Saturday, February 17, 2018

Iraq Has Highest Oil Revenue Since Sep 2014

Iraq’s oil production and exports have continued to climb throughout the last year. That has coincided with an increase in international oil prices. Together that led Baghdad to earn the most money in January 2018 since the fall of 2014.

This Day In Iraqi History – Feb 17

1917 British crossed Shumran bend outflanking Ottoman forces in campaign to recapture Kut
1981 UN Rep Palme went to Iran and Iraq for 3rd time to try to negotiate ceasefire
1995 Temporary ceasefire made between PUK and KDP during civil war
1998 Clinton told Pentagon US had to stop Iraq from getting WMD and nuclear weapons
2003 U2 spy planes began flying over Iraq for UN weapons inspectors
2003 Turkish parliament delayed vote to allow deployment of US troops for Iraq invasion
            due to domestic opposition
2003 IAEA found that Iraq-Niger uranium docs were fakes
(Musings On Iraq article on Iraq-Niger uranium story)
2008 2 car bombs at Awakening meeting in Anbar kill more than 20
2011 Protests in Sulaymaniya began demanding reform in KRG Attacked KDP HQ Fired upon by
            guards killing 2
2012 Mahoum Sarkhi offices set on fire Blamed on followers of Ayatollah Sistani

Friday, February 16, 2018

Security In Iraq, Feb 8-14, 2018

Security has remained steady in Iraq since the start of the new year. Nearly every week there has been around 60 incidents. That was slightly above the rate seen at the end of 2017. The main cause of the increase was an uptick in attacks in Baghdad, followed by occasional outbursts in Diyala, Kirkuk, Ninewa and Salahaddin.

This Day In Iraqi History – Feb 16

1917 British defeated Ottoman forces at Dahra Bend
1979 Saddam said unifying Iraq and Syria was part of the Arab revolution
1979 Saddam said Iraq would respect choice of the Iranian people with their revolution
1984 Iran cut Basra-Baghdad highway between Maysan and Wasit
1989 Iraq formed Arab Cooperation Council with Egypt Jordan Yemen to counter
            Gulf Cooperation Council
1991 US troops destroyed Iraqi radar facility while Apache helicopters conducted raid
            in depth behind Iraqi lines in Iraq
1992 Defense Secretary Cheney said that if U.S. had overthrown Saddam would have to
decide what kind of govt to establish Would have been hard to capture Saddam
1992 Def Sec Cheney said if US had overthrown Saddam would have to decide how many
casualties willing to take How many troops would have to stay in Iraq to keep govt going
2001 Bush told speechwriter David Frum that he was going to get rid of Saddam  
2001 UK Attorney Gen Lord Williams approved air attacks out of no fly zones
            in Iraq for self defense
2001 US and UK planes bombed 20 radar and command and control centers in Iraq 
2002 Bush signed secret NSC directive calling for covert action against Iraq by CIA
            Had budget of $189 mil for 2 years
2002 CIA plan included supporting Iraqi opposition Sabotage missions inside Iraq
            Working with other countries Information campaign vs Iraq
2002 CIA plan included attacking Iraqi revenue sources and disrupting its smuggling
2003 Rice claimed Iraq was deceiving UN weapons inspectors
2004 Report Iraqi and US sources said Iraqi forces would not be able to provide
            security after sovereignty transferred to Iraq
2004 CIA said it still believed Iraqi defector CURVEBALL was credible source for
            intel that Iraq had mobile WMD labs Turned out to be false source
2006 Sec State Rice told Senate oil production and electricity below postwar levels in
2006 Sec State Rice told Senate initial problems with rebuilding Iraqi security forces
            fixed and as Iraqi forces stood up US forces would do less
2006 Sec Def Rumsfeld told House US was not in Iraq to do nation building that was up
            to Iraqis to do that
2010 ISI set off 4 suicide car bombs targeting hotels in Baghdad where foreign press
2011 Maliki visited Kuwait after Kuwait premier visited Iraq in 1st high level meet
            between 2 countries since 1990
2016 Allawi said no reason to remove cabinet until Abadi presented a strategic plan

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Iraq Gains $30 Bil In Loans Investments Credits From Kuwait Conference

The three-day Kuwait investment conference concluded with Iraq earning pledges of roughly $30 billion. About half of that was loans, with the rest investments and credits. The meeting was originally meant to gain money for reconstruction, but it turned out to be for a mix of rebuilding and general development plans. 157 projects were listed by Baghdad that included housing, health, education, historical sites, farming, industry, etc.

This Day In Iraqi History – Feb 15

1923 UK Head of Board of Trade Sir Graeme told Iraq commission Iraq too costly and British
            should withdraw
1949 More Communist leaders hanged by PM Said
(Musings On Iraq Interview with Prof Johan Franzen on the history of the Iraqi Communist Party)
1964 Arif govt and Mustafa Barzani started talks to try to end KDP revolt
1984 Iraq, Egypt, Argentina and Swiss companies signed contract to develop long range missile
1984 Iran started Op Dawn 5 and 6 largest operations to date in war Involved 500,000
troops on both sides Aimed at cutting Baghdad-Basra road
1990 Voice of America commentary called for end of dictatorships after fall of
            Ceausescu in Romania Named Iraq
1991 Pres Bush called on Iraqi military and people to overthrow Saddam twice
1991 US Task Force 1-41 first Coalition troops to cross into Iraq to carry out recon and combat
1991 US 1st Cav Div launched probing attack into Iraq
1991 US Task Force 1-32 breached Iraqi defensive berm and entered Iraq in deception
            attack to convince Iraq that invasion would come through Wadi Al-Batin
2001 US and UK planes bombed Iraq’s air defense system as part of no fly zone
2003 Protests in more than 600 cities around world against going to war with Iraq
2003 Bush told Rumsfeld to slow troop deployments because getting ahead of diplomacy
2006 Study Iraqi insurgency dominated by few large groups Sunni identity became basis for
            armed groups Had no program for future of Iraq
2006 Study Iraqi insurgents rejected politics Believed they could win
2010 Maliki reversed order to have all raids authorized by him Came after he protested
            US-Iraq raid on Kataib Hezbollah

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Iran Had Both Sides In The 2004 Najaf Battle

In August 2004, the Americans took on the Mahdi Army in Najaf city. Earlier that year Moqtada al-Sadr’s militia led a failed uprising, and then continued attacks upon the Coalition in southern Iraq. That led the White House to authorize offensive operations against his forces, which led to the Battle for Najaf. During the fighting, Iran was intimately involved on both sides. On the one hand, it had advisers with the Mahdi Army helping them battle the Americans. On the other hand, it facilitated peace talks with the Iraqi government and Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani to end the conflict. While that might seem like a contradiction, it perfectly encapsulated Tehran’s role in Iraq, which was to have connections to all sides to exert influence throughout the country.

This Day In Iraqi History – Feb 14

1949 Communist leaders hanged by PM Said to try to squash opposition
(Musings On Iraq Interview with Prof Johan Franzen on the history of the Iraqi Communist Party)
1958 Iraq and Jordan announced Arab Federation in response to Egypt and Syria’s
            United Arab Republic Kuwait asked to join but said no
1983 Sec of State Shultz met with Iraq’s For Min Hammadi who asked for expanded
trade deals
1986 Iraq counterattacked to try to re-captured Fao Peninsula Failed
1991 During funeral for member of Hakim family anti-Saddam slogans chanted in
1991 Iraq said it would withdraw from Kuwait if Israel withdrew from Palestine sanctions
            ended and Iraq’s foreign debt forgiven
2002 National Sec Adv Rice called Blair For Pol Adv Manning saying US was only
            reviewing its Iraq policy
2003 Chief Inspector Blix briefed Security Council on Iraq inspections Said found no
            evidence of WMD
2003 Blix said 400 inspections at 300 sites Were all without notice and gained entry
            every time Said Iraqis cooperating
2003 Blix said soil samples showed no signs of WMD Iraq still had unaccounted for
            materials Found 2 banned missiles
2003 Blix refuted Powell’s claim that Iraqis were cleaning WMD sites before
2003 IAEA head El Baradei said it had dismembered Iraq’s nuke program in 1998 and
            found no evidence that it had been restarted yet
2003 El Baradei said Iraq had provided documents for why aluminum tubes it tried to buy
            had such specific specifications
(Musings On Iraq article on the aluminum tubes story)
2003 Powell told Security Council Iraq not cooperating with inspections and use of force
            still an option
2003 Saddam issued presidential directive banning companies from importing
            equipment for WMD
2003 Rumsfeld gave speech that U.S. was opposed to nation building in Iraq
2003 Wash Post editorial supported war with Iraq
2003 NSC met over how to respond to a coup in Iraq Didn’t think it was likely but had
            to plan for it
2004 Fallujah police station attacked by insurgents dressed in ISF uniforms killing
            more than 20 officers and releasing prisoners
2004 US intel report Al Qaeda captive al-Libi recanted story Iraq trained Al Qaeda in
            poisons and explosives
2004 Libi’s story of Iraq training Al Qaeda in poisons and explosives were used in
            US intel reports and Powell’s UN speech
2007 Baghdad Security Plan under Surge began
2016 Hakim criticized Abadi’s call for ending quota system saying that PM got
            his job because of quotas

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Human Rights Watch Reports Kurds Executed Hundreds Of IS Prisoners

Human Rights Watch (HRW) reported that from August to September 2017 Kurdish Asayesh allegedly executed up to 375 Islamic State prisoners in western Ninewa. The Kurdish security forces allegedly took a group of detainees to a town northwest of Mosul, then to a prison, then to the Zummar district to the northwest of Mosul where they were executed. Satellite imagery showed a large movement of soil at the alleged grave site.

 The Zummar area is where the alleged execution of IS prisoners by the Asayesh took place (Iraq Tradeline News Agency)

This Day In Iraqi History – Feb 13

1967 Pres Arif speech declared Freedom Socialism and Unity belonged to no
            Party co-opting Baathist slogans
1979 Iraq sent memo to new Iranian govt after revolution asking for friendly relations
1991 Amiriya shelter in Baghdad bombed by U.S. during Gulf War 408 killed
1999 AP reported that Saddam offered bin Laden shelter after being kicked out of Afghanistan 
2002 Bush at press conference said he had a number of options for dealing with Iraq
2002 Bush admin officials told several media outlets they had decided to move against Iraq
2003 UN announced it had humanitarian plan for Iraq working with 6 regional
            countries and had $30.6 mil and would ask for another $88.8 mil
2003 CENTCOM Cmdr Gen Franks told Bush he had Iraqi mayors for each city to run
            things after invasion He didn’t
2003 IAEA interviewed Iraq’s ex-amb to Vatican Zahawie second time over Iraq-Niger
            uranium deal Denied story
(Musings On Iraq article on Iraq-Niger uranium story)
2004 After talks with Sistani UN endorsed Ayatollah’s call for early elections but said
            they can’t happen as soon as Sistani wanted
2004 Report CIA review showed it relied upon too many unreliable exile sources
            for intel on Iraq’s WMD Included INC defector Haideri
2005 Early election results showed that Shiite United Iraqi Alliance got 140 of 275
            seats in parliament missing majority it wanted
2005 Provisional election results released UIA 48% Kurds 26% Iraqiya List 14% 58%
            voter turnout
2006 Saddam returned to court on order of judge and chanted “Down with Bush!”
2011 Khairallah Babakir of Kurdish Alliance named Trade Minister in new Maliki govt
2016 Sadr said economic reforms needed and better govt Gave Abadi 45 day
            deadline and supported his technocratic govt idea