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Showing posts from July 21, 2017

POPULAR MOBILIZATION UNITS: ESTABLISHMENT, WAR ON ISIS, ROLE IN FUTURE OF IRAQ

In June 2014, the so-called Islamic State (IS) occupied about one-third of Iraq’s territory, including Iraq’s second largest city, Mosul. It meant the radical islamists were close to capturing Baghdad and imposing its authority over all of Iraq. At that point the Iraqi government recognized the real danger of the situation and started forming militia units to liberate the country from IS. The Popular Mobilization Units (PMU) played a decisive role in that process. The PMU (Al-HashdAl-Sha’abi) are pro-government forces operating under the formal leadership of the Iraqi military and consisting of about 70 factions. They were formed at the directive of Iraqi religious authorities after IS seized large swaths of territory in several provinces north of Baghdad in 2014. Establishment history One of the internal political factors which led to the PMU’s appearance in Iraq was the failure of state capacity in the realm of national security, against the backdrop of the rise of IS influence. Th…

EU IMPOSES SANCTIONS ON LEADER OF DEFENDERS OF DEIR EZZOR, SAYS HE’S LINKED TO CHEMICAL ATTACK IN KHAN SHAYKHUN

Major General Issam Zahreddine (R) The European Union (EU) has imposed new sanctions on 16 Syrian officers and scientists, blaiming them for the alleged chemical attack that took place in Khan Shaykhun in the Syrian province of Idlib on April 4, 2017. The sanctions include banning the subjects from entering the EU countries and freezing their bank accounts in European banks. The sanctions included 8 Syrian scientists and engineers allegedly working in the Syrian Scientific Research Center: Hamad Safwan Qattan, Mohammad Ziad Gharywati, Mohammad Dirar Khaloudi, Dr. Khaled Sawan, Rimon Rizk, Fawaz Al-Ato, Fayez Al-Assi and Dr. Hala Sarhan. The EU didn’t provide any evidence confirmming their links to the alleged production of chemical weapons in Syria, which stopped in 2013 according to the United States. The sanctions also included eight high-ranking officers of the Syrian Arab Army (SAA): Brigadier-General Mohammad Yousef Hassouri, Major General Malik Hasan, Major General jayez Hamoud…

PM ABADI: IRAQ REFUSED TO ALLOW ISIS FIGHTERS TO WITHDRAW FROM MOSUL

Haider Al Abadi, Iraq’s prime minister, attends an event to announce victory over ISIL in Mosul. Reuters Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said that he had rejected agreements suggested by some parties that could allow ISIS fighters to withdraw from Mosul before its liberation. Al-Abadi didn’t reveal the sides that asked him to approve ISIS’s withdrawal but stressed that he rejected all pressures from all sides during the Mosul battle. “The advocates of sedition revealed their intentions,” Al-Abadi said in a speech during his visit to the Martyrs Foundation. “We liberated Mosul and defeated ISIS and refused to barter as some called.” “We were able to liberate Mosul from ISIS terrorist organization despite the opposition of some and the suspicion of others,” Al-Abadi added. The prime minister stressed that the number of casualties during the Mosul battle is exaggerated. “Figures on Iraqi casualties are false and some try to exaggerate them,” he said. Last Tuesday, Al-Abadi said dur…