Saturday, August 9, 2014

Iraq Updates ( August 9 , 2014 ) - US seemingly can't wait to get into the middle of the Iraq Civil War , Air strikes likely to be followed by ground troops ...... Round up on the news of the day ( check the tweets which are refreshed as appropriate )

If this is accurate , this is major news.....

 Retweeted by Joel Wing
Leader in SIIC says 5 candidates 4 PM. Maliki demanding Vice-PM or hd powerful ministry in return 4 stepping down

Shura Council of Dawa selected Tareq Najim candidate for the premiership - Means is out.

 Retweeted by fred walton
Tarek Najim is the |i Prime Minister..

 Retweeted by fred walton
This will definitely mark the expansion of strikes in in the next few days against

PM  Maliki tells Sistani to stay in his lane ......

On July 25, the official website of Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani posted an article reporting that Sistani has called on Iraqi officials not to cling to their positions, alluding to the insistence of Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki on seeking a third term. Official spokespeople for Sistani have previouslycriticized the performance of the Iraqi government, as well as the stances of Maliki himself; this, however, is the first time that Sistani has directly demanded Maliki withdraw his candidacy.


In another development, Sayyid Jafaar al-Sadr, the son of the the Dawa Party founder, called on all of Dawa's leading members to end their support for Maliki, since the latter is the main obstacle to settling disputes and forming a new government.
In the same context, the Badr and independent blocs belonging to Maliki’s State of Law Coalition announced they would split from the coalition if Maliki insisted on a third term. This means the coalition would lose the majority of votes within the National Iraqi Alliance, from which the prime minister should be chosen.


Maliki sent a warning text message to the office of Sistani. Al-Monitor learned the content of the message, which reads: “It is with great dissatisfaction that I received the hint that your official delivered during the Friday sermon in Karbala about officials not clinging to their posts. The majority of Shiites and the enemies of the political process figured that I was the one concerned. This is why I ask you, as prime minister who was elected for two terms, as the leader of the largest coalition, and as the [politician] who won the highest number of votes in the third session, to clarify your stance and end your involvement in the political process and the choosing of the prime minister. [I ask you] to limit your role to the provision of religious and moral guidance to your followers and leave politics to politicians. Iraq is going through a delicate phase in its political and security history and I cannot, amid these circumstances, give up on my national duty to protect the unity of Iraq and its people and defend the rights of those who voted for me.”


This came in tandem with news that Iran's Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei called on Maliki to step down, in clear support for Sistani’s position. These rapid developments angered Maliki, who felt the developments were quickly mounting against his wish for a third term. 
Maliki expressed his anger on Aug. 6 during his weekly speech, when he warned against outside attempts to intervene in the naming of the next prime minister. He said these attempts violate the political and constitutional process, threatening that all hell would break loose if an attempt was made to unconstitutionally name a prime minister. 
Clearly, this speech is Maliki’s last attempt to instill fear among his rivals related to his stepping down. This speech is, however, a far cry from being a real threat. Maliki has no political or security power to allow him to hold on to his post if Sistani and Iran explicitly oppose his candidacy.

WHO WHAT WHY Blog Spot .....

CONTEXT: Iraq—Just The Tip Of The Spear

CONTEXT: Iraq—Just the Tip of the Spear
The U.S. is back in Iraq—but it’s only airstrikes, according to President Obama. That’s the casual sex of warfare, after a long marriage to Iraq and the messy, costly divorce. Here’s a little reminder of what to watch out for on all-too-familiar territory

Moon of Alabama .....

August 08, 2014

What Obama Told The Caliph

U.S. F-18 jets bombed two U.S. made artillery pieces the Islamic State was using to prepare its attack on Erbil in the Kurdish part of Iraq.

The attack came after Obama addressed Caliph Pol Pot II yesterday to suggest that the Islamic State should leave the few the areas which are of positive American interests off its target list:
Obama, in a statement delivered at the White House late Thursday, said that strikes would be launched against extremist convoys “should they move toward” the Kurdish capital of Irbil, where the United States maintains a consulate and a joint operations center with the Iraqi military.

“We intend to take action if they threaten our facilities anywhere in Iraq . . . including Irbil and Baghdad,” he said.
What Obama did not say is the actual message Caliph Pol Pot II will have received:

  • "You are free to target anything you like but the U.S. embassy in Baghdad and the Kurdish part of Iraq. There U.S. companies are invested in oil, there we have this bignew intelligence station and and there the Israelis have their large, long running intelligence operation targeting Iran."
  • "Otherwise you are free to attack anybody in Syria or the rest of Iraq. We will do nothing, not even bomb the heavy weapons you have, to deny you total victory. Just like you we do not care what will happen to this or that minority or majority there. Fuck the Yazidis. (But do you really have to make these bombastic public relation efforts with all its massacre movies? They rill up these R2P idiots who don't understand the real purpose of that doctrine.)
  • "You took about four Iraqi divisions worth of fine heavy weapons and ammunition 'Made in U.S'. It is excellent stuff. Feel free to use it. We could of course bomb all of it without setting a foot on the ground. But that's not in my interest. Say 'Tanks for the memories', hehe. We will sell another set to those dupes in Baghdad. We hope to have them resupplied and ready for your next raid before you run out of your current stock."
  • "By the way - in case you need some additional anti-tank weapons. We have just given several dozens of TOW to some groups in north-west Syria. There is a good chance for you to 'negotiate' access to some of them."
  • "I am told you announced that you are preparing something big, like really big, like 9/11. Fine, but please leave us out of it. We are busy with our war on Russia. How about Jeddah?"
  • "Hey, or what about attacking Iran? I'd like to do that myself but my people won't let me."
  • "I really like your new Jihadi gift shop in Istanbul. My kids were asking for some of that merchandize. Do they take Visa?"

Washington Opened The Gates Of Hell In Iraq: Now Come The Furies

Tyler Durden's picture

The late, great critic of the American Imperium, Chalmers Johnson, popularized the salient concept of “blowback”. That is, the notion that if you bomb, drone, invade, desecrate and slaughter - collaterally or otherwise - a people and their lands, they might find ways to return the favor.
But even Johnson could not have imagined the kind of blowback coming ferociously Washington’s way now. Namely, the mayhem being visited on much of Iraq by American tanks, armored personnel carriers, heavy artillery, anti-aircraft batteries and other advanced weaponry that has fallen into the hands of the very jihadist radicals that have been the ostensible target of Washington’s entire multi-trillion “war on terrorism”.
No question about it. The ISIS terrorists are winning against the hapless Iraqi military and even the formidable Kurdish peshmerga fighters - using some of the most lethal arms that the US military-industrial complex could concoct.
Yes, that wasn’t supposed to happen. During the bloody years after George W. Bush declared “mission accomplished” the Iraqi’s were ostensibly provided the arms and training to provide for their own defense. The American “occupation”, therefore, was really not all that. Instead, it was actually an exercise in “nation-building” that would bequeath to the people Washington had “liberated”  a self-governing democracy equipped with the means to insure internal order and external security. Washington politicians—including President Obama—gave endless speeches about that. You can look them up!
Except…except….Iraq was never a nation. At least the Ottoman’s knew that you don’t put Shiite’s, Sunni and Kurds in the same parliament or police force, and most certainly not the same army!
By contrast, it was the British and French foreign offices which in 1916 drew the Sykes-Picot boundaries and created the historical illusion that a nation called Iraq actually existed. And it was their successors in the west which installed a series of corrupt and brutal rulers, including kings, generals and Saddam Hussein himself, who maintained an always tentative and frequently blood-soaked semblance of governance within these artificial borders.
Then came the neo-cons who for no discernible reason of national security could not leave well enough alone. By god, they were going to have regime change, a stable supplier of 6 million barrels of oil per day, and a stalwart ally armed to the teeth on the very doorstep of the Axis-Of-Evil; that is, the Iranian Shiite theocracy which happened to be religious kin to the single largest block of the Iraqi population.
What these fools did was to open the gates of hell. The end result of Washington’s 20-year campaign to liberate Iraq, beginning with the first gulf war and followed by the devastating trade sanctions of the 1990s and the brutal desecrations of Bush II’s “shock and awe” and all the military mayhem which followed, was to aggravate, widen and mobilize all of the latent ethnic and religious conflicts and enmities that had been bottled up for decades inside the Sykes-Picot illusion.
Now the furies have come. Ironically, the bloodthirsty ISIS is comprised of fighters who were first enabled by the misbegotten Bush maneuver known as the “surge”; then armed and trained by the CIA for the campaign against Assad;  and now brandish the best weapons that any ramshackle jihadist group ever had.
And yet America’s “peace” President is sending the bombers back in because there is a “humanitarian crisis” involving a religious sect no American has ever heard of, stranded on a mountain top that has nothing to do with the security and safety of the citizens of Lincoln NE and Spokane WA.
Has not the American war machine turned the entirety of Mesopotamia and the Levant into a humanitarian crisis—of which this is only a tiny manifestation? Isn’t it time to at least stop fueling the blowback?

As Obama Launches Another Iraq Assault, Here Is An Undercover Look Inside ISIS

Tyler Durden's picture

While the biggest geopolitical news of the past week was Obama's announcement he would become only the fourth president in a row to order military action in Iraq, explicitly targeting the ISIS jihadists, the far bigger question are the developments that spurred the administration to finally act.
The NYT reports that "as the tension mounted in Washington" the catalyst for Obama's decision was sudden developments surrounding the Kurdistan capital, Erbil. "Kurdish forces who had been fighting the militants in three nearby Christian villages abruptly fell back toward the gates of the city, fanning fears that the city might soon fall. By Thursday morning, people were thronging the airport, desperate for flights out of town. "The situation near Erbil was becoming more dire than anyone expected," said a senior administration official, speaking on the condition of anonymity to describe the White House’s internal deliberations. “We didn’t want another Benghazi."
The reason for this is that the US has an embassy in Erbil: that falling to ISIS would be the supreme punch in the gut for an administration whose foreign policy has become the butt of all global jokes. What's worse, now that ISIS had taken control of a critical dam in Mosul (which as we reported earlier controls water levels on the Tigris levels as far as Baghdad, and whose capture "shook Kurdish officials and fueled the sense of crisis" as it gave ISIS all of the leverage) the US embassy could be flooded should ISIS blow up the dam in question.
In other words, Obama merely took to arms after the threat of another massive foreign humiliation became all too real and when the reality that the Kurdish defense was about to fall. Of course, the actual stated reason for intervention was different, a far more noble one.
At a 90-minute meeting in the Situation Room on Thursday morning, Mr. Obama was briefed again about the plight of the Iraqis stranded on Mount Sinjar. Members of an ancient religious sect known as Yazidi, they were branded as devil worshipers by the militants. The women were to be enslaved; the men were to be slaughtered.

Officials told Mr. Obama there was a real danger of genocide, under the legal definition of the term. “While we have faced difficult humanitarian challenges, this was in a different category,” said an official. “That kind of shakes you up, gets your attention.”

At 11:20 a.m., Mr. Obama left the meeting to travel to Fort Belvoir, Va., where he signed a bill expanding health care for veterans. He had all but made up his mind to authorize airstrikes, officials said, and while he was away, his team drafted specific military options.

When the president returned to the White House barely an hour later, he went back into meetings with his staff. By then, there were news reports of airdrops and possible strikes. But the White House “hunkered down,” an official said, refusing to comment on the reports for fear of endangering a nighttime airdrop over Mount Sinjar.

Mr. Obama did not announce the operations until dawn had broken in Iraq, a delay of several hours that added to the panic in Erbil. Reports of explosions near the city at dusk on Thursday night sowed confusion after Kurdish officials said the United States had begun airstrikes on the militants. The Pentagon flatly denied the reports.
The rest is now well-known (the full breakdown can be found here), and culminated with Obama's Thursday announcement as well as the immediate launch of bombing raids on ISIS militants.
Here is the most recent Iraq situation report courtesy of the Institute for the Study of War.
Within the past 24 hours, ISIS seized Mosul Dam. This capture provides ISIS strategic advantage over the Iraqi state. The dam's collapse would severely damage vast areas of the country where ISIS seeks to achieve military victory but has encountered heavy resistance. Also, ISIS now controls electricity production to Mosul and the group extends its claimed territory farther north. ISIS continues to fight the Peshmerga in Makhmour, south of Mosul and the IA in Dhuluiya, north of Baghdad. Although the United States conducted two rounds of targeted airstrikes against ISIS held territory outside of Arbil and Mosul, it remains too early to determine whether or not the group will adjust its military strategy. ISIS is likely hardening territorial boundaries for the Islamic Caliphate east of Mosul, but ISW assess ISIS will not attempt to seize Erbil. Still, fear of an ISIS attack on Erbil has peaked.
So now that the attention is once again back to ISIS, whose dramatic success in forming the caliphate was lost to the world following the return of hostilities in Ukraine and the escalation of the second Cold War, here are, courtesy of Vice News, the first two parts of a series looking at life in the Islamic State caliphate. Vice News reporter Medyan Dairieh spent three weeks embedded with the Islamic State, gaining access to the group in Iraq and Syria as the first and only journalist to document its inner workings.
In part 1, Dairieh heads to the frontline in Raqqa, where Islamic State fighters are laying siege to the Syrian Army’s division 17 base.


Anti War.....

Obama Expands Iraq War, Draws Red Line Around Baghdad

White House Talks Up Additional Military Support for Iraq

by Jason Ditz, August 08, 2014
The Thursday night announcement that the Obama Administration had approved airstrikes in Iraq was followed up by attacks Friday morning, hitting multiple ISIS targets. Multiple rounds of airstrikes have officials already talking up the expansion of the war.
First couched as simply about protecting US troops inside Irbil from the “deteriorating situation,” the administration is now saying they’ll use air strikes not only to protect the Kurdish capital of Irbil, but Baghdad as well, drawing yet another red line to ensure growing US involvement in the war against ISIS.
The direct US insinuation of itself into the latest Iraq War has also got officials talking up sending even more military equipment to the Iraqi military, and also providing direct military support for Iraqi forces.
The administration is still trying to present the plans for growing intervention as “limited” military operations, both in scope and in timeframe, though tellingly they have dodged all questions about how long the operation will last, what the endgame is, and even what the scope will ultimately be.
Instead, officials continue to work at selling the war to the public as a reaction to new situations on the ground in Iraq, despite months of buildup in anticipation of exactly the air war the US “suddenly” finds itself in. Genocide and humanitarian intervention have become the new watchwords, and officials say the action was meant to prevent “another Benghazi.
Yet the Benghazi situation was a function of leaving a consulate open in a profoundly unsafe city. While the administration has presented both Baghdad and Irbil as potentially just as unsafe, nowhere was serious consideration apparent of closing the consulate or the embassy, and instead the administration chose to escalate the war.
Ultimately, President Obama drew a red line around Irbil in his announced air war, and drew another on Baghdad today to escalate it. The policy seems to be presenting whatever level of war currently ongoing as the bare minimum, while constantly shifting it toward a greater US involvement in hostilities.

Planes, Ships, and Drones: US Quickly Building Up Iraq Air War

15,000 Ground Troops Could Be Needed to Support Conflict

by Jason Ditz, August 08, 2014
For an “emergency” war hastily announced late Thursday night, the US had a remarkably large military presence in Iraq by Friday morning. 108 warplanes, 8 ships,including the USS George H. W. Bush aircraft carrier, and Predator drones are all involved in this new air war.
It was only a matter of a few hours between President Obama saying he had authorized airstrikes to protect US troops in Irbil and the Pentagon announcing they were attacking ISIS artillerythat had putatively fired “near” those troops.
Which was a big reason for putting the troops in Irbil and Baghdad in the first place. The tiny “advisory” forces were chiefly to wait there, as sitting ducks, while the massive naval and air force, positioned off the Iraqi coast for weeks, waited for an opportunity to “save” them by joining the war.
That off-the-coast force included some 2,000 US Marines, supposedly there in case they had to evacuate the embassy in Baghdad or secure the airport. Now, with the air war already underway, they are instead waiting for an escalation to ground operations.
They may not have to wait long. Sustaining the huge air war is going to require between 10,000 and 15,000 troops, just for support, and troops beside that to protect the support force. The administration may be pushing the notion they’re playing this by ear and reacting to situations on the ground, but the war was laid out long ago.

( Obama swears no ground troops - but watch that promise be broken... ) 

Obama says no US solution to Iraq's crisis

US president says no troops will be deployed but air strikes against Islamic State group will continue "if necessary".

Last updated: 09 Aug 2014 13:09
Barack Obama, the US president, has said he will not allow his country to be dragged into another war in Iraq, making it clear that American combat troops will not return to fight in the country.
Speaking in his weekly address on Saturday, Obama vowed to continue air strikes against self-declared jihadists in northern Iraq "if necessary" to protect US diplomats and military advisers.
US fighter jets have bombed positions of the Islamic State group near the city of Erbil, the capital of the Kurdish region, an assault that would allow the federal and Kurdish governments to claw back areas lost in two months of conflict.

"I will not allow the United States to be dragged into fighting another war in Iraq. American combat troops will not be returning to fight in Iraq, because there’s no American military solution to the larger crisis there," Obama said.
The US president's order for the first air strikes on the embattled country since he put an end to US occupation in 2011 came after fighters from the Islamic State group made massive gains on the ground, seizing a major dam and forcing a mass exodus of religious minorities.
The Pentagon on Friday said US forces bombed an artillery position after the Islamic State attacked Kurdish regional government forces who are defending Erbil.
Hours later, it said a drone destroyed a mortar position and jets hit a seven-vehicle convoy belonging to the Islamic State with eight laser-guided bombs.
The US operation began with air drops of food and water for thousands of people hiding from the group in a barren northern mountain range.
The UK is also delivering aid and has announced it is sending medics to northern Iraq.
Many people who have been cowering in the Sinjar mountains for five days in searing heat and with no supplies are Yazidis, a minority that follows a 4,000-year-old faith.
RELATED: Iraqi Yazidis - 'If we move they will kill us'
Late Friday, the Pentagon said that cargo planes escorted by combat jets made a second air drop of food and water to "thousands of Iraqi citizens" threatened by the fighters on Sinjar mountain.
Obama accused the Islamic State group, which calls Yazidis "devil-worshippers", of attempting "the systematic destruction of the entire people, which would constitute genocide".
Washington's 'broader strategy'
The UN said it was "urgently preparing a humanitarian corridor".
Displaced Iraqis seek refuge in Erbil
Kurdish peshmerga forces, short of ammunition and stretched thin along a huge front, had been forced to retreat in the face of brazen assaults by the Islamic State.
Their withdrawal from the Christian heartland on Wednesday and Thursday sparked a mass exodus - 100,000 people according to Iraq's Chaldean patriarch - and spurred Western powers into action.
"Fighters captured US-made weapons as Kurdish troops withdrew from various regions. Washington also wants to address that," Al Jazeera’s Jane Arraf, reporting from Erbil, said.
In his address, Obama laid out Washington's "broader strategy" in Iraq:
"We will protect our citizens. We will work with the international community to address this humanitarian crisis. We’ll help prevent these terrorists from having a permanent safe haven from which to attack America. And we’ll continue to urge Iraqi communities to reconcile," he said.

Obama came to office determined to end US military involvement in Iraq, and in his first term oversaw the withdrawal of the huge ground force deployed there since the 2003 American-led invasion.
But the capture of huge swathes of land by the Islamic State group, who in late June proclaimed a "caliphate" straddling Syria and Iraq, has brought a country already rife with sectarian tension closer to collapse.
Al Jazeera and agencies

In a statement made Thursday night, President Obama said he has authorized military strikes on Islamic State militants if they continue their advancement on the city of Irbil, where military personnel and the U.S. consulate are located. (AP)
 August 8 at 2:22 PM

PRESIDENT OBAMA was right to order military action to prevent a potential genocide in northern Iraq and to stop forces of the al-Qaeda-derived Islamic State from advancing on Baghdad or the Kurdish capital of Irbil. However, the steps the president authorized on Thursday amount to more of his administration’s half-measures, narrowly tailored to this week’s emergency and unconnected to any coherent strategy to address the conflagration spreading across the Middle East.
While U.S. airstrikes and drops of supplies may prevent the terrorist forces from massacring the Yazidi sect or toppling the pro-Western regime in Kurdistan, Mr. Obama lacks a plausible plan for addressing the larger threat posed by the Islamic State. In recent weeks, senior U.S. officials have described the danger in hair-curling terms: The Islamic State forces, which have captured large numbers of U.S.-supplied heavy weapons, threaten not only the Iraqi and Kurdish governments, but also Lebanon, Turkey and Jordan. With hundreds of Western recruits, they have the ambition and capability to launch attacks against targets in Europe and the United States.
Yet by the White House’s own account, the measures ordered by Mr. Obama are not intended to defeat the Islamic State or even to stop its bloody advances in most of the region. Instead they are limited to protecting two cities where U.S. personnel are stationed and one mass of refugees. The hundreds of thousands of people in Syria, Lebanon and elsewhere threatened by the al-Qaeda forces will receive no U.S. protection. Nor will the terrorists’ hold over the areas they already control, including the large city of Mosul and nearby oil fields, be tested by U.S. airpower.
U.S. officials say that Mr. Obama has refrained from a broader campaign because he believes the Islamic State is “an Iraqi responsibility,” as Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel put it. The administration is pushing Iraq’s political factions, sharply divided along sectarian lines, to join in forming a new government; once such a government is formed, Mr. Obama said, “the United States will work with it and other countries in the region to provide increased support.”



Iraq's tells Grand Ayatollah Sistani to back off

 Retweeted by 
Interpreting POTUS: If targeted air strikes don't stop , Yezidis in trouble - that is limit of US effort to prevent genocide 1/2

 Retweeted by 
Interpreting POTUS: If US personnel weren't in Erbil, US mil effort may not be happening. What lesson will Middle East take from that? 2/2

ISIS video of its recent ops in Nīnewah, at 4:09-on appears to show Mosul dam, not the regulating dam shown earlier:

 Retweeted by 
Daily Updates from : 09 August 2014. Insurgents gained control over four areas near .

Association of Muslim Scholars in strongly condemns recent strikes and also attacks on

Watched Sunnis being massacred in since 2003 and all of a sudden the Americans came back to save the now..

If this is the case then they deserve to be protected just like the .. calls Sunnis of a 'minority'!!

Islamist rebels repairing Mosul dam, Kurds in rush to arms via

issues a ultimatum to Yezidi residents in two villages near Tilqasab — either convert or face death.

Still from footage of yesterday's US F/A-18 Hornet airstrikes near Khazir checkpoint 35km from Erbil:

Stills from ISIS video show ISIS control over Mosul regulating dam 15km south from the main Mosul dam complex:

la progressione dell'Isis

grafico sulla battaglia di Sinjar

"A Lockheed Martin factory that manufactures Hellfire missiles has been operating 7 days a week to provide weapons for Iraq and Kurdish"

Speaker of Kurdistan’s Parliament urges world leaders to assist KRG in dealing with militants, and says it...

Wise.. Defense Minister: We do not have plans to intervene in ..

Reports of intense clashes between Sadr militia and militia in Sadr city..

ISIS advertises its control over Qara Qosh, Tall Kayf and captured IP and Pesh/Zerevani vehicles and equipment:

Acc to the ISIS penetrated north to Shaykhān 40km NE of Mosul near al-Qosh:

Mayor of confirmed our () story from yesterday about hundreds of women/girls being taken captive by as slaves

. exactly right! 12,000 scarecrow-like Turkmen still trapped by ISIS in Amerli 8 weeks into siege as relief efforts fade 1/2

There is no coherent policy to destroy IS(IS) that a) isn't a VERY long slog, b) involves U.S. troops on the ground or c) both

. exactly right! 12,000 scarecrow-like Turkmen still trapped by ISIS in Amerli 8 weeks into siege as relief efforts fade 1/2

U.S. launches 3 airstrikes; officials say involvement will be limited

 Retweeted by Memlik Pasha
This is what the US bombed in Iraq on Day 1