Thursday, May 18, 2017

Iraq snapshot

Thursday, May 18, 2017.  Chaos and violence continue, The Mosul Slog continues,

A new development . . .

: Iraq’s Prime Minister pens letter to Syria’s Bashar al-Assad calling for military cooperation to fight terror.

Iraqi PM ’s letter to Bashar al-Assad was delivered by Iraq’s national security advisor, calling to secure border.

Meanwhile, it's day 211 of The Mosul Slog.

IS 'on brink of defeat' after losing 90% of west Mosul: officers: Iraqi forces have recaptured nearly 90 percent of…

Day 211.

It was supposed to last mere weeks, remember?

But it was also supposedly launched to save the citizens of Mosul.

Not a lot of concern for those civilians these days.

Human Rights Watch notes:

 The Iraqi army and other local security forces have forced over 300 displaced families to return to west Mosul neighborhoods still under risk of attack by the Islamic State (also known as ISIS), Human Rights Watch said today. The families, who had fled to the Hammam al-Alil and Hajj Ali camps for displaced people, are severely short of water, food, electricity, and medical assistance.
Displaced residents, camp staff in Hammam al-Alil, and three federal police officers said that families were returned to certain west Mosul neighborhoods to make room for newly displaced people from more recently retaken neighborhoods of west Mosul. But aid workers involved in camp management and United Nations assessments of camp capacity indicated that the camps still have space for new arrivals.
“People from western Mosul fled some of the worst fighting there and finally found safety, only to be forced back to areas still under ISIS fire,” said Lama Fakih, deputy Middle East director at Human Rights Watch. “These families should not be forcibly returned to unsafe areas and areas that lack adequate water, food, electricity, or health facilities.”

The UN Guiding Principles on internal displacement state that all internally displaced people should be able to choose where they live and have the right to be protected against forcible return to any place where their life, safety, liberty, or health would be at risk.

The Mosul Slog slogs along.  What happens after?

Muhanad al-Saleh and Qassim Abdul-Zahra (AP) remind:

 Sunni resentment over disenfranchisement and the rise of Shiite power after the 2003 ouster of Saddam Hussein fueled an insurgency and gave a foothold to al-Qaida. The U.S. military, backed by Sunni tribal fighters, largely crushed al-Qaida. But Sunni bitterness over continued discrimination by Shiites helped in the subsequent rise of the Islamic State group. Each time, the rise of militants only deepened Shiite suspicions that the Sunnis cannot be trusted.
U.S. officials backing Baghdad in the fight against IS have warned repeatedly that the same could happen again now unless the government is made more inclusive.

A prominent Sunni lawmaker, Mahmoud al-Mashhadani, said Iraq could fall apart unless a "historic compromise" is reached.

Former prime minister and forever thug Nouri al-Maliki oversaw the persecution of the Sunnis from 2006 to 2014.  He wants back in.  It's reported that he's attempting to state he's the only one who can prevent the partition of Iraq into three areas (Shi'ite, Sunni and Kurd).  Nouri did not want to step down in 2014.  It's interesting that he thinks he can be prime minister again, after two terms, considering the Iraqi Constitution.  But Nouri intends to stoke fear in an effort to be back as prime minister.

In a possible effort to stop Nouri's propaganda, there's already a response.  KURDISTAN 24 reports:

The Iraqi parliament speaker warned against plans to divide the country, stating that those who do not want to live as part of Iraq should seek a new homeland.
Salim al-Jibouri, the Iraqi Parliament Speaker, at a Turkman's Conference in Baghdad on Wednesday said that they are not against applying Iraqi constitution but they would stand against any attempt at dividing the country.

Jan Kubis, head of the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI), Ammar al-Hakim, head of the Iraqi Shia National Alliance and representative of Turkmen parties were also present at the conference.

Outside of Mosul, the violence continues.  Here are a few examples.

  1. Nine civilians killed, 11 wounded in IED blast in Salahuddin

Baghdad: A body of unidentified man shot has been found in Sadda area in "Sadr City" east of Baghdad.

The following community sites -- plus Cindy Sheehan, Jody Watley, GORILLA RADIO -- updated: