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CFC Complex Coverage Review, 30 July 2013

CFC Complex Coverage Review, 30 July 2013

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Published by CFC Cimicweb
This document provides complex coverage of developments in regions of interest from 23 - 29 July 2013, with hyper-links to source material highlighted in blue and underlined in the text. For more information on the topics below or other issues pertaining to the region, please contact the members
of the CFC, or visit our website at www.cimicweb.org.
This document provides complex coverage of developments in regions of interest from 23 - 29 July 2013, with hyper-links to source material highlighted in blue and underlined in the text. For more information on the topics below or other issues pertaining to the region, please contact the members
of the CFC, or visit our website at www.cimicweb.org.

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Published by: CFC Cimicweb on Aug 05, 2013
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Complex Coverage
 
Review
 
CIVIL-MILITARY FUSION CENTRE
30 July 2013
Middle East 1North Africa 4Northeast Africa 6Horn of Africa 7IED & Demining 8The Civil-Military Fusion Centre(CFC) is an information and knowledge managementorganisation focused on improvingcivil-military interaction,facilitating information sharing and enhancing situational awarenessthrough the CimicWeb portal and our Weekly and monthlypublications.CFC products are based upon and link to open-source informationfrom a wide variety of organisations, research centres and media outlets. However, the CFCdoes not endorse and cannotnecessarily guarantee the accuracyor objectivity of these sources.
CFC publications areindependently produced by DeskOfficers and do not reflect NATOpolicies or positions of any otherorgansiation.
The CFC is part of NATO Allied Command Operations
.
For further information contact:complexcoverage@cimicweb.org 
 
INSIDE THIS ISSUEDISCLAIMER
 
CONTACT THE CFC
Middle East
Linda Lavender
Iraq
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-
moon said on 29 July, “Iraq is at another  
, adding, “[Iraq’s]
 political leaders have a clear responsibility to bring the country back from the brink, and to leave no
space to those who seek to exploit the political stalemate through violence and terror”, according to
 Australian Associated Press (AAP).
The UN Security Council called for 
and national unity” in Iraq
, reports
The Daily Star 
. The Council encouraged the government tocontinue strengthening democracy and the rule of law, improve security and public order and combatterrorism and sectarian violence across the country. In 2013, militants have killed more than 4,000 people in Iraq, inflicting more than 800 deaths in July, reports
 Reuters
.A day after  massive jail breaks at Abu Ghraib and Taji detention centres near Baghdad freed more than 500 inmates on 22 July, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant
1
claimed responsibility, reportsReuters. The al Qaeda affiliate said it had deployed suicide attackers, rockets and 12 car bombs in theattacks that killed 120 Iraqi guards and SWAT forces at the prisons. In the aftermath
, Shi’ite Prime
Minister Nouri al Maliki accused militias affiliated with his political rival cleric Moqtada al Sadr of 
complicity in the prison break. In televised comments Maliki said, “[g]uards who were inside the
  prison are connected to these militias, and it was they who colluded and it was they who opened the
doors”.
1
Al Qaeda in Iraq (AQI) is also known as Islamic State of Iraq (ISI) and the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant.
 
 
This document provides complex coverage of developments
in regions of interest from 23 - 29 July 2013
 , with hyper-links to source material highlighted in blue and underlined in the text. For more information on the topics below or other issues pertaining to the region, please contact the membersof the CFC, or visit our website at www.cimicweb.org.
 
2
30 July 2013Iraqi security forces are conducting extensive manhunts to recapture the escapees, amid concerns that the freed prisoners will soon be able to rejoin the ranks of the Islamic militants and carry out additional attacks in Iraq, reports
 France24
. International police agencyInterpol issued a security alert across the Middle East after the prison break, stating the organisation was working with Iraqi police tocollect photos and fingerprints of escapees to facilitate a worldwide hunt for the fugitives, reports
 Associated Press (AP).
Interpolcalled th
e incident “a major threat to global security”. Bruce Hoffman, director of the Center for Security Studies at Georgetown
University, asserts that Al Qaeda in Iraq (AQI) is now more worrisome than Al Qaeda in theArabian Peninsula (AQAP) as the organisation has been staging a comeback for months, according to National Public Radio (NPR).Baghdad has approached the United States with a USD 1.9 billion list of foreign-military items it seeks to purchase, according to
United Press International (UPI).
Among the requested items are nuclear, biological and chemical reconnaissance ground vehicles,helicopters and maintenance contracts. The US Defense Security Cooperation Agency, in its mandatory disclosure of the inquiry to
Congress, said the sales would “contribute to the foreign policy and national security of the United States by helping to imp
rove the
security of a strategic partner…[and] contribute to Iraq’s stability and sovereignty”.
 
 Numerous violent incidents were reported throughout the country this past week:
 
23-Jul-13: In  Nineveh province four kidnapped police officers, were discovered dead while gunmen killed a prison guard and  barber, according to
 Agence France-Presse (AFP).
Two Sahwa
2
fighters were killed in Kirkuk province along with a Kurdish peshmerga
3
. In Baquba, one person was killed in a bombing and two police officers were killed by gunmen at a checkpointnear Baiji.
 AFP 
reports that worshippers gathering in a Kirkuk mosque were bombed, killing seven people and wounding 31 others.
 
24-Jul-13: Attacks by insurgents left seventeen deadacross Iraq,reports
 AP 
. In Mosul, attackers stormed a policeheadquarters killing nine officers and wounding two others. An ambulance responding to the emergency, hit a roadside bombwounding the driver and assistant. Also, in Kirkuk an army patrol was hit by a car bomb, killing an officer and an Iraqisoldier. Baghdad police discovered the bodies of three people riddled with bullets, and a bomb exploded in the northernneighbourhood of Qahira killing three people. Finally in the northern city of Tuz Kharmato, a bomb hidden on a motorisedcart exploded in a residential area injuring 35 people and damaging several houses.
 
25-Jul-13: In the northern town of Sulaiman Pek, authorities say thatgunmen killed 
fourteen Shi’ite truck drivers at
amakeshift roadblock on a frequently travelled highway, according to
 Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL).
Thekillings took place after clashes erupted in the town late in the evening of 24 July between militants and Iraqi security forces.Security officials say that the gunmen carried mortars and assault rifles. Also, a bombtargeting diners at a café in Muqdadiyah killed sixteen people and wounded twenty others, reports
 AP 
.
 
28-Jul-13: A car bomb killed eight Kurdish peshmerga and injured nine others in Tuz Kharmato, according to
 AFP 
. Theethnically mixed town is located in a notoriously unstable region over which Baghdad and the Kurdish Regional Governmentclaim jurisdiction, reports
 Reuters
. In central Baghdad, a bomb attached to a minibus killed three people and wounded nine others, reports
 AP 
. Another pre-dawn bomb went off near a Baghdad teahouse, killing a civilian.
 
29-Jul-13:Eleven car bombs targ
eted nine different areas of Baghdad, seven of them Shi’ite majority neighbourhoods,
reports
 AAP 
. Also, two car bombs detonated in Kut, two more in Samawa, and one bombing in Basra. Bombings elsewherein Iraq killed six police officers. In total, 57 civilians and 10 militants were killed.Kurds from Iran, Iraq, Syria and Turkey convened in Erbil to discuss plans for a pan-Kurdish congress that would attempt toovercome historical divisions and position Kurds to take full advantage of regional upheaval, reports
 Reuters
. A date has yet to be setfor the congress but some participants said it could be held as early as August 2013. Iraqi Kurdish leader Massoud Barzani sai
d, “[o]ur main goal in holding this congress is for all Kurdish political factions to reach a shared strategy and voice”.
 Violence is negatively impacting the Iraqi economy as insecurity fostersreluctant consumers and forces costly changes in daily  business operations, reports
 AP 
. One Sunni truck driver explained that while he has been hauling goods from neighbouring countries
to Baghdad in recent years, he no longer travels to the capital after Shi’ite militias threatened to “cut his legs off” if he
returned.Earlier this week,
fourteen Shi’ite truck drive
rs, and their crews, were executed at a fabricated checkpoint by militants along ahighway in a predominately Sunni northern region of the country.
 Reuters
reports that a bomb attack on the Kirkuk-Ceyhan oil pipeline halted oil flows on 28 July near the city of Mosul; repairs would take upwards of 72-hours to complete.
Lebanon
situation in Lebanon has all but “severed communication” among the country’s parties and politicians, reports
The Daily Star.
Shared concerns over Lebanon, and the region, has Riyadh and Tehran finalising arrangements for meetings to take place prior to a scheduled visit of Russian President Vladimir Putin in early August. Putin will attend the 04 August inauguration of IranianPresident-elect Hassan Rouhani along with Lebanese President Michel Sleiman. Of primary concern, is the potential security vacuumcreated in Lebanon if the mandate of Army commander General Jean Kahwagi is not extended.
2
Sahwa fighters are Sunni anti-Qaeda fighters who were pivotal in turning the tide of sectarian violence during the height of violence 2005
 – 
2007.
 
3
Peshmerga are armed Kurdish fighters.
 
 
3
30 July 2013For the third time this month, Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri  postponed a 29 July legislative session as a result of a continued  boycott of Parliament by members of both the March 8 and March 14 coalitions, reports
The Daily Star 
. Berri called for the legislativesession to consider and approve 45 draft laws including a process that would extend Lebanese Army Commander General Jean
Kahwagi’s term of service.
 
Following the European Union’s (EU) decision to place the militant arm of Hezbollah on its terrorist list, the EU stressed
that Lebanonwould not be impacted in terms of EU aid or the peacekeeping mission, reports
UPI 
. The new EU designation comes after  months of lobbying  by the UK and Netherlands, reports
Voice of America (VOA).
Lebanese officials warned the EU that the action would be
unhelpful to interim Prime Minister Tamman Salam’s efforts to form a new c
abinet, expressing
concern that Hezbollah’s terrorist
designation could stoke additional sectarian tensions.Stiffer security checks at the border crossing with Syria have resulted in the inability of some Syrian refugees to seek shelter inLebanon, according to
The Daily Star 
. The new measures come at a time when Lebanon struggles to accommodate the massive
refugee crisis. Lebanon’s foreign minister said that Lebanon is home to 1.2 million Syrian refugees.
 AP 
reports that many Lebaneseregard Syrian refugees with suspicion and are worried that the refugees, mostly Sunni Muslims, will remain in Lebanon after the civil
war thereby upsetting Lebanon’s delicate sectarian balance. On 26 July, an 
arrest warrant was issued for a Syrian man attempting to join Jahbat al Nusra (JAN), the Syrian al Qaeda affiliated jihadist organisation, in Lebanon, reports
The Daily Star 
. Officials say thesuspect was placed under surveillance after his arrival in Lebanon from Cairo. Recent concerns have escalated over the presence of JAN in Lebanon. Earlier in July, authorities detained and charged six JAN-
affiliated men with forming an “armed gang” intending to
carry out terrorist acts in the country.
 Numerous violent incidents were reported throughout the country this past week:
25-Jul-13: Two people were injured when a  backhoe hit  buried hand grenades during excavations in Tripoli, reports
The Daily Star 
.26-Jul-13: In the Bekaa Valley, an Arsal man was kidnapped  by a group of gunmen in Bazalieh on the road linking Baalbek-Hermel, according to
The Daily Star 
. Security sources indicated the abduction could be linked to the killing of four Shi’ites from Labweh and
Ras Baalbek. Supporters of fugitive Salafist Sheikh Ahmad Assir staged a sit-in on 26 July vowing to remain committed 
to Assir’s principles and “path of change”, according to
 NOW 
. Protesters demanded the release of detained suspects in the deadly June incidentin Abra when clashes between the Army and Assir gunmen left over a dozen soldiers and 28 gunmen dead.
Syria
At least a quarter  of the Syrian population has been driven from their homes since the onset of violence, according to
The Guardian
.Almost two million people have fled the country, while an estimated four million Syrians are internally displaced within the country.So overwhelming is the flow of refugees in the region, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) António Guterres has warned the agency may be forced to ask Western countries, including the US and UK, to host tens of thousands of refugees. Theconflict has reduced the wheat harvest to its worst level in nearly thirty years, according to
 Reuters
. Local traders estimate that theharvest could be as low as 1.5 million tonnes which is less than half of pre-conflict levels and well below forecasts. The Assadgovernment, increasingly short of hard currency, will be challenged to make up the shortfall through wheat imports. Humanitarianrelief officials warned on 23 July of a potential crisis in southern Syria where rising violence in the south continued to strandthousands of would-be refugees along the Jordanian border, reports
The Washington Post 
. According to
 AFP 
, an estimated 600,000Syrians were unable to receive aid in July as spiralling violence prevented World Food Programme (WFP) convoys from reaching conflict-affected regions such as Damascus and Homs.The Syrian National Coalition welcomed the EU decision on 22 July to
 military wing and suggested to theinternational body that Hezbollah leadership should be put on trial for their role in the Syrian conflict, reports
 AFP 
. The opposition
describes Hezbollah’s involvement in Syria as going “against the aspirations for freedom and dignity of the Syrian people”. I
ran
condemned the EU’s decision saying the move was “contrary to all political and legal norms, surprising and unacceptable”, according
to
VOA
. James Fallon, a Middle East analyst at Control Risks, told
 Reuters
, “the EU has made a distinction where no formaldistinction exists” between the military and political wings of Hezbollah, adding, “the impact of the ban, which includes an
,will depend on how it is enforced”.
Also, for the first time,Syrian rebel leaders met with the UN Security Council to discuss
the status of the country’s two year civil war, according to
 BBC 
. Rebel leaders indicated they were prepared to participate in peacetalks if the Assad regime agreed to political transition, and further appealed to Russia to halt weapons transfers to the Syriangovernment. UN peace envoy to Syria Lakhdar Brahimi indicated he was moving forward with a planned peace conference aimed at ending violence in Syria, altho
ugh no firm date for the “Geneva 2” conference has been set, reports
 AFP 
. Initially set for May 2013,the conference has been beset with disagreements between the US and Russia over whether Iran should attend talks, while a dividedopposition has pushed the conference off with best estimates now targeting September.A top UN official says the international organisation has been notified of  thirteen alleged chemical weapons attacks in Syria, reports
 RFE/RL
. To date, the UN Chemical Weapons Investigative team has been denied access to Syria over disagreements with the Syrian

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