MESOPOTAMIA NEWS IRAQ UPDATE : Iraq’s new model army: 190,000 Iraqis have received training from the Coalition

by Seth Frantzman 18 April 2019 –

“Over 190K Iraqis have received training from Coalition forces; this means thousands of police, border guards, soldiers and airman protecting their country. Iraqi trainers are now taking over much of the training in a self-sustaining cycle,” the Coalition says.

Over 190K Iraqis have received training from Coalition forces; this means thousands of police, border guards, soldiers and airman protecting their country. Iraqi trainers are now taking over much of the training in a self-sustaining cycle. @coalition @modmiliq @iraqicts

— Inherent Resolve (@CJTFOIR) April 18, 2019


Please share! / 17. April 2019 –  To all concerned:

Herewith we share with you the final declaration of the 1st Mesopotamian Water Forum, which was held on April 6-8, 2019 in Sulaimani (Sulaymaniyah) in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq. More than 150 water activists from the Mesopotamia region and other countries gathered for the 3-day forum at Sulaimani University.

Several civil society organizations from all over Mesopotamia – in particular members of the Save the Tigris Campaign (STC) – organized this water forum, which consisted of several plenary sessions and nine workshops. It was an open space to give voice to civil society of the region, too often excluded from decisions on water. The forum was accompanied by a photo exhibition on the upper Tigris River.

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Corruption increased in Iraqi Kurdistan in 2018: Commission of Integrity

April 15, 2019 by Editorial Staff in 1 Top News, Corruption  – EKURD NET  – HEWLÊR-Erbil, Iraq’s Kurdistan region,— The Commission of Integrity has found that levels of corruption increased in Iraqi Kurdistan Region in 2018 compared with the previous year.The finding was included in the Commission’s annual report on corruption in the Kurdish Region, head of the Commission’s press office Sarkhel Hashim revealed during a press conference on Monday.“The amount of estimated [losses due to] corruption in 2018 were 275.72 billion Iraqi dinars ($231 million),” Hashim said, adding that it was an increase over 2017.

“Only 5.381 billion dinars was returned.”

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MESOPOTAMIA NEWS : Deutsches Bundesland setzt Flüchtlingshilfe im irakischen Kurdengebiet fort –

14 April 2019 – Stuttgart (dpa/lsw) – Mit einer Solaranlage und einer Existenzgründung für Teppichweberinnen will die Landesregierung die Unterstützung für Flüchtlinge und Binnenvertriebene in der Region Kurdistan-Irak fortsetzen. «Die Menschen brauchen unsere Unterstützung, um grundlegende Bedürfnisse zu erfüllen, aber auch, um für ihr eigenes Leben wieder Perspektiven zu sehen und ihr Land wieder aufzubauen», sagte Staatsministerin Theresa Schopper (Grüne) am Sonntag einer Mitteilung zufolge. Sie reist an diesem Montag zusammen mit Wissenschaftsministerin Theresia Bauer (Grüne) in das autonome Kurdengebiet im Norden des Iraks.

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Iraq launches major anti-ISIS operations –  by Seth Frantzman


A major operation in Hamrin (جبال حمرين) was launched by Iraq last week to clear the mountain areas of ISIS remnants. It is part of a series of operations that are designed to destroy ISIS in Iraq this year. ISIS has put down roots in the mountainous areas since its defeat in Hawija and other areas in 2017. It continued operations from the rural areas, and was able to infiltrate neighbouring villages, carrying out attacks at night. It was also active near Lake Hamrin (لبحيرة حمرين).  It was part of a large strategy also involving areas near Makhmur and Anbar.

The operation began on April 11. Led by Iraqi CTS Lt. General Abdel-Wahab al-Sa’idi it covered areas in Saladin and Diyala provinces. According to David Witty, “1st & 2nd ISOF Brigades of Iraqi CTService are involved in pursuing ISIS in Hamrin Hills, making it biggest CTS operation since end of conventional fighting against ISIS.” It involved other units as well from the PMU in other areas and also support from the Coalition.

For instance in other sectors “Last night, Brigade 23 from Badr Military Wing was involved in operations designed to spring ambushes against ISIS elements and it looks like 4 were wounded during clashes in Khanaqin subdistrict….Brigades 6, 31, and 51 of the PMF embark on a search operation from west of Tikrit until the shores of Lake Tharthar. This work area is next to the Saraya Salam zone which is to the south,” Tom Cat reports.

Important news on the first day involved the destruction of the ISIS media headquarters in Hamrin Hills during the operation.

“Iraqi CTService announces it has killed 12 to 15 ISIS in ongoing Hamrin Hills operation, discovered important ISIS documents & prevented ISIS from establishing a base. International Coalition aircraft destroyed 15 ISIS safe houses in the area,” writes David Witty.

Photo of commander of 2nd Battalion (ICTF), 1st ISOF Brigade, Iraqi CTService, in ISIS safe house in Harmin Hills.

— David M. Witty (@DavidMWitty1) April 11, 2019

Some details

Okay it’s time to let the cat out of the bag.

ISOF-1 with support from Coalition aircraft launch an operation on the southeast portion of Hamrin Mountains.

— TØM CΛT (@TomtheBasedCat) April 11, 2019

On April 13: “CTS Spokesman Sabah Nu’man said today in a news conference that the ISOF operation foiled a plan by ISIS to establish a formal base of operations in Hamrin. Also stated that Coalition target 15 caches and that media silence of the operation caught the enemy by surprise.”

OIR spokesman notes “ICTS announced the outcome of the joint operation, supported by the Iraqi Army Aviation, the Global Coalition Air Force, and other units from the Ministry of Defense and Ministry of Interior, to pursue Daesh fighters in Hamrin mountains.”

ICTS announced the outcome of the joint operation, supported by the Iraqi Army Aviation, the Global Coalition Air Force, and other units from the Ministry of Defense and Ministry of Interior, to pursue Daesh fighters in Hamrin mountains.

— OIR Spokesperson (@OIRSpox) April 13, 2019

Details on the media center

Da’ish underground media centre destroyed by #Iraq’s Counter-Terrorism Service during operations in the Himreen (Hamrin) mountains region this week.

The set-up was used to help publish Da’ish propaganda and its Al-Naba “newspaper”.

— H. Sumeri (@IraqiSecurity) April 13, 2019

Shelly Kittleson has written about previous Hamrin (Hamreen) operations.

Elite CTS 1st and 2nd BGD’s, Iraqi army aviation and US-led coalition AF launch a sophisticated 48 hour air-assault operation against Daesh in Hamreen mountain range area, after the latter were forced out of their caves by the heavy rain torrents.

— Hasan (@Honor_Loyalty88) April 12, 2019

Nevertheless ISIS continues to be a global threat

Over the past seven days, #ISIS has conducted 105 military operations (the highest global figure since a long long time): 40 in #Iraq, 32 in #Syria, 9 in West Africa, 8 in #Khorasan, 5 in #Sinai, 5 in #Somalia, 3 in East Asia, 1 in #Yemen, 1 in #Libya and 1 in #Caucasus.

— Adam Bachaa (@Adam_Bachaa) April 12, 2019




By Emil Avdaliani April 11, 2019 – BESA Center Perspectives Paper No. 1,138, April 11, 2019 ISRAEL

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: China’s grand Belt and Road Initiative, which is intended to connect the Asia-Pacific with the European market, had a major boost in March when Italy – the first of the G7 states – effectively signed onto the project. This event illustrates how difficult it is becoming for European countries to resist Chinese investment at a time of economic troubles in the EU.

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MESOPOTAMIA NEWS : IRANIAN PROGRESS IN IRAQ – Iran, Iraq forge ahead with collaboration amid US pressure

Hamidreza Azizi April 8, 2019 – AL MONITOR –  Article Summary – The Iraqi prime minister’s visit to Iran — his first since taking office — sends important messages to Tehran, Washington and Riyadh alike. Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi visited Tehran April 6-7, his first official visit to the neighboring country since assuming office in October 2018. Accompanied by a large delegation of high-ranking Iraqi officials and representatives of the private sector, Abdul Mahdi came to Tehran at the formal invitation of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani.

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On Apr 7, 2019  – Yekiti Media – The former governor of Kirkuk announced his joining the Kurdistan Democratic Party led by President Massoud Barzani

Karim’s announcement came during a television interview with NRT, during which he confirmed his joining the KDP.

It is noteworthy that Najmuddin Karim left the city of Kirkuk after the control of the Iraqi army on the city after the referendum of the Kurdistan region in 2017 and was a member of the Political Bureau of the Patriotic Union  AlKurdistani


Iraqi delegates in Sulaimani to elevate, formalize several border crossings with Iran

Sangar Ali Sangar Ali | 7 April 2019 – HALABJA (Kurdistan 24) – A delegation of representatives from 12 Iraqi ministries arrived in Sulaimani on Sunday to formalize and recognize five new international border crossings with Iran, according to a source within the delegation.

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MESOPOTAMIA NEWS : US to Cut Diplomatic Staff in Baghdad, Erbil: Report / HERE WE GO!

Basnews English 07/04/2019 – 12:00 ERBIL — The United States is planning to reduce the number of its diplomatic personnel stationed in Baghdad and Erbil, a report claimed.Washington is considering a similar plan also in Afghanistan, according to US officials cited by Foreign Policy magazine.The plan is said to be put into action as soon as this and next year.The move is apparently in line with the US efforts to compete Chinese and Russian growing hegemony elsewhere in Africa.

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