Skip to main content

Iraqi Security & Human Rights Report

Flag of Turkey.

October 07 to October 13, 2016:

The new issue of ISHM is out and here is their recap.

Turkish Troop Presence in Northern Iraq Continues to Cause Tension – On October 11, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said in a press conference that Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi needs to “know his place” in regional affairs, asserting that Turkey will not be excluded from impending operations to clear Mosul of ISIS militants. The statement follows the Turkish Parliament’s approval of a continued Turkish troop presence in northern Iraq despite calls from the Iraqi Parliament, Arab League, and the United States that foreign military forces in Iraq should only be there with the consent of the Iraqi government. Members of Iraqi Parliament have called for severing diplomatic and economic ties between Turkey and Iraq (despite Turkey’s status as Iraq’s number one importer), and have called for the UN Security Council to hold an emergency session on the issue. Meanwhile, in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq, Kurdish parties are divided about the presence of Turkish troops, with the PUK demanding Turkey’s withdrawal and the KDP defending Turkey’s right to remain. As Renas Jano, a KDP Member of Kurdish Parliament said, “as long as the PKK presence continues, Turkey’s presence in the region will be essential for security.” 
Preparations to Clear Mosul Include Instructions for Trapped Civilians – Save the Children’s Country Director in Iraq, Maurizio Crivallero, highlighted the predicament facing those in Mosul, saying, “Families have an impossible decision to make. If they stay, their children may get caught in the crossfire,” and will not have access to food, water or medicine. “If they decide to flee, they will have to run a gauntlet of fighters, snipers, and landmines.” Iraqi Security Forces (ISF) issued a list of 32 recommendations for civilians in Mosul to implement during imminent military operations to clear the city of ISIS militants, including not attempting evacuation, marking windows with tape to indicate civilian status, and telling children that the sounds of battle are “just a game” or the sounds of “thunder and rain,” in order to keep children calm. U.S. Special Presidential Envoy for the Global Coalition to Counter ISIS, Ambassador Brett McGurk, said that the decision to encourage civilians in Mosul to stay in their homes during military operations belongs to the ISF. Besides being caught in the crossfire, another serious concern for allowing families to remain is that they may be misidentified as ISIS sympathizers and summarily executed. Meanwhile, U.S.-led international coalition airstrikes continue to target IED factories, ISIS courts and media centers, and ISIS leadership in the city. 
Operations to Secure Hawija Continue as Escape from the City Remains Risky – Security forces began to move toward the Hamrin Mountains and al-Fathah, west of Kirkuk, to survey areas ahead of operations to clear Hawija of ISIS militants. Over the past week, Iraqi Kurdish Peshmerga have received more than 1,200 IDPs fleeing the ISIS-occupied city where humanitarian conditions remain dire. Fleeing Hawija is particularly difficult according to witnesses who have seen ISIS militants break the hands and feet of those trying to flee, behead defectors, and plant landmines along potential escape routes. The Iraqi Government has been accused of not doing enough to protect civilians in Hawija, instead focusing limited resources on Mosul. (For more on the neglect of Hawija, see our report.)
IDPs are Returning to Sharqat as Fighting there Intensifies – The International Organization for Migration (IOM) reported that between September 24 and October 6, 3,420 IDPs returned to Sharqat, a strategically important town on the Tigris River in Salah ad-Din Province which was ostensibly cleared of ISIS militants on September 22. According to eyewitness accounts, however, shelling and indiscriminate attacks by ISIS militants have increased in recent days, evidence of the capacity of Iraqi security forces to clear locations temporarily, but not hold them in the long-run. Holding cleared areas will become increasingly important as operations to clear Mosul of ISIS militants advance. 
Security Forces Clear Hit of ISIS Militants and Continue Focus Elsewhere in Anbar – The capacity of Iraqi security forces to hold cleared areas will be further tested in Anbar Province, where the ISF, assisted by local militias and U.S.-led international coalition airstrikes cleared ISIS militants from Hit, as well as the Byjy al-Holi Road, a vital ISIS supply line to the western end of the province. According to an unconfirmed report, ISIS command has ordered all of their commanders and militants to leave the last three ISIS strongholds in Anbar (Anah, Qa’im and Rawa). 
VPs Reinstated; Parliament Questions Foreign Minister; IMF Loan Talks Conclude – Iraq’s Federal Court ruled that Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi’s attempt to abolish the Vice Presidency and Deputy Prime Minister positions is unconstitutional because the measure passed the Iraqi Parliament without an absolute majority in August 2015. The reform effort was part of al-Abadi’s measures to better streamline the government. Former Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki was one of the three vice presidents when the mostly symbolic position was initially eliminated. On October 6, Parliament questioned Foreign Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari on charges of corruption, although the outcome of the questioning and Parliament’s intentions to oust the Minister have not been publicly discussed since. Despite the vacancy of the Minister of Finance position, the Iraqi government concluded talks with the International Monetary Fund over a US$ 4 billion loan package intended to help Iraq diversity its economy and reform the government. Ousted Finance Minister Hoshyar Zebari is largely credited with initiating the agreement. 
IDPs Pressed to Return to Fallujah – On October 8, Mayor of Fallujah Isa al-Sayer, announced the return of “7,400 displaced families” to the city center since returns began on September 17. The number reported by the mayor is unconfirmed and is remarkably high for such a short period of time. Al-Sayer encouraged IDPs to return, stressing that the restoration of public services such as electricity and drinking water are well underway. Fallujah was cleared of ISIS militants on June 26, but the presence of IEDs and lack of services have made families reluctant to return. On October 10, using a database of wanted persons, security forces identified and arrested eight ISIS militants hiding among IDPs returning to eastern Fallujah, underscoring concerns that the city may not be completely clear of militants.  


Popular posts from this blog

Iraqi Security Update Ending March 30 2017

English: Market in Mosul. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)Reprinted brief synopsis via ISHM

Key Takeaways:

Hundreds of Civilian Casualties in Western Mosul Blamed on Coalition Airstrikes - On March 17, U.S.-led international coalition warplanes carried out airstrikes on a suspected ISIS location in the al-Jadida neighborhood of western Mosul. The airstrikes leveled multiple buildings, and likely caused the deaths of an estimated 101 to 263 civilians. Both Iraq’s Defense Minister Irfan Hiyali and U.S. Central Command have ordered inquiries into the incident. On March 28, Lt. General Stephen Townsend, commander of Operation Inherent Resolve, told reporters that “if we did it - and there is a fair chance that we did - it was an unintentional accident of war, and we will transparently report it to you when we’re ready.” A sharp rise in civilian casualties in Mosul has outraged several Iraqi politicians and members of the public - most of whom do not accept an alternative narrative circulating in…

Is Amnesty International Report on Assad Government Hangings, Propaganda?

There has been lots of suspicion lately about FakeNews, with much of the commentary from establishment types, saying it's from the Alternate News Media. I'm not so sure that's right, as lately, well, as of the 2nd Iraq War, it has been increasingly the western Main Street Media, our Corporate Media titans that have been leading that charge. In my opinion of course - and that of many others.
In terms of this post, I'm posting a rebuttal to the report from two individuals, both Syrians. The translated, formated document is linked to my Google Drive. All I have done is format it in a way that's easier to read, rather than one sold block of single spaced text. Since this is a translation from Arabic to English and not done by a professional translation service, there are some mistakes in language. Not enough to obscure any meaning, in my opinion. I didn't want to correct those, as I wanted to keep it as close to virgin as possible.

It's a worthwhile read (below…

Events in Iraq for the Week September 23-29 2016

As listed on the ISHM (Iraqi Security & Humanitarian Monitor) web siteKirkuk Reported to be Forcing Returns of IDPs without Explanation as Conditions in Hawija Worsen  According to the UNHCR, officials in Kirkuk have pressed nearly 8,000 IDPs to depart the province since the beginning of September--allegations that the Kirkuk Provincial Council denies. At least 30 of these expelled families are living on the outskirts of farming villages north of Baquba in Diyala Province without access to adequate food, water, or medical care. The reason for the expulsions is under investigation after an agreement was reached between a Parliamentary Delegation and the Governor of Kirkuk, Najmaddin Karim, to allow the continued presence of IDPs in Kirkuk until the end of the year. Meanwhile, Iraqi Security Forces remain hesitant to clear Hawija (a city of about 100 thousand in Kirkuk Province) of ISIS militants despite deteriorating humanitarian conditions.
ISIS Increases Restrictions in Mosul as …