Iraq Sitrep August 9, 2014

The situation regarding Mosul Dam is very confused. For days, there have been reports that it was in the hands of ISIS, however, there were also reports saying that the Peshmerga had taken it but that they were surrounded by ISIS and things looked grim. The latest report that I heard is that the ISIS flag is flying over the dam, whatever that means.
US jets bombed targets near the towns of Gwer and Mahmour which had just been taken by ISIS. These towns are between Mosul and Irbil. There are many Christian villages in this area. Things look very grim here too.
The US attitude here is unequivocal – they do not want to Irbil to fall, and Irbil could conceivably fall very soon.
There are 36 US advisors and diplomatic personnel in Irbil. The advisors are Special Forces types. They are assisting the Peshmerga with command and control and intelligence targeting. The situation is now very grim for these Americans.
There are 800 US troops in Iraq right now. Pentagon sources say that the time has come to “move them out.” What this means apparently is that these US forces are going to be moving to the peshmerga front lines to fight for Irbil.
Obama had said that he would attack ISIS is they get too close to Irbil via Mosul, and that is what he has done.
The US also dropped a lot of humanitarian supplies on Sinjar Mountain where 200,000 Yezidis may be trapped. Supplies were significant. US forces said, “We need to get them out of there,” so they may be planning to somehow airlift these Yezidis off the mountain to Irbil.
Yezidis fought hard in defense of their towns but were poorly armed. The Peshmerga were completely outgunned in defending all of these towns lately. Retreats were tactical, to retreat back to Irbil and get more supplies. The Iraqi government now helping Kurds with airstrikes.
The Peshmerga are really no better or an army than any other army in Iraq including Maliki’s. It should be little surprise that they are folding as fast as Maliki’s. Peshmerga are poorly armed, and ISIS has lots of looted US, Iraqi Army and Syrian Army weapons looted from depots. The US has not been aiding or supplying Kurds with arms since 2008 due to a policy change to support Maliki instead. Arms to Kurds were seen as strengthening them in favor of secession.
However, secession is probably a foregone conclusion anyway, and even Iran and Turkey are warm to an independent Kurdistan as long as Turkey and Iran are not included and it stays in Iraq. Reasons for the change are uncertain, but Turkey is doing a brisk trade in Kurdish oil these days, and Turkey is also buying a lot of oil from Iran with gold bars. So there are a lot of unusual alliances in that region.
The US has barred Kurdish oil exports from the US. A shipment of Kurdish oil is now held up in the US on these grounds. The reason given is that all Kurdish oil is officially Iraqi state oil; however, Maliki has screwed the Kurds about as bad as he screwed the Sunnis, completely shutting them out of Iraqi oil revenues he is supposed to divide up with them. The US is said to be rushing arms to the Kurds now. There is a new temporary marriage of convenience between Maliki, Kurds and anti-ISIS Sunnis. Let’s see how long it lasts.
1,500 Yezidi men were executed in front of their families in Sinjar on grounds of apostasy. Local Arabs cheered the entry of ISIS into Sinjar, and surrounding Arab villages helped pave the way and set up the groundwork for the ISIS attack, similar to what happened in Mosul earlier.
Many Yezidi women were sold into slavery and public slave auctions. Jihadis bought some as jihad brides, and others may have been purchased as slaves. Local Arabs cheered on the shootings, beheadings and crucifixions of Yezidis and possibly Christians in Sinjar and flocked en masse to the slave auctions where they cheered wildly. Local Arabs helped ISIS round up and persecute Yezidis whom they hate and regard as devil worshipers deserving of death or enslavement.
The Yezidis have extremely complex religion but do not worship the Devil of the Abrahamic religions. In fact there is no Evil God in Yezidism. There is in fact a Devil, or the Devil, but he is a figure of pure good perhaps akin to Jesus Christ to Christians. This Yezidi Devil only does good things and represents pure good. He fights evil like Godheads of many religions. Some Yezidis say they are Muslims, and perhaps a case can be made that they are an extremely schismatic Shia branch.
Bottom line is after what went down in Sinjar today and seeing how the Yezidis witnessed their Arab neighbors cheering their murders and enslavement, I do not think that these Yezidis will ever want to live with Arabs again.
The Yezidis may move to the Kurdistan region to stay. The Kurds have mixed feelings about Yezidis, however they are regarded as Kurdish brothers. Many Kurds feel that the Yezidis were the original Kurds, and their religion is the original Kurdish religion (compare to Zoroastrianism in Iran).

Please follow and like us:
error3
fb-share-icon20
Tweet 20
fb-share-icon20

0 thoughts on “Iraq Sitrep August 9, 2014”

  1. People are so lucky to live in the 1st world. Imagine if you were born in a part of the world like that. Even a poor person in a developed country is royalty, simply cause they live in the 1st world.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.