Sunday, August 06, 2017

And the war drags on . . .

Replying to 
Check this out!! Shiaa "Rafitha" crimes in Iraq conducted by Iraqi Troops against Sunnis of Iraq.

These are War Crimes.  The Congress and the White House are failing the law by refusing to acknowledge them.

As for Iraq?

Despite Hayder al-Abadi's public embrace of the Shi'ite militias yesterday, many of the militias remain divided in their loyalties.  Hamdi Malik (AL-MONITOR) explores the militias and observes:

This trend, however, is not consistent with Sistani’s, who is reluctant to send his followers to Syria to fight. Sistani does not even recognize the PMU and considers fighters who are not affiliated with the Iraqi regular forces as volunteers. Sadr agrees with Sistani in this regard and he earlier ordered the expulsion of members who took part in the fighting in Syria.
The competition between these two trends is clear with regard to the future of the PMU and its affiliations. But the pro-Iran trend seems to have the upper hand given its control over the PMU budget and the continued support it receives from Iran. Moreover, supporters of this trend are planning to gain substantial political gains to proceed with their projects.
“A military victory without a political victory has no meaning and no value,” the secretary-general of Asaib Ahl al-Haq, a faction close to Iran, said on the third anniversary of the PMU founding in June. Meanwhile, Secretary-General of the Badr Organization Hadi al-Amiri enjoys broad public support, according to a poll published by the National Democratic Institute in June. Amiri is one of the closest PMU commanders to Iran, and he is a potential candidate for prime minister.
Therefore, the political conflict between the Sistani current and the current of Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has expanded to include the security establishment at a time when developments seem to be leading to a possible confrontation between the two.


RUDAW explains:

A spokesperson for Iraq's Shiite Hashd al-Shaabi rejected a call by firebrand cleric Muqtada al-Sadr on Saturday who said that the Hashd forces must come under state control and be incorporated into the regular army.

“The Hashd al-Shaabi should function under the command of the state,” Sadr said in a video address to demonstrators who had gathered at Baghdad’s Tahrir Square at the cleric’s call. “And weapons should be in the hands of the state too.”

In response to Sadr's call, Ahmed al-Assadi, spokesperson of the Shiite paramilitary said the Hashd will not be dismantled as it is a main part of the Iraqi armed forces.

Last December, Iraq’s president signed into law a bill that was passed by the parliament recognizing the Shiite paramilitary as an official force with similar rights as the regular army.

Assadi also explained that only the Iraqi parliament is allowed to incorporate the Hashd into the Iraqi army or issue any decress about the group.

Many Sunni MPs and leaders have opposed the existence of the armed group and complained that it is replacing the Iraqi army and has conducted abuses against Sunni civilians in Anbar and Salahaddin.

As that unaddressed issue festers, XINHUA reports:

Iraqi parliament on Sunday called for further coordination with the U.S.-led international coalition to regain control of the remaining regions still held by the Islamic State (IS) militants.
A statement by the Iraqi parliament said that Salim al-Jubouri, the parliament speaker, had made the remarks while meeting the U.S. ambassador to Iraq Douglas Silliman.

"The liberation of the remaining areas requires more coordination between Iraq and the international coalition to end the rule of IS over the area, in order to start the reconstruction of the devastated cities and to bring back the displaced people to their homes as soon as possible," the statement quoted Jubouri as saying.

al-Jubouri was very busy Sunday.  He also presided over a meeting of the political blocs to firm up the proposed law for the upcoming elections.

KUNA notes that the Iraqi government has declared that they will "reduce dependence on oil revenues, which currently provide 95 percent of the federal budget, by 20 percent.  Oil revenues will now contribute 85 percent to the budget as Baghdad looks to diversify its source of income as a result of the changes, government spokesperson Saad al-Hadithi said."  Diversification or not, Iraq's economy remains in trouble.  ALBAWABA reports:

Corruption and internal political rifts could be factors weighing on the economy of OPEC-member Iraq, a report from Moody's Investors Service said.
Moody's gave Iraq a Caa rating, its third lowest. Entities rated Caa are exposed to "very high" credit risks. The report found Iraq was well-endowed with oil wealth, but lacks economic growth opportunities from other sectors.
Iraq is a member of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and party, albeit reluctantly, to a multilateral effort to stem production in order to balance an oversupplied market for crude oil. According to secondary sources reporting to OPEC, production in June, the last full month for which data are available, was 4.5 million barrels per day, an increase of more than a half million barrels from the previous month.
Oil represents half of its gross domestic product, nearly all of its exports and accounts for 90 percent of government revenue. 

The Iraq War continues, day after day, all these years later.

They're just there to try and make the people free,
But the way that they're doing it, it don't seem like that to me.
Just more blood-letting and misery and tears
That this poor country's known for the last twenty years,
And the war drags on.
-- words and lyrics by Mick Softly (available on Donovan's Fairytale)

Violence has not decreased.  Nehal Mostafa (IRAQI NEWS) reports that a Baghdad bombing left 1 person dead.  G.H. Renaud (KURDISTAN 24) adds that an elderly, Christian woman was assaulted in her Baghdad home.  XINHUA notes, "Three people were killed on Sunday in separate bomb explosions and gunfire in northern Iraq, security sources said." ALSUMARIA reports one person was stabbed (injured but alive) in Diyala, a Mosul home bombing left 1 person dead and another injured, and a Kirkuk bombing left 1 Peshmerga dead and three more injured.

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