Kurdish Peshmerga forces aided by the Kurdistan Regional Government’s (KRG) Asayiş security apparatus and airstrikes by the US-led coalition targeting the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) made major advances against the extremist group in the Kirkuk governorate in Iraq on Saturday, according to Kurdish security officials.
Speaking to Asharq Al-Awsat, Brig. Gen. Sarhad Qader, the head of the Kirkuk police force, said Peshmerga forces liberated several areas in the northeastern province and “inflicted heavy losses on ISIS, killing dozens of ISIS fighters” during the operation.
Isabel Coles and Mark Trevelyan (Reuters) add, "The Kurds took full control of Kirkuk last summer as Islamic State overran the north of the country, and several divisions of the Iraqi army disintegrated. Kurdish leaders say they will never give up the ethnically mixed city, to which they, as well as Turkmen and Arabs, lay claim."
And they are right. The Peshmerga will fight to death for Kirkuk because the Kurds believe that Kirkuk belongs to them. This oil-rich disputed region was supposed to have had a referendum and census to resolve the issue by the end of 2007. Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki refused to obey the Constitution he took an oath to uphold. (Article 140 of the Iraq Constitution explains how Kirkuk will be resolved and that it will be resolved by the end of 2007.) When he wanted a second term, he promised -- in writing -- that he would implement Article 140 and even sat a date -- the start of December 2010. Of course, when the date approached, Nouri said it would have to be delayed 'briefly.'
'Briefly' was his entire four year second term.
The Kurds believe providing security to Kirkuk increases their claims on the province.
They may be right.
The refugee crisis continues in Iraq and the assault on Ramadi is creating many civilian deaths and displacing thousands of people.
Iraq media -- Alsumaria, Iraqi Spring MC, etc -- are all reporting on the refusal in Baghdad to allow refugees entrance. The Iraqi forces turn them away unless they have a "sponsor." They are being turned away from the capital of their nation unless, like an immigrant to another country, they have a sponsor.
A member of Baghdad's Provincial Council tells Alsumaria that this a rule Haider al-Abadi has implemented and that it is a disgrace to refuse an Iraqi citizen the right to enter Baghdad. NINA reports that Deputy Prime Minister Saleh al-Mutlaq raised the issue with Haider on Saturday and was left with the impression that the rule was going to be tossed aside.
Now to Ned Parker.
Ned is one of the American journalists who set the standard on reporting from Iraq. He first started covering the country for the Los Angeles Times and until recently was covering it for Reuters. He had to leave Iraq due to threats.
We've been noting this for some time now but an editor at the Los Angeles Times who's a friend called me to say Ned and I were referring to two different speeches.
From Saturday's snapshot:
It was a threat.
And it wasn't read calmly or in an amused manner.
It was a threat.
The only thing that confuses me about the Huffing Post piece is why two whores have their name on it?
For those of us attending Thursday's event, we're well aware that the whores 'writing' is nothing more than repetition of the crap Haider churned out.
It's a shame the whores weren't there.
They could have been rebuked the way Haider was.
Despite Luay's whoring, Ned Parker did not leave Iraq blaming prime minister Haider al-Abadi.
He wasn't even aware of it which is why Ned has the date wrong.
He thinks the verbal attack on journalism took place on Thursday. It took place on Wednesday.
As the only person in the world who reported on Haider's public attack on journalism -- yes, that's me -- I damn well know when it took place.
Ned Parker was not aware of it when it took place.
He had many other things to focus on that day which included doing his job -- he edited reports that day -- and also enduring the attacks on television.
On Wednesday, April 8th, in Anbar, Haider launched on attack on the press. His office even published a press release on that on the 8th -- in Arabic only. A little trick they do when they don't want the west to know what Haider's doing. Haider's office issued a release defending Ned Parker on April 11th -- in English only. They like to keep that from non-English readers in Iraq. It's a little trick they play.
But Ned is not referring to the Wednesday, April 8th speech. A friend conveyed that he's referring to a speech given at some event on Thursday, April 9th.
In which case, Haider's twice attacked journalism publicly.
More importantly, Ned Parker is referring to a Thursday event and apparently still does not know about Wednesday's remarks by Haider.
My apologies to Ned Parker for saying he had the date wrong.
He did not have the date wrong. Haider had done two days of attacking the press in public remarks.
My apologies to Ned, I will note this in Monday's snapshot as well.
Margaret Griffis (Antiwar.com) counts 208 violent deaths in Iraq today.
In other news, Shakeb al-Kazam has a piece on the late novelist, journalist, critic and poet Anais Nin at Al Mada. (And for whiners, the arts do matter and I was asked in an e-mail from Al Mada to note that so I am including a link to it.)
I'm traveling in some vehicle
I'm sitting in some cafe
A defector from the petty wars
That shell shock love away
-- "Hejira," written by Joni Mitchell, first appears on her album of the same name
The number of US service members the Dept of Defense states died in the Iraq War is [PDF format warning] 4495.
The following community sites -- plus McClatchy Newspapers, Jody Watley and Tavis Smiley -- have updated:
The e-mail address for this site is firstname.lastname@example.org.