr Moustafa Abbas Kadhim, Azadi General Hospital in Kirkuk
Outside the main hospital doors, a crowd gathered as a man from Fallujah, who was having a heart checkup, recounted his story. He said Fallujah General Hospital had been targeted several times by barrel bombs, referring to an IED dropped from a helicopter or aeroplane. The hospital, he said, had also been hit more than 20 times with rockets, heavy artillery and mortars, which had killed medical staff and patients.
"All the medical services have pretty much shut down," he said. "I've got serious heart problems and was transferred here. It took days to get here and there's a fuel shortage."

RELATED: Kurds decide on new Iraqi president

At Azadi General Hospital, Kirkuk's major hospital which has about 400 beds, the situation appeared less dire. General surgeon Dr Moustafa Abbas Kadhim, said that while the hospital was in better condition than Kirkuk Hospital, pressure was mounting as the violence across Iraq continues.
"The conditions that we're facing are similar to every war we've faced so we're trying to use our experience to manage the current crisis in the best way possible," he said. "The job is continuous, but we're discharging people quickly so we have enough beds. We're trying to get more doctors."
In the ICU, one child was in a coma, while two adults that had been injured in fighting in Kiruk and Mosul were conscious, but in a serious condition. "This is our problem," said Dr Ali, an ICU doctor who didn't give Al Jazeera his full name, "our patients are just innocent civilians".