September 5th Iraq SITREP by Mindfriedo: Infighting begins...
Short Analysis: I put this on top because I feel it is very, very important. It talks about the escape of a Shia recruit from Daash in Tikrit during the Spykar base massacre by playing dead. His captors are merciless takfiris, who don't think twice about killing the Shia. The beginning of his account is depressing and tragic, but what he talks about later is nothing short of amazing and touching. Sunni families give this Shia boy shelter, fear for their lives and guide him to another Sunni Tribe. There they help him hide, feed him, provide him with fake identification, and secure him to the north. They have done this for a number of Shia men, running an Underground Railroad. These are honourable people, honourable Arabs, honourable Muslims, honourable Sunnis, honourable Iraqis. These are the people who will build Iraq and who are, in my opinion, loved by God: http://www.ndtv.com/article/world/a-great-will-to-live-how-one-man-survived-an-islamic-state-massacre-586566?pfrom=home-topstories
4th Sep: Hadi Al Ameri, Minister of Transport in the earlier Iraqi Government and head of the Badr Organization that had mobilised its forces to fight Daash, states that the Peshmergas are not a constitutional entity, and that they need to withdraw from all areas that are disputed between Iraq and Iraqi Kurdistan. He states that he will work with the Iraqi Army to make sure that Baghdad controls these areas including Kirkuk. The Kurdistan Regional Government has stated that it will not withdraw from any of its positions nor that it had any plans to do so. 4th Sep: A car bombing in the north of Baghdad, Kadhimiya suburb, kills 9 people and leaves 45 others injured. A second car bombing hits Baghdad's Sadoun Street killing one and injuring 10 4th Sep: A car bombing in Ramadi targets Iraqi troops, kills one soldier and injured two. It was a suicide car bombing targeting an Iraqi army armoured personnel carrier. 4th Sep: A car bomb in Kirkuk goes off outside a shop selling alcohol; casualties unknown. 4th Sep: Syrian national and assistant to Baghdadi, Abu Hajer, is killed in a government air strike in Mosul. 4th Sep: Anders Fogh Rasmussen, Secretary General of NATO States that it will consider any request for assistance made by Iraq. 4th Sep: Interpol picks up a wanted individual in Erbil Iraqi Kurdistan. The individual is wanted for drug trafficking. 4th Sep: The Iraqi Ministry of Justice announces plans to extend amnesty to prisoners that had escaped Badush prison in Mosul. The prison had been stormed by Daash. Many prisoners are reported to be turning themselves in. 4th Sep: Ashti Hawrami, Minster of Natural Resources in Iraqi Kurdistan, States that the damaged caused to Baiji refinery by Daash fighters will take over a year to fix. 4th Sep: Iraq and BP sign a fresh deal over the Rumaila Gas Fields. The production of the giant fields is expected to fall to 2.1 million bpd from the current 2.85 bpd. 4th Sep: Profiting from Misery: Turkey announces that it has received more than 10 million barrels of crude oil from Kurdistan. 4th Sep: Ibrahim Al Jaafari, President of the National Alliance, is tipped to become the next Vice President of Iraq. 5th Sep: Al Manar is reporting an attempted deal where Israel tried to pay a 10 million USD ransom for Steven Sotloff: http://www.almanar.com.lb/english/adetails.php?eid=169321&cid=41&fromval=1&frid=41&seccatid=101&s1=0 5th Sep: Hoshyar Zebari, Iraq's Outgoing Foreign Minister, clarifies that there are no Iranian troops in Iraq. 5th Sep: Daash executes three women in Mosul 5th Sep: A car bomb outside Speicher Base targeting a military convoy kills 3 soldiers and injures 9 others 5th Sep: The Iraqi Army is preparing a major push for Northern Mosul 5th Sep: A mortar attack on Northern Baghdad leaves 2 dead and 5 injured 5th Sep: A loosing Daash, loosing its appeal: Indian authorities return 4 engineering students/dropouts who planned to travel to Iraq and fight for Daash to their families. The students claim they were influenced by propaganda online.
President Barack Obama and British PM David Cameron are pushing the NATO summit to embrace the new war on ISIS in Iraq and Syria, insisting anyone who opposes this conflict is an “isolationist.”
The two published an opinion piece in today’s Times of London pushing for escalations of the war as a way to “strengthen” NATO as an alliance, and claiming ISIS is a threat to both US and British national interests.
Absent from the piece is that the ISIS threats to retaliate have picked up pace mostly as the US has begun and escalated its own airstrikes against ISIS targets in Iraq, and as Britain itself moves closer into the war.
NATO hasn’t officially announced its position on the war, but Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen isn’t the international community has “an obligation to stop ISIS from advancing.”
At the same time, Rasmussen insisted no request was yet made for NATO involvement in the war, though it seems like Obama and Cameron are moving very close to making such a request.
Officials have repeatedly overstated the scope of threats in the buildup to war, but Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel’s claims yesterday of “more than 100” American fighters for ISIS may take the cake.
Pentagon officials today offered a “clarification” of Hagel’s comments, which is to say a total contradiction, which claimed the US believes there are “maybe a dozen” Americans actually fighting for ISIS.
The Pentagon claimed Hagel’s comments were a reference to US assessments that there are around 100 people with American passports inside of Syria. That, of course, doesn’t mean they all joined ISIS.
Rather, the estimate would include everyone in Syria, whether there for business, visiting family, providing aid for displaced people, or fighting for some faction or another. Presumably that number even included the recently killed American hostages, who surely were not ISIS members.
The estimates from different Western nations have often varied wildly depending on who is talking and who the target audience is. The truth of the matter is that officials don’t seem to have a good idea at all who is a member of ISIS and who isn’t.
Hawkishness toward ISIS has become fashionable these days among US politicians, and even the ever-escalating war against ISIS in Iraq, and talks of expanding it into Syria, aren’t nearly enough for many Congressmen’s tastes.
Four different House committees are expected to hold hearings next week on ISIS, and Rep. McCarthy insisted that they needed to come up with a “concise foreign policy doctrine” for the war.
Congress may try to authorize expansions of the ISIS conflict as a way to try to escalate the war faster than the administration planned, but on the surface, it doesn’t appear that there is any way to “force” the president to escalate the war with such resolutions.