Margaret Griffis (Antiwar.com) counts 350 people killed in yesterday's Iraq violence. Al Arabiya News notes, "Islamic state of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) militants executed 46 people and besieged 500 families in the Iraqi city of Heet, Al Arabiya News Channel’s correspondent to Anbar reported on Wednesday." Sameer N. Yacoub and Sinan Salaheddin (AP) add, "Hit was captured by Islamic State militants earlier this month after heavy clashes with the government security forces and tribal militias." Earlier this month.
When you're losing cities, you aren't making "gains." Even if you retake them, you are not making "gains." The Pentagon keeps labeling this and that "Islamic State propaganda" but the Defense Dept isn't averse to circulating its own propaganda.
Ahmed Rasheed (Reuters) reports:
On Wednesday, Islamic State fighters rounded up and executed 35 tribesmen in Hit, a Euphrates town in Anbar, officials said.
asked the prime minister to urgently arm anti-Islamic State tribal
fighters. We told him each day that passes adds more complication to the
situation in Anbar and the government needs to take immediate actions
on ground," said Sheikh Naeem al-Ga’oud, from the prominent Albu Nimir
"But speaking honestly all what we got out of the meeting with Abadi was promises."
Rasheed reports on the growing distrust of the new prime minister Haider al-Abadi. This isn't a surprise. A new prime minister was not a clean bill. It was a brief chance to demonstrate a new Iraq.
Jonathan S. Landay (McClatchy Newspapers) notes, "Yet Baghdad has been hit by a slew of bombings in recent weeks that seem
intended to disrupt Muharram and shatter public confidence in the new
Shiite Muslim-dominated government of Prime Minister Haider al Abadi,
the politician plucked from relative obscurity who the Obama
administration hopes will find a way to bridge the country’s sectarian
Haider and the White House blew it.
Reuters notes, "The bodies of 150 members of an Iraqi Sunni tribe which fought Islamic State have been found in a mass grave, security officials said on Thursday. Islamic State militants
took the men from their villages to the city of Ramadi and killed them
on Wednesday night and buried them, an official in a police operations
center and another security official told Reuters."
Had the White House and Haider done their job, the 150 deaths could have been a galvanizing moment, the reason the Sunni tribal sheiks who are now living in exile in Jordan to throw their support behind Haider.
At some point, is the long promised "political solution" going to be worked on?
Emily Kent Smith (Daily Mail) reports England's gearing up to provide Apache helicopters to Iraq and "If Apaches are sent to Iraq - which are
piloted by the Army Air Corps - it would mark the first British Army
involvement in a conflict role in the country." That's not going to make a difference. Until the focus shifts to the political solution, there won't be any change for the better.
Until the focus shifts to the political solution, there won't be any improvements.
BBC News notes, "Correspondents say the killings are most likely aimed at discouraging
resistance from powerful local tribes, who will be key to any successful
bid to retake Anbar province."
They may do that.
Mainly, the killings may underscore how alone the Sunnis are. And that's not going to allow for a political solution.
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jonathan s. landay
the daily mail
emily kent smith