Friday, November 16, 2012

Operation Command Tirgris members left injured

Operation Command Tigris?  The US press has apparently agreed not to report on it.  A cone of silence has been placed upon this operation Nouri launched months ago.    Dropping back to the October 25th snapshot:

Al Mada reports that he is attempting to swarm Kirkuk with Operation Tigris. (Operation Tigris has been going on for weeks now.)  Nouri has declared that the Peshmerga (Kurdish force) is in violation of the law and the Constitution by providing protection and refusing to surrender areas to his army.
Those who've paid attention will remember that General Ray Odierno warned of this.  It's a shame the White House refused to listen to him and took the word of the idiot Chris Hill instead.  (Yes, I know, after Robert Gates set up a meeting between Odierno and Hillary Clinton, she took the issues to the Cabinet.  By then, however, it was too late.)
Kirkuk is disputed territory.  This issue of Nouri sending in forces to disputed territory has raised its head before.  In the past, the US military would mediate.  What happens now?

Kirkuk is disputed territory.  It's also oil-rich.  Iraq's Constitution, passed in 2005, explains how to resolve the issue, Article 140 calls for a census and referendum.  By the end of 2007.  Nouri continues to refuse to implement Article 140.   In October of   2008, Corey Flintoff (NPR's All Things Considered -- link is text and audio) explained,  "The potential wealth has made Kirkuk a tormented city ever since oil was discovered in 1927.  Today the city's three main ethnic groups, Kurds, Arabs and Turkmens, are vying for demographic and political control."

While refusing to implement Article 140, Nouri's Operation Command Tigris is seen as a way for Baghdad to take control of Kirkuk.  Al Mada noted earlier this week that Kurdistan Regional President Massoud Barzani has been attempting to work out a unified opposition position with Jalal on this issue.  Barzani issued a statement declaring that public opinion is against it and that they have waited for Talabani to solve the issue but no solution has come forward and what is taking place is unconstitutional.  The statement is posted on the Kurdistan Regional Government's website.  In the statement, Barzani notes that there were concerns and fears about the formation of the so-called Operation Command Tigris and it does nothing to help with the application of Article 140.  Instead, Operation Command Tigris was formed with intentions and goals that go against the hopes of the Kurds, against the democratic process and does nothing to help the Baghdad-government and KRG get along.  Barzani notes that he waited so that Talabani would have an opportunity to put into play promises he had made about stopping the situation; however, that has not come to be.  All Iraq News pointed out that State of Law MP Jawad Albzona immediately declared Barzani's statement to be wrong and inaccurate. Not in the statement but also pertinent, Nouri's refused to fund the peshmerga in the latest federal budget which has caused additional problems. 

And today?  Alsumaria reports violence resulting from Nouri's Operation Command Tigris.  Alsumaria reports a clash between the Tigris forces and members of a Kurdish official's protection detail left many injured (over ten and possibly one dead).  All Iraq News reports 1 person is dead -- a civilian and the outlet says all the injured were Tigris forces.    Peshmerga spokesperson Jabbar Yawar tells Alsumaria that this was a personal problem between the two and is now contained. 

Today's clash, "personal problem" or not,  follows Kurdistan Alliance MP Khalid Shwani stating yesterday that the Tigris forces were going to provoke an uprising among the people of Kirkuk.  He stated they were not popular or liked and that they were seen as a provocation in Kirkuk.   In addition, Al Mada reports that KRG Prime Minster Nechirvan Barzani declared yesterday that the Trigris forces were a violation of the Constitution (he doesn't go into it but most likely he's referring to Article 140 and  may also be noting the powers the Constitution gives provinces over security forces).   He notes that Iraqi President Jalal Talabani went to Baghdad and spoke with Nouri al-Maliki.  He says Nouri made promises and has not kept them. 

Meanwhile Alsumaria notes that the Peshmerga are said to have a plan to address the Tigris forces if it comes to that.  Dar Addustour reported earlier this week claims that a State of Law Mp was arrested in Erbil (Kurdistan Regional Government).  In news that will most likely only further create tensions, All Iraq News reports State of Law MP Abdul Salam al-Maliki is calling for Nouri to send Iraqi forces into Erbil.  He's calling for them to protect Erbil from Turkish forces.  Yes, the KRG has its own forces.  No, most people will not believe that's the reason he's calling for Nouri to send forces into Erbil.

In other violence, Alsumaria notes a machine gun attack on a Sahwa leader injured him and two of his bodyguards (in an update, they note the Sahwa leader died while receiving medical treatment on his wounds)  and they note a grenade attack in Nineveh that left one police officer injured while a Kirkuk roadside bombing left two police officers injured.

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