Sunday, July 05, 2015


In Iraq, the Sunni population remains persecuted.

  • But there does seem to finally be some coverage of the murders of the Sunni civilians carried out by the Iraq forces.

    For example, Al Jazeera reports today:

    At least 73 people have been killed in the the western Iraqi cities of Ramadi and Fallujah, as the Iraqi government stepped up air strikes and artillery fire against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) armed group, sources told Al Jazeera. 

    An air strike on a sports field in Ramadi shortly after midnight on Sunday killed at least 50 people and left more than 30 people injured. At least 23 people were killed and around 40 wounded after shelling north of Fallujah. 

    And read on in the report and marvel over Jane Arraf doing real reporting -- including noting that the locals are saying barrel bombs were used.

    Arabic social media says these bombs were supplied by the Iranian government.

    For those who've forgotten, the US government was among the countries condemning the use of barrel bombs in the Syrian conflict.

    But that's Syria.

    In Iraq?

    Barack and company just don't care.

    This is not the Iraqi government's first use of barrel bombs on Falluja.  In May of last year, Human Rights Watch noted:

    Iraqi government forces battling armed groups in the western province of Anbar since January 2014 have repeatedly struck Fallujah General Hospital with mortar shells and other munitions, Human Rights Watch said today. The recurring strikes on the main hospital, including with direct fire weapons, strongly suggest that Iraqi forces have targeted it, which would constitute a serious violation of the laws of war.

    Since early May, government forces have also dropped barrel bombs on residential neighborhoods of Fallujah and surrounding areas, part of an intensified campaign against armed opposition groups, including the Islamic State of Iraq and the Sham (ISIS). These indiscriminate attacks have caused civilian casualties and forced thousands of residents to flee.

    “The government has been firing wildly into Fallujah’s residential neighborhoods for more than four months, and ramped up its attacks in May,” said Fred Abrahams, special adviser at Human Rights Watch. “This reckless disregard for civilians is deadly for people caught between government forces and opposition groups.”

    In July of last year, Omar Ali (Rudaw) revealed that residents of Falluja call the barrel bombs "barrels of death."  He also noted what it was like to live under these attacks -- Iraqi government attacks:

    In the evenings, the residents of Fallujah wait for the terror of the Iraqi helicopters that have been raining primitive but deadly barrel bombs that Baghdad has resorted to in its bid to recapture the city from militants of the Islamic State (IS).

    Although residents know there are few measures they can take against the destruction, for the sake of comforting themselves they go through a routine of trying to protect themselves.

    “We start by turning off the lights at home and assembling all family members in one room,” recounted Iyad Mahmud Halbusi, a 33-year-old family head caught in the war between the Shiite government in Baghdad and Sunni jihadis who have captured about a third of the country.

    “We stay away from windows, usually on the ground floor,” Halbusi said. “But despite these measures we are fully convinced that we would not survive if we were hit by a barrel bomb.” 

    Margaret Griffis ( counts 248 violent deaths across Iraq today.

    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] 4497.

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