Monday, December 6, 2021

Violence Continues Its Winter Decline In Iraq


Since 2003 insurgent violence has almost always declined in Iraq during the winter. This year is no different as Islamic State attacks have gone down for three straight months. On the other hand, pro-Iran groups are increasing their operations against U.S. targets once again as December is the deadline for American combat troops to leave the country and these factions want to show that they are still opposed to their presence.

This Day In Iraqi History - Dec 6

1915 UK cmdr Gen Townsend sent his cavalry and transport south from Kut so would have fewer mouths

to feed Believed relief coming from Basra

1981 Iran freed Bostan strategic transportation center for southern Iran and forced an Iraqi retreat

Iraq lost 1500 dead 400 captured Iran lost 2500 dead 5000 wounded

(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 review The Iran-Iraq War 1980-1988)

(Musings On Iraq review Iran-Iraq War, The Lion of Babylon, 1980-1988)

(Musings On Iraq review The Iran-Iraq War)

(Musings On Iraq review The Longest War, The Iran-Iraq Military Conflict)

1990 Iraq began issuing passports for Iranians to visit Shiites shrines in Iraq

1990 Saddam said he would release all foreign hostages held since invasion of Kuwait

2001 Letter to Wash Post by Senators McCain Lieberman and others said that Iraq had to be

eliminated

2002 White House accused Iraq of hiding WMDs from UN inspectors

(Musings On Iraq UN Inspectors Were Right Iraq Was Not A Threat)

(Musings On Iraq Iraq’s Rejection of UN Inspectors Led To Mistrust Over WMD and 2003 Invasion)

(Musings On Iraq review The WMD Mirage, Iraq’s Decade of Deception and America’s False Premise for War)

2002 Official US troop buildup for Iraq invasion began Wasn’t made public until Feb 03

(Musings On Iraq review Shaping the Plan for Operation Iraqi Freedom, The Role of Military Intelligence Assessment)

2003 Bremer’s convoy attacked on Route Irish to Baghdad airport

2003 Def Sec Rumsfeld told Bremer Natl Sec Adv Rice was trying to take over political file on Iraq

Didn’t agree but was ceding role to her

(Musings On Iraq review State of Denial, Bush At War, Part III)

2005 KDP followers attacked 4 offices of Kurdistan Islamic Union in Dohuk Killed 2 wounded

dozens for party withdrawing from Kurdish list KDP Dohuk governor claimed Islamic Union’s ideology led to attacks and he couldn’t stop them Beforehand Islamic Union called KDP admin in Dohuk corrupt and said election would be struggle between Muslims and nonbelievers Beforehand KDP attacked Islamic Union for helping Arabs against Kurds

2006 Iraq Study Group report issued Said Iraqis needed to eventually take over security Needed to

increases quantity and quality of Iraqi units Said US needed to increase its aid to Iraqi forces and move away from combat Called for all US combat brigades to be out of Iraq by start of 2008 Said US special forces should focus upon taking down Al Qaeda in Iraq Said US couldn’t have open ended commitment to Iraq Baghdad needed to set reconciliation goals and if not met US would cut aid

(Musings On Iraq interview with Prof Mansoor on the Surge)

2006 Iraq Study Group found US military underreporting violence Standards were used to keep

incidents down Example IEDs not against US were not counted 1 day in July 05 U.S. officially reported 93 incidents Were actually 1,100 incidents that day

2006 Report Neoconservatives launched media campaign to discredit Iraq Study Group and

            support troop surge instead

2006 UK Intel report Said Sadr controlled majority of Mahdi Army Routinely attacked Coalition and Sunnis

Didn’t always follow Sadr’s orders but didn't mean they were breakaway units No organizational control of militia Acts of other militias usually blamed on Mahdi Army Sadr had to balance his desire for political power and using violence and militia Said other militias mostly responsible for attacks on UK in Basra Some of those militias trained funded supplied by Hezbollah and Iranian Revolutionary Guard Sadr accepted Iranian aid but didn’t trust Tehran Iran thought Sadr frustrating partner Sadrists joined militia for variety of reasons causing divisions

(Musings On Iraq A Divided Sadr Trend)

(Musings On Iraq Iran’s Policy Towards Iraq)

(Musings On Iraq Overview of Iran’s Influence In Iraq)

(Musings On Iraq Hezbollah’s Role In Iraq)

2007 Basra police chief said he couldn’t secure the province after the British withdrawal at end of year

Said there were hundreds of police that didn’t answer to him and didn’t know who they answered to

2007 Report Surge and Awakening pushed insurgents out of Anbar and Baghdad into Mosul

including ISI War Min Masri

(Musings On Iraq review Surge, My Journey with General David Petraeus and the Remaking of the Iraq War)

(Musings On Iraq interview with Prof Mansoor on the Surge)

(Musings On Iraq interview with New America Foundation’s Ollivant On Reassessing the Surge)

2007 Report PM Maliki announced 2008 as “Year of services” Promised $15 bil for rebuilding

2007 Report Insurgents forced out of Anbar and Baghdad to north Iraq Violence in Mosul

never changed during Surge Samarra and Baiji in Salahaddin and Muqdadiya in Diyala had increased insurgent activity Extorting businesses for finances

2012 US mediated withdrawal of federal and Kurdish forces from Tuz Kharmato and creation of local

security forces along disputed areas US-Baghdad-Irbil agreement on security forces in disputed areas only partially implemented

2019 US sanctioned Asaib Ahl Al-Haq’s Qais and Laith Khazali for orchestrating suppression of protests

and sectarian cleansing of Sunnis in Diyala Hashd leader Hussein Al-Lami for suppressing protests Businessman Khamis al-Khanjar for corruption

(Musings On Iraq Asaib Ahl Al-Haq From A Breakaway Sadr Militia To Defenders Of Iraq)

(Musings On Iraq US Sanctions Iraqi Businessman Khanjar For Bribery And Supporting Iran)

(Musings On Iraq UN Report On Violence Against Iraqi Protesters)

2019 Kataib Hezbollah blamed for shooting protesters in Baghdad’s Al-Khalani Sq and

setting fire to parking garage Up to 85 killed at least 130 wounded

(Musings On Iraq Pro-Iran Hashd Carry Out Another More Deadly Attack Upon Baghdad Protesters)

(Musings On Iraq Kataib Hezbollah With Help From Security Forces Blamed For Friday’s Massacre Of Baghdad Protesters)

(Musings On Iraq Instrument Of Iran’s Power In Iraq And Syria Kataib Hezbollah) 

 

View the Iraq History Timelines 

Sunday, December 5, 2021

This Day In Iraqi History - Dec 5

 

1940 US Amb to Iraq sent note to PM Gaylani saying he was worried about direction of Iraq-

UK relations because of Gaylani’s overtures to the Axis

(Musings On Iraq review Persian Gulf Command, A History of the Second World War In Iran and Iraq)

(Musings On Iraq review Rashid Ali al-Gailani, The National Movement in Iraq 1939-1941)

(Musings On Iraq review Iraq And Syria 1941, The Politics and Strategy of the Second World War)

1985 Lebanon’s Al Safr paper published petition saying 500 Iraqi writer and intellectuals had been

interrogated and tortured to conform to govt

1998 Iraq stopped second inspection but allowed another even though blocked some of its work

(Musings On Iraq Iraq’s Rejection of UN Inspectors Led To Mistrust Over WMD and 2003 Invasion)

(Musings On Iraq review The Greatest Threat, Iraq, Weapons of Mass Destruction, And The Growing Crisis Of Global Security)

2000 UN Res 1330 renewed Oil for Food Program

2002 White House spokesman said Bush and Def Sec Rumsfeld wouldn't claim Iraq had WMD if it wasn't

true

(Musings On Iraq Iraq One Of The Worst Intelligence Failures In US History)

(Musings On Iraq review The WMD Mirage, Iraq’s Decade of Deception and America’s False Premise for War)

2002 Def Sec Rumsfeld aid Herbits said he was taking over postwar Iraq planning because it was a mess

UnderSecDef Feith’s office was supposed to do postwar Iraq planning Herbits said he was screwing up

(Musings On Iraq review Leap of Faith, Hubris Negligence, and America’s Greatest Foreign

Policy Tragedy)

(Musings On Iraq review State of Denial, Bush At War, Part III)

(Musings On Iraq review Hard Lessons, The Iraq Reconstruction Experience)

2002 Report Tuwaitha nuclear facility showed no signs of involvement in weapons program

2003 Pentagon banned France Germany Russia and other countries that opposed war from bidding

on reconstruction projects in Iraq

2003 US Air Force intel report Iran greatest threat to long term US influence in Iraq

(Musings On Iraq Iran’s Policy Towards Iraq)

2003 UN Sec Gen Annan endorsed CPA plan for caucuses to choose interim govt that would then write

constitution

2004 Suicide car bomb hit police station at main gate to Green Zone killed 7 wounded 50

(Musings On Iraq review Suicide Bombers In Iraq, The Strategy and Ideology of Martyrdom)

2005 Amb Khalilzad said he’d been authorized by Bush to start talks with Iran to get its help in Iraq

2005 Report US forces trying new Clear Hold Build in Husaiba Anbar Iraqis seemed disorganized

leaving US to do most things

2006 PM Maliki said he was sending envoys to regional countries to discuss conference on Iraq

            US Abdul Hakim and Pres Talabani all rejected idea Nothing came of it

2007 Report 60,000 refugees returned to Iraq but only 2.4% of total Sep and Oct 07 had highest rate of

returns but then dropped in Nov Govt stopped telling refugees to return because couldn’t handle them Many refugees couldn’t return home and became displaced Some refugees were never able to come home for various reasons like working for US or being Baathists

(Musings On Iraq review Children of War, Voices Of Iraqi Refugees)

(Musings On Iraq Refugees International Report On Iraq’s Refugees and Displaced)

(Musings On Iraq January 2009 U.N. Report On Iraq Refugee Returns)

2007 Iraqi Red Crescent displaced down 4.8% in Oct 07 by 110,000 people First large drop in 2 yrs Still

2.1 mil displaced

2008 Report PUK fired several members in England Blamed PUK co-founder Mustafa for building up

opposition to leadership Called for Talabani to resign Would lead to Change Party

2009 Parliament’s integrity comm said political parties was interfering in case of Trade Min Sudani

trying to delay investigation Said Maliki’s office directly involved Sudani charged with stealing up to $400 mil which was used to fund Maliki’s State of Law

(Musings On Iraq interview with Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction Stuart Bowen on Iraq’s fight with corruption) 

(Musings On Iraq interview with former anti-corruption official Vincent Foulk)

2019 Pro-Iran Hashd marched into Tahrir Sq to disrupt protests 20 people stabbed Asaib Ahl

Al-Haq blamed

(Musings On Iraq Pro-Iran Hashd Stab Protesters In Baghdad’s Tahrir Square)

(Musings On Iraq UN Report On Violence Against Iraqi Protesters)

(Musings On Iraq Asaib Ahl Al-Haq From A Breakaway Sadr Militia To Defenders Of Iraq)

 View the Iraq History Timelines 

Saturday, December 4, 2021

This Day In Iraqi History Dec 4

 

1914 UK forced landed at Muzaira, Basra to seize Qurna Didn’t have troops to take town Retreated

(Musings On Iraq review When God Made Hell, The British Invasion of Mesopotamia and the Creation of Iraq, 1914-1921)

1915 Gen Townshend said he would stay at Kut and fortify it until relief arrived

1920 Churchill wrote PM George that his desire to hold Mosul and Mesopotamia was compromised by his

anti-Turk policy that was threatening Mosul

(Musings On Iraq How The Ottoman Province Of Mosul Became Part Of Iraq)

(Musings On Iraq Churchill In His Own Words On Mesopotamia/Iraq)

(Musings On Iraq review Churchill’s Folly, How Winston Churchill Created Modern Iraq)

1924 Sir Henry Dobbs wrote Colonial Secretary Said King Faisal a foreigner who didn’t have any

support Said authority of Iraqi govt depended upon UK backing and its military might

1997 UN Res 1143 extended Oil for Food Program for 3rd time

1998 Iraq blocked biological weapons inspection

(Musings On Iraq Iraq’s Rejection of UN Inspectors Led To Mistrust Over WMD and 2003 Invasion)

(Musings On Iraq review The Greatest Threat, Iraq, Weapons of Mass Destruction, And The Growing Crisis Of Global Security)

1998 Under pressure from Russia France China UN inspectors began weekly reports They wanted

inspections done by end of year

(Musings On Iraq review The Saddam Tapes)

(Musings On Iraq UN Inspectors Were Right Iraq Was Not A Threat)

(Musings On Iraq Iraq’s Rejection of UN Inspectors Led To Mistrust Over WMD and 2003 Invasion)

2001 CENTCOM Cmdr Gen Franks briefed Def Sec Rumsfeld and Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen Meyers on

revised Iraq invasion plan Franks revised 1990s Op Plan 1003 Cut troops from 500,000 to 400,000 to be deployed in 6 instead of 7 months Franks said couldn't scrap Op Plan 1003 because never knew what would be needed Said would take a long time to revise Iraq war plan Rumsfeld said Afghanistan showed US didn’t need such a large and long invasion plan for Iraq Rumsfeld wanted a battle plan that could be executed in a very short time not months Franks agreed with Rumsfeld but said Op Plan 1003 only thing they had at moment Rumsfeld told Gen Franks goal of any military action against Iraq would be removing Saddam Franks given one week to revise plan Angry that Rumsfeld went from plan not important to it being urgent

(Musings On Iraq review Shaping the Plan for Operation Iraqi Freedom, The Role of Military Intelligence Assessment)

(Musings On Iraq review Leap of Faith, Hubris Negligence, and America’s Greatest Foreign Policy

Tragedy)

(Musings On Iraq review Plan of Attack: The Definitive Account Of The Decision To Invade Iraq)

(Musings On Iraq review Liberate And Leave, Fatal Flaws In The Early Strategy For Postwar Iraq)

(Musings On Iraq US Army History Of Iraq Vol 1 – Chapter 2 Regime Change)

2001 PM Blair told Bush Iraq was a threat because it had WMD could export it and violated UN

resolutions

2001 PM Blair paper to Bush said that they had to consider regime change in Iraq Blair said had to

build steady case vs Iraq and gain international support

(Musings On Iraq Review The Report of the Iraq Inquiry, Executive Summary)

(Musings On Iraq Chilcot Report Sec 3.1 Development of UK Strategy and Options on Iraq, 9/11 to Early January 2002)

2002 UN Res 1447 extended Oil for Food program

2004 PM Allawi attacked while visiting Imam Ali shrine in Najaf

2005 Report 1500 suspects arrested around Ramadi in last five months all Iraqis not foreigners like

White House claimed

2006 UN Sec Gen Annan said violence in Iraq worse than Lebanese civil war Said worse than life

under Saddam Said Iraqi govt unable to provide security

2006 Paul Bremer said Pentagon ignored calls for more troops to maintain order in Iraq after

invasion Said military slow to develop counterinsurgency strategy Said military thought ISF could take over security in Iraq quickly US and Iraqi govts failed to counter rise of Sadr and Mahdi Army Not providing security biggest failure of US in Iraq

2008 Bush said that Iraq intelligence failure was his biggest regret

(Musings On Iraq Iraq One Of The Worst Intelligence Failures In US History)

2008 Czech Republic ended its mission in Iraq

2008 PM Maliki claimed his Tribal Support Councils created as part of patronage network for 2009 elections

were a sign of successful reconciliation

(Musings On Iraq Disputes Over Tribal Support Councils)

2009 Activist shot and wounded in Sulaymaniya Change claimed incident was start of attacks upon

followers by PUK

2019 Report US officials said Iran still sending short range ballistic missiles to Iraq

(Musings On Iraq News Of Iran Moving Missiles Into Iraq Continue)

View the Iraq History Timelines 

Friday, December 3, 2021

Review Mosul Under ISIS, Eyewitness Accounts Of Life In The Caliphate

Review Aarseth, Mathilde Becker, Mosul Under ISIS, Eyewitness Accounts Of Life In The Caliphate, London, New York, Oxford, New Delhi, Sydney: I.B. Tauris, 2021


 

Mosul Under ISIS, Eyewitness Accounts Of Life In The Caliphate by Mathilde Becker Aarseth is a short read on how the Islamic State ran Mosul and Ninewa province after it seized the area in 2014. It covers law and order, education and health under the militants. Each chapter starts with some theoretical discussion on how armed groups like IS were supposed to use these services, what IS claimed it did, what others thought about its actions, and then what the author found in her interviews and research. Aarseth disagrees with much of what IS said and Western analysts thought about its governance style. The book argues that the rebels were corrupt, unpredictable, opportunistic and discriminatory in how they ruled which undermined their legitimacy.

This Day In Iraqi History - Dec 3

 

1915 Retreating UK forces reached Kut after loss at Battle of Ctesiphon/Salman Pak UK suffered 5,187

casualties over last 10 days

1967 Arif govt issued new press law restricting freedom of the media to try to control opposition to govt

Shut down all private newspapers and replaced them with 5 govt ones

1996 Iran admitted to Iraq smuggling oil through its territory violating UN sanctions and promised

action against it

(Musings On Iraq review Invisible War, The United States And The Iraq Sanctions)

1999 UN Res 1280 extended Oil for Food program

2001 PM Blair told Bush he was not opposed to removing Saddam

(Musings On Iraq Chilcot Report Sec 3.1 Development of UK Strategy and Options on Iraq, 9/11 to Early January 2002)

2002 Iraq officials cooperated with UN inspectors at surprise search of one of Saddam’s Baghdad

palaces

(Musings On Iraq UN Inspectors Were Right Iraq Was Not A Threat)

(Musings On Iraq Iraq’s Rejection of UN Inspectors Led To Mistrust Over WMD and 2003 Invasion)

2002 Dep Def Sec Wolfowitz went to Turkey to outline Iraq plans which included 60,000 US troops

deployed to Turkey

2004 3 members of Ansar al-Islam arrested for planning to assassinate PM Allawi

2004 Bush called speech writer Gerson saying he wanted to change US foreign policy to promoting

democracy Iraq at forefront

(Musings On Iraq review Iraq’s Future The aftermath of regime change)

(Musings On Iraq review Iraq’s Dysfunctional Democracy)

(Musings On Iraq review The War Within, A Secret White House History 2006-2008)

(Musings On Iraq review What Happened, Inside the Bush White House and Washington’s Culture of Deception)

2006 Bush said that withdrawing from Iraq was not realistic Natl Sec Adv Hadley on NBC said

that withdrawing was the same as cutting and running and Bush rejected that US strategy at the time was to train Iraqi forces to take over security and withdraw Showed disconnect between strategy and how Bush envisioned war

(Musings On Iraq Did the US Ever Have A Strategy To Win In Iraq Before the Surge?)

(Musings On Iraq review The War Within, A Secret White House History 2006-2008)

(Musings On Iraq review The U.S. Army In The Iraq War: Volume 1, Invasion, Insurgency, Civil

War, 2003-2006)

2006 Report Def Sec Rumsfeld memo said US strategy in Iraq not working and needed new one Said

administration had to lower public expectations of what US could do in Iraq Was frustrated with Iraqis Said Iraq needed to do more Laid out plans for either withdrawing troops or redeploying them within Iraq Said US should think of setting benchmarks for Iraq Went against public statements of US govt against withdrawals and benchmarks

2006 Report doctor at Baghdad hospital said staff had been infiltrated by Mahdi Army Patients were

mysteriously dying and then records lost or changed Thought they were being murdered and orders were coming from Sadr controlled Health Min

(Musings On Iraq review Voices From Iraq, A People’s History, 2003-2009)

2007 ISI’s Abu Omar al-Baghdadi issued tape announcing campaign against Awakening

(Musings On Iraq review The Caliphate At War, Operational Realities and Innovations of the Islamic State)

(Musings On Iraq review Illusions of Victory, The Anbar Awakening And The Rise Of The Islamic State)

2007 US and ISF started Op Iron Reaper to hinder ISI movement in north Iraq

2008 Presidential Council passed Status of Forces Agreement with US setting withdrawal date for

US forces 12/31/11

2008 Baghdad-Irbil oil talks broke down KRG refused to cancel its oil contracts and demanded share

of oil revenues Oil Min Shahristani refused

(Musings On Iraq Baghdad-Kurdish Oil Export Deal Collapses)

2008 Report Maliki govt stopped officially releasing casualty figures in January 07 because made it look

bad January 07 UN reported 34,452 Iraqis killed in 06 Govt said only 12,357 deaths

2009 Adm Boyce chief of defense staff 2001-03 testified to Chilcot Inquiry Said Def Sec Rumsfeld

told him all the talk at the UN was just alk and US and UK would go to war with Iraq Told by Def Sec Hoon military couldn’t make any preparations other than planning for Iraq war until Nov 02 because afraid of public reaction Meant many British units not ready for Iraq invasion Said US and UK failed to plan for postwar Iraq Said US didn’t want to do peacekeeping Rumsfeld wanted withdrawal after invasion Dep of Intl Development sent officials to Iraq but were ordered by Min Short to do nothing

2020 Protests started again in Sulaymaniya over govt not paying public workers Security forces

used tear gas rubber bullets and water cannons

(Musings On Iraq Protests In Iraq’s Kurdistan Over Economic Conditions And Mismanagement)

View the Iraq History Timelines 

Thursday, December 2, 2021

Fatah Leader Says Solution To Election Crisis Is Another National Unity Govt In Iraq

(Shafaq News)
At the end of November a leader from Fatah publicly said what its goal actually is after October’s election. While the list continues to cry foul over the balloting and wants the results overturned, Mohsen al-Tamimi stated that Fatah just wants another national unity government. This is because the list is afraid that Moqtada al-Sadr will be successful in his calls for Iraq’s first majority regime which would exclude it. Fatah includes many old rivals of Sadr such as Asaib Ahl Al-Haq. With only 17 seats in the new parliament it could be left out if Sadr has his way. This terrifies Fatah who would lose ministries and more importantly the access those positions give to the state’s resources which all the parties rob and exploit for their own benefit.

Violence Continues Its Winter Decline In Iraq

Since 2003 insurgent violence has almost always declined in Iraq during the winter. This year is no different as Islamic State attacks have ...