RSF stays neutral on press freedom in Kurdish areas https://rsf.org/en/news/syria-rsf-condemns-attack-gunmen-syrian-community-radio-station-and-its-executive-director …
|Vice President Joe Biden made a surprise visit to Baghdad Thursday, seeking to bolster the Iraqi government in its fight against the self-proclaimed Islamic State (WSJ). Biden’s trip makes him the highest-ranking U.S. official to visit since the 2011 troop withdrawal. In 2014 U.S. troops returned to the country; they now number around 4,000. The visit comes after weeks of unrest and rallies by supporters of the Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr and demands to end government corruption and mismanagement (AP). Biden also flew to Erbil to meet with the president of the semi-autonomous Kurdish region, Masoud Barzani (NYT).|
MESOP TODAYS OPINION ((II) : BY DAVID IGNATIUS – In Iraq, the Mosul offensive is off to a slow and shaky start
By David Ignatius Opinion writer April 29 – THE WASHINGTON POST
From a sandbagged hilltop outpost here, you can see the front line of the Islamic State in the muddy brown houses of Al-Nasr, a village on the next ridgeline, about a mile-and-a-half west. The Iraqi army was supposed to have captured this target a month ago. But the offensive was repelled.The battle for Mosul, about 35 miles north, must begin with the seizure of such Islamic State positions along the Tigris River. But the Iraqi army isn’t ready yet to take a small, well-fortified village such as Al-Nasr. So it’s hard to imagine that Mosul itself could be cleared by the end of the year, as the Obama administration has hoped.
MESOP TODAYS OPION : On Kurds, Kornets & criticisms – By Michael Rubin | American Enterprise Institute
Yesterday, I published a blog post highlighting comments by Kurdish official Hiwa Afandi suggesting that it was not in the Kurdish interest to defeat the Islamic State (ISIS, ISIL, Daesh) because Shi‘ite volunteers were a greater danger.
That is a very dangerous sentiment, and highlights the fact that the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) often operates upon interests that do not coincide with those of the United States and the West as much as those lobbying for Iraqi Kurdistan or its constituent parties suggest.
Was it fair to focus on one official? Yes. Neither the KRG nor the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) nor, for that matter, the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan, embrace an internal culture of democracy. They do not tolerate dissent in their ranks. Mr. Afandi may not have been as diplomatic as he might have been, but he was no outlier. If he was, he probably would not still be in his government post today.
MESOP : TRUE ? OR FAKE ? – THAT’S THE SHAKESPEARE QUESTION NOW ! Why Have the Kurds Supplied Isis With Weapons? – By Michael Rubin
Posted 2016-04-26 17:10 GMT – Iraqi Kurdistan has spent millions of dollars on lobbying to depict itself as a democracy, as an ideological ally of the United States in the region, and as committed to the fight against the Islamic State (ISIS, ISIL, Daesh). The reality is far more complex.
Key Take-Away: The U.S. announced additional “accelerants” in the fight against ISIS, reporting on April 18 that it would deploy 217 additional train-and-advise personnel to embed at the brigade and battalion levels with attack helicopters and an additional High-Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS). The limited increase in U.S. military support came in conjunction with an increased number of high-level U.S. military and diplomatic visits between April 8 and April 21 with Iraqi officials during its major political crisis.
JERUSALEM POST – 25 April 2016 – According to the report, Hamas forces would fight for Mosul’s liberation alongside Hezbollah fighters and the Shi’ite Houthi militias which are currently struggling in Yemen.
MESOP “THE MULLAH INTERVENTION” : Iranian Armed Forces Fight Alongside Shi’ite Militias in Tuz Khurmatu – the Shi’ite militant groups are significantly supported by Iran
BasNews – 25 Aril 2016 – TUZ KHURMATU — Iranian and Hizbullah armed forces have reportedly participated in the latest aggression in Tuz Khurmatu against Peshmerga forces.According to Asharq Al-Awsat, Iranian and Hizbullah militants took part in the recent deadly clashes between the Shi’ite Militia Hashd al-Shaabi and the Kurdish Peshmerga forces in southern district of Kirkuk province.
AUIS VIDEO: Conference on Economic Reforms In Iraq Thamer Al Ghadban – Posted: 24 Apr 2016 09:30 AM PDT – http://musingsoniraq.blogspot.de/2016/04/auis-video-conference-on-economic.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed:+MusingsOnIraq+(Musings+On+Iraq)
TUZ KHURMATU, IRAQ | BY ISABEL COLES – 25 Apr 2016 – REUTERS – Clashes between Kurdish and Shi’ite Turkmen paramilitary forces in northern Iraq have killed at least 10 fighters and cut a strategic road between Baghdad and the oil city of Kirkuk, security and medical sources said.