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August 22, 2014 / 26 Av, 5774
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Posts Tagged ‘Iraq’

Kurdish Oil Tanker Docks in Israel

Saturday, June 21st, 2014

A Iraqi-Kurdish crude oil tanker docked in Israel on Saturday night.

On Friday, JewishPress.com reported that the tanker, after not finding a buyer for its oil, due to threats from Iraq, closed a deal with Israel and would be docking in Israel. The oil is expected to be offloaded on Sunday.

Iraqi parliamentarian Abad el-Mahdi al-Hafaji said in response to the report, “The export of oil from Kurdistan to Israel is treason to Iraq, the Arab nation, and to the Palestinian cause.”

May this be the beginning of a beautiful relationship.

Israel is Set to be Iraqi Kurdistan’s First Client for its Crude Oil Tanker

Friday, June 20th, 2014

The Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) has been looking for a client to buy its tanker oil, after the Iraqi government threatened legal action against any buyers who purchased Kurdish oil independently and not through the Iraq central government, according to a Reuters report on Friday.

The tanker is set to dock in Israel on Saturday night, and Israel is apparently buying it.

Iraq already boycotts Israel, and won’t sell oil to the Jewish state, so Israel is not overly concerned with Iraqi threats of sanctions, unlike other countries who have oil contracts with Iraq.

The oil comes from a new pipeline built to bypass Baghdad’s pipeline, which will help maintain Iraqi Kurdistan’s financial independence.

Iran Issues Warning About Muslim Disunity

Thursday, June 19th, 2014

A tweet from an account believed to be that of Iran’s Supreme Leader warned Thursday that Sunni militants are trying to create disunity in the Muslim world.

The tweet, written in English, was posted on the account @khamenei_ir on the Twitter social networking site. Ironically, Iran itself once threatened to block Twitter for use within its own borders.

“Muslims should be aware of Takfiris and arrogants’ common goal to create a war in Muslim world – both Shias and Sunnis should be vigilant.” the post warned.

The word “Takfiris” is a reference to Sunni Muslims who proclaim followers of other sects of Islam to be infidels and therefore legitimate targets of jihad, or holy war, according to international media.

The Reuters news service added that the term “arrogant” powers is generally a code word for the U.S., the West and Israel.

Shi’ite Muslim fighters who left Iraq to fight in Syria are now returning to their own country to fight the Al Qaeda-linked Islamic State of Iraq in the Levant (ISIL) terrorist organization, a Sunni Muslim group.

Iranian-backed Lebanese Hezbollah military group also said it was sending fighters to Iraq to help fend off the ISIL advance through the country. In recent days, ISIL fighters seized control of most of the area of northern Iraq’s largest oil refinery, located in Baji, according to a refinery official.

On Wednesday, the terrorists controlled the production units, administration building and four watch towers – 75 percent of the refinery, according to an official who spoke with Reuters from inside the refinery. Clashes were continuing between ISIL fighters and security forces near the main control room at the time.

Turkey Evacuates Consulate in Iraq

Wednesday, June 18th, 2014

Given the rapid military progress across the country by the Al Qaeda-linked Islamic State of Iraq in the Levant (ISIL) terror organization, Turkey has evacuated its staff from the city of Basra, located in southern Iraq.

Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu announced Tuesday via a tweet on his Twitter account that the staff had safely crossed the Iraqi border into Kuwait.

No further details were released in the announcement.

ISIS Al Qaeda-Linked Terrorists Heading for Jordan?

Monday, June 16th, 2014

Leaders from the Islamic State of in Syria (or ISIL, as it is known in Iraq) are calling for the execution of Jordanian King Abdullah II.

According to a report written for The Gatestone Institute by Khaled Abu Toameh, The terrorists recently posted a video on YouTube threatening to “slaughter” him.

In the video, they referred to the Western-backed Hashemite monarch as a “tyrant.” Several of the terrorists who appeared in the video were apparently Jordanian citizens; vowing to carry out suicide bombings inside the kingdom, they tore up their passports in front of the camera.

The threat to Jordan is seen as a real and immediate one due to the fact that ISIS/ISIL has captured large swathes of territory on both sides of the Iraqi-Syrian border. Jordan is bound on two sides by Iraq and Syria.

Moreover, the terrorists are not planning to stop at Jordan: according to Toameh, they are planning to carry their jihad also to Gaza, Sinai and Lebanon.

“ISIS is a threat not only to moderate Arabs and Muslims, but also to Israel,” Toameh wrote, “which the terrorists say is their ultimate destination. “The U.S. and its Western allies need to wake up quickly and take the necessary measures to prevent the Islamist terrorists from achieving their goal. Failure to act will result in the establishment in the Middle East of a dangerous extremist Islamist empire that will pose a threat to American and Western interests,” he warned.

Al Qaeda Eyes Baghdad After Taking Northern Iraq

Thursday, June 12th, 2014

The Al Qaeda-linked terror organization that earlier this week captured northern Iraq is now eyeing Baghdad.

The Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), also known in Syria as ISIS (Islamic State in Iraq and Syria), earlier this week captured the major northern Iraqi city of Mosul – and then took Tikrit, the hometown of former dictator Sadaam Hussein.

The forces also control a large swathe of territory in the western and central regions of the country, and in eastern Syria — leading to wide speculation about whether an emirate may soon follow. Iraq’s lucrative oil fields in the north are especially vulnerable — and profitable.

Now, the group is vowing to march on Baghdad, as the country’s parliament meets in an emergency session to vote on a request by Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki to declare a state of emergency.

Up to half a million residents so far have fled Mosul, according to the BBC.

The UN Security Council said in a statement, meanwhile, that it “deplores in the strongest terms the recent events in the city of Mosul” and expressed concern for the hundreds of thousands who have since fled their homes. U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon called on “the international community to unite in showing solidarity with Iraq as it confronts this serious security challenge”.

Faith in any help from the international community, however, is probably about as strong as that in help from America, which promised when it pulled out two and a half years ago to help Iraqi leaders “help push back against this aggression.” And then left them to twist in the wind.

 

Guerrilla-Terrorists ISIS Seize Mosul, Iraq: Territorial Strategy

Wednesday, June 11th, 2014

While it is not clear yet how much of the city the terrorists hold, what is clear is that Iraqi government forces collapsed and fled from the advancing ISIS attackers (“Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham,” also called Islamic State of Iraq and Levant).  The collapse of Iraqi authority has been underway since Sunday, and the most recent reporting indicates thousands of local residents are fleeing to escape ISIS.

In conjunction with the persistent ISIS assault on Anbar Province, to the southwest, the attack on Mosul is a geostrategic one.  ISIS is, in fact, trying to position itself to eventually take over Iraq, and control the interior nexus between Iraq and Syria.

Mosul isn’t just any city in northern Iraq.  It’s the most important hub of government and commerce – and the reason for that is the same reason ISIS wants it.  Mosul sits astride the Tigris River, which forms one of two main approach corridors through western Iraq to Baghdad, the other being the Euphrates River.  (See maps. Map 2 shows the Euphrates corridor six months ago, from this analysis of the growing ISIS threat.)

Map 1. The Tigris and Euphrates approach corridors -- and lifeblood arteries -- into central Iraq. (Google map; author annotation)

Mosul is downstream from the extremely important Mosul Dam, which was built on a flawed construction premise in the 1980s and is in a precarious condition.  Central Iraq is heavily dependent on Tigris water, and if the guerrillas can hang onto Mosul, and the access points to the Tigris, they will sit between the river’s main reservoir in Iraq and its customers.

ISIS corridor in the Euphrates valley. Google map; author annotation.

That is the same position they’ve been fighting for in Anbar Province along the Euphrates.  These guys aren’t stupid, and they’re not just blow-em-up-Allahu-akbar terrorists.  They’re executing, slowly but surely, a pincer move on Baghdad.  If ISIS has any hope of establishing itself on territory, it has to control some water.  In arid Iraq, water and lines of strategic approach are the same thing.

They’re also the lifeblood of civilization.  The farmers need water from the two great rivers, and so do the city-dwellers.  ISIS doesn’t have to be in charge of doling out the water, at least not at first.  The position its leaders aspire to – beyond holding what’s necessary to consolidate a territorial redoubt for themselves – is being able to threaten the water supply.  They are very close now to achieving that goal.

I do not assess that ISIS has a plan to literally attack Baghdad any time soon.  For the time being, ISIS wants to hold Baghdad at risk and be able to extort and snipe at the Maliki government.  Subverting Baghdad itself won’t be feasible until ISIS has established a broader base in both western Iraq and Syria.

What are ISIS’s chances of success?  The way to frame the answer is to recognize that conditions will have to change to defeat ISIS.  Iraq can’t do the job by herself.  Unless those conditions do change, ISIS has pretty good chances.

But conditions in the region are almost certain to change, as much as they need to, to defeat ISIS.  All three of Bashar al-Assad, Tehran’s mullahs, and Russia have reason to intervene to beat back the ISIS insurgency.  (There’s a significant presence of Chechens and Dagestanis – bane of Moscow – in the ranks of ISIS.  For the security of her entire southern flank, Russia needs to see the ISIS effort crushed.)

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/analysis/j-e-dyer/guerrilla-terrorists-isis-seize-mosul-iraq-territorial-strategy/2014/06/11/

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