Thursday, January 16, 2014

The continued assault on Anbar (Khalidiya will be next)

Nouri al-Maliki's assault on Anbar Province continues.  Safaa Abdel Hamid (Alsumaria) reports that Hussain al-Shahristani, Deputy Prime Minister for Energy, today called for a political solution stating he doesn't believe the problems can be solved via a military operation in Anbar.  This as the Ministry of Defense announces it has "conducted 235 air-raids" in Anbar since the start of the assault at the end of December.  That's nothing to be proud of but it does argue that, no, Iraq is not in immediate need of F-16s from the United States -- unless US President Barack Obama's point is to aid Nouri in the killing of the Iraqi people.

Safaa Abdel Hamid (Alsumaria) reports the Iraqi military is shelling Falluja's residential neighborhoods and, citing a police source, that 13 homes have been damaged.  A police source also reveals to Alsumaria that the military's bombing campaign killed 16 civilians ("including women and children").  Amjad Salah and Mohammad Shafiq (Alsumaria) reports the bombings is forcing dozens more families to flee.  January 9th, Human Rights Watch noted that 13,000 Anbar residents had fled to Erbil.  Thousands of families have been displaced and Iraq already has a serious IDP problem before Nouri launched his latest assault.

National Iraqi News Agency reports:

Speaker Osama Najafi discussed by phone call conversation with the Minister of Finance by interim Safaa al-Safi how to overcome the difficult ordeal suffered by the people of Anbar population and urged to pay state staff salaries , food , living supplies to end the humanitarian crisis resulting from the ongoing military operations which caused the displacement of thousands of families and severe lack of food and fuel.

The assault has not stopped the violence -- not stopped it anywhere in Iraq.  National Iraqi News Agency reports a Madain roadside bombing claimed 2 lives and left eight more people injured, a western Baghdad roadside bombing (Ghazaliya district) left 2 people dead and nine more injured, a Tikrit armed attack left 1 Sahwa and his brother dead, a Falluja mortar attack killed 2 people and left four more injured, a northern Baghdad sticky bombing (Morocco Street) left one person injured, a Baghdad armed attack left 1 Iraqi soldier dead and another injured, 2 Baquba home bombings claimed 3 lives and left three more people injured, a central Baghdad bombing claimed the life of 1 Department of Justice employee, "the Ministry of Interior announced the killing of three gunmen . . . in west and south of Baghdad,"a Mosul roadside bombing left two people injured, "on the road link between Baquba and Muqdadiyah" a car was attacked leaving 1 person inside dead and the other injured, Baghdad Operations Command announced they shot dead 2 suspects, 4 fighters were killed east of Ramadi with the assistance of military helicopters, a south Baghdad roadside bombing (Madain area) left 2 people dead and eight more injured, a western Baghdad bombing (Aliskan area) left 1 military officer dead and another injured, and  Joint Operations Command announced they had killed 3 suspects near the Syrian border.

Though many are calling on dialogue and for an end to military operations in Anbar, that's not happening.  Alsumaria reports that the Iraqi military this morning cut off all communications -- cellular and internet -- in Khalidiya, east of Ramadi.  This was done in preparation of an assault on Khalidiya.  There was some hope that United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon's visit would help end the assaults.  That hope vanished quickly.   Not only, in their joint-press conference on Monday, did Nouri publicly rebuke Ban Ki-moon's call for reconciliation but, as All Iraq News reported Tuesday, Iraqiya leader Ayad Allawi called the visit a failure, "Ki-moon is failed because he was supposed to meet the chieftains in Anbar instead of the government officials."

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