Iraq’s Parliament Votes To Ban Alcohol / Most important laws

Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty – 2016-10-23 02:59 GMT – Iraq’s parliament has voted to ban the sale, import, and production of alcohol — a move that is expected to please influential Islamic parties but anger some non-Muslim minority groups.  Supporters of the ban argued ahead of the October 22 vote that it is justified by Iraq’s constitution, which prohibits any law contradicting Islam. But some opponents argued that the legislation violates Iraq’s constitutional guarantees for the traditions of religious minorities. The ban was added at the last minute to a draft law on municipalities. Coming as a surprise to those who oppose such a ban, the passage of the law also came while many were focused on Iraq’s ongoing battle for control of the northern city of Mosul. The law calls for a fine ranging from $8,000 to $20,000 for each violation.

MESOP NEWS : Signs of Revolt Among IS Militants in Mosul – Kurdish Minister

ERBIL — 23 Oct 2016 – BasNews – Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) Interior Minister Karim Sinjari says Kurdish Peshmerga forces and the Iraqi army have together liberated 30 villages in northern Iraq since the beginning of Mosul operation, with reports of revolt and internal clashes among Islamic State (IS) militants inside the city.

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MESOP MOSUL TODAY : Russia & Regime Prepare Renewal of Aleppo Bombing

October 23 – 2016 – By Scott Lucas – Russia and the Assad regime are preparing to renew their bombing of Syria’s largest city Aleppo, after announcing the end of a “pause” in the assaults. Moscow, which has come under political pressure for the month-long strikes that have killed more than 600 civilians, announced a suspension of the attacks last Tuesday. It extended the pause on Thursday, claiming that “corridors” would allow residents and surrendering rebels to leave east Aleppo.On Saturday, Russian outlets said “not a single civilian” had been able to exit, blaming rebel shelling of crossings.

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MESOP SPOT TODAY : Mosul Offensive — Kurds Attack Town of Bashiqa to Northeast

October 23 – By Scott Lucas – eaworldview – Kurdish peshmerga have launched an assault on a town northeast of Mosul, on the seventh day of the Iraqi-Kurdish offensive to recapture Iraq’s second city from the Islamic State.

Bashiqa, occupied by ISIS during its lightning offensive that captured Mosul in June 2014, is close to a camp where 500 Turkish troops have been training Iraqi and Kurdish soldiers.

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!KNOW BETTER WITH MESOP NEWS! – The Campaign for Mosul: ISIS Counterattacks in Kirkuk,

By Patrick Martin, Emily Anagnostos, and the ISW Iraq Team

22 Oct 2016 ISIS launched a major counter-attack in Kirkuk Province in response to advances by Iraqi and Kurdish security forces towards Mosul. On the morning of October 21, ISIS attackers struck central and southern Kirkuk City and an under-construction power station in Dibis District, northwest of Kirkuk. The three attackers in Dibis stormed the power station and killed or executed 16 workers, including four Iranians, before Kurdish security forces arrived and clashed with the attackers. One attacker was killed while the other two detonated Suicide Vests (SVESTs), wounding several Kurdish security forces. Another report claimed that 12 people were killed and 34 were wounded in the Dibis attack.

As many as 40 ISIS attackers supported by sleeper cells targeted multiple government facilities and landmarks in central and southern Kirkuk City, marking the first time that ISIS launched a major attack in the city since January 2015. These targets included:

  1. Police stations in Dumiz and al-Adala, and possibly in Wahid Haziran and Tisaeen areas, all demographically-mixed with significant Arab populations in southern Kirkuk City. The attackers detonated at least one SVEST.
  2. The Kirkuk police directorate, where ISIS attackers attempted to enter the building before being repelled. The attackers detonated either a SVEST or a Vehicle-borne Improvised Explosive Device (VBIED) during the attack.
  3. A Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) party headquarters and the central government building.
  4. prison in Kirkuk, where some attackers may have attempted to break prisoners out.

Several ISIS attackers also stormed an “education building” in central Kirkuk, forcing Kurdish security forces to call in a Coalition airstriketo target the ISIS fighters holed up in the building. Unconfirmed reports indicate, however, the a Coalition airstrike may have targeted a Shi’a Husseiniyah (place of worship) in Daquq District, just south of Kirkuk, killing and wounding as many as 47 people and Peshmerga. ISW could not verify the report at the time of publication.


At the time of publication, Peshmerga forces sealed off all entrances to Kirkuk and were engaged in clashes with ISIS fighters barricadedin residential buildings in Dumiz and Wahid Haziran as well as with ISIS snipers using human shields at two hotels in Ras al-Jisr in central Kirkuk. The PUK’s “Dizha Tiror” counter-terrorism force, Turkmen and Badr Organization Popular Mobilization fighters, and otherreinforcements arrived to the city to secure it from attack, though unconfirmed reports state that Badr Organization fighters were blockedfrom entering the city. ISIS claimed that it seized control of several villages, the Wasti neighborhood in Kirkuk, and Dibis District in the attack, though these claims are exaggerated. All signs indicate that Kurdish security forces are in the process of re-establishing full control over Kirkuk city and its environs, as Kurdish security forces have located and are currently targeting the remaining ISIS fighters who participated in the attacks.

The attack on Kirkuk may be part of a cluster of attacks away from Mosul that ISIS launched to divert forces from their main attack against ISIS in Mosul. ISIS fighters launched attacks against Peshmerga at a large silo in Sinjar, west of Mosul, using three VBIEDs on October 19 and against Popular Mobilization forces in Bashir, southeast of Kirkuk, on October 20. Two ISIS SVEST attackers also detonated their explosives at the home of a Sunni tribal Popular Mobilization leader in al-Mutasim sub-district, southeast of Samarra, on October 21.

ISIS Mounts Stiff Defense of Mosul’s Environs 

ISIS’s combined its violent attack into Kirkuk City with stiff resistance in the vicinity of Mosul, resulting in slowed progress for advancing forces in the fight to recapture Mosul. ISIS launched spectacular attacks on October 21 against the ISF and Peshmerga near the village of Batnaya, north of Mosul, the town of Bashiqa, northeast of Mosul, and near Bartalla, east of Mosul, which the Counter-Terrorism Service (CTS) recaptured on October 20. The ISF did manage to clear ISIS from most of the eastern bank of the Tigris River between Qayyarah and Makhmur on October 20 and 21, recapturing the villages of Duwayzat and Sultan Abdullah. However, outside of limited gains by the 9th and 18th Federal Police Brigade north of Qayyarah in Tel al-Nasr, al-Shakk, and the Mishraq Sulphur Plant, the ISF made limited gains on Mosul’s southern axis. Progress may also have been delayed by a 48-hour pause instituted by the ISF on October 19. However, the ISF continued to conduct operations across the Mosul theater during this time, indicating that the pause was not the driving factor in the slowed progress. ISIS’s zone defense across Iraq and spectacular attacks targeting forward-deployed security in the Mosul operations area substantially arrested the progress of the Mosul operation. Meanwhile, a U.S. serviceman was killed near Bashiqa as he was advising security forces, the fourth U.S. serviceman killed in action in anti-ISIS operations.


ISIS’s attacks in Kirkuk province and elsewhere outside of Mosul are a classic zone defense from ISIS’s 2015 playbook, in which ISIS attacked separate locations while facing a counter-attack it could deflect. The attack on Kirkuk City is a demonstration that ISIS still maintains lethal attack capabilities there, and furthermore that it can still mount a sophisticated defense. ISIS’s strike into Kirkuk was likely calculated to force the PUK to withdraw its Peshmerga forces away from operations in the vicinity of Mosul towards Kirkuk to arrest the progress of anti-ISIS operations east of Mosul. ISIS also launched other attacks to force security forces to consider withdrawing from Mosul to secure other parts of Iraq.

The Iraqi Security Forces, Peshmerga, and the Popular Mobilization should expect ISIS to target frontlines away from the Mosul operations. ISIS may use its resurgent attack capabilities in Diyala Province and Baghdad to deploy spectacular attacks against civilian targets. ISIS is actively resisting security forces advances around Mosul, and has prepared for a difficult defense of the city itself, but the attack on Kirkuk is indicative that ISIS’s prepared defense may be more sophisticated and remains a serious threat despite its recent losses in Ninewa Province. ISIS’s defensive strategy may extend across the whole of Iraq, and possibly beyond.



MESOP NEWS : Iraq Charges ‘Pro-Turkish’ Former Mosul Governor With Espionage – 2016-10-22 – An Iraqi court has issued a warrant for the arrest of a senior political figure from Mosul, charged with passing intelligence to neighbouring Turkey, the judiciary said on Thursday. The warrant was issued for Atheel al-Nujaifi, a former governor of the Nineveh province of which Mosul is the capital, after three parliamentarians lodged a complaint against him, a statement said.

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MESOP NEWS : Turkey, Iraq Reach Agreement ‘In Principle’ on Mosul, US Says

www.rte-Media  – 22 Oct 2016 – Turkey and Iraq have reached an agreement in principle that could eventually allow a Turkish role in the campaign to retake Mosul from the so-called Islamic State, US Defense Secretary Ash Carter said today after talks with President Tayyip Erdogan.Mr Erdogan has previously voiced frustration that NATO member Turkey has not been more involved in the US-backed assault on the Iraqi city, once part of the Ottoman empire and still seen by Turkey as firmly within its sphere of influence.

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Kirkuk under attack & Update: Tunnel -system ISIS Mosul

22 Oct 2016 – MESOP  – “So it transpires ISIS have spent two years digging tunnels connecting all the villages they hold, so they can keep popping up  behind you.” – KIRKUK under Attack…in einem Drittel der Stadt wurde gekämpft bis vor wenigen Stunden! – seit 4:00 AM haben rund 50 ISIS Personen+Kindern angegriffen. Mir scheint es aber, dass es viel mehr waren? denn immer noch wird massiv gekämpft. Sogar die PKK/HPG hat Kämpfer geschickt.

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MESOP MOSUL UPDATE : Mosul Offensive – Iraqi Forces Move from Southeast; ISIS Continues Attacks in Kirkuk

October 22 – By Scott Lucas – eaworldview – On the sixth day of the offensive to take Iraq’s second city Mosul, Iraqi forces have moved from the southeast, trying to capture the mainly-Christian town of Qaraqosh.Meanwhile, the Islamic State, which has held Mosul since June 2014, is still threatening bomb and gun attacks inside the city of Kirkuk to the east.The Iraqi forces are continuing attempts to secure lines and routes about 20 km (13 miles) from Mosul’s outskirts. They captured Bartella, a village to the north of Qaraqosh, before trying to move into the town on Saturday.

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MESOP BACKGROUNDER: A Beginner’s Guide to the Battle for Mosul –

by Scott Lucas . eaworldview  – 21 Oct 2016 – Balsam Mustafa writes for EA:

On Monday, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi announced the start of the long-awaited offensive to retake Iraq’s second city Mosul from the Islamic State.About 30,000 Iraqi troops and Kurdish peshmerga, supported by US-led airstrikes and US, British, and French special forces, are involved in the operations. Mostly-Shia paramilitary units (PMUs) are present, but are saying their role is to cut off ISIS support lines rather than engage in fighting.

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