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Old 10-10-2017   #321
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Security report for 1st week of October in Iraq. 2nd lowest number of incidents and lowest casualty figures recorded in 2017. Here's a link.
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Old 10-11-2017   #322
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Hawija operation is done, Iraqi forces heading back to finish off West Anbar. Here's a link.
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Old 10-14-2017   #323
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Gun battle between Iraqi forces and Peshmerga almost broke out in Kirkuk as Baghdad and Irbil continue to escalate things after the Kurdish referendum. Here's a link to the article.
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Old 10-16-2017   #324
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My early take on the fighting that broke out between federal forces and Peshmerga in Kirkuk and Salahaddin.
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Old 10-17-2017   #325
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Let me recapitulate to see if I've got everything right: well before it's ever got as far as to finish the Daesh in Iraq, the Iraqi government (read: IRGC) turned against Kurds in northern Iraq....and thus delivered a coup de grace upon 15 years of failed US 'foreign policy' in that country.

And the 'most effective fighters against the Daesh' - turned on their heels and fled, as soon as they were not supported by US and allied air power...

Oh man, what a surprise.
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Old 10-17-2017   #326
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Default No artillery, war ends; now no air support Kurds exit

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Originally Posted by CrowBat View Post
Let me recapitulate to see if I've got everything right: well before it's ever got as far as to finish the Daesh in Iraq, the Iraqi government (read: IRGC) turned against Kurds in northern Iraq....and thus delivered a coup de grace upon 15 years of failed US 'foreign policy' in that country.

And the 'most effective fighters against the Daesh' - turned on their heels and fled, as soon as they were not supported by US and allied air power...

Oh man, what a surprise.
Not that the Kurds have not found themselves in this position before. Long ago (probably 1974-1975) it was the withdrawal of Imperial Iranian artillery support for their conflict with the Iraqis that led to their defeat.

From this armchair and with limited reading could the Iraqi use of the CTS (a multi-ethnic formation historically) have helped limit the willingness to fight? Plus the use of the Federal Police.

Whatever the Kurd's claim to Kirkuk wasn't there always doubt that the Peshmerga would fight outside it's traditional mountainous area?
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Old 10-17-2017   #327
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Kurds split politically led to collapse in Kirkuk. They could've fought but would've lost to govt forces.
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Old 10-17-2017   #328
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Political ramifications of what happened in Kirkuk. Here's a link to the article.
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Old 10-17-2017   #329
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Default From Hudson Institute's Samuel Tadros

Via Twitter: https://twitter.com/Samueltadros/sta...72827647303680

A few thoughts on developments in Kurdistan this week:

  • 1. Collapse of Peshmerga took many by surprise. It shouldnt. Yes Kurds claim Kirkuk as their Jerusalem
  • But Kirkuk and other disputed territories remain deeply divided and contested among various ethnic and religious groups
  • It matters if you are fighting to defend your home or not. It's the same story as with the “Iraqi army” defending Mosul in 2014
  • Simply put: tribal troops don’t fight well outside their tribal areas, which brings me to the second point

  • 2. The performance of the Peshmerga & Kurds in general since 03 has blinded many to the weakness of modernity & strength of tribal identity
  • Same blindness is evident when scholars approach Egypt. Blinded by the superficial modernity, they think Egypt is different from region.
  • They assume it is a modern state and that sub-national identities don't matter dismissing tribal and family frameworks
  • I am happy to repeat this a million times until it gets through. The region, all of it, is just Tribes with Flags.
  • In Kurds case, they arent even one tribe. Not disputing Kurdish nationalism. If someone identifies as a Kurd, who am I to tell him otherwise
  • But Kurdistan is a deeply divided society even beyond KDP/PUK divide. You can’t build a state with 10 different militias.
  • Just as intra Arab fights were more powerful than fight with Israel, intra Kurdish fights more important than Kurd vs. Arab

  • 3. People have assumed that the Kurds have learned from history. They have. They built a better place than rest of Iraq after 2003
  • There was some attempt at nation building, investment in education, but internal divides that plagued Kurdish history still same.
  • It's easy to dismiss this as x betrayed y, or cast blame on one of the militia leaders, but this is beyond individual choices

  • 4. Kurds & especially KDP have miserably failed to read DC. It's remarkable how this happened despite contacts with official & unofficial DC
  • Yes, many in the US appreciate the role Kurds have played, but that is not a policy, its feelings.
  • The US is committed by its very nature to existing states in the region. It's a long discussion why this is the case, but its not surprising

  • 5. The time to get a deal was in 2014 when the US was most desperate. Assuming that the US will appreciate anti ISIS role is meaningless
  • I am reminded of a story about Sadat expecting Kissinger to reward him for kicking out Soviet advisers.
  • Kissinger's reaction was why should I reward him for something he did for free. Had he offered it before he would have gotten a deal.

  • 6. Kurdish actions in the disputed territories hardly encouraged non-Kurds to throw their lot with them
  • attempts to control Christian and Yazidi villages, appoint new mayors and leaders reminded everyone of historical examples

  • 7. The "Iraqi government" may think it has won, and it certainly did this round, but the sight of Kurds fleeing tells you all you need
  • The idea of an Iraq was never a serious one & nothing that happened this week strengthens that idea

  • 8. Assyrians that I know are divided. Half are cheering & half crying. I don't blame them. I wouldn't want to be in their shoes.
  • But Assyrians thinking Shia militias are their savior will get bugged by reality soon, just as those who thought Kurdish militias were
  • In both cases, the small minorities have made same mistake as Kurds: failed to cut a deal when the time was right & expect to be rewarded
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Old 10-18-2017   #330
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Kurds have basically fallen back to their pre-ISIS 2014 borders. Here's link to article.
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Old 10-18-2017   #331
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Originally Posted by JWing View Post
Kurds have basically fallen back to their pre-ISIS 2014 borders. Here's link to article.
Yes, JWing, I was going to ask that. Is it possible that the Iraqi Security Forces will stop at the pre-2014 lines of control, which placed Kirkuk squarely in federal territory?

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Old 10-20-2017   #332
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They just tried to move up to the 2003 border around Irbil leading to heavy fighting with Peshmerga today.
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Old 10-20-2017   #333
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Iraq continues to witnesses lowest violence levels in years. Here's a link to the article.
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Old 10-20-2017   #334
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Article on fighting along Kirkuk-Irbil border between Iraqi forces and Peshmerga http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2017/1...101628079.html

Last edited by JWing; 10-20-2017 at 04:47 PM.
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Old 10-21-2017   #335
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First off we need to stop closing these threads, the history of these issues as they evolve are important. Kirkuk was a flash point in 2003 when we first went in, and has remained a flashpoint. The Kurds waited until they thought they had a position of advantage to claim it as sovereign ground. I have mixed feelings on the issue, I know Turkey (a NATO ally sort of), Iran, Syria, and Iraq are all opposed to an independent Kurdistan, and Kirkuk is essential to an independent Kurdistan's economic viability. However, with opposition on all sides to a landlocked country, how can they hope to survive if over flight into and out of is denied, and land lines of communication are closely monitored and controlled?

http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/...-lurch-9319720

US strategy sees Raqa fall but leaves Kurds in lurch


Quote:
The power shift shows that, while US leadership has kept a coalition together long enough to defeat the militants, the region's political future is far from secure.

And experts warn that Washington's bitter foe Iran is poised to take advantage while US friends like the Iraqi Kurds retreat under pressure from Baghdad and Ankara.
Much like the other results of our war with Iraq, there is nothing unfolding now that was not predicted by regional experts. The only surprise is it took this long to happen. While many of us wish the Kurds the best, those who know the Kurds also know they're divided, and a number of outside actors, Iran being one of them, will leverage these tensions to pursue their ends.
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Old 10-23-2017   #336
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Default Who has what in Iraq & Syria

From the NYT series of graphics on the rise and fall of ISIS, a map showing the position October 2015 to October 2017.


There are other graphics. Link:https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/...and-back.html?

From the BBC a map showing who has what; from IHS Conflict Monitor:
Link (part of a wider article):http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-41679377
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Old 10-23-2017   #337
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Just put together this collaborative piece on the Kirkuk crisis. Here's a link to the piece.
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Old 10-24-2017   #338
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Default Iraq’s security dilemma and the intractable problem of the PMF

A different commentary via Open Democracy, two authors one an academic and the other a US Army officer - both @ Queens University Belfast.

Link:https://www.opendemocracy.net/north-africa-west-asia/beverley-milton-edwards-alexander-brammer/iraq-security-mosul-coalition-US-PMF?
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Old 10-24-2017   #339
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Security report for 3rd wk of Oct in Iraq. Still witnessing record lows in violence. Here's a link.
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Old 10-24-2017   #340
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This article is relevant to the discussion.

http://smallwarsjournal.com/blog/are...-overseas-role

Areas Freed From Islamic State Will Test U.S. Policy On Limiting Overseas Role

Quote:
Losing the Syrian Kurds as allies may be inevitable: Supremely pragmatic, they have never completely cut ties with Assad and Russia.

“The Americans were useful to them, but they were not in dreamland, thinking that the Americans were ever anything more than occasional, useful partners,” said Paul Salem, senior vice president for analysis and research at the Middle East Institute.
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