Monday, October 23, 2017

Seven Expert Opinions On The Kirkuk Crisis

In the after math of the September 2017 Kurdish independence referedum, Prime Minister Haidar Abadi demanded that the Kurds relinquish control of the areas it occupied in Kirkuk during the summer of 2014. This could have led to a war with the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) across northern Iraq. Instead, divisions within the two main Kurdish parties the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) and Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) led to the Peshmerga not only giving up the territory the premier demanded, but Kirkuk city and disputed areas they took in Diyala and Ninewa. There were some armed clashes as well. To try to give perspective to this shocking series of events are several experts giving their personal views.

This Day In Iraqi History - Oct 23

1918 Battle of Shirqat started as British forces moved north from Baghdad to
            confront Ottomans
1973 Baghdad ordered its units home in 1973 Arab-Israeli War
1977 Ayatollah Khomeini’s son Mustafa died in exile in Najaf Iranian secret police
            believed to be behind it
1980 US said Iran’s national integrity was threatened by Iraq Pres Carter was trying
            to get US hostages released by Iran
1996 PUK and KDP signed ceasefire brokered by US, UK and Turkey
1997 UN Resolution 1134 said that Iraq had to fully comply with weapons inspectors
            and condemned non-cooperation
1997 Were splits within UN security council over continued weapons inspections
2002 US and UK submitted draft resolution for new inspections in Iraq
2003 Madrid Conf began with 76 countries to garner international aid for Iraq
            Germany Russia France offered nothing having opposed war
2004 Al Qaeda in Iraq dressed as police took 49 Iraqi soldiers off bus and executed
            them in Diyala 

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Musings On Iraq In The News

I was quoted in "Iraqi Kurdistan in disarray after the loss of Kirkuk" by Paul Iddon in The New Arab.

This Day In Iraqi History - Oct 22

1965 Gen Nasser said he supported Iraqi govt against Mustafa Barzani’s Kurdish
1980 Iraqi forces surrounded and began siege of Abadan, Iran
1981 UN backed Islamic Conference Organization’s attempt to end Iran-Iraq War
2004 Sistani aide Safi in Friday sermon said voting in 2005 elections was a
            religious duty
2010 Wikileaks released thousands of classified US reports on Iraq 

Saturday, October 21, 2017

This Day In Iraqi History - Oct 21

1980 Iraqi forces reached city center in Khorramshahr, Iran
1991 Iraq told UN weapons inspectors it had program to build a nuclear bomb
1996 PUK backed by Iran recaptured most of territory it lost to KDP except Irbil
2002 Report Czech Pres Havel told White House 9/11 terrorist Atta did not meet
            with Iraq intelligence in Prague
2004 US soldier found guilty of abuse in Abu Ghraib prison scandal given 8 yrs in
2007 Maliki complained to US about Oct 20 US raid into Sadr City and wanted
            investigation into US abuses in Iraq
2011 US announced it would withdraw its forces from Iraq on Dec 31
2011 Obama told Maliki not getting stay behind US forces in Iraq was ok because US
            would still have influence
2014 New operation to try to clear Babil’s Jurf al-Sakhr started after Sep attempt failed

 View the Iraq History Timeline

Friday, October 20, 2017

Security In Iraq Oct 8-14, 2017

Iraq had another week of very low violence. There have been less than one hundred security incidents reported for the last eleven weeks. Casualties were high however as the government made a rare announcement of casualties from the Hawija operation.

This Day In Iraqi History – Oct 20

1980 US said Iraq invasion of Iran threatened security in Gulf and land should
            not be seized by force
1983 Iran launched Wa al-Fajr 4 in Kurdistan taking 25 mi of Iraqi land
1991 Report Saddam was arming PKK to fight Turkey
2000 British Foreign Office said wanted to offer end of sanctions to return inspectors
            but didn’t think US would agree
2002 Czech Intel told US no evidence 9/11 hijacker Atta met with Iraq intelligence
            in Prague
2004 Report Jan 03 Natl Intel Council warned building democracy in Iraq would be
            long difficult and turbulent
2004 Report Jan 03 Natl Intel Council warned that overthrowing Saddam could lead to
            ethnosectarian rivalries and power grabs in Iraq
2004 Transparency International ranked Iraq one of most corrupt countries in world
2005 One of Saddam’s lawyers kidnapped and killed
2007 US Special Forces raid into Sadr City hunting Special Groups led to huge
2015 Baiji town finally cleared

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Inside Iraq’s Oil Sector Interview With Gary Vogler

Gary Vogler worked extensively in Iraq’s oil sector starting in 2002 when he was recruited by the Pentagon to plan for postwar situations. That group was then folded into the Office for Reconstruction and Humanitarian Assistance (ORHA) and then the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA). Vogler would later work as a contractor and consultant in Iraq until 2015, and was involved in several major projects. He recently published a book about his experiences Iraq and the Politics of Oil, An Insider’s Perspective.

This Day In Iraqi History – Oct 19

1948 All Jewish Iraqi govt workers fired after creation of Israel
1958 Gen Bakr forced to retire after Col Arif lost power struggle with Gen Qasim
            within govt
1980 Saddam speech said Iraq couldn’t win war because outnumbered by Iran
2003 Powell said US had found evidence of Iraq’s WMD programs & that
            Saddam always wanted nuclear weapons
2004 Head of aid group Care was kidnapped in Baghdad Later killed by insurgents
2004 Iraq conspiracy theorist Mylroie wrote OpEd in NY Sun that Iraq was training
            foreigners to carry out terrorist attacks and working with Islamic groups
2005 Saddam’s trial started and pled his innocence
2005 Rice told about Senate Clear Hold Build counterinsurgency plan for Iraq Was not
            discussed with US military beforehand
2005 US Iraq Cmdr Gen Casey US Iraq Amb Khalizad later asked Rice
            what Clear Hold Build was & why not consulted
2005 Rumsfeld complained to Rice that he did not back Clear Hold Build and he
            was not consulted about it
2006 IED killed Amara police chief from Badr Police arrested brother of suspected
bomber from Mahdi Army 2 days of fighting started
2006 Mahdi Army stormed 3 police stations manned by Badr in Amara
2006 US general said Op Together Forward II failed to reduce violence in Baghdad
2006 US Iraq Cmdr Gen Casey US Amb Khalzad gave press conference saying
            Op Together Forward II in Baghdad working
- 2013 IS held parade in southern Fallujah

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Kurds Fall Back To 2014 Borders

For the second day, the Peshmerga continued to withdraw from territory they occupied during 2014. All did not go peacefully however as there was a short gun battle at Mosul Dam.