Sunday, July 28, 2013


Today NINA notes Nouri had his SWAT forces (US-trained) raid "the house of Head of Anbar police Security Affairs, Colonel Ahmed Khalaf al-Thiyabi, on charges of Article 4/Terrorism, pointing out that Thiyabi was not at home when the raid took place."  Also in Anbar, the province's police discovered a bomb by one of the tents of the Ramadi protesters and they managed to defuse it. The use of the SWAT forces in Anbar will not do anything to ease tensions in Iraq and the attempt to bomb the protesters also speaks to the targeting of Sunnis.

Through Saturday, Iraq Body Count counts  819 violent deaths in Iraq so far this month.  National Iraqi News Agency reports a motorcycle drive-by in Kirkuk left two people injured, the corpse of 1 Sahwa was discovered in Kirkuk, 1 police officer was shot dead in Heet, a Ramadi bombing claimed the life of 1 police officer and left another injured,  a Tirkit armed attack left 1 police officers dead and two injured, a Kirkuk car bombing left six Iraq soldiers injured, a Karrada bus bombing claimed 2 lives and left five injured, a Basra sticky bombing left a "senior police officer injured,"  a second Basra sticky bombing left three people injured, and a Tuz Khurmatu car bombing left 4 Peshmerga dead and eight more injured.

Last  Sunday's  prison news only became news outside of Iraq when the number of prisoners who escaped were announced on Monday.  The Washington Post editorial board noted, "Iraq’s renewed conflict gained attention this week because of the spectacular attack by al-Qaeda on two prison facilities, including the Abu Ghraib facility near Baghdad. The coordinated assault led to the escape of hundreds of security prisoners, including a number of top al-Qaeda leaders."   Friday, one escapee was captured in an eastern Baghdad mosque. NINA notes that Baghdad Operations Command announced today 349 escapees had been captured.  Yesterday,  KUNA reported, "Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Al-Maliki on Saturday fired director of the prison service and referred senior security officers investigations against the backdrop of the mass prisoner breakout."

The Pittsburg Post-Gazette editorial board insists, "The United States has few options other than to continue its $11 billion in military aid to Iraq, including tanks and jet aircraft, and hope that the Maliki government can hang on, preserving a semblance of order."  This weekend, the editorial board of the  Washington Post offered a contrasting view which included, "The Obama administration has for too long offered nearly unqualified support to Mr. Maliki."   Meanwhile the editorial board of the Peninsula also weighs in on Iraq:  "Where is Iraq headed? The renewed conflict in the country gained attention last week after a spectacular attack by Al Qaeda on two prison facilities, including the Abu Ghraib facility near Baghdad. Killings and explosions are the only news – or constitute most of the news – coming out of the country. Sectarianism is still spilling blood, the economy continues to be in a shambles with no serious breakthrough in any area and the government of Prime Minister Nouri Al Maliki has proved itself incapable of finding lasting solutions to the problems the country is facing."

On the prison breaks, Fayez Sara (Asharq al-Awsat) offers an examination of the prison break which includes:

The most practical data surrounding the escape of members and leaders of Al-Qaeda are embodied in the fact that the operation took place in Abu Ghraib, which is one of the most high-security prisons in Iraq.
It was the main prison used by the US forces to hold their enemies, when the US forces were still in Iraq, which means that the security procedures implemented there were the most stringent possible. The second reason is represented by the large number of member and leaders of Al-Qaeda present in this prison, which was around 500, including a large number who were sentenced to death, which suggests a strong and exceptional security monitoring of the prison and the prisoners.
The third reason is the ease with which the operation was carried out, in freeing the prisoners in such large numbers amid a tense security situation in Iraq in general, and Baghdad in particular.
The fourth and most important reason is that Iraqi prime minister Nuri Al-Maliki is directly responsible for the security and defense portfolio in Iraq, and Al-Qaeda is the most dangerous threat to Iraqis, according to official Iraqi statements.

All Iraq News notes that Deputy Prime Miniser Saleh al-Mutleq met today with UNAMI's Gyorgy Busztin to discuss the prison escapes.

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] 4488.

The latest from Third went up earlier this edition:

Kat's "Kat's Korner: Ebony Bones' Sonic, Nocturnal Mystery Tour" went up earlier today and Isaiah's latest goes up after this.   The e-mail address for this site is