Thursday, August 31, 2017

Tal Afar Battle Day 11


The battle for Ayadiyah, which is a sub-district of Tal Afar got to the point where the Iraqi forces (ISF) were making widely different claims about their progress. First, Tal Afar We Are Coming commander General Abdul Amir Rashid Yarallah told the press that east Ayadiyah had been liberated by the Federal Police and Rapid Reaction units. The general then went on to say that 40% of the Ayadiyah district was freed. Then the Federal Police chief General Raed Shakir Jawadat upped that to 90% of the area was under government control. Finally, the Hashd said that the entire sub-district was now cleared. In these types of situations, it is always difficult to tell how honest the ISF are being because they have such a high propensity to exaggerate their achievements. The day before they were talking about how intense the fighting was with on army officer comparing it to the Old City. Then the next day the defenders collapsed. It will take the next day or two to tell what the real situation is.

This Day In Iraqi History – Aug 31


1986 Iran started Op Karbala 2 attacking Kurdistan
1996 30,000 Republican Guards began attack upon PUK Captured Irbil city to back
KDP
1996 PUK gave orders to flee to hills to escape Iraqi attack upon Irbil
1996 INC camp in Qushtapa, Irbil captured by Iraqi forces 96 INC members killed
1996 Clinton said he was concerned about Iraqi attack on Irbil but US not ready to
            respond
1996 Def Sec Perry said US should not get involved in Kurdish civil war
2003 Commander of Guantanamo Bay prison Gen Miller flew to Iraq to advise on
interrogation techniques
2003 Pentagon Defense Policy Board’s Perle US should have organized Iraqi opposition to
            take over govt after invasion
2004 CIA report Sistani and Sadr’s standing increased by Battle of Najaf Allawi’s
            hurt
2005 Rumor of suicide bomber led to stampede of Shiite pilgrims on Tigris
            Bridge in Baghdad leading to over 1,000 dead and wounded
2006 Iraq Cmdr Gen Casey said Baghdad security progressing US forces clearing
            areas but Iraqis not holding them
2006 Iraq Cmdr Gen Casey said Iraqi forces could take over security in country in
            12-18 months
2006 Maliki told Iraq Survey Group security problems caused by Baathists and Al
            Qaeda
2006 Maliki told Iraq Survey Group problem with Iraqi police too many former
            regime members in it
2010 US officially ended combat operations in Iraq
2015 Protest in front of Judicial Council building in Baghdad demanding Chief
            Justice Medhat be dismissed


Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Tal Afar Battle Day 10


The Iraqi forces (ISF) were still attempting to capture the Ayadiyah sub-district of Tal Afar. The Islamic State was putting up stubborn resistance leading the Iraqis to call in reinforcements. Originally, only the army’s 15th and 16th Divisions were involved. Now the army’s 9th Division, the Hashd, the Federal Police, the Rapid Reaction forces, and the Golden Division are all attacking Ayadiyah from three sides. It was reported they reached the center of the town itself, and controlled 50% of the area. According to people fleeing the fighting the militants took around 120 families with them as human shields as they retreated into the sub-district. The Iraqis are now claiming that the 2,000 IS elements they expected to find in Tal Afar retreated to Ayadiyah. Tal Afar itself was captured in just eight days. Ayadiyah may take a little longer due to the large number of militants defending it.

This Day In Iraqi History – Aug 30


1962 KDP bombed Iraq Petroleum Company pipeline
1968 Pres Bakr shut down Iraqi offices of Arab Socialist Union and ended Iraq-Egypt union plans 1992 Reports that govt arrested Shiites in south and moved them into camps
1996 State Dept attempted to mediate ceasefire between KDP-PUK KDP denied that it had any deal
            with Baghdad
2002 Blair decided UK strategy would be to get UN to issue resolution that would give ultimatum
            to Iraq on inspectors or else
2003 Iraqi Governing Council announced 17 candidates for first-post Saddam cabinet
2006 Bush said if US left Iraq before job done would become terrorist state and undermine US
            leadership
2015 Asaib Ahl Al-Haq head Khazali said that Chief Justice Medhat should resign and Election
            Commission should be ended

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Tal Afar Battle Day 9


The Tal Afar battle has shifted from the town itself to the Ayadiyah sub-district to the north. The Iraqi forces (ISF) encircled the area, and were facing heavy resistance from the Islamic State. An army lieutenant colonel told Reuters that many IS fighters fled Tal Afar for Ayadiyah. He believed they were trapped there due to air strikes and drones that were keeping a constant surveillance over the area. During the day the Army, Hashd and Federal Police captured one town, a fuel station, and two farms. While it looks like the insurgents are putting up a tougher fight for Ayadiyah then they did for Tal Afar they are still vastly outnumbered, and the fight could be over soon depending upon how many IS elements are there. If this is where the 1,000-2,000 IS fighters the Iraqis expected to find in Tal Afar ended up, then it could take a bit longer.

This Day In Iraqi History – Aug 29


1987 Iraq attacked 2 Iranian merchant ships in Iran-Iraq War 40 ships hit by both Iran and Iraq in
            next 2 weeks
1988 Bazi Gorge in Kurdistan attacked by Iraqi forces with chemical weapons killing around 3,000
            Kurds 6th Anfal
1996 Iraqi National Accord discovered impending Iraqi attack on Kurdistan and KDP had made
            deal with Saddam
2002 Bush signed Iraq: Goals, Objectives, Strategy that said US would use all means to remove
            Saddam
2002 Bush and Blair talked about tough UN resolution on Iraq disarmament and how Saddam
            wouldn't comply leading to conflict
2002 Bush okayed war plans for Iraq
2002 UK Foreign Office paper said rebuilding Iraq would be a long and costly affair
2002 IAEA spokesman in London Times No evidence Iraq rebuilding nuclear facilities Would be
            easy to find by spy satellites
2003 SCIRI head Mohammed Baqir al-Hakim killed in Najaf Imam Ali shrine car bombing by
            Zarqawi 125 killed 500 wounded
2003 Car bomb driven by Yassin Jarrad father of Zarqawi’s second wife
2007 Sadr announces freeze of Mahdi Army after fighting with Badr in Karbala
2007 Petraeus wrote about Anbar Awakening and Sahwa and how they improved security in Iraq

Monday, August 28, 2017

Tal Afar Battle Day 8 - Completed


Victorious Iraqi forces inside Tal Afar (Baghdad Post)

After eight days the Tal Afar operation was over. The Iraqi forces (ISF) completed sweeping up the last neighborhoods on the eastern tip of the town along with a few areas in the center. The battle was completed in amazing speed. The ISF claimed that it was a sign that the Islamic State was finished and had lost its morale. A general from the Golden Division for example told the press that IS’s “back [was] broken.” While that is up to debate, what is not is the fact that the insurgents largely abandoned the town. The ISF claimed only 259 fighters were killed up to August 26. That compared to the 1,000-2,000 IS members the Iraqis predicted would be there before the operation began. According to a Ninewa councilman most IS elements were killed in Mosul or fled afterward leaving few for Tal Afar. Although the town was surrounded at the end of 2016, the cordon never appeared to be very strong allowing ample opportunity for militants to leave.

This Day In Iraqi History – Aug 28


1948 Jews forbidden to work in banking or foreign currency transactions after creation of Israel
1984 Senate Foreign Relations report said US and Soviet Union both backing Iraq in Iran-Iraq War
1990 Kuwait formally annexed as 19th province of Iraq
1990 Egypt’s Pres Mubarak attempted to mediate between Iraq and Kuwait
1996 US provided info to UN that Iraq smuggling oil in violation of sanctions
2004 Iraqi insurgents kidnapped 2 French reporters Gave Paris 48 hrs to end ban on
            schoolgirls wearing headscarves
2005 Draft Iraq constitution presented to parliament but more changes made to it afterward
2007 PM Maliki headed forces to arrest Sadrists in Karbala after fire fight with Badr Brigade
2011 Suicide bombing on Um al-Qura mosque Baghdad during Ramadan killed 28
2015 Protests in Salahaddin Basra, Najaf Karbala Babil Dhi Qar Wasit Diyala Maysan for reform

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Tal Afar Battle Day 7


Red area remaining neighborhoods under Islamic State control


By the seventh day of the Tal Afar campaign the fighting was nearly over. By the middle of the day the Tal Afar We Are Coming command said that 75% of the town was under government control. That went up to 90% by night time. The three thrusts into the town cleared the remaining neighborhoods in the middle, and then moved to the eastern end of Tal Afar. Along the way they took Muthanna 1, Muthanna 2, Arabiya 2, Bouari, Urouba, Salam, Qadisiyah 1, Qadisiya 2, Rabia, and the citadel in the center. Most of the combat appeared to be done by the Federal Police and 9th Division along with the 2nd and 11th Hashd Brigades. Just two neighborhoods at the eastern tip of the town remained in Islamic State hands. The Iraqis and U.S. originally estimated 1,000-2,000 militants were in Tal Afar. That now looks overblown as only a few hundred have been reported killed. Of course, given Iraqi propensity to exaggerate that figure will likely go way up later on. Tal Afar was originally surrounded at the end of 2016. The cordon did not appear to be particularly done well as the Hashd continuously said it was cutting off the last route to Syria. It was said to be surrounded again about a month ago. That gave the insurgents plenty of time to leave. It seems most did, leaving behind only a small holding force.

This Day In Iraqi History - Aug 27

1934 Ali Aiyubi became premier of Iraq, would hold office 3 times
1992 Report US funneled in counterfeit dinars into Iraq to try to undermine economy
            and Saddam
1996 PUK attacked KDP in Kurdistan Forced KDP out of most of its territory PUK
            backed by Iran
2002 Cheney gave speech calling Saddam a threat that needed a pre-emptive strike to
            remove him
2003 White House considered asking Congress for additional $3 bil for reconstruction
            in Iraq on top of previous $2.5 bil
2003 Oxfam started withdrawing from Iraq after terrorist bombings against aid groups
            by Zarqawi 4th aid group to do so
2004 Sistani returned from London to Najaf Arranged ceasefire with Sadr to
            end Battle of Najaf Mahdi Army were to turn in weapons but not be arrested Didn’t give up
            arms
2004 Sadr said “puppet police” couldn't protect Imam Ali shrine in Najaf and
            Mahdi Army still in control of it
2007 Mahdi Army got into gunfight with ISF run by Badr Brigade in Karbala shrine
leading to more than 50 deaths 280 wounded

View the Iraq History Timeline

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Tal Afar Battle Day 6



On the sixth day of the Tal Afar offensive the three fronts attacking the town all met. The two thrusts from in the west met up with the southern push. That was accomplished by taking Nida, Khadra, Saad, Talaa, and Nasr. In the process, the entire Mahalabiya district was liberated. The Federal Police seized a town outside Tal Afar as well. By the end of the day just over half of the town was in government hands. The fighting should be over in just a few days, and then mopping up operations should take place to clear up the towns that were bypassed in the charge to get to Tal Afar.

This Day In Iraqi History - Aug 26


1922 King Faisal apologized to British Iraq High Commissioner Cox for
            Anti-British remark made at a party
1968 Mulla Barzani had his two ministers resign from Bakr govt because Baath was
            backing Jalal Talabani
1981 85 POWs exchanged between Iraq and Iran in Cyprus 2nd prisoner exchange
            of Iran-Iraq War
1987 Iraq demanded UN arms embargo on Iran for not accepting ceasefire deal and
            threatened new air strikes
1987 U.S. signed 5 year trade agreement with Iraq mostly for farm products Support US gave Iraq
            during Iran-Iraq War
1988 End of 5th Anfal campaign
1992 US, UK, France started Operation Southern Watch creating southern no fly
            zone over Iraq
1994 Iraqi Vanguard for National Salvation took responsibility for car bomb in
Baghdad
2002 Cheney speech called Iraq a mortal threat to US
2002 Cheney said Iraqi defectors like Hussein Kamal proved Iraq had renewed its
            nuke program
2002 Hussein Kamal defected to Jordan in 1995 Said Iraq had ended all its WMD
            and nuke programs
2002 Cheney said no doubt Iraq had WMD and that it was good at deceiving
            weapons inspectors
2002 Powell argued that US had to go through UN to deal with Iraq at National
            Security Council
2003 Report US left thousands of munitions dumps all over Iraq which were looted by
            insurgents and militias
2003 Bremer Iraq could not pay for its own reconstruction and U.S. would have to
            put up several billion dollars to do it
2003 Bremer CPA could not meet Iraq’s electricity needs until summer of 2004
2003 US launched Op Ivy Needle to hunt down criminals and Baathists in Salahaddin
2003 DepSecState Armitage said US might consider a multinational force under UN to
            help with security after rejecting UN role
2003 Humanitarian aid groups announced pulling out workers from Iraq after terrorist
            attacks
2015 Pres Masum implied that some of Abadi’s reforms were unconstitutional 

Friday, August 25, 2017

Tal Afar Battle Day 5



The Iraqi forces (ISF) continued three major thrusts into Tal Afar, which have nearly cut the town into thirds. The army, Golden Division and Hashd took Nour, Wahda, Kifa, the industrial district, the Education Directorate, and Jazira, which the Iraqi forces claimed they took on August 22. The Islamic State was said to be herding people with them as they retreated east. Ninewa Councilman Abdul Rahman al-Wakaa told the press that nearly 50% of the town had been taken. Joint Operations spokesman General Yahya Rasool added that over 300 IS fighters had been killed so far. The ISF coming from the south have nearly cut the town in half. The northwest and southeast fronts have linked up and are moving towards the center. The Iraqis’ strategy has been to charge towards the heart of Tal Afar as quickly as possible. At this rate, the Iraqis could finish off the battle in just a few more days.

This Day In Iraqi History - Aug 25


1920 British gave limited self-rule in Najaf to try to stop 1920 Revolt there
1922 British High Commissioner for Iraq Cox demanded apology from King Faisal
            for anti-Mandate comment at his party
1988 Villages in Dohuk hit by chemical weapons in 6th Anfal campaign
1990 UN Resolution 665 strengthened economic sanctions on Iraq for Kuwait invasion
2003 Funeral in Najaf turned into anti-American demonstration
2004 2nd battle of Najaf ended with Ayatollah Sistani negotiating ceasefire
2004 US army investigation blamed morally corrupt soldiers and contractors poor
            leadership for Abu Ghraib prison abuse scandal
2004 US army investigation found intelligence officers played leading role in
            Abu Ghraib prison abuse scandal
2005 Police took away 36 Sunnis from Hurriya Baghdad tortured killed them &
            dumped bodies
2005 Judge blamed Volcano Brigade commander for deaths in Hurriya but nothing done to him
2005 Constitutional committee given 3rd extension to finish work
2010 ISI coordinated attacks in Mosul Kirkuk Tikrit Dujail Baquba Muqtadiya Ramadi
            Fallujah Karbala Kut Basra Baghdad 

View the Iraq History Timeline 

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Tal Afar Battle Day 4


(Joint Operations Command)

The Iraqi forces (ISF) moved further into Tal Afar in just the fourth day of the campaign. First, on August 22, Kifa was declared freed. That turned out to be another example of exaggeration by the ISF. On August 23, the Badr Organization repeated that claim, but then the Golden Division said it only cleared south Kifa, while the northern section was still under attack by the Federal Police and Hashd. The 9th Division along with the 2nd, 11th, and 26th Hashd Brigades took Tanak in east Tal Afar, while the 16th Hashd Brigade entered Khadra in the south. Originally, Baghdad claimed that Tal Afar would follow the model of Mosul with only the Golden Division, army and police entering the town. The government also allegedly held secret meetings with Turkey to assure it that the Hashd would only have a limited role since Ankara threatened intervention over their involvement. Instead what’s happened is that ISF units have been partnered up with Hashd brigades and they have entered Tal Afar from multiple directions. This includes Badr, which is connected to Iran, and exactly the type of unit the Erdogan government was opposed to taking part in the campaign.

This Day In Iraqi History - Aug 24


1922 Anniversary for King Faisal’s coronation opposition gave him petition
            calling for elections and Iraqi independence
1922 During King Faisal’s anniversary someone said down with British Mandate which
            was applauded
1986 Ayatollah Khomeini said Iran had to fight until victory and Saddam deposed
1988 Iran and Iraq started peace talks in Geneva to officially end Iran-Iraq War
1988 Start of 6th and final Anfal campaign focused upon destroying KDP bases
            in Dohuk KDP HQ attacked
1990 PLO Foreign Minister Qaddumi said PLO supported Iraq against colonialists
1995 UK intel report said Iraq had hidden much of its nuke program destroyed its
            SCUDs didn’t have hidden chemical stockpile
1998 US Intel said Iraq was connected to Al Qaeda chemical plant Clinton admin
            bombed in Sudan
2003 Ayatollah Hakim wounded in bombing at his Najaf office Some blamed Sadr for
            attack in growing inter-Shiite rivalry
2003 Bremer admitted US not doing a good job securing Iraq’s borders
2004 Panel found Rumsfeld’s orders on interrogations contributed to abuse of
            prisoners in Iraq
2004 Panel found that U.S. underestimated need for prisons in postwar Iraq then
            didn’t attempt to solve the problem
2004 Panel contradicted White House claim that Abu Ghraib prison abuse scandal
            was act of a few prison guards
2004 Panel found Abu Ghraib prison abuse was not part of an intelligence gathering
            operation
2006 Maliki banned TV channels from showing bloodshed caused by the war
2007 Natl Intel Estimate on Iraq said security improving unevenly No reconciliation
2009 Sadrists ISCI Jaafari announced creation of National Alliance
2015 Sadr said his followers should join Friday protests in Baghdad on Aug 28
2015 Sit in protests in Basra ended when govt promised to meet their demands
            Were not met

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Tal Afar Battle Day 3


(Iraq Joint Operations Command)

The Iraqi forces (ISF) have changed their tactics for the Tal Afar operation and charged right towards the center of the town. The army’s 9th Division and the Hashd breached Tal Afar in the northeast and southeast entering the al-Askari and Khadra neighborhoods. The Rapid Reaction units and Hashd freed Kifa in the northwest. The Hashd also took Nour and Tarmi. Instead of meticulously moving towards Tal Afar and clearing all the areas before taking on Tal Afar itself, they struck right for the town. In just three days they reached it. Another difference is the role of the Hashd. As the operation started the government said it would be like the Mosul battle with only the army and police entering Tal Afar, while the Hashd would remain on the outside. The speed with which the forces reached the town however has meant various Hashd are now inside. Badr for example, claimed it took an area.

This Day In Iraqi History - Aug 23


1922 King Faisal struck by appendicitis with no PM or govt British High
            Commissioner Cox ruled until king returned
1922 Cox deported and exiled opposition leaders banned opposition parties and papers
            Silencing opposition and Shiite leaders
1952 Communist led strike at Basra port led to clash with police
1962 Govt census in Jazeera listed 120,000 Kurds as aliens during Kurdish revolt
1988 UN said that Iraq used poison gas in attack on Oshnaviyeh, Iran on Aug 2
            that wounded around 2,600 civilians
1988 7th time UN documented use of WMD by Iraq
1990 Saddam appeared on state TV with western hostages in Iraq Told them they were
            being held to prevent war
2003 CPA created Dep of Border Enforcement but gave it little money to control
            Iraq’s borders
2003 Turkmen protested in Kirkuk city over Turkmen being killed Turned violent 3
            killed 15-20 wounded
2005 US embassy report said Gen Casey’s plan for handing off security to Iraq had no
            chance of succeeding and argued for counterinsurgency to defeat insurgency
2015 Police opened fire on demonstrations in Babil wounding 4
2015 2 Reporters in Diwaniya said they were threatened by gunmen not to cover protests 

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Tal Afar Battle Day 2


The Iraqi forces (ISF) continued to advance on Tal Afar from five directions. In the west, the Federal Police and Hashd moved 19 kilometers into the Tal Afar district. A police major claimed they were only a few meters from reaching the town itself. According to Joint Operations Command spokesman General Yahya Rasool six villages were captured during the day. The Golden Division moving from the southwest entered the first neighborhood of the town. The Tal Afar district is not that big. Most of it is open plain providing little cover for the Islamic State. There is only one built up area of the town itself where the streets are narrow and the houses densely packed. The environment favors the ISF who have an overwhelming force along with air and artillery cover.

This Day In Iraqi History - Aug 22


1973 Sheikh Jabir al-Sabah visited Iraq and again offered to talk about Iraq-
            Kuwait border dispute
1973 Iraq demanded 2 islands from Kuwait which it refused
1991 Bush announced no fly zone over southern Iraq to stop Saddam offensive
            to clear out southern marshes
1995 UN interviewed Hussein Kamal former Industry Min and Saddam’s son-in-law
            that defected to Jordan
1995 Kamal said Iraq hid its WMD & nuke programs from inspectors but all programs
            ended after Gulf War
1995 US & UN didn’t believe Kamal’s claim that Iraq had ended its WMD & nuke
            program Did convince them that Iraq would always hide its programs
1996 Massoud Barzani wrote Tariq Aziz asking for Baghdad’s help to fight PUK
            and their Iranian backers in Irbil
2003 Bush said Iraq war had transformed to one against Baathists and Al Qaeda
2003 Australian intel officer testified to parliament no pre-war evidence of Iraq-Al
            Qaeda ties & Iraq’s WMD contained
2003 Australian intel officer testified to parliament US flooded with disinformation by
            anti-Saddam Iraqis before war
2005 Draft constitution presented to parliament Same time given 3 day extension 2nd
            one to finish draft
2014 ISF and Asaib Ahl Al-Haq raided mosque in Diyala and killed worshippers
2015 Gunmen in military uniforms attacked sit in protesters in Basra Police did nothing
2015 Riot police broke up protests in Hillah beating them Used water hoses

Monday, August 21, 2017

Start Of The Tal Afar Battle


PM Abadi and his military staff announcing start of Tal Afar operation (Al Noor News)

US 82nd Airborne troops manning anti-tank missile outside Abu Ghaddur during Tal Afar operation (AP)

Belgium Special Forces operating anti-tank missiles next to the US troops (AP)

The Tal Afar operation finally began just over a month after Mosul was freed. Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi announced the start of the campaign on TV stating that the Islamic State could either surrender or die. The Iraqi Air Force dropped leaflets over Tal Afar telling people the battle had begun.

This Day In Iraqi History - Aug 21


1921 King Faisal was coronated
1950 Nuri al-Said threatened to revoke license of transport company if didn’t fill quota
            of shipping 500 Jews out of Iraq per day
2003 Powell asked UN Security Council to pass resolution encouraging foreign
            countries to provide troops for Iraq
2003 Ali Hassan al-Majid “Chemical Ali” captured by US forces
2006 2nd trial started for Saddam accused of genocide during Anfal campaign
2006 Al Qaeda in Iraq killed Sheikh Ataymi of Albu Jassim in Anbar who aligned with
            U.S.
2007 ISI killed Sheikh Alayawia of Abu Jassim tribe of Ramadi for supporting
            govt
2007 ISI blew up new police station in Jazeera, Anbar
2015 Protests in Baghdad Maysan Dhi Qar Wasit Diyala Basra Kirkuk Qadisiyah
Salahaddin Najaf Karbala Babil Diwainiya demanding reform
2015 Police attacked reporters from 3 TV stations trying to cover day’s protests

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Musings On Iraq In The News


I was mentioned in “Is Donald Trump to Raqqa and Mosul what Assad was to Aleppo?” by Alastair Sloan for Middle East Monitor.

Security In Iraq Aug 8-14, 2017


Violence in Iraq remained incredibly low during the second week of August 2017. There were only 88 incidents reported in the media. There were 20 in Ninewa, 18 in Baghdad, 15 in Diyala, 11 in Anbar, 8 in Kirkuk and Salahaddin each, 3 in Babil, 2 in Maysan, and 1 each in Dhi Qar, Karbala, and Irbil. For years, there have regularly been over 100 incidents per week in the country. Since Mosul was liberated, and the Islamic State has been thrown on the defensive the number of attacks has fallen off considerably.  

This Day In Iraqi History - Aug 20


1987 Dawa set off car bomb in Baghdad killing 20
1988 Ceasefire in Iran-Iraq War announced 350 UN peacekeepers deployed along border
1995 Iraq admitted to UN inspectors that its crash program to build a nuclear bomb failed
1996 PUK attacked KDP positions in Sulaymaniya with Iranian artillery and helicopter support
1997 Iraq agreed to allow Iranian pilgrims to go to Najaf and Karbala as way to get around UN 
           sanctions
2002 Secretary of Defense 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
2003 Bush at NSC meeting said US had to re-evaluate enemy in Iraq after Zarqawi bombed UN in 
            Baghdad
2003 UN said bombing of its Baghdad offices wouldn't stop reconstruction of Iraq
            UN would withdraw most of its staff
2004 PM Allawi called for Sadr to give up Imam Ali shrine in Najaf or face US-Iraq assault 2nd 
            Battle of Najaf
2007 ISCI governor of Muthanna assassinated by Sadrists 2nd ISCI governor killed in a month
2012 US warned that oil companies signing deals with Kurds without Baghdad’s
            approval were taking risks 

Saturday, August 19, 2017

When The US Decided On A Long Term Occupation Of Iraq


The original U.S. plan for Iraq was to go in and out as quick as possible. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld was opposed to nation building, and he was given control of postwar Iraq. He wanted the American forces to withdraw as soon as the invasion was over. President Bush had campaigned against the U.S. attempting to rebuild countries as well, and signed off on the Pentagon’s plan for Iraq. When Jay Garner and the Office for Reconstruction and Humanitarian Assistance (ORHA) the first group in charge of postwar Iraq looked like it was overwhelmed, the Bush administration turned to Paul Bremer and the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA). Bremer had a completely different philosophy wanting time to not only rebuild, but restructure Iraq’s institutions. When he was chosen to run Iraq was when the U.S. committed to a long-term occupation.

This Day In Iraqi History - Aug 19


1984 France agreed to refinance $1.4 bil in debts Iraq owed it France biggest
            western backer of Iraq
2003 Zarqawi bombed UN headquarters in Baghdad killing 23 and injuring
over 100 including UN Rep de Mello
2004 Allawi wrote Bush saying Iraq was more dangerous and unstable than a year ago
2004 Interim 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
2004 Iraq Survey Group head Kay was rebuked by NSC staffer for criticizing NSC
            to Congress on WMD
2004 Iraq Survey Group head Kay said Rice more interested in being Bush’s friend
            than being National Security Adviser
2009 ISI set off 3 car bombs in Baghdad hitting Finance & Foreign Ministries and
Rashid Hotel killing 101 and wounding 565
2009 Maliki blamed Baathists and Syria for Baghdad bombings even though it was ISI
2014 IS posted video of beheading of journalist James Foley