Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Expansion of the Hashd al-Shaabi’s Influence In Iraq, Interview With Clingendael’s Erwin van Veen

(Getty)

Erwin van Veen is part of the Clingendael Institute in the Netherlands, which has released a series of reports about the Hashd al-Shaabi in Iraq over the last several years. The last one came out in July 2019 and talked about how different Hashd groups were expanding their influence in Iraq. This is an interview about those development. Van Veen can be followed on Twitter @ErwinVeen.

This Day In Iraqi History - Aug 20


1974 Iraq deployed 84,000 troops and 20,000 Kurdish militia to fight KDP
(Musings On Iraq book review of The Kurds, A Modern History)
(Musings On Iraq book review Kurds of Iraq, Tragedy and Hope)
1987 Dawa set off car bomb in Baghdad killing 20
1988 Ceasefire in Iran-Iraq War announced 350 UN peacekeepers deployed along 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)
1990 NSD 45 signed saying U.S. would get withdrawal of Iraq from Kuwait restore Kuwaiti govt
restore security of Gulf protect U.S. citizens in Kuwait and Iraq
1990 Iraq withdrew from last piece of Iranian territory taken during Iran-Iraq War Meant to secure
            east front
(Musings On Iraq book review from storm to Freedom, America’s Long War with Iraq)
1991 Barzani left Baghdad effectively ending autonomy talks with Baghdad
1995 Iraq admitted to UN inspectors that its crash program to build a nuclear bomb failed
(Musings On Iraq article Iraq’s Rejection of UN Inspectors Led To Mistrust Over WMD and 2003 Invasion)
1996 PUK attacked KDP positions in Sulaymaniya with Iranian artillery and helicopter support
(Musings On Iraq book review of The Kurds, A Modern History)
1997 Iraq agreed to allow Iranian pilgrims to go to Najaf and Karbala as way to get around UN sanctions
2002 Rumsfeld said Al Qaeda operatives were in Iraq and that US needed to launch pre-emptive strike
because couldn't wait for Iraq to get stronger
(Musings On Iraq book review America at the Crossroads, Democracy, Power, and the Neoconservative Legacy)
(Musings On Iraq book review Wanting War: Why the Bush Administration Invaded Iraq)
(Musings On Iraq book review Leap of Faith, Hubris Negligence, and America’s Greatest Foreign Policy Tragedy)
2002 UnderSecDef Feith’s intel group met with CIA to discuss Iraq-Al Qaeda ties Complained CIA didn’t
believe Iraq involved in 9/11 Brought up story that 9/11 hijacker Atta met with Iraqi intel in Prague in 2001
2003 Bush at NSC meeting said US had to re-evaluate enemy in Iraq after Zarqawi bombed UN in
Baghdad
(Musings On Iraq book review The Caliphate At War, Operational Realities and Innovations of the Islamic State)
2003 UN said bombing of its Baghdad offices wouldnt stop reconstruction of Iraq UN would withdraw most
of its staff
2003 Bremer told Iraqi Governing Council they had to act quicker to rebuild country and give public
confidence
2004 PM Allawi called for Sadr to give up Imam Ali shrine in Najaf or face US-Iraq assault
(Musings On Iraq article on 2nd battle of Najaf)
(Musings On Iraq book review Battle For The City Of The Dead)
(Musings On Iraq book review US Marines in Battle An-Najaf August 20014)
2005 Report Islamic Party talked with insurgents to try to ensure large turnout in constitutional referendum
2005 Report Shiite parties took over police in Basra Carried out assassinations of ex-Baathists Sunni leaders
and rival Shiites
2005 Report Peshmerga ran 5 prisons and carrying out mass arrests of Sunnis Turkmen and minorities in
Mosul
2007 ISCI governor of Muthanna assassinated by Sadrists Sadr-Hakim rivalry
2007 Report Mahdi Army fighters said they’d gone to Lebanon to train with Hezbollah Sadr said there was
a formal alliance between the two groups
(Musings On Iraq article on Hezbollah presence in Iraq)
2007 Protest in Bagdhad’s Ghazilyia against Sahwa there Ghazailya Guardians Said they were former
insurgents
2008 As part of Maliki-Pres Barzani deal Peshmerga began withdrawing from Qara Tappa and Jalawla in
Diyala after Baghdad sent in army and demanded them to withdraw from disputed area
(Musings On Iraq article on Maliki-KRG dispute over Khanaqin dist)
2011 On ISI’s 5th anniv released video with message that it was going to Syria
2012 US warned that oil companies signing deals with Kurds without Baghdad’s approval were taking risks
2015 Pres Barzani’s term expired but he refused to leave office
2017 Operation to free Tal Afar began
2018 Protests in Muthanna and West Qurna 1 oil field in Basra over services and jobs


View the Iraq History Timelines 

Monday, August 19, 2019

Can The Islamic State Make A Comeback In Iraq Part 3? Interview With Horizon’s Alex Mello

(Reuters)

Violence in Iraq is at the lowest level since the 2003 invasion. This is despite the Islamic State announcing its annual spring-summer offensive Revenge of the Levant. That raises the question of whether IS can make a comeback again like it did after the Surge.  To help delve into this question is Alex Mello a security analyst at Horizon. He can be followed on Twitter @AlexMello2.

This Day In Iraqi History - Aug 19


1921 UK cabinet decided Feisal would be coronated king and then Anglo-Iraq treaty drafted
(Musings On Iraq book review Supremacy And Oil, Iraq, Turkey, and the Anglo-American World Order, 1918-1930)
1984 France agreed to refinance $1.4 bil in debts Iraq owed France biggest western backer of Iraq
1988 UN Res 619 created military observation group to watch Iran-Iraq border to make sure ceasefire
followed
(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)
1996 PUK accused KDP of working with Baghdad KDP accused PUK of working with Iran during civil war
(Musings On Iraq book review of The Kurds, A Modern History)
2003 Zarqawi bombed UN headquarters in Baghdad killed 23 including UN Rep de Mello and injured
over 100
(Musings On Iraq book review The Caliphate At War, Operational Realities and Innovations of the Islamic State)
2003 Bremer asked Washington if he could arrest Sadr Rumsfeld said no fearing would provoke more
violence
2004 PM Allawi wrote Bush saying Iraq was more dangerous and unstable than a year ago
2004 Allawi govt called for Sadr to disband Mahdi Army and leave Najaf shrine
2004 Sistani’s office said it was open to Sadr’s offer to turn over keys to Najaf shrine
(Musings On Iraq article on 2nd battle of Najaf)
(Musings On Iraq book review Battle For The City Of The Dead)
(Musings On Iraq book review US Marines in Battle An-Najaf August 20014)
2004 Iraq Survey Group head Kay was rebuked by NSC staffer for criticizing NSC to Congress on
WMD Group head Kay said Rice more interested in being Bush’s friend than being National Security Adviser
2005 Al Qaeda in Iraq unsuccessful fired rockets from Jordan at 2 US ships docked in Israeli port
2005 3 Islamic Party members kidnapped by gunmen in Mosul putting up flyers to vote in constitutional
referendum
2007 US general accused Iran of training Shiite militias in Iraq to attack US forces Said 50 Iranian
Revolutionary Guard members in South Baghdad Last 3 months found 217 weapons in 4 provinces suspected of coming from Iran Said most going to Mahdi Army
(Musings On Iraq interview with Galen Wright of Arkenstone blog on Iranian arms shipments to Iraqi militias) 
(Musings On Iraq article on Iran’s Iraq policy)
(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)
2009 Iraq withdrew its ambassador to Damascus to protest Baghdad bombings
(Musings On Iraq article on Maliki’s response to Fall 09 bombings)
2014 IS posted video of beheading of journalist James Foley
2018 Protest in Qadisiya over services

View the Iraq History Timelines 

Sunday, August 18, 2019

This Day In Iraqi History - Aug 18


1933 Iraqi army held victory parade and given award by Prince Ghazi for massacring Assyrians in
north Total 60 villages looted and destroyed Around 600 killed
(Musings On Iraq book review of The Tragedy of the Assyrian Minority in Iraq)
(Musings On Iraq book review State and Society in Iraq)
1982 Iraq fired 27 SCUD missiles at Kharg Island Iran’s major oil port with little to no effect
(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 said foreign workers and visitors could not leave Iraq after Kuwait invasion
1990 UN Resolution 664 demanded Iraq release foreign nationals it held
2003 Bremer told Rumsfeld gave order not to arrest Sadr to try to avoid further violence
2003 General Robert Fry Deputy Chief of UK Defense Staff said that Iraqis had grown tired of Coalition
Said Shiite leaders warned that people could start turning on Coalition Said rebuilding ISF political development and providing services in southern Iraq was stalled
2004 Iraq Survey Group head Kay testified to Congress Blamed Rice and NSC for not checking WMD intel
before war
(Musings On Iraq article Iraq, One Of The Worst Intelligence Failures In US History)
2005 Police report listed 18 Sunnis arrested in Baghdad 6 weeks later their bodies found along Iranian
border Showed torture
(Musings On Iraq interview with Jerry Burke police and Interior Min adviser on how Badr took over Interior Ministry)
2005 Anbar governor and other Sunni leaders fired upon in Ramadi during meeting over constitutional
referendum
(Musings On Iraq article on Anbar Governor Alwani)
2006 Report 2 Iraqi army divisions in Anbar short 5,000 troops Soldiers not getting paid Defense Min could
not supply them
2009 ISI set off 3 car bombs in Baghdad hitting Finance and Foreign Ministries and Rashid Hotel killing
101 and wounding 565 PM Maliki blamed Baathists and Syria for Baghdad bombings even though it was ISI
(Musings On Iraq Baghdad Can’t Get Its Story Straight On Aug 18 Bombings)
2015 IS second in command Abu Muslim al-Turkmani killed by US drone strike in Mosul
2017 Kirkuk Gov Karim rejected court order to remove Kurdish flag from government buildings in province

View the Iraq History Timelines 

Saturday, August 17, 2019

This Day In Iraqi History - Aug 17


1920 Ex-Ottoman Iraqi officers asked leading Shiite cleric Shirazi for money Were rejected by Sayid
Tabikh who called the officers mercenaries
1933 Surviving Assyrian women and children from Sumail sent to Dohuk and then Mosul
(Musings On Iraq book review of The Tragedy of the Assyrian Minority in Iraq)
(Musings On Iraq book review State and Society in Iraq)
1937 PM Hikmat Sulaiman govt resigned over threat of military revolt by Mosul Garrison commander Gen
Umari Officers overthrew govt believing it had too many Kurds and Turks and not anti-imperialist Pan-Arabistis
1937 Jamil al-Midfai became premier for 3rd time in deal with pan-Arab officers
1937 Gen Fawzi became army chief of staff Promised to follow pan-Arabism support Arab nationalist
officers Ended talks with Persia over Shatt al-Arab
1937 PM Midfai named Col Najib Defense Minister which angered pan-Arab officers Najib promoted Iraqi
nationalist officers
1937 PM Midfai wanted to exonerate deposed Sulaiman govt Nuri al-Said wanted them punished Began
plotting with army against Midfai
(Musings On Iraq book review The Role of the Military In Politics, A case study of Iraq to 1941)
(Musings On Iraq book review of Rashid Ali al-Gailani, The National Movement in Iraq 1939-1941)
1973 Progressive National Patriotic Front announced between Baath Communists and KDP
(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)
1987 Iraq told UN it wouldn’t accept any changes to Resolution 598 that proposed ceasefire in Iran-Iraq
War
(Musings On Iraq interview with author Anthony Tucker-Jones on Iran-Iraq War)
(Musings On Iraq 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)
1995 Iraq told inspectors after 1991 Kuwait invasion Iraq had placed biological weapons into 166 bombs and
25 missile warheads
(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)
1996 PUK attacked KDP positions in Haj Umran near Iranian border State Dept tried to mediate telling
Barzani should talk with Talabani
(Musings On Iraq book review of The Kurds, A Modern History)
1996 Barzani told State Dept Iran needed to back out of Kurdistan and without U.S. help he would turn to
Baghdad
2000 Iraq reopened Saddam International Airport to get around UN sanctions
2001 US Energy Dep report said aluminum tubes Iraq tried to buy were probably for rockets not centrifuges
Said tubes didn’t match design for any operating centrifuges Report refuted CIA analyst who said alumunium tubes Iraq tried to buy would work for 1950s German centrifuge design
(Musings On Iraq article on the aluminum tubes story)
2001 US Energy Dept report said Iraq trying to buy magnets and other moves showed that Iraq restarted its
centrifuge program to enrich uranium Didn’t know if nuke program restarted
(Musings On Iraq article on how poor US intel work led to claim Iraq rebuilt its nuclear weapons program)
2002 Pentagon memo argued against State suggestion that US would have to run Iraq after invasion State
didn’t think Iraqi exiles could run Iraq Pentagon agreed exiles had problems but US had to push them to prepare for the challenge Rejected a US occupation and said Iraq invasion should be like invasion of France in WWII when US fought with French forces to liberate their country Said were many bad elements in Iraq like radical Shiites communists Wahabis Al Qaeda that could fill vacuum after war so US had to put exiles into power
(Musings On Iraq book review Leap of Faith, Hubris Negligence, and America’s Greatest Foreign Policy
Tragedy)
2002 Iraq intelligence issued order to keep an eye out for Abu Musab al-Zarqawi
2002 CIA made 1st paper explaining assessment of aluminum tubes Said they were for nuclear program Said
high specifications showed they were for centrifuges
(Musings On Iraq article on the aluminum tubes story)
2003 CPA told White House if didn’t get additional $20.3 bil would be disaster for Bush’s plans for Iraq
2003 Water pipeline in Rusafa Baghdad hit with RGP knocking out water for 2 days for 300,000 people
2003 US forces killed Reuters reporter outside Abu Ghraib prison Said camera looked like an RPG
2004 Allawi govt offered amnesty and role in govt to Sadr in return for ceasefire in 2nd Battle of Najaf
2004 NSC meeting discussed US attacking Imam Ali Shrine in Najaf and possibly killing Sadr 2nd Battle of
Najaf
(Musings On Iraq article on 2nd battle of Najaf)
(Musings On Iraq book review Battle For The City Of The Dead)
(Musings On Iraq book review US Marines in Battle An-Najaf August 20014)
2006 Bush held national security meeting to rethink Iraq strategy Bush told staff Iraq policy going bad and
wanted new one
(Musings On Iraq article on pre-Surge US Iraq strategy)
2006 US Cmdr in Iraq Gen Casey told Bush Iraqis may not be up to task of securing Baghdad
2006 US Marine report Starting Dec 05 Al Qaeda in Iraq started marginalizing and co-opting other
insurgent groups Was mad so many insurgents backed Dec 05 elections Wanted revenge
(Musings On Iraq book review Iraq’s Sunni Insurgency)
2006 Report 80% of insurgent attacks against Coalition 80% of casualties were Iraqi civilians Car bombs
and IEDs doubled from 2004 to 2005
2008 PM Maliki admitted that Op Mother of Two Rivers in Mosul failed to improve security Blamed
citizens for not cooperating with govt Govt never provided $100 mil in reconstruction after op
(Musings On Iraq article on Maliki saying Op Mother of Two Rivers failed)
2009 PM Maliki visited Syria and promoted closer ties between the two Major reconciliation move as Syria
had supported insurgents
(Musings On Iraq Baghdad Can’t Get Its Story Straight On Aug 18 Bombings)
2010 ISI suicide bomber hit army recruits in Baghdad killing 60
2011 Iraqi parliament oil committee submitted draft of new oil law Never passed
2012 VP Biden called PM Maliki about Iran flying military supplies to Syria over Iraqi airspace
2015 Judicial Council rejected call for Chief Justice Medhat to resign
2017 PM Abadi’s office acknowledged that Emergency Response Division unit committed abuses reported
in Der Spiegel during Mosul campaign
(Musings On Iraq article on Der Spiegel article on abuses by Rapid Reaction Division during Mosul battle)
(Musings On Iraq article ABC News had follow up to Der Spiegel article on abuses by Rapid Reaction Division during Mosul battle)
(Musings On Iraq article Toronto Star added more to story about abuses by Rapid Reaction Division during Mosul battle)
(Musings On Iraq article reactions to Der Spiegel article on abuses by Rapid Reaction Division during Mosul battle)
(Musings On Iraq article Iraq Joint Operations Command attacked Der Spiegel article on abuses by Rapid Reaction Division during Mosul battle)
2017 Iraqi authorities announced members of Emergency Response Division were sent to court No specifics
given
2017 Iraqi court ruled that Kurdish flag be lowered from government buildings in Kirkuk
2018 Protests in Karbala Najaf Qadisiya Basra Baghdad for jobs services against corruption

View the Iraq History Timelines 

Friday, August 16, 2019

This Day In Iraqi History - Aug 16


1946 KDP founded by Mustafa Barzani and Hamzah Abdullah
(Musings On Iraq book review of The Kurds, A Modern History)
(Musings On Iraq book review Kurds of Iraq, Tragedy and Hope)
1962 Turkish planes shot down Iraqi plane in retaliation for Iraq bombing Turkish border post while
fighting Kurdish rebels
1967 Law No 97 gave more power to Iraqi National Oil Company
1985 Iraq claimed it destroyed Iran’s main oil terminal at Kharg Island but only damaged it
(Musings On Iraq interview with author Anthony Tucker-Jones on Iran-Iraq War)
(Musings On Iraq 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 Iraqi Mirages, The Dassault Mirage Family In Service With The Iraqi Air Force, 1981-1988)
2002 NSC meeting Sec State Powell argued for going to UN for new resolution on Iraq Bush agreed
2002 UnderSecDef Feith’s office claimed briefing day before convinced CIA Dir Tenet to reconsider Iraq-Al
Qaeda relationship Tenet denied Feith’s office had changed his view Feith’s office said Iraq and Al Qaeda cooperated CIA said they had contacts but no cooperation
(Musings On Iraq book review Leap of Faith, Hubris Negligence, and America’s Greatest Foreign Policy
Tragedy)
2003 Insurgent attack on Abu Ghraib prison 6 prisoners killed 59 wounded
2006 Report Mahdi Army and insurgents fighting for control of Diyala Raiding villages and forcing people
out Mahdi Army trying to drive Sunnis out of Khan Bani Said Set up checkpoints robbed trucks kidnapped and murdered people on highway Many soldiers in Diyala were members of the Mahdi Army Others supported the militia US forces didn’t trust Iraqi forces in Diyala because of militia infiltration
2006 Followers of Mahmoud al-Hasani protested in Karbala Nasiriya Hillah against Iran and claimed
Ayatollah Sistani was Iranian puppet
2006 Pentagon review of Iraq war found US used too much force in civilian areas angered Iraqis and didn’t
form alliances with them Providing safety and security for Iraqis was not a priority
2006 Marine intel report US not lost militarily but defeated politically in Anbar Cited lack of US troops and
no functioning Iraqi govt in province Said Al Qaeda in Iraq most powerful force in Anbar
(Musings On Iraq book review Illusions of Victory, The Anbar Awakening And The Rise Of The Islamic State)
2006 Report Bush told Middle East experts he did not support partition of Iraq Said he would make no
policy changes in war
(Musings On Iraq article on pre-Surge US Iraq strategy)
2007 With 17 ministers boycotting PM Maliki’s cabinet new ruling coalition announced of Dawa, ISCI,
            KDP, PUK US helped put coalition together
2007 Report Mahdi Army took over intimidated infiltrated army units in West Baghdad Jan 07 Defense
Min allowed Sadrists to create army unit in Kadhimiya Mahdi Army bribed and intimidated army units to allow it to attack Sunni neighborhoods Army gave vehicles for Mahdi Army to use Army units in Hurriya and Ghaziliya either controlled or working with Mahdi Army to force out Sunnis US organized Sahwa unit in Ghazilyia that was supposed to monitor army there Control of army in Hurriya also allowed Mahdi Army to attack U.S. units there Mahdi Army expanding into Washash Iskan Fadil with help of army
2008 Baghdad-Irbil deal to have Peshmerga withdraw from Khanaqin Diyala and turn over area to central
govt control Confrontation ensued when ISF began evicting Kurdish parties and Peshmerga from town
(Musings On Iraq article on PM Maliki dispute with Kurds over Khanaqin)
2012 ISI carried out attacks in 19 cities leaving over 100 dead
2015 PM Abadi closed 4 ministries merged 8 others into 4 by decree even though legally had to go
through parliament Claimed part of reform program but was budget cuts
(Musings On Iraq interview with Reidar Visser on PM Abadi’s reform program)
2018 March to Basra council building over death of protester day before

View the Iraq History Timelines 

Expansion of the Hashd al-Shaabi’s Influence In Iraq, Interview With Clingendael’s Erwin van Veen

(Getty) Erwin van Veen is part of the Clingendael Institute in the Netherlands, which has released a series of reports about the Hashd ...