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
. 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).
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
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).
fighters were killed in Kirkuk province along with a Kurdish peshmerga
. In Baquba, one person was killed in a bombing and two police officers were killed by gunmen at a checkpointnear Baiji.
reports that worshippers gathering in a Kirkuk mosque were bombed, killing seven people and wounding 31
24-Jul-13: Attacks by insurgents left seventeen deadacross Iraq,reports
. 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
28-Jul-13: A car bomb killed eight Kurdish peshmerga and injured nine others in Tuz Kharmato, according to
. Theethnically mixed town is located in a notoriously unstable region over which Baghdad and the Kurdish Regional Governmentclaim jurisdiction, reports
. In central Baghdad, a bomb attached to a minibus killed three people and wounded nine
. Another pre-dawn bomb went off near a Baghdad teahouse, killing a civilian.
eted nine different areas of Baghdad, seven of them Shi’ite majority neighbourhoods,
. 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
. 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
. 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.
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.
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.
Sahwa fighters are Sunni anti-Qaeda fighters who were pivotal in turning the tide of sectarian violence during the height of violence 2005