ISIS


69 Iraqi Civilians Killled in December

A total of 69 Iraqi civilians (not including police) were killed and another 142 injured in acts of terrorism, violence and armed conflict in Iraq in December 2017*, according to casualty figures recorded by the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI). (This compares with 63 civilians killed and 140 injured in November.)

Baghdad was the worst affected Governorate, with 122 civilian casualties (24 killed, 98 injured). Salahaddin Governorate followed, with 7 killed and 25 injured; and Kirkuk saw 15 killed and 6 injured. UNAMI has not been able to obtain the civilian casualty figures from the Anbar Health Department for the month of December.

“Casualty figures for the month of December 2017 have remained at a similar level to November, which is disappointing,” said the Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General (SRSG) for Iraq, Mr. Ján Kubiš. “I very much hope that, as we move in the new year, these figures will fall rapidly as much-needed peace and stability return to Iraq.”

Overall, in 2017 UNAMI recorded 3298 civilians killed and 4781 civilians wounded – excluding Anbar civilian casualty figures for November and December, which are not available.

*CAVEATS: UNAMI has been limited in effectively verifying casualties in certain areas; in some cases, UNAMI could only partially verify certain incidents. For these reasons, the figures reported have to be considered as the absolute minimum.

(Source: United Nations News Centre)

Military Strikes Continue Against ISIS Terrorists

U.S. and coalition military forces continued to attack the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria between Dec. 18 and yesterday, conducting 11 strikes consisting of 21 engagements, Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve officials reported today.

Officials reported details of the most recent strikes, noting that assessments of results are based on initial reports.

Strikes in Syria

Yesterday near Abu Kamal in Syria, coalition military forces conducted a strike engaging an ISIS tactical unit and destroying an ISIS vehicle and an ISIS staging area.

On Dec. 20 near Abu Kamal in Syria, coalition military forces conducted three strikes consisting of 13 engagements against an ISIS tactical unit, destroying two ISIS indirect-fire weapons, two explosive hazards, two maneuver elements and an ISIS headquarters command-and-control center.

On Dec. 19 near Abu Kamal in Syria, coalition military forces conducted three strikes consisting of three engagements against an ISIS tactical unit, damaging an ISIS supply route and a command-and-control center.

On Dec. 18 near Abu Kamal in Syria, coalition military forces conducted two strikes consisting of two engagements against an ISIS tactical unit, destroying a heavy weapon.

Strikes in Iraq

There were no reported strikes conducted in Iraq on Dec. 21, 2017.

On Dec. 19 near Qaim in Iraq, coalition military forces conducted a strike that destroyed an ISIS tunnel.

On Dec. 18 near Baaj in Iraq, coalition military forces conducted a strike consisting of an engagement against an ISIS tactical unit.

Part of Operation Inherent Resolve

These strikes were conducted as part of Operation Inherent Resolve, the operation to destroy ISIS in Iraq and Syria. The destruction of ISIS targets in Iraq and Syria also further limits the group’s ability to project terror and conduct external operations throughout the region and the rest of the world, task force officials said.

The list above contains all strikes conducted by fighter, attack, bomber, rotary-wing or remotely piloted aircraft; rocket-propelled artillery; and some ground-based tactical artillery when fired on planned targets, officials noted.

Ground-based artillery fired in counterfire or in fire support to maneuver roles is not classified as a strike, they added. A strike, as defined by the coalition, refers to one or more kinetic engagements that occur in roughly the same geographic location to produce a single or cumulative effect.

For example, task force officials explained, a single aircraft delivering a single weapon against a lone ISIS vehicle is one strike, but so is multiple aircraft delivering dozens of weapons against a group of ISIS-held buildings and weapon systems in a compound, having the cumulative effect of making that facility harder or impossible to use. Strike assessments are based on initial reports and may be refined, officials said.

The task force does not report the number or type of aircraft employed in a strike, the number of munitions dropped in each strike, or the number of individual munition impact points against a target.

(Source: US Dept of Defense)

Details of Latest Strikes Against ISIS in Syria, Iraq

U.S. and coalition military forces continued to attack the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria between Dec. 11-14, conducting 42 strikes consisting of 53 engagements, Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve officials reported today.

Officials reported details of the most recent strikes, noting that assessments of results are based on initial reports.

Strikes in Syria

Yesterday in Syria, coalition military forces conducted 10 strikes consisting of 13 engagements against ISIS targets:

  • Near Abu Kamal, nine strikes engaged six ISIS tactical units and destroyed six ISIS vehicles and a fighting position.
  • Near Tanf, a strike destroyed a weapons cache and two ISIS caves.

On Dec. 13, coalition military forces conducted 14 strikes consisting of 17 engagements against ISIS targets:

  • Near Abu Kamal, nine strikes engaged nine ISIS tactical units and destroyed three ISIS vehicles and an ISIS headquarters.
  • Near Tanf, five strikes engaged three ISIS tactical units and destroyed three ISIS vehicles, four cave entrances and a tactical vehicle.

On Dec. 12,, coalition military forces conducted seven strikes consisting of seven engagements against ISIS targets near Abu Kamal. The strikes engaged seven ISIS tactical units and destroyed two ISIS vehicles and a heavy weapon.

On Dec. 11, coalition military forces conducted six strikes consisting of seven engagements against ISIS targets near Abu Kamal. The strikes engaged five ISiS tactical units and destroyed three ISIS heavy weapons.

Strikes in Iraq

There were no reported strikes in Iraq yesterday.

On Dec. 13 in Iraq, coalition military forces conducted two strikes consisting of two engagements against ISIS targets:

  • Near Rutbah, a strike engaged an ISIS tactical unit and destroyed an ISIS vehicle.
  • Near Tuz, a strike engaged an ISIS tactical unit and destroyed two ISIS tents and a bunker.

On Dec. 12, coalition military forces conducted two strikes consisting of two engagements against ISIS targets:

  • Near Baghdadi, a strike engaged an ISIS tactical unit.
  • Near Rutbah, a strike destroyed two ISIS-held buildings.

On Dec. 11, coalition military forces conducted a strike consisting of five engagements against ISIS targets near Hawija. The strike engaged an ISiS tactical unit and destroyed two ISIS meeting facilities.

Part of Operation Inherent Resolve

These strikes were conducted as part of Operation Inherent Resolve, the operation to destroy ISIS in Iraq and Syria. The destruction of ISIS targets in Iraq and Syria also further limits the group’s ability to project terror and conduct external operations throughout the region and the rest of the world, task force officials said.

The list above contains all strikes conducted by fighter, attack, bomber, rotary-wing or remotely piloted aircraft; rocket-propelled artillery; and some ground-based tactical artillery when fired on planned targets, officials noted.

Ground-based artillery fired in counterfire or in fire support to maneuver roles is not classified as a strike, they added. A strike, as defined by the coalition, refers to one or more kinetic engagements that occur in roughly the same geographic location to produce a single or cumulative effect.

For example, task force officials explained, a single aircraft delivering a single weapon against a lone ISIS vehicle is one strike, but so is multiple aircraft delivering dozens of weapons against a group of ISIS-held buildings and weapon systems in a compound, having the cumulative effect of making that facility harder or impossible to use. Strike assessments are based on initial reports and may be refined, officials said.

The task force does not report the number or type of aircraft employed in a strike, the number of munitions dropped in each strike, or the number of individual munition impact points against a target.

(Source: US Dept of Defense)

The Islamic State Group Lives On – in Iraq’s Deserts

This article was originally published by Niqash. Any opinions expressed are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News.

Anbar’s western desert is a hiding place for the Islamic State group, locals say. And they fear the extremists will be back as soon as an opportunity presents itself.

Last week the Iraqi government declared victory over the extremist group known as the Islamic State. But, according to locals and military personnel living in the Anbar province, that declaration was premature.

“I have seen no genuine indications that this province is rid of the Islamic State group,” says Ayad al-Nimrawi, a 43-year-old who runs a restaurant in the Kilo area, about 160 kilometres along the road between Baghdad and the Syrian-Jordanian border. “I still see commercial trucks accompanied by security details when they come along here. Even the security forces cannot travel down here alone, they require extra protection.”

“I will only feel that we have won the final victory when I see life returning to this road as it was before the Islamic State came. We used to travel here at night without any fear of armed groups but today this international road is almost completely closed. As soon as dusk falls, this road is a death trap.”

The victory celebrations were not about the complete eradication of the IS group, rather they were meant to be a signal about the end of military operations, suggests Tariq Yusef al-Asal, a police chief and one of the leaders of Anbar’s tribal militias fighting the Islamic State. “We have the right to be proud of the victories achieved by our security forces in the fighting that’s gone on over three years,” he told NIQASH. “We have sovereignty over our land again.”

However, he adds, “it would be stupid to say that Iraq is now completely clean of extremist groups like the Islamic State. There are still sleeper cells and incubators inside and outside our cities.”

“No country – not even European nations – can claim they are completely clean of Islamic State members,” he continued. “Those sleeper cells will keep the organisation alive and sustain it. These groups make good use of any security vacuum in any country to try and achieve their aims.”

Inherent Resolve Strikes Target ISIS in Syria, Iraq

U.S. and coalition military forces continued to attack the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria over the last three days, conducting 14 strikes consisting of 27 engagements, Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve officials reported yesterday.

Officials reported details of the most recent strikes, noting that assessments of results are based on initial reports.

Strikes in Syria

On Dec. 8 in Syria, coalition military forces conducted two strikes consisting of three engagements against ISIS targets near Abu Kamal. The strikes engaged an ISIS tactical unit and destroyed a tactical vehicle and a fighting position.

On Dec. 9 in Syria, coalition military forces conducted three strikes consisting of five engagements against ISIS targets:

  • Near Abu Kamal, two strikes engaged two ISIS tactical units and destroyed an ISIS vehicle and an ISIS line of communication.
  • Near Shadaddi, a strike engaged an ISIS mortar team.

On Dec. 10 in Syria, coalition military forces conducted eight strikes consisting of 13 engagements against ISIS targets near Abu Kamal. The strikes engaged eight ISIS tactical units and destroyed two fighting positions, a mortar system, a tactical vehicle and an ISIS headquarters.

Strike in Iraq

On Dec. 9 in Iraq, coalition military forces conducted a strike consisting of six engagements against ISIS targets near Tuz. The strike engaged an ISIS tactical unit and destroyed an ISIS truck.

Part of Operation Inherent Resolve

These strikes were conducted as part of Operation Inherent Resolve, the operation to destroy ISIS in Iraq and Syria. The destruction of ISIS targets in Iraq and Syria also further limits the group’s ability to project terror and conduct external operations throughout the region and the rest of the world, task force officials said.

The list above contains all strikes conducted by fighter, attack, bomber, rotary-wing or remotely piloted aircraft; rocket-propelled artillery; and some ground-based tactical artillery when fired on planned targets, officials noted.

Ground-based artillery fired in counterfire or in fire support to maneuver roles is not classified as a strike, they added. A strike, as defined by the coalition, refers to one or more kinetic engagements that occur in roughly the same geographic location to produce a single or cumulative effect.

For example, task force officials explained, a single aircraft delivering a single weapon against a lone ISIS vehicle is one strike, but so is multiple aircraft delivering dozens of weapons against a group of ISIS-held buildings and weapon systems in a compound, having the cumulative effect of making that facility harder or impossible to use. Strike assessments are based on initial reports and may be refined, officials said.

The task force does not report the number or type of aircraft employed in a strike, the number of munitions dropped in each strike, or the number of individual munition impact points against a target.

(Source: US Dept of Defense)

PM announces Defeat of Daesh

By John Lee.

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi has declared “the ending of entire clearance of the Aljazeera in Nineveh and Anbar completely, and we have full control along the Iraqi-Syrian … Border.

Al-Abadi has said that the victories were achieved by unity and determination. “The enemy wanted to destroy our country and civilization and we have countered and defeated it.

The Special Representative of the Secretary-General (SRSG) for Iraq, Mr. Ján Kubiš, congratulated Iraq on the complete liberation of all of its territory from the Daesh terrorists:

“On this day, we remember all those who paid the ultimate price. Our thoughts are with the families of the martyrs and fighters from all around the country that stepped forward to save their country, and with the millions who have been displaced and are eagerly waiting to return to their homes to rebuild their lives.”

(Sources: Office of the Iraqi Prime Minister, UN)

PM announces Defeat of Daesh

By John Lee.

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi has declared “the ending of entire clearance of the Aljazeera in Nineveh and Anbar completely, and we have full control along the Iraqi-Syrian … Border.

Al-Abadi has said that the victories were achieved by unity and determination. “The enemy wanted to destroy our country and civilization and we have countered and defeated it.

The Special Representative of the Secretary-General (SRSG) for Iraq, Mr. Ján Kubiš, congratulated Iraq on the complete liberation of all of its territory from the Daesh terrorists:

“On this day, we remember all those who paid the ultimate price. Our thoughts are with the families of the martyrs and fighters from all around the country that stepped forward to save their country, and with the millions who have been displaced and are eagerly waiting to return to their homes to rebuild their lives.”

(Sources: Office of the Iraqi Prime Minister, UN)

Video: Has ISIL been Defeated in Iraq?

From Al Jazeera. Any opinions expressed are those of the authors, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News.

In 2014, ISIL announced it was taking over nearly all of Iraq and Syria.

But three years later and billions lost, Iraq’s Prime Minister Haider Al Abadi says his military has defeated the armed group.

It’s been a long road to get to this point. The battle for Mosul alone took months. Almost a million people had to flee, and thousands left behind were killed.

More than eight thousand homes were reportedly destroyed. And that was just one of several Iraqi cities once controlled by ISIL.

What does this mean for Iraq’s future?

Presenter:

  • Sami Zeidan

Guests:

  • Ali Al Dabbagh – Former Spokesman for the Iraqi Government
  • Tallha Abdulrazaq – Researcher at the University of Exeter’s Strategy and Security Institute
  • Ahmed Rushdi – Adviser to the Speaker of the Iraqi Parliament

Video: Has ISIL been Defeated in Iraq?

From Al Jazeera. Any opinions expressed are those of the authors, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News.

In 2014, ISIL announced it was taking over nearly all of Iraq and Syria.

But three years later and billions lost, Iraq’s Prime Minister Haider Al Abadi says his military has defeated the armed group.

It’s been a long road to get to this point. The battle for Mosul alone took months. Almost a million people had to flee, and thousands left behind were killed.

More than eight thousand homes were reportedly destroyed. And that was just one of several Iraqi cities once controlled by ISIL.

What does this mean for Iraq’s future?

Presenter:

  • Sami Zeidan

Guests:

  • Ali Al Dabbagh – Former Spokesman for the Iraqi Government
  • Tallha Abdulrazaq – Researcher at the University of Exeter’s Strategy and Security Institute
  • Ahmed Rushdi – Adviser to the Speaker of the Iraqi Parliament

In Anbar, Liquor Shops are an Unlikely New Sign of Hope

This article was originally published by Niqash. Any opinions expressed are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News.

Even before the extremists were in control in Anbar, selling alcohol was banned. During extremist control, selling liquor was punishable by death. But now liquor stores have become a sign of freedom.

These days as you head into Karmah, one of the smaller cities in the central Anbar province, you may notice a small store on the way into town.

It’s not a big shop but its doors are wide open and it is selling alcohol. It is an unusual sight in this province, where conservative traditions and religious customs prevent the open sale and consumption of alcohol. But things have changed since the extremist group known as the Islamic State was in charge here.

“While we were displaced we lived in both Baghdad and in northern Iraq,” says Ahmad Abu Ali, a 44-year-old local; Karmah was part of the territory controlled by the extremist Islamic State, or IS, group and Abu Ali and his family fled their hometown. “And we used to see a lot of these shops there, close to where we lived. To us, it was an indication that these cities were safe and secure.”

“Although the drinking of alcohol is against our religion, the shop is a good sign. It is proof that the militants who once had such a big role in this city, and those who supported the militants, no longer play a part here,” Abu Ali explains. “Each person can practice their own religion. And when we saw this [the alcohol store] it gave us hope.”

Although Abu Ali doesn’t drink, his fellow townspeople who do are happy about the alcohol store for other, more obvious reasons.

“In the past we used to have to go to Baghdad to buy spirits,” Ibrahim Abdo, a 38-year-old local of Fallujah, told NIQASH. Abdo used to travel to the capital to buy enough alcohol to last a couple of weeks but he no longer has to do this. “We used to hide the bottles in the car so that the police and people at checkpoints wouldn’t harass us. They would destroy the drinks if they found them. Today I can just buy what I want even while the security forces are watching,” he says, somewhat incredulous.