Thursday, August 7, 2014

Iraq Updates ( August 7 , 2014 ) -- Maliki refuses to surrender his hold on the Prime Minister post , death dealing continues throughout Iraq as Baghdad comes further into view of ISIS and other Sunni fighters , Updates from Kurdistan and its battles against both ISIS and the Maliki Government

US Begins Dropping Humanitarian Supplies In Iraq, It May Also be Dropping Bombs

Tyler Durden's picture

While we await the latest nationally televized appearance of the teleprompter telling Obama just what the US is doing in Iraq at some point over the next 60 minutes, there are conflicting reports about what may or may not be happening in Iraq right now. On one hand there appears to be confirmation that the US has begun airdropping humanitarian supplies to the thousands trapped in the Iraqi mountains, as we earlier reported would likely happen. On the other hand, the NYT also blasted that the US is now also bombing ISIS targets in Iraq.

.... Something which the Pentagon quickly denied.

Press reports that US has conducted airstrikes in Iraq completely false. No such action taken.

Vineyard of the Saker....

Daashing out of Iraq: Recent Military Maneuvers (by Mindfriedo)

Daashing out of Iraq: Recent Military Maneuvers

The timing of the Kurdish advance west in Daash held territory appears to be a well planned operation. Three events are significant.

The first was that the advance and confrontation of the Kurds did not begin till the return of Former President Jalal Talibani. He is pragmatic and astute as opposed to Massoud Barzani who is Kurdish nationalistic and believed to be close to Israel. A deal was being reported where he, Talibani, allowed the Iranians to send in 200 “Advisors”; this was denied by the Iranian press. But it is possible that the Kurds are now being “advised” by the Iranians.

The second is the death of Hezbollah commander Ibrahim Mohammed al-Haj, who the Hezbollah confirmed was killed/martyred in Mosul, Iraq. This is very significant as the commander was killed deep in Daash territory. Three members of Iran’s Elite Qods Brigade have also been killed in Iraq. Kamal Shirkhani in June near Samarra, Ali Reza Moshajari mid June in Karbala, and Shojaat Alamdari Mourjani in Samarra Early July.

The third is the official backing, at this stage purely symbolic, of the Iraqi government to Sunni opposition groups willing to fight/already fighting Daash in Mosul. Also recent comments made by Sunni politicians that request the Iraqi Air Force to avoid civilian casualties and work closely with the Peshmergas and comments backing Sunni Militias opposed to Daash indicate an aligning of interests.

On a political and military level, the three sides appear to be aligning against their common enemy. The Iraqi Air Force/Army Aviation is now flying sorties for the Peshmergas. However, there is bound to have been some quid pro quo between the Kurds and the Iranians, and in Baghdad, between the Shia and the Sunni. The future of Kirkuk is going to be of great interest. The Kurds will eventually hand over Mosul and Sinjar to the Iraqi government, but control of Kirkuk and other cities with substantive Kurdish populations, such as Jalawla, is going to be contentious.

The Kurds had, like the Iraqi government earlier, requested the United States for air strikes. Obama did not oblige. The Iranians may have stepped in. The movement of heavy equipment and the Kurds investing their armour in the fight suggests that Iran may be willing/or may already be rearming and resupplying the Kurds.

The rebellion by the Shaitat tribe in Eastern Syria has forced Daash to pull back its fighters from Iraq and reinforce its fighters in Syria. This has been of significant tactical advantage to the Kurds. By attacking the Peshmergas, Daash has over played its hand and stretched itself thin. For now, Daash has lost the offensive.

Anti War......

Kurdish Officials: US Bombing ISIS in Iraq; Pentagon Denies

Overnight Strikes Target Recently Seized Towns Near Irbil

by Jason Ditz, August 07, 2014
The Obama Administration wasted no time in using the latest ISIS advances as a pretext for military operations, and have already been reported to have launched multiple airstrikes against ISIS targets on Thursday night. The reports came from both Kurdish officials and locals fleeing the attacked towns, but the Pentagon is denying the strikes.
The attacks hit the towns of Gwer and Makhmour, which the Kurdish Peshmergaunsuccessfully tried to recapture from ISIS yesterday. They lie just 25 miles southwest of the Kurdish capital of Irbil.
The US attacks appear to be focused both on blunting the ISIS offensive, amid ISIS threats of an attack on Irbil itself, and on giving the Kurdish forces openings to try to take the offensive and reclaim lost territory.
The Kurdistan Regional Government has been pushing for US intervention since the weekend, when ISIS seized control of Sinjar District, in the nation’s far northwest, and routed Kurdish fighters there. The Kurds had been successful in fending off ISIS up to that point, but the momentum seems to have shifted now, with ISIS keen to grow its territory in the area.

938 Killed As Maliki Continues His Obstinate Push To Remain Leader of Iraq
by , August 06, 2014
The full extent of the troubles that have befallen the Yazidi people of northern Iraq has not yet come to light, but the fighting for their land continues. Meanwhile, Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki refused to consider stepping aside for Iraq’s sake. At least938 people were killed and 107 more were wounded.
Many of the dead are Yazidis, dying from exposure were they have taken refuge or by execution at the hands of the Islamic State. Several bombs in Baghdad took more civilians lives. Over three hundred militants were killed, mostly in airstrikes.

Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, in his weekly speech, cautioned everyone against selecting a new premier through unconstitutional means and admonished outside interference in Iraq politics. He was likely referring to Iran. Iran has been Maliki main benefactor, but now appears to be singing a different tune.
Although Iran is couching the change as a position the country’s leaders have maintained for a while, Iran is only now openly suggesting that Iraq cannot take another term of Maliki’s sectarian politics. They claim that Iraq’s Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani has come over to their way of thinking, but Iraq’s most important Shi’ite leader had been already been calling on Maliki to step aside for weeks.
Meanwhile, a Samarra police official and a Sunni tribal leader both confirmed that Shi’ite militiamen set fire to Saddam Hussein‘s mausoleum in Awja. Saddam’s remains were secretly moved several months ago over fears that something like this could happen. Unconfirmed are rumors that the graves of his sons, Uday and Qusay, were desecrated.

The Northern Front:
According to Hallo Penjweny, a senior official from the Iraqi party Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (P.U.K.), fighters from the Kurdistan Workers’ Party(P.K.K.) are in charge of restoring Kurdish control of Sinjar, but another official warned that it will be a few days before they can assure the Yazidis hiding in the nearby mountains safe passage. Until then, the refugees are receiving emergency rations of food and water via helicopter airdrops. But, it is not enough for everyone.
Penjweny also said that fighters associated with the Democratic Union Party(P.Y.D.), a Syrian group have retaken Rabeaa. The Peshmerga are currentlyhandling operations at Zumer and Makhmour. But, Makhmour and Gwar have apparently fallen and Qara Qosh is not far behind. Al-Shallalat has also beencaptured.
The P.K.K. is a guerilla group that had been fighting in Turkey for an independent Kurdish homeland. They are listed as a terrorist group there, but they have recently begun peace negotiations with the Turkish government, after a decades-long war. The fighters may have already been in Iraq, as the P.K.K. maintained their secret bases on Iraqi land.
The P.Y.D. is affiliated to the P.K.K. and banned in Syria, but the group says it wants autonomy within a new Syria as opposed to the P.K.K.’s goal of an independent Kurdistan. Their fighters were reported in Rabeaa almost immediately after the takeover in Sinjar.
The strategic losses have forced the Kurdish region to begin talks with Baghdad over military cooperation, according to Jabbar Yawar, who is the secretary-general of the ministry overseeing the Peshmerga forces. He warned that the Peshmerga strategy of defense must now change to offense. There had been an uneasy truce between the Islamic State and the Kurdish military along most of the frontier between the two states.
At least 500 people have been executed in Sinjar and surrounding villages, according to lawmakers. That is up by 412 deaths from the previously known 88 killed. Also another 110 people died from lack of food and water up on Sinjar Mountain. Hundreds are missing. They are feared dead or captured.
In Mosul, held by Islamic State militants since June, air strikes left at least 30 killed, many of them possibly detainees. The militants were using a jail as a base of operations. Iraqi State TV said sixty militants were killed in the attack. A drone may have been involved in this operation. Also, about 300 prisoners escaped their militant captors.
At least another 67 were killed in ongoing strikes. Another airstrike killed at least five militants, one of them a leader. Residents have been forced to "donate" blood for injured militants, so many of those are clearly going uncounted. At least 11 militants were killed and 11 more were woundedTwo Peshmerga members were wounded as well. Battles are also taking place outside Mosul in Gogjalil (Kokjili).
Between Mosul and Samarra a roadside bomb killed three Shi’ite volunteers.
Residents of Bashiqa have fled well ahead of any ISIS/DAASH advances.
Airstrikes in Qayara killed 96 militants.
Another 70 were killed near Mazar-Sharifidden.
The Shi’ite Turkmen town of Amerli proudly maintains its independence from the militants but at a great cost. Dozens of fighters there need care for their injuries. They are looking for help from the Iraqi air force. There may be a way to bomb a secure route from the town to Tuz Khormato.

Baghdad region:
In Baghdad, a late evening bombing killed 11 people in the Ur district, not far from Sadr City. At least four people were wounded. A blast in Neairiaya left one dead and nine woundedOne person was killed and three more were wounded in a blast inZaafaraniya. At least seven more people were killed in the bombings, and 24 others were woundedTwo dumped bodies were found.
A double bombing killed at least 34 people in a Sadr City marketplace; at least 31 more were wounded.
Airstrikes in Tal Massoud killed a number of militants.
Shelling killed three people and wounded four more at the Falluja hospital.
At least four militant leaders were killed during operations in Falluja and Garma.
In Babel province, twelve militants were killed.
Security forces in Tikrit killed the nephew of the leader of the Islamic State.
number of militants were killed in the Hamrin Mountains region.

Iraqi Airstrike Against ‘ISIS Court’ in Mosul Kills 60

Attack Targeted Prison Complex, Killing Judge and Detainees

by Jason Ditz, August 06, 2014
Iraqi warplanes launched a strike against what is being called an ISIS-run “Shariah court” in the city of Mosul, killing at least 60 people including the ISIS judge.
The attack focused on a makeshift prison complex which ISIS has been running in the city, which it seized in June. The attack killed ISIS personnel and detainees alike.
Iraqi officials initially reported only that a prison was hit,though military spokesmen later clarified that the court itself was the intended target. The exact split of casualties is unclear.
Iraq has recently turned to using airstrikes to target ISIS-held parts of the country, though their strategy of attacking sites, like the Mosul prison, so far outside of their control is puzzling, with no real hope of such attacks changing the situation on the ground in any significant way.

ISIS Repels Kurdish Attack Just South of Kurdistan Capital of Irbil

Kurds Say Move Aims to Chase ISIS Out of Makhmur

by Jason Ditz, August 06, 2014
Kurdish Peshmerga fighters have reported a new battle with ISIS forces in the area around Makhmur, just 25 miles southwest of Kurdish capital Irbil, and northwest of the important Kurdish city of Kirkuk.
The rural territory is one of ISIS’ easternmost possessions this far north, and Kurdish officials say they attacked first, trying to get back on the offensive after losing territory to ISIS in the northwest of the country this weekend. It did not go well, however, and by evening ISIS had reportedly repelled the Kurdish invasion.
The area is outside of the Kurdistan Regional Government’s (KRG) territory, but its close proximity to Irbil makes it potentially extremely valuable, and is the closest to Irbil that the fighting has yet gotten. With the ISIS victory, the risk grows that they will advance into Kurdistan again.
The Peshmerga has been pushing to establish military cooperation with Iraq’s Army after the recent defeats in and around Sinjar, and are also pressing the US for arms and support for the ongoing fight against ISIS. Kurdish politicians are also preparing for a secession referendum at some point in the future, though no date has yet been set.


BREAKING: Rudaw correspondent: imposes curfew in Mosul

Sources: has started transferring money in Mosul banks by ambulances and they use civilian cars for transportation.

Kurdish MP Alla Talabani: Shia alliance failed to designate the next premier candidate after extensive meeting tonight.

Kurdish MP Alla Talabani: If National Alliance does not reach a conclusion on PM candidate, the president and...

US military source says ISIS targets chosen, "lined up" in . just awaiting order. "fingers on the trigger."

 Retweeted by Memlik Pasha
JUST IN: senior Iraqi military official tells that the Iraqi air force has flown attacks against suspected ISIS targets near Irbil

 Retweeted by Memlik Pasha
JUST IN: Obama has ordered air drops of humanitarian aid for besieged ethnic minorities in Iraq as it considers strikes against militants

In any case, best report on the military equation in northern Iraq by :

We are in the last days of Nuri Kamal al-Maliki in power. He may hold on a few more weeks as a caretaker. That is it.

: All banks will re-open next Saturday. Protection and security will be provided by anti armed groups.

Car bombs in Iraq's Kirkuk kills nine people

Iraqi militants seize country's largest dam

: According to info Rudaw has obtained from Washington, U.S. will protect region, and will provide military assistance.

Fog of war surrounds -Islamic state fighting.

: Turkish military jets enter Kurdistan's air and Makhmour.

jihadist onslaught has displaced 100,000 Christians: patriarch

Head of Kurdish security forces urges to end its support for jihadist groups -

Iran eventually helped break up Sadr movement to have smaller more controllable groups like AAH