Saturday, June 14, 2014

Rebels seize tanks and armored vehicles

The battle continues in Iraq.  Iraqi Spring MC reports rebels have seized a police station and now control it in Ramadi.  That's not all they seized.  Rebels seized nine armored vehicles and one tank in Saqlawiyah and they seized eight vehicles and tanks in Alsger,

How many of those seized items were provided by the US government?

All Iraq News reports the USS George H.W. Bush (aircraft carrier) has sailed close "to the Iraqi southern ports" in what is seen as an anticipated launch for missiles and fighter jets.  Alsumaria reports it as US President Barack Obama responding to the request of Iraqi prime minister and thug Nouri al-Maliki.  Arwa Damon, Chelsea J. Carter, Mohammed Tawfeeq and Laura Smith-Spark (CNN) report on the USS George H.W. Bush and also note, "Iraq's military claimed Saturday it had regained key northern territories, including most of Salaheddin province, which includes Samarra, from ISIS, a claim that conflicted with reports from security officials in Baghdad and Samarra, who told CNN that 60% to 70% of the province remains in the hands of ISIS."

No, the Iraqi military did not make any real changes today.  Maybe they're waiting for the US government to launch missiles?

Karen DeYoung (Washington Post) observes, "U.S. intervention to stop ISIS forces could help spark all-out sectarian war if it were seen as enabling the Shiite government of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki to stay in power without making concessions to the long-abused Sunni minority."

Alsumaria reports a Babylon mortar attack killed 2 Iraqi soldiers and left four more injured, and a clash with rebels in Ishaqi left 12 fighters with the Shi'ite Endowment dead.  Iraqi Spring MC offers that at least 5 members of Nouri's SWAT forces were killed outside of Balad with another eleven injured, 1 militia commander was killed in Diyalal Province, a police chief was shot dead in Diyala,

The editorial board of the Guardian points out, "The administration was essentially a system for dividing up state assets according to the shifting political power balance of the moment. Had the Americans stayed longer, or had they put their money on a leader other than Nouri al-Maliki, these weaknesses might have been gradually overcome. They were not, as was dramatically demonstrated this week, when relatively small bands of irregulars put to flight much larger numbers of Iraqi troops."

Why are Iraqi forces walking away from their posts?  For a number of reasons.  Hannah Allem and Mohammed Al Dulaimy (McClatchy Newspapers) report on the issue:

On Day Four of clashes in Mosul between encroaching jihadists and Iraqi security forces, two officers visited an outpost of the Iraqi 2nd Division’s logistics battalion with bad news: they said that all senior commanders had fled.
Stunned and confused, the men called headquarters and received the same information, that all officers colonel and above had abandoned their posts. This evaporation of the officer corps, followed quickly by the rank and file, gave wide berth to the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, the extremist group whose capture of northwestern Iraqi territories has brought the country once again to the brink of civil war.
For the ordinary Iraqi soldiers who followed their officers in flight, the unraveling of their nation also brought a deep sense of personal shame and betrayal, said Pvt. First Class Mohammed al Nasseri, who insisted he be identified by a pseudonym because the government has threatened to prosecute deserters.

Read more here:

In other disturbing developments, Kitabat reports Parliament concluded its final session today.  They note this means the Parliament is dissolved and any members targeted as 'terrorists' or 'criminals' or whom are being sued for libel (Nouri loves to sue for libel almost as much as he enjoys labeling MPs criminal) have now lost the immunity they held as members of Parliament.

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