Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Iraq Updates ( August 12 , 2014 ) Prime Minister Maliki still refuses to abandon his quest for a third term ...... US airstrikes continue even though the Pentagon says they can't defeat ISIS ........ US and Iran plot to depose Maliki , both countries deny plotting to depose Maliki........ US gives Kurd ammo but no heavy weapons .....


Monday, August 11, 2014 11:38 AM

US to Supply Kurds with Russian Arms via CIA

The story in Iraq gets more bizarre by the day. Kurdish territory in Iraq are the only pro-American territory left. Yet the US worries it will splinter off into Kuridistan. Apparently it's better to have a raging civil war as long as the country stays together in one theoretical piece.

This is where the story gets really bizarre. To avoid the appearance of the US giving arms to the Kurds, instead the US will give the Kurds Russian-made arms via the CIA.

Excuse me for asking, but what about sanctions on Russia?

While pondering that question, please consider US to directly arm Kurdish peshmerga forces in bid to thwart Isis offensive


Anti War.......


Pentagon: US Airstrikes Won’t Stop ISIS Momentum

Says Impact of Strikes Limited, Temporary

by Jason Ditz, August 11, 2014
Lt. Gen. William Mayville, the Pentagon’s top war planner, today sought to lower expectations for the current US air war in Iraq, insisting the attacks are having only very limited effects on ISIS operations, and a very temporary impact.
Lt. Gen. Mayville insisted thecurrent air war did not mean ISIS was “contained” or even that its momentum was effectively stalled, and that the current strikes are mostly focused on keeping ISIS from moving directly on Irbil.
When President Obama first announced the new air war Thursday, the strikes were said to be focused on stopping the Irbil offensive, though since then he has broadened the goals of the war considerably, aiming to protect Baghdad, stopping ISIS from taking key infrastructure, and preventing ISIS from maintaining its caliphate.
In that context, Lt. Gen. Mayville’s comments must be seen not only as tempering expectations but also as laying the groundwork for further escalation of the war, and advancing the narrative that the already large US presence is insufficient for those growing goals.
Its undeniable that Lt. Gen. Mayville’s assessment in that regard is quite true, and that even 108 warplanes is insufficient for the goals now laid out of stopping ISIS nationwide. Yet it is left unspoken just how massive the US presence would have to be for these goals, with the public expected to just accept “more” as a general trend.
Indeed, with President Obama insisting there isn’t a “military solution” at all, his decision to keep escalating that military action is all the more puzzling, and suggests that getting the military operation going in the country is an end unto itself, with escalation to match whatever goals they finally settle on something to be worried about at a later date.


US Denies Role in Plot to Oust Maliki

Kerry Warns Maliki Not to Cause Trouble

by Jason Ditz, August 11, 2014
US officials are rejecting allegations that the United States is playing a direct role in a plot to oust Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, though they continue to reiterate their support for PM-designate Hayder Abadi, and their desire to see Maliki go.
Maliki has rejected calls to step down, and insists that the Iraqi National Alliance (INA) had no authority in appointing Abadi as the designate over him. He has insisted the move is a “coup plot” against his continued rule.
The US has loudly been insisting that Maliki must go for weeks, and responded to Maliki’s condemnation of President Masum yesterday with a statement praising him and reiterating their opposition to Maliki.
The notion that the US isn’t playing a role in Maliki’s ouster is absurd, and underscoring that Secretary of State John Kerry issued a statement today pledging support for Masum and warning Maliki “not to cause trouble” with his impending replacement.
The State Department’s statement today conceded that Maliki is still “legally” the prime minister, but also saying they want Abadi to replace him as soon as possible.
Maliki has deployed troops loyal to him across the capital, threatening to militarily ensure his continued rule. The State Department insisted they wouldn’t consider the move a coup if it took place, because Maliki’s premiership is legal.


US, Iran-Backed Shi’ites Choose Replacement of Maliki

Maliki Rules Out Resigning, Will Resist New PM-Designate

by Jason Ditz, August 11, 2014
Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s potential successor has been selected today by the Iranian-back Iraq National Alliance (INA) faction, and both they and the United States are throwing their weight behind Dr. Hayder Abadi as the new PM-designate.
Abadi, another member of Maliki’s Dawa Party, is the current Finance Committee chairman for the Iraqi parliament, and a long-standing MP. He lived in Manchester, England in exile for decades during the Saddam-era, and returned during the US occupation.
Yet how easily Abadi will be able to amass a majority to form a government remains unclear, with Maliki still fearing every attempt to replace him is a coup, andmany of his allies spurning Abadi as an “illegitimate” replacement who doesn’t represent Dawa Party interests.
The presumptive backing of much of the INA, along with the various Kurdish blocs beholden to US wishes will only get Abadi so far, and without some cross-over from Dawa and the State of Law in general, it is unclear how a majority can come together.
Maliki also deployed large numbers of special forces loyal to him across the capital yesterday, and those troops haven’t gone anywhere in the wake of Abadi’s appointment, meaning even if the PM-designate can somehow get a narrow majority government, that does not guarantee that Maliki will step down.
The US State Department has congratulated Abadi on his nomination and is calling on him to form a government “as swiftly as possible.” At this point, that appears to be wishful thinking on their parts, and any government formation seems certain to take some time, if Maliki allows it at all.
Some analysts believe Maliki is unlikely to relinquish power under any terms, and that his deployment of troops throughout the capital anticipates an attempt to consolidate his rule and launch a coup of his own against any new premier.


US Bypassing Iraqi Govt, Sending Arms Directly to Iraqi Kurds

Long Insisted Arms Shipments Would Have to Go Through Baghdad

by Jason Ditz, August 11, 2014
US officials today confirmed that they have ditched a long-standing policy of sending arms to Iraq only through the central government, and are now directly arming the Kurdish Peshmerga.
The announcement was not exactly a surprise, as regular readers will not that we reported a week ago that US officials were promising both airstrikes and direct armament to the Kurds in their fight against ISIS.
Both of those reports have come to pass, as US airstrikes began Friday. The US announcements on airstrikes and arms have both aimed at trying to restore Kurdish military control over regions ISIS recently seized.
But directly arming the Peshmerga risks alienating the Iraqi government even more, as the Peshmerga has not only fought ISIS but seized several Iraqi cities as well in recent months, and now has a direct line to DC for more weapons as they try to carve out their growing autonomous region in Iraq’s north.
Throwing more arms into Iraq also risks giving more arms to ISIS, as the group has by and large become so well-armed by looting Iraqi military sites full of US-made gear. If they continue to score victories against the Kurds, they may acquire yet more arms this way.


New PM Candidate for Iraq; 247 Killed in Battles, Airstrikes
by , August 11, 2014
Updated at 12:43 a.m. EDT, Aug. 12, 2014
Iraq has a new candidate for prime minister, Haider al-Abadi; however, the possibly outgoing premier, Nouri al-Maliki is putting up a fight instead of conceding that he likely no longer has enough votes to win a third term.. Meanwhile, 247 people were killed and 22 were wounded. One of the dead was a well-respected Kurdish journalist from Turkey.
Today, President Fuad Masum named Haider al-Abadi as the new candidate for prime minister of Iraq. He was selected by the National Iraqi Alliance coalition and is currently the deputy speaker of the parliament. Abadi is also a member of the Dawa party, which is led by outgoing Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki. He now has 30 daysto form a new government. During that time, Maliki continues to be the caretaker prime minister.
Maliki appeared on television again today. While he said nothing, another member of the Dawa party, Khalaf Abdul-Samad, declared the nomination illegal. Nouri al-Maliki’s son-in-law told journalists the former prime minister will try to have the nomination overturned in the courts. Last night, Maliki deployed special forces troops, militiamen and heavy weaponry ahead of this expected nomination.
In April, the State of Law coalition, of which Dawa and Maliki are members, won the largest number of seats during the election. This gave Maliki the belief that he might be able to serve another term, but even his coalition is not behind him. Over one third of its serving lawmakers are supporting Abadi. It is expected he will gain a majority, once the Sunnis and Kurds chime in, and be able to form the new government. The State of Law coalition is part of the larger National Iraqi Alliance. Haider, so far, has about 130 lawmakers behind him.
Perhaps thanks to the changeover, the U.S. government in now selling arms directly to the Kurdish government. It is suspected the C.I.A. is acting as the dealer. The administration had limited sales to the federal government in Baghdad, but those arms were not reaching the Kurds, and that lapse contributed to the Islamic State’s rapid advance across northern Iraq.
A Kurdish journalist, Deniz Firat, was killed during a mortar attack on August 8, while she was embedded with Kurdistan Workers’ Party fighters near Makhmour.
In Baghdad, a pair of bombs killed one civilian and wounded seven more. 
The bodies of two Sahwa members were found in Baiji.
A militant bomb instructor in Salah ad Din managed to kill himself and 21 recruitsduring class; another 15 were wounded.
Security forces killed 89 militants in Adhaim.
Airstrikes in Shirqat killed 54 militants.
In Jurf al-Sakhar19 militants were killed.
Security forces killed 15 militants in Haditha.
Nine militants were killed in the Himreen Mountains.
Clashes left seven militants dead in Barwana.
U.S. airstrikes in Bashiqa left six militants dead.

Moon of Alabama....

August 10, 2014

The Islamic State Prepares For A Big Attack - Baghdad Or Aleppo?

A month ago I wrote that the Islamic State (IS or ISIS) is now the only game in town when it comes to insurgents fighting against the Syrian (and now also Iraqi) state:
In a few month the Islamic Front will no longer exist. It will vanish like that phantasy of a Free Syrian Army. Parts of it will swear allegiance to the Islamic State, parts will give up fighting and parts will change over to the government side. Then the real war against ISIS will start.
The "moderate rebels" Washington has been searching for for years are a unicorn. Whomever the U.S. gave weapons to and trained in Jordan and Turkey is now part of ISIS.
The Islamic State consolidates itself (recommended) in west Iraq and across the east and north of Syria:
The frontiers of the new Caliphate declared by Isis on 29 June are expanding by the day and now cover an area larger than Great Britain and inhabited by at least six million people, a population larger than that of Denmark, Finland or Ireland. In a few weeks of fighting in Syria Isis has established itself as the dominant force in the Syrian opposition, ...
By now IS generates enough money from oil sales and blackmail to support itself. It has taken an immense haul of weapons from four Iraqi divisions and now also from the Syrian Brigade 93 which it defeated a week ago:
In addition to 5+ 122mm D-30 howitzers, the IS captured approx. 20 T-55 tanks & 1 ZSU-23-4 Shilka SPAAG
Note: The haul in Iraq was much, much bigger than this one.

The Islamic State has enough experienced soldiers to handle these weapons. How good its logistics are run though is an open questions. Those may eventually turn out to be its weak point.

The Islamic State also gained in numbers. Even the ardent promoter of the non-existent Syrian Free Army Hassan Hassan now admits that all these folks are under IS control. International forces so far aligned with Al-Qaeda are moving over to IS. Tribes in the newly captured areas pledge allegiance to the Islamic State and add to its forces.
One military expert says:


 Retweeted by 
Suicide bomber attacks checkpoint in near home of 's new Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi ( Reuters

Military forces have besieged the Iraqi president's house

Heavy fighting in the "Green Zone" in Baghdad

Heavy fighting in al-Taji military base (north of Baghdad)

Iraqi rebels have occupied most of al-Mahmoudiyya (south of Baghdad)

A military convoy has entered Karradat Mariam neighborhood in Baghdad

Eyewitnesses report huge convoy of armored vehicles are heading towards .

Extra 130 troops now in Erbil means close to 1,000 in . But Admin says "no boots on ground". Now or ever. Begins to look ridiculous

Maliki pulling his military / militia forces back to defend Baghdad as he refuses to stand down ?

Government forces are leaving Balad, Dujail and Samarra and moving toward Baghdad

Al-Maliki's loyal forces are moving toward Baghdad from the north

Al-Maliki and his loyal forces refuse to recognize the new premiership

A Shia military commander, Ali al-Maliki, has been killed in Basra

and foreign battelions expell from local towns & - with help from AF MAP

ain't a state - just a bunch of gangsters keen to muscle into the territory of the & crime syndicates.

 Retweeted by 
So now PM Maliki has lost the support of Iraq's Sunnis, Kurds, Shia, Sistani, US, UK, EU and even Iran.

Peshmerga spokesman told us US military gave them ammunition ; "it is not enough, we need heavy weaponry" to hold the line with IS

Badr organization breaks silence over PM struggle. Hadi al-Ameri says they will support Abbadi over Maliki