Wednesday, May 31, 2023

Iraq’s Supreme Court Could Stall KRG Elections And Threaten Federalism

(Brand Kurdistan)

On May 30 Iraq’s Federal Supreme Court made what could be a historic decision. It ruled that the 2022 extension of the Kurdistan Regional Government’s (KRG) parliament’s term
was unconstitutional. That also meant all its decisions since then had no standing. This might have far ranging affects upon the upcoming Kurdish elections and the future of federalism in Iraq.

This Day In Iraqi History - May 31 Kurdish revolt led by Barzinji put down by UK's RAF

(Wikipedia)

 

1915 British took Qurna and set out to capture Amarah from Ottomans

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

Monday, May 29, 2023

Security In Iraq May 22-28, 2023


The Islamic State continues to operate at its lowest level ever in Iraq. During the fourth week of May there were only 3 incidents. That matched the same number the week before. For 19 of the 20 weeks in 2023 incidents have been in single digits. For 16 of those weeks there have been five or less incidents per week. This marks the lowest point in the insurgency’s history in Iraq.

This Day In Iraqi History - May 29 1920 Ayatollah Shirazi issued statement supporting Iraqi independence from UK

(ICIT Digital Library)

 

1920 UK judicial secretary Carter wrote Sir Wilson head political officer warning Sunni-Shiite

unity would threaten British rule in Iraq

Sunday, May 28, 2023

This Day In Iraqi History - May 28 Govt had Assyrian leader Mar Shimun come to Baghdad to discuss Assyrian issue

(Wikipedia)

 

1933 Interior Min had Assyrian leader Mar Shimun come to Baghdad to discuss differences with

govt over settling community in north Interior said it was willing to acknowledge Mar Shimun as spiritual leader but would not give him any political power Said UK officer arriving to help settle community Mar Shimun said he would help with settlement Pledged loyalty to King Faisal

(Musings On Iraq review The Tragedy of the Assyrian Minority in Iraq)

(Musings On Iraq review State and Society in Iraq)

Saturday, May 27, 2023

This Day In Iraqi History - May 27 Barzani decided to leave Iraq for USSR after his followers arrested and his brother surrendered to govt


 

1917 UK Col Clayton in Egypt worried Sykes-Picot would create opposition by Sharif of

Mecca against UK taking Baghdad Included independent Arab state for Sharif

(Musings On Iraq review The Creation of Iraq 1914-1921)

(Musings On Iraq review Empires of the Sand, The Struggle For Mastery In The Middle East 1789-1923)

(Musings On Iraq interview with Princeton’s Sara Pursley on Sykes-Picot and creation of Iraq)

Friday, May 26, 2023

Review The Secret History Of The Iraq War

Bodansky, Yossef, The Secret History Of The Iraq War, New York: 10 Regan Books, 2005


 

This book sat in the discount bin of a local bookstore for what seemed like forever. Reading the first few pages it’s immediately understandable why it was there. It claimed that Saddam Hussein had an operational relationship with Al Qaeda starting in the 1990s when Iraq gave military aid to Somali jihadists led by Aymenn al-Zawahiri which escalated by the early 2000s when Baghdad gave Osama bin Laden WMD. The former was based upon the false story that Al Qaeda helped Somalis during the Black Hawk Down incident. The rest is just pure fantasy. That gives you a glimpse into the world of The Secret History Of The Iraq War by Yossef Bodansky. It reads like a QAnon history of the Iraq War full of outlandish conspiracy theories.

This Day In Iraqi History - May 26 Jamil Midfai led Al-Ahd forces to attack Tal Afar in attempt to start revolt vs UK Mandate in Iraq

(Wikipedia)

 

1915 US consulate report Discontent in Baghdad against draft for war growing UK trying

to bribe tribes south of Baghdad to turn on Ottomans

Thursday, May 25, 2023

PUK and KDP Continue Their Dispute This Time Over KRG Election Commission

(NRT)


On May 14 the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) ended its boycott of the Kurdistan Regional Government cabinet. It stopped attending meetings in 2022 due to its on going conflict and rivalry with the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) which has moved to dominate the regional government instead of sharing power with its former partner. This truce didn’t last the end of the month as the two were at it again, this time over re-instating the regional Election Commission.

This Day In Iraqi History - May 25 Turkey launched 1st raid into Iraq to fight PKK under Iraq-Turkey security agreement


 

1918 11 leaders of Najaf revolt executed in Kufa by British

Tuesday, May 23, 2023

This Day In Iraqi History - May 23 CPA disbanded Iraq’s military

(Getty Images)

 

1939 After British White Paper on Palestine passed PM Said tried but failed to convince the Mufti

of Jerusalem to support it

Sunday, May 21, 2023

Security In Iraq May 15-21, 2023


Violence in Iraq went back down to its normal level during the third week of May. There were just three incidents reported from May 15-21 with those taking place in Baghdad (1), Diyala (1) and Ninewa (1).

This Day In Iraqi History - May 22 Sheikh Barzanji led revolt against British

(Wikipedia)

 

1919 Sheikh Mahmoud Barzinji started rebellion against British in Sulaymaniya

(Musings On Iraq review The Kurdish Revolt 1961-1970)

(Musings On Iraq review The Kurds, A Modern History)

(Musings On Iraq Explaining Kurdish Nationalism Interview With Teen Tech Univ Prof Michael Gunter)

This Day In Iraqi History - May 21 Treaty of Arzurum set border between Ottoman and Persian empires

(Siasat Daily)

 

1847 Treaty of Arzurum tried to set border between Ottoman Empire and Persia Gave

Sulaymaniya to Ottomans Shatt al-Arab to Persia Set up commission to demarcate border between Ottomans and Persia but never finished

(Musings On Iraq review An Analysis of Hanna Batatu’s The Old Social Classes and the Revolutionary Movements of Iraq)

Friday, May 19, 2023

Wednesday, May 17, 2023

Review Iraqi Perspectives Project, A View of Operation Iraqi Freedom from Saddam’s Senior Leadership

Woods, Kevin, with Pease, Michael, Stout, Mark, Murray, Williamson, and Lacey, James, Iraqi Perspectives Project, A View of Operation Iraqi Freedom from Saddam’s Senior Leadership, San Bernadino: Joint Center For Operational Analysis, 2013


 

After the 2003 invasion of Iraq thousands of Baathist documents were captured and former members of Saddam Hussein’s regime were interviewed by the United States. That resulted in the Iraqi Perspective Project which published three books on its finding. One of those was A View of Operation Iraqi Freedom from Saddam’s Senior Leadership which tried to explain the Iraqi government’s world view and how that shaped its response to the 2003 invasion. The main thesis was that Saddam never took the United States seriously and did not believe it would overthrow him until it was at the gates of Baghdad.

This Day In Iraqi History - May 18 German planes attacked UK Transjordan force in Anbar Anglo-Iraq War


 

1941 British bombed Fallujah while troops began surrounding town

(Musings On Iraq Iraq’s First Battle Of Fallujah 1941)

(Musings On Iraq interview World War II In Iraq and Syria Interview With Case Western’s Prof Broich)

Increased Displacement In Iraq Due To Climate Change

(IOM)

The International Organization for Migration (IOM) just
issued a new report about continued displacement in central and southern Iraq due to climate change. The situation has gotten worse with more families leaving the land and the government appears to be incapable of providing help.

This Day In Iraqi History - May 17 British planes bombed Mosul and Baghdad Anglo-Iraq War

(Wikipedia)

 

1920 Huge joint Sunni-Shiite demonstration in Baghdad during Ramadan against British rule

(Musings On Iraq review A Short History of Iraq)

Tuesday, May 16, 2023

This Day In Iraqi History - May 16 Sykes-Picot agreement made between French and UK officials to divide up Ottoman Empire in Mideast


 

1916 Sykes-Picot Agreement broke up Ottoman Empire Basra and Baghdad to UK Mosul to France

Would be independent Arab state under UK and French influence

(Musings On Iraq interview with Princeton’s Sara Pursley on Sykes-Picot and creation of Iraq)

(Musings On Iraq review The Creation of Iraq 1914-1921)

(Musings On Iraq review Enemy On The Euphrates, The Battle For Iraq 1914-1921)

(Musings On Iraq review Empires of the Sand, The Struggle For Mastery In The Middle East 1789-1923)

Sunday, May 14, 2023

Security In Iraq May 8-14, 2023


Violence went up in Iraq during the second week of May to the highest level since the end of February. The insurgency however remains at its lowest level since 2003.

This Day In Iraqi History - May 15 Iraqi army attacked Israel in 1948 Arab-Israeli War

(Wikipedia)

 

1935 Tribes seized Suq al-Shuyukh and cut railway between Basra and Nasiriya during revolt

against govt

This Day In Iraqi History - May 14 Pres Bakr brought Communists into National Front govt to co-opt Baath’s largest opponent

(Wikipedia)

 

1935 Iraqi army and air force began campaign to bomb tribal areas Destroyed towns and burned crops

to put down tribal revolt in Rumaitha

(Musings On Iraq review Wings of Iraq, Volume 1: The Iraqi Air Force, 1931-1970)

Saturday, May 13, 2023

This Day In Iraqi History - May 13 German planes attacked UK forces at Habaniya air base Anglo-Iraq War

(Imperial War Museum)

 

1915 British forces moved north to try to encircle Ottoman forces in Qurna

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

Friday, May 12, 2023

This Day In Iraqi History - May 12 Sec State Albright said if 500,000 Iraqi children died under sanctions would be worth it to contain Saddam

(NBC)

 

1920 US protested to UK about San Remo agreement that divided up Iraq’s oil between UK and

France saying London promised open door policy in region

(Musings On Iraq review Supremacy And Oil, Iraq, Turkey, and the Anglo-American World Order, 1918-1930)

Wednesday, May 10, 2023

Review My Share of the Task, A Memoir

McChrystal, General Stanley, My Share of the Task, A Memoir, New York, Toronto, London, Dublin, Victoria, New Delhi, Auckland, Parktown North, Beijing: Penguin Books, 2013


 

My Share of the Task, A Memoir is about the military career of General Stanley McChrystal from when he attended West Point to when he was forced out of commanding forces in Afghanistan. The book is broken up into three main sections. The first is about his start in the military as he went from unit to unit hoping to become a Ranger. The second is about his time in Iraq running Special Forces operations against the insurgency and militias. The third is on the Afghan campaign. The main take away was that McChrystal was not a deep strategic thinker but focused upon tactical decisions.

This Day In Iraqi History - May 11 2nd time Sec Def Rumsfeld claimed 2 brigades and a company of special forces roughly 10,000 troops could invade Iraq and overthrow Saddam

(Reuters)

 

1925 UK Colonial Secretary wrote Arab elites knew Iraq was being held together by British

Security In Iraq May 1-7, 2023


The Islamic State remains barely active in Iraq. For the 14th week in a row security incidents were in single digits marking the lowest level of violence in Iraq since 2003.

This Day In Iraqi History - May 10 Army forced PM Talib to resign Pres Arif became PM

(Wikipedia)

 

1920 Nationalist Haras al-Istiqlal decided to increase campaign for independence in

Baghdad Agreed on joint Sunni-Shiite events during annual religious ceremonies

Monday, May 8, 2023

Iraq Sees 5 Month High In Oil Revenues In April


April was a good month for Iraq’s oil industry. It saw the highest exports in four months which led to the largest monthly revenue total in five months.

This Day In Iraqi History - May 9 German and Italian planes started landing in Iraq for Anglo-Iraq War


 

1919 UK approved Iraq political officer Wilson’s plan for mandate in Iraq run by a high

commissioner

Sunday, May 7, 2023

Justice For Assassinated Analyst Hisham al-Hashemi

(BBC)

Almost three years after his assassination analyst Hisham al-Hashemi may finally be getting justice. His killer, an officer in the Interior Ministry Ahmed al-Kenani was just
given the death sentence.

This Day In Iraqi History - May 8 Def Sec Rumsfeld gave CPA head Bremer draft of DeBaathification order Pentagon would later deny it wrote order

(Dept of Defense)

 

1927 Iraqi cabinet resolution said Assyrians would be settled in the country

(Musings On Iraq review The Tragedy of the Assyrian Minority in Iraq)

(Musings On Iraq review State and Society in Iraq)

This Day In Iraqi History - May 7 Fmr intelligence head Kazemi became interim PM

(Reuters)

 

1918 British took Kirkuk based on false idea that it would stop Germans from organizing Persians to

attack India British would later leave Kirkuk

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

Saturday, May 6, 2023

This Day In Iraqi History May 6 Iraq launched largest air attack upon Habaniya air base during Anglo-Iraq War while army withdrew 409 Iraqi soldiers captured

(Imperial War Museum)

 

1935 Govt arrested cleric Asadallah follower of Ayatollah Ghita who had been demanding

concessions from govt Led to revolt by Abu Hassan Bani Zurayij and Zawalim tribes against monarchy

Friday, May 5, 2023

This Day In Iraqi History - May 5 British mandate in Iraq announced


 

1920 British mandate announced in Baghdad

(Musings On Iraq interview with Princeton’s Sara Pursley on Sykes-Picot and creation of Iraq)

(Musings On Iraq review The Creation of Iraq 1914-1921)

(Musings On Iraq review Dictatorship, Imperialism & Chaos, Iraq since 1989)

(Musings On Iraq review An Analysis of Hanna Batatu’s The Old Social Classes and the Revolutionary Movements of Iraq)

(Musings On Iraq review Inventing Iraq: The Failure of Nation Building and a History Denied)

(Musings On Iraq review Supremacy And Oil, Iraq, Turkey, and the Anglo-American World Order, 1918-1930)

(Musings On Iraq review The Chatham House Version and other Middle-Eastern Studies)

(Musings On Iraq review A Short History of Iraq)

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

(Musings On Iraq review Iraq Since 1958, From Revolution To Dictatorship)

(Musings On Iraq review Iraq’s Democratic Moment)

Thursday, May 4, 2023

Review Spider’s Web, The secret history of how the White House illegally armed Iraq

Friedman, Alan, Spider’s Web, The secret history of how the White House illegally armed Iraq, New York, Toronto, London, Sydney, Auckland: Bantam Books, 1993


 

Spider’s Web, The secret history of how the White House illegally armed Iraq by Financial Times journalist Alan Friedman is about a story that is largely forgotten today. During the Iran-Iraq War the U.S. decided to support Baghdad to stop the Iranian Revolutionary from spreading. That included helping foreign companies ship weapons to Iraq and offering credit to Baghdad some of which was diverted to buying technology for Saddam’s WMD, nuclear and missile programs. When Iraq invaded Kuwait the Bush administration attempted to cover up the entire affair which is the topic of Friedman’s book why and how did the two presidents back Iraq and then try to deny the whole affair.

This Day In Iraqi History - May 4 UK bombed Iraqi airfields and destroyed most of Iraqi air force WWII


 

1918 Najaf revolt ended after rebels gave up to UK Ended Zuqurt and Shumurt control of city

Tuesday, May 2, 2023

Islamic State Fails To Deliver Ramadan Offensive In Iraq


 

Ramadan ended and the Islamic State failed to launch its annual offensive. This was the first time since 2003 this didn’t happen and marks the latest sign that the insurgency is disappearing in Iraq.

This Day In Iraqi History May 3 Saddam had Algerian Foreign Min assassinated after accusing Algeria of siding with Iran in Iran-Iraq War

(Biography)

 

1913 US consulate in Baghdad reported Ottomans ordered documents to be published in

Arabic and Turkish in Baghdad vilayet as concession to Arab demands

Monday, May 1, 2023

This Day In Iraqi History - May 2 King Faisal II born

(Wikipedia)

 

1854 Riot in Mosul versus Ottoman reforms Attacked Christians and Jews for businesses they ran

and control of taxes that caused resentment

(Musings On Iraq review Christianity in Iraq)

Iraq’s Oil Exports And Revenue Drop In May

In May Iraq suffered a drop in international oil prices. Its exports dipped as well.