Recently in Iraqi Affairs Category

Al Arabiya News: Iraq Asks U.N. For Urgent Help

Al Arabiya News reported in a dispatch dated June 27, 2014 that, “Iraq’s Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari (in photo below), in a letter to United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon, appealed for urgent support and recognition of the growing threat of the insurgency in his country.” See Iraqi Foreign Minister2Exclusive: Iraq’s FM appeals to U.N. in letter.”

According to Al Arabiya News, “The four-page letter was obtained exclusively by Al Arabiya News Channel’s New York Bureau Chief Talal al-Haj and shows Baghdad’s increasing concerns about the insurgency.”

“In it, Zebari stressed that Iraq faces dangerous threats by several international terrorist organizations and hence is seeking the support of the international community and world powers.”

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Curbing Internet Access in Iraq Won’t Stop ISIS

“The Iraqi government moved Friday (June 13, 2014) to block access to Facebook, Twitter and YouTube in a bid to disrupt the social media tools deployed by insurgents (from the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) ) as they have swept through the country in a bold drive toward Baghdad,” according to Washington Post tech writer Craig Timberg. See “Iraq tries to censor social media to disrupt ISIS communication, but its success is limited.”

Mr. Timberg said “…the initiative ran into a hard reality of warfare in the 21st century:Losing physical ground means losing control of cyberspace as well.”

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Nouri al-Maliki Threatens to Ban Al Arabiya

Al Arabiya News reported June 14, 2014, that “The Iraqi government threatened on Saturday (June 14,2014) to close the Baghdad office of Al Arabiya News Channel and ban correspondents of both Al Arabiya and sister news channel, Al Hadath, from reporting in the country.”

The news outlet said, “The warning from Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki comes as a growing number of political figures in the country have been urging the Iraqi leader to resign and form a transitional government.”

Please see “Maliki threatens to ban Al Arabiya News in Iraq” for Al Arabiya’s response to al-Maliki’s threat.

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What’s Behind Middle East Conflicts?

On June 12, 2014, Think Progress contributors Hayes Brown and Adam Peck made the following observation about the state of affairs in the Middle East:

What started as a crackdown against democratic protests three years ago, has become a region-wide conflict that now has Iraq descending back into chaos. The countries of the region — along with the United States and various non-state actors — all have a hand in creating this moment, as money, fighters, weapons, and a desire to control the Middle East have come together to produce an extremely volatile and terrifying situation.”

Please see “Why The Middle East Is Now A Giant Warzone, In One Terrifying Chart” to read more of their analysis.

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Are Young Kurds Fighting Alongside ISIL in Syria?

“A new phenomenon with old roots has cast a shameful silence over parts of Iraqi Kurdistan, particularly in the southeastern province of Halabja and its eponymous capital, where many of the young Kurds fighting (alongside the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) in northern Syria) are from,” writes Sofia Barbarani in a June 14, 2014, dispatch published in Al Jazeera. See “Young Kurds fight alongside ISIL in Syria.”

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A Refreshing Truth About U.S’ Iraqi Intelligence

James Rosen, a correspondent in McClatchy’s Washington Bureau who covers the Pentagon, noted in a June 13, 2014, dispatch:

“From the fall of Saigon in 1975 to the Benghazi assault in 2012, the Pentagon seemed haunted by the ghosts of past wars gone wrong.” He said Rear Adm. John Kirby, the Pentagon press secretary, “normally unflappable and upbeat, made little effort to hide Pentagon commanders’ shock at the march of Islamist militants and the retreat of Iraqi security forces from Mosul, Tikrit and their environs north of Baghdad.” See “On the front lines in Pentagon press room as war returns to Iraq.”

“I’m not going to be cute about it,” Kirby told reporters, according to Mr. Rosen. “I mean, we’re certainly disappointed by the performance of some Iraqi force units with respect to the challenges that they have faced in the last few days.”

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