Thursday, May 31, 2018

Iraq Election Commission Discards 1,000 More Voting Stations


The controversy over Iraq’s May 2018 election took another turn. The Iraqi Election Commission (IEC) announced that it was cancelling the votes from over 1,000 voting stations. This comes as the parliament met for a second time demanding the government and courts take action on the numerous fraud charges.

This Day in Iraqi History - May 31


1915 British forces set out to capture Amarah from Ottomans
1931 Iraq made first payment of oil revenues to Turkey in return for giving up claims
            to Mosul
1932 Kurdish revolt led by Barzanji put down by RAF
1941 Mayor of Baghdad worked out peace treaty with British surrendering city
1941 Yunis Sabawi pro-Nazi leader appointed himself governor of southern Iraq
            and told Jews to stay in homes
1941 Ger Amb to Iraq told Berlin UK-Iraq armistice signed False rumor British seized
            Mosul airport forced ambassador to flee to Syria
1941 German High Command told German planes heading to and based in Iraq to
            gather in Aleppo until further notice
1967 Jordan invited Iraqi army to deploy troops in its territory for war with Israel
1971 Nixon went to Tehran Shah asked U.S. help to aid Kurds against Baghdad
            leading to covert CIA operation
1981 Iran attacked Iraqi forces in Qasr-e-Shirin and Dehloran in central and northern
            Iran
1992 Bush proposed doubling budget for covert action to overthrow Saddam
2001 1st of four Deputies Committee of NSC meetings on revising Iraq policy
2003 Badr Brigade claimed it gave up its heavy weapons Wasn’t true
2003 DepDefSec Wolfowitz said that US would find Iraq’s WMD
2003 CIA Dir Tenet said that CIA had not compromised its intelligence on Iraq
2005 Basra police chief said he had no control of 3/4 of his officers who were loyal to
            political parties and militias and were carrying out assassinations
2005 Basra police chief said militias were the real power in the province and they were
            criminals and bad people Said 2 main groups were Badr and Mahdi Army
2006 Maliki declared one month state of emergency in Basra after 100 killed in
            fighting
2007 Islamic Army of Iraq and ISI got into gun battle in Amiriya Baghdad ISI claimed
            it controlled neighborhood US forces called in
2008 US put PKK on sanctions list as a terrorist group
2008 Report only 15% of Sawha integrated into govt as promised
2009 Ex-Trade Min Sudani placed in Samawa prison for trial after arrested trying
            to leave country Charged with corruption
2011 ISI cell arrested that created fake human rights organization as front group
2011 Protests in Ramadi demanding army withdraw from city after police chief
            killed in raid
2012 2nd day of 4th auction round for Iraq oil and gas fields Only 2 winning bids
2012 Iraq announced 5th auction round for Iraqi oil and gas fields would be held
            after disappointing 4th auction
2012 Ninewa Gov Nujafi claimed almost enough votes in parliament to hold
            no confidence move against Maliki
2013 Fight broke out amongst protesters in Fallujah between those for and against
            Anbar becoming federal region
2014 ISIS kidnapped and killed 8 Naqshibandi members in Baiji who would not
            give it allegiance
2014 Operation started to clear Saqlawiya north of Fallujah in Anbar
2015 Kurdish MP said 1205 Peshmerga killed 6595 wounded fighting IS since
            Jun 2014
2015 Badr head Amiri dismissed PM Abadi’s plans to retake Ramadi Claimed
            only Hashd could free city
2017 ABC News story offered more information on Rapid Reaction unit abuses first
            Reported in Der Spiegel during Mosul campaign

View the Iraq History Timelines 

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Security In Iraq May 22-28, 2018


Security continues to fluctuate in Iraq month to month. From January to March there was a slight uptick in attacks compared to the end of 2017. In April, incidents dropped by 20 per week, only to see those figures increase slightly in May. The news of the 3rd week of the month was a large number of suicide bombings. There were 3 such attacks with a total of 6 bombers across Baghdad, Diyala and Kirkuk, the most since the third week of September 2017.  

This Day In Iraqi History - May 30


1926 Verbal agreement made between British and Turks to give Turkey 10% of
            Mosul oil revenues for 25 years in return for giving up claims to province
(Musings On Iraq article on how Mosul province became part of Iraq)
1941 Last brigade of British 10th Infantry Division from India landed in Basra
1941 British troops reached Baghdad Iraqi army barracks bombed leading it to ask for
            peace
1941 Baghdad mayor and army officers approached British embassy asking for armistice
1941 German Amb to Iraq Grobba fled to Mosul Told German Foreign Minister
            Ribbentrop Iraqis still in the fight
1941 Ger For Min Ribbentrop told Ger Amb to Iraq Grobba that more planes arriving
Jun 1 Grobba said because of lack of fuel Ger planes would have to be based in Syria
1946 PM Suwaidi resigned over controversy over Iraq-Turkey Friendship Treaty Nuri
            al-Said negotiated treaty without consulting with govt
1959 Last British soldier departed Habaniya base in Iraq as English military withdrew
            from country
1982 Protests and riots in Karbala Basra Nasiriyah Baghdad over battlefield losses
            in Iran-Iraq War
1985 Iraq carried out heavy air raid on Iran oil terminal at Kharg Island
2003 Gen Conway 1st Marine Expeditionary Force surprised hadn’t found any
Iraq WMD in searches Said intel about Iraq having ready to use WMD was wrong
2003 Rumsfeld announced new Iraq Survey Group would be formed to take over
            search for Iraq’s WMD
2003 Coalition forces looking for Iraq WMD increased to 1300 personnel
2003 Final report of UN inspectors found no evidence of WMD programs
2003 UN inspectors said soil samples helped back Iraq story that they destroyed
            anthrax
2003 Blair said he was sure evidence of Iraq’s WMD would be found
2003 Rumsfeld said war was not based upon lies because both US and England said
            Iraq had WMD
2003 Bush said US found WMD because 2 alleged mobile WMD labs were found
            Inspection found not labs
2003 UnderSecDef for Intel Cambone said only 70 of roughly 600 suspected WMD
            sites in Iraq had been inspected
2003 CIA Dir Tenet said that its Iraq intelligence was not politicized by Bush admin
2003 US report on Iraqi police Said they were corrupt and needed reform Called
            for 6,000 advisers which US didn’t have
2004 US Op Smackdown to probe Mahdi Army defenses of Kufa mosque began
2004 7 US soldiers disciplined for not stopping Abu Ghraib prison abuse scandal
2004 Leaked parts of Ryder report on Abu Ghraib found 100s of Iraqi prisoners were
            held despite lack of evidence
2005 Cheney said Iraq in “last throes” of an insurgency
2006 Pentagon report to Congress said violence increased since 2004 from avg 400
attacks/wk spring 04 to 550 attacks/wk Aug 05-Feb 06 to 600 attacks/wk Feb-May 06
2007 US turned over security for Kurdistan to Peshmerga
2007 Op Alljah started to clear Fallujah
2007 2 day battle began in Baghdad between ISI and insurgents that would eventually
            form Sahwa unit
2007 Asaib Ahl Al-Haq arms supplier Abu Abdullah captured by U.S. forces
2008 ISF raided Iraqi National Gathering HQ in Basra
2008 CIA Chief Hayden said ISI near strategic defeat in Iraq
2008 Ayatollah Sistani aide said he was opposed to Status of Forces Agreement with
            U.S.
2008 Fmr White House spokesman McClellan said Bush White House so caught up
            in pushing war ignored intel that didn’t fit argument
2009 Ex-Trade Min Sudani tried to leave Iraq but plane turned around and arrested at
            Baghdad airport on corruption charges
2009 Ex-Trade Min Sudani’s brother arrested trying to leave Iraq by land Tried to
            bribe border police Also charged with corruption
2009 Gov Nujafi accused Peshmerga of human rights abuses and breaking law in
Ninewa
2010 Diyala police chief complained his forces were infiltrated by insurgents
2010 Maliki met with Pres Barzani in Irbil to lobby for 2nd term
2011 Ninewa Gov Nujafi escaped bombing on his motorcade in Mosul
2011 Maysan council voted to keep US forces out of province as objection to a US raid
2011 VP Mahdi resigned saying position no longer held power and Najaf objected to
            way VPs elected
2012 Maliki said he was reinstating Saddam era army officers as concession to Sunni
            parties to stop no confidence vote against him
2012 Pres Talabani met Pres Barzani Allawi Speaker Nujafi Dep PM Mutlaq in
            Sulaymaniya and refused to back no confidence vote vs Maliki 
2012 Sadr said if Iraqiya and Kurdish Coalition backed no confidence vote against
            Maliki he would support it
2012 Badr and Fadhila wrote letter to Maliki saying they supported him during no
            confidence move against him
2012 Iraq Oil Ministry held 4th auction for 12 oil and gas fields Only 1 winning bid
2013 Sadrists said replacing Maliki only solution to political crisis in Iraq
2013 3 Reports militias killing civilians kidnapping people manning checkpoints with
ISF in Baghdad
2013 Anbar governor escaped car bombing in Ramadi
2014 Ramadi protest leader said Sunni autonomy was way to go and rejected
            armed struggle
2014 Protest in Qadisiyah over lack of services and development
2014 Report Iran funding Asaib Ahl Al-Haq operations in Fallujah and Jurf al-Sakhr
2015 IS held ceremony where Ramadi sheikhs gave it allegiance
2016 Hashd and Federal Police stopped displaced fleeing Sjar Anbar Executed 12 men

View the Iraq History Timelines 

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Iraq’s Parliament Votes To Cancel Overseas And Some Displaced Voting In 2018 Election REVISED


After three tries Iraq’s parliament finally raised a quorum and voted to annual part of the May elections. All overseas votes along with voting in displaced camps in Anbar, Salahaddin, Ninewa, and Diyala were cancelled due to fraud charges. 10% of the ballot boxes would also have a manual recount. If a 25% difference was found with the original results the ballots in the entire province would have to be counted again.  Parties from across the political spectrum and in several different provinces have claimed cheating in the vote. Some of that is due to poor showing, while in other cases there appeared to be real irregularities. Despite this seeming consensus it appeared that the party bosses were not pushing their followers to show up to the National Assembly to take action on the matter. That finally happened. The cancellation and recount could change the election results for some parties. Since most of the major lists finished very closely a possible change in a few seats will likely not have that much of an effect.

This Day In Iraqi History - May 29


1941 Italian planes got into dogfight with British planes over Baghdad
            1 Italian and 2 British planes shot down
1941 British defeated Iraqi forces at Abu Ghraib Turned back at Abu Ghraib canal in
            push on Baghdad 2nd time
1941 British forces defeated by Iraqi army at Kadhimiya, Baghdad
1941 PM Gaylani told military leadership had fled to Persia leading to his own
            escape there along with Mufti of Jerusalem
1941 German ambassador to Iraq fled Baghdad for Kirkuk fearing British advance
1941 Governor of Baghdad captured by British on trip to Samarra
1948 Battle of Jenin between Jewish and Iraqi forces started 1st Arab Israeli War
1984 US backed UN resolution condemning Iranian attacks on Persian Gulf shipping
            Didn’t mention Iraq’s attacks
1987 US Asst Dep Sec of Def Armitage said U.S. couldn’t see Iraq defeated in
            Iran-Iraq War
1996 PUK and KDP agreed to extend Kurdish parliament for another year hoping that
            assembly would help end civil war
2002 UK Def Min official Kelly said Blair govt had spun WMD dossier on Iraq
2003 Bush said US found WMD because 2 alleged mobile WMD labs were found
            Inspection found were not labs
2003 Retired CIA and State Dept officials sent memo to Bush saying they questioned
            intel cited by White House for Iraq war
2003 BBC report Blair’s office had sexed up UK dossier on Iraq’s WMD
2003 Elections led to Abdul Rahman Mustafa a Kurd being elected mayor of Kirkuk
2003 Cheney chief of staff Libby told Wash Post reporter asking about Iraq-Niger
            uranium story
2003 Cheney chief of staff Libby asked an undersecretary of state about a former
            ambassador that said Iraq-Niger uranium deal was false
(Musings On Iraq article on Iraq-Niger uranium story)
2004 Report incoming interim PM Allawi had links to CIA and MI6 since 1980s as
            opponent to Saddam
2005 Op Lightning largest joint US-Iraq op so far Aimed at clearing Baghdad of
            insurgents
2005 Report May 2002 US and UK increased air strikes on Iraq using No Fly Zones in
            attempt to provoke Saddam to justify invasion
2007 Asaib Ahl Al-Haq kidnapped 5 Brits from Finance Ministry in Baghdad 4 would be
            killed Ransomed 5th Op planned by Iranian Revolutionary Guards
2007 Ex-insurgents in Amiriya Baghdad told US they were going to attack ISI and
            needed help Gen Petraeus said he would support them Became Sahwa
2008 US Amb to Iraq Crocker said ISI near defeat
2008 Interior Min fired 7500 police for corruption ghost officers negligence
2009 Video emerged of Trade Min Sudani and brothers drinking with prostitutes
            talking about Maliki Sudani from Dawa
2010 Sadrists said they would not allow dictatorship or autocracy to return to Iraq
            referring to Maliki
2011 Iraqiya nominee for Def Min Obeidi escaped sticky bomb attempt on his life
            in Mosul
2012 Basra council called for province to become federal region
2012 Maliki held cabinet meeting in Mosul to try to undermine no confidence vote
            against him Kurds boycotted meeting
2012 Iraqi court found Hezbollah operative Daquq innocent of terrorism charges Was
            liaison between Iran Hezbollah and militias
2012 Shahristani denied that he ordered stop of fuel deliveries to KRG even though he
            did
2014 Mutahidun Arabiya and Nationalists formed Union of National Forces list
2016 After he was dismissed by parliament Ninewa Gov Nujafi refused to leave office

View the Iraq History Timelines 

Monday, May 28, 2018

Iraq Parliament Failed At Quorum Again To Discuss Election Fraud While Committee Formed To Look Into Charges


The May elections in Iraq continued to face more controversy. Parliament failed for a second time to hold a session to discuss fraud charges, political parties continued to complain about the results and protest, while the cabinet formed a committee to look into the problems, and the courts told the Election Commission it had to listen to all the appeals over the results.

This Day In Iraqi History - May 28


1941 British forces captured Khan Nuqta fort on march from Fallujah to
            Baghdad
1941 British troops moved from Basra to Baghdad take Ur
1941 British forces attacked Abu Ghraib canal but turned back by Iraqis
1941 British intel spread rumor to Iraqi military that 100 tanks heading to Baghdad
            Led PM Gaylani to flee
1941 3rd shipment of German military supplies arrived in Mosul Never used
1941 Iraq Chiefs of Staff decided to withdraw to Kirkuk to avoid British attack on
            Baghdad PM Gayalni joined them
1968 Communist uprising began in southern Marshes
1981 Dawa blew up an ammo and fuel dump at Baghdad Airport
1990 Arab summit in Baghdad Saddam spoke about freeing the Palestinians
(Musings On Iraq article on Saddam’s motivation for threatening Israel before the Kuwait invasion)
1990 Arab summit Saddam accused Kuwait of breaking OPEC quotas driving down
oil prices costing Iraq $14 bil called Kuwait’s oil policy an act of war against Iraq
1990 At Arab summit Saddam personally warned Sheikh Sabah he was being
manipulated in US conspiracy against Iraq Demanded $27 bil in compensation from Kuwait
1990 Arab summit backed Iraq’s right to protect itself from any Israeli
            attack
1990 PLO chief Arafat said Saddam was bringing new leadership to pan-Arab
            cause
2003 Blair said he still believed Iraq had WMD
2003 DepDef Sec Wolfowitz said threat of Iraq came from its WMD and links to
terrorists Said no one expected finding Iraq’s WMD would be easy because so good at hiding them
2003 CIA-DIA report said that 2 trailers found during invasion were mobile WMD labs
            Denied Iraqi claims trailers were for weather balloons
2003 CIA held conference call with reporters to brief them on WMD mobile labs report
2003 DIA inspection team in Iraq sent memo to Washington 2 trailers not mobile
            WMD labs
2004 Iraqi Governing Council agreed upon Iyad Allawi as head of interim govt
2007 Report on US-Iran meeting US demanded Tehran stop supporting militias
2008 Sadr called for weekly protests against security agreement with US
2008 Fmr White House press sec McClellan’s book said White House shaped war
            debate so force only option vs Iraq Said that Iraq war was not necessary
2009 Protest in Tal Afar to make it independent of Ninewa Complained about
            Gov Nujafi and neglect
2009 Report Asaib Ahl Al-Haq demanded release of its members from jail and to run
            in elections in return for releasing 5 Brits it kidnapped
2009 Maliki said he gave up with outreach to Saudis Said futile and made Iraq look
            weak
2009 Last British troops withdrew from Iraq
2011 Protests and clashes in Ramadi after raid killed police chief ISF said he was
            linked to ISI Residents complained about army raids
2011 ISF raided protest organization HQ in Baghdad arresting 11 activists
2011 Report Maliki turning to Asaib Ahl Al-Haq to counter Sadrists in Baghdad and
            southern Iraq
2012 KRG PM Barzani compared Maliki to Saddam claiming Kurds were being
            expelled from Diyala and Kirkuk
2012 Meeting in Irbil with Speaker Nujafi Allawi Sadr spokesman and Kurds over
            no confidence vote against Maliki
2013 Security ops against ISI in Anbar Ninewa Diyala Salahaddin Babil Baghdad
2014 ISIS killed 8 Naqshibandi fighters in Baiji
2014 Peshmerga Min punished Peshmerga who protested not getting paid in
            Sulaymaniya
2014 Iraqi intelligence received report on neighborhoods in Mosul ISIS would attack
            in June
2015 New U.N. resolution to try to crackdown on IS smuggling of antiquities from Iraq
            and Syria
2015 Iranian Revolutionary Guard commander killed near Ramadi
2015 Reinforcements arrived to try to take back Ramadi Wouldn’t happen until Feb
2016
2016 PM Abadi approved parliament’s dismissal of Ninewa Gov Nujafi
2017 Attack on final section of Mosul under IS control began

View the Iraq History Timelines 

Sunday, May 27, 2018

Musings On Iraq In The News

I was cited by Ibrahim al-Marashi in "Iraq elections: The curious case of the Communist-Sadrist alliance" for Middle East Eye.

Review SABOT Publications, M1A1 in Iraqi Service


Review SABOT Publications, M1A1 in Iraqi Service, Warmachines 04 Photo reference book, St. Charles: SABOT Publications, 2017

Iraq’s 2014-17 war against the Islamic State gained international attention. It was inevitable that this conflict would raise interest in Iraq’s military as well. That explains the publication of SABOT’s M1A1 in Iraqi Service. The book is for modelers and tank aficionados, and consists of 65 pages of color photos and illustrations of M1A1 Abrams tanks of Iraq’s 9th Division and the Special Division Tank Regiment, although there appears to be one photo of an Abrams with the Hashd al-Shaabi because the unit insignia have been removed, and there are large Shiite flags flying from it.

This Day In Iraqi History - May 27


1917 UK Col Clayton worried Sykes-Picot would create opposition by Sharif of
            Mecca against UK taking Baghdad
1941 Operation Regulta began British forces marched north from Basra to
Kut and onto Baghdad
1941 British forces moved from Fallujah to cut Baghdad-Mosul road and railway
1941 PM Gaylani told Italians he was disappointed with Axis assistance
1947 Month after returning to Iraq Mustafa Barzani started another revolt against govt
1991 Kurdish parties threatened to go back to fighting if deal not reached with Baghdad
            over autonomy
1993 UN Resolution 833 set Iraq-Kuwait border
1995 PUK and KDP met to maintain Kurdish parliament during civil war
2003 Rumsfeld said Iraq might have destroyed its WMD right before war but they
            would be found
2003 Preliminary report sent to Washington said 2 captured trailers were not mobile
            WMD labs as first thought
2003 Cleric at Fallujah mosque praised 1st serious attack on US troops 2 soldiers killed
            9 injured at checkpoint
2003 Outgoing ORHA head Garner told Bush and Rumsfeld Iraq making progress and
            US would be out of country in weeks
2003 New UN Rep to Iraq deMello said that the sooner Iraqis had power the better
2004 Sadr agreed to deal to end fighting US forces in Najaf and other southern cities
2005 Badr militiamen in Wolf commando brigade blamed for sectarian attacks
            on Sunnis
2005 Sheikh Janabi of National Dialogue Council said violence had changed to killing
            based upon identity Sunnis getting killed for being Sunni
2008 Maliki issued arrest warrants for new party in Diyala made up of Sahwa Part of
            crackdown on Sunni in province
2008 Fmr Under Sec of Def Feith criticized Bush for switching goal of Iraq war from
            threat of Saddam to spreading democracy
2009 US Army Chief of Staff Gen Casey said US could be fighting in Iraq for next 10
yrs
2009 Iraq signed 2 year deal with IMF for $7 bil to help with budget deficit
2011 Anbar council rejected protest calls to make province federal region
2011 Protest in Baghdad over lack of services demanded release of prisoners
2012 Pres Barzani said KDP and PUK peshmerga would be united by end of year Still
            hasn't happened
2012 Kurdish Coalition said hadn’t decided on no confidence vote against Maliki 
2013 13 ISI car bombs in Baghdad killed 36 wounded 147
2013 Sadr gave Maliki 24 hrs to have ISF clear Asaib Ahl Al-Haq from streets of
            Baghdad
2014 New op in Jurf al-Sakhr, Babil four days after declared freed
2014 Protest in Nasiriya over lack of electricity and services
2014 Report Iran pushing PUK to support 3rd term for Maliki
2015 Iranian Foreign Min denied Iranian troops fighting in Baiji said only advisers
2015 Fmr MP Othman said 2,822 Peshmerga killed fighting IS since June 2014
2015 Report Army and Hashd ordered to shut bridge to displaced trying to flee Anbar
            into Baghdad
2016 Sadrists protest in Baghdad Police fired tear gas to break them up Demos
            in Babil Karbala Basra Dhi Qar Muthanna too
2016 Kataib Hezbollah stopped large group of displaced fleeing Sjar Anbar abducted
            73 men not seen afterward
2017 Iranian Revolutionary Guard general killed advising Hashd around Baaj western
            Ninewa
2017 Toronto Star printed story by Der Spiegel author providing more information on
            abuses by Rapid Reaction unit during Mosul battle

View the Iraq History Timelines 

Saturday, May 26, 2018

Review Faust, Aaron, The Ba’thification of Iraq, Saddam Hussein’s Totalitarianism


Review Faust, Aaron, The Ba’thification of Iraq, Saddam Hussein’s Totalitarianism, Austin: University of Texas Press, 2015

The Ba’thification of Iraq, Saddam Hussein’s Totalitarianism starts off with a dramatic story of a bicycle repairman in Wasit province who shot his son for deserting the army during the Iran-Iraq War. The man wrote to the Baath office for deserters asking to be pardoned for his crime. The secretary of the office passed his request all the way to Saddam Hussein who not only amnestied him, but gave him a commendation and entered his account into the official records of the war. The point of Aaron Faust’s book is to explain why people like this lowly laborer would kill his own child for a dictatorship like the one in Iraq. Was it because people loved Saddam as thousands of letters and speeches proclaimed each year, were they loyal to the regime, or was it because they were terrified into submission as writers such as Kanan Makiya wrote about? What Faust argues is that the Baath Party and Saddam created an all encompassing system, which offered rewards and punishments and attempted to control every facet of Iraqi life from marriage to where people lived to their education to their jobs and future. Under such a system the vast majority had to comply to ensure their livelihood and that of their families.

This Day In Iraqi History - May 26


1941 2nd trainload of German military aid arrived from Syria Stored in Mosul
            but never used
1941 12 Italian planes landed in Kirkuk from Syria to operate under Germans
            Immediately attacked British forces in Anbar
1941 Mussolini met with German military attache and expressed concern about Iraq
            Asked whether Belin would give substantive or symbolic support to Iraq
1941 Mussolini told German military attache Iraq could turn tide in Mediterranean
            Attache said Berlin serious about Iraq
1964 Pres Arif established Joint Presidency Council with Egypt in failed attempt to
            unite 2 countries under pan-Arabism
2002 During trip to France Bush said he had no Iraq war plans
2004 NYTimes said some of its reporting on Iraq before war was questionable and not
            sufficiently vetted
2005 PM Jaafari said govt would crackdown on those taking law into their own hands
            in response to reports of Shiite death squads
2006 Pentagon report to Congress on Iraq said insurgency had not started civil war
            Said violence only in 4 provinces Said insurgency would decline in early 2007
2006 Sec State Rice said 48 US govt workers signed up to work in Iraq Gen Casey said
            not enough Rice told him he was out of line
2006 Report Maliki wanted to increase number of Iraqi forces from 250,000 to 325,000
            by end of year Was trying to purge militias from Iraqi forces
2006 Report Maliki wanted Iraqi forces to control all of Iraq’s provinces except Baghdad
            and Anbar by end of 2006
2008 US military reported attacks in Iraq at lowest level since May 2004
2008 Iraq brokered deal to have quicker release of Iraqi prisoners Year later Iraq
            would complain about releases increasing terrorism
2008 ISI elements that that fled Mosul during govt crackdown began attacking Yazidis
            in Sinjar
2009 Integrity Comm head attacked Maliki for allowing Trade Min Sudani to resign
            Said it helped him escape questioning for corruption
2011 Inter Min Explosive head Gen Jabri released after arrested for involvement in
            buying fake bomb detectors
2011 ISI killed Accountability & Justice Comm head Ali al-Lami in east Mosul
2011 Sadr told BBC that his militia was attacking US forces as they were withdrawing        from Iraq
2011 Sadrists held rally in Baghdad against US occupation
2015 IS executed Iraqi soldiers from Sadr City in Fallujah Hung him from bridge
            Hashd used it to justify attacking city in July
2015 Report over 400 buildings in Dour district in Tikrit destroyed by Hashd after
            city freed
2016 Abadi called on reform protests to stop due to Fallujah operation

View the Iraq History Timelines 

Friday, May 25, 2018

Review Ballard, John, from storm to Freedom, America’s Long War with Iraq


Review Ballard, John, from storm to Freedom, America’s Long War with Iraq, Annapolis: Naval Institute Press, 2010

from storm to Freedom, America’s Long War with Iraq by John Ballard attempts to take the long view of the conflict between the United States and Iraq starting with the Gulf War through the sanctions to the 2003 invasion and Iraq War. This seems a natural history as the Gulf War was when Washington first came into conflict with Baghdad, and Saddam Hussein remaining in power afterward set the stage for the following decades. The main drawback is that Ballard is a military historian so the big political issues such as whether the 2003 war was justified and its impact are never adequately dealt with.

This Day In Iraqi History - May 25


1940 Iraq For Min Said said England and France should grant Syria and
            Palestine Independence to counter Axis propaganda
1941 Hitler Order 30 Germany would support Arabs against British especially in Iraq
1948 Iraqi forces took Geulim and reached Kfar Yona and Ein Vered 1st Arab-
Israeli War
1983 7,000 Turkish troops moved 18 mi into Kurdistan to attack PKK bases Iraq and
            Turkey had agreement to allow cross border ops vs Kurds
1988 Iraq using chemical weapons pushed Iran out of Shalmache bridgehead in
            Basra
1999 Clinton Natl Sec Adv Berger met with 7 Iraqi opposition parties receiving US
            funds Told them president wanted Saddam removed by end of his term
2003 5,000 Iraqis protested outside Green Zone demanding a new govt security
            salaries for soldiers
2003 CPA order 5 created DeBaathification Council Would be run by Ahmed Chalabi
2003 Inspection team examined 2 captured trailers Immediately found they were not
            mobile WMD labs as originally thought
2003 Kirkuk council elected 6 members then arrested by US for alleged Baathist
            ties
2007 Ret Gen Keane told VP Cheney Surge needed to be sustained until 2008
2008 Report insurgents fled to Tikrit and Ramadi during Mother of Two Springs
            operation in Mosul
2008 Mayor of Mosul escaped 4th bombing attempt on his life in 10 days
2008 USAmb Crocker said ISI had been severely disrupted in Iraq
2008 US and ISF conduct weapons searches in Sadr City Arrested 200 Mahdi Army
            militiamen in Amil and Baya
2008 Report Sadrists paid $300 for anyone that attacked British forces in Basra Money
            came from Iran
2009 Maliki accepted resignation of Trade Min Sudani charged with corruption
2011 Iraq ranked 2nd to last in Global Peace Index
2011 Dep PM Shahristani said Iraq could not defend itself after US withdrawal at
            end of year
2012 Dawa held march in Baghdad to support Maliki during no confidence drive
            against him
2012 Baghdad said that all Kurdish oil deals with Turkey had to be approved by the
            central govt
2013 Mutahidun accused Maliki of backing militias with government money
2014 Anbar Operations Command claimed 90% of Ramadi freed ISIS still occupied
            major parts of city
2014 Anbar Operations Command said 40 attempts to take Fallujah from Jan-May
            2014 and all failed
2014 Sadrists threatened to go into opposition if Maliki got 3rd term as PM

View the Iraq History Timelines 

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Iraq’s Election Fraud Controversy


After every election in Iraq parties claim there was cheating. Some of this is due to actual fraud that took place, but others are simply upset with their poor showing. This year seems more serious as a variety of parties are threatening lawsuits, boycotts and demonstrations, along with the prime minister and United Nations asking the Election Commission to take these charges seriously.

This Day In Iraqi History - May 24


1922 Cleric Khalisi informed southern tribes British were trying to get their
            way in new Anglo-Iraq Treaty
1941 Mufti of Jerusalem told Italians Arab revolt hinged on Iraq and it needed more
            support
1980 Iraq backed failed coup vs Khomeini in Iran
1982 Iran’s Op Beit al-Moqaddas ended with Iraqi forces pushed back to Iran-Iraq
border in Khuzistan province 12,000-15,000 Iraqis captured Iran regained 2077 sq mi of Iranian land
1982 Israeli press reported US sent arms to Egypt which were then sold to Iraq
1990 US National Security Council deputies meeting told that US still sharing
            intelligence with Iraq
1999 Sec State Albright met with 7 Iraqi opposition groups receiving US funds Said US
            would provide them nonlethal aid
2002 Rumsfeld issued order to Joint Chiefs to begin Phase Four postwar planning
            for Iraq
2004 Bush said US would stay the course in Iraq and move towards returning
            sovereignty and creating democracy in Iraq
2005 SCIRI’s Hammoudi named head of constitutional drafting committee
2006 Joint Chiefs intel report said insurgency enduring despite political progress and
            growth of ISF
2006 Report police and army full of militias insurgents and criminals carrying out
            abuses and sectarian violence
2006 Report US officials and military apologized for former Inter Min Jabr from ISCI
            and Badr saying they weren’t responsible for police abuses
2006 Maliki said he wanted to reign in militias and demobilize them Went to Najaf to
            try to get Ayatollah Sistani to make statements against militias
2006 Iraqi Army’s 16th Brigade in charge of Dora south Baghdad ran death squads and
            assassinations in conjunction with insurgents Killed its own commander
2007 Sheikh Issawi assassinated and funeral hit by suicide bomber in Anbar
leading to parts of his tribe to join fight against ISI in Fallujah
2009 Hashemi resigned as head of Islamic Party
2011 Anbar councilman blamed Syria for allowing insurgents to cross its
            border into Iraq
2011 Trade Min Sudani accused of wasting $245 mil while in office
2011 Report US forces coming under increased attacks as withdrawal date at end of
            year approached
2011 US Def Sec Gates went to Iraq to lobby for US troop presence past end of year
2012 KRG PM Barzani said that if Baghdad cut off fuel deliveries KRG would
            export oil independently
2012 Sadr asked National Alliance to replace Maliki
2013 Integrity Comm said it was opening investigation into buying fake bomb
            detectors Went nowhere
2013 Clash at Ramadi protest site between those for and against turning Anbar
            into federal region
2013 Imam at Mosul protest site argued for making Ninewa federal region
2013 Sadrist killed fighting in Syria had funeral attended by movement members    
            showing Sadr’s participation in Syria war
2015 Iranian Ground Forces commander said Iranian military moved 40km into
            Diyala to protect border from IS
2015 KRG claimed it met its oil export quota set in 2015 budget and therefore
            should receive it full monthly payment from Baghdad
2015 US Def Sec Carter questioned Iraqis’ will to fight after Ramadi fell to IS
2017 Interior Min announced investigation into abuses by Iraqi forces during Mosul
            campaign in response to Der Spiegel article Nothing came of it

View the Iraq History Timelines 

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Security In Iraq, May 15-21, 2018


The third week of May saw another record low in violence. There were only 38 incidents reported, which surpassed the previous low of 40 in the first week of April. Unfortunately, that dip did not mean a decrease in casualties. After a super violent March, it appears that the Islamic State is back to regrouping.

This Day In Iraqi History - May 23


1941 German planes attacked British forces in Fallujah Iraqi artillery shelled
            Town
1941 UK Mid-East cmdr Gen Wavell and Indian cmdr Gen Auchinlek met in Basra
            Decided to send forces to Baghdad and more to be sent from India to Iraq
1969 Pres Bakr offered self-determination to Kurds
1982 Iraq invoked Arab League 1950 defense agreement to get military aid from
            members Got nothing League divided over war
1988 Iraq launched offensive to re-capture all of its lost territory from Iran
1988 Towns in Balisan Valley, Sulamaniya hit by chemical weapons in 5th Anfal
            campaign
(Musings On Iraq article on Anfal campaign)
1991 For third time Kurds attacked police station in Zakho
2002 During trip to Germany Bush said he had no Iraq war plans
2003 Bush said he supported Bremer’s political plan for Iraq
2003 CPA Order 2 disbanded Iraqi military
2003 Congress asked CIA to look into its pre-war intel on WMD after none found
2004 Sadr’s brother in law Riyadh Nouri arrested
2005 Sunni MPs accused Badr Brigade of carrying out sectarian killings
2007 Dep PM Zubaie wounded by suicide bomber
2008 Clerics denied Sistani issued fatwa allowing attacks on U.S. forces
2010 ISF blamed U.S. releasing prisoners for increase in violence In 2008 Maliki had
            negotiated quicker release of prisoners by US
2011 Adviser to Diyala governor arrested by Maliki to intimidate province to not
            move towards federal region
2012 Iraq hosted nuclear talks between Iran and six countries
2013 Al Qaeda’s Zawahiri said that Baghdadi was wrong for declaring ISIS without
            asking permission first
2013 Mutahidun accused Maliki of supporting militias and targeting civilians
2013 Sheikh Hayes said Ramadi protesters had 2 days to turn over those who killed
            5 soldiers
2013 State of Law offered SIIC control of 3 southern provinces in return for control of
            Basra SIIC turned down offer
2014 Babil Operations Command claimed Jurf al-Sakhr freed from IS Would not be
            liberated until Oct 2014
2014 Gorran accused PUK of cheating in Sulaymaniya vote
2014 KRG said it sold 1st tanker of independent oil exports Oil Ministry filed legal
            papers over sale
2015 Report Iranians operating rockets, artillery and drones in Baiji operation
2016 Final campaign to liberate Fallujah started Five weeks later city would be freed
2017 Der Spiegel article on abuse and torture by Rapid Reaction Division unit during
Mosul campaign Unit denied story released video of its victims denying that they had been abused Attacked author
2017 Joint Operations Command claimed Der Spiegal story of abuse during Mosul
campaign made up and if any torture had taken place magazine was partly responsible
2017 Hashd freed Qairawan subdistrict of Sinjar Ninewa

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Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Sadr-Communist Alliance And Iraq’s 2018 Elections Interview With Benedict Robin


The results of the 2018 parliamentary elections in Iraq were a shock to many. Seemingly out of nowhere the Sairoon list made of the Sadrists and the Iraqi Communist Party won the most seats. To have an Islamist religious figure align with a secular leftist was another twist. The two actually aligned several years beforehand during the annual protests that hit the country. To help explain Sairoon and its victory is University of Edinburgh PhD student Benedict Robin. He can be followed on Twitter @Benrobinz.
(Reuters)

This Day In Iraqi History - May 22


1919 Sheikh Mohmoud Barzanji started rebellion against British in
            Sulaymaniya
1941 Iraq attempt to recapture Fallujah failed
(Musings On Iraq article on 1941 Battle of Fallujah)
1941 Regent of Iraq along with Nuri al-Said arrived at British base at Habaniya, Anbar
            Said sent letter to Iraqi commander in Ramadi who agreed to switch sides
1948 Iraqi army defeated in Battle of Gesher and retreated to West Bank in 1st Arab-
            Israeli War
1975 PUK formed when Maosit Komala led by Nirshurwan Mustafa social
            democratic Bezutnawa led by Ali Askari and KDP’s Talabani joined
1979 Start of 9 days of protests in Iraq led by Dawa
1982 Iran broke through Iraqi defenses around Khorramshahr Took 22,000 Iraqi
            prisoners
1984 Reagan briefed on study that said there should be a military embargo on both
            Iran and Iraq Reagan agreed to policy
1986 US Amb to Iraq asked Eximbank to open up new lines of credit to Iraq to help
            it through Iran-Iraq War
2003 UN Res 1483 made US and England occupying powers of Iraq and ended
sanctions on Iraq Also created Development Fund for Iraq to help pay for rebuilding using oil revenue
2003 Bremer told Bush Iraq needed new constitution then elections then sovereignty
            returned
2003 CPA and official from Sec Def Rumsfeld’s office drafted CPA Order 2 to
            disband Iraq’s military
2003 Bremer told Bush about CPA’s plan to disband Iraqi military
2003 Story CIA started internal review of its pre-war Iraq intelligence
2004 Neocon supporters of INC’s Chalabi told NatlSecAdv Rice that US needed to
stop harassing him Came after US forces raided Chalabi’s house claiming he had passed intel to Iran
2004 INC met with Nat Sec Adv Rice complaining US had abandoned Chalabi
2005 Joint US-Iraqi operation started to clear Abu Ghraib in west Baghdad
2005 Sadr sent delegation to meet Sunni clerics in an attempt to stop sectarian violence
2006 Bush said Iraq at a turning point and heading in right direction towards democracy
            Said Maliki govt turning point for Middle East
2006 Report US failure to adequately plan for Iraqi police led to militia and criminal
            take over 2004 US military took over police training and still inadequate
2006 Report audit found 5,000 Iraqi police had criminal records including taking part
            in insurgency
2006 Report pre-war Bush admin thought Iraqi police not an issue and rejected Justice
            Dept plan to use 1000s of police advisers
2006 US initially hoped Basra police would be early success because back on duty in 03
            and no insurgency but quickly taken over by gangs political parties militias
2006 Politicians appointed police chiefs in Basra who hired friends relatives tribesmen
            Came to be dominated by Badr and Mahdi Army
2006 Report Basra police carrying out sectarian violence and enforcing religious rules
            of militias Demanding kickbacks to join force Helping smugglers
2006 Summer 05 Basra police chief Gen Sawadi said he didn’t trust his own force and
            couldn’t control them
2006 Report Inter Min tried to reform Basra police but failed Started with Internal
            Affairs which turned into crime ring Trials failed against corrupt officers
2006 Mar 04 Gen Eaton put in charge of US military training program for Iraqi police
            Budget cut 20% Said showed not priority in Washington
2006 Gen Petraeus took over US military training program for Iraqi police in summer
            05 and claimed carried out meaningful reforms
2006 Gen Petraeus also militarized Iraqi police with combat training and military
            equipment
2006 Report British Gen Mackay warned that unless Coalition regulated Iraqi police
            commandos would become personal army for Interior Minister
2006 Report Fmr Inter Min Nakib warned Rumsfeld in April 05 that Shiite parties
            were going to take over police commandos with their militias
2006 Report 2005 when ISCI Jabr made Interior Min had Badr take over police and
            commandos
2006 Report US military played down sectarian killings and abuses by Iraqi police
            commandos
2006 Report Inter Min Jabr denied any abuses by police and blamed other ministries
2006 Report corruption endemic in Iraq Transportation Min bought planes 2 for $3 mil
            each that should have been less than $1 mil
2006 Defense Min made $1 bil in questionable arms purchases Interior Min had at least
            1100 ghost employes costing $1.3 mil a month
2006 Report of 3000 corruption cases only 780 went to court only few dozen got
            verdict
2006 Of 40 corruption cases against high ranking Iraqi officials only 1 got verdict for
            Interior Ministry official
2011 Red Cross interviewed people tortured by ISF at Camp Honor in Baghdad
2013 Pres Barzani attacked PYD for arresting KDP affiliated group in Syria
2014 KRG provincial election results released Gorran won most seats in Sulaymaniya
2014 Oil Ministry warned potential buyers not to buy 1st shipment of independent KRG
oil
2014 Mutahidun and Sadrists rejected 3rd term for Maliki
2015 Joint Chiefs Head Gen Dempsey said would take 3 years or more to defeat IS
2016 Abadi announced start of attack upon Fallujah

View the Iraq History Timelines 

Monday, May 21, 2018

Breakdown Of The Iraq Election Results


Analyzing the returns from Iraq’s May 2018 parliamentary elections shows some interesting trends. First, the most well organized parties did the best. Some lists were focused upon the wrong themes, and there was widespread charges of fraud.

This Day In Iraqi History - May 21


1847 Treaty of Arzurum tried to set border between Ottoman Empire and Persia
            Gave Sulaymaniya to Ottomans Shatt al-Arab to Persia
1847 Treaty of Arzurum set up commission to demarcate border between Ottomans and
            Persia but never finished
1919 UK PM George abrogated Long-Berenger UK-French oil deal due to disagreement
with France over Iraq-Syrian border George wanted Iraq to extend to Mediterranean
1928 British official said Iraqi provincial administrators picked who would be elected to
            parliament
1941 Iraqis launched counterattack attempting to retake Fallujah from British Entered
            town
1941 German planes bombed UK air base at Habaniya for a second day
1970 Pres Bakr issued Agrarian Reform Law to increase living conditions
            for peasants and increase farm production
1974 UN Sec Gen said Iran and Iraq agreed to withdraw forces and open talks over
            border disputes
1987 2nd phase of campaign to destroy Kurdish villages started
1991 Kuwait asked for half of Iraq’s oil earnings as reparation for invasion
1999 UN Res 1242 renewed Oil For Food Program for 6th months
2002 Gen Franks lied to press saying he had no Iraq war plans and had not been
            asked to make any
2003 Dep Sec Def Wolfowitz ordered army to help CPA with staff and
            contracting because CPA undermanned
2003 Report CIA believed 3 trailers found in Iraq were mobile WMD labs Sec of
            State Powell talked about in UN speech
2003 Report that US showed picture of trailers to Iraqi in Germany known as
            CURVEBALL who confirmed they were WMD labs
2004 CPA set up group to integrate militias into ISF never happened
2006 Report Iran thought to have trained 40,000 militia in Iraq
2006 Report US failed to adequately plan to rebuild Iraqi police After invasion
            went through 3 failed plans By 2004 only sent 500 police advisers for all of Iraq
2008 CENTCOM commander Gen Dempsey said ISI at its weakest point in Iraq
2008 US commander for northern Iraq said attacks in Mosul down 85% after
            Mother of Two Springs op there
2008 Pres Talabani said Iraq would be able to handle its own security without help
            of US after 2008
2010 Reports that both Iran and US supported 2nd term for Maliki
2012 KRG announced energy deals with Turkey Baghdad warned KRG it could not sign
            independent oil deals with Turkey
2012 Oil Min Shahristani ordered ministry to stop petrol deliveries to KRG Would
            later deny he gave order
2013 Sheikh Hayes threatened to tear down protest tents in Ramadi if didn’t disperse
            after attacks on ISF and kidnappings
2013 KRG said it wanted to build a second independent oil pipeline to Turkey
2015 Asaib Ahl Al-Haq blamed US and Abadi for fall of Ramadi Claimed US had
            kept Hashd out

View the Iraq History Timelines