Iraqi government ‘made a mistake’ by attacking Mosul before capturing Isis sanctuaries

 

Endgames: inside Iraq In his second dispatch, Patrick Cockburn speaks with the Governor of Kirkuk, who says Isis will survive fall of Iraqi city because it can still find support among displaced Sunni Arabs

The Iraqi government made a mistake that will allow Isis to survive by seeking to capture Mosul before eliminating other Isis safe havens in northern and western Iraq to which its fighters can retreat, according to a senior Iraqi leader.

“It would have been better first to eliminate Daesh (Isis) sanctuaries to which they can retreat when Mosul falls,” says Najmaldin Karim, the Governor of the oil province of Kirkuk, in an interview with The Independent . He says that half of Kirkukuk province is still held by Isis and cited, in particular, the Hawija area, a notorious stronghold south west of Kirkuk city of Isis and previously of al-Qaeda in Iraq.

Iraqis in general are wondering if the long-delayed capture of Mosul will prove to be a decisive defeat for Isis and the self-declared Caliphate or will it return to guerrilla warfare and terrorism. Mr Karim believes that it will not be able to capture territory as it once did, but it will go on fighting. There has been an upsurge in pin-prick Isis attacks in places that has been quiet over the last year.

Mr Karim says that not only does Isis still have sanctuaries, but it can draw on a disaffected Sunni Arab population who have been displaced by the war. He points out that in Kirkukuk province alone “there are 500,000 Sunni Arabs who had to leave their homes and are not being allowed to return”.Most come from Baghdad and the provinces around it from which the Sunni have been forced to flee by Shia militia, the Hashd al-Shaabi, and the Shia-dominated security forces. He said that 200,000 people who came from solidly Sunni towns and villages were being allowed to go back, but not the larger number who came from previously mixed communities of Sunni and Shia.

The great majorities were displaced when Isis began a series of offensives in early 2014 which culminated in the fall of Mosul in June and brought Isis fighters to within an hour’s drive of Baghdad at the height of their success. Isis has since lost much, but by no means all, of the territory that it then then was largely owned by Sunni Arabs.

Isis terrorist tactics, and especially the thousands of suicide bombing attacks on Shia civilians, provoked sectarian hatred or at least deep suspicion directed against Sunni Arabs on the part of Shia, Yazidis and Christians that has not dissipated. These atrocities are still continuing.

“There is no reconciliation [between Sunni and Shia],” says Mr Karim and this provides fertile ground for Isis to recruit fighters. The number of these may be growing in places like Hawija and Tal Afar west of Mosul as Isis loses ground elsewhere. He adds that “the Prime Minister [Haider al-Abadi] issues directives saying that places have been liberated and their people can go home, but nothing happens.” He suggested that the motive was “to make these areas pure” or, in other Words, cleansed of Sunni Arabs who might support Isis or some similar militarised Sunni fundamentalist movement.

“Mosul is a mess,” says Mr Karim, referring to the deep divisions between Sunni, Shia, Kurds, Yazidis and Shabak as well as interference by outside powers such a Turkey. Once Isis is defeated in the city, then each will demand a cut of the cake or a restoration of their previous position. “When I was student in Mosul [in the 1960s] the city was 40 per cent Kurdish, but they all had to get out,” says Mr Karim.

A problem in Iraq is that reconciliation will require reconstruction of wrecked Sunni cities and towns and this is not happening in Fallujah and Ramadi. Not only is the Iraqi government corrupt and dysfunctional, but it is very short of money because of the fall in the price of oil and the cost of the war. “It only just has enough money to pay salaries and pensions,” says Mr Karim. “There is nothing left for rebuilding. We have not received any money for this from Baghdad since 2014. “

The decision to attack Mosul first before mopping up several other areas with a strong Isis presence was greatly an American one. Previously senior Iraqi officials had spoken of a low approach. But the campaign to capture Mosul has been very much a US organized operation, though US generals have tried to give the impression that they are in a supporting role. The US also created the political conditions for an offensive, by brokering an agreement between the autonomous Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), which has strong military forces, and the Baghdad central government.

Baghdad and the Kurds have long been in dispute over a swathe of territory, which includes operating and potential oilfields, stretching across northern Iraq from the Syrian to the Iranian frontier. The Arab-Kurdish confrontation, which had at times come close to a shooting war prior to the rise of Isis in 2014 has hitherto been out to one side.

But this forced collaboration may seem as fear of Isis subsides.There was a large crowd of Iraqi media and officials outside Mr Karim’s office on Tuesday as the red, white and green Kurdish flag was officially unfurled beide the flag of Iraq for the first time in Kirkuk, which is the most important of the disputed territories. Mr Karim played down the immediate significance of the flag raising, but it is clear evidence that as the Isis threat subsides, even if it does not disappear, Iraq remains a deeply divided country.

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Abadi’s strategic vision of our relationship with America

 


Author: Abdel Halim Rahimi

29/3/2017 12:00 am

The article, written by Prime Minister Dr. Haider al-Abadi in the widely circulated Washington Post, completed the formulation of his strategic vision of the long-term partnership between Iraq and the United States based on the desire and interests of the two countries. He also said during his meeting with US President Trump In which he referred to the foundations and pillars on which this relationship will be based. He also referred to this in his speech and his dialogue with the American Institute for Peace and with the large group of American companies and investment institutions.
The article, which was published after the end of the visit to Washington to culminate in the depth of this vision to Abadi as an outcome of intensive meetings and meetings in Washington and determined what should be the strategic relationship between Iraq and the United States through the establishment of equal partnership between them.
It should be said here that this strategic vision important for the future of Iraq’s relationship with Washington is not limited to the current and urgent demands to support the war effort of Iraq in various forms of support as he fought a cruel war against a terrorist organization, but far exceeded by clarifying the nature and content of the broad partnership and Various fields between the two countries.
Contrary to what some see as the interests of Iraq require the establishment of an alliance with the United States, or rely on a guarantor state (such as the United States) for Iraq’s security and sovereignty and reconstruction, the strategic vision of Abadi established the relationship with Washington that it is based on a strategic partnership with it, And this vision was expressed at the beginning of the desire of the Iraqi and American sides to achieve it through the confirmation first in the final statement issued after the end of the summit of Abadi -Tramb referred to by Abadi meetings in Washington and then completed clarification of the pillars Ha and its content in the article he wrote in The Washington Post.
Most of the local media stopped when Abadi said in his article that “his government is striving to establish an independent and impartial judicial system that applies the law without bias or favoritism.” In this article, Al-Abbadi explained the nature of the foundations of this partnership, which reflects his vision, which is clearly expressed in the introduction to his article and in his last line. In the introduction to this article: (We want and want a partnership that includes political and diplomatic cooperation, defense, security, culture and education). “Together with our international partners, we will work to build a new Iraq that embodies the Iraqis’ dream of the opportunity to live in dignity and build a better life for our children,” said Abadi. For themselves a country like this and with their help and good intentions we will build our country just as they built their own country. In order not to remain in the desire to establish strategic relations and partnership with the basic states, just hopes and wishes, Abadi identified in his article what is required of the forms of support and cooperation and the multiplication of investment companies for its work in Iraq. “Today we ask the Americans to help us restore our country’s infrastructure and to partially diversify and privatize our economy. We need US investment to rebuild housing, hospitals, schools, sanitation facilities, streets, highways and bridges,” Trump said. We can also benefit from the expertise of the Americans to expand the ICT sectors and healthcare, as we need donors and partners to help us develop agriculture, petrochemicals and other industries. And others). It is clear by setting Abbadi’s forms of support, cooperation and genuine partnership with the United States that he wants to oblige the US side to perform well and to the highest level, contrary to the poor performance of Chinese companies and the poor Chinese goods (scrap), most of which have invaded Iraqi markets over the past decade.
Abadi explained his strategic vision of the current and future relations with the Americans and the bases of the basic partnership with them. He informed the American public and the American administration of the nature of this vision regarding the role of his current and future government to rebuild the Iraqi state on new bases. Which he intends to achieve in the future and clarify the moderate and balanced reconciling policy adopted by Iraq with the neighboring countries, especially the Gulf states, Iran and Turkey, and the emphasis on (ensuring that no one of his neighbors exercises influence beyond what is permissible for him, This is why we welcome continued US engagement in line with the Strategic Framework Agreement.
This vision of Dr. Abadi’s strategy of internal and external politics, especially the fundamental partnership with the United States to accelerate the liberation of Iraq from what is left to the existence of a direct and direct reconstruction of Iraq, is a mature and promising vision of a statesman. It is a vision that no one can deny its importance not only from its supporters, but also from its opponents and opponents, if they look at it objectively and impartially, as a vision for the benefit of Iraqis and Iraq.

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UN Secretary General to Visit Erbil

 

UN Secretary General to Visit Erbil

ERBIL — United Nations Secretary-general Antonio Guterres will visit Kurdistan Region in the near future to meet with President Barzani for “decisive discussions”, a source told BasNews.

Kurdistan Region’s Head of Foreign Relations Department, Falah Mustafa, told BasNews that there is no set schedule yet, but the Kurdish government is enthusiastic to host the UN Secretary General.

Concerning the possibility of discussions on Kurdish independence during Guterres’s visit to Kurdistan Region, Mustafa said it is primarily an issue between Erbil and Baghdad.

He further explained that the case of Kurdistan independence will go to the UN after a consensus is reached between KRG and the Iraqi central government.

The Kurdish official however was optimistic about the case, saying that the UN has previously showed support for Kurds on different occasions.

 

of Iraq announces liquidation of 28 terrorists ,including Bdaash Afar Front leaders

 

Iraq announces liquidation of 28 terrorists, including Bdaash Afar Front leaders
45 minutes ago

Twilight News / announced cell media war, the killing of 28 terrorists , including leaders Bdaash bombing in Tal Afar Nineveh.
According to a statement of the cell responded to Twilight News, that according to the Information and Intelligence Agency and the Federal Investigation carried Skoralqoh air several blows resulted Amayle:
1-destroying Walker security continued to elements Daesh with damaged all weapons inside the den , including gun unilateral type and killed five terrorists, including a leader of the one prominent security elements have Aldoaash in Tal Afar
2. destruction plant booby – trapping the wheels with the killing of 15 terrorists , mostly foreigners , were inside with damaged large quantities of weapons and burning the remaining of the materials and jerrycans bombs with the destruction of the wheel was inside , in the district of Tal Afar – village Hassanuki
3. destroy Walker operations The And lived with booby – trapping the plant and damaged large quantities of weapons were inside the plant and killed approximately 18 terrorists in Tal Afar

 

Parliamentary Finance denies put 150 thousand dinars category by the Central

follow-up ..

Finance Committee in parliament, denied on Saturday put 150 thousand dinars category by the Central Bank of Iraq, pointing out that the bank is considering asking 100 thousand Danar.oukal category Committee rapporteur Ahmed Haji in a press statement that he “was not talking so far put on a class 150 000 dinars, by the Central Bank of Iraq. “he added Haji, that” it was a proposal of 100 thousand dinars category by the bank which is under study, “noting that” what Matrouh so far is the currency of the category of 50 thousand dinars has been pumped into the market at a rate of 5 trillion Dinar”

 

Abadi meets a number of Arab presidents on the sidelines of the Arab summit meetings

 

Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi discussed with Lebanese President Michel Aoun bilateral relations and means of developing them in all fields.

The two sides praised the victories made by the Iraqi security forces in their war against a terrorist organization, stressing the importance of uniting efforts to eliminate an organization that is finally calling for the terrorist, Abadi’s office said in a statement.

Abadi also met Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi and discussed with him the strengthening of bilateral relations between Baghdad and Cairo. Special sources for the change said that Abadi would also meet with Yemeni President Mansour Hadi before the Arab summit meetings in the Dead Sea area of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. Arab Iraq in recent times and the Arab consensus to support Iraq in its war against terrorism.

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“Collector caliphate” another goal in the new military plan

 

"Caliphate mosque," another goal in the new military plan
36 minutes ago

Shafaq News / The past few days provide the Iraqi police snipers stationed on top of residential buildings were bombed overlooking the western Mosul, a few hundred meters from the mosque, which declared him the leader of the Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi Daesh his succession almost three years before the distance.

The soldiers can through holes in the walls to see the minaret of the Mosque of Al-Nouri structure oblique and black banner of the organization Daesh on the edge of the white lighthouse. The mosque holds the target is highly symbolic in the battle of the restoration of Mosul, which has now entered the sixth month.

Nouri mosque may be close to the point of alluring but coherent fighting highly risky in the alleys of the old city of Mosul near the mosque and reports of heavy casualties after air strike imposed on the Iraqi leaders and the leaders of the coalition to change methods.

Witnesses said the new connector western district of Mosul, Iraqi officials said this week that coalition air strike a week ago on the goals for the organization Daesh may have caused the collapse of homes, rescue officials say that up to 200 people buried under the rubble.

There were conflicting accounts. But if you make sure this happens, this will be one of the worst massacres since the invasion led by the United States in 2003, while the Iraqi Shiite-led government is trying to avoid angering the population of Mosul, most of them Sunnis.

The battle around the old city and showed it already has Iraqi and coalition forces were forced to rethink how incursion across the densely populated narrow streets where residents say the militants use them as shields.

Says Sergeant Hasan Iraqi police sniper while watching a maze of houses at the bottom “We know that when the fall of the mosque would be the end of the caliphate … but we try to protect families first started out.”

Reimburse the restoration of Mosul, a major blow to Daesh while increasing preparations to retrieve the key regulator base in the Syrian tenderness. Iraqi special forces and encircle and federal police forces and Kurdish factions and the Shiite militants in Mosul Daesh and cut roads to Syria.

Iraqi anti-terrorism forces backed by coalition forces led by Washington and succeeded in restoring eastern Mosul by January. Since then, troops seized control of the machine and the federal police and rapid reaction forces on half the west side of Mosul approx.

In areas controlled by the organization Daesh residents talking about the remaining militants, some of whom have undergone good preparation for foreigners and others are Iraqis. They say they are being forced residents to leave their homes and demolish walls to dig tunnels and families ordering them to regress or Aguetadunha to buildings called them fighters fire on the soldiers.

Walid says one of the residents who fled from the area near the old city “walking around motorcycles in search of high buildings on the sites and they have tunnels between the houses … I saw Russia knew the accent … he spoke little Arabic.”

It remains militants pose a danger even when retreating. Two suicide bombers have attacked an armored bulldozer barriers Army two weeks ago and blew the vehicle loaded with explosives to destroy the Humvees and Abrams tanks at one of the sites.

But the coalition led by the United States says he is weakest owned Daesh of weapons so he jammed on the small drones used by to drop ammunition and the latest holes in the ways in which leaders believe that suicide bombers would use them to target military sites and targets crews fired mortars.

* Ancient alleys

In recent battles around the Old City of soldiers describing the tough clashes from street to street in the destroyed buildings where they are clearing the narrow alleys typically using grenades. Clog the streets guarded by sand berms tank crews and soldiers Suppliers missiles, shoulder-mounted to deal with suicide bombers.

Then comes the old city of Mosul dating back to the Assyrian empire, which tells the alleys and streets and walls of castles and tales of Romania and the Ottoman and Persian invasions. Even born there say they got lost at times.

Said Abu Tayyip officer of the Federal Police, who were covered by the amount of ammunition “Sometimes we do not see the enemy face to face … I do not get into even smaller alleys. It’s very dangerous. Sometimes Evajionna surprise them sometimes.”

As a result of the nature of the ground and the risk of further civilian casualties it had to be a rethink methods while Iraqi forces seeking to end the campaign of Mosul.

Brigadier General US Army said John Richardson, a commander allied Iraqi forces considering isolating the old city rather than fight through it with the opening of a second front to break up the ranks of militants and purge the rest of Mosul.

Richardson said, “know that the old city is the most important and know that they will be forced in the end to enter the cleared. Mosque symbolic significance.”

“I have faced some of the fiercest resistance but the issue is more than that of the enemy ground.”

Federal police and Iraqi army sources say that the initial plans include the closure of the old city and the evacuation of civilians so that the forces of the Iraqi counter-terrorism apparatus trained by the United States to play a greater role in incursions inside.

And it will force the involvement ninth band Army of North Daesh organize to fight on two fronts driving out militants from the old city, where leaders feared to undermine the civilian casualties, security and fueling sectarian tension that has helped the growth of Daesh.

* Halt air strikes

Hold new connector accident campaign already. The rescuers are still combing the blast March 17 the site where a health officials said 160 bodies have been recovered. Iraqi army says it has recovered 61 bodies so far.

Witnesses described a huge explosion, the cause of the collapse of buildings and burying people underneath but the cause of the explosion is unclear. The coalition said the US-led it to launch a strike on targets for Daesh the region but it is still investigating the matter.

The US Department of Defense at a later time it will not ease the rules of engagement in the war on regulation is that the resources available to verify the claims are limited.

The Iraqi army said Daesh Fajkh building crowded with civilians and shot him to call an air strike. However, he explained that there is no indication that the air strike hit a collapsed building. Other witnesses said that an air strike may hit the truck bomb exploded and destroyed nearby buildings.

Skeptical lawmakers a year in the campaign already. The Iraqi parliament speaker Salim al-Arabiya television that there will be more civilian casualties could lead to a cessation of operations until a way to protect the population.

The MP said the Mosul Knight Sangaree “the international community must intervene to save the connector from the blind aerial bombardment. Can not kill dozens of civilians just to kill a sniper and one of Daesh.”

Reuters