Thursday, January 15, 2015

Iraq: Attacks on children, women and even US troops

Violence continues in Iraq.  The Iraqi government announced 16 Sunni corpses were discovered in a mass grave in Kobachi. Sameer N. Yacoub (AP) rushes to blame the Islamic State by quoting a mayor of a nearby city.  AP presents no qualifiers or questions. Saif Hameed, Ned Parker and Gareth Jones (Reuters) note the mayor's claim but also note the area was liberated in November and "Shi'ite militias have also been accused of atrocities when retaking land from Islamic State, which swept across northern Iraq last summer as the Iraqi army collapsed."

Iraqi Spring MC notes 1 corpse was discovered in Basra (blindfolded with shots to the head),  a border police captain was killed in Muqdadiyah, an Aden roadside bombing left six people injured or dead, the Iraqi military's bombing of the residential neighborhood's in Falluja left 2 civilians dead and thirteen more (including three children) injured, and the corpse of the brother of an Iraqi journalist who was kidnapped was discovered outside Samarra.  Alsumaria reports a Heer home bombing left 3 women dead.

Al Jazeera adds:

Sources told Al Jazeera that at least 16 Peshmerga soldiers were killed on Thursday trying to repel an ISIL attack on the Mosul Dam in Nineveh province.
The dam, located on the Tigris river, provides electricity to northwestern province of Anbar, which is under ISIL's control.
In another attack, seven fighters from militias fighting against ISIL in Diyala Province were killed in the town of al- Mansuriya.

In news of other attacks, Paul McLeary (Defense News) reports, "The 300 US soldiers and Marines at al Asad air base in Iraq's Anbar province continue to see mortar fire directed at their positions, with six more mortar rounds landing on the sprawling complex last week."  As those US troops remain under attack, National Iraqi News Agency notes Anthony H. Cordesman is predicting that the number of US troops in Iraq by the end of 2015 will be around 9,000 to 15,000.

In other news, Column Lynch (Foreign Policy) reports the White House's ambassador-at-large for War Crimes is stepping down and notes:

The administration has largely pressed the case for accountability for crimes selectively, passionately promoting the international prosecution of political rivals, from the late Libyan leader Muammar al-Qaddafi to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, while seeking to protect American military personnel and allies like Israel from international scrutiny for their own alleged crimes, according to rights advocates. The Obama Administration has made it clear it has no intention of formally joining the International Criminal Court, arguing that a push for Senate ratification of the treaty establishing the Hague-based court would be destined for defeat.
The administration’s standing on such issues has also been tainted by its refusal to punish CIA operatives involved in the torture of detainees or to close down the U.S. detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, a source of widespread outrage around the world. 

The following community sites -- plus, the Guardian, FPIF, KPFK, Pacifica Evening News and L Studios -- updated:

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