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Tag Archive: Baghdad


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Crippled in Syria, Turkey goes for a ‘Sunnistan’ in Iraq

© Fatih Saribas
Turkey’s “incursion” into Iraq is a cold, calculated move. And once again, the name of the game is – what else? – Divide and Rule.

Turkey sent to Iraqi Kurdistan – which is part of the state of Iraq – no less than a 400-strong battalion supported by 25 M-60A3 tanks. Now the Turkish boots on the ground at Bashiqa camp, northeast of Mosul, have reportedly reached a total of around 600.

The short breakdown: this is not a “training camp”– as Ankara is spinning. It’s a full-blown, perhaps permanent, military base.

The dodgy deal was struck between the ultra-corrupt Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) and then-Turkish Foreign Minister Feridun Sinirlioglu in Erbil last month.

Torrents of Turkish spin swear this is only about “training” Peshmergas to fight ISIS/ISIL/Daesh.

Absolute nonsense. The crucial fact is that Ankara is terrified of the “4+1” alliance fighting Islamic State, which unites Iran, Iraqi Shiites and the Syrian Arab Army (SAA), as well as Hezbollah, with Russia.

In Syria, Ankara is virtually paralyzed, after the “stab in the back”downing of the Su-24; the Russian revelations of complicity between Turkey’s first family and stolen Syrian oil (Bilal Erdogan, a.k.a. Erdogan ‘Mini Me’denies everything); and the Russian Air Force relentless pounding of Turkey’s fifth column Turkmen. Not to mention the deployment of S-400s and even a third-generation submarine complete with Kalibr cruise missiles.

So Ankara now switches the attention to Iraq with a “counter-alliance”, made up of Turkey; the KRG (which – illegally – sells oil to Turkey); and Sunnis in northern Iraq under the supposed leadership of the sprawling Nuceyfi tribe in Mosul.

© Stringer

This is textbook neo-Ottomanism in action. We should never forget that for the AKP in power in Ankara, northern Syria and northern Iraq are nothing but former Ottoman Empire provinces, an eastward extension of Turkey’s Hatay province. ‘Sultan’ Erdogan’s (unstated) wet dream is to annex the whole lot.

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Pepe Escobar
Pepe Escobar is an independent geopolitical analyst. He writes for RT, Sputnik and TomDispatch, and is a frequent contributor to websites and radio and TV shows ranging from the US to East Asia. He is the former roving correspondent for Asia Times Online. Born in Brazil, he’s been a foreign correspondent since 1985, and has lived in London, Paris, Milan, Los Angeles, Washington, Bangkok and Hong Kong. Even before 9/11 he specialized in covering the arc from the Middle East to Central and East Asia, with an emphasis on Big Power geopolitics and energy wars. He is the author of “Globalistan” (2007), “Red Zone Blues” (2007), “Obama does Globalistan” (2009) and “Empire of Chaos” (2014), all published by Nimble Books. His latest book is “2030”, also by Nimble Books, out in December 2015.
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Earth Watch Report  –  Environmental Pollution

du_rounds

US allegedly poisoned Iraqi village with lethal radioactive material - local official

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Environment Pollution Iraq Province of Missan, [Karima village area] Damage level Details

 

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RSOE EDIS

Environment Pollution in Iraq on Tuesday, 13 May, 2014 at 03:07 (03:07 AM) UTC.

Description
The official environmental authority in the Iraqi governorate of Missan, which is located 390 kilometres away from Baghdad, has announced the discovery of dangerous radioactive contamination that is attributed to the 2003 US-led war on Iraq. The director of the general authority for the environment in Missan, Samir Kadim, told the New Arab news website that the authority’s specialised staff found radioactive material, mainly in military equipment and the skeletons of cars, in a small village south of Missan known as Karima. Kadim explained that the ministry’s authority is cautiously entering the three areas where radioactive material was discovered and is taking strict procedures to remove it. The village witnessed one of the fiercest battles between the former Iraqi army and the US-led coalition forces in 2003. “Unfortunately, we have discovered it late, after a number of the village’s residents have been diagnosed with various diseases,” Kadim said.One of the village’s residents told the New Arab in a phone interview that: “Cancer has spread among us, in addition to birth defects among new-born babies and other diseases that doctors cannot explain.” “But it is only now that we have discovered the cause �” it is the US,” said 45-year-old Abboud Moussa. Moussa described how a number of Karima’s villagers, including children and his own mother, died as a result of this radioactive material. Doctors diagnosed his mother with skin cancer and bone disease, and they told him that she needed to receive medical treatment abroad, but she died very fast before she could travel. The village’s mayor Mahmoud Abtan told the New Arab that a routine visit to the village by officials from the Ministry of Environment encouraged the villagers to ask them to examine a number of areas that had a bad smell. “A number of animals grazing near those areas have died … people even thought that those areas were possessed. Then it turned out that they are not possessed at all, and our murderer is the US,” he said.According to Missan’s environment authority, Karima is the third place in the governorate where radioactive material has been discovered amid primitive treatment and an American refusal to take responsibility. Any US assistance in handling the radiation would be an acknowledgement of its use of internationally banned weapons in Iraq. Abdel Khalek Mahmoud, an environmental expert, told the New Arab that “radioactive contamination in Iraq is divided into two types: The first, which is rarely found in Iraq, is high-level radioactivity that can be discovered by electronic devices. The second is low-level radioactivity, which is more difficult to discover. It was caused by the waste of depleted uranium that was used by the US in its 2003 war on Iraq. This is abundantly found and it has caused a lot of lethal damage in the country.” “We have often said that the reason why thousands of Iraqi soldiers went missing is that their bodies burnt as a result of uranium-saturated bombs. But the country’s new leaders, who were empowered by the US, were not willing to bother the Americans,” Mahmoud added.

 

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US allegedly poisoned Iraqi village with lethal radioactive material – local official

US allegedly poisoned Iraqi village with lethal radioactive material - local official

© Photo: Voice of Russia/Michael Shepetkov

The official environmental authority in the Iraqi governorate of Missan, located 390 kilometers away from Baghdad, has discovered radioactive material attributed to the 2003 US-led invasion of Iraq, Global Research reports. The director of the general authority for the environment, Samir Kadim, explained that dangerous contamination was found in military equipment left at a small village south of Karima that saw severe fighting between the Iraqi army and the US-led coalition forces in 2003.

Kadim laments that the contamination was not discovered soon after the military operation ended. Since then several people have been diagnosed with various serious diseases, from cancer to birth defects. “Unfortunately, we have discovered it late, after a number of the village’s residents have been diagnosed with various diseases.”

Many need professional medical help only available abroad. Some succumbed to the disease without receiving any treatment.

Abboud Moussa told the New Arab: “Cancer has spread among us, in addition to birth defects among new-born babies and other diseases that doctors cannot explain.”

“But it is only now that we have discovered the cause – it is the US.”

Reportedly, this is the third case that radioactive material has been discovered in that area.

The village’s mayor Mahmoud Abtan told the New Arab that a routine visit to the village by officials from the Ministry of Environment encouraged the villagers to ask them to examine a number of areas that had a bad smell. “A number of animals grazing near those areas have died … people even thought that those areas were possessed. Then it turned out that they are not possessed at all, and our murderer is the US,” he said, as quoted by the Global Research.

Abdel Khalek Mahmoud, an environmental expert, told the New Arab that allegedly depleted uranium was used in Iraq by the US in 2003. “This is abundantly found and it has caused a lot of lethal damage in the country.”

 

 

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 nuclear-news

USA, UK, France will not admit the growing radioactive pollution of Iraq, due to depleted uranium weapons

du_roundsThe health effects are disputed by the US and UK governments, who joined with France and Israel to vote against a resolution calling for “a precautionary approach” to the use of DU weapons at the United Nations general assembly in December; 155 countries voted in favour of the resolution.

Iraq’s depleted uranium clean-up to cost $30m as contamination spreads  guardian.co.uk,  6 March 2013 Report says toxic waste is being spread by scrap metal dealers, and describes its ‘alarming’ use in civilian areas during Iraq wars Cleaning up more than 300 sites in Iraq still contaminated by depleted uranium (DU) weapons will cost at least $30m, according to a report by a Dutch peace group to be published on Thursday.

The report, which was funded by the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, warns that the contamination is being spread by poorly regulated scrap metal dealers, including children. It also documents evidence that DU munitions were fired at light vehicles, buildings and other civilian infrastructure including the Iraqi Ministry of Planning in Baghdad – casting doubt on official assurances that only armoured vehicles were targeted. “The use of DU in populated areas is alarming,” it says, adding that many more contaminated sites are likely to be discovered.

More than 400 tonnes of DU ammunition are estimated to have been fired by jets and tanks in the two Iraq wars in 1991 and 2003, the vast majority by US forces. The UK government says that British forces fired less than three tonnes.

DU is a chemically toxic and radioactive heavy metal produced as wasteby the nuclear power industry. It is used in weapons because it is an extremely hard material capable of piercing armour.

 

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breakingtheset breakingtheset·

Published on Jan 23, 2014

Abby Martin Breaks the Set on Al-Qaeda in Iraq, the Worst of Congress, Georgism, a Police Abuse Round Up, and Snowden’s Q&A.
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EPISODE BREAKDOWN: On this episode of Breaking the Set, Abby Martin remarks on fears by Iraqi officials that the al-Qaeda offshoot known as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant could be gaining enough strength to attack Baghdad. Abby then calls out 6 of the most corrupt and least popular members of congress, going over some of the conflicts of interests and blatant hypocrisy that have come to characterize the 113th Congress. Abby then speaks with Scott Baker, president of Common Ground NYC about the Georgism Philosophy, and how the elimination of all taxes except a land use tax could be applied and sustained. Abby then calls attention to three recent cases of police abuse in the US, including an instance where an officer ruptured a young man’s testicle. BTS wraps up the show with an interview with David Seaman, journalist and host of the David Seaman Hour, going over Edward Snowden’s recent live online Q&A in response to Obama’s speech on the most controversial aspects of the NSA’s global spying apparatus.

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FILE: Protesters throw stones at Iraqi security forces during an anti-government demonstration in Falluja, Iraq, January 25, 2013.
FILE: Protesters throw stones at Iraqi security forces during an anti-government demonstration in Falluja, Iraq, January 25, 2013.

Reports Saturday say the Iraqi government has lost control of Fallujah to al-Qaida militants after days of fighting.

A senior security official told the French news agency that Fallujah is under the control of ISIS – a reference to the al-Qaida-linked group, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria.

Witnesses says there are no signs of government forces inside the Anbar province city, which is only 60 kilometers west of Baghdad.

On Friday, al-Qaida militants raised their flag over government buildings in Fallujah and declared an independent Islamic state.

Witnesses said the militants cut power lines in the city late Friday and ordered residents not to use backup generators.

A local journalist who asked for anonymity out of fear of retribution told The Washington Post that police and other government-aligned forces had abandoned the city and that al-Qaida had burned all Iraqi national flags.

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IBoxTV

Uploaded on Nov 12, 2010

How a stray dog’s deed in Iraq landed him a new home in Indio, Ca.

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Many Pets share a  special bond with there family,but this one is extra  special.  After Scar, a stray wandering the  streets of Iraq, saves Peter Pero from harm, the soldier  returns the favor.

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IRAQ WARS


by Staff Writers
Baghdad (AFP) July 05, 2013


92-year-old Iraqi weds woman seven decades junior
Samarra, Iraq (AFP) July 05, 2013 – A 92-year-old Iraqi farmer married a woman 70 years his junior in a village north of Baghdad, he said Friday, voicing happiness at getting hitched alongside two teenage grandchildren who also tied the knot.
Musali Mohammed al-Mujamaie married 22-year-old Muna Mukhlif al-Juburi on Thursday evening, three years after the death of his first wife of 58 years, with whom he raised 16 children in his home village of Gubban, which lies just south of the central Iraqi city of Samarra.

“I am so happy to get married with my grandsons,” Mujamaie told AFP after the ceremony.

“I feel like a 20-year-old!”

Mujamaie said the marriage of his two grandsons, aged 16 and 17, was repeatedly delayed while his own wedding was being arranged, so that the three could tie the knot on the same day.

The wedding carried on for four hours, with musical and dance performances and celebratory gunfire, and was attended by local tribal and religious leaders.

 

A bombing against a Shiite hall in Baghdad killed 15 people Friday, among several attacks to strike Iraq with unrest at its worst since 2008 amid fears of a revival of all-out conflict.

Nationwide violence left 23 dead and dozens more wounded as bombings struck town squares and a husseiniyah, or Shiite religious hall, as the country grapples with a political deadlock and months-long protests by its Sunni Arab minority.

Analysts and diplomats worry that the standoff, which is often linked to levels of violence, is unlikely to be resolved at least until general elections due next year.

No group has claimed responsibility for the wave of attacks in Iraq in recent months, but Sunni militants linked to Al-Qaeda frequently target the country’s Shiite majority, whom they regard as apostates.

Friday’s deadliest attack struck the Husseiniyah Ali Basha in the Graiat area of north Baghdad, with a car bomb exploding near the Shiite religious hall at around 8:00 pm (1700 GMT).

At least 15 people were killed and 32 others were wounded, a police colonel and a medical source said.

The area, which runs adjacent to the Tigris river, is frequented by Baghdad residents, particularly on Thursday and Friday evenings, who visit its multitude of restaurants serving Iraq’s most famous delicacy — masgoof, or flame-grilled carp.

 

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Iraq oil croppedAn U.S. Army soldier stands guard near a burning oil well in the Rumaylah Oil Fields in Southern Iraq April 2, 2003. | ARLO K. ABRAHAMSON/U.S. Navy News


By Sean Cockerham | McClatchy Newspapers

WASHINGTON — Ten years after the United States invaded and occupied Iraq, the country’s oil industry is poised to boom and make the troubled nation the No.2 oil exporter in the world. But the nation that’s moving to take advantage of Iraq’s riches isn’t the United States. It’s China.

America, with its own homegrown energy bonanza, isn’t going after the petroleum that lies beneath Iraq’s sands nearly as aggressively as is China, a country hungry to fuel its rise as an economic power.

Iraq remains highly unstable in terms of security, infrastructure and politics. Chinese state-owned oil companies appear more willing to put up with that than Americans are.

“The Chinese have a higher tolerance for risk,” said Gal Luft, a co-director of the Institute for the Analysis of Global Security, a Washington research center focused on energy.

The International Energy Agency expects China to become the main customer for Iraq’s vast oil reserves. Fatih Birol, the agency’s chief economist, recently declared “a new trade axis is being formed between Baghdad and Beijing.” Birol said that about 80 percent of Iraq’s future oil exports were expected to go to Asia, mainly to China.

Iraq’s potential for oil production is huge. The International Energy Agency predicts that Iraqi production will more than double in the next eight years and that the country will be by far the largest contributor to growth in the global oil supply over the next two decades. By the 2030s, the agency expects Iraq to become the second largest global oil exporter, overtaking Russia.

 

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China Will Soon Be Drilling A Third Of Iraq’s Oil

Rob Wile

iraq, oil fields

Muhanna Fala’ah / Getty

 

Ten years after the invasion of Baghdad, major American oil companies are staying away from investing in Iraq’s oil resources, McClatchy’s Sean Cockerham reports.

Instead, many of Iraq’s newest oil fields are now controlled by Chinese.

Iraq possesses the second-largest oil deposit in the world, in the West Qurna region. Forbes says the country could easily become the second-largest oil producer in the world after Saudi Arabia.

Only Exxon and Occidental have active stakes in Iraqi oil fields. The reason for America’s relative absence, Cockerham writes, is that the country is still too unstable.

 

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By ADAM SCHRECK | Associated Press

BAGHDAD (AP) — Iraq’s prime minister met with the head of Exxon Mobil on Monday to discuss the firm’s plans in the country, raising the possibility that Baghdad could be mending its dispute with America’s largest oil company.

Exxon is helping to develop one of Iraq’s largest oil fields, but it has infuriated Baghdad by signing separate deals with the OPEC member’s largely autonomous Kurdish region to hunt for crude there too.

Baghdad and the Kurds have been at loggerheads for years over rights to develop Iraq’s vast oil wealth, but tensions have been on the rise in recent months. The Kurds, who have their own armed forces, have signed dozens of deals with foreign oil companies since the 2003 U.S.-led invasion.

Recently, the Kurds began trucking oil pumped from their self-rule region into neighboring Turkey, prompting allegations of smuggling and threats of lawsuits from Baghdad. Iraq’s central government does not recognize the Kurdish agreements, which offer more generous terms than its own. It believes it should manage the country’s oil policy and wants all exports to travel through state-run pipelines.

Iraq announced the meeting between Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and Exxon Chairman and CEO Rex Tillerson in a brief statement following the talks in Baghdad. It offered few specifics, saying that the men discussed the company’s activities and working conditions in Iraq.

Tillerson said Exxon was eager to continue and expand its work in Iraq and “will take important decisions in this regard,” according to the statement.

 

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A customer changes U.S. dollars to Iraqi dinars at a money changer in Baghdad, Oct. 1, 2012. (photo by REUTERS/Saad Shalash)

Iraqi activists and journalists have tried to exert pressure on the authorities in Baghdad to release Mudher Mohammed Saleh, deputy governor of the Central Bank of Iraq (CBI) after he was arrested on charges of embezzlement of public funds.

About This Article

Summary :

The deputy governor of Iraq’s central bank has been arrested on allegations of embezzlement, a move some speculate is an attempt by the government to expand its control of the financial body, writes Omar al-Shaher.

Original Title:
Iraqi Government Asserts Control Over Central Bank
Author: Omar al-Shaher
Translated on: January 21 2013
Translated by: Joelle El-Khoury

Categories : Originals Iraq  

Saleh, who has a PhD in economics from an American university, has been detained for over a month and a half at a police station in central Baghdad. The 65-year-old professor of economics at the University of Baghdad voluntarily turned himself in to Iraqi authorities after an arrest warrant was issued against him.

Saleh is seen as a person of rare value to the Iraqi economy, having contributed to the development of a monetary policy that brought about stability to the Iraqi currency market. He wrote dozens of economic studies on how to develop cash management and activate banks, which the CBI website continues to publish.

Economists in Iraq say that Saleh’s experience has contributed to ensuring the stability of Iraq’s monetary policy, despite ongoing political and security turmoil in the country. For instance, the Iraqi dinar has maintained a fixed exchange rate for years after the CBI directly intervened in the currency market through an auction offering the U.S. dollar at subsidized prices.

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Earth Watch Report  –  Flooding

Heavy rains in Baghdad leave 4 dead

Image Source

27.12.2012 Flash Flood Iraq Capital City, Baghdad Damage level
Details

Flash Flood in Iraq on Thursday, 27 December, 2012 at 03:42 (03:42 AM) UTC.

Description
The worst rains to hit Baghdad in 30 years left four people dead and many of the Iraqi capital’s residents struggling to cope with heavy flooding on Wednesday as the government declared a national holiday. Patients reported long and difficult journeys to hospitals, shopkeepers complained of a lack of business and several roads were immersed in water, in some cases as much as waist-high. In the predominantly-Shiite northeastern district of Sadr City, the area surrounding Fatima al-Zahra hospital was completely flooded, and patients said trips that normally took 15 minutes had taken them as long as two hours. “They told me I need to go and get an ultrasound from outside the hospital, but we do not know where to go, we are afraid the roads will be flooded and we will not be able to come back,” said a woman who identified herself only as Umm Laith, or mother of Laith.

The 38-year-old said her sister-in-law, who was nine months pregnant, took two hours to reach the hospital earlier on Wednesday. A medic who spoke on condition of anonymity said four family members — two men and two women — were killed and another woman injured when their house in the northeastern outskirts collapsed Tuesday night due to the heavy rainfall. The Iraqi Meteorological Organization reported on Wednesday that 6.75 centimeters (2.56 inches) of rain fell in Baghdad a day earlier, which its chief said was the highest such figure in 30 years. The heavy rain spurred the government to declare Wednesday a national holiday, the fourth time this year it has been forced to do so because of bad weather. The other three were due to heat during Iraq’s boiling summer. The rain also affected shopkeepers who saw dramatically lower sales as a result of the flooding. “I did not do any work since the morning because of the flood,” said Mohammed, a 35-year-old working in a furniture repair shop in Sadr City. He said his house in a nearby neighborhood and the surrounding area were flooded, and complained that he failed to even earn the $8-$12 a day he usually makes.