Diaspora Kurds celebrate Newroz – just not together

By Sham Jaff RUDAW – 25 March 2015 – NUREMBERG, Germany – As Kurdish immigrant communities in Europe welcome the new year, some say that Newoz is the time of year they most hope all Kurds could celebrate together. In diaspora, where they have none of the physical borders that separate them in their ancestral lands into Iraqis, Turks, Syrians and Iranians, the Kurdish immigrants still struggle to break the political and language barriers that divide them as strongly as frontiers.

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MESOP REPORT : DON’T TALK ABOUT MONEY ! – Iraqi Kurdistan’s key ministers refuse to reveal their wealth to integrity commission

25 March 20155 – ERBIL-Hewler, Kurdistan region ‘Iraq’,— The head of the Kurdistan Commission of Integrity, Dr. Ahmed Anwar, says that forms have been distributed to officials of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), the completion of which will disclose their wealth to the commission. The head of Kurdistan’s anti-corruption committee, Anwar, told the independent Awena newspaper that only 1-2% of government officials have left to fill the fill the anti-corruption forms including two ministers of Kurdistan oil minister Ashti Hawrami from the KDP and Minister of Peshmerga Mustafa Said Qader from the Gorran (Change movement).

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MESOP TODAY’S COMMENTARY : BY AMBERIN ZAMAN & MESUD BARZANI – M Barzani: Shiite militias should be regulated

25 March 2015 – Al Monitor . As the battle grinds on against the Islamic State — also known as IS, ISIL and Daesh — there is growing concern about the mounting influence of Iran and Shiite militias known as the Popular Mobilization Units (PMU) inside Iraq. The Iraqi Kurds, who continue to clash with the Shiite-led government in Baghdad over the sharing of oil revenues, are feeling squeezed.Nechirvan Barzani, the savvy young prime minister of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), has played a central role in maintaining the precarious balance between his people, the central government and the big regional powers, Turkey and Iran. The United States has re-emerged as the Kurds’ principal ally in the battle against the jihadists. As the battle to liberate Mosul from IS looms, what are the challenges that lie ahead? Nechirvan Barzani explains in an interview with Al-Monitor in Erbil, the capital of the KRG. 

Al-Monitor:  How is the battle against Daesh [IS] going?

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MESOP : POST OR ANTE BARZANI ? – Kurdistan parliament to probe fight between lawmakers

By RÛDAW 25 March 2015 – ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – The speaker of the Kurdistan Regional Parliament has formed a committee to investigate an incident in which two parliamentarians attacked another lawmaker in the legislature’s auditorium.

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Kurdish forces destroy IS attacks in Shingal: official tells Kurdpress

25 March 2015 – The chief of Shingal Defense Forces’ Public Relation stated the Kurdish forces of Peshmerga and members of the defense forces have destroyed attacks by the militants of the Islamic State (IS) in Iraqi northern city of Shingal.

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MESOP : JOINT FORCES FOR PEACE & DEMOCRACY = OBAMA & THE MULLAHS – America & Iran ‘taking part in joint military operations in Iraq’

The Telegraph UK 25 March 2015 – Officials admit US providing intelligence from air to Iran-led attack on Tikrit – The United States is taking part in joint military operations with Iran, admitting it is providing aerial surveillance over the current battle for Tikrit.The assault on Isil-held Tikrit, Saddam Hussein’s home town in Iraq, has stalled in recent days after initial success.

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MESOP FLASH : US begins Tikrit surveillance flights

situation25 March 2015 – BBC Report – The US-led coalition against Islamic State has begun surveillance flights over the Iraqi city of Tikrit, which is being besieged by government forces.Coalition officials said the support was requested by the authorities in Baghdad. They would not say whether air strikes would also be carried out.Until now, the US had no involvement in the Iranian-backed operation in Tikrit.But a Pentagon spokesman said the assault had “stalled”, with IS militants in the city centre “dug in”.

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MESOP CALIPH IN DISGUISE : The many names of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi

BAGHDAD — 24 March 2015 – Ali Hashem – Al Monitor – Even to those who have hunted him and followed his every move, Islamic State (IS) Caliph Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi remains a mystery.“Before anything I want to understand why he became like this, why an academic would make such a choice and how he feels toward the thousands of people he has killed around the Middle East. Then I’ll make sure he gets punished,” Maj. Bakr (a pseudonym), a member of the elite Iraqi counterterrorist unit the Falcon Brigade, said.

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MESOP Iraq Situation Report: March 21-24, 2015 / by: Sinan Adnan,Patrick Martin and Omar al-Dulimi / ISW

Key Takeaway: The deployments of ISF units from the south to various fronts in western and northern Iraq between December 2013 and the present has caused a security vacuum in the southern provinces. This is especially true in Basra, where tribal rivalries have resulted recently in continued armed confrontations with security forces unable to contain them. On March 17, Commander of Basra Operations Command (BaOC) General Bassim al-Taei announced the formation of a new battalion to operate under the BaOc. The battalion is composed of members of private security companies, illustrating the lack of manpower available under the BaOC. Faced with these challenges, Defense Minister Khalid al-Obeidi announced his intention on March 21 to disarm “all parts” of Basra.

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THE GERMAN KURDISH CHAPTER MESOP NEWS : German Protestant Church: Only way is to arm Kurds

23 March 2015 – Berlin – The Evangelical Church in Germany, one of the largest Protestant churches in the world, has called for more arms to be provided to South Kurdistan to combat ISIS.. The Chairman of the Council of the Evangelical Church in Germany (EKD), Heinrich Bedford-Strohm, has said it is necessary to provide weapons to South Kurdistan to combat ISIS barbarism. Bedford-Strohm told Spiegel Online that there was no other option in order to prevent massacres.

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