Iraq News & Discussions | Page 8 | World Defense

Iraq News & Discussions

PSmith

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A little more than a decade ago, when Senator Graham urged the invasion of Iraq, He may well have asked the general if United State could win the war against Saddam Hussein. The obvious answer would've been "yes the United States will win. And the US did rout Hussein's army.
It drove the dictator into a hole and he was executed by the government which the US installed.
And the fact that the Iraq government had lost the war did'nt turn out to mean the US won it.
It incurred trillions in costs, thousands of dead Americans, thousands more with missing limbs and post traumatic stress disorder.
And in the end a broken Iraq with large swaths of it's territory controlled by ISIS. A force the Iraqi can not seem to defeat.





And the fact that the Iraqi government of 2012 lost the war did'nt turn out to mean that the US won.||
. It incured trillions in cosa|ts|, thousands of dead
Americansarm
 
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BLACKEAGLE

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1,500 schools damaged or destroyed in Iraq’s Anbar

According to the latest figures from the United Nations, more than 70 percent of displaced children do not have access to education (File Photo: AP)

Baghdad, AFP
Tuesday, 4 August 2015

More than 1,500 schools have been damaged or destroyed as a result of the conflict in Iraq’s troubled Anbar province alone, a spokesman said Monday.

Anbar is Iraq’s largest province. It has been rocked by violence since the beginning of 2014, months before the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) militant group launched a massive nationwide offensive that saw it conquer swathes of the country.

It is currently the main focus of the government’s efforts to regain lost ground, with large military operations under way in several parts of the province and multiple daily air strikes by war planes from the U.S.-led coalition.

“Anbar has been hit badly... More than 1,500 schools have been partially or completely destroyed,” Eid Ammash, a spokesman for the provincial council told AFP.

Anbar stretches from Iraq’s western borders with Syria, Jordan and Saudi Arabia all the way east along the Euphrates to the outskirts of Baghdad.

“Most of these schools were targeted directly by the criminal gangs of Daesh,” Ammash said, using an Arabic acronym for ISIS.

“The others are places that Daesh used as bases and were targeted by the Iraqi security forces and the coalition air force, or were simply on the frontline of the fighting,” he said.

“It will take a lot of money and at least two and a half years after Anbar is fully retaken from Daesh for these schools to be rebuilt and rehabilitated,” Ammash said.

He said no area was spared, with damaged schools from Karma, near Baghdad, to Al-Qaim on the Syrian border, as well as in areas around the main cities of Ramadi, Fallujah and Haditha.

The dire state of access to education in Anbar is replicated in several other regions of Iraq affected by a conflict that has displaced more than three million people.

According to the latest figures from the United Nations, more than 70 percent of displaced children do not have access to education.

“Most schools in affected areas are overcrowded or operating in double and triple shifts to accommodate demand with limited basic classroom amenities,” the UN report said.

Besides the schools that have been destroyed or damaged, others are occupied by armed groups. Even when they are vacated, they cannot be used until cleared for unexploded ordnance.

Last Update: Tuesday, 4 August 2015 KSA 01:19 - GMT 22:19
http://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2015/08/04/1-500-schools-damaged-or-destroyed-in-Iraq-s-Anbar.html
 

BLACKEAGLE

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Iraq’s Abadi bids to abolish vice presidencies

Iraqi PM Haidar al-Abadi abolishes the posts of Vice President and Deputy PM, effective immediately. (File photo: AFP)

Al Arabiya News, AFP
Sunday, 9 August 2015

Iraq's cabinet on Sunday approved a package of sweeping reforms proposed by Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi in response to weeks of protests against corruption and poor services, his office said.

"The cabinet unanimously approved the first package of reforms presented by... Abadi in an extraordinary session," his office said in a statement.

But at least some of the changes apparently require amendments to the constitution, which would necessitate action by parliament before they take effect.

Haider al-Abadi's plan would result in sacking his predecessor, Nouri al-Maliki, who begrudgingly stepped aside a year ago and was appointed to the largely symbolic role of vice president. Al-Maliki is widely alleged to have undermined his successor in a bid to eventually return to power, charges he denies.

In remarks made on state TV, Abadi also announced the formation of a committee to "open" past and present "corruption files." The proposed reforms, at least some of which require the approval of the cabinet and parliament, followed a call for tough measures by Iraq's top Shiite cleric, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani.

But even with popular pressure and Sistani's backing, the entrenched nature of corruption in Iraq and the fact that parties across the political spectrum benefit from it will make any efforts to change the system extremely difficult.

One of the most drastic of the proposals outlined in an online statement was the call for elimination of the posts of vice president and deputy prime minister "immediately".

Maliki, who preceded Abadi as premier, is currently one of the vice presidents.

Scrapping his job would apparently require the constitution to be amended, meaning that rapid action is unlikely.

Maliki, who belongs to the same party as Abadi and still wields significant influence, said Saturday evening -- before Abadi outlined his plan publicly -- that he supported the reform drive.

Abadi also called for a major overhaul of the way senior officials are selected, saying that all "party and sectarian quotas" should be abolished, and the candidates chosen by a committee appointed by the premier.

He also said there should be a "comprehensive and immediate reduction" in the number of guards for all officials.

This has long been a problem, with some officials having massive personal protection units, and others hiring less than the allotted number and pocketing the remainder of the allowance.

Abadi also said that "special provisions" for senior officials, both current and retired, should be ended.

He did not specify what these were, but large salaries, government-provided vehicles and extremely generous retirement benefits have all long been bones of contention between the authorities and average Iraqis.

And old and current graft cases should be reopened under the supervision of a high commission for fighting corruption, he said.

Baghdad and other cities have seen weeks of protests against the poor quality of services, especially power outages that leave Iraqis with only a few hours of government-supplied electricity per day as temperatures top 50 degrees Celsius.

The demonstrators have blamed the services crisis on corruption and incompetence across the political class.

Sistani, who is revered by millions of Iraqis, called Friday for Abadi to take "drastic measures" against corruption, saying that the "minor steps" he had announced previously were not enough.

In June, Abadi “retired” the army’s chief of staff General Babaker Zebari, the most senior officer removed since jihadists overran large parts of the country last year.

Abadi has sacked dozens of army and police officers in an effort to restructure and improve security forces that performed disastrously when the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) militant group launched an offensive last June, overrunning major areas north and west of Baghdad.

But it is unclear if Zebari was removed as part of that effort, or for other reasons.

(With AP)

Last Update: Sunday, 9 August 2015 KSA 16:19 - GMT 13:19
http://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2015/08/09/Iraq-s-Abadi-abolishes-Vice-President-and-Deputy-PM-posts.html
 

BLACKEAGLE

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Iraq PM sacks senior official in reform push

People shout slogans during a demonstration to show support for Iraqi Prime Minister al-Abadi at Tahrir Square in central Baghdad. (Reuters)

AFP, Baghdad
Thursday, 13 August 2015

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi has sacked a senior cabinet official who was a close aide to his predecessor and rival Nouri al-Maliki, the premier’s office said in a statement Wednesday.

Abadi issued an “order to relieve the secretary general of the cabinet and his two deputies from their positions,” the statement said, referring to Mohammed Khalaf Ahmed, who headed Maliki’s personal office during his premiership.

The statement did not provide a reason for the dismissals, but the announcement comes during a major reform drive by Abadi aimed at curbing rampant corruption and streamlining the government.

Khalaf’s responsibilities included providing advice and support to the premier, administrative services to the cabinet and managing state properties, according to a description of the post on a government website.

Maliki served two terms as prime minister and is widely viewed as having exacerbated sectarian tensions between the country’s Shiite majority and Sunni Arab minority.

Widespread discontent among Sunni Arabs, who say they were marginalized and targeted by Maliki’s government, played a major role in worsening the security situation in Iraq, culminating in a disastrous jihadist offensive last year.

Despite having the jihadist Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) group overrun a third of the country during his second term, Maliki nonetheless tried for a third.

But he stepped aside last August under major international and domestic pressure, ushering in Abadi’s term in office.

Last Update: Thursday, 13 August 2015 KSA 07:15 - GMT 04:15
http://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2015/08/13/Iraq-PM-sacks-senior-cabinet-official-in-reform-push-.html
 

Falcon29

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Brett McGurk ‏@brett_mcgurk 35m35 minutes ago

Abu Bakr #Baghdadi is a mass murdering rapist now in hiding with days numbered. Justice will be served. #Daesh #ISIS #ISIL #Iraq #Syria

.......

Obviously the story is propaganda, she was killed in air strike long ago. But, anyways, he is saying they will assassinate him. Either they got intelligence and needed a story or they're diverting attention from Iran deal.
 

BLACKEAGLE

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Iraq's Abadi orders commanders to face trial

Commanders referred to a court martial for abandoning their positions in the battle against ISIS in Ramadi. (Reuters)

By Reuters | Baghdad
Sunday, 16 August 2015

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi approved on Sunday an investigative council's decision to refer military commanders to a court martial for abandoning their positions in the battle against ISIS militants in Ramadi.

The announcement came as Abadi pushes ahead with a sweeping reform campaign aimed at combating corruption and mismanagement in the biggest shake-up in the governing system since the U.S. military occupation.

Ramadi, the capital of western Anbar province, fell to ISIS militants in May, dampening Baghdad's hopes of quickly routing them from the country's north and west following earlier victories in eastern provinces.

The army's collapse in June 2014 in the face of ISIS's takeover of the northern city of Mosul left the Baghdad government dependent on Shi'ite Muslim militias, many funded and assisted by neighboring Iran, to defend the capital and recapture lost ground.

Critics blamed the military's weakness on sectarian splits, corruption and politics.

The fall of Ramadi nearly a year later undermined Abadi's policy of keeping the militias on the sidelines in Anbar, the Sunni heartland, for fear of inflaming sectarian tensions. The militias are now fighting alongside the security forces in many places.

Last Update: Sunday, 16 August 2015 KSA 10:49 - GMT 07:49
http://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2015/08/16/Iraq-s-Abadi-orders-commanders-to-face-trial-over-Ramadi-withdrawal.html
 

BLACKEAGLE

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Bombs in and around Baghdad kill 22 people

Residents gather at the site of a car bomb attack at the mainly Shiite district of Habibiya in Baghdad August 15, 2015. (Reuters)

By the Associated Press | Baghdad
Sunday, 16 August 2015

A car bomb at a popular auto dealership Saturday killed 13 people and injured 52 in eastern Baghdad's volatile Sadr City neighborhood, where a market bombing two days earlier killed dozens, police said.

The Habibiya car dealership, widely-known for buying and selling used vehicles, has been targeted multiple times in the past. The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) group claimed responsibility for the bombing in a communique distributed via affiliated Twitter accounts, saying the vehicle targeted a large gathering of the Iraqi army, federal police and government-backed Popular Mobilization Forces.

Infographic: Bombs in and around Baghdad kill 22 people



(Design by Farwa Rizwan/ Al Arabiya News)


A massive explosion in a Sadr City market on Thursday killed at least 67 people and wounded more than 100. The bombing, claimed by ISIS, was one of the worst single-day attacks in Baghdad in a decade.

Elsewhere in and around the capital, a series of bombings killed at least nine people and wounded 33.

The largest took place in the town of Madain, just south of Baghdad, when a bomb tore through a popular market killing three people and wounding 10, police said.

In the town of Taji, north of Baghdad, a bomb hit a row of auto repair shops, killing two people and injuring eight.

In Baghdad's al-Askan district, an improvised explosive device detonated on a busy commercial street, killing at least two people and wounding eight. And in Baghdad's southeastern suburb of Jisr Diyala, police said two were killed and seven wounded when a bomb exploded on a commercial street.

Hospital officials corroborated the casualties. Officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk to reporters.


Last Update: Sunday, 16 August 2015 KSA 07:56 - GMT 04:56
http://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2015/08/16/Bombs-in-and-around-Baghdad-kill-22-people.html
 

BLACKEAGLE

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Iraq could face ‘partition’ without reform

Protesters display a huge Iraqi flag during a demonstration against corruption and poor services in regard to power cuts and water shortages, in Kerbala. (Reuters)

AFP, Baghdad
Friday, 21 August 2015

Iraq’s top Shiite cleric, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, warned on Thursday that the country faces dire consequences including possible “partition” if real reform is not carried out.

Sistani, who is revered by millions, has made multiple calls for reform measures this month that have helped spur a wide-ranging anti-corruption drive by Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi.

“Today, if true reform is not realized by fighting corruption without mercy and realizing social justice on different levels, it is expected that circumstances will become worse than before,” Sistani said in a written statement from his office in response to questions from AFP.

Iraq could be “dragged to... partition and the like, God forbid,” he said.

It was Sistani’s most direct warning yet on the possible consequences if reforms he has advocated are not carried out.

Corruption in Iraq has already cost the country dearly in the war against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) jihadist group, which overran around a third of the country last year, Sistani said.

Without rampant corruption, especially in the security forces, and abuse of power by top officials, “the Daesh terrorist organization would not have been able to control a large part of the territory of Iraq,” he said, using an Arabic acronym for the jihadist group.

Amid a major heatwave that has seen temperatures top 50 degrees Celsius (120 degrees Fahrenheit), protesters have railed against the poor quality of services, especially power outages that leave just a few hours of government-supplied electricity per day.

Thousands of people have turned out in Baghdad and cities in the Shiite south to vent their anger and pressure the authorities to make changes.

Their demands were given a boost when Sistani called on August 7 for Abadi to take “drastic measures” against corruption, saying the “minor steps” he had announced fell short.

The following Friday, Sistani said judicial reforms were needed, and Abadi responded by calling on the judiciary to carry out measures to ensure its independence and allow it to fight corruption.

Calls for change by Sistani have shielded as well as influenced Abadi’s efforts, as it is politically risky for rival Shiite politicians to publicly oppose measures called for by the top cleric.

But even with popular support and Sistani’s backing, the entrenched nature of corruption and the fact parties across the political spectrum benefit from it will make any efforts extremely difficult.

Last Update: Friday, 21 August 2015 KSA 08:06 - GMT 05:06
http://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2015/08/21/Iraq-could-face-partition-without-reform.html
 

BLACKEAGLE

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Suicide attacks against Iraqi security outpost kill eight

Shi'ite fighters from Saraya al-Salam, loyal to radical cleric Muqtada al-Sadr carry their weapons on the outskirts of Samarra,Iraq August 23, 2015. (Reuters)

The Associated Press, Baghdad
Monday, 24 August 2015

Police and military officials say a series of suicide car bombings by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria group targeting a military outpost in Anbar province have killed eight soldiers and injured six.

They say the Monday morning attack west of Anbar's provincial capital Ramadi involved three vehicles, including two fuel trucks. The outpost was home to a joint contingent of army soldiers, policemen and allied Sunni militiamen.

The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the media.

Late on Sunday, the Iraqi military said in a televised statement that its warplanes have targeted Islamic State positions in northern and western Iraq in what it called "qualitative" strikes, including one that targeted a meeting by members of the extremist group in the town of Tel Afar.

Last Update: Monday, 24 August 2015 KSA 14:30 - GMT 11:30
http://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2015/08/24/Suicide-attacks-against-Iraqi-security-outpost-kill-8.html
 

BLACKEAGLE

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Report: U.S. foils assassination bids of Iraqi PM

Demonstrators chant pro-Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, in the poster, during a demonstration at Tahrir Square in Baghdad, Iraq. (File photo: AP)

Staff writer, Al Arabiya News
Tuesday, 22 September 2015

The U.S. embassy has foiled two attempts to assassinate Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, a high-level Iraqi official told the London-based Asharq al-Awsat in an interview published Tuesday.

The official, who spoke under the condition of anonymity, said the first operation to eliminate Abadi, who took power last September and has been hailed for his sweeping reforms, was in its early stages.

However, the second bid – at Baghdad’s heavily fortified Green Zone - to assassinate the premier was “advanced” in reaching its target, and led to the arrests of suspects, who are army officers.

The official said these assassination attempts were due to Abadi’s reforms.

Abadi’s predecessor Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki was denounced by critics for estranging Sunnis in the country, leading to the seizure of Iraq’s northern city of Mosul by Islamist militants in June last year.

The report came after Abadi said he expected a coup against him, and this might cost him his life as well.

Last month, Abadi abolished the positions of vice-president and vice-premier. As a result, Maliki, the-then vice president, was the most senior politician to be removed from his post.

According to the official, Abadi recently criticized a government convoy - seen in the southern city of Basra – awaiting Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani, head of the powerful Revolutionary Guard’s elite Quds unit.

The official said the premier did not know of Soleimani’s visit to Iraq and expressed surprise and concern that the Iranian general’s visit was not official.

Images circulating online showed Soleimani with the mainly Shiite militia volunteer groups of the Population Mobilization units in Iraq fighting Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) militants. ISIS controls much of the country’s Sunni-dominant north and western regions.

Last Update: Tuesday, 22 September 2015 KSA 20:46 - GMT 17:46
http://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2015/09/22/Report-U-S-foiled-bids-to-assassinate-Iraqi-PM.html
 

BLACKEAGLE

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Rockets strike Baghdad airport area

An Iraqi Airways plane arrives at Baghdad airport, Iraq. (File photo: AP)

By AFP | Baghdad
Tuesday, 22 September 2015

Rockets fired by militants struck the area of Baghdad’s vast airport complex on Monday, security officials said.

“A number of Katyusha rockets landed near Camp Al-Nasr (Victory), west of Baghdad,” the security command responsible for Baghdad said in a statement, referring to a base close to the airport.

The rockets were launched from the Taji area, north of the capital, it said.

A police colonel said 13 rockets struck two areas near the airport, but an official at the facility said none had hit the airport itself.

There were no immediate reports of casualties from the rocket fire.

The sprawling airport complex, which stretches from western Baghdad to the outskirts of Anbar province, has been targeted by rocket and mortar fire for years, but commercial aviation traffic is rarely disrupted.

But multiple carriers stopped flights into Baghdad for several days after a bullet struck a flydubai jet during its descent in January this year.

Last Update: Tuesday, 22 September 2015 KSA 01:00 - GMT 22:00
http://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2015/09/22/Rockets-strike-Baghdad-airport-area.html
 

BLACKEAGLE

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U.S. urges Iraqi forces to move ‘as quickly as possible’ to retake Ramadi

Iraqi Army soldiers patrol with new U.S.-made weapons and armored vehicles in an eastern suburb of Ramadi. (File: AP)

By Reuters | Washington
Friday, 25 September 2015

The United States is encouraging Iraqi forces to move to retake the city of Ramadi from Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) militants “as quickly as possible” to deny them the chance to regroup, a U.S. military spokesman said on Friday.

The militants seized Ramadi, the capital of Anbar province, in May, extending its control over the Euphrates valley west of Baghdad and handing the Iraqi army its worst defeat since June 2014 when ISIS swept through northern Iraq.

The military setback has renewed questions about the ability of Iraq’s Shiite-led government in Baghdad to overcome the sectarian divide that has helped fuel the militants’ expansion in Iraq’s Sunni heartland.

Iraqi military and police, backed by Shiite militias, Sunni tribal fighters and U.S.-led coalition air strikes, are making slow progress in trying to retake the city, 100 kilometers west of Baghdad, from the Sunni militants.

“We acknowledge that the Iraqis have not made any significant forward movement recently,” said Col. Pat Ryder, a spokesman for U.S. Central Command, in a telephone briefing with Pentagon reporters.

“We continue to encourage ISF (Iraqi security forces) leaders to move as quickly as possible to prevent giving ISIL time and space to regroup and resupply,” Ryder said, using an acronym for Islamic State.

Ryder said the U.S. military believes the Iraqis have enough troops near Ramadi to move forward.

“There’s certainly significant defensive obstacles in their way,” Ryder said. “This is an Iraqi-led operation. They will move at their pace, and so we are supportive of their plan but it’s certainly something that we’re discussing with them.”

Shortly after they seized the city, ISIS fighters warned residents not to venture outside Ramadi because, they said, they had laid a web of bombs to hinder any incursion by government forces.

Last Update: Friday, 25 September 2015 KSA 21:06 - GMT 18:06
http://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2015/09/25/U-S-urges-Iraqi-forces-to-move-as-quickly-as-possible-to-retake-Ramadi.html
 

BLACKEAGLE

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Iraqi Bell 407 helo shot down near Tikrit
Gareth Jennings, London - IHS Jane's Defence Weekly
28 September 2015

An Islamic State militant poses by the tailboom of a downed Iraqi Army Bell 407 helicopter. Source: Information Office of the State of Salahuddin

An armed Bell 407 JetRanger of the Iraqi Army was shot down near the central city of Tikrit, images posted on social media purportedly show.

Images posted by the Islamic State show militants at the site of the burned-out helicopter, which was said to have been shot down on 28 September. According to media reports, the two crewmembers were rescued by a second helicopter that was flying nearby.

The Iraqi Army operates approximately 24 armed Bell 407 helicopters, which it began receiving from the United States in 2010. At least one other helicopter was shot down by insurgents in October 2013, and others may have been lost also.

These armed 407s are equipped with a 12.7 mm (.50 calibre) machine gun, 70 mm (2.75 inch) air-to-surface rockets, and AGM-114 Hellfire air-to-surface missiles. In addition to this weapons fit, the helicopters are also be fitted with the L-3 Wescam MX-15Di forward-looking infrared sensor and laser designator.

The armed Bell 407 is one of a number of helicopter types that the Iraqi Army fields, with others comprising the Mil Mi-28N 'Havoc', Mi-35 'Hind', Aerospatiale SA 342M Gazelle, Bell UH-1H 'Huey', Bell 207, Airbus Helicopters EC635 (now designated H135M), and Mil Mi-8/17 'Hip'.
Iraqi Bell 407 helo shot down near Tikrit - IHS Jane's 360
 

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