Monday, August 20, 2018

Musings On Iraq In The News

I was quoted by Paul Iddon in "What effect will a Hashd drawdown have on Nineveh?" for Rudaw, and mentioned by Josie Ensor, "Isil still has up to 30,000 members in Syria and Iraq, UN report finds" for The Telegraph.

Displacement In Iraq Drops Below 2 Million

The number of displaced in Iraq continued to decline. The total finally dipped below 2 million in July 2018. At the same time, the rate of people going home has been slowing down. That means the country could be heading towards a tipping point where this process largely ends.

This Day In Iraqi History - Aug 20

1974 Iraq deployed 84,000 troops and 20,000 Kurdish militia to fight KDP
1987 Dawa set off car bomb in Baghdad killing 20
1988 Ceasefire in Iran-Iraq War announced 350 UN peacekeepers deployed along
(Musings On Iraq interview with author Anthony Tucker-Jones on Iran-Iraq War)
(Musings On Iraq review The Iran-Iraq War 1980-1988)
(Musings On Iraq review Iran-Iraq War, The Lion of Babylon, 1980-1988)
(Musings On Iraq review The Iran-Iraq War)
1990 NSD 45 signed saying U.S. would get withdrawal of Iraq from Kuwait restore
            Kuwaiti govt restore security of Gulf protect U.S. citizens in Kuwait and Iraq
1991 Barzani left Baghdad effectively ending autonomy balks with Baghdad
1995 Iraq admitted to UN inspectors that its crash program to build a nuclear bomb
1996 PUK attacked KDP positions in Sulaymaniya with Iranian artillery and helicopter
1997 Iraq agreed to allow Iranian pilgrims to go to Najaf and Karbala as way to get
            around UN sanctions
2002 Rumsfeld said Al Qaeda operatives were in Iraq and that US needed to launch
            pre-emptive strike because couldn't wait for Iraq to get stronger
2002 UnderSecDef Feith’s intel group met with CIA to discuss Iraq-Al Qaeda ties
Complained CIA didn’t believe Iraq involved in 9/11 Brought up story that 9/11 hijacker Atta met with Iraqi intel in Prague in 2001
2003 Bush at NSC meeting said US had to re-evaluate enemy in Iraq after Zarqawi
            bombed UN in Baghdad
2003 UN said bombing of its Baghdad offices wouldnt stop reconstruction of Iraq
            UN would withdraw most of its staff
2004 PM Allawi called for Sadr to give up Imam Ali shrine in Najaf or face US-Iraq
2005 Report Islamic Party talked with insurgents to try to ensure large turnout in
            constitutional referendum
2005 Report Shiite parties took over police in Basra Carried out assassinations of
ex-Baathists Sunni leaders and rival Shiites
2005 Report Peshmerga ran 5 prisons and carrying out mass arrests of Sunnis Turkmen and
            minorities in Mosul
2007 ISCI governor of Muthanna assassinated by Sadrists Sadr-Hakim rivalry
2011 On ISI’s 5th anniv released video with message that it was going to Syria
2012 US warned that oil companies signing deals with Kurds without Baghdad’s
            approval were taking risks
2015 Pres Barzani’s term expired but he refused to leave office
2017 Operation to free Tal Afar began

View the Iraq History Timelines 

Sunday, August 19, 2018

This Day In Iraqi History - Aug 19

1921 UK cabinet decided Feisal would be coronated king and then Anglo-Iraq
            treaty drafted
1984 France agreed to refinance $1.4 bil in debts Iraq owed France biggest western backer of Iraq
1996 PUK accused KDP of working with Baghdad KDP accused PUK of working
            with Iran during civil war
2003 Zarqawi bombed UN headquarters in Baghdad killed 23 including UN Rep de
            Mello and injured over 100
2004 PM Allawi wrote Bush saying Iraq was more dangerous and unstable than a year
2004 Allawi govt called for Sadr to disband Mahdi Army and leave Najaf shrine
2004 Sistani’s office said it was open to Sadr’s offer to turn over keys to Najaf shrine
2004 Iraq Survey Group head Kay was rebuked by NSC staffer for criticizing NSC
            to Congress on WMD
2004 Iraq Survey Group head Kay said Rice more interested in being Bush’s friend
            than being National Security Adviser
2005 Al Qaeda in Iraq unsuccessful fired rockets on 2 US ships docked in Israeli port
            from Jordan
2005 3 Islamic Party members kidnapped by gunmen in Mosul putting up flyers to
            vote in constitutional referendum
2009 ISI set off 3 car bombs in Baghdad hitting Finance and Foreign Ministries and Rashid
Hotel killing 101 and wounding 565 PM Maliki blamed Baathists and Syria for Baghdad bombings even though it was ISI
2009 Iraq withdrew its ambassador to Damascus to protest Baghdad bombings
(Musings On Iraq article on Maliki’s response to Fall 09 bombings)
2014 IS posted video of beheading of journalist James Foley 

Saturday, August 18, 2018

Review The Tragedy of the Assyrian Minority in Iraq

Stafford, R.S., The Tragedy of the Assyrian Minority in Iraq, London and New York: Routledge, 2016

The Tragedy of the Assyrian Minority in Iraq was originally published in 1935 and covers the history of Assyrians in Iraq after World War I, and their massacre at the hands of the Iraqi army in 1933. It was written by R.S. Stafford who was a British officer stationed in Mosul province during that time period. It is a good source that documents those tragic events.

This Day In Iraqi History - Aug 18

1933 Iraqi army held victory parade and was given award by Prince Ghazi for
massacring Assyrians in north
1990 Saddam said foreign workers and visitors could not leave Iraq after Kuwait
1990 UN Resolution 664 demanded Iraq release foreign nationals it held
2004 Iraq Survey Group head Kay testified to Congress Blamed Rice and NSC for not
            checking WMD intel before war
2005 Police report listed 18 Sunnis arrested in Baghdad 6 weeks later their bodies
            found along Iranian border Showed torture
2005 Anbar governor and other Sunni leaders fired upon in Ramadi during meeting
            over constitutional referendum
2006 Report 2 Iraqi army divisions in Anbar short 5,000 troops Soldiers not getting paid
            Defense Min could not supply them
2015 IS second in command Abu Muslim al-Turkmani killed by US drone strike in
2017 Kirkuk Gov Karim rejected court order to remove Kurdish flag from
            government buildings in province

View the Iraq History Timelines 

Friday, August 17, 2018

This Day In Iraqi History - Aug 17

1920 Ex-Ottoman Iraqi officers asked leading Shiite cleric Shirazi for money
            Was rejected by Sayid Tabikh objected Called the officers mercenaries
1937 PM Hikmat Sulaiman govt resigned over threat of military revolt by Mosul
Garrison commander Gen Umari Officers overthrew govt believing it had too many Kurds and Turks and not anti-imperialist Pan-Arabistis
1937 Jamil al-Midfai became premier for 3rd time in deal with pan-Arab officers
1937 Gen Fawzi became army chief of staff Promised to follow pan-Arabism support
            Arab nationalist officers End talks with Persia over Shatt al-Arab
1937 PM Midfai named Col Najib Defense Minister which angered pan-Arab officers
            Najib promoted Iraqi nationalist officers
1937 PM Midfai wanted to exonerate deposed Sulaiman govt Nuri al-Said wanted them
            punished Began plotting with army against Midfai
1987 Iraq told UN it wouldn’t accept any changes to Resolution 598 that proposed
            ceasefire in Iran-Iraq War
(Musings On Iraq interview with author Anthony Tucker-Jones on Iran-Iraq War)
(Musings On Iraq review The Iran-Iraq War 1980-1988)
(Musings On Iraq review Iran-Iraq War, The Lion of Babylon, 1980-1988)
(Musings On Iraq review The Iran-Iraq War)
1995 Iraq told inspectors after 1991 Kuwait invasion Iraq had placed biological weapons
            into 166 bombs and 25 missile warheads
(Musings On Iraq article on UN weapons inspections)
(Musings On Iraq article on the origins of Iraq’s WMD programs)
1996 PUK attacked KDP positions in Haj Umran near Iranian border State Dept tried to
            mediate telling Barzani should talk with Talabani
1996 Barzani told State Dept Iran needed to back out of Kurdistan and without U.S. help
            he would turn to Baghdad
2000 Iraq reopened Saddam International Airport to get around UN sanctions
2001 US Energy Dep report said aluminum tubes Iraq tried to buy were probably for
rockets not centrifuges Said tubes didn’t match design for any operating centrifuges Report refuted CIA analyst who said alumunium tubes Iraq tried to buy would work for 1950s German centrifuge design
(Musings On Iraq article on the aluminum tubes story)
2001 US Energy Dept report said Iraq trying to buy magnets and other moves showed
that Iraq restarted its centrifuge program to enrich uranium Didn’t know if nuke program restarted
(Musings On Iraq article on how poor US intel work led to claim Iraq rebuilt its nuclear weapons program)
2002 Iraq intelligence issued order to keep an eye out for Abu Musab al-Zarqawi
2002 CIA made 1st paper explaining assessment of aluminum tubes Said they were for
            nuclear program Said high specifications showed they were for centrifuges
(Musings On Iraq article on the aluminum tubes story)
2003 CPA told White House if didn’t get additional $20.3 bil would be disaster for
            Bush’s plans for Iraq
2003 Water pipeline in Rusafa Baghdad hit with RGP knocking out water for 2 days
            for 300,000 people
2003 US forces killed Reuters reporter outside Abu Ghraib prison Said camera looked
            like an RPG
2004 Allawi govt offered amnesty and role in govt to Sadr in return for ceasefire in 2nd
            Battle of Najaf
2004 NSC meeting discussed US attacking Imam Ali Shrine in Najaf and possibly
            killing Sadr 2nd Battle of Najaf
2006 Bush held national security meeting to rethink Iraq strategy Bush told staff Iraq
            policy going bad and wanted new one
(Musings On Iraq article on pre-Surge US Iraq strategy)
2006 US Cmdr in Iraq Gen Casey told Bush Iraqis may not be up to task of securing
2006 US Marine report Starting Dec 05 Al Qaeda in Iraq started marginalizing and
co-opting other insurgent groups Was mad so many insurgents backed Dec 05 elections Wanted revenge
2006 Report 80% of insurgent attacks against Coalition 80% of casualties were Iraqi
            civilians Car bombs and IEDs doubled from 2004 to 2005
2010 ISI suicide bomber hit army recruits in Baghdad killing 60
2011 Iraqi parliament oil committee submitted draft of new oil law Never passed
2012 VP Biden called Maliki about Iran flying military supplies to Syria over Iraqi
2015 Judicial Council rejected call for Chief Justice Medhat to resign
2017 Abadi’s office acknowledged that Emergency Response Division unit committed
            abuses reported in Der Spiegel during Mosul campaign
2017 Iraqi authorities announced members of Emergency Response Division were sent
            to court No specifics given
2017 Iraqi court ruled that Kurdish flag be lowered from government buildings in

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Security In Iraq Aug 8-14, 2018


Violence remained concentrated in central Iraq where the Islamic State is rebuilding. There were 47 incidents reported in the media, which was within the mean since April.

This Day In Iraqi History - Aug 16

1933 Iraqi army campaign to kill Assyrians in north ended
1946 KDP founded by Mustafa Barzani and Hamzah Abdullah
1962 Turkish planes shot down Iraqi plane in retaliation for Iraq bombing Turkish
border post while fighting Kurdish rebels
1967 Law No 97 gave more power to Iraqi National Oil Company
1980 Saddam told chiefs of staff that he was going to invade Iran Saddam thought Iran
weak but didn’t think Iraq could fight a total war and reach Tehran Decided on limited war based upon seizing Shatt al-Arab waterway
1980 Saddam thought war would allow Iraq to assert its influence over Iran and deter
            Khomeini from exporting his revolution
1985 Iraq claimed it destroyed Iran’s main oil terminal at Kharg Island but only
damaged it
(Musings On Iraq interview with author Anthony Tucker-Jones on Iran-Iraq War)
(Musings On Iraq review The Iran-Iraq War 1980-1988)
(Musings On Iraq review Iran-Iraq War, The Lion of Babylon, 1980-1988)
(Musings On Iraq review The Iran-Iraq War)
2002 NSC meeting Powell argued for going to UN for new resolution on Iraq Bush
2002 UnderSecDef Feith’s office claimed briefing day before convinced CIA Dir Tenet to
reconsider Iraq-Al Qaeda relationship Tenet denied Feith’s office had changed his view on Iraq-Al Qaeda Feith’s office said Iraq and Al Qaeda cooperated CIA said they had contacts but no cooperation
2003 Insurgent attack on Abu Ghraib prison 6 prisoners killed 59 wounded
2006 Report Mahdi Army and insurgents fighting for control of Diyala Raiding villages
and forcing people out Mahdi Army trying to drive Sunnis out of Khan Bani Said Set up checkpoints robbed trucks kidnapped and murdered people on highway Many soldiers in Diyala were members of the Mahdi Army Others supported the militia US forces didn’t trust Iraqi forces in Diyala because of militia infiltration
2006 Followers of Mahmoud al-Hasani protested in Karbala Nasiriya Hillah against Iran
            and claimed Ayatollah Sistani was Iranian puppet
2006 Pentagon review of Iraq war found US used too much force in civilian areas
angered Iraqis and didn’t form alliances with them Providing safety and security for Iraqis was not a priority
2006 Marine intel report US not lost militarily but defeated politically in Anbar Cited
lack of US troops and no functioning Iraqi govt in province Said Al Qaeda in Iraq most powerful force in Anbar
2006 Report Bush told Middle East experts he did not support partition of Iraq Said he
            would make no policy changes in war
(Musings On Iraq article on pre-Surge US Iraq strategy)
2008 Baghdad-Irbil deal to have Peshmerga withdraw from Khanaqin Diyala and turn
over area to central govt control Confrontation ensued when ISF began evicting Kurdish parties and Peshmerga from town
(Musings On Iraq article on PM Maliki dispute with Kurds over Khanaqin)
2012 ISI carried out attacks in 19 cities leaving over 100 dead
2015 Abadi closed 4 ministries merged 8 others into 4 by decree even though legally
            had to go through parliament

View the Iraq History Timelines 

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

This Day In Iraqi History - Aug 15

1920 UK PM George wrote that French objected to Faisal becoming king
            of Iraq George and French both thought he was weak leader
1921 Feisal said he wouldn’t accept restrictions on sovereignty included in UK’s
            Iraq mandate Wanted an Anglo-Iraq treaty that would give him full power
1921 Churchill wrote Iraq Commissioner Cox that Feisal needed to stop making
            demands of UK and do what London told him
(Musings On Iraq article on Churchill’s policy towards Iraq)
1982 Iraqi planes started attacking shipping at Khor Musa channel leading to Bandar
            Khomeini port in Iran Sank 2 ships
1982 Iraqi plans started bombing campaign against Kharg Island Iran’s major oil port
(Musings On Iraq interview with author Anthony Tucker-Jones on Iran-Iraq War)
(Musings On Iraq review The Iran-Iraq War 1980-1988)
(Musings On Iraq review Iran-Iraq War, The Lion of Babylon, 1980-1988)
(Musings On Iraq review The Iran-Iraq War)
1990 Iraqi opposition in Iran claimed they could field 50,000 to fight Saddam
1990 Iraq offered to fully implement UN Res 598 and Algiers Agreement to try to win
            favor with Iran after Kuwait invasion
1991 UN Resolution 706 proposed Iraq import petroleum products to alleviate
humanitarian situation caused by sanctions Iraq rejected plan
1991 UN Resolution 707 Said Iraq was in flagrant violation of weapons inspectors
            Allowed inspectors to use planes and helicopters for flights inside Iraq
1991 Baghdad objected to Res 707 saying US had flown U2 spy plane over Iraq
            claiming it was for inspectors
1995 Supreme Council denounced Jordan taking in Saddam’s son-in-law Hussein
Kamal calling him a murderer  
2001 Foreign Office legal adv Sir Wood said that British forces could be sued if not
            given legal basis for going to war with Iraq
2002 NatlSecAdv Rice said US needed to launch pre-emptive strike against Iraq
            before it got too strong
2002 Undersecretary of Defense for Policy Feith’s office briefed CIA officials on its
            findings that Iraq and Al Qaeda had cooperated for years
2002 1st Bush NatlSecAdv Scowcroft wrote Wall St Journal OpEd saying Saddam not
            threat to US and not connected to 9/11
2002 Powell called Scowcroft thanking him for OpEd saying it would help for
            arguments within administration over Iraq
2003 White House objected to CPA’s request for $20.3 bil after administration said it
            would not ask Congress for any more money for Iraq
2003 Oil pipeline to Turkey bombed in Baiji Salahaddin shutting down exports for 2nd
            time in a week
2004 Peace talks between Allawi govt and Sadr broke down over ending 2nd Battle of
2005 One week extension given to Constitutional committee to finish work
2008 Report US intel officer said that Iranian Revolutionary Guard and Hezbollah had 4
training camps in Iran for Asaib Ahl Al-Haq and Kataib Hezbollah in Tehran Qom Ahaz Mashhad
(Musings On Iraq article on Iran training Iraqi militias)
2011 ISI attacked Sahwa in mosque in Yusifiya during Ramadan and bombed St
            Ephraim Syriac Orthodox church in Kirkuk
2012 Maliki said he wanted better relations with Turkey but also complained about
            Ankara’s ties to Kurdistan
2015 Chief Justice Medhat said that judiciary supported Abadi’s reforms but made no

View the Iraq History Timelines