CoolClownFish’s Blog – Al-Qaeda Leader Urges New Iraq War

<p><em>By Simon Kent.</em></p>
<p>Al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri, <em>(pictured) </em>who has been the leader of the organization since the death of Bin Laden in 2011, has issued a short statement urging Iraqi Sunnis to begin an insurgency against the Iraqi government.</p>
<p>Predecessors of the self declared Islamic State, “Al-Qaeda in Mesopotamia,” were allied to Al-Qaeda up until around 2005, when Bin Laden rebuked the Iraqi leadership of the group (and its Jordanian commander, Abu Musab al Zarqawi) for being far too brutal and killing too many civilians.</p>
<p>Zarqawi didn’t listen, and instead formed the “Islamic State of Iraq,” in 2006 which was largely defeated by Sunni tribes and US troops between 2006 and 2011. Since then, the so called Islamic State have risen to prominence as the most successful radical jihadi group. But since so many Sunni Iraqis have turned on IS, Zawahari’s plea may be wishful thinking, and an attempt to stay relevant.</p>
<p>The vast majority of Sunnis will not be likely to listen, and will likely reject Al Qaeda as much as they have recently turned on IS.</p>
<p><em>(Source: The Long War Journal)</em></p>

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Al-Qaeda Leader Urges New Iraq War

By Simon Kent. Al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri, (pictured) who has been the leader of the organization since the death of Bin Laden in 2011, has issued a short statement urging Iraqi Sunnis to begin an insurgency against the Iraqi government. Predecessors of the self declared Islamic State, “Al-Qaeda in Mesopotamia,” were allied to Al-Qaeda up until around […]

CoolClownFish’s Blog – Draft Amnesty Law Passed for Detainees

<p><em>By Simon Kent.</em></p>
<p>In a potentially huge political development, Iraq’s Council of Representatives (Parliament) have passed draft amnesty law that would see as many as 5000 Shia Sadrist protesters released from prison and potentially thousands more Sunnis who have been detained over the years, allegedly on spurious information, in many cases.</p>
<p>For example, at the end of the last decade hundreds of Sunnis were rounded up by security forces in Baghdad following bomb attacks, and human rights campaigners say many are innocent.</p>
<p>According to <em>Business Standard, </em>234 out of 228 MPs voted for the law, which, if implemented, could have very significant implications for political settlement after the so called “Islamic State” are defeated.</p>
<p><em>(Source: Business Standard.)</em></p>

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Draft Amnesty Law Passed for Detainees

By Simon Kent. In a potentially huge political development, Iraq’s Council of Representatives (Parliament) have passed draft amnesty law that would see as many as 5000 Shia Sadrist protesters released from prison and potentially thousands more Sunnis who have been detained over the years, allegedly on spurious information, in many cases. For example, at the […]

CoolClownFish’s Blog – Qayyarah Oilfields Still Burning

<p><em>By Simon Kent.</em></p>
<p>Qayyarah’s oilfields are still on fire weeks after the self declared Islamic State set them on fire as part of a scorched earth strategy during their retreat. The terrorists also poured oil from Qayyarah into the Tigris and set it alight in an attempt to burn a makeshift Iraqi Army bridge.</p>
<p>Before the recent conflict, Qayyarah, which is around 60km south of Mosul, produced around 10,000 bpd of very heavy crude, which was used in power generation.</p>
<p><em>(Source: Rudaw)</em></p>

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Qayyarah Oilfields Still Burning

By Simon Kent. Qayyarah’s oilfields are still on fire weeks after the self declared Islamic State set them on fire as part of a scorched earth strategy during their retreat. The terrorists also poured oil from Qayyarah into the Tigris and set it alight in an attempt to burn a makeshift Iraqi Army bridge. Before […]

New Oil Deal Still Under Discussion

By Simon Kent. Kurdish and Iraqi officials are still thrashing out details of a more sustainable and far reaching oil revenue and exports deal, following the resumption of federal oil exports into the Kurdish pipeline from Kirkuk. Last week, 100,000 bpd of Kirkuk crude from Baba Gorgor, Jambour and Khabbaz, three fields in the giant Kirkuk […]

CoolClownFish’s Blog – Syria, Iraq Discuss Border Security

<p><em>By Simon Kent.</em></p>
<p>Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Muallem met with Iraqi PM Haidar al-Abadi to discuss border security, <strong><em>Reuters</em></strong> reports. Currently, all of Iraq’s border on the Syrian side is either held by Kurdish forces or the self declared Islamic State, with Iraqi forces gradually approaching Al Qaim, the last border town held by the terrorist group.</p>
<p>The meeting comes ahead of increasing talk of final battles to finish of IS in Mosul and Raqqa, their Syrian capital.</p>
<p>An official Iraqi statement noted, <em>“Securing the common border was discussed as our heroic forces get close to the border with Syria.”</em></p>
<p><em>(Source: Reuters)</em></p>

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Syria, Iraq Discuss Border Security

By Simon Kent. Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Muallem met with Iraqi PM Haidar al-Abadi to discuss border security, Reuters reports. Currently, all of Iraq’s border on the Syrian side is either held by Kurdish forces or the self declared Islamic State, with Iraqi forces gradually approaching Al Qaim, the last border town held by the […]

CoolClownFish’s Blog – Defense Minister Khaled al-Obeidi Removed

<p><em>By Simon Kent.</em></p>
<p>Iraq’s embattled Defense Minister Khaled al-Obeidi <em>(pictured)</em> a Sunni from Mosul, has been voted out of his position following a no confidence motion in parliament.</p>
<p>The vote comes after mounting pressure on the Minister, following accusations that he was responsible for over billing scandals and favored defense contracts for friends and political allies.</p>
<p>Notably, two of those accusing him were prominent Sunni politicians, Mohammed al-Karbouli and Parliament Speaker Salim al-Jubouri, underscoring how Iraq’s politics remains dysfunctional, but in many ways has moved beyond basic sectarian divisions.</p>
<p>Obeidi hit back last month in a dramatic questioning session in parliament, where he caused a storm by listing detailed corruption allegations against his accusers.</p>
<p><em>(Source: The Wall Street Journal.)</em></p>
<p> </p>

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Defense Minister Khaled al-Obeidi Removed

By Simon Kent. Iraq’s embattled Defense Minister Khaled al-Obeidi (pictured) a Sunni from Mosul, has been voted out of his position following a no confidence motion in parliament. The vote comes after mounting pressure on the Minister, following accusations that he was responsible for over billing scandals and favored defense contracts for friends and political allies. […]

CoolClownFish’s Blog – Iraq’s Tribal Politics

<p><em>By Omar al Jaffal for <a href=”http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2016/08/iraq-politicians-tribalism-corruption.html”>AlMonitor</a>. Any opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News.</em></p>
<p>Iraqi parliament Speaker Salim al-Jabouri issued a warning against involving the tribes in political disputes Aug. 14. His warning came a few days after the tribes affiliated with Defense Minister Khaled al-Obeidi and parliament member Mohammed al-Karbouli interfered in a political dispute as the two exchanged accusations of corruption during the Aug. 1 parliamentary session.</p>
<p>abouri seemed greatly concerned about the involvement of Iraq’s tribes in political conflicts. During a visit by a tribal delegation to the parliament, he told a number of Iraqi tribal leaders, “Preserving the independence of the tribes in Iraq is an important and essential safeguard. The ongoing attempts to drag the tribes into side conflicts are designed to undermine the building of Iraqi society and the Iraqi state.”</p>
<p>Iraq’s tribes are social institutions that have preserved many customs and traditions that run contrary to the laws of the state. The tribes manage their issues, even serious crimes such as murder, under a “blood money” system. A majority of Iraqi politicians seek to please them, as they represent large numbers of voters in local and parliamentary elections.</p>
<p>Athir al-Jassour, a political science professor at Mustansiriya University in Baghdad, told Al-Monitor, “Since the Iraqi state was founded, there have been problems regarding the division of power, and customs and traditions have defined many of these problems, in determining both political and social approaches to them.” He added, “Among the various conflicts within Iraqi society, power was divided between religion, tribes and the rule of law, and the balance of power is tipped in favor of the one who can influence and protect.”</p>
<p>Iraqi politicians’ complex relationships with their tribes must be managed with a law regulating tribal affairs. The adoption of this law is an attempt by the Iraqi parliament to control growing tribal strength.</p>
<p>Jabouri and other politicians fear tribal involvement in political conflicts, as the tribes’ power threatens to undermine the authority of the state. The majority of the tribes are armed, and some even possess heavy weapons, which means that the outbreak of any tribal fighting could lead to divides no less dangerous than sectarian ones. Because of these tribal institutions’ complex relationships with each other, their involvement in politically motivated fighting may drag other tribes into armed conflict.</p>
<p>Obeidi and Karbouli’s is not the first political dispute to reach the tribal councils. What makes this time different and more dangerous is that the tribes have offered their absolute support to their affiliated politicians against other politicians. The defense minister made his appreciation clear by posting a video clip of his tribe meeting on YouTube.</p>

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Iraq’s Tribal Politics

By Omar al Jaffal for Al Monitor. Any opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News. Iraqi parliament Speaker Salim al-Jabouri issued a warning against involving the tribes in political disputes Aug. 14. His warning came a few days after the tribes affiliated with Defense Minister Khaled al-Obeidi […]

ISIS Recruiter of Child Soldiers Shot Dead in Mosul

By Simon Kent. Unconfirmed reports suggest a Saudi Arabian national under the nom de guerre “Abu Wathbah al-Saudi,” has been shot dead in Mosul, the last urban stronghold of the self declared Islamic State. The terrorist’s role was apparently the recruitment of child soldiers. If true, it would only be one in a string of […]