UAH is secular, intellectual and non-aligned politically, culturally or religiously email discussion group.

{UAH} Fwd: TNA: Iraq Report: Human rights ignored as IS battle drags on

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: The New Arab <>
Date: Thu, 8 Jun 2017 15:52:48 +0000
Subject: TNA: Iraq Report: Human rights ignored as IS battle drags on

As the Iran-backed but Iraq-sanctioned Shia militias under the
umbrella of the Popular Mobilisation Forces continue to clear areas
along the Iraqi-Syrian border, two of Iraq's biggest political players
have stepped up their efforts to court them – and by extension Iran -
before local elections are due this year.

Iran's dominance of Iraq's political and security scene shows how its
role as kingmaker has only been enhanced in recent months.

Areas of Iraq are seemingly being left to the Islamic State group by
PMF militants who are keen on achieving extraterritorial military aims
in Syria at Iran's behest. The drive to fight in Syria and for Iraq's
top job has also brought Iraqi human rights abuses back to the fore,
as international human rights organisations expose extra-judicial
executions, while refugees from IS violence continue to face arbitrary
detention in Iraqi Kurdistan.


One week later, IS still undefeated in Mosul

Although the Iraqi authorities have claimed that the battle of Mosul
would ** end within a week
, and Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi reportedly ordered preparations
for celebrations, their self-imposed deadline has now expired, with IS
still firmly entrenched in Mosul's labyrinthine Old City.

This is now the fourth deadline that has passed, in what has now
become a recurring pattern of either Abadi or military officials
promising to defeat IS by a certain time, only to fail.

Abadi had originally promised to recapture Mosul by New Year's Day,
and when he failed to do so, Lieutenant-General Talib Shaghati said
that Mosul would be taken by mid-April at the latest. When this also
failed to materialise, Iraqi Chief of Staff Lieutenant-General Othman
al-Ghanmi said, on 30 April, that the operation would end "in a
maximum of three weeks". Now that the "one week" deadline has also
passed, it is likely to cause some embarrassment in Baghdad.
** Read More (http://https//[UNIQID])

Fears of sectarian cleansing

As the battle for Mosul rages, the Shia-dominated PMF - known as the
Hashd al-Sha'abi in Arabic - are the centre of attention in Iraqi news
this week, as they press ahead with their offensive to clear Iraq's
border areas with Syria.

The PMF managed to successfully ** retake
the al-Baaj district on Sunday, an area close to the Syrian border
south of Sinjar. PMF units had begun an operation in early May to
capture al-Baaj and Qayrawan, Qayrawan captured on 23 May. With the
capture of al-Baaj, the PMF will likely move further south and attempt
to retake al-Qaim, a town on the Iraqi-Syrian border in Iraq's
Sunni-dominated western Anbar governorate.

Once al-Qaim is secured, there is a possibility that the Iran-backed
fighters may cross the Syrian border to meet up with other Shia
fighters advancing towards al-Tanf in Syria, according to a **
statement ([UNIQID])
released on Monday by a PMF spokesman. An offensive into Syria would
help achieve the ** "Iranian dream"
of connecting its territories to the Mediterranean Sea, and which
Sunni Arab tribal leaders fear could lead to a ** sectarian cleansing
campaign in their territories.

Such an advance could upset regional actors, as well as international
powers such as the United States, which currently supports members of
the Free Syrian Army at al-Tanf. Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, a PMF
commander, was shown in a ** video
declaring that his men had reached the Syrian border and would
continue advancing "until Riyadh", the Saudi Arabian capital.
Al-Muhandis is blacklisted as a terrorist by the US.

Jockeying for power, ceding sovereignty

Rivalries within the ruling Shia Islamist Dawa Party are continuing to
provide further opportunity for Iranian influence to build. Although
both Vice-President Nouri al-Maliki and Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi
are from the pro-Tehran Dawa Party, they have been political rivals
since Abadi replaced Maliki as prime minister in 2014.

The vice-president is insisting that local elections go ahead this
September, while Abadi's camp is attempting to stall the vote until
the Independent High Electoral Commission - seen as being pro-Maliki -
can be changed.

Maliki has reportedly forged alliances with several factions within
the PMF seeking political office, and the electoral commission **
recently validated
the infamously sectarian Asaib Ahl al-Haq (AAH) militia's application
to form a party to contest the elections.
** Read More ([UNIQID])

Human rights continue to plummet

Following a ** series of scandals
related to abductions, rape and torture uncovered by The New Arab, Der
Spiegel and others last month, Human Rights Watch (HRW) said on Sunday
that it had documented extrajudicial executions committed by Iraqi
government forces in Mosul.

According to ** HRW
, a Sunni unit within the PMF was responsible for rounding up dozens
of suspects and killing them in cold blood before dumping them in the
Tigris River. HRW said that the sites of the executions - all of which
were in government-held territory - gave a worrying indication about
government culpability in war crimes or crimes against humanity.

Iraqi authorities have not yet released details about the number of
people being detained, investigated or charged, or even the results of
any investigations. HRW's report of prisoners being executed
corresponds with the apparent admission of extrajudicial executions by
former Iraqi national security adviser Saad al-Muttalibi during a
televised interview with TRT World, reported by ** The New Arab
last week.

Showing disaffection with the pro-Iran government, an Iraqi Shia **
hacktivist ([UNIQID])
was reported arrested by the National Security Service (NSS) last
Friday after he had hacked the intelligence agency's website.
Reportedly frustrated by the government's inability to provide
security and safety for all citizens, Hussein Mahdi left a message on
the NSS website, stating: "The National Security Service is neither
national nor secure, unfortunately it is corrupt and cronyistic."
** Read More ([UNIQID])
If you missed last week's report, you can catch it ** here
** Facebook ([UNIQID])
** Twitter ([UNIQID])
** Website ([UNIQID])
** Email (
Copyright © 2017 The New Arab, All rights reserved.
You are receiving this email because you signed up to stay up to date
with what's happening in the Middle East

Our mailing address is:
The New Arab
CP House
97 - 107 Uxbridge Road
London, W5 5TL
United Kingdom
Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can ** update your preferences
or ** unsubscribe from this list

Disclaimer:Everyone posting to this Forum bears the sole responsibility for any legal consequences of his or her postings, and hence statements and facts must be presented responsibly. Your continued membership signifies that you agree to this disclaimer and pledge to abide by our Rules and Guidelines.To unsubscribe from this group, send email to:

Sharing is Caring:



Post a Comment

Popular Posts

Blog Archive