Thursday, February 22, 2018

Iraqi Army Supplied Pro-Iran Hashd With U.S. Abrams Tanks


In February 2018 the Pentagon’s Inspector General (IG) reported that pro-Iran Hashd groups had nine M1A1 Abrams tanks that were originally sold to the Iraqi army. The IG said that some of the tanks were taken by the Hashd from ISIS. During the end of 2017 a few of those tanks were returned to the Iraqi forces. According to a spokesman from the U.S. led Coalition that talked with The Daily Beast the Americans are working with Baghdad to ensure that all nine tanks are back in the army’s hands. The Daily Beast added that several of the nine Abrams were given to the Hashd by the same Iraqi military. That should have come as no surprise. The Abrams tank requires a huge supply chain. That includes 120mm smooth bore ammunition, technical teams to maintain the computer systems, etc. The Hashd do not have those capabilities unless they were supported by the Iraqi military. The Hashd had these tanks since at least 2015, and there was no way they could have kept them running unless the government forces were involved. The irony is that Prime Minister Haidar Abadi has had running feuds with these same pro-Tehran groups over his support of the U.S. and their role in the war against the Islamic State yet they still got some advanced tanks. Those same differences may mean that the Hashd are in no rush to give them back.

This Day In Iraqi History – Feb 22


1921 War Min Churchill wrote PM George that he thought an Arab govt should
            be created to run Mesopotamia for UK
(Musings On Iraq article on Churchill’s views on Mesopotamia)
1981 Iran rejected UN attempts to negotiate ceasefire as long as Iraqi troops were
            on Iranian territory
1984 Iraq’s attacks on Iranian cities stopped ending 1st War of the Cities
1988 Iraq renewed war of cities by firing missiles at Tehran Iraq wanted to provoke
            UN to get involved again with peace talks
1991 Iraq set Kuwait oil fields on fire
1991 Report Saudis tried to organize Iraqi exiles for post-Saddam Iraq
1998 Newsweek poll showed US support for military action against Iraq dropped from
            40 to 18%
1999 SCIRI UK Rep Bayati said overthrowing Saddam should be done by Iraqis without
            outside interference
2003 Bush administration officially announced it was deploying forces for invasion
            Actually started Dec 02
2003 Spanish Pres Aznar visited Bush Had group call with Blair and Italian Premier
            Berlusconi Decided on 2nd UN resolution on Iraq
2003 ORHA drill found US would not have enough troops for Iraq postwar security
2003 ORHA worried not enough funding for postwar Iraq that could leave behind
            unstable country
2003 ORHA found US had no plans for what kind of govt they wanted in Iraq and
            how to achieve it
2003 ORHA Dep Head thought US had faulty assumptions overly optimistic lacked
            reality on what postwar Iraq would be like
2005 Dawa’s Jaafari became UIA candidate for premier following Jan elections
2006 Zarqawi bombed Askari shrine in Samarra 25 Sunni mosques in Samarra 27
            in Baghdad attacked 3 imam killed 1 kidnapped
2006 US immediately got intel Zarqawi behind Askari shrine bombing Tunisian and
            4 Saudis from Al Qaeda in Iraq did bombing
2006 Tunisian Al Qaeda in Iraq bomber was arrested in June 2006 and explained
            attack
2006 US report Sadr gave orders to kill Wahabis in east Baghdad in retaliation for
            Samarra bombing Meant Sunnis
2006 Al Qaeda in Iraq blamed Baghdad and Shiite militias for Samarra bombing to
            incite attacks on Sunnis
2006 Other insurgent groups blamed Baghdad for Samarra bombing and claimed govt
            was allowing attacks upon Sunni mosques
2006 Sadr offices spread rumor that US military vehicles were seen around Samarra
            shrine before bombing to lay blame on US
2006 Iran blamed US for Samarra bombing
2006 Ayatollah Sistani called for 7 days of mourning peaceful protets and prohibited
            attacks upon Sunnis in wake of Samarra bombing
2006 SCIRI head Hakim blamed US for Samarra bombing claiming it gave aid to
            insurgents
2008 Sadr renewed his freeze on Mahdi Army
2011 Independent Nalya Radio and TV station was set afire in Sulaymaniya probably
            by KDP supporters
2015 Sadr called for followers to protests in Baghdad next Friday calling for reforms


Wednesday, February 21, 2018

A Short Or Long-Term Occupation Of Iraq


Former U.S. Ambassador to Iraq said there were two ideas within the Bush administration on post-war Iraq plans. One scenario was that the U.S. would quickly turn over power to Iraqis like what happened in Afghanistan. The other plan was much longer and consisted of the U.S. ruling Iraq and eventually transitioning over to an Iraqi government. President Bush was initially for the first concept as he was against nation building, but then quickly switched over to the long-term plan when the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) was created. That showed the president had no over-arching view of post-Saddam Iraq, and went with whatever his advisers at the time suggested.

This Day In Iraqi History – Feb 21


1922 UK Sec of War Evans told Foreign Office it should back King Faisal because
            that would allow UK to exit Iraq and escape expenses of running country
1984 Iraq warned that it could use chemical weapons against next Iranian offensive
1986 Iraq fired poison gas shells at Iranians in Fao Peninsula Bad weather dissipated
            effects
1991 Russia announced proposal for Iraq withdrawal from Kuwait in return
            for lifting of sanctions US rejected offer
1999 Govt killed 20 protesting assassination of Ayatollah Sadiq al-Sadr by Saddam
            and arrested 250 across Iraq
2002 Fmr Amb Joseph Wilson left for Niger to investigate Iraq buying uranium from it
(Musings On Iraq article on Iraq-Niger uranium story)
2003 ORHA staff met in DC to have run through their Iraq postwar plans
2003 Blair met Bush at Camp David to reaffirm their alliance to remove Saddam
2004 Report US did not brief UN inspectors on 21 of 105 WMD sites in Iraq US claimed
            it gave info on all sites
2004 UN Secretary General Annan said UN was ready to assist Iraq with elections but
            couldn’t happen before end of June 2004
2006 PBS Frontline show “The Insurgency” said Iraqi insurgency expanded and
            Islamists replaced former regime members as leaders
2008 Op Sun 800 Turkish troops entered Kurdistan to attack PKK
2011 Group of men attacked protesters in Baghdad’s Tahrir Square while police looked on
2015 National Alliance MPs complained that Abadi didn’t consult with them about his
            reforms
2015 Sadrists said Abadi missed great chance to reform country Sadrists had been
            Abadi’s main supporters

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

This Day In Iraqi History - Feb 20


1940 Gen Umari Mosul garrison commander attempted coup rather than be forced
            to resign by Regent Put down by Golden Square officers
1969 Bakr govt executed opponents in central Baghdad
1985 US and Soviet officials met to discuss ways to end Iran-Iraq War Nothing
            came of it
1991 US 1st Cav Div launched large attack into Iraq Engaged 7 Iraqi divisions
            to deceive Iraqis on where invasion would come from
1995 KDP and PUK resumed fighting in Rawandaz ending ceasefire
1996 Hussein Kamal and brother Saddam Kamal accepted pardon from Saddam
            and returned to Iraq Were later killed
1998 UN Sec Gen Annan met with Saddam to try to restart UN weapons inspections
1998 U.N. report said Iraq’s electricity situation was in dire straights
1998 UN Res 1153 increased Iraq’s exports from $2 bil in oil each 6 months to $5.2 bil
            and expanded imports from food and medicine to infrastructure needs
1999 Supreme Council accused govt of killing Ayatollah Mohammed Sadiq al-Sadr
2002 Secret CIA team entered Kurdistan to prepare for ops inside Iraq called
            Northern Iraq Liaison Elements
2002 CIA gave fmr Amb Johseph Wilson talking points for his trip to Niger to
            investigate Iraq-Niger uranium deal
(Musings On Iraq article on Iraq-Niger uranium story)
2002 UK Joint Intel Comm chief Scarlett briefed For Sec Cook on Iraq’s WMD Cook
            thought Iraq didn’t have capability for large scale WMD attack
2003 Chief UN Inspector Blix told Blair intelligence he’d gotten wasn’t great and
            maybe Iraq didn’t have much WMD
2003 UN sources told press US intel on Iraq WMD was not turning up anything
2003 Report interviews with Iraqi scientists by inspectors had not turned up any evidence
            of a nuclear program
2012 Saudi Arabia named its Jordan Ambassador as non-resident ambassador to Iraq as
            relations were slowly improving
2013 Iraq signed deal to build natural gas pipeline from Iran across Iraq to Syria
2016 Abadi said financial crisis meant reforms needed Called for end of quota
            system in govt
2016 Sadr created committee to nominate technocrats for Abadi’s new cabinet

 View the Iraq History Timelines 

Monday, February 19, 2018

This Day In Iraqi History - Feb 19


1949 PM Said said Jews had been mistreated in Iraq and warned that things
            could get worse for them due to Israel
1963 New Arif govt started talks with Mustafa Barzani and KDP to end Kurdish
rebellion
1986 US condemned Iraq’s use of chemical weapons against Iran in Fao Peninsula
            in Basra Iran-Iraq War
1987 NSC official said US attempted to assist Iraq in Iran-Iraq War without
            providing it with arms
1990 Saddam demanded that US warships leave the Persian Gulf
1991 US 1st Cav division launched probing attack into Iraq
1995 Saddam representatives met with bin Laden in Sudan who asked for
            broadcast of jihadist lectured and asked for joint ops against Saudis
1995 Iraq-bin Laden meeting confirmed in Iraqi intel report Only confirmed meeting
            between two sides
1996 Saddam’s son-in-law Hussein Kamal sent letter to Iraq asking about returning to
            country after defected to Jordan
1998 Blair said UN weapons inspections had to continue or action would be taken against
            Iraq
1998 Comm for Peace and Security in the Gulf publishes letter to Clinton saying US
            should overthrow Saddam
1998 Report Al Qaeda operative was to travel to Iraq to talk with govt False story
1999 Followers of Ayatollah Sadr met in Saddam City after his assassination by govt
Fired upon by army 80 killed Led to more protests
2002 CIA met with fmr Amb Joseph Wilson to ask if he would go to Niger to
            investigate alleged Iraq yellowcake deal  
(Musings On Iraq article on Iraq-Niger uranium story)
2003 ORHA head Garner briefed Natl Sec Adv Rice to use Iraqi army and police to
            help rebuilding Iraq after war
2004 UN endorsed CPA’s timetable for transferring power back to Iraqis in June 2004
2004 CPA had to abandon idea of unelected caucuses choosing interim govt to
            write new Iraq constitution
2011 Sulaymaniya protesters went to KDP headquarters to protest shooting of
            demonstrators on Feb 17
2017 Attack on West Mosul began by Iraqi forces

View the Iraq History Timelines

Sunday, February 18, 2018

This Day In Iraqi History - Feb 18


1940 PM Said resigned over growing problems with pan-Arabist Golden
            Square officers
1940 PM Said wanted Gaylani to become PM and he would become Foreign Minister to
            maintain pro-British policies
1940 Golden Square objected to Gaylani govt because it would include Said and
            Gen Hashemi Went to Regent calling for their exclusion from new govt
1940 Regent disagreed with Golden Square officers over new govt and made Gen
            Umari Mosul garrison commander retire as a result
1984 UN negotiated deal for Iran and Iraq to stop attacking civilian areas
            Didn’t last
1991 Tariq Aziz went to Moscow and accepted Soviets unconditional withdrawal plan
            from Kuwait Then demanded end to all UN sanctions and resolutions
1999 Ayatollah Mohammed Sadiq al-Sadr assassinated by Saddam
(Musings On Iraq interview with Univ of Haifa’s Prof Baram on legacy of Ayatollah Sadiq al-Sadr)
1999 Fmr CIA counterterrorism officer Cannistraro said Iraqis met bin Laden in
            Dec 98 False story
2002 US Embassy in Niger said new details on Iraq-Niger uranium deal
            meant a new look into story was needed
(Musings On Iraq article on Iraq-Niger uranium story)
2005 Al Qaeda in Iraq suicide bombers hit Shiite pilgrims in Kadhimiya
2007 Blair announced plants to cut British troop strength in Iraq from 7000 to 4000

View the Iraq History Timelines

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Iraq Has Highest Oil Revenue Since Sep 2014


Iraq’s oil production and exports have continued to climb throughout the last year. That has coincided with an increase in international oil prices. Together that led Baghdad to earn the most money in January 2018 since the fall of 2014.

This Day In Iraqi History – Feb 17


1917 British crossed Shumran bend outflanking Ottoman forces in campaign to recapture Kut
1981 UN Rep Palme went to Iran and Iraq for 3rd time to try to negotiate ceasefire
1995 Temporary ceasefire made between PUK and KDP during civil war
1998 Clinton told Pentagon US had to stop Iraq from getting WMD and nuclear weapons
2003 U2 spy planes began flying over Iraq for UN weapons inspectors
2003 Turkish parliament delayed vote to allow deployment of US troops for Iraq invasion
            due to domestic opposition
2003 IAEA found that Iraq-Niger uranium docs were fakes
(Musings On Iraq article on Iraq-Niger uranium story)
2008 2 car bombs at Awakening meeting in Anbar kill more than 20
2011 Protests in Sulaymaniya began demanding reform in KRG Attacked KDP HQ Fired upon by
            guards killing 2
2012 Mahoum Sarkhi offices set on fire Blamed on followers of Ayatollah Sistani


Friday, February 16, 2018

Security In Iraq, Feb 8-14, 2018


Security has remained steady in Iraq since the start of the new year. Nearly every week there has been around 60 incidents. That was slightly above the rate seen at the end of 2017. The main cause of the increase was an uptick in attacks in Baghdad, followed by occasional outbursts in Diyala, Kirkuk, Ninewa and Salahaddin.