Security


L-3 Wins Another Iraq Order

By John Lee.

L-3 Fuzing and Ordnance Systems Inc., of Cincinnati, Ohio, has been awarded a $16,487,744 contract W15QKN-17-C-0024 for production quantities of 77,114 M783 point detonating/delay fuzes, relating to Syria and Iraq.

Work will be performed in Cincinnati, Ohio, with an estimated completion date of Sept. 30, 2019.

(Source: US Dept of Defense)

Liberation From ISIS Underway in Iraqi Towns

Operations have begun to liberate western Anbar and Huwayjah, the last two areas in Iraq where the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria hold territory, said Army Col. Ryan Dillon, spokesman for Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve.

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi made the operations announcement to eradicate ISIS, Dillon said, speaking to Pentagon reporters via teleconference out of Baghdad, today.

“Already, the [Iraqi forces] have routed ISIS in Akashat, Rihanna, and just this morning they have cleared 11 villages, completing their first phase of operations in Huwayjah,” the spokesman said. “These operations are evidence, and showcase the [Iraqis’] increased capacity as a battle-tested, formidable fighting force.”

It is clear that ISIS terrorists are overwhelmed and outmatched by the strength of the [Iraqi forces], he said. “[ISIS] is losing ground, and is failing in every battle. Soon, ISIS will have no sanctuary anywhere in Iraq,” Dillon said.

The coordination among the Iraqi army, the federal police, peshmerga forces, local police, counterterrorism service, and popular and tribal mobilization forces has contributed to the victories seen recently against ISIS, the spokesman said. So far, he added, more than 4 million people have been liberated, and about 15,800 square miles have been cleared.

Raqqa Gains

In Syria, the Syrian Democratic Forces continue to eliminate ISIS in the eastern and northeastern regions of that country, Dillon said. In Raqqa, “The SDF have now cleared about 70 percent of the entire city,” he added.

The SDF gained about 84 city blocks in Raqqa from ISIS control in the past week, he said.

“In the past week, the SDF have assisted more than 200 civilians flee the city of Raqqa,” Dillon noted. “The SDF also detained ISIS fighters attempting blend in amongst civilians; one of which was another ISIS emir, or local leader.”

Textron Wins $30m Iraq Contract

Textron Aviation Defense LLC, Wichita, Kansas, has been awarded a $30,000,000 indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for Beechcraft King Air 350 maintenance training in support of the Iraqi Air Force.

Work will be performed at Martyr Mohammed Ali Air Base, Iraq, and is expected to be completed by Sept. 20, 2020.

This award is the result of a country-directed sole-source acquisition.

(Source: US Dept of Defense)

Video: Iraqi Kurdistan pushes ahead with Referendum

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

Iraq’s Kurdistan region is pushing ahead with an independence referendum next Monday despite pressure to call it off.

President Masoud Barzani remains defiant, but many Kurds are worried about the consequences of the vote.

Al Jazeera‘s Hoda Abdel Hamid reports:

UN Security Council Concerned over Kurdish Referendum

The United Nations Security Council today expressed concern over the “potentially destabilizing impact” of the Kurdistan Regional Government’s plans to unilaterally hold a referendum next week.

In a statement issued to the press, members of the Council noted that the planned referendum is scheduled to be held while operations to counter Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL/Da’esh) – in which Kurdish forces have played a critical role – are ongoing.

The referendum “could detract from efforts to ensure the safe, voluntary return of over three million refugees and internally displaced persons,” the 15-member body added.

Secretary-General António Guterres earlier this week voiced similar concerns about the timing of the vote in a statement issued by his Spokesman, which noted that all outstanding issues between the federal Government and the Kurdistan Regional Government should be resolved through structured dialogue and constructive compromise.

“The Secretary-General calls upon the leaders across Iraq to approach this matter with patience and restraint. The United Nations stands ready to support such efforts.”

(Source: United Nations News Centre)

U.S., Coalition Continue Strikes to Defeat ISIS in Syria, Iraq

U.S. and coalition military forces continued to attack the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria on Wednesday, conducting 23 strikes consisting of 41 engagements, Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve officials reported yesterday.

Officials reported details of yesterday’s strikes, noting that assessments of results are based on initial reports.

Strikes in Syria

In Syria, coalition military forces conducted 15 strikes consisting of 15 engagements against ISIS targets.

  • Near Abu Kamal, a strike engaged an ISIS tactical unit and destroyed a vehicle.
  • Near Raqqa, 14 strikes engaged two ISIS tactical units and destroyed seven fighting positions, a vehicle, two logistics nodes, a vehicle-borne improvised explosive device and a vehicle-borne-IED factory.

Strikes in Iraq

In Iraq, coalition military forces conducted eight strikes consisting of 26 engagements against ISIS targets:

  • Near Beiji, a strike destroyed a vehicle and a mortar system.
  • Near Huwayjah, two strikes engaged an ISIS tactical unit and destroyed a vehicle and a command-and-control node.
  • Near Rawah, five strikes engaged two ISIS tactical units and destroyed two vehicles, two tactical vehicles, two weapons caches, a command-and-control node, a mortar system, a heavy machine gun, a vehicle-borne IED, an ISIS bridge an ISIS staging area and an IED.

Additional Sept. 19 Strikes

Additionally, officials provided details today on 16 strikes consisting of 20 engagements conducted Sept. 19 in Syria and Iraq for which the information was not available in time for yesterday’s report:

  • Near Raqqa, 15 strikes engaged two ISIS tactical units, destroyed 17 vehicles and 13 fighting positions, and suppressed a fighting position.
  • Near Huwayjah, a strike destroyed five vehicle-borne IEDs and two vehicles and damaged two ISIS supply routes.

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)

What Int’l Media are Saying about Kurdish Independence

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.

Iraqi Kurdistan is in the spotlight and the international media are reporting on the upcoming independence referendum, far and wide. But a focus on international opposition, means that important context is often missing.

While recent front pages around the world have been reserved for earthquakes and hurricanes, the referendum on independence in Iraqi Kurdistan has never been too far behind. Mostly this has been due to widespread international concern about what the referendum will mean, and what kind of problems it could cause, either in the lead up to the event, or afterwards.

Perhaps the most interesting thing for Iraqis about international coverage of the independence referendum, scheduled for Sept. 25, is the sympathy with which the whole world appears to view the Kurdish people of Iraq.

Most reports freely acknowledge that the Kurdish are the world’s largest ethnic minority without their own state. Almost every writer details the trials and tribulations that Iraq’s Kurds have gone through and, in particular, what they suffered under former Iraqi leader, Saddam Hussein. The heinous chemical weapons attack on the city of Halabja, in which thousands died, is not forgotten.

But after expressing understanding, most Western media go on to talk about international disapprobation of the referendum. The list of friends and enemies who oppose this Kurdish example of direct democracy grows longer by the day.

European media have found it particularly notable that this time, the US – generally a staunch ally of Iraqi Kurdistan – couldn’t do the back room deals their envoys usually do, to postpone the referendum. Many analysts noted that the statement the US eventually issued on the topic was unusually harsh.

$49m Iraq Contract for Trace Systems

By John Lee.

Trace Systems Inc., of Vienna, Virginia, has been awarded a $49,392,866 firm-fixed-price foreign military sales (Iraq) contract to support Iraq’s Very Small Aperture Terminal Network.

One bid was solicited, with one bid received.

Work locations and funding will be determined with each order, with an estimated completion date of Sept. 14, 2022.

(Source: US Dept of Defense)

Iran, US align against Iraqi Kurdistan Referendum

By Fazel Hawramy for Al-Monitor. Any opinions expressed are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News.

Mlitary commanders and diplomats from both Iran and the United States are swarming Iraqi Kurdistan in a last-ditch attempt to convince the Kurds, an important ally in the war against the Islamic State (IS), to either postpone the planned Sept. 25 referendum for independence or cancel it all together.

Maj. Gen. Qasem Soleimani, the commander of Iran’s powerful Quds Force, and Brett McGurk, the US special anti-IS envoy accompanied by US Ambassador Douglas Silliman, were shuttling this week between Baghdad, Erbil and Sulaimaniyah to convince all sides to come to an agreement.

“Both the Iranians and the Americans were in agreement about the referendum and reiterated that it should not take place,” a source briefed about the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan’s (PUK) separate meetings with American and Iranian officials on Sept. 11 told Al-Monitor.

Both Iran and the United States also separately conveyed similar messages to Gorran movement officials. The latter believe that the referendum should be postponed until regional and international support is secured.

“We will not support you, and you will be on your own,” a Gorran official told Al-Monitor when recounting a meeting with the American ambassador. Indeed, “The United States is 100% opposed to the referendum on September 25,” Weshyar Omar, who was part of the Gorran delegation meeting with the Americans on Sept. 13, quoted McGurk as saying.

“Until now, we have held back the [Hashid Shaabi, or Popular Mobilization Units (PMU)] from attacking, but I will not bother to do that anymore,” Soleimani warned the senior PUK officials, the source briefed on the meeting told Al-Monitor. “Just look at Mandali and what happened there. That is the beginning,” he cautioned, referring to the Sept. 11 incident in which a group of over a hundred Iranian-backed Iraqi militia fighters arrived in the disputed subdistrict of Mandali in Diyala province, 100 kilometers (62 miles) northeast of Baghdad, and forced the Kurdish head of the town’s council out of his job and announced that the town will not be included in the Kurdistan referendum.

Strikes Continue in Effort to Defeat ISIS in Syria, Iraq

U.S. and coalition military forces continued to attack the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria on Monday, conducting 13 strikes consisting of 21 engagements, Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve officials reported yesterday.

Officials reported details of yesterday’s strikes, noting that assessments of results are based on initial reports.

Strikes in Syria

In Syria, coalition military forces conducted six strikes consisting of six engagements against ISIS targets near Raqqa. The strikes destroyed 25 ISIS vehicles, five fighting positions, a command-and control-node and a logistics node.

Strikes in Iraq

In Iraq, coalition military forces conducted seven strikes consisting of 15 engagements against ISIS targets:

  • Near Qaim, a strike destroyed an ISIS headquarters.
  • Near Haditha, a strike destroyed ISIS engineering equipment and a vehicle.
  • Near Huwijah, three strikes engaged an ISIS tactical unit and destroyed four heavy machine guns, three fighting positions, a tactical vehicle, a bunker, a front-end loader, a mortar system, a staging area and an ISIS headquarters.
  • Near Rawah, two strikes engaged an ISIS tactical unit, destroyed a vehicle and an ISIS-held building, and damaged a supply route.

Sept. 17 Strikes

Officials today also provided details on 12 strikes consisting of 14 engagements conducted Sept. 17 in Syria and Iraq for which the information was not available in time for yesterday’s report:

  • Near Raqqa, seven strikes destroyed six ISIS fighting positions and a logistics node.
  • Near Qaim, a strike destroyed an ISIS tactical vehicle and a tactical vehicle storage facility.
  • Near Huwijah, two strikes destroyed a vehicle-borne-bomb facility and an ISIS weapons cache.
  • Near Rawah, a strike destroyed an ISIS staging area.
  • Near Rutbah, Iraq, a strike destroyed an ISIS weapons cache.

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)