Monday, November 30, 2015

Saddam’s Faith Campaign & Iraq’s Tribes Two Pillars Of The Insurgency, Interview With Iraq Historian Prof. Amatzia Baram

Iraq’s insurgency has drawn from many different groups in Iraq, but two major ones were the tribes and Salafis. Many sheikhs turned against the United States in 2003 due to the actions of the military and the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA). In the 1990s Saddam Hussein started his Faith Campaign, which led to the growth of Salafism in the country. That ideology fueled many to join Islamist insurgent groups later on. To help explain these two phenomena is Dr. Amatzia Baram Professor Emeritus at the Department of History of the Middle East and Director of the Centre for Iraq Studies at the University of Haifa. He has authored several books on Iraq, his most recent being Saddam Husayn and Islam, 1968-2003: Ba’thi Iraq from Secularism to Faith.

1. Few expected the secular Baathist regime in Iraq to turn to religion but it did in the 1990s with Saddam’s Faith Campaign. Since then historians have disagreed whether this was just an operational move to shore up support for the regime when it was struggling under sanctions or whether there was true belief behind it. Where do you stand on the issue?

The process of Islamization and what it meant is described in my book in some detail, based on a combination of open and internal Ba’thi documents. The last party congress convened to combat al-tadayyun (religious devotion, piety) was convened in June 1982. The first (secret) meeting of the party’s Regional-Iraqi and Pan-Arab leaderships designed to legitimize a 180-degree about-face took place in July 1986.  Since then, Saddam pushed the party leadership (less so the rank and file) relentlessly to Islamize itself and with it the whole state system. Upon his death in 1989 the party declared Michel Aflaq, the party’s founder, to be a convert to Islam. This was the first public sign of the new party-line. Affixing allahu akbar to the national flag on the eve of the 1991 Gulf War came next, and other steps followed in rapid succession. There may be no doubt that the “return” to Islam was at first a cynical, utilitarian policy designed to win the regime support at home and in the Islamic-Sunni world in time of crisis (the war with Iran was going very badly). Saddam was saying as much. Many Ba’this remained more-or-less secular even today, in 2015. However, there are three developments that need to be understood and appreciated.

1. In Islam, like in Judaism, rather than believing in a doctrine, the public demonstration of religiosity, i.e: fulfilling certain precepts, is the most important component. Those precepts are mainly the five arkan al-islam or “al-ma’ruf”, “thou shalt do”(in Hebrew: mitzvot) and fulfilling them has the highest value when a person’s religiosity is considered. Nearly the same applies to the public avoidance of “al-munkar”, “the forbidden”. Thus, not touching liquor in public for example is seen by one and all as a sign of religiosity.  Likewise, praying in the public eye serves as an indicator of faith, certainly at the Friday public prayers, at least when it comes to the Sunna. The Ba’th regime went through these and other motions and therefore it created the impression of going Islamic.  This was accepted by many Sunnis in Iraq though not by the Shias. Over time (1986-2003) Islamic practices in the public domain brought many Ba’this closer to religion even though, as pointed out above, they did not necessarily become mutadayyinin (deeply religious or pious). 

2. Some party members who were fairly religious to begin with (Izzat Ibrahim al-Dury for example) but who still believed in the principle of a secular state became overtime more religious once leader and party encouraged it.  Furthermore, the regime supported intellectual-academic circles that gradually became Sunni Salafis.  In the 1970s they were persecuted and even eliminated, but in the 1990s they thrived.  As long as they did not come out against the regime and did not establish opposition parties they were between tolerated and encouraged. Abu Bakr al-Baghdad (Ibrahim ‘Awad Ibrahim al-Badri al-Samarra’i) is himself a product of such a circle in Baghdad University.

3. Most importantly: until the early 1980s the Ba’th party’s approach to religion and even more so to the religious establishment was scornful and disrespectful. Very religious people and the clerics were seen as primitive, a remnant of the backward past.  Saddam defined the shari’ah publicly as irrelevant to modern life. The new policy eradicated this attitude altogether.  Moreover: the Ba’this recognized the power of Islam as a legitimizing force. Later on, after 2003, Sunni Islam became an important banner that proved useful to attract supporters in Iraq, Syria and abroad. Traditional party discipline and the proven utility of religion has been sufficient to keep even unhappy Ba’this in line behind Saddam. After his demise Islam’s usefulness was even more obvious. At the same time, though, as pointed out above, some party members, especially the younger generation, were more deeply influenced. Finally:  drawing upon recorded secret meetings and the private diary of Saddam’s half-brother, Barazan Ibrahim Hasan al-Tikriti, there are a few indications that Saddam became personally a born-again-Muslim of sorts. He still consumed alcoholic drinks, but he prayed, and his 2002 personal secret letter to God is strengthening this impression. 

2. How did the Faith Campaign create a pool of people that would later join the insurgency?  

The main contribution of the 1990s towards the post 2003 era is the fact that even secular army officers who remained essentially secular identified the power of Islam as a magnet that later became crucial for recruiting supporters. Izzat Ibrahim al-Duri influenced many army officers to join Sufi-mystical orders, mainly the Naqshbandis who are combining Sufism with Orthodoxy. The army officers, having been dismissed from the military, joined the insurgency, forming a number of groups, some with perfectly secular, even all-Iraqi ecumenical names like, “The 1920 Revolution”.  Some joined the radical Salafist Abu Mus’ab al-Zarqawi.  As far as I know, though, in most part people joined an organization based on personal friendships and family-tribe relations rather than on their level of religiosity. In 2006 the Naqshbandis joined the fray in protest against Saddam’s execution. By 2009 AQI (or the Islamic State of Iraq) was essentially defeated by the American Surge and the Tribal Awakening (al-sahwah) and most of these officers fled to Syria.  There they established ISIS (The Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham) which came under a unified leadership that was definitely Salafist. 

Many of these Salafis were themselves the fruits of Saddam’s Faith Campaign part of which was transforming Iraq’s whole educational system from secular to religious.  Not only in universities but also children between the first and twelfth grades were now encouraged to spend time in the mosques, something the Ba’th of the 1970s would see as a calamity.  They were taught more hours per week Islam, including Quran and Hadith, Islam teachers became the most prestigious in school and the whole atmosphere became quite religious. More profoundly, Saddam attempted to create a kind of a Sunni-Shi’i ecumenical Islam but failed: what he created was in fact a soft Islamic-Sunni educational system.   This prepared a whole generation of Sunni children for ISIS (Daesh). Also: in the 1990s all Islamic interpretations other than those approved by Saddam were suppressed, this time not as before, in the name of Ba’thi pan-Arabism, but in the name of Islam. This included the practice of giving Saddam a bay’ah, an oath of allegiance, as was the practice under the caliphate. The latter-day caliph Abu Bakr, too, demands absolute allegiance and strict adherence to his version of Islam.

Last but not least: to Saddam, Islamization also meant brutalization. Severing hands and feet for any financial crime (defined as “theft”) became quite widespread, and beheading “prostitutes” was practiced as well. These practices paved the way for even more fiendish practices by ISIS. The main contribution of Saddam’s Faith Campaign may be seen therefore in three respects: 1. Demonstrating religiosity became bon ton or “in vogue” and no longer was a source of embarrassment even for secular officials and officers. 2. Islam was recognized as a useful tool to attract new recruits, and 3. The penal code went through a brutal quantum leap.  

3. Besides Islamists, Iraq’s tribes have been another fertile recruiting ground for militants. From 2003 to the present the country’s tribes have been divided into three major groups. Some are with the insurgents, some are with the government, while others are sitting on the fence. What are some factors that have led to this three-way divide?

A few Sunni tribes approached the American military commanders as early as 2005 for cooperation against AQI.  Each had its own reasons.  For example, by the spring of 2005 Albu Mahal near al-Qaym on the Syrian border approached the Marines for cooperation against AQI because the latter denied them reasonable profits from their traditional smuggling operations (“import-export business”).  A few months later they were joined by a section of Albu-Nimr a little further south east.  It may be that the latter had similar reasons but they had definitely an additional one: in 1995 Saddam cracked down severely on Albu-Nimr and they could not forget nor forgive it.  Joining hands with the Americans against the pro-Saddam insurgency was one way to get their revenge.   By September-October 2006 Albu-Risha in Ramadi joined hands with the American brigade there against AQI for a different reason: even though beforehand they had collaborated with AQI, they experienced a fall-out as a result of some disagreements and immediately suffered casualties at the hands of AQI. Among those assassinated were also members of the shaykhly family. Albu Risha killed a few AQI operatives in revenge and accepted an American offer to join hands. Many other tribes joined in as they became profoundly disillusions about AQI and the US offered them military and financial support. Even Baghdad eventually agreed to “hire” the Sunni tribes of al-Anbar. In other parts the Sunnis remained connected to the Americans.

Today, all the first three Anbar tribes that had initiated the cooperation with the Americans are still supporting Baghdad: they are paid from Baghdad, but I am not certain about support in weapons and ammunition.  A minority, a few sections of tribes (even a small section of Albu-Nimr and another of the super federation of Shammar Jarbah) are supporting ISIS, either because they have been coerced, or because they are being offered deals, or because they are more hostile to Baghdad, that oppressed them under an American-sponsored Nuri al-Maliki, or all the above. The majority however are still waiting for an American-Iraqi offer that will not leave them again at the mercy of a bigot and hostile sectarian government in Baghdad once ISIS is driven out.

4. Finally, part of U.S. strategy in Iraq is based upon the belief of creating not only a new Sahwa of tribal fighters but to recruit more Sunnis into the security forces. Prime Minister Abadi seems to support this idea as well as he’s backed Sunnis joining the Hashd for example. What needs to happen to make this successful, and what kind of affect would it have on the war against the Islamic State?

The tribal troops of Albu-Nimr and Abu Risha are already considered part of al-Hashad al-Sha’bi, but this is purely symbolic because they are operating under their own command and there is no mixing between the two sects in the Hashad.  Abadi is indeed ready to integrate Sunni officers into the national army as he is ready to provide the neutral Sunni tribes and the rest of the Sunnis with guarantees that they will be properly integrated into the Iraqi political and bureaucratic system.   He is even not opposed to change radically the de-Ba’thification laws so as to enable Sunni ex-Ba’this to be reabsorbed into the professional and bureaucratic system (many Sh’is have already been integrated).  Indeed Abadi is not even clearly against the Sunni demand for autonomy including National Guard units.  The demand to change the de-Ba’thification laws while acceptable to some Shi’is, came up against objection not only from the pro-Iranian Shi’i militias and politicians but also from certain Sunni quarters. One such group is the Iraqi Islamic Party (The Muslim Brothers). A few senior Sunni politicians too are against it for fear that the rehabilitated Sunnis will eclipse them and, in some cases, due to inter-Sunni grudges.  The autonomy demands met with strong opposition on the part of the pro-Iranian Shi’i militias and politicians (the latter led by the former PM Maliki) and has even been opposed by Muqtada al-Sadr and his political party, even though they are relatively independent of Iranian tutelage. 

The US administration has been trying to influence PM Abadi to accept the Sunni demands but he proved unable to “sell” it to the various Shi’i political circles.  Unless he manages to do it, the prospect of liberation or “conquest” of Mosul, Falluja, Ramadi and other parts of the Sunni area from ISIS by Shi’i troops under Iranian command is far from being a good solution. The US will have to provide air support for the Shi’i troops and the Hashad  in reoccupying the Sunni areas. This, too, is problematic because they will appear as allies of Iran and enemies of the Sunna. NATO troops doing the same work (however unlikely such a development is) will be accepted more readily by the Sunni population, but without guarantees from Baghdad for Sunni political rights, as soon as the foreign troops leave another insurgency will erupt. The US needs to take advantage of the fact that Iraqi Shi’is prefer that the Iranians stay in Iran, and to bear in mind that it has pressure points in Baghdad. It needs to apply much more pressure to meet the Sunnis’ (and Kurds’) minimal demands.  After ISIS conquered Mosul from Maliki’s corrupt and degraded Iraqi national military it became clear that the highly-centralized Iraq was dead.  The question is: can a decentralized Iraq still survive. The answer is to be found in Baghdad and in Washington, DC.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

ST. JOHN'S COLLEGE VIDEO: Conflict & Cultural Heritage Conference Iraq's Lost Heritage Dr Lamia al-Gailani

Musings On Iraq In The News

My interview with Prof. Wayne Hsieh on Tuz Kharmato was republished by eKurd and The Daily Journalist

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Security In Iraq, Nov 15-21, 2015

Major fighting continued in Anbar and Salahaddin during the third week of November 2015 where government forces were attempting to clear areas. The Islamic State’s car bomb campaign and terrorist attacks in Baghdad continued as well. Several mass graves discovered in Sinjar after its liberation earlier in the month led to a rise in casualties as well.

From November 15-21 there were 140 security incidents reported in the press. That broke down to 58 in Baghdad, 27 in Anbar, 23 in Ninewa, 20 in Salhaddin, 7 in Babil, 3 in Diyala, and one each in Kirkuk and Irbil. That was the most attacks for November, but was not much different from previous weeks.

There were 358 deaths and 420 wounded for the week. 240 people were killed in Ninewa, 62 in Baghdad, 18 in Babil, 17 in Anbar, 16 in Salahaddin, and 5 in Diyala. 1 Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) fighter died, along with 12 Hashd al-Shaabi, 27 Peshmerga, 32 members of the Iraqi Security Forces (ISF) and 286 civilians, while 1 Asayesh, 23 Peshmerga, 39 Hashd, 40 ISF, and 317 civilians were injured. The number of casualties was up from the 265 dead and 354 injured from the week before because of the discovery of several mass graves in Sinjar.

Violence In Iraq By Week 2015
Jan 1-7
Jan 8-14
Jan 15-21
Jan 22-28
Jan 29-31
Feb 1-7
Feb 8-14
Feb 15-21
Feb 22-28
Mar 1-7
Mar 8-14
Mar 15-21
Mar 22-28
Mar 29-31
2,553 + 4
2,381 + 150
Apr 1-7
Apr 8-14
Apr 15-21
Apr 22-28
Apr 29-30
162 + 7
182 + 299
May 1-7
May 8-14
May 15-21
May 22-28
341 + 1,499
May 29-31
164 + 646
2,417 + 1,499
1,898 + 646
Jun 1-7
Jun 8-14
522 + 405
Jun 15-21
Jun 22-28
Jun 29-30
122 + 58
189 + 106
Jul 1-7
Jul 8-14
Jul 15-21
597 + 4,024
Jul 22-28
Jul 29-31
193 + 260
203 + 400
3,079 + 4,024
Aug 1-7
650 + 760
Aug 8-14
Aug 15-21
Aug 22-28
Aug 29-31
2,205 + 760
Sep 1-7
Sep 8-14
Sep 15-21
Sep 22-28
Sep 29-30
106 + 19
147 + 8
1,291 + 314
1,647 + 3,003
Oct 1-7
Oct 8-14
Oct 15-21
Oct 22-28
Oct 29-31
116 + 1
Nov 1-7
Nov 8-14
Nov 15-21

Security by Province Nov 2015
Nov 1-7
Nov 8-14
26 Incidents
9 Killed: 2 Civilians, 7 ISF
45 Wounded: 1 Hashd, 10 Civilians, 34 ISF
11 Shootings
3 IEDs
2 Mortars
19 Suicide Bombers Killed
24 Suicide Car Bombs Destroyed
11 Incidents
1 Killed: 1 Sahwa
3 Shootings
12 Suicide Bombers Killed
17 Suicide Car Bombs Destroyed
4 Incidents
3 Killed: 3 Civilians
12 Wounded: 12 Civilians
4 IEDs
3 Incidents
2 Killed: 2 Civilians
2 Wounded: 2 Civilians
2 Shootings
47 Incidents
58 Killed: 1 Sahwa, 3 ISF, 54 Civilians
156 Wounded: 1 ISF, 155 Civilians
14 Shootings
22 IEDs
3 Sticky Bombs
1 Suicide Car Bomb Destroyed
54 Incidents
94 Killed: 2 Hashd, 5 ISF, 87 Civilians
263 Wounded: 3 Hashd, 19 ISF, 241 Civilians
12 Shootings
28 IEDs
7 Sticky Bombs
4 Suicide Bombers
1 Suicide Car Bomb
3 Incidents
2 Killed: 2 Civilians
2 Shootings
1 Sound Bomb
7 Incidents
8 Killed: 2 Hashd, 2 Civilians, 4 ISF
4 Wounded: 4 Civilians
3 Shootings
6 Incidents
4 Killed: 1 ISF, 1 Hashd, 2 Civilians
3 Wounded: 3 ISF
2 Shootings
1 Suicide Car Bomb Destroyed
6 Incidents
9 Killed: 1 ISF, 3 Civilians, 5 Peshmerga
16 Wounded: 4 ISF, 12 Peshmerga
3 Shootings
4 Suicide Bombers
1 Car Bomb
3 Incidents
1 Killed: 1 Peshmerga
2 Wounded: 2 Civilians
1 Shooting
1 Sticky Bomb
14 Incidents
70 Killed: 7 Peshmerga, 63 Civilians
30 Wounded: 4 Civilians, 26 Peshmerga
5 Shootings
1 Car Bomb
2 Mortars
4 Suicide Bombers Killed
1 Suicide Car Bomb Destroyed
21 Incidents
120 Killed: 23 Civilians, 45 Peshmerga, 52 ISF
53 Wounded: 53 Peshmerga
7 Shootings
2 IEDs
8 Suicide Bombers
1 Suicide Car Bomb
1 Mortar
1 Rockets
22 Suicide Bombers Killed
9 Suicide Car Bombs Destroyed
21 Incidents
29 Killed: 3 Civilians, 12 ISF, 14 Hashd
53 Wounded: 24 ISF, 29 Hashd
7 Shootings
53 IEDs
3 Suicide Bombers
1 Suicide Car Bomb
1 Mortar
14 Suicide Bombers Killed
22 Car Bombs Destroyed
19 Incidents
40 Killed: 6 ISF, 9 Hashd, 24 Civilians
31 Wounded: 2 Hashd, 10 ISF, 19 Civilians
11 Shootings
3 IEDs
10 Suicide Bombers Killed
2 Suicide Car Bombs Destroyed
1 Car Bomb Destroyed

Nov 15-21
27 Incidents
17 Killed: 2 Hashd, 4 Civilians, 11 ISF
45 Wounded: 1 Hashd, 2 ISF, 42 Civilians
8 Shootings
5 Mortars
3 Suicide Bombers Killed
2 Suicide Motorcycle Bombs Destroyed
20 Suicide Car Bombs Destroyed
14 Car Bombs Destroyed
7 Incidents
18 Killed: 4 ISF, 14 Civilians
35 Wounded: 1 Hashd, 4 ISF, 30 Civilians
2 Shootings
3 IEDs
1 Sticky Bomb
1 Suicide Bomber
58 Incidents
62 Killed: 2 Hashd, 6 ISF, 54 Civilians
204 Wounded: 6 Hashd, 14 ISF, 184 Civilians
14 Shootings
37 IEDs
4 Sticky Bombs
1 Car Bomb Destroyed
3 Incidents
5 Killed: 5 Civilians
11 Wounded: 1 ISF, 10 Civilians
1 Shooting
1 Motorcycle Bomb
1 Incident
1 Shooting
1 Incident
1 Shooting
23 Incidents
240 Killed: 1 PKK, 10 ISF, 27 Peshmerga, 202 Civilians
65 Wounded: 23 Peshmerga, 42 Civilians
20 Shootings
1 Car Bomb
1 Mortar
1 Rocket
1 Suicide Bomber Killed
8 Suicide Car Bombs Destroyed
20 Incidents
16 Killed: 1 ISF, 8 Hashd, 7 Civilians
60 Wounded: 1 Asayesh, 9 Civilians, 19 ISF, 31 Hashd
18 Shootings
2 IEDs
2 Suicide Bombers Killed
3 Suicide Car Bombs Destroyed
4 Car Bombs Destroyed

Anbar is where the heaviest fighting is taking place in Iraq. The joint forces were making more headway towards the center of Ramadi. On November 15 the Euphrates River was crossed into downtown. Several important government facilities were cleared including the Anbar court complex, the Anbar Operations Command, and the Presidential palaces. On October 21 it was announced that the ISF and Hashd were just 500 meters from the Anbar Operations command. It took three weeks to cover that distance showing the difficulty of the campaign.

At the same time the government’s forces were struggling in other areas. Albu Faraj to the north of Ramadi was declared cleared on October 14, but there were 11 car bombs there during the third week of November. Likewise, Albu Hayat in the Haditha district in western Anbar was said to be freed on November 11, but fighting never stopped there. This points to a bad habit of officials to call areas secured before they actually are to promote an image of constant progress. It’s also true that IS is attempting to re-infiltrate areas causing repeated operations in the same areas again and again.

Southern Baghdad received the most attacks for the second week in a row. There were 25 incidents there with 21 from November 8-14. The violence in the south had the trademark of IS with 20 IEDs and two sticky bombs. After that there were 14 incidents in the east, 8 in the west, 5 in the north, three in unknown locations, and one in the center. As IS has stepped back from major offensives it has come to focus upon terrorist attacks in the capital to keep pressure on the government. That province is the only one in the country where incidents have gone up during the year.

Violence in Baghdad, Nov 15-21, 2015
Center: 3 – 1 Shooting, 2 IEDs
East: 13 – 1 Robbery, 5 IEDs, 7 Shootings
Outer East :1 – 1 IED
North: 1 – 1 IED
Outer North: 4 – 2 Shootings, 2 IEDs
South: 15 – 2 Shootings, 2 Sticky Bombs, 11 IEDs
Outer South: 10 – 1 Shooting, 9 IEDs
West: 5 – 1 Shooting, 1 Sticky Bomb, 3 IEDs
Outer West: 3 – 1 Sticky Bomb, 2 IEDs
Unknown: 3 – 1 Car Bomb Dismantled, 1 IED, 1 Kidnapping

In comparison, there is hardly any insurgent activity in Diyala and Kirkuk recently. There was only one incident in the latter, which has been quiet for weeks now. In Diyala there was a surge of attacks in October, but in November that has died down with only 3 reported attacks from November 15-21.

Irbil had a rare case of violence when a man shot at the Peshmerga Ministry building in in Irbil on November 20.

In Ninewa the Peshmerga continued to mop up the Sinjar area. Six more villages were cleared in the area. Three mass graves were also discovered with 148 Yazidis executed by IS. The group also killed 53 people including two Peshmerga and 10 police in the Mosul area.

Mopping up operations continued in Salahaddin’s Baiji. The thermal power plant for example was cleared for the second time. There was also heavy fighting in the Makhoul Mountains to the north even though it was supposedly freed at the end of October. Intense clashes have been occurring outside of Samarra for several weeks as well in the center of the province.

IS’s car bomb campaign is still going on. From November 15-21 there were 51 vehicle borne improvised explosive devices (VBIEDs) with only one hitting its target in Ninewa against the Peshmerga. There were 34 in Anbar, 8 in Ninewa, 7 in Salahaddin and one in Baghdad.

Car Bombs In Iraq, November 2015
Nov 1
Subhait, Anbar – 1 destroyed
Obied, Baghdad – 1 destroyed
Rabia, Ninewa – 1 destroyed

Nov 2
Balad, Salahaddin – 1 destroyed

Nov 3
Dibis, Kirkuk
West of Ramadi, Anbar – 5 destroyed
Leine, Salahaddin – 1 destroyed

Nov 4
Hardan, Ninewa
Adil & Rashad, Anbar – 9 destroyed
Nov 5
Zankura, Anbar – 1 destroyed
Siniya, Salahaddin – 7 destroyed

Nov 6
Baiji, Salahddin
Albu Faraj & Jeraishi, Anbar – 4 destroyed
Sukker, Salahaddin – 13 destroyed
Nov 7
Albu Hayat – 9 destroyed

3 – 53 Destroyed
Nov 8
Sadr City, Baghdad
Albu Hayat, Anbar – 1 destroyed
Mkeshivh, Salahaddin – 1 destroyed
Nov 9
Albu Faraj, Anbar – 1 destroyed
Samarra, Salahaddin – 2 destroyed

Nov 10

Nov 11

Nov 12
Fallujah, Anbar – 6 destroyed
Sinjar, Ninewa – 6 destroyed

Nov 13
Niamiya & Subhait, Anbar – 7 destroyed

Nov 14
Sinjar, Ninewa
Albu Faraj, Anbar – 2 destroyed
Mandali, Diyala – 1 destroyed
Harden, Ninewa – 3 destroyed
2 - 30 Destroyed
Nov 15
Albu Faraj & Jeraishi, Anbar – 4 destroyed

Nov 16
Haraym, Ninewa
5 Kilo, Albu Faraj, Zaytoun, ? – 10 destroyed
Haraym, Ninewa – 1 destroyed
Nov 17
5 Kilo & Jeraishi, Anbar – 9 destroyed
Raood Bridge, Bahgdad – 1 destroyed
Makhoul Mts, Salahaddin – 3 destroyed

Nov 18
Albu Faraj, Anbar – 4 destroyed
Bashiqa, Ninewa – 1 destroyed
Massoud & Mkeshivh, Salahaddin – 4 destroyed

Nov 19
Albu Faraj, Anbar – 2 destroyed

Nov 20
Albu Faraj, Anbar – 4 destroyed

Nov 21
Mosul Dam, Ninewa – 7 destroyed

1 – 50 Destroyed


Abdulrazaq, Hawar, "KRSC: Peshmerga Kills 28 IS Militants Near Mosul Dam," Bas News, 11/21/15

AIN, "20 Daash killed and destroyed 3 car bombs in Salahuddin," 11/18/15

Alsumaria, "Counter terrorism deals with five car bombs west of Ramadi," 11/17/15
- "Counter-terrorism destroys five car bombs west of Ramadi," 11/16/15

BBC, "Iraqi forces preparing for assault on IS-held Ramadi," 10/14/15

eKurd, "Iraqi Kurdistan News in brief - November 16, 2015," 11/16/15
- “Iraqi Kurdistan News in brief - November 18, 2015," 11/18/15

Al Forat, "Control the thermal power plant in Baiji area," 11/21/15
- "Killing of three terrorists and the destruction of three car bombs in Anbar," 11/19/15

Al Mada, "Anbar officia: cleared two areas and killed dozens of Daash in west Ramadi," 11/18/15
- "The joint forces approaching the Anbar Operations headquarters from north Ramadi," 10/21/15
- "Peshmerga forces repel Daash attack on the center of Bashiqa," 11/18/15
- "Security forces stuck the "Hole" area and the freeing of the thermal power station," 11/14/15

Mamoun, Abdelhak, "3 mass graves containing remains of 148 Yazidis found in Sinjar District," Iraqi News, 11/15/15
- "Security forces liberate Anbar Traffic Directorate, reach the center of Ramadi," Iraqi News, 8/18/15

Al Masalah, "Entire area of Albu Hayat freed in Anbar," 11/11/15
- "War media declares victories of the joint forces," 11/18/15
- "War media declares victories for the joint forces," 11/20/15

New Sabah, "Anti-Terrorism Unit crosses the Euphrates River and will remain in the center of Ramadi," 11/15/15

NINA, "/21/ elements of Daash killed in operations of clearing the province," 11/16/15
- "Anbar Operations Command, The Presidential Palaces And The High Criminal Court in downtown Ramadi Liberated," 11/17/15
- "Dozens Of Peshmerga Killed And Wounded In Daash Attack West Of Mosul," 11/16/15
- "Federal Police Chief: Makhoul Mountains in Baiji Fully Cleansed," 10/27/15
- "Federal Police Repel An Attack To Daash, Kill More Than 60 In Makhoul Mountains," 11/17/15
- "Two Areas Liberated In Anbar Province," 7/22/15

Shafaq News, "12 policemen injured while liberating a village north of Beiji," 11/18/15
- "Car bomb intended to target Argeniya visitors dismantled northwest of Baghdad," 11/17/15

Sotaliraq, "Four vehicle bombs destroyed targeting security forces north of Ramadi," 11/15/15
- "Security forces destroyed four Daash car bombs north of Ramadi," 11/17/15

Xinhua, "Security forces retake areas in IS-held Ramadi, 54 killed in battles with IS in Iraq," 11/16/15

This Day In Iraqi History - Aug 23

1922 King Faisal struck by appendicitis with no PM or govt UK High Commissioner Cox ruled until king returned Cox dep...