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Iraq: A Month In Review
Comprehensive Information on Complex Crises June 2012
INSIDE THIS ISSUE Iraq Map of Attacks Economic Development Governance & Rule of Law Humanitarian Affairs Security Socio-cultural Development ABOUT THE CFC
The Civil-Military Fusion Centre (CFC) is an information and knowledge management organisation focused on improving civil-military interaction, facilitating information sharing and enhancing situational awareness through the CimicWeb portal and our weekly and monthly publications. CFC products link to and are based on open-source information from a wide variety of organisations, research centres and media sources. However, the CFC does not endorse and cannot necessarily guarantee the accuracy or objectivity of these sources.
This document provides an overview of developments in Iraq for the month of June 2012, with hyperlinks to source material highlighted 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 Mediterranean Basin Team, or visit our website at www.cimicweb.org.
Attacks in IRAQ –June 2012
Weekly Security Update 06 June Weekly Security Update 13 June
CFC publications are independently produced by Desk Officers and do not reflect NATO policies or positions of any other organisation.
The CFC is part of NATO Allied Command Operations.
Weekly Security Update 20 June
Weekly Security Update 27 June
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For further information, contact: Linda Lavender, Team Leader firstname.lastname@example.org The Mediterranean Team email@example.com
Source: Iraq Business News
The above, is a weekly reporting by AKE of attacks occurring within Iraq. The map is organised by province. An attack constitutes a bombing, shooting, rocket/mortar attack, kidnap or stabbing .
loomberg reports that Iraq’s crude production rose to its highest level in 20 years, with total output exceeding 3.07 million barrels per day (bpd) this month. OPEC oil exports have benefitted from the extra levels of oil being produced by Iraq and Saudi Arabia even as Iranian supplies continue to decline, according to Reuters. With Iraq’s increase in oil production and reduced levels of violence, as compared to the levels of violence during the civil war, the economy looks to be on the rebound, according to USA Today. The Iraqi government hopes to expand production capability to 10 million bpd within six years. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) forecasts that the Iraqi economy will grow by 11.1% in 2012 to approximately USD 144 billion. Foreign investment is up by 40% from 2011, according to experts. In a move largely understood as an effort to control Kurdish oil production, Iraqi Prime Minister al Maliki sought President Obama’s support in a letter that maintained that ExxonMobil’s actions in the Kurdish region could have “dire consequences” for the country’s stability if allowed to move forward, reports The Peninsula. In December 2011, ExxonMobil signed an exploration agreement directly with Kurdish officials, a move considered illegal by the Iraqi central government in Baghdad. Meanwhile, Kurdistan says it would sign more deals with major oil companies to raise its output five-fold. Also, Turkey signalled it was prepared to import oil directly from Kurdistan in defiance of Baghdad and recent discussions between Turkish and Kurdish authorities to build oil pipelines from Kurdistan directly into Turkey is evidence of Turkey’s intention to deal directly with northern Iraq for its energy needs. On 11 June, the Norwegian oil company DNO International announced that it had discovered oil at Peshkabir-1 well in Kurdistan, according to United Press International (UPI). Both DNO and its Turkish partner, Genel Energy, announced a goal of directly exporting 100,000 bpd from the Tawke field in Kurdistan by the end of the year but controversy surrounds these plans as the central Iraqi government views any agreements made with Kurdistan as illegal. Arabian Business reports that Emirates Airlines will launch passenger service to Erbil, in the semi-autonomous region of Kurdistan. Service will initially run four times each week until 01 September when the airline will offer daily flights to the region’s capital. Qatar Airways has also expanded passenger service to Iraq, according to Iraq Business News. The Doha-based airline has announced that will now provide service to both Baghdad and Erbil with flights four times each week.
Governance & Rule of Law
Al Hashemi Trial Kurd Net reported that the trial of Sunni Vice President Tariq al Hashemi resumed 19 June with al Hashemi in absentia. The trial has ignited debate over the impartiality and effectiveness of Iraq’s judiciary, with his supporters criticising the Iraqi courts as politicised while others defend the courts’ conduct. Hashemi, who fled Iraq after charges that he had run a death squad from 2005 to 2007, has maintained his innocence claiming that the charges against him are politically motivated. Meanwhile, Agence France-Presse (AFP) reported that the court heard testimony that silencers for guns were found in raids on his house and that of his son-in-law.
Governance UPI reports that since the withdrawal of US troops from Iraq in December 2011, concerns over Prime Minister Maliki’s growing power have created a crisis within the country. Surprisingly, even fellow Shit’ites are saying that Maliki, who controls all Iraq’s military, security and intelligence forces, should leave office. In the aftermath of a spate of bombings in June, neighbouring Iran is concerned that Maliki’s internal opposition may have gained enough strength to unseat the prime minister which could result in more sectarian bloodshed. Even one time supporter, Sadrist leader Moqtada al-Sadr, called on Maliki to resign “for the sake of the Iraqi people and the political partners”, according to Asharq-e. As calls for a vote of no confidence increased throughout the early days of June, Kuwait News Agency (KUNA) reported that the Iraqi prime minister claimed that some members of parliament were being blackmailed to withdraw their confidence from his government. Maliki indicated that the collecting of signatures of members of parliament (MPs) outside of parliament and forwarding the lists to President Jalal Talabani in efforts to initiate a no confidence motion was “unconstitutional and illegal”. However, by 10 June it was clear that opposition to Maliki would not be able to muster the support necessary for a no confidence vote, according to Gulf News. Talabani indicated that parliamentary groups had not gained a sufficient number of signatories having only received 160 of the 163 signatures necessary for a no confidence motion. Later in the month, speaker of Iraq’s parliament Osama al Najaifi, a leader in the Sunni-dominated Iraqiya political coalition, reiterated that lawmakers were prepared to oust Prime Minister Maliki if he continued to be unwilling to “share authority with his political oppo-
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June 2012 Page 2
nents”, reports Gulf Today. On 22 June, Najaifi indicated that Maliki would be summoned before parliament within days for questioning and stated that he thought Maliki “should step down from the job that he barely won” after national elections in 2010 failed to produce a clear victor. Middle East Online reported that on 27 June Maliki called for early elections amidst his growing unpopularity. Although calling for early elections, it is unclear how and when they will be held, reports AFP. The mandate of Iraq’s Independent High Electoral Commission, which is responsible for holding elections, is set to expire July 2012 with no named replacement. On 08 June, the Iraqi justice ministry announced that Abed Hamid Hmoud, Saddam Hussein’s personal secretary, was executed by hanging, according to Reuters. Hmoud, a distant cousin of the deposed dictator, was executed for persecuting members of the Shi’ite opposition and other religious parties banned under Hussein. The last execution of a former regime official took place in January 2010 when “Chemical Ali”, was also hanged. Hussein’s long-term foreign minister, Tariq Aziz, was sentenced to death in 2010 and is still awaiting execution. Iraq’s Hezbollah Secretary said in an interview on 09 June that the people of Iraq should be allowed to vote for a country governed by Sharia law, or to continue with the “fake” democracy that is currently in place, reports al Arabiya. Wathiq al Battat stated, “[w]e have yet to see a successful system governing Iraq”, further saying that only an Islamic government, which is based on Sharia and includes both Sunnis and Shiites could successfully lead Iraq. International Relations The European Union Integrated Rule of Law Mission in Iraq (EUJUST LEX-Iraq) steadily continues to improve the lives of Iraqis in a post-violence context, according to News Europe. The mission is making headway in educating and training Iraqi judges, police officers and prison governors in good governance practices. On 07 June, Iraq Business News reports the appointment of Michael Aron as the United Kingdom’s Ambassador to Iraq. Aron assumes his post immediately. The Wall Street Journal reports that the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) is preparing to halve its presence from “wartime levels” in Iraq. The move is largely a result of Iraq’s desire to have a smaller US presence in the country. Kurdistan Gulf Today reports that election authorities in Iraq’s autonomous Kurdish region indefinitely postponed provincial polls scheduled for September 2012 because of laws that restrict minority voting rights. Iraq’s Independent High Electoral Commission (IHEC) said Kurdish regional laws only allowed Christians to vote for candidates from their religious community, thereby restricting their human rights. “They [the Kurdish government] postponed the elections indefinitely and, after reaching an agreement over the law of provincial councils, they will announce a new date”, IHEC chief Faraj Al Haidari said at a news conference in Erbil.
ccording to Kuwait News Agency (KUNA), the Iraqi government has extended the UN Assistance Mission in Iraq (UNAMI) for another year. UNAMI is tasked with coordinating UN efforts in Iraq in addition to supporting relations between Iraq and Kuwait and Iraq’s response to relevant UN resolutions.
A United Nations envoy to Iraq expressed concern that violence could erupt again if the relocation of People’s Mojahedeen of Iran (MeK) exiles does not continue to move forward after the arrival of a fifth group to the transition camp had stalled progress. The first group of exiles moved to Camp Liberty on 18 February and the UN said that two-thirds of the Iranian exiles have been moved to a temporary transit location near Baghdad known as Camp Hurriya, formerly known as Camp Liberty, where a process to determine refugee status is being carried out by the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). UNAMI staff monitor the human rights and humanitarian situation during the relocation process and provide round-the-clock human rights monitoring at Camp Hurriya.
ssociated Press (AP) reports that six months after the withdrawal of US troops from Iraq, the country is mired in violence with the government on the verge of collapsing. There is growing talk among experts that Iraq is a “failed state” as al Qaeda in Iraq besieged the country with daily attacks killing over 234 people in June 2012. Although the level of violence does not constitute a civil war, many are concerned that Iraq “could limp along for years as an unstable and dangerous country”. The Institute for War and Peace Reporting (IWPR) reports that politicians from across the ethnic and religious spectrum in the country agree that the recent wave of attacks targeting Shi’ites was deliberate, intended to reignite sectarian violence.
Iraqi cleric Moqtada al Sadr claims his supporters are not involved in the Syrian unrest but indicated that some “splinter” groups may be involved in Syrian violence. The cleric vowed to punish any of his supporters who prove to be involved in the continued violence in Syria. On 06 June, 20 individuals, including five Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) privates, were detained on bribery charges in Turkey’s Şırnak’s Silopi district during a police operation at the Habur checkpoint on the Iraqi border, according to Today’s Zaman. Teams from the Silopi Police Department’s Anti-smuggling and Organized Crime Department conducted the operation. Two of the detained privates had recently completed their compulsory military service, police sources said. Officials report that sabotage has damaged the Bai Hassan oil field pipeline on 09 June, according to Pan Armenian. The same pipeline was damaged by an attack in April 2012 and oil flow was temporarily halted in order to make repairs. This most recent attack is reported to have caused “major damage” to a pipeline that is linked to the main pipeline system that transports oil from Kirkuk to the Turkish port of Ceyhan. Agence France-Presse (AFP) reported on 01 June, a roadside bomb in the outskirts Baghdad’s southwest left one person dead and at least three wounded, according to an Interior Ministry official. Gunmen shot a police colonel dead in the Shaab neighbourhood of north Baghdad while he was leaving work, security and medical officials said. Also, in the former rebel stronghold of Fallujah, gunmen killed an Iraqi army intelligence captain in the centre of the city. On 04 June, a suicide bomber detonated a car bomb outside Iraq’s main religious affairs office for Shi’ite Muslims, according to AP. At least 23 people were killed in the attack. Gulf Today reported that prison riots erupted on 05 June at two Baghdad prisons when prisoners loyal to cleric Moqtada al Sadr resisted government transfer orders. On the same day, a bomb detonated near a mosque in eastern Baghdad wounding eight people, while in a separate incident two mortar rounds landed near the Interior Ministry building but caused no damage or injuries. Also, Australian Associated Press (AAP) reported five Iraqis were killed and eight others injured in two separate attacks in the city of Mosul, approximately 400 km north of Baghdad on 05 June. On 08 June Gulf Today reported that attacks in central Iraq left seven dead. Shi’ite Muslim pilgrims were targeted on 10 June in Baghdad when two mortars killed six and wounded 38 others, according to Reuters. The 10 June attack occurred in Baghdad’s Quraish Square where pilgrims gathered ahead of a religious festival to mark the anniversary of the death of mediaeval Shi’ite imam Moussa al-Kadhim. AP reported on 13 June that coordinated car bombs in four Iraqi cities killed over 70 Shi’ite pilgrims while wounding dozens more. No group claimed responsibility for the attacks; however, Iraqi officials indicated the attacks bore the signs of Sunni insurgents. On the final day of the Shi’ite pilgrimage, AP reported that 26 pilgrims were killed by multiple bombings. The intensity of bombings led experts to believe that al Qaeda was seeking to exploit sectarian tensions in Iraq. On 18 June, a suicide bomber killed 22 people in an attack on Shi’ite mourners in Baquba, according to AFP. Gunmen killed three policemen near a school in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul on 20 June, according to AFP. Meanwhile, on the same day a car bomb targeting a local judge who oversees terror cases killed two and injured 15 others in downtown Kirkuk, reports AP. Hours later, a second bomb damaged an electricity line between Kirkuk and Hawija. After Kurdish Workers’ Party (PKK) rebels recently attacked and killed Turkish soldiers, Turkish forces retaliated targeting Kurdish rebel locations inside the Iraqi border, according to AP. The 20 June raid used Turkish warplanes and attack helicopters. Kurdish rebels continue to use northern Iraq as a base of operations in their 28-year-old fight for autonomy from Turkey. Reuters reported that at least 13 people were killed and more than 100 injured, including children, when two roadside bombs detonated in a crowded Baghdad market on 22 June. In southern Baghdad, a car bomb killed eight people and wounded 32 others on 25 June while on the same day a roadside bomb north of the capital city killed four people and wounded seven others, according to AFP. Nine young soccer players and fans were killed in a bomb explosion near soccer fields in southern Iraq on 26 June according to Reuters. On the same day ABC News reported a bombing in the Sunni-dominated area in the northern city of Baquba that killed five people near a pet shop. Two house bombings in the Baghdad area on 27 June killed 11 people, according to United Press International (UPI). A series of bombings across Iraq killed 13 and wounded 50 more on 29 June, according to AFP. Finally, AFP reports on 30 June four police, two soldiers and five civilians were killed in bombings and shootings across the country.
n 22 June, over 44 media outlets, including BBC and Voice of America, were ordered closed by the Communications and Media Commission (CMC) in the country, reports MSNBC. Other privately owned TV channels Shariqiya and Baghdadia were also shut down. According to the article, the closure of media outlets was due to licenses and compliance issues and not related to the coverage of sectarian violence. Days later, the Associated Press reported that officials suspended the closures instead opting to set deadlines to pay outstanding fees and renew lapsed licenses after activists strongly reacted to the closures viewing them as censorship and infringing on the freedom of the press. Agence France-Presse (AFP) reports that Iraq has halted cooperation with the United States on archeological exploration in the country pending the return of Iraq’s Jewish archives. The archives were removed from Iraq after the 2003 US-led invasion and have been a point of contention between the two countries. The archives were found in the flooded basement of the Iraqi intelligence
June 2012 Page 4
headquarters in 2003, and included Torah scrolls, Jewish law and children’s books, Arabic-language documents produced for Iraqi Jews and government reports about the Iraqi Jewish community. The Iraqi Ministry of Culture states that “millions of documents including the Jewish archives were transferred to the United States” and Iraq will “use all means” necessary to pursue their return. Iraq requires a number of specialists to excavate numerous mass graves thought to contain at least half a million unidentified victims, according to AFP. The sheer size and location of the graves, often co-located with landmines and unexploded ordanances, means the excavations could take decades. The project requires a highly skilled work force, which Iraq lacks, according to the article. To facilitate the excavation, the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) launched an initiative to train individuals in forensic sciences. Johnathan McCaskill, the head of Iraq programmes for ICMP, states that there are at least 270 different mass graves throughout the country. The Iraqi Organisation for Rehabilitating Society and Environment and the International Action Network on Small Arms (IANSA) held several discussions with university students, teachers and youth groups to discuss gun violence and the dangers of small arms proliferation in Iraqi communities. Those attending the meetings expressed their support for small arms legislation in the country in order to address gun violence. A New York Times article explored the issue of arranged marriages in Iraq. Young women forced into marriages often view suicide as a viable means of escaping what they deem intolerable situations. Officials are alarmed by a worsening epidemic of suicides, particularly among young women tormented by being forced to marry too young, to someone they do not love. Last year, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) conducted a study on the growing suicide problem in the region where access to mental health services is limited and concluded that “the marginalization of women and the view of the woman’s role as peripheral contributed to the recent suicides”. Another recent report by a local health center concluded, “[t]he way to solve this is to put an end to forced marriages”. Efforts are underway in New York and Iraq to create a rowing club in the semi-autonomous region of Kurdistan, according to the Wall Street Journal. However, Haeidr Nawzad Hamarasheid placed 8th in the single scull competition at the Asian Olympic Qualification Regatta in South Korea and failed to secure a position in the London Games. Kurdistan AFP reports that Kurdistan has crowned the first-ever Miss Kurdistan 2012. Contestants in the pageant performed dances with traditional Kurdish music. The contest took place without a bikini competition and journalists with cameras were carefully monitored to ensure discreet photography. Eighteen-year-old Shene Aziz Ako from Sulaimaniyah was the winner and will now have a year-long schedule working for a cause of her choosing.
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