Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Can The Islamic State Make A Comeback In Iraq Part 2? Interview With Il Foglio’s Daniele Raineri

(Iraqi News)

Daniele Raineri is a reporter for Italy’s Il Foglio. He has been covering the Islamic State for years now. That group is currently attempting its second comeback from defeat. There are some questions about how successful they will be in this endeavor. Raineri weighs in on this issue. He can be followed on Twitter @DanieleRaineri.

This Day In Iraqi History - Jul 16

1921 Council of state confirmed plebiscite choosing Faisal as king of Iraq
1958 PM Said’s body dug up and dragged through streets of Baghdad after coup
1968 Pres Arif asked head of military intel Col Naif and Col Daud commander of Republican Guard if they
were involved in Baath coup They said no
1968 Baath meeting after coup called off vs Pres Arif Head of military intel Col Naif said he would join if
he got premiership
1970 2nd provisional constitution issued by Pres Bakr Said Iraq People’s Democratic Republic committed to
Arab unity and socialism
1979 Saddam’s election to president of Iraq made public
1979 Nouri al-Maliki fled Iraq after his membership in Dawa Party was discovered by govt
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 Saddam thought war would allow Iraq to assert its influence over Iran and deter Khomeini from exporting his revolution
(Musings On Iraq book review Iran-Iraq War Volume 1: The Battle for Khuzestan, September 1980-May 1982)
(Musings On Iraq book review Iran-Iraq War Volume 4: The Forgotten Fronts)
1981 Saudis offered to finance reconstruction of Iraq’s Osirak nuclear reactor destroyed by Israeli air
raid
1982 Iranian Op Ramadan attacked into Basra again towards Qurna hoping to cut Basra-Baghdad highway
and isolate Basra city
(Musings On Iraq book review Iran-Iraq War Volume 2: Iran Strikes back, June 1982-December 1986)
1986 Saddam re-elected secretary general of Baath Party and president of Revolutionary Command
Council
1988 Iran began withdrawing from Kurdistan starting with Halbja Penjwin Haj Omran Rayat
1988 After capturing 30 mi of Iranian territory along the border Iraqi forces withdrew back into Iraq Was
meant to reduce Iranian military
1988 Iran’s Assembly of Experts agreed to present ceasefire proposal in Iran-Iraq war based upon UN Res
598 to Khomeini Khomeini agreed to ceasefire
(Musings On Iraq interview with author Anthony Tucker-Jones on Iran-Iraq War)
(Musings On Iraq interview with author Tom Cooper on Iran-Iraq War)
(Musings On Iraq book review The Iran-Iraq War 1980-1988)
(Musings On Iraq book review Iran-Iraq War, The Lion of Babylon, 1980-1988)
(Musings On Iraq book review The Iran-Iraq War)
1990 Saddam on TV accused Kuwait and UAE of breaking OPEC quotas and driving down oil prices
(Musings On Iraq book review The Saddam Tapes)
1990 Iraq moved a division to border with Kuwait as feud between two escalated Wanted to see how west
would react
1990 Iraq ForMin Aziz letter to Arab League said Kuwait stealing oil from Rumaila field driving down oil
prices destroying Iraq’s economy Called on Arab govts to forgive Iraq’s debt and help pay for rebuilding after Iran-Iraq War
2002 PM Blair told parliament Iraq’s WMD threat to world and had to be dealt with but no decision for
military action made
(Musings On Iraq Book Review The Report of the Iraq Inquiry, Executive Summary)
2003 Fadhila Party created in Basra as breakaway faction from Sadr movement Sheikh Yacoubi claimed he
was heir to Ayatollah Sadiq al-Sadr
2003 Mayor of Haditha and his son assassinated by insurgents
2005 Musayib Babil suicide truck bomb left 250 casualties
2006 UK Gen Fry wrote War on Terror and Iraq War in conflict Fighting Al Qaeda in Iraq alienated Sunnis
and led them to reject politics and led to more terrorism
2007 Kirkuk bombings killed 86
2007 Report ISF in Abu Ghraib raided and arrested members of Sahwa Also carried out random arrests and
beat and killed prisoners
2007 Report Mahdi Army forced out almost all the Sunnis from West Rasheed Baghdad Sold stolen cars
Involved in weapons trafficking and kidnapping Extorted money from local businesses Rented homes of Sunnis who they forced out and sold their property
2008 US Surge officially ended
2008 US turned over security for Qadisiyah to Iraqi forces
(Musings On Iraq article on turnover of Qadisiyah)
2008 Maliki govt said displaced squatters in two neighborhoods of Baghdad had 3 days to leave Nothing
happened
(Musings On Iraq article on Maliki policy on squatters/displaced)
2009 Sadr visited Abdul Hakim in Tehran and said he was willing to rejoin the United Iraqi Alliance Came
as a result of Iranian lobbying to re-unite the Shiite lists for upcoming elections
(Musings On Iraq Iran’s Role In The Revival Of The United Iraqi Alliance)
2015 Basra protest over services fired upon by police 1 Protester killed
2018 Protests in Baghdad Basra Dhi Qar Karbala Muthanna Najaf 1 Killed in Baghdad’s Shula by police
gunfire Badr office stormed in Najaf 1 protester shot on Jul 15 died of wounds
2018 Govt ordered arrest of activsts and general protesters in Baghdad Basra Maysan
            Muthanna as crackdown started on demonstrations
(Musings On Iraq article on Jul 16 protests) 

Monday, July 15, 2019

Review Iraqi Mirages, The Dassault Mirage Family In Service With The Iraqi Air Force, 1981-1988,


Cooper, Tom and Sipos, Milos, Iraqi Mirages, The Dassault Mirage Family In Service With The Iraqi Air Force, 1981-1988, Warwick: Helion & Company, 2019

Iraqi Mirages, The Dassault Mirage Family In Service With The Iraqi Air Force, 1981-1988 covers the development of the Iraqi Air Force that led to its purchase of the Mirage fighter from France, which became its most advanced aircraft during the Iran-Iraq War. It places those planes within the larger operational plans during that conflict. The major argument was that the Air Force faced a number of problems from the top down, and it was only at the very end of the war that Iraq overcame these difficulties and effectively used the Mirages.

This Day In Iraqi History - Jul 15


1920 UK Chief General Staff Wilson heard of 1920 revolt and ordered dispatch of division from India
to put it down
(Musings On Iraq book review of Reclaiming Iraq, The 1920 Revolution and the Founding of the Modern State)
1950 Cabinet resigned when PM Suwaidi complained his brother not appointed head of Cassation Court
Stayed in office because Regent out of country and couldn’t call for new govt
1952 Mustafa al-Umari became premier
1958 Deposed PM Nuri al-Said executed by Free Officers Regent’s body taken from royal palace Mutilated
Dragged through Baghdad streets
1968 PM Yahya resigned over divisions within military over running country that would eventually lead to
68 coup
1979 Saddam had Revolutionary Command Council Secretary General Mashadi arrested and tortured
Mashadi named Saddam opponents within Baath Party Those members later accused of a Syrian backed coup
1982 Iraqi counterattack against Iran’s Op Ramadan in Basra regained most lost territory
(Musings On Iraq book review of Iran-Iraq War Volume 2: Iran Strikes back, June 1982-December 1986)
1986 UK Official told Geneva conference that Iraq chemical weapons had caused 10,000 Iranian casualties
in Iran-Iraq War
(Musings On Iraq article on the origins of Iraq’s WMD programs)
1988 Iraq Op Tawakalna ala Allah 3 withdrew from Iranian territory ending offensive Took 5,000-
7,000 Iranian prisoners
1988 Iraq recaptured Sirwan Kurdistan
1988 Iran’s cabinet endorsed decision to accept UN Res 598 ending Iran-Iraq War but had to convince
Khomeini
1988 Rafsanjani publicly announced Iran’s withdrawal from Kurdistan
(Musings On Iraq interview with author Anthony Tucker-Jones on Iran-Iraq War)
(Musings On Iraq interview with author Tom Cooper on Iran-Iraq War)
(Musings On Iraq book review The Iran-Iraq War 1980-1988)
(Musings On Iraq book review Iran-Iraq War, The Lion of Babylon, 1980-1988)
(Musings On Iraq book review The Iran-Iraq War)
(Musings On Iraq book review Iran-Iraq War Volume 4: The Forgotten Fronts)
1990 At Baath Party meeting decided Iraq should make its case to the world against Kuwait so that it would
not be seen as an aggressor Izzat al-Duri said Kuwait conspiring against Iraq and part of larger Israeli conspiracy
1990 At Arab League Iraq complained Kuwait tapping into Rumaila oil field in Basra costing Iraq $1
bil/year Demanded loans from UAE and Kuwait during Iran-Iraq War be forgiven Threatened force against Kuwait and UAE saying they were US puppets
1990 Iraq made first deployment of troops for Kuwait invasion
(Musings On Iraq book review The Saddam Tapes)
(Musings On Iraq book review from storm to Freedom, America’s Long War with Iraq)
1991 US troops withdrew from Kurdistan after setting up safe area for displaced Kurds after Gulf War
2002 Czech Intel head doubted that 9/11 hijacker Atta met with Iraqi intelligence in Prague in 2001
2002 Fmr Saddam Fedayeen told press Iraq trained Al Qaeda fighters in Salman Pak False story
2004 UN head inspector Blix accused PM Blair of misleading public on Iraq threat before invasion
2004 Report in 2003 UK intel found Zarqawi setting up cells in Baghdad 
2006 Insurgents stormed Olympic Committee in Baghdad Took 30 people including committee president
(Musings On Iraq book review Voices From Iraq, A People’s History, 2003-2009)
2007 Report 45% of foreign fighters in Iraq come from Saudi Arabia More Saudis had been suicide
            bombers than any other nationality US tried to not talk about issue because Saudis are allies
2011 3 bombs in Karbala left 100 casualties
2012 Iraq complained about KRG-Turkish oil deals saying it would affect relations between two countries
2018 Protests in 9 provinces Sairoon offices in Babil attacked Hikma and Badr offices in Nasiriya burned
Police shot at crowds outside Dhi Qar provincial council building Attempt to burn council building in Maysan Led to police to kill 3 Mayor’s house in Maysan burned Fadhila Hikma Badr Dawa offices set on fire in Samawah Muthanna and council building sacked 3 more killed March in Baghdad broken up by security forces Basra provincial council building taken over with police killing 4 Protesters rushed gates at Zubayr oil field leading to 5 being shot and wounded Protest at Um Qasr port Basra Marches in Najaf and Qadisiya broke up by security forces
2018 Karbala council threatened to take its power station off the national grid unless protest demands met
2018 PM Abadi again talked about potential threat of protests Claimed small groups taking advantage of
them to destroy property and attack govt offices
(Musings On Iraq article on Jul 15 protests)

View the Iraq History Timelines 

Sunday, July 14, 2019

This Day In Iraqi History - Jul 14


1920 Banu Hassan tribe joined 1920 Revolt
(Musings On Iraq book review of Reclaiming Iraq, The 1920 Revolution and the Founding of the Modern State)
1941 PM Midfai declared martial law in Sulaymaniya to stop revolt by Barzani
1958 Free Officers led coup overthrowing King Faisal II and Iraq’s monarchy
(Musings On Iraq book review An Analysis of Hanna Batatu’s The Old Social Classes and the Revolutionary Movements of Iraq)
1958 Gen Qasim became head of state King Faisal II and family killed
(Musings On Iraq interview with Western Kentucky’s Prof Romero on the Qasim govt)
1958 Communists had been in contact with Free Officers Called out its followers to demonstrate in
streets of Baghdad to support coup
(Musings On Iraq book review Red Star Over Iraq, Iraqi Communism Before Saddam)
(Musings On Iraq Interview with Prof Johan Franzen on the history of the Iraqi Communist Party)
1959 Kurdish communists and KDP held joint anniversary for 58 coup in Kirkuk city Turkmen held
separate celebration Two sides clashed leading to 2 days of fighting in city Around 30 killed and 100 injured
(Musings On Iraq Interview with Prof Johan Franzen on the history of the Iraqi Communist Party)
1964 Pres Arif announced pan-Arab Iraqi Arab Socialist Union party
1964 Pres Arif nationalized banks and insurance companies
1968 Coup against Pres Arif planned but called off after army officers backed out Baath would not drop
coup
1982 Iraqi 3rd Corps counterattacked began against Iran Op Ramadan in Basra Used tear gas
(Musings On Iraq book review of Iran-Iraq War Volume 2: Iran Strikes back, June 1982-December 1986)
1985 Iran Op Qadir overran Iraqi forces outside Penjwin Kurdistan and advanced 20 miles into Iraq
Attack into Halabja failed
1987 Saddam shuffled military leadership to get more offensive minded officers in command
(Musings On Iraq book review Iran-Iraq War Volume 3: Iraq’s Triumph)
1988 Iran Op Tawakalna ala Allah 3 expanded into Iranian territory in center Saddam threatened to
attack towards Ahwz in southern Iran and seize oil fields if Tehran didn’t withdraw from Kurdistan
1988 Iranian leadership agreed to accept UN Res 598 calling for end of Iran-Iraq War
(Musings On Iraq interview with author Anthony Tucker-Jones on Iran-Iraq War)
(Musings On Iraq interview with author Tom Cooper on Iran-Iraq War)
(Musings On Iraq book review The Iran-Iraq War 1980-1988)
(Musings On Iraq book review Iran-Iraq War, The Lion of Babylon, 1980-1988)
(Musings On Iraq book review The Iran-Iraq War)
1990 Kuwait said it would reconsider OPEC quotas in Oct Was considered a breech by Iraq
1990 Pres Mubarak visited Saddam in Baghdad trying to get him to backdown in confrontation with Kuwait
2003 Article Iraqi scientists said bombings inspections sanctions unilateral destruction ended Iraq’s WMD
programs before invasion
2003 Columnist Novak exposed Ex Amb Wilson’s wife as a CIA agent after he criticized Bush admin over
false Niger-Iraq uranium deal Info came from VP Cheney’s office trying to discredit Wilson
2003 UK For Sec Straw said CIA believed UK intel on Iraq-Africa uranium deal
(Musings On Iraq article on Iraq-Niger uranium story)
2004 US appointed governor of Mosul assassinated
2004 Blair said he expected Iraq’s WMD to be found
2004 Butler Report said UK intel on Iraq WMD based upon worst case scenarios and exaggerated alleged
stockpiles Said UK intel on Iraq WMD was “seriously flawed”
2004 Butler Report said UK intel found no evidence of Iraq-Al Qaeda cooperation
(Musings On Iraq Book Review The Report of the Iraq Inquiry, Executive Summary)
2006 When asked was the US winning in Iraq US Army Chief of Staff Gen Schoomaker told congressional
aids U.S. wasn’t losing in Iraq Said war was getting more difficult and was more at the start than the end
2007 PM Maliki said Iraqi forces were ready to take over security when US left
2007 Fmr State Dept reconstruction coordinator said impact of Provincial Reconstruction Teams were
negligible because of lack of security
2018 Govt shut down Internet to try to stop protest organizers and news of demonstrations from being
spread PM Abadi warned of “infiltrators” amongst activists while releasing funds for development projects demanded by protests
2018 Protests in 9 provinces Babil stormed Dawa and Fadhila offices 2 marches in Baghdad Badr HQ in
Basra city burned Protests at Rumaila Majnoon West Qurna oil fields and Um Qasr port Asaib Ahl Al-Haq office in Najaf burned marches in Dhi Qar Maysan Najaf Qadisiya Wasit
(Musings On Iraq article on latest protests)
(Musings On Iraq article on history of Asaib Ahl Al-Haq)

View the Iraq History Timelines 

Saturday, July 13, 2019

This Day In Iraqi History - Jul 13


1920 Tribal forces surrounded British garrison at Abu Skhair during 1920 Revolt
(Musings On Iraq book review of Reclaiming Iraq, The 1920 Revolution and the Founding of the Modern State)
1958 Col Arif gained control of 20th Brigade and began march towards Baghdad from Diyala to start
1958 coup
1959 Gen Qasim appointed several Communists to his cabinet
(Musings On Iraq book review Red Star Over Iraq, Iraqi Communism Before Saddam)
(Musings On Iraq Interview with Prof Johan Franzen on the history of the Iraqi Communist Party)
(Musings On Iraq interview with Western Kentucky’s Prof Romero on the Qasim govt)
1982 Iranian Op Ramadan invaded Iraq for 1st time Advanced 10 miles across Shatt al-Arab into
Basra Consisted of 5 human wave attacks by Iranian Revolutionary Guard with 100,000 troops against Iraqi lines
(Musings On Iraq interview with Naval Postgraduate School’s Ostovar on history of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard)
(Musings On Iraq book review Vanguard of the Imam, Religion, Politics, and Iran’s Revolutionary Guard)
1982 Iraq used tear gas to turn back Iranian attacks in Basra
(Musings On Iraq book review of Iran-Iraq War Volume 2: Iran Strikes back, June 1982-December 1986)
1988 Iraq broke Iranian lines and moved into Iran Took Dehloran Iran
1988 Saddam threatened to invade southern Iran if Tehran didn’t withdraw from Halabja Kurdistan
(Musings On Iraq interview with author Anthony Tucker-Jones on Iran-Iraq War)
(Musings On Iraq interview with author Tom Cooper on Iran-Iraq War)
(Musings On Iraq book review The Iran-Iraq War 1980-1988)
(Musings On Iraq book review Iran-Iraq War, The Lion of Babylon, 1980-1988)
(Musings On Iraq book review The Iran-Iraq War)
(Musings On Iraq book review Iran-Iraq War Volume 4: The Forgotten Fronts)
2001 Deputy Secretary of State Armitage suggested that Bush make Iraq the top foreign policy issue
2003 Iraqi Governing Council announced its formation and held first session Mohammed al-Uloom
became premier Seats were divided up using ethnosectarian quotas
(Musings On Iraq article on Iraqi Governing Council)
(Musings On Iraq book review Iraq From War To A New Authoritarianism)
2003 After White House blamed CIA for Bush using Iraq-Africa uranium story CIA leaked it had blocked
story from being used before
2003 PM Blair said he still believed story Iraq tried to buy uranium from Africa CIA questioned its veracity
(Musings On Iraq article on Iraq-Niger uranium story)
2005 UndersecDef Feith said US didn’t train enough Kurds and Iraqi exiles to help with security before 03
invasion Said US officials reluctant to end CPA early in 2003 Said US military not Pentagon determined size of invasion force
2005 US army officers refuted Undersec Def Feith saying Pentagon curtailed troop deployments to
            Iraq before and after invasion
2006 For the first time in Iraq US military turned over security in a province to Iraqi forces Happened in
Muthanna
2007 Joint Chies head Gen Pace said more training of ISF wasn’t needed Needed more US forces
embedded with ISF Response to White House report that number of Iraqi battalions able to operate independently dropped from 10 to 6 in first 6 months of 2007
2008 Islamic Party said Iraqi forces should not take control of security in Anbar because Awakening was
not ready Sheikhs Sulaiman and Hayes agreed
(Musings On Iraq article on security handover of Anbar)
2009 IED on US Amb Hill’s convoy in Dhi Qar likely by a militia
(Musings On Iraq The Return Of The Special Groups)
2015 Campaign started to recapture Ramadi from IS
(Musings On Iraq interview with Ahmed Ali on fall of Ramadi)
2018 PM Abadi went to Basra City over protests They refused to meet with his deleagation saying it was
useless Took over courtyard of hotel Abadi staying at
2018 Protests in 7 provinces Basra and Maysan council building and party offices occupied some burned 1
person killed Um Qasr port shut down Najaf council building and airport occupied 1 party office burned Marches in Babil Muthanna Qadisiya Dhi Qar Karbala
(Musings On Iraq article on new round of protests)

View the Iraq History Timelines 

Friday, July 12, 2019

This Day In Iraqi History - Jul 12


1946 Police tried breaking Communist oil worker strike in Kirkuk Fired on workers Killed 8
wounded 50 Killings condemned in press PM Umari shut down papers in response Helped lead to fall of govt in Nov
1958 Communist party members were warned that something big was going to happen in anticipation
            of Free Officers’ Coup that overthrew monarchy
(Musings On Iraq book review Red Star Over Iraq, Iraqi Communism Before Saddam)
(Musings On Iraq Interview with Prof Johan Franzen on the history of the Iraqi Communist Party)
1968 PM Yahya threatened to resign over divisions within military that would lead to 1968 coup
1979 Saddam elected new president and head of Regional Command Council of the Baath Party Dhuri
elected VP
1979 Rev Command Council Secretary General Muhyi Hussein Mashadi objected to Bakr stepping down
saying he should have been convinced to stay in office
1982 UN Res 514 called for end to war Iraq accepted it Khomeini rejected it and called on Iraqis to rise up
against Saddam
1983 Reagan signed NSDD 99 to review US policy in Middle East Led to tilt towards Iraq
1988 Iraq Op Tawakalna ala Allah 3 began towards Dehloran in center Recaptured Muhsen border
region Goal was to destroy Iranian forces to prevent postwar threat
1988 Iran withdrew from Halabja district Kurdistan
1988 Iraq started withdrawing from 2,260 sq mi of Iranian territory
(Musings On Iraq interview with author Anthony Tucker-Jones on Iran-Iraq War)
(Musings On Iraq interview with author Tom Cooper on Iran-Iraq War)
(Musings On Iraq book review The Iran-Iraq War 1980-1988)
(Musings On Iraq book review Iran-Iraq War, The Lion of Babylon, 1980-1988)
(Musings On Iraq book review The Iran-Iraq War)
1991 Saddam carried out new wave of executions of Baath members and army officers
2001 Iraqi Military Alliance opposition group met in London made up of 60 former officers Called for
democratic Iraq Foreign aid Iraqi soldiers to work with it
2003 British officially took control of Basra Maysan Dhi Qar and Muthanna with no strategy on how to run
them
2003 VP Cheney chief of staff Libby spoke 3rd time with NY Times reporter Miller telling her fmr Amb
Wilson’s wife worked for CIA Was to discredit Wilson
2003 VP Cheney chief of staff Libby talked with Time reporter Cooper who said fmr Amb Wilson’s wife
might’ve sent him on Niger trip
(Musings On Iraq article on Iraq-Niger uraniuam story)
2005 Zarqawi responded to Maqdisi who criticized Al Qaeda in Iraq’s tactics of attacking civilians and
Shiites and suicide bombings Zarqawi said more important to attack Shiites than non-Muslims Accused Shiites of starting sectarian violence Cited Abu Abdullah al-Muhajir who supported suicide missions
(Musings On Iraq book review The Caliphate At War, Operational Realities and Innovations of the Islamic State)
2006 20 people from bus station abducted and executed in Muqtadiya
2007 Bush claimed US making progress on 8 of 18 congressional benchmarks set for Surge Created
constitutional review committee but it had taken no action Passed regions law but no implementation Election Commission formed Supported Surge Reduced sectarian violence Were more ISF Passed budget No progress on reconciliation or relations with Iran and Syria or economic growth No reforming deBaathification No energy law No provincial election law or provincial powers law No amnesty law No disarmament of militias Hadn’t stopped political interference in ISF Not enforced law and order Not taken on militia influence in ISF
2009 VP Hashemi said Baghdad would fight PKK and would form special units to do so Never happened
Meant to appease Turkey
2014 Naqshibandi leader Izzat al-Dhur welcomed and praised IS’s role in fighting against Maliki govt
2017 Asaib Ahl Al-Haq members arrested in Musayib Babil for kidnapping 28 Sunnis and killing 20
of them
(Musings On Iraq article on history of Asaib Ahl Al-Haq)
2018 South Oil Company offices stormed and road to airport blocked in Basra City 1 killed by police Protest
at Rumaila and West Qurna oil fields and 2 other parts of Basra Marches in Baghdad and Wasit
2018 Oil Min Luaibi said govt had come up with response to protests promising 10,000 jobs in oil sector
and investment in water electricity and health care
(Musings On Iraq article on govt response to protests)

View the Iraq History Timelines 

Thursday, July 11, 2019

Can The Islamic State Make A Comeback In Iraq Part 1? Interview With Washington Institute for Near East Policy’s Michael Knights

(Iraqi News)
The Islamic State is trying to rebuild a second time in just a decades time. The situation in Iraq is different than the first time however providing both opportunities and problems for the group. To help explain IS’s situation is Michael Knights from the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. He can be followed on Twitter @Mikeknightsiraq.

This Day In Iraqi History - Jul 11


1917 1st Battle of Ramadi started Ottomans forced British to retreat
1921 Iraq council of state declared Faisal monarch of Iraq
1979 Pres Bakr resigned from the Revolutionary Command Council citing health Saddam took over
council
1991 Iran warned that Iraqi forces about to launch new military operation into southern marshes against
rebels and displaced
1991 UK intel report said Iraq tried 4 methods to enrich uranium for its nuclear program and might have
made enough for 1 bomb
(Musings On Iraq Chilcot Report Sec 1.1 UK Iraq Strategy 1990 To 2000)
1991 Pres Bush said that coup vs Saddam might be best way to assure that Iraq didn’t continue with its
nuclear weapons program
(Musings On Iraq book review The United States And Iraq Since 1990: A Brief History with Documents)
2003 Rice called CIA Dir Tenet telling him he was responsible for Iraq-Africa uranium story being used in
Bush’s State of the Union
2003 CIA Dir Tenet issued statement that he was responsible for Iraq-Africa uranium deal getting into
Bush’s State of Union Said CIA only had fragmentary intel on Iraq trying to buy uranium from Africa
2003 Dir Tenet also said that CIA had Iraq-Africa uranium story stricken from previous Bush speeches
2003 CIA officials quoted in Wash Post that they tried to dissuade British from using Iraq-Africa uranium
story
2003 Bush Chief of Staff Rove told Cheney Chief of Staff Libby he talked with columnist Novak and he
was going to write fmr Amb Wilson’s wife sent him to Niger Part of plan to discredit Wilson
2003 Bush Chief of Staff Rove told Time reporter Cooper fmr Amb Wilson not sent to Niger by CIA Dir
Tenet or Cheney but his wife who worked at CIA
2003 Columnist Novak called CIA to confirm that Valerie Wilson sent her husband to Niger CIA tried to
stop story and not mention her name
2003 White House spokesman Fleischer and Comm Dir Bartlett told reporter Fmr Amb Wilson found little
on his trip to Niger and wasn’t sent by Dir Tenet
(Musings On Iraq article on Iraq-Niger uranium story)
2003 Rice told reporter Natl Intel Estimate said aluminum tubes Iraq tried to buy were for
nuke program Blamed CIA Dir Tenet for Bush’s State of the Union using fake Iraq-African uranium deal
(Musings On Iraq article on the aluminum tubes story)
2003 After protests by Iraqi police US agreed to reduce its forces at police stations in Fallujah to try to stop
attacks on them
(Musings On Iraq book review The Battle for Fallujah, Occupation, Resistance and Stalemate in the War in Iraq)
2006 Amb Khalizad said hadn’t seen security improvement from Baghdad security plan Op Together
Forward yet
2006 Brookings’ Pollack told House committee not enough US and Iraqi forces to secure Baghdad during
Op Together Forward
(Musings On Iraq article on pre-Surge US Iraq strategy)
2007 CIA Dep Dir Natl Intl Fingar testified to House saying PM Maliki only taken small steps to unify Iraq
Said sectarian violence polarized politics Shiite parties not united Services below prewar levels Said Surge effective violence but not enough to lead to reconciliation
2007 Ret Gen Landry from Natl Intel Council said ISF infiltrated and lacked logistics
2018 4th day of protests in different parts of Basra Blocked road to Rumaila and West Qurna oil fields
South Oil Company office occupied 1 killed by police shooting into crowd Protest in Dhi Qar for electricity and solidarity march in Baghdad
(Musings On Iraq article on new round of protests)

View the Iraq History Timelines 

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Lack Of A Rebuilding Plan Undermines Iraq’s Call For More Help


West Mosul 2 years after the end of the war vs the Islamic State (Al Jazeera)

At the end of June Prime Minister Adil Mahdi and Ninewa Governor Mansour al-Marid both called for more international help to rebuild the country. At a meeting with a delegation from the United Nations’ Security Council the premier said that the international community should be helping Iraq more with reconstruction. That same day Governor Marid stated that the world was responsible for what happened to Mosul during the war against the Islamic State so it should provide more aid and investment. This came after the Trade Ministry announced a conference including 120 companies and 11 countries such as Germany, India, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and others to try to garner money for putting post-conflict areas back together.

This Day In Iraqi History - Jul 10


1924 First elections held in Iraq Was for Constituent Assembly
1940 England decided to send Indian Div to Basra after PM Gaylani wanted to block British troops moving
through Iraq as part of Anglo-Iraq Treaty
1940 UK Cmdr in Middle East Gen Wavell thought sending British troops to Iraq would destabilize region
so Indian Div sent to Egypt instead
(Musings On Iraq book review of Rashid Ali al-Gailani, The National Movement in Iraq 1939-1941)
(Musings On Iraq book review of Persian Gulf Command, A History of the Second World War In Iran and Iraq)
(Musings On Iraq book review Iraq And Syria 1941, The Politics and Strategy of the Second World War)
1967 General Tahir Yahya became premier 2nd time Was later charged with corruption
1978 Former Prime Minister Naif died from gunshot wounds from assassination attempt by Iraqi agents in
London
1978 England expelled Iraqi diplomats and intel officers for Naif assassination Iraq retaliated by expelling
British diplomats arresting British businessmen Embargo on UK
1988 Iraq recaptured 14 mountain peaks in Panjwin area of Kurdistan
(Musings On Iraq interview with author Anthony Tucker-Jones on Iran-Iraq War)
(Musings On Iraq interview with author Tom Cooper on Iran-Iraq War)
(Musings On Iraq book review The Iran-Iraq War 1980-1988)
(Musings On Iraq book review Iran-Iraq War, The Lion of Babylon, 1980-1988)
(Musings On Iraq book review The Iran-Iraq War)
(Musings On Iraq book review Iran-Iraq War Volume 4: The Forgotten Fronts)
1990 Gulf OPEC members met and agreed to follow quotas which Iraq had been demanding Iraq needed to
raise revenues after encurring huge debts from Iran-Iraq War
1991 UN set up camps at Lake Hammar to take in displaced from southern marshes but govt did not allow
people to enter
2002 Pentagon Defense Policy Board met over Iraq invasion plans Angry military not thinking
innovatively Wanted generals fired
2003 Iraqi police demonstration in Baghdad saying US forces in city led to attacks upon police
2003 Sec State Powell told ABC that captured trailers were Iraqi mobile WMD labs
(Musings On Iraq article on mobile labs story)
2007 US GAO report Pentagon could not account for weapons it gave to ISF from Jun 04 to Dec 05
Around 190,000 weapons were unaccounted for US still didn’t have accounting process in place by 2007
2008 2 Sadrist politicians and an Iraqi army officers said Hezbollah ran two training camps in Basra since
2006 Up to 10 Hezbollah operatives trained Special Groups there Closed during Charge of Knights
2008 Sadrist politicians and army officer said Hezbollah involved in Jan 07 Asaib Ahl Al-Haq raid on
Karbala that killed US soldiers and involved in AAH kidnapping of 5 Britons from Finance Min in Baghdad May 07
(Musings On Iraq article on Hezbollah presence in Iraq)
2009 US released 5 Iran Rev Guards members it held since 2007 as part of SOFA that said US had to
release all prisoners by 2011
(Musings On Iraq 5 Revolutionary Guards Members Let Go By U.S.)
2009 KRG parliament agreed to postpone referendum on new constitution that laid claim to disputed
areas and would have given Pres Barzani greater powers
(Musings On Iraq Kurds Agree To Suspend Vote On Controversial Constitution)
2012 During visit to Irbil Pres Barzani tried to get Syria’s Kurdish National Council and Democratic Union
Party to unite and not align with PKK
2014 IS’s Dabiq magazine included article with Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi calling for Muslims to conduct hijra
migration to the caliphate
(Musings On Iraq book review The Caliphate At War, Operational Realities and Innovations of the Islamic State)
2017 PM Abadi declared Mosul freed after 9 month long campaign Heavy fighting continued in city
(Musings On Iraq Interview with Ret. Col Witty on the Battle of Mosul)
(Musings On Iraq interview with Horizon Client Access’ Alex Mello on Battle of Mosul)
(Musings On Iraq interview with Amnesty International’s Donatella Rovera on Battle of Mosul)
(Musings On Iraq interview with International Center for Study of Radicalization’s Charlie Winter on how IS media dealt with its defeat in Battle of Mosul)
(Musings On Iraq interview with BBC’s Quentin Sommerville on the Battle of Mosul)
(Musings On Iraq interview with Niqash’s Mustafa Habib on Battle of Mosul)
(Musings On Iraq interview with Reuters’ Stephen Kalin on Battle of Mosul)
(Musings On Iraq interview with AFP’s Ahmad Mousa on Battle of Mosul)
(Musings On Iraq interview with journalist Florian Neuhof on Battle of Mosul)
2018 Protest in Dhi Qar over jobs water and electricity Protests in Basra blocked roads to Rumaila and
West Qurna oil fields and Lukoil offices demanding jobs and justice for protester killed Jul 8

 View the Iraq History Timelines 

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Security In Iraq July 1-7 2019

(Al Ghad Press)

The Islamic State’s spring-summer offensive has not amounted to much. In its second month there have only been two major bombings, and the number of incidents has basically stayed the same.

This Day In Iraqi History - Jul 9


1962 Iraqi planes bombed Turkish border post during operation against Kurdish rebels killing 2
Turkish soldiers
(Musings On Iraq book review of The Kurds, A Modern History)
(Musings On Iraq book review Kurds of Iraq, Tragedy and Hope)
1963 Soviet Union accused Arif govt of genocide against Kurds
1973 Another 36 coup plotters tried including Baath Regional Command members Samarriea and Fadil
and given death sentences
1978 Former Prime Minister after 1968 Baath coup Naif shot in London by Iraqi agents on orders
from Saddam
1980 Former Shah generals launched failed coup vs Khomeini Iraq blamed
1982 Pres Rafsanjani said Iran would accept peace if 1975 border treaty retained $100 bil in
reparations Saddam tried as war criminal
1988 Iraq recaptured Penjwin 23 mountain peaks in Mawet area of Kurdistan Pushed towards Iranian
border
(Musings On Iraq interview with author Anthony Tucker-Jones on Iran-Iraq War)
(Musings On Iraq interview with author Tom Cooper on Iran-Iraq War)
(Musings On Iraq book review The Iran-Iraq War 1980-1988)
(Musings On Iraq book review Iran-Iraq War, The Lion of Babylon, 1980-1988)
(Musings On Iraq book review The Iran-Iraq War)
(Musings On Iraq book review Iran-Iraq War Volume 4: The Forgotten Fronts)
1990 US Amb to Iraq Glaspie said that US working on releasing 2nd half of $1 bil loan guarantees to
Baghdad
1996 UN Sec Council asked US for info about Iraq smuggling to get around sanctions
1997 KDP accused PUK of breaking ceasefire attacking its positions with help of PKK
(Musings On Iraq book review of The Kurds, A Modern History)
(Musings On Iraq book review Kurds of Iraq, Tragedy and Hope)
2003 CENTCOM Cmdr Gen Franks told Congress violence in Iraq meant no US troop withdrawal
anytime soon
2003 Def Sec Rumsfeld told Congress Iraq was costing US around $3.9 bil a month
2003 Def Sec Rumsfeld told Congress Iraq war wasn't because new evidence about Iraq’s WMD but
because saw Iraq differently after 9/11
(Musings On Iraq article Iraq, One Of The Worst Intelligence Failures In US History)
2003 Fmr State Dept Military Intel officer Thielman told Congress US govt misrepresented intel
about Iraq threat
2004 Iraqi defector Zubaidi claimed INC embellished reports of defectors about Iraq’s WMD INC
denied story
2004 Bush said everyone believed Iraq had stocks of WMD and Saddam wanted those WMD
programs
2005 Al Qaeda’s Zawahiri sent Iraq strategy letter to Zarqawi Expel US Declare emirate that would
become caliphate Expand to other nations Told Zarqawi he should include more Iraqis in Al Qaeda in Iraq Warned Zarqawi attacks upon Muslim civilians could cost him hearts and minds and support
(Musings On Iraq interview with former CIA analyst Nada Bakos that tracked Zarqawi)
(Musings On Iraq book review Iraq’s Sunni Insurgency)
(Musings On Iraq book review The Caliphate At War, Operational Realities and Innovations of the Islamic State)
2006 PM Maliki announced Op Together Forward 2 to try to secure Baghdad again Failed in days
(Musings On Iraq article on pre-Surge US Iraq strategy)
2006 Militiamen in Jihad, Baghdad pulled Sunnis from cars and executed at least 50
(Musings On Iraq book review Voices From Iraq, A People’s History, 2003-2009)
2006 Article on State Dept report on Interior Min Said corruption human rights abuses sectarian
violence connections to insurgents and militias undermined ministry
(Musings On Iraq interview with Jerry Burke police and Interior Min adviser on how Badr took over Interior Ministry)
2006 US officials said Jadriya prison in Baghdad run by Mahmoud Waeli Badr’s intel head and
renegade faction of Interior Ministry
(Musings On Iraq article on the history of Badr Organization)
2012 KRG said it would barter oil for refined products with Turkey
2014 Human Rights Watch recorded 61 Sunni civilians killed by Hashd in last month
2018 Protests in 3 parts of Basra and Muthanna demanding better services and jobs from oil companies
Blocked entrances to West Qurna 1 and Rumaila oil fields

View the Iraq History Timelines 

Monday, July 8, 2019

Review Patriotic Ayatollahs, Nationalism In Post-Saddam Iraq


Review Sayej, Caroleen Marji, Patriotic Ayatollahs, Nationalism In Post-Saddam Iraq, Ithaca and London: Cornell University Press, 2019

Caroleen Marji Sayej set out to document the role of the leading Ayatollahs from Najaf. She argued that they played a pivotal role in post-Saddam Iraq. They were not quietist as many believed staying out of politics, but saw themselves s guides for the new Iraq. That didn’t mean they wanted an Iranian style Islamic state where clerics would run the government. Instead they pushed for a democratic Iraq. At the same time, they were challenged by others such as Moqtada al-Sadr who claimed equal standing with the ayatollahs even though he did not have their religious education. There were two major problems with the author’s thesis. The first was that she believed they wanted a non-sectarian Iraq, when they supported a Shiite majority victory in the 2005 elections. The second issue was that she took statements and fatwas from the clerics at face value and didn’t do the research into the overall situation leading to many very questionable assertions.

This Day In Iraqi History - Jul 8


1937 Sadabad Pact between Iraq Iran Turkey Afghanistan agreed to borders non-interference regional
security
1973 Police Chief Kazzar and 20 coup plotters executed
1982 Saddam survived assassination attempt in Dujail Saddam ordered town destroyed 1500 residents
arrested 150 executed
1991 Iraq admitted to UN inspectors it had 3 secret programs to enrich uranium to build a nuclear bomb
Before Iraq denied it had any nuclear weapons program
(Musings On Iraq article UN Inspectors Were Right Iraq Was Not A Threat)
(Musings On Iraq article Iraq’s Rejection of UN Inspectors Led To Mistrust Over WMD and 2003 Invasion)
(Musings On Iraq book review The Saddam Tapes)
(Musings On Iraq Chilcot Report Sec 1.1 UK Iraq Strategy 1990 To 2000)
1995 Ceasefire in Kurdish civil war ended as PUK and KDP went back to fighting over control of Irbil
(Musings On Iraq book review of The Kurds, A Modern History)
2003 PM Blair told Parliament he believed intelligence that Iraq had WMD
2003 PM Blair said evidence of Iraq-Niger uranium deal was not based upon fake docs but
            separate intel
(Musings On Iraq Book Review The Report of the Iraq Inquiry, Executive Summary)
2003 White House spokesman said intelligence on Iraq-Niger uranium deal turned out to be inaccurate
(Musings On Iraq article on Iraq-Niger uranium story)
2003 Wash Post article quoted admin officials saying Iraq-Africa claim shouldn’t have been used in State of
Uion and story could be wrong
2003 VP Cheney’s chief of staff Libby met NYTimes’ Miller Said Fmr Amb Wilson’s NY Times OpEd part
of CIA campaign to absolve itself of bad intel on Iraq
2003 Libby told NYTimes’ Miller Fmr Amb Wilson’s report on his trip to Niger never made it out of CIA
and found evidence Iraq did try to buy uranium
2003 Libby told NYTimes’ Miller Natl Intel Est had stronger evidence that Iraq tried to buy uranium from
Africa
2003 Libby told NYTimes’ Miller that Wilson’s wife’s name was Valerie Plame and she worked at
            CIA Miller would later denied she got her name from Libby
2003 Columnist Novak asked DepSecState Armitage why fmr Amb Wilson sent to Niger to look into Iraq
uranium deal Armitage said because his wife worked at CIA
2003 Bush Chief of Staff Rove confirmed to columnist Novak that fmr Amb Wilson’s wife sent him to
Niger
2004 Al Qaeda in Iraq beheaded Bulgarian civilians Georgi Lazov and Ivaylo Kepov
2004 US and Iraqi officials said decision to stop 1st Fallujah battle was wrong and city now controlled by
insurgents
2004 US and Iraqi intel reports said Zarqawi using Fallujah as a base
(Musings On Iraq book review The Battle for Fallujah, Occupation, Resistance and Stalemate in the War in Iraq)
2005 Iraq constitutional committee started its work
(Musings On Iraq interview with constitutional scholar Zaid al-Ali on Iraq’s constitution)
(Musings On Iraq book review Iraq From War To A New Authoritarianism)
(Musings On Iraq book review The Occupation of Iraq, Winning The War, Losing The Peace)
2007 Report Sadr had gone back to Iran after short stay in Iraq in May Sadr fled to Iran in February
believing that US would target him during Surge
2008 Report Al Qaeda sent foreign fighters to Sudan and Somalia rather than Iraq due to downturn in
insurgency
(Musings On Iraq article on decline of insurgency)
2018 2 killed 2 wounded by police firing into protesters demanding jobs, electricity and water in Imam
Sadiq in Basra Security forces claimed armed men fired on them first to excuse them shooting at crowd Were also protests in Basra City Maysan Dhi Qar Muthanna and Wasit over electricity jobs services
(Musings On Iraq article on summer protests)

View the Iraq History Timelines 

Sunday, July 7, 2019

Musings On Iraq In The News

I was quoted in "IRAQ: Hrw: "Detenuti in condizioni degradanti"" in the Near East News Agency. That article was reprinted in Ristretti Orizzonti.

Link to all of Musings On Iraq's original work, appearances and citations.

This Day in Iraqi History - Jul 7

1921 American consul in Baghdad wrote that Faisal would become King of Iraq even though he was
unpopular in the country
1921 Gertrude Bell noted that Iraqi notables couldn’t wait for election to appoint Feisal King because would
take 2 months and that was too long
(Musings On Iraq book review of Gertrude Bell And Iraq)
(Musings On Iraq book review Gertrude Bell, Explorer of the Middle East)
1973 Police Chief Kazzar and 20 other coup plotters found guilty and given death sentence
1973 Baath Regional Congress expanded membership to accommodate Saddam supporters
1984 Iraqi govt uncovered plot to assassinate Saddam Executed some 50 army officers as a result
1987 UN Resolution 598 called for ceasefire in Iran-Iraq War
(Musings On Iraq interview with author Anthony Tucker-Jones on Iran-Iraq War)
(Musings On Iraq interview with author Tom Cooper on Iran-Iraq War)
(Musings On Iraq book review The Iran-Iraq War 1980-1988)
(Musings On Iraq book review Iran-Iraq War, The Lion of Babylon, 1980-1988)
(Musings On Iraq book review The Iran-Iraq War)
1991 Iraq Foreign Min Hussein told UN that it would make a declaration of its nuclear program Said Iraq
had not violated Non-Proliferation Treaty or IAEA safeguards
(Musings On Iraq article UN Inspectors Were Right Iraq Was Not A Threat)
(Musings On Iraq article Iraq’s Rejection of UN Inspectors Led To Mistrust Over WMD and 2003 Invasion)
(Musings On Iraq book review The Saddam Tapes)
1991 Iraq’s concealment committee met Decided to reveal details about nuke program after inspectors
found site Decided to secretly destroy WMD programs and materials to hide them from inspectors Would prove long term problem because Iraq could never fully prove what it destroyed and what it was hiding to inspectors
(Musings On Iraq Chilcot Report Sec 1.1 UK Iraq Strategy 1990 To 2000)
1997 Turkey withdrew its forces from Kurdistan after killing over 2,000 PKK fighters
(Musings On Iraq book review of The Kurds, A Modern History)
2003 CPA suspended Iraq’s old banking laws as part of reform program
2003 Def Sec Rumsfeld told Senate US didn't go to war with Iraq because it had dramatic new
            evidence of its WMD programs
2003 White House admitted Bush’s State of Union claim Iraq tried to buy uranium
            from Africa Shouldn't have been used
2003 VP Cheney’s chief of staff Libby told White House spokesman Fleischer fmr Amb Wilson’s wife sent
him to Niger to investigate Iraq-Niger uranium deal Was attempt to discredit Wilson
(Musings On Iraq article on Iraq-Niger uranium story)
2003 SCIRI dropped objection to joining Iraqi Governing Council after lobbying by UN
2003 UK parliament’s Foreign Affairs comm report on UK dossier on Iraq’s WMD said was not sexed up by
Blair govt
2003 UK Foreign Affairs comm report said Blair govt didn’t mislead parliament but misstated some of the
intel on Iraq’s WMD
2003 UK Foreign Affairs comm report said claim Iraq could use WMD in 45 min should not have been so
prominent in dossier
2003 UK parliament’s Foreign Affairs comm report said UK dossier on Iraq WMD should’ve been more
qualified on story Iraq tried to buy uranium from Africa
(Musings On Iraq Book Review The Report of the Iraq Inquiry, Executive Summary)
2003 State Dept intel agency sent memo to DepSec State Armitage originally from June that said Iraq-Niger
docs were fakes
(Musings On Iraq article on Iraq-Niger uranium story)
2004 US Iraq cmdr Gen Casey told Bush 70% of Fallujah Brigade had joined insurgency
2004 Sen Intel Comm found major judgements in Oct 02 Natl Intel Est on Iraq’s WMD and nuke program
were overstated and generally not supported
(Musings On Iraq article Iraq, One Of The Worst Intelligence Failures In US History)
(Musings On Iraq article on how poor US intel work led to claim Iraq rebuilt its nuclear weapons program)
2004 Sen Intel Comm found US intel claims Iraq had WMD and programs larger than before Gulf War were
overstated
2004 Sen Intel Comm found US had evidence Iraq buying dual use equipment Uncertain Iraq had destroyed
its WMD stocks after Gulf War
2004 Sen Intel Comm found US intel didn’t have much good info on Iraq’s WMD and nuke programs after
UN inspections ended in 1998
2004 Sen Intel Comm found US intel suffered from group think Assumed Iraq had WMD Assumed
everything it did was to expand those programs
2004 Senate Intel Comm report on pre-war intel found that all of CIA’s claims about Iraq renewed nuke
program were wrong and weak to begin with
2004 Sen Intel Comm found CIA justified to claim Iraq-Al Qaeda might have cooperated based upon pre-
war intel
2005 Iraq and Iran’s Defense Ministries signed military cooperation agreement
(Musings On Iraq article on Iran’s Iraq policy)
2005 Report Human Rights Min said Iraqi forces carried out random arrests not using
            warrants torturing and abusing prisoners
2005 Report Human Rights Min official said Iraqi forces conducting extrajudicial
            killings and govt not doing anything about it
2005 Report $8.8 bil went missing in Iraqi ministries during CPA period 03-05
(Musings On Iraq interview with Special Inspector Gen for Iraq Reconstruction Bowen on corruption in Iraq)
(Musings On Iraq interview with fmr anti-graft official Vincent Foulk on corruption in Iraq)
2006 Bush said Americans were wondering if US could win Iraq war Said US was winning
(Musings On Iraq article on pre-Surge US Iraq strategy)
2006 US Iraq cmdr Gen Casey given investigative report on Marines killing Iraqi civilians in Haditha
2006 Integrity Commission head Radi said weak institutions and lack of punishment led
            to uncontrolled corruption
2008 PM Maliki said he wanted a memo of understanding on withdrawal of US forces
            instead of a Status of Forces Agreement which was stalled
(Musings On Iraq article on negotiations over SOFA)
2008 Female suicide bomber hit market in Baquba 23rd female suicide bombing of the year
(Musings On Iraq article on female suicide bombers)
2008 Report 94% decline in attacks by ISI 25 in Nov 07 vs 334 Nov 06
2013 KRG Pres Barzani visited Baghdad to try to resolve problems with PM Maliki
2017 Protesters seized power plant in Babil due to electricity shortages
2018 Protest in Imam Sadiq Basra blocked main road over electricity shortages
(Musings On Iraq article on summer protests)

Can The Islamic State Make A Comeback In Iraq Part 2? Interview With Il Foglio’s Daniele Raineri

(Iraqi News) Daniele Raineri is a reporter for Italy’s Il Foglio. He has been covering the Islamic State for years now. That group is c...