Sunday, November 30, 2008

Iraqi Al-Amal Association and Baghdad University’s Public Opinion Poll On Poverty In Iraq

The University of Baghdad and the Iraqi Al-Amal Association recently released a public opinion poll they conducted on poverty in Iraq. Khalid Kahntoush Sachet of the College of Arts oversaw the study. It surveyed 11,198 families from ten provinces. The survey found that there were a large number of female-headed households due to wives losing their husbands because of violence. Iraqi families also had large numbers of children. Together these increased the poverty level in the country, as women can’t provide as much as men, and the size of Iraqi families have increased while the economy has not. Almost two-thirds of the families interviewed were found to be below the international poverty line, and few receive any help. They still believed in the government however, and most wanted to participate in the upcoming elections.

Families

The first questions were about the state of the families. 59.4% were headed by males, while 39.9% were headed by women. Most Middle Eastern families have male heads of households, so this was a very high percentage led by women. The cause is the violence that has wracked the country. Of those women leaders, 65.6% were widowed. The number of people in each family was also large, usually between 6-10, 49.3%, followed by 1-5, 43%. This increased poverty, as the economy has not as grown as fast as the size of families, leading to unemployment. 65.9% of families earned 250,000 dinars or less. That equaled roughly $420 a year for each family member, below the $500 international poverty level. 60.5% of those interviewed were displaced. Of those, 87.1% said they wanted to return to their homes if security improved.

Aid and Needs

The majority of families were in need of basic services, but received little aid official or otherwise. In terms of the government, only 31.5% of those surveyed received aid from any ministries or local governments. The Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs, which is responsible for the poor, only helped 12.9%. The Ministry of Displacement and Migration only helped 9.3%. Local councils assisted 6.5%. 68.5% received no government assistance at all. Non-government organizations (NGOs) did much better, aiding 50.8%. That still left a large percentage of the population sample without any help. Despite this, 74.3% believed that the government could assist them in some way.

The basic needs of the families broke down into three groups, which the study called security – electricity 22.3%, water 20.3%, and housing/shelter 10.1%, employment – food 9.3%, jobs 9.3%, money 9.2%, and services – fuel 8.9%, health care 7.8%, and schools 2.4%.

Provincial Elections

58.1% of respondents said they wanted to vote in the upcoming elections, with 23% were undecided, and 18.9% said they would not participate. When asked what kind of party they would vote for independents came in first, 26.3%, followed by democratic-secular groups 23.7%, and religious parties 22.7%. Tribal figures 7.3% and national blocs 6.3% came in last. When broken down by province, the democratic-secular parties fared the best, coming in first in Baghdad, Diyala, and Sulaymaniya, and second in Salahaddin, Anbar, Najaf, and Qadisiyah. Independents came in first in Basra, and second in Baghdad, Tamim, and Diyala, while the religious parties came in first in Qadisiyah, Salahaddin, and Najaf, and second in Babil. Basra had the most telling responses. The Shiite Fadhila party currently runs the province, but 70.2% said they would vote for independent figures instead. When unidentified was added to that the number came to 90.3% who did not support the current ruling parties. Tribal figures were also only popular in Anbar due to the Awakening. As discussed before, Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki is currently forming Tribal Support Councils across much of the country. According to this poll, that may not help him much as they registered less than 10% or less in every province outside of Anbar.

Here are the results of the poll.

The survey questioned 11,198 families from 10 provinces

Origins
Anbar: 801 families – 7.1%
Babil: 981 families – 8.8%
Baghdad: 2729 families – 24.4%
Basra: 2000 families – 17.9%
Diyala: 810 families – 7.2%
Najaf: 900 families – 8%
Qadisiyah: 800 families – 7.1%
Salahaddin: 1140 families – 10.2%
Sulaymaniya: 800 families – 7.1%
Tamim: 237 families – 2.1%

Head of Household
Male: 6654 – 59.4%
Female: 4463 – 39.9%
Unidentified: 81 – 0.7%

Marital Status of Female Headed Households
Single: 336 – 7.5%
Unidentified: 518 – 11.6%
Divorced: 683 – 15.3%
Widowed: 2926 – 65.6%

Number of Family Members
Unidentified: 51 – 0.5%
More than 21: 12 – 0.1%
16-20 Members: 48 – 0.4%
11-15 Members: 749 – 6.7%
6-10 Members: 5524 – 49.3%
1-5 Members: 4814 – 43%

Monthly Family Income
Unidentified: 1289 – 11.5%
More than 500,000 dinars: 316 – 2.8%
351,000-500,000 dinars: 680 – 6.1%
250,000-350,000 dinars: 1530 – 13.7%
Less than 250,000 dinars: 7383 – 65.9%

International Poverty line is $500 a year per family member
Iraq averages to $420 a year per family member

Official Aid
Ministry of Endowment: 311 – 2.8%
City Council: 725 – 6.5%
Ministry of Displacement and Migration: 1045 – 9.3%
Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs: 1447 – 12.9%
No Aid: 7670 – 68.5%

Non-Official Aid
Religious Organization: 1374 – 12.3%
Red Cross/Red Crescent: 1972 – 17.6%
International Non-Government Organization: 2337 – 20.9%
No Aid: 5515 – 49.2%

Would Displaced Families Return To Their Homes If Security Improved
Yes: 5905 – 87.1%
No: 876 – 12.9%

Basic Needs of Family
Others: 34 – 0.1%
Schooling: 773 – 2.4%
Health Care: 2551 – 7.8%
Fuel: 2902 – 8.9%
Money: 3000 – 9.2%
Jobs: 3029 – 9.3%
Food: 3121 – 9.6%
Housing/Shelter: 3256 – 10.1%
Water: 6626 – 20.3%
Electricity: 7286 – 22.3%

Can The Government Meet Their Needs Or Not
Unidentified: 461 – 4.1%
Unable: 2419 – 21.6%
To An Extent: 4142 – 37%
Able: 4176 – 37.3%

Desire To Vote In Upcoming Elections
Won’t vote: 2115 – 18.9%
Undecided: 2577 – 23%
Will vote: 6506 – 58.1%

What Kind of Parties Will They Vote For
National blocs: 706 – 6.3%
Tribal Figures: 822 – 7.3%
Unidentified: 1138 – 12.4%
Religious Parties: 2545 – 22.7%
Democratic-Secular blocs: 2639 – 23.7%
Independent Figures: 2947 – 26.3%

What Kind Of Parties Will They Vote For By Province
Anbar:
  • Unidentified: 2 – 0.2%
  • Religious Parties: 52 – 6.5%
  • National blocs: 4 – 0.5%
  • Democratic-Secular blocs: 273 – 34.7%
  • Independent Figures: 79 – 9.9%
  • Tribal Figures: 391 – 48.8%
Babil:
  • Unidentified: 551 – 56.2%
  • Religious Parties: 182 – 18.6%
  • National blocs: 8 – 0.8%
  • Democratic-Secular blocs: 111 – 11.3%
  • Independent Figures: 114 – 11.6%
  • Tribal Figures: 15 – 1.5%
Baghdad:
  • Unidentified: 427 – 15.6%
  • Religious Parties: 579 – 21.2%
  • National blocs: 106 – 3.9%
  • Democratic-Secular blocs: 828 – 30.3%
  • Independent Figures: 656 – 24.0%
  • Tribal Figures: 133 – 4.9%
Basra:
  • Unidentified: 401 – 20.1%
  • Religious Parties: 72 – 3.6%
  • National blocs: 2 – 0.1%
  • Democratic-Secular blocs: 73 – 3.7%
  • Independent Figures: 1404 – 70.2%
  • Tribal Figures: 48 – 2.4%
Diyala:
  • Unidentified: 42 – 5.2%
  • Religious Parties: 149 – 18.4%
  • National blocs: 47 – 5.7%
  • Democratic-Secular blocs: 270 – 33.3%
  • Independent Figures: 262 – 32.3%
  • Tribal Figures: 41 – 5.1%
Najaf:
  • Unidentified: 9 – 1.0%
  • Religious Parties: 388 – 43.1%
  • National blocs: 56 – 6.2%
  • Democratic-Secular blocs: 234 – 26.0%
  • Independent Figures: 120 – 13.3%
  • Tribal Figures: 93 – 10.3%
Qadisiyah:
  • Unidentified: 8 – 1.0%
  • Religious Parties: 461 – 57.6%
  • National blocs: 39 – 4.9%
  • Democratic-Secular blocs: 144 – 18.0%
  • Independent Figures: 128 – 16.0%
  • Tribal Figures: 20 – 2.5%
Salahaddin:
  • Unidentified: 16 – 1.4%
  • Religious Parties: 487 – 42.7%
  • National blocs: 135 – 11.8%
  • Democratic-Secular blocs: 388 – 34.0%
  • Independent Figures: 69 – 6.1%
  • Tribal Figures: 45 – 3.9%
Sulaymaniya:
  • Unidentified: 63 – 8.4%
  • Religious Parties: 159 – 19.9%
  • National blocs: 195 – 24.4%
  • Democratic-Secular blocs: 307 – 38.4%
  • Independent Figures: 55 – 6.9%
  • Tribal Figures: 21 – 2.6%
Tamim:
  • Unidentified: 20 – 8.4%
  • Religious Parties: 16 – 6.8%
  • National blocs: 115 – 48.5%
  • Democratic-Secular blocs: 11 – 4.6%
  • Independent Figures: 60 – 25.3%
  • Tribal Figures: 15 – 6.3%

What Should the United Nations Do In Iraq
Unidentified: 926 – 8.2%
Humanitarian Aid: 2530 – 22.6%
Supervise Elections: 2316 – 20.7%
Maintain Security: 5426 – 48.5%

For more on Iraqi public opinion see:

Iraq Center for Research & Strategic Studies’ Survey Of Iraqis

Pentagon Public Opinion Poll of Iraqis

SOURCES

Sachet, Khalid Hantoush, “Results of the Field Survey For Needs and Opinions of The Poor in Iraq,” Iraqi Al Amal Association and University of Baghdad, September 2008

Saturday, November 29, 2008

July SOFA Referendum

On November 27 Iraq’s parliament agreed to two deals with the United States. The first was a Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) that allows the U.S. military to operate in Iraq until the end of 2011 when they are suppose to withdraw. The second was a Strategic Framework Agreement (SFA) that set diplomatic relations between the two countries. Both deals can be renegotiated by Baghdad if it pleases. The Sunni parties also had the Iraqi legislature pass a bill that creates a referendum on the SOFA by the end of July 2009. The task ahead for the government of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki is to build up public support for the agreement so that it passes the vote.

The first hurtle Maliki will face is informing the politicians and public of what the SOFA/SFA actually entail. During the parliamentary debate, an Iraqi reporter for the New York Times noted that 70% of the legislatures didn’t appear to know what was in the agreement. One said the deal didn’t give the government the right to search U.S. mail and cargo coming into Iraq, but it did. Another complained that it didn’t end the U.N.’s Chapter VII, which was passed during the Saddam years saying that Iraq was a threat to international security. That status is in fact terminated. A Sadrist parliamentarian claimed that the agreement didn’t stop the United States from using Iraq as a base to attack other countries, but there is an article that bars this, although there is some disagreement about its interpretation between the two sides.

The general public was even less informed. An October 2008 public opinion poll by the Iraq Centre For Research & Strategic Studies that did face to face interviews with 3,000 Iraqis from all 18 provinces found that 49.8% of respondents didn’t know about the SOFA. Of the 46.2% that had heard of the agreement, opinions were evenly split over whether it would be good or bad for the country. In the end though, 61.3% disagreed with the deal, compared to only 28.5% being for it. The poll was conducted in September and October however, before the government had been able to get a series of concessions from the United States that greatly increased its power over American forces within Iraq. The government run Al-Sabah paper published another poll on November 23 that found 46% of Iraqis for the SOFA, 34.5% against, and 19.4% replying that they didn’t know. Their poll asked 5,576 Iraqis from 10 provinces. Of those, the majority of respondents in Babil, Qadisiyah, and Diyala were against the agreement, while Baghdad, Dhi Qar, Basra, Karbala, Wasit, Maysan, and Irbil were for it.

In the run up to the parliamentary vote, the government tried to inform the public about the agreement to garner support, which will continue to be its job. Officials released copies of the SOFA to reporters and began reading parts of it on government owned TV. Whether this public relations campaign was responsible for the shift in opinion between the two polls is unknown. The Iraq Centre is a non-partisan Iraqi based think tank, while Al-Sabah operates out of the Green Zone, so the latter could’ve been propaganda. Either way, there is still not a majority in favor of the agreement according to the two, which is necessary to get pass the July referendum. Maliki’s government will then have its hands full trying to win over more people, while the United States needs to make sure it doesn’t have any breaches of the agreement that will turn Iraqis against the SOFA.

SOURCES

Abdul-Zahra, Qassim, “Sunni Arab support key to US-Iraq security deal,” Associated Press, 11/25/08

Ashton, Adam, Landay, Jonathan and Youssef, Nancy, “U.S. staying silent on its view of Iraq pact until after vote,” McClatchy Newspapers, 11/26/08

Baker, Peter and Tyson, Ann Scott, “Bush, Maliki Sign Pact on Iraq’s Future,” Washington Post, 11/27/07

Fox News, “Iraqi Parliament Approves U.S. Security Pact, 11/27/08

Rubin, Alissa, Robertson, Campbell and Farrell, Stephen, “Iraqi Parliament Approves U.S. Security Pact,” New York Times, 11/27/08

Rubin, Alissa, Robertson, Campbell and Farrell, Stephen, “Iraqi Parliament Approves U.S. Security Pact,” New York Times, 11/27/08

Al-Sabah, “Poll: 46% of Iraqis Support Security Agreement,” 11/23/08

al-Salhy, Suadad, “Analysis on the Spot: SOFA, From Inside Parliament,” Baghdad Bureau – Iraq From the Inside Blog, New York times, 11/24/08

Friday, November 28, 2008

Mosul Remains One Of The Most Violent Cities In Iraq

The northern city of Mosul in Ninewa province remains one of Iraq’s most troubled. It is divided between Arabs and Kurds with a large minority population, and still has a strong insurgent presence as a result. It is caught in the middle between the Kurds that want to expand southwards and Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki who wants to contain them to Kurdistan. The lack of reconciliation has caused violence to continue there, and blocked any meaningful reconstruction effort.

Mosul has become a political football between the Kurds and Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki. The Kurds control the eastern section of the city, and may use that as a trading chip to acquire five northern areas of Ninewa province, which they wish to annex. On the other hand, Maliki believes that the Kurds and their Peshmerga militia should be confined to Kurdistan, and wants them to exit all disputed territories. He is currently trying to force the Kurds out of Mosul by sending in National Police units from Baghdad into the Arab western half of the city, has placed his brother-in-law in command of the 2nd Iraqi Army Division, which has authority over the eastern part, and has transferred several Kurdish army officers to other parts of the country. At the same time, the Prime Minister is attempting to court friends amongst the Arabs to counter the Kurds influence.

At the same time, Iraqi and U.S. forces have been conducting their latest security operations in Mosul since May 2008, but to little affect. Currently, there are 35,000 Iraqi police and soldiers in the city. That didn’t stop attacks on the city’s Christian community that began in October, and left fourteen dead and led 2,465 families to flee. The Associated Press reported on November 11 that attacks are down from 130 a week there in May, to 70 a week in November. According to English language press reports however, the number of casualties has barely changed. In fact, the number of incidents has increased since the beginning of the year. In January there were 1.65 attacks and incidents a day that led to 3.52 deaths and 11.68 wounded per day. In June, a month into the new security crackdown daily attacks and incidents with casualties had increased to 1.97, with 3.33 killed and 9.3 wounded per day. By September, the average numbers were up to the highest point in 2008 with 2.76 attacks and incidents a day with 2.93 deaths and 4.93 wounded. October was no different with 2.96 attacks and incidents daily, and 3.61 deaths and 6.06 wounded a day.

Here is a breakdown of attacks and incidents in Mosul that resulted in casualties as reported in English language U.S. and Iraqi papers:

January 2008:
  • 32 attacks/19 incidents – 1.03 attacks/day – 1.65 attacks & incidents/day
  • 109 killed – 3.52 deaths/day
  • 362 wounded – 11.68 wounded/day
February 2008:
  • 47 attacks/8 incidents 1.62 attacks/day – 1.9 attacks & incidents/day
  • 86 killed – 2.97 killed/day
  • 80 wounded 2.76 wounded/day
  • 6 kidnapped
March 2008:
  • 54 attacks/13 incidents – 1.74 attacks/day – 2.16 attacks & incidents/day
  • 97 killed – 3.13 killed/day
  • 147 wounded – 4.74 wounded/day
  • 3 kidnapped
April 2008:
  • 53 attacks/10 incidents – 1.77 attacks/day – 2.1 attacks & incidents/day
  • 71 killed 2.37 killed/day
  • 209 wounded 7.0 wounded/day
  • 42 kidnapped
June 2008:
  • 49 attacks/incidents – 1.63 attacks/day – 1.97 attacks & incidents/day
  • 100 killed 3.33 killed/day
  • 279 wounded 9.3 wounded/day
  • 4 kidnapped
July 2008:
  • 67 attacks/7 incidents – 2.16 attacks/day – 2.39 attacks & incidents/day
  • 96 killed 3.1 killed/day
  • 111 wounded 3.58 wounded/day
  • 2 kidnapped
August 2008:
  • 50 attacks/16 incidents – 1.61 attacks/day – 2.12 attacks & incidents/day
  • 55 killed 1.77 killed/day
  • 111 wounded 3.58 wounded/day
  • 5 kidnapped
September 2008:
  • 72 attacks/11 incidents – 2.4 attacks/day – 2.76 attacks & incidents/day
  • 88 killed 2.93 deaths/day
  • 148 wounded 4.93 wounded/day
October 2008:
  • 81 attacks/11 incidents – 2.61 attacks/day – 2.96 attacks & incidents/day
  • 112 deaths 3.61 deaths/day
  • 188 wounded 6.06 wounded/day

There has also been little reconstruction in Mosul, which adds to the lack of reconciliation. Baghdad is trying to launch a new development program in the city, but it is has been politicized to try to win over the Arabs. Another factor is that the central government has come through with very little of its promised money after its security crackdowns this year across the country, so there is no guarantee that Mosul will actually see any real rebuilding, especially with on-going violence there.

As reported before, Mosul will remain a violent city until the underlying ethnic tensions between Kurds and Arabs is resolved. The Kurds have no intention of withdrawing from the city as long as they have plans for northern Ninewa province. The Prime Minister’s recent attempts to push them out, has only increased tensions between the two sides, and could cost Maliki his job in the end if the Kurds feel like they are being pushed too far. Overall, the city shows the on-going divisions and violence that remain a daily occurrence in parts of Iraq.

For more on Mosul see:

Back To Mosul

Bad Times For Iraq’s Christians

Christians In Mosul Update

Mosul The New Battleground Between Maliki And The Kurds

Mosul Update

New Security Offensive In Mosul?

The Security Situation In Mosul

SOURCES

Affleck, John, “US Says 7 Militants Killed in Iraq Raids,” Associated Press, 2/15/08

Agence France Presse, “At least nine killed in Iraq attacks,” 10/28/08
- “Death toll from bombing in Iraq’s Mosul rises to 13,” 6/3/08
- “Eight people killed in Iraq bombings,” 9/2/08
- “Suicide bomber kills 10 in Iraq market attack,” Turkish Press.com, 2/20/08

Ali, Hisham Mohammed, “Mosul Christians Reluctant to Return,” Iraq Crisis Report, 11/20/08

Associated Press, - “Female bomber kills 3 near bus stop in Iraq,” 3/19/08
- “Iraq: al-Qaeda leader in Mosul arrested,” 5/19/08
- “Iraq: Suicide car bomb targets military convoy, killing 5 civilians,” 7/9/08
- “Police: Female suicide bomber kills 3 in Iraq,” 2/17/08
- “Rocket and mortar attacks kill at least 4 in Baghdad,” 2/18/08
- “US kills 4 suspected militants, captured 5,” 6/7/08

Aswat al-Iraq, “1 gunman killed, 3 corpses found in Mosul,” 4/5/08
- “2 bombs injure 11 persons in Mosul,” 11/15/08
- “2 car bombs leave 7 casualties in Mosul,” 7/15/08
- “2 civilians injured by bomb blast in Mosul,” 7/16/08
- “2 civilians injured, gunmen kidnap 2 truck drivers in Mosul,” 8/12/08
- “2 civilians killed, 1 wounded in attacks in Mosul,” 4/27/08
- “2 civilians killed, 2 wounded in attacks near Mosul,” 4/8/08
- “2 civilians killed by gunmen in Mosul,” 6/10/08
- “2 civilians wounded in IED blast in Ninewa,” 6/2/08
- “2 cops killed, wounded in Mosul,” 3/20/08
- “2 gunmen killed, another wounded in Mosul by helicopter fire,” 3/30/08
- “2 gunmen killed in eastern Mosul clashes,” 8/3/08
- “2 gunmen killed while planting IED in eastern Mosul – army,” 1/14/08
- “2 individuals killed in Ninewa,” 7/20/08
- “2 Iraqi soldiers killed in attack in Mosul,” 6/30/08
- “2 killed, 2 wounded in Mosul attack,” 10/11/08
- “2 killed in Mosul car bomb attack,” 7/20/08
- “2 policemen, student wounded in Mosul blast,” 4/7/08
- “2 policemen wounded in Mosul,” 6/28/08
- “2 soldiers injured by bomb blast in Mosul,” 3/21/08
- “2 students killed on Mosul campus,” 6/16/08
- “2 unknown bodies found, arms seized in Mosul,” 8/2/08
- “2 unknown bodies found in Mosul,” 4/11/08
- “2 women killed in armed attack in Mosul,” 7/15/08
- “2 wounded, body found in Mosul,” 8/12/08
- “3 blasts target U.S. patrols in Mosul,” 3/1/08
- “3 bodies found in Mosul,” 1/1/08
- “3 civilians wounded in clashes between U.S. forces, gunmen in Mosul,” 1/28/08
- “3 cops injured as bomb explodes in Mosul,” 6/13/08
- “3 cops injured by bomb blast in Mosul,” 7/7/08
- “3 cops wounded in 2 attacks in Mosul,” 1/2/08
- “3 Iraqi soldiers wounded in Mosul,” 8/8/08
- “3 soldiers wounded in IED in Mosul,” 6/23/08
- “3 Turks wounded in Mosul blast,” 8/30/08
- “3 wounded in house bomb in Mosul,” 2/22/08
- “4 civilians killed, 3 injured in Mosul,” 10/22/08
- “4 civilians wounded in Mosul,” 3/12/08
- “4 cops killed, injured in Mosul,” 1/28/08
- “4 people killed, injured in Mosul,” 6/23/08
- “4 soldiers, 3 civilians wounded in mortar attack in Mosul,” 1/19/08
- “4 wounded as car bomb explodes in Mosul,” 8/25/08
- “4 wounded in car bomb attack in Mosul,” 4/22/08
- “5 mortar shells hit 2 channels’ building in Ninewa,” 7/31/08
- “5 wounded in IED blast in Mosul,” 10/17/08
- “8 civilians injured in car bomb explosion in Mosul,” 6/18/08
- “9 killed, 5 wounded until Wednesday afternoon,” 6/4/08
- “10 killed, 18 wounded in Iraq violence,” 4/5/08
- “10 killed, injured in acts of violence in 24 hours,” 6/30/08
- “13 killed, 29 wounded in Iraq violence until Sunday noon,” 4/27/08
- “14 killed, wounded in Iraq until Wednesday afternoon,” 7/30/08
- “19 wounded in 2 simultaneous explosions in Mosul,” 4/15/08
- “92 targets achieved during operations’ first day – Ninewa operations commander,” 5/10/08
- “Academic gunned down in northern Mosul,” 6/15/08
- “Army force mistakenly shoots ‘mentally ill’ man – authorities,” 6/14/08
- “Army officer killed, 18 wounded in separate incidents in Ninewa,” 3/23/08
- “Beheaded corpse found in Mosul,” 4/12/08
- “Blast in Mosul leaves no casualties,” 1/6/08
- “Blast in Mosul leaves vehicle ablaze,” 1/7/08
- “Bomb explodes in front of church in Mosul,” 10/14/08
- “Car bomb attack leaves 10 casualties south of Mosul,” 1/21/08
- “Car bomb explosion leaves 12 casualties in Ninewa,” 4/9/08
- “Car bomb in Ninewa leaves no casualties,” 7/9/08
- “Car bomb injures 6 Iraqi soldiers in Mosul,” 7/9/08
- “Car bomb injures 6 persons in western Mosul,” 3/17/08
- “Cart bomb kills 3 cops in Mosul,” 8/7/08
- “Car bomb kills woman, wounds 4 cops in Mosul,” 4/2/08
- “Charred body found in Mosul,” 6/6/08
- “Civil status dept. head gunned down in Ninewa,” 7/10/08
- “Civilian, child injured by gunmen in western Mosul,” 8/5/08
- “Civilian gunned down in Mosul,” 2/18/08
- “Civilian injured by car bomb in Mosul,” 3/3/08
- “Civilian killed, 2 cops injured, body found in Mosul,” 4/21/08
- “Civilian killed, 3 unknown bodies found in Mosul,” 1/8/08
- “Civilian killed, 5 wanted persons captured in Mosul,” 7/13/08
- “Civilian killed, hostage freed in Mosul,” 2/19/08
- “Civilian killed in armed attack in Mosul,” 7/10/08
- “Civilian killed in explosion in Mosul,” 2/12/08
- “Civilian killed, two corpses found in Mosul,” 3/31/08
- “Cop, civilian gunned down in 2 attacks in Mosul,” 1/17/08
- “Female government official gunned down in Mosul,” 7/28/08
- “Five civilians wounded by car bomb blast in Mosul,” 3/24/08
- “Former minister brother kidnapped in Ninewa,” 3/30/08
- “Gunman captured in clashes in Mosul,” 10/21/08
- “Gunmen kidnap 4 university students in Mosul,” 6/24/08
- “Gunmen kill 2 Iraqi soldiers in Mosul,” 7/23/08
- “Gunmen kill cop in Mosul,” 6/17/08
- “Gunmen kill morgue employee in Mosul,” 3/25/08
- “Gunmen kill municipality director in northern Mosul,” 6/25/08
- “Gunmen kill woman at her house in Mosul,” 3/28/08
- “Gunmen kill woman inside her home in Mosul,” 7/25/08
- “Gunmen kill, wound 2 fishermen near Mosul,” 4/24/08
- “Gunman killed, another wounded in Mosul,” 10/22/08
- “Gunmen killed, two bodies found in Mosul,” 1/30/08
- “Gunmen injure 2 Iraqi soldiers, bomb explodes in Mosul,” 10/27/08
- “Gunmen set eight communication towers ablaze in Mosul,” 2/7/08
- “Gunmen shoot down Sunni mosque imam in Mosul,” 7/27/08
- “Gunmen wound policeman in central Mosul – NOC,” 8/26/08
- “IAF presents plan to recruit 7 thousand Mosul residents into security forces – MP,” 5/18/08
- “IED injures 3 Iraqi soldiers in Mosul,” 10/28/08
- “IED injures policeman in Mosul,” 6/9/08
- “IED leaves 4 casualties in Mosul,” 4/24/08
- “IED leaves 4 casualties in Mosul, 2/25/08
- “IED targets U.S. patrol, U.S. army denies incident,” 8/18/08
- “IED wounds 3 policeman in Ninewa,” 3/4/08
- “Iraq army detonates car bomb west of Mosul,” 3/24/08
- “Iraq soldier killed in IED attack in Mosul,” 10/17/08
- “Iraqi army forces kill gunman in Mosul,” 1/22/08
- “Iraqi soldier killed, 3 wanted men captured in Mosul,” 4/28/08
- “Kidnapped civilian found dead in Mosul,” 1/15/08
- “Life returns to normal in Mosul after 10-day curfew,” 5/20/08
- “Maliki allocates $100 million for Mosul projects,” 5/18/08
- “Man, daughter killed by U.S. army in Ninewa,” 4/16/08
- “More than 142 gunmen arrested during Mosul’s operations,” 5/13/08
- “Mortar shell hits al-Iraqia, al-Mosuliya channels in Mosul,” 8/19/08
- “Mortar shell wounds 6 in Mosul,” 2/17/08
- “Mosul attack leaves 7 police casualty,” 1/3/08
- “Mosul blast casualties up to 43,” 3/18/08
- “Mosul car bomb attack leaves no casualties,” 7/15/08
- “Mosul car bomb wounds 5 civilians,” 1/16/08
- “Mosul mortuary receives 3 decayed bodies,” 10/10/08
- “Mosul university president’s bodyguard killed,” 8/25/08
- “One civilian wounded in Mosul,” 3/10/08
- “Police find 2 bodies in Ninewa,” 3/3/08
- “Police find prosecutor, lawyer bodies in Ninewa,” 2/29/08
- “Police forces discover three female bodies in Mosul,” 7/31/08
- “Police kill al-Qaeda gunman in Ninewa,” 2/5/08
- “Policeman, civilian wounded in suicide blast in Mosul,” 10/27/08
- “Policeman killed by gunmen fire in Mosul,” 8/25/08
- “Policeman killed in clashes with gunmen in Mosul,” 7/26/08
- “Roadside bomb kills man, son in Mosul,” 2/29/08
- “Second bombing wounds three persons in Mosul,” 6/26/08
- “Security member wounded in 2nd Mosul blast,” 8/18/08
- “Senior police officer killed in Mosul clashes,” 3/30/08
- “Senior police officer survives attempted assassination in Mosul,” 2/21/08
- “Southern Mosul blast wounds cop, civilian,” 1/22/08
- “Suicide attack wounds five policemen in Mosul,” 6/20/08
- “Suicide bomber killed in Mosul,” 3/4/08
- “Suicide bomber wounds 6 civilians in Mosul,” 7/16/08
- “Suicide truck bomb kills 2, injures 70 in Mosul,” 6/25/08
- “Three civilians wounded in western Mosul blast,” 7/20/08
- “Toll from Mosul bombing rises to 18,” 4/14/08
- “Turkish tanker driver killed by bomb blast in Mosul,” 7/10/08
- “Twin car bombing leaves 13 casualties,” 3/14/08
- “Two coordinated car bombs wound 9 individuals in Mosul,” 7/31/08
- “Two Iraqi soldiers wounded in 2 attacks in Mosul,” 7/9/08
- “Two roadside bombings leaves 2 wounded in Mosul,” 6/12/08
- “Two tank drivers wounded in Mosul armed attack,” 6/12/08
- “U.S. army discovers 4 bodies in Ninewa,” 6/10/08
- “U.S. chopper kills, injures 3 cops – source,” 1/21/08
- “U.S. forces kill 3 family members in Mosul,” 6/24/08
- “Unidentified gunmen kill two cops in eastern Mosul,” 2/28/08
- “Unknown body found in Mosul,” 3/24/08
- “Unknown gunmen kill 1 civilian in volatile Ninewa,” 10/30/08
- “Unknown gunmen kill 1 policeman in Mosul,” 10/30/08
- “Unknown gunmen kill a 12-year boy in Mosul-spokesman,” 2/1/08
- “URGENT/IIP official survives attempt in Mosul,” 10/11/08
- “Violence in Diala reduced, Mosul the coming target – MOI,” 8/17/08
- “Woman wounded in eastern Mosul blast,” 6/14/08

Dagher, Sam, “Fractures in Iraq City as Kurds and Baghdad Vie,” New York Times, 10/28/08

Dimova, Marina, “Three members of same family murdered in northern Iraq,” VisitBulgaria.info, 9/12/08

DPA, “At least 10 killed, 15 injured in attacks in Iraq,” 2/25/08
- “At least five killed, three wounded in Iraq violence – Summary,” 2/3/08
- “Governor of Iraq’s Nineveh escapes assassination attempt – Update,” 6/7/08
- “Iraq’s Islamic Party leader assassinated in Mosul,” 8/7/08
- “Nine injured in suicide bombing in northern Iraq,” 3/16/08
- “Plane engines, explosives, and another grave found in Iraq – Summary,” 3/9/08
- “US troops kill nine suspected al-Qaeda members in Iraq,” 1/18/08

Al Dulaimy, Mohammed, “Round-up of Daily Violence in Iraq – Monday 11 February 2008,” McClatchy Newspapers, 2/11/08
- “Round-up of Daily Violence in Iraq – Tuesday 01 July 2008,” McClatchy Newspapers, 7/1/08
- “Round-up of Daily Violence in Iraq – Tuesday 07 October 2008,” 10/7/08
- “Round-up Daily Violence in Iraq – Tuesday 26 February 2008,” 2/26/08
- “Round-up of Daily Violence in Iraq – Wednesday 10 September 2008,” 9/10/08

Gamel, Kim, “5 Iraqi kids playing soccer killed by bomb,” Associated Press, 9/23/08
Gamel, Kim, “Bombing in Kirkuk kills 2 Iraqi soldiers,” Associated Press, 8/1/08
- “US: Mosul attacks down 85 percent,” Associated Press, 5/21/08

Gray, Denis, “Battle for Iraq’s 3rd city hangs in the balance,” Associated Press, 11/11/08

Hammoudi, Laith, “Round-up of Daily Violence in Iraq – Monday 8 September 2008,” 9/8/08
- “Round-up of Daily Violence in Iraq – Thursday 4 September 2008,” 9/4/08
- “Round-up of Daily Violence in Iraq, Tuesday 22 April 2008,” McClatchy Newspapers, 4/22/08
- “Round-up of Daily Violence in Iraq, Tuesday 29 April 2008,” McClatchy Newspapers, 4/29/08
- “Round-up of Daily Violence in Iraq, Wednesday 5 March 2008,” McClatchy Newspapers, 3/5/08
- “Round-up of Daily Violence in Iraq – Wednesday 8 October 2008,” 10/8/08
- “Round-up of Daily Violence in Iraq – Wednesday 13 August 2008,” McClatchy Newspapers, 8/13/08
- “Round-up of Daily Violence in Iraq – Wednesday 27 August 2008,” McClatchy Newspapers, 8/27/08

Iraq Today Blog, “War News for Friday, October 02, 2008,” 10/2/08
- “War News for Friday, October 03, 2008,” 10/3/08
- “War News for Friday, October 06, 2008,” 10/6/08
- “War News for Friday, October 10, 2008,” 10/10/08
- “War News for Friday, September 5, 2008,” 9/5/08
- “War News for Friday, September 12, 2008,” 9/12/08
- “War News for Monday, September 29, 2008,” 9/29/08
- “War News for Saturday, October 5, 2008,” 10/5/08
- “War News for Saturday, September 06, 2008,” 9/6/08
- “War News for Saturday, September 13, 2008,” 9/13/08
- “War News for Saturday, September 27, 2008,” 9/27/08
- “War News for Thursday, September 11, 2008,” 9/11/08
- “War News for Thursday, September 18, 2008,” 9/18/08
- “War News for Thursday, September 25, 2008,” 9/25/08
- “War News for Tuesday, September 02, 2008,” 9/2/08
- “War News for Tuesday, September 16, 2008,” 9/16/08
- “War News for Wednesday, September 03, 2008,” 9/3/08
- “War News for Wednesday, September 17, 2008,” 9/17/08

Issa, Sahar, - “Round-up of Daily Violence in Iraq – Friday 10 October 2008,” 10/10/08
- “Round-up of Daily Violence in Iraq, Friday 14 March 2008,” McClatchy Newspapers, 3/14/08
- “Round-up of Daily Violence in Iraq, Friday 22 August 2008,” McClatchy Newspapers, 8/22/08
- “Round-up of Daily Violence in Iraq, Monday 11 August 2008,” McClatchy Newspapers, 8/11/08
- “Round-up of Daily Violence in Iraq – Saturday 11 October 2008,” 10/11/08
- “Round-up of Daily Violence in Iraq, Sunday 20 July 2008,” McClatchy Newspapers, 7/20/08
- “Round-up of Daily Violence in Iraq, Thursday 7 February 2008,” McClatchy Newspapers, 2/7/08
- “Round-up of Daily Violence in Iraq, Thursday 10 April 2008,” McClatchy Newspapers, 4/10/08
- “Round-up of Daily Violence in Iraq – Thursday 18 September 2008,” 9/18/08
- “Round-up of Daily Violence in Iraq, Thursday 20 April 2008,” McClatchy Newspapers, 3/20/08
- “Round-up of Daily Violence in Iraq, Thursday 24 July 2008,” McClatchy Newspapers, 7/24/08

Kadhim, Hussein, “Round-up of Daily Violence – Monday 9 June 2008,” McClatchy Newspapers, 6/9/08
- “Round-up of Daily Violence in Iraq-Monday 12 October 2008,” 10/12/08
- “Round-up of Daily Violence – Monday 14 June 2008,” McClatchy Newspapers, 1/14/08
- “Round-up of Daily Violence in Iraq-Monday 29 September 2008,” 9/29/08
- “Round-up of Daily Violence in Iraq-Monday 20 October 2008,” 10/20/08
- “Round-up of Daily Violence – Thursday 6 March 2008,” McClatchy Newspapers, 3/6/08
- “Round-up of Daily Violence – Tuesday 01 April 2008,” McClatchy Newspapers, 4/1/08
- “Round-up of Daily Violence – Tuesday 12 February 2008,” McClatchy Newspapers, 2/12/08
- “Round-up of Daily Violence – Wednesday 23 February 2008,” McClatchy Newspapers, 2/23/08
- “Round-up of Daily Violence – Wednesday 23 January 2008,” McClatchy Newspapers, 1/23/08
- “Round-up of Daily Violence in Iraq-Wednesday 24 September 2008,” 9/24/08

Kuwait News Agency, “Attack in Mosul leads to injury of 17 people,” 6/22/08

Malazada, Hemin, “kurds dismiss talk of centralization,” Niqash, 11/24/08

Middle East Online, “Mosul bomber kills Iraq police chief,” 1/24/08

Monsters & Critics, “Al-Qaeda suspects, tribal policemen, TV presenter killed in Iraq,” 6/17/08
- “At least 12 killed in Iraq violence,” 3/11/08
- “Christians, churches attacked in Iraq during celebrations,” 1/7/08
- “Female students kidnapped, US soldier dies in Iraq,” 7/6/08
- “Policeman, soldier killed in two incidents in Iraq (Extra),” 8/14/08
- “Three killed, 13 injured in blasts in northern Iraq (2nd lead,” 4/23/08

Multi-National Force – Iraq, “MND-N Soldiers attacked in Ninevah Province (Mosul),” 2/20/08

Nagpal, Sahil, “Governor of Iraq’s Nineveh province survives assassination attempt,” TopNews.in, 6/7/08

Partlow, Joshua and Tyson, Ann Scott, “Five U.S. Soldiers Are Killed When Convoy Is Hit in Mosul,” Washington Post, 1/29/08

Press TV, “Separate attacks kill 3 in Iraq,” 2/6/08

Quinn, Patrick, “US Military Kills al-Qaida Leader,” Associated Press, 3/2/08

Reuters, “Bombs hit northern Iraq, forces expect more,” 8/13/08
- “FACTBOX – Security developments in Iraq, April 1,” 4/1/08
- “FACTBOX – Security developments in Iraq, April 4,” 4/4/08
- “FACTBOX – Security developments in Iraq, April 5,” 4/5/08
- “FACTBOX – Security developments in Iraq, April 6,” 4/6/08
- “FACTBOX – Security developments in Iraq, April 11,” 4/11/08
- “FACTBOX – Security developments in Iraq, April 12,” 4/12/08
- “FACTBOX – Security developments in Iraq, April 13,” 4/13/08
- “FACTBOX – Security developments in Iraq, April 15,” 4/15/08
- “FACTBOX – Security developments in Iraq, April 22,” 4/22/08
- “FACTBOX – Security developments in Iraq, April 23,” 4/23/08
- “FACTBOX – Security developments in Iraq, April 25,” 4/25/08
- “FACTBOX – Security developments in Iraq, April 30,” 4/30/08
- “FACTBOX – Security developments in Iraq, Aug 4,” 8/4/08
- “FACTBOX – Security developments in Iraq, Aug 5,” 8/5/08
- “FACTBOX – Security developments in Iraq, Aug 6,” 8/6/08
- “FACTBOX – Security developments in Iraq, Aug 8,” 8/8/08
- “FACTBOX – Security developments in Iraq, Aug 15,” 8/15/08
- “FACTBOX – Security developments in Iraq, Aug 18,” 8/18/08
- “FACTBOX – Security developments in Iraq, Aug 21,” 8/21/08
- “FACTBOX – Security developments in Iraq, Aug 23,” 8/23/08
- “FACTBOX – Security developments in Iraq, Aug 25,” 8/25/08
- “FACTBOX – Security developments in Iraq, Aug 27,” 8/27/08
- “FACTBOX – Security developments in Iraq, Aug 28,” 8/28/08
- “FACTBOX – Security developments in Iraq, Aug 30,” 8/30/08
- “FACTBOX – Security developments in Iraq, Aug 31,” 8/31/08
- “FACTBOX – Security developments in Iraq, February 1,” 2/1/08
- “FACTBOX – Security developments in Iraq, February 5,” 2/5/08
- “FACTBOX – Security developments in Iraq, February 6,” 2/6/08
- “FACTBOX – Security developments in Iraq, February 7,” 2/7/08
- “FACTBOX – Security developments in Iraq, February 8,” 2/8/08
- “FACTBOX – Security developments in Iraq, February 9,” 2/9/08
- “FACTBOX – Security developments in Iraq, February 11,” 2/11/08
- “FACTBOX – Security developments in Iraq, February 19,” 2/19/08
- “FACTBOX – Security developments in Iraq, February 21,” 2/21/08
- “FACTBOX – Security developments in Iraq, February 23,” 2/23/08
- “FACTBOX – Security developments in Iraq, February 24,” 2/24/08
- “FACTBOX – Security developments in Iraq, February 25,” 2/25/08
- “FACTBOX – Security developments in Iraq, February 27,” 2/27/08
- “FACTBOX – Security developments in Iraq, February 28,” 2/28/08
- “FACTBOX – Security developments in Iraq, February 29,” 2/29/08
- “FACTBOX – Security developments in Iraq, March 4,” 3/4/08
- “FACTBOX – Security developments in Iraq, March 10,” 3/10/08
- “FACTBOX – Security developments in Iraq, March 12,” 3/12/08
- “FACTBOX – Security developments in Iraq, March 13,” 3/13/08
- “FACTBOX – Security developments in Iraq, March 16,” 3/16/08
- “FACTBOX – Security developments in Iraq, March 19,” 3/19/08
- “FACTBOX – Security developments in Iraq, March 21,” 3/21/08
- “FACTBOX – Security developments in Iraq, March 25,” 3/25/08
- “FACTBOX – Security developments in Iraq, January 1,” 1/1/08
- “FACTBOX – Security developments in Iraq, January 2,” 1/2/08
- “FACTBOX – Security developments in Iraq, January 7,” 1/7/08
- “FACTBOX – Security developments in Iraq, January 8,” 1/8/08
- “FACTBOX – Security developments in Iraq, January 13,” 1/13/08
- “FACTBOX – Security developments in Iraq, January 16,” 1/16/08
- “FACTBOX – Security developments in Iraq, January 17,” 1/17/08
- “FACTBOX – Security developments in Iraq, January 20,” 1/20/08
- “FACTBOX – Security developments in Iraq, January 23,” 1/23/08
- “FACTBOX – Security developments in Iraq, January 30,” 1/30/08
- “FACTBOX – Security developments in Iraq, July 5,” 7/5/08
- “FACTBOX – Security developments in Iraq, July 7,” 7/7/08
- “FACTBOX – Security developments in Iraq, July 8,” 7/8/08
- “FACTBOX – Security developments in Iraq, July 9,” 7/9/08
- “FACTBOX – Security developments in Iraq, July 11,” 7/11/08
- “FACTBOX – Security developments in Iraq, July 12,” 7/12/08
- “FACTBOX – Security developments in Iraq, July 14,” 7/14/08
- “FACTBOX – Security developments in Iraq, July 15,” 7/15/08
- “FACTBOX – Security developments in Iraq, July 16,” 7/16/08
- “FACTBOX – Security developments in Iraq, July 18,” 7/18/08
- “FACTBOX – Security developments in Iraq, July 19,” 7/19/08
- “FACTBOX – Security developments in Iraq, July 20,” 7/20/08
- “FACTBOX – Security developments in Iraq, July 22,” 7/22/08
- “FACTBOX – Security developments in Iraq, July 23,” 7/23/08
- “FACTBOX – Security developments in Iraq, July 24,” 7/24/08
- “FACTBOX – Security developments in Iraq, July 25,” 7/25/08
- “FACTBOX – Security developments in Iraq, July 28,” 7/28/08
- “FACTBOX – Security developments in Iraq, July 31,” 7/31/08
- “FACTBOX – Security developments in Iraq, June 2,” 6/2/08
- “FACTBOX – Security developments in Iraq, June 8,” 6/8/08
- “FACTBOX – Security developments in Iraq, June 9,” 6/9/08
- “FACTBOX – Security developments in Iraq, June 14,” 6/14/08
- “FACTBOX – Security developments in Iraq, June 16,” 6/16/08
- “FACTBOX – Security developments in Iraq, June 17,” 6/17/08
- “FACTBOX – Security developments in Iraq, June 19,” 6/19/08
- “FACTBOX – Security developments in Iraq, June 22,” 6/22/08
- “FACTBOX – Security developments in Iraq, June 24,” 6/24/08
- “FACTBOX – Security developments in Iraq, June 26,” 6/26/08
- “FACTBOX – Security developments in Iraq, June 29,” 6/29/08
- “FACTBOX – Security developments in Iraq, June 30,” 6/30/08
- “FACTBOX-Security developments in Iraq, Oct 4,” 10/4/08
- “FACTBOX-Security developments in Iraq, Oct 7,” 10/7/08
- “FACTBOX-Security developments in Iraq, Oct 9,” 10/9/08
- “FACTBOX-Security developments in Iraq, Oct 10,” 10/10/08
- “FACTBOX-Security developments in Iraq, Oct 11,” 10/11/08
- “FACTBOX-Security developments in Iraq, Oct 13,” 10/13/08
- “FACTBOX-Security developments in Iraq, Oct 14,” 10/14/08
- “FACTBOX-Security developments in Iraq, Oct 15,” 10/15/08
- “FACTBOX-Security developments in Iraq, Oct 16,” 10/16/08
- “FACTBOX-Security developments in Iraq, Oct 17,” 10/17/08
- “FACTBOX-Security developments in Iraq, Oct 20,” 10/20/08
- “FACTBOX-Security developments in Iraq, Oct 21,” 10/21/08
- “FACTBOX-Security developments in Iraq, Oct 22,” 10/22/08
- “FACTBOX-Security developments in Iraq, Oct 25,” 10/25/08
- “FACTBOX-Security developments in Iraq, Oct 26,” 10/26/08
- “FACTBOX-Security developments in Iraq, Oct 27,” 10/27/08
- “FACTBOX-Security developments in Iraq, Oct 29,” 10/29/08
- “FACTBOX-Security developments in Iraq, Oct 31,” 10/31/08
- “FACTBOX-Security developments in Iraq, Sept 1,” 9/1/08
- “FACTBOX-Security developments in Iraq, Sept 3,” 9/3/08
- “FACTBOX-Security developments in Iraq, Sept 8,” 9/8/08
- “FACTBOX-Security developments in Iraq, Sept 9,” 9/9/08
- “FACTBOX-Security developments in Iraq, Sept 10,” 9/10/08
- “FACTBOX-Security developments in Iraq, Sept 13,” 9/13/08
- “FACTBOX-Security developments in Iraq, Sept 17,” 9/17/08
- “FACTBOX-Security developments in Iraq, Sept 18,” 9/18/08
- “FACTBOX-Security developments in Iraq, Sept 19,” 9/19/08
- “FACTBOX-Security developments in Iraq, Sept 20,” 9/20/08
- “FACTBOX-Security developments in Iraq, Sept 21,” 9/21/08
- “FACTBOX-Security developments in Iraq, Sept 22,” 9/22/08
- “FACTBOX-Security developments in Iraq, Sept 23,” 9/23/08
- “FACTBOX-Security developments in Iraq, Sept 25,” 9/25/08
- “FACTBOX-Security developments in Iraq, Sept 26,” 9/26/08
- “FACTBOX-Security developments in Iraq, Sept 29,” 9/29/08
- “FACTBOX-Security developments in Iraq, Sept 30,” 9/30/08
- Security developments in Iraq, 28 Sep 2008,” 9/28/08

Ryan, Missy, “Iraqis await resurrection of scarred Mosul,” Reuters, 10/28/08
- “Kurd-Arab tensions may threaten Iraq calm,” Reuters, 11/12/08

Salaheddin, Sinan, “US military: 11 killed in Mosul raid,” Associated Press, 10/5/08

Sindh Today.net, “Seven killed in Iraq suicide car bombing,” 9/2/08

U.S. Department of Defense, “DoD Identifies Army Casualty,” 1/21/08

United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, “Iraq Humanitarian Update,” October 2008

UPI, “Iraq violence claims nine lives,” 9/12/08

Weaver, Matthew, “Police chief killed by suicide bomber in Iraq,” Guardian, 1/24/08

Xinhua, “At least 2 killed in suicide truck bombing in N Iraq,” 9/22/08
- “Car bomb hits police patrol in northern Iraq,” 1/14/08
- “Car bomb kills policeman in northern Iraq,” 9/8/08
- “Four Iraqis killed in attack on funeral in northern Iraq,” 10/5/08
- “Gunmen blow up 4 houses in N Iraq, child killed,” 6/16/08
- “Insurgents blow up house of Sunni lawmaker in N Iraq,” 9/23/08
- “Iraq soldiers foil suicide bomb attack in Mosul,” 4/29/08
- “Policeman killed in gunfire in northern Iraq,” 9/20/08
- “Suicide car bomb injuring 14 in N Iraq,” 6/23/08
- “Three policemen killed in insurgents’ attack in Iraq,” 1/4/08
- “Twin bomb attack kills 8 in northern Iraq,” 6/28/08

Thursday, November 27, 2008

SOFA Passes


At 2 P.M. Baghdad time Iraq’s parliament passed the Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA). There are 275 members of parliament, but only 198 showed up today November 27. Out of those approximately 144 or 149 depending upon the source, voted for the SOFA. At the same time, the legislators also voted for a resolution on political reforms that the Sunnis demanded in return for their votes. The bill said that the government needed to work towards revising the constitution, allowing more Sunnis in the security forces, integrating the Sons of Iraq, and general reconciliation. The act had no specifics to it however, and was more a statement of purpose rather than an actual law that had to be implemented.

The opposition to the SOFA, which never had the votes to stop it from passing in the first place, split. Followers of Moqtada al-Sadr protested while hands were being counted in parliament. Afterwards they said they would continue with their objections to the pact. The Fadhila party representatives boycotted the proceedings entirely. They said they did not vote for the agreement because there were no guarantees that it would actually be implemented. The Iraqi National List of former Interim Prime Minister Iyad Allawi that was originally against the agreement, ended up supporting it.

More importantly, the Sunnis voted for the SOFA, but their demands may never be met. The Iraqi Accordance Front, the largest Sunni coalition, and the National Dialogue Bloc, an independent Sunni party, all voted in favor of it. They held out for their concessions because they are afraid of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s growing power. They fear that after the U.S. leaves, Maliki will be able to do as he pleases and continue to politically isolate them, so they wanted guarantees that the government would continue to work towards reconciliation. Shiite politicians however were resentful of the fact that the Sunnis were able to hold the SOFA vote hostage to their demands. Members of the United Iraqi Alliance repeatedly went to Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani asking if they could ignore the Sunnis, and carry on the vote without them, but he told them they needed a national consensus on the agreement. The fact that the Shiites were angry with the Sunnis doesn’t fare well for how their demands will be treated in the future. Maliki already looks at the Accordance Front as a stepchild, and the government has not followed any of the reconciliation acts that have passed the way they were legislated. That will probably mean that the bill calling for political compromise that was voted on along with the SOFA will remain a resolution, rather than lead to actual action.

There are several more steps that Baghdad has to follow now on the SOFA. The agreement is to be sent to the Presidential Council, which is made up of President Jalal Talabani of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan, Vice President Adel Abdul-Mahdi of the Supreme Islamic Iraqi Council, and Vice President Tariq al-Hashemi of the Iraqi Islamic Party, for final ratification. The Council is expected to pass it. The SOFA will then go into affect on January 1, 2009. The parliament also passed a bill calling for a referendum on the agreement to be held in July 2009. If the Iraqi public votes against it, Iraq will have one year to withdraw from the agreement, and U.S. troops will have to leave. That will be the real test of the SOFA.

Winners And Losers

There are some clear winners and losers of this entire process. Although the Sunnis got their bill passed, they will probably come out on the bottom again as the Kurds and Shiites still monopolize most of the power in the government. The Sadrists also remain on the outside. They have promised to continue their protests against the agreement, but that will have little actual affect, as the Sadr Trend appears to be a fading movement at this time. Fadhila was the other party that was in the opposition, but remains a small regional Shiite party. The U.S. also turned out to be a major loser. President Bush once rejected any timeline for a U.S. withdrawal from Iraq. Now he has agreed to one. The White House was always in a position of weakness in the negotiations because Bush wanted an agreement before he left office, so he gave in on almost every demand that Iraq made.

On the other hand, the biggest winner was Prime Minister Maliki. He has established himself as the nationalist leader of Iraq. He can now claim that he got the U.S. to agree to pull out of the country. He will use this to his advantage in the January 2009 provincial elections and the parliamentary ones that are to follow. As reported earlier, Maliki is already the most popular politician in the country. He now appears to be on a role after cracking down on his opponents within the country, and taking on his allies, he has now won a victory against the Americans. He still has to worry about his coalition members the Supreme Islamic Iraqi Council and the Kurds who were making moves to remove him before the SOFA vote. This may accelerate now that Maliki has improved his position again, but might run into opposition from Grand Ayatollah Sistani and the United States who stand behind him. Either way, they are dealing with a strengthened Prime Minister who was almost pushed out of office in late 2007.

SOURCES

Abdul-Zahra, Qassim, “Iraq Shiites, Kurds meet Sunni demand on US pact,” Associated Press, 11/26/08

Arraf, Jane, “On brink of vote, Iraqi parliament makes new demands,” Christian Science Monitor, 11/28/08

Ashton, Adam, “Iraqi parliament approves pact to end U.S. occupation,” McClatchy Newspapers, 11/27/08

Associated Press, “Iraqi parliament approves U.S. security pact,” USA Today, 11/27/08

Aswat al-Iraq, “Communist party, IAF, dialogue bloc to vote to accept SOFA,” 11/27/08
- “Fadila party supports government in dealing with pact violation,” 11/27/08
- “INL urges blocs to vote to approve U.S. pact,” 11/27/08
- “Will use legal authorizations to degrade pact – Sadarist MP,” 11/27/08

BBC News, “Iraqi parliament backs US pullout,” 11/27/08

Faraj, Salam, “Iraqi parliament approves landmark US military pact,” Agence France Presse, 11/27/08

Haynes, Deborah, “Iraq approves US security pact amid noisy debate,” Times of London, 11/27/08

Al Jazeera, “Iraq parliament approves US pact,” 11/27/08

Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, “Iraqi Parliament Passes U.S. Security Pact,” 11/27/08

Raghavan, Sudarsan, “Iraqi Lawmakers Extend Agreement With U.S. Military for 3 Years,” Washington Post, 11/27/08

Rasheed, Ahmed and al-Ansary, Khalid, “Iraq parliament passes U.S. security pact,” Reuters, 11/27/08

Rubin, Alissa, Robertson, Campbell and Farrell, Stephen, “Iraqi Parliament Approves U.S. Security Pact,” New York Times, 11/27/08

Al-Salhy, Suadad, “Analysis: SOFA, the View from Parliament,” Iraq From the Inside Blog, Baghdad Bureau New York Times, 11/27/08

Smith, Daniel, “Parliament Passes Security Agreement,” IraqSlogger.com, 11/27/08

Steele, Jonathan, “This is no sop. It is a vote to end the occupation of Iraq,” Guardian, 11/27/08

Visser, Rediar, “The ‘Withdrawal Treaty’ Is Passed,” Historiae.org, 11/27/08

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

The Status Of Forces Agreement

Today November 26, Iraq’s parliament showed up to work expecting to vote on the Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) in the morning, which would set military relations between the U.S. and Iraq for the next several years. Instead they were told that they would vote on the agreement tomorrow November 27, along with a separate bill put forward by the Sunni Iraqi Accordance Front. The recent negotiations over the deal point to several important facts. First, the Sadrists recently received a lot of press for demonstrating against the SOFA, but they really had no say on whether it would pass or not. It was the Sunni parties that were the real swing votes. Second, the Sunni demands may derail the entire process. Third, the fact that the Americans gave in to so many concessions showed that the White House was always working from a position of weakness vis-a-vis the Iraqis. Fourth, the Iranians may have finally agreed to the deal, and last, many of the compromises Baghdad recently was able to gain may be largely symbolic and upset many later on.

Was Opposed By A Small Minority…

In November 2007, the U.S. and Iraq signed a Declaration of Principles that was to set up the long-term security relationship between the two countries. That agreement was to be the basis for the SOFA. Originally, the deal was to be signed by the end of July 2008. As that date approached, Moqtada al-Sadr began calling for weekly protests against the SOFA. Sadr has always preached Iraqi nationalism, and objected to any agreement that would legitimize the U.S. presence in the country. Instead, he demanded that the U.S. withdraw immediately. His call for protests was also motivated by a need to rebuild his movement and maintain his supporters after the government launched successive military operations against them in Basra, Sadr City, and Maysan province. The Sadrists were joined by the Fadhila party, which is based in Basra, and former Interim Prime Minister Iyad Allawi’s Iraqi National List in opposing the agreement. The Sadrists hold 30 seats in parliament, the Fadhila 15, and the Iraqi National List 25. Together they do not have enough votes to block the agreement from passing, and the National List might change sides and support it if the Sunnis’ demands are met.

But The Sunnis Were The Real Swing Voters …

While Sadr was trying to rally his followers against the SOFA, the real deciders on the matter were the Sunni parties. In the summer of 2008 Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani said that he would sign off on the agreement if it protected Iraq’s sovereignty, was passed by parliament, and all major parties agreed upon it. By November the Kurdish Alliance and the United Iraqi Alliance, the two largest coalitions in parliament, had come out for the SOFA. Together they had enough votes for a straight majority, 138 votes, to pass the agreement. However, because of Sistani’s insistence on national consensus on the SOFA, the Shiites and Kurds had to bring the Sunnis on board. That put the Iraqi Accordance Front in the driver's seat. They demanded that they receive more say in the government and the security forces, that prisoners held by the U.S. that are not charged with a crime be released, and a national referendum is held on the SOFA. As the vote on the agreement came down to the wire, they were able to get these concessions.

Whose Demand For A National Referendum May Undermine the SOFA …

Tomorrow when parliament reconvenes they will vote on the SOFA, and a separate bill that includes the Sunnis’ demands. If the bill is passed there will be a special election on the SOFA in July 2009. The problem is that U.S. forces are operating in Iraq under a United Nations mandate that expires on December 31, 2008. If the referendum bill is passed, that means the agreement won’t come to a conclusion until the summer of 2009, and even then the Iraqi public may veto it. That would mean the Americans would have to go back to the U.N. for another yearlong authorization, undermining the whole point of the SOFA, which is to take the place of the U.N. deal.

Which Highlights The Weak American Position …

The U.S. finds itself in an unenviable position. This has been true since the beginning of the negotiations however. From the start, the Iraqis knew that President Bush wanted an agreement before he left office. It never appeared that the White House tried to convince the Iraqis of why they needed the U.S. Instead, Baghdad made more and more demands, and the Americans gave in, especially as time passed, deadlines were not met, and the end of the U.N. mandate lurked. The Iraqis were able to set a specific deadline, 2009, for when U.S. troops would be out of Iraq’s cities, and a 2011 date for when U.S. troops would be out of the entire country. They also got the administration to agree to Iraqis checking American cargo and mail coming to Iraq, ending immunity for foreign contractors and security guards, having a say over intelligence gathering and U.S. military operations, control over the Green Zone, requiring American soldiers to get an Iraqi warrant to conduct searches, not allowing the U.S. to use Iraq to attack any other country, turning over anyone arrested to the Iraqis within 24 hours, and control of Iraqi air space. This has upset some in the U.S. military and Pentagon, but after Barak Obama took the lead in the presidential race, and eventually won the election, President Bush was even more determined to sign the SOFA rather than leave it to his successor. Now they may have to reconfigure all of their plans if the Iraqi legislature agrees to hold a referendum in 2009.

And The Strength Of Iran’s Position…

Iran appears to have several different positions on the SOFA, but may be finally signing off on it. From the beginning, Iran has seen the U.S. presence in Iraq as a threat to its security. They were therefore against the SOFA that would maintain the American military in Iraq. Many Iranian newspapers along with the country’s leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, speaker of Iran’s parliament Ali Larijani, among others have publicly said that Iraq should not sign the agreement. At the same time others such as the head of Iran’s judiciary Ayatollah Hashemi Shahroudi and Iranian TV have made statements supporting the deal. Attacks by Special Groups and other Iranian backed militants are also down across the country, which Tehran has tempered before during important political decisions it has supported in the past. While there are recent statements in the Iranian press against the agreement, it appears that Tehran has acquiesced to the SOFA especially after Baghdad was able to get the U.S. to agree to not use the country as a base for attacks upon its neighbors, and that it sets a specific date for an American withdrawal. Both would be considered wins for Iran.

But Parts Of The Agreement May Be More Symbolic Anyway

The last major problem with the SOFA is how the Americans and Iraqis interpret the SOFA when and if it is passed. Many of the concessions that Baghdad was able to gain may be more symbolic than real. McClatchy Newspapers for example, pointed out three articles in the agreement that the U.S. sees differently than Baghdad. First, the Americans have agreed to allow U.S. soldiers that commit crimes when they are off duty and off base to be tried by joint U.S. and Iraqi courts. This is a largely meaningless article meant to appease Iraqis because U.S. forces rarely go off base when they are off duty, not to mention that Baghdad and Washington have to negotiate over how these joint courts would work, which could take years. By that time, the U.S. may be out of the country. Second, the agreement says that the U.S. cannot use Iraq as a base to attack other countries. The Americans believe this does not prohibit hot pursuit and the right of self-defense, which could make the point mean nothing. Finally, the U.S. military believes that the Iraqi security forces are full of insurgents, Sadrists, and people who simply want to make a buck, and therefore do not trust them with advance warning and detailed information on military operations. This is becoming less of an issue as the U.S. is moving from conducting their own operations to supporting Iraqi ones. Still, the Pentagon does not want to give Baghdad control over their planning. These last two could make many Iraqis and Iran mad if they are implemented in the way the U.S. sees them. The White House in fact, is withholding its version of the agreement until it is passed by Iraq’s parliament because they are afraid it will undermine support for the SOFA.

Conclusion

Tomorrow will be another important date in the process of passing the SOFA, but it will not be the last. The agreement still needs to go to the Presidential Council for approval, and if the parliament agrees on it, there will be a referendum in July 2009. That may force Iraq to go back to the United Nations for a new mandate to legalize America’s presence in the country, something that Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has said he is loath to do. Either that or the U.S. and Iraq may have to come up with some kind of ad hoc interpretation of the SOFA. That means there is still much to watch for as the agreement proceeds along.

SOURCES

Abdul-Zahra, Qassim, “Iraq Shiites, Kurds meet Sunni demand on US pact,” Associated Press, 11/26/08

Alsumaria, “Iraq parties divided over US security pact,” 11/20/08
- “Iraqi List negotiates to approve agreement,” 11/26/08

Ashton, Adam and Fadel, Leila, “Iraqi cabinet approves accord setting U.S. troop withdrawal,” McClatchy Newspapers, 11/16/08

Ashton, Adam, Landay, Jonathan and Youssef, Nancy, “U.S. staying silent on its view of Iraq pact until after vote,” McClatchy Newspapers, 11/26/08

Aswat al-Iraq, “Security deal doesn’t guarantee Iraq’s full sovereignty,” 11/20/08

Dareini, Ali Akbar, “Iran hard-liners come out against Iraqi-US deal,” Associated Press, 5/12/08

DeYoung, Karen, “Iraq Wants U.S. to Compromise More on Security Deals,” Washington Post, 4/22/08

Fadhil, Omar, “Iraq’s political parties wrangle over the status of forces agreement,” Long War Journal.org, 6/17/08

Faraj, Salam, “Iraq to hold referendum on US troops pact,” Agence France Presse, 11/26/08

Farrell, Stephen, “Protests in Baghdad on U.S. Pact,” New York Times, 11/21/08

Felter, Joseph and Fishman, Brian, “Iranian Strategy in Iraq, Politics and ‘Other Means,’” Combating Terrorism Center at West Point, 10/13/08

Gutman, Roy, “Iraq’s prime minister won’t sign U.S. troops deal,” McClatchy Newspaper, 10/24/08

Oppel, Richard and Farrell, Stephen, “Growing Opposition to Iraq Security Pact,” New York Times, 5/31/08

Roads To Iraq Blog, “Final amended SOFA version,” 11/16/08
- “Iran gave the “Green Light”, American negotiators briefed Obama on SOFA, there are still five stages to the agreement,” 11/17/08

Robertson, Campbell and Al-Salhy, Suadad, “Cleric Calls for Resistance to U.S. Presence in Iraq,” New York Times, 11/15/08

Robertson, Campbell and Farrell, Stephen, “In Baghdad, Debating Post-U.S. Outlook,” 11/21/08

Rose, Charlie Show, “A Conversation with Vali Nasr of The Council on Foreign Relations, Michael Gordon of the New York Times, and Stephen Biddle of the Council on Foreign Relations,” 6/18/08

Sands, Phil, “Style over substance in new deal with Iraq,” The National, 11/17/08

Shanker, Thom and Buckley, Cara, “U.S. and Iraq to Negotiate Pact on Long-Term Relations,” New York Times, 11/27/07

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

2008 Year Of The Female Suicide Bomber

2008 has been the year of the female suicide bomber. The first incidents occurred in 2003 when two women carried out separate bombings that year. In 2004 there were no such attacks, but there were four between 2005 and 2006, and then eight in 2007. In comparison, there have been 34 as of November 24, 2008 when the last bombing happened. So far 295 people have been killed this year as a result, and 731 wounded. The favorite targets have been Shiite pilgrims traveling to holy cities in the south, local police, and the Sons of Iraq. Diyala in the northeast of has seen the most attacks in 2008 with 19, nine in the provincial capital of Baquba. Baghdad was second with six attacks. Islamist insurgents are believed to be organizing these attacks, which shows both their dire situation, and their ability to adapt.

Al Qaeda in Iraq is generally considered to be behind this new terror tactic. Using women came out of desperation for the group. Before, foreign fighters were the favorite means to carry out suicide attacks. Most of these came through Syria, and entered Iraq through Anbar province. As security improved this supply shriveled up. From February to June 2007 for example, the U.S. estimated that between 80-110 foreigners came to Iraq. By 2008 that dropped to 12-15. Forced to adjust, the Islamists turned to women because they were easier to get passed security checkpoints.

According to Iraqi intelligence there are three Sunni clerics in charge of this program. They target women that have lost family members to U.S. or Iraqi security forces. Women with family problems are also recruited. They are told that they can solve their issues by committing suicide. Females usually go through four days of training led by a holy man. Al Qaeda’s front group, the Islamic State of Iraq, claims that these women are then organized into an all female squad called Naseeba al-Ansariya Martydom Battalion. The U.S. doubts this unit actually exists, but there are definitely networks in Diyala working to gain women bombers.

The U.S. and Iraq have attempted to foil these attacks using a combination of defensive tactics, and going on the offensive in Diyala. The Americans started a new program called the Daughters of Iraq in the province in July 2008. As of October 80 women have graduated. At the same time, Iraq launched a security offensive in the province towards the end of July meant to flush out Al Qaeda in Iraq from the countryside where they are based. While some attacks have been foiled, and a few women have been arrested before they could detonate their bombs, ultimately, there is probably nothing that can be done to completely end these suicide bombings. On the one hand they show the weakness of the insurgency because their traditional methods have dried up, while on the other their ability to survive in a new security environment.

2008 Female Suicide Attacks In Iraq

1. 1/2/08 a women bomber killed chief Abu Sajad, head of a local Sons of Iraq unit in Baquba, Diyala province along with six others. Twenty-two were wounded. This was the second attack in three days using a female bomber against tribal Sons of Iraq forces.

2. 1/16/08 a women bomber killed eight and wounded seven in a market in the Shiite town of Khan Bani Saad near Baquba, Diyala province.

3. 1/29/08 a women set off her bomb at a police checkpoint to a market in Baghdad killing two and wounding five.

4. & 5. 2/1/08 a female bomber killed forty-five and wounded 82 in a pet market in Baghdad. A few minutes later another women bomber set off her bomb at another market in Baghdad killing 27 and wounding 67. Initial reports that both women were mentally handicapped later turned out to be false.

6. 2/17/08 a woman bomber set her device off after being stopped at a checkpoint in a Shiite neighborhood of Baghdad killing three and wounding ten.

7. 3/10/08 in Kanaan, Diyala province outside of Baquba, a woman bomber killed Sheikh Thaeir Ghadhban al-Karkhi, head of the town’s Sons of Iraq unit.

8. 3/17/08 a woman detonated her bomb in the middle of a crowd of Shiites in the holy city of Karbala killing 40 and wounding 65.

9. 3/19/08 in Balad Ruz, Diyala province a woman suicide bomber killed four, including two policemen, and wounded twelve outside of an office that arranges religious pilgrimages.

10. 4/22/08 a police station in Baquba, Diyala province was attacked by a woman bomber who killed eight, including five policemen, and wounded seventeen.

11. 4/23/08 a female bomber attacked a police station in Diyala province killing eighteen and wounding two.

12. 4/29/08 in Abu Saida, Diyala, a woman set off her bomb amongst a group of Sons of Iraq fighters, killing two of them and wounding ten.

13. 4/29/08 a female suicide bomber set off her bomb at a bus stop near Muqdadiyah, Diyala province killing one and wounding five.

14. 5/14/08 a woman blew herself up killing a Shiite army commander in Yusufiyah, south of Baghdad.

15. 5/17/08 a woman in Diyala province detonated a car bomb alongside an Iraqi security forces vehicle wounding seven.

16. 5/17/08 a woman suicide bomber blew herself up attacking a Sons of Iraq unit in Diyala province killing one and wounding sixteen.

17. 5/20/08 a woman blew herself up outside of the house of Sheikh Mutlib al-Nidawi, the head of a Sons of Iraq group in Mandili, Diyala province, killing one family member and wounding al-Nidawai and two of his guards.

18. 5/20/08 a female suicide bomber killed a Sons of Iraq fighter and wounded seven others outside a police station in Rutba.

19. 5/21/08 two police and four others were wounded when a woman set off her bomb outside of a Sons of Iraq headquarters in Anbar City.

20. 6/7/08 four policemen and two civilians were wounded in Khalidiya by a female bomber outside a police station in Anbar province.

21. 6/14/08 in the town of Qara Tappah outside of Baghdad, a woman bomber targeted a café where people were watching the Iraqi soccer team play China in the World Cup. 34 were wounded.

22. 6/22/08 a woman set off her bomb near a government office building in Baquba killing thirteen people and wounding 30. The bomb was aimed at a police patrol.

23. 6/29/08 a female bomber blew herself up near a Sons of Iraq council in Baquba wounding three.

24. 7/7/08 a female suicide bomber detonated herself in a market in Baquba killing nine .

25. 7/24/08 a woman attacked a Sons of Iraq (SOI) unit in Baquba killing eight SOI fighters, and wounding 24. The target was Sheikh Naaim al-Dulaimi, the SOI leader of western Baquba, who was killed along with several of his bodyguards.

26. 7/28/08 Three female suicide bombers attacked a crowd of Shiite pilgrims in the Karrada neighborhood of Baghdad as they were traveling to the Kadhimiya Shrine. 32 people were killed, 100 wounded. This was the third deadliest attack by a woman bomber of 2008.

27. 8/11/08 a woman walked up to a police checkpoint at a market in Baquba, Diyala province and detonated her bomb killing one and wounding fourteen.

28. 8/14/08 two women attacked Shiite pilgrims heading to the holy city of Karbala. The bombing occurred in Iskandariyah, south of Baghdad. 19 were killed, 75 wounded.

29. 9/15/08 a woman detonated her bomb outside of a jail where police officers were waiting for one of their comrades to be released killing 22 and wounding 34 in Diyala.

30. 10/8/08 woman bomber attacked police and soldiers outside of a courthouse in Baquba, Diyala province killing 9 and wounding 21.

31. 10/17/08 Sons of Iraq (SOI) guards fired on a woman who refused to stop in the town of Dhuluiya, north of Baghdad. She detonated her bomb before being killed injuring five SOI members.

32. 11/8/08 a suspicious woman was chased by the police. She detonated her bomb outside of a hospital in Fallujah killing 3, wounding 10, most of which were medical personnel.

33. 11/9/08 a thirteen-year-old girl detonated a bomb by a Sons of Iraq checkpoint in Baquba, Diyala. Killed four Sons of Iraq members and wounded 15.

34. 11/24/08 three bombs were set off in Baghdad. One was by a woman outside an entrance to the Green Zone that targeted employees of the country’s intelligence service. The woman’s bomb killed five and injured 17.

For more on female suicide bombers see:

25th Female Suicide Bomber of 2008

26th Female Suicide Attack In Iraq Takes Dozens Of Lives In Baghdad

Another Female Bomber Strikes in Baquba as Controversies Emerge During Diyala Security Crackdown

Another Female Suicide Bomber Strikes Baquba, Diyala Province

The Demise, But Not Death of Al Qaeda In Iraq

Demise of Al Qaeda In Iraq Update

Female Bomber In Diyala Was Really A Man

Motivations Behind Female Suicide Bombers

The Rise of Female Suicide Bombers

SOURCES

Adas, Basil, “Recruitment of suicide bombers down – official,” Gulf News, 6/6/08

Agence France Presse, “Bombs kill six in Iraq’s dangerous Diyala province,” 8/11/08
- “Female suicide bomber kills 16 in Iraq,” 6/22/08
- “Woman suicide bomber kills eight in Iraq: police,” 7/24/08

Alsumaria, “Iraq female bombers driven by revenge,” 8/7/08

Associated Press, “28 militants, Iraqi official killed,” USA Today, 4/29/08
- “Female suicide bomber strikes checkpoint in Baghdad, killing 2 women,” Jerusalem Post, 1/29/08
- “Police: Female suicide bomber kills 3 in Iraq,” MSNBC.com, 2/17/08
- “U.S.-backed operation begins in Diyala province of Iraq,” USA Today, 7/29/08

BBC News, “Iraq suicide blasts cause carnage,” 7/28/08
- “Twin bombs kill scores in Baghdad,” 2/1/08

Black, Ian and Norton-Taylor, Richard, “Experts fear new front with al-Qaida as terror group switches focus from Iraq,” Guardian, 6/11/08

Brookings Institution, “Iraq: One Year Later,” 6/13/08

CNN, “Female suicide bomber kills 40 in Iraq, official says,” 3/17/08
- “U.S. trains Iraqi women to find female suicide bombers,” 6/24/08

Chulov, Martin, “Violent province’s 27 female suicide bombers who set to destroy Iraqi hopes of peace,” Guardian, 11/12/08

Frederick, Jim, “Keeping the Sunni-Shi’a Peace,” Time, 5/28/08

Gamel, Kim, “Female suicide attackers kill 57 in Iraq,” Associated Press, 7/28/08
- “Female suicide bomber strikes soccer fans in Iraq,” Associated Press, 6/14/08
- “Suicide bomber kills 8 US-allied Sunnis in Iraq,” Associated Press, 7/24/08
- “Women bombers show shifting insurgent tactics in Iraq,” Associated Press, 6/6/08

Ghosh, Bobby, “The Mind of a Female Suicide Bomber,” Time, 6/23/08

Haynes, Deborah, “Thirteen burned alive in Baghdad bus bomb,” Times of London, 11/24/08

Al Jazeera, “Suicide blasts target Iraq pilgrims,” 8/15/08

Kadhim, Hussein, “Round-up of Daily Violence in Iraq-Sunday 9 November 2008,” 11/9/08

KUNA, “Woman suicide bomber sets off explosives at hospital entrance in Iraq,” 11/9/08

Londono, Ernesto, “At least 15 killed by Female Bomber in Iraq,” Washington Post, 6/23/08
- “Iraq Bombings Leave 30 Dead,” Washington Post, 9/16/08

McClatchy Newspapers, “Round-up of Daily Violence in Iraq – Tuesday 22 April 2008,” 4/22/08

Monsters and Critics, “Calm in Baghdad’s Sadr City, some violence elsewhere,” 5/21/08
- “Female bomber kills 18 in attack on Iraq police station (Extra),” 4/23/08

Moore, Solomon, “A 2nd female bomber hits U.S.-allied Iraqi tribesman,” International Herald Tribune, 1/2/08

Multi-National Corps – Iraq, “2 female suicide bombers in Diyala kill 1, wound 23,” 5/17/08

Naughton, Philippe, “Girl, 13, is Iraq’s latest suicide bomber,” Times of London, 11/10/08

O’Rourke, Lindsey, “Behind the Woman Behind the Bomb,” New York Times, 8/2/08

Oppel, Richard, “8 Die in Iraq in Suicide Bombing, Apparently by Woman,” New York Times, 7/25/08

Raghavan, Sudarsan, “Dozens Kill in Iraq Suicide Bombings,” Washington Post, 7/28/08
- “Female Suicide Bombers Are Latest War Tactic,” Washington Post, 9/17/08

Raghavan, Sudarsan and Sarhan, Saad, “Suicide Bomber Kills 18 in Iraq,” Washington Post, 8/15/08

Reuters, “FACTBOX – Security developments in Iraq, Jan 16,” 1/16/08
- “FACTBOX – Security developments in Iraq, May 20,” 5/20/08
- “Female bomber kills seven in northeast Iraq,” 7/24/08
- “Woman suicide bomber kills four in Iraq – police,” 3/19/08

Roggio, Bill, “Letters from Al Qaeda leaders show Iraqi effort is in disarray,” Long War Journal.org, 9/11/08

Rubin, Alissa, “Despair Drives Suicide Attacks by Iraqi Women,” New York Times, 7/5/08

Spangler, Nicholas and Kadhim, Hussein, “Iraqi bombings kill dozens, wound more than 200,” McClatchy Newspapers, 7/28/08

Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction, “Quarterly report to the United States Congress,” 10/30/08

Tawfeeq, Mohammed, “Female suicide bomber wounds 5 in Iraq,” CNN, 10/18/08

Topix.com, “Iraq: Female Suicide Bomber Kills 3,” 3/10/08

Al-Tuwaijri, Ali, “Woman suicide bomber kills nine outside Iraq court,” Agence France Presse, 10/8/08

Vanden Brook, Tom, “Roadside bombs decline in Iraq,” USA Today, 6/22/08

Voices of Iraq, “Female suicide attacker wound six near Ramadi,” 6/7/08
- “Revenge, illiteracy push up female suicide bombers’ number in Diala,” 7/8/08
- “Suicide bombing wounds 3 Sahwa fighters in Diala,” 6/29/08

Washington Times, “Female bombers spreading more terror,” 5/20/08

Weaver, Matthew, “Female suicide bomber kills nine in Iraq,” Guardian, 7/7/08

Xinhua, “Iraqi soldiers foil suicide bomb attack in Mosul,” 4/29/08

Monday, November 24, 2008

Baghdad’s Electricity Plan

In mid-November Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki announced a plan to boost Iraq’s electricity production to meet demand by 2012. That would require tripling current generation at the minimum, and could cost up to $5.5 billion if not more. Currently, Iraq produces 113,141 megawatts, an 8% increase from the previous year, but demand is almost double that at 207,377 megawatts, up 7% from last year. Delivery of power is also inconsistent. From January to August 2008 Iraq averaged 12 hours a day of electricity, but most of that goes to government or public facilities. An average house may only receive six hours of daily power. Only 34% of Iraqis say they get the amount of power they need in a September 2008 survey, which was a decrease from an earlier poll this year.

The United States has already spent $4.65 billion on the electricity industry, while Iraq has appropriated $1.3 billion. That has added 550 new projects, and 2,500 megawatts to the system, but it has not been enough. Since the invasion Iraqis have gone on a spending spree with consumer appliances that has increased demand greatly.

In September the government signed contracts with General Electric (GE) and Siemens to boost electrical production. The GE deal is to boost output by 6,800 megawatts, and the Siemens’ one is to add 2,000 megawatts. There are negotiations with a third company to produce an additional 1,000 megawatts. Baghdad is talking to Russian companies as well to repair existing power plants. Iraq has also cut extensive deals with Iran to provide electricity. They now provide 2/3 of Iraq’s power imports.

One major question about this plan is if Iraq can handle all of these new projects on its own. North of Baghdad companies are finishing work on the Al-Quds power plant. It is the last major project the U.S. is funding in the country. When completed it will provide electricity to 180,000 households in central Iraq. Next to Al-Quds is an abandoned plant with brand new turbines. The equipment cost $20 million, but broke a few months ago because the Iraqis could not fix it. The plant may never work again. The capabilities of Iraqis have been a major problem, especially with a huge brain drain of professionals, which leads to poor maintenance and breakdowns. Iraq also lacks an integrated power plan. Electricity plants rely on oil for fuel, but there is no coordination with the Oil Industry to provide it. These could cripple Maliki’s power plan.

Electricity Statistics

Electricity Ministry Spending
2005 total spent $147 million, $5 million operational, $142 million capital
2006 total spent $281 million, $13 million operational, $268 million capital
2007 total spent $78 million, $77 million operational, $1 million capital
January to April 2008 spent $15.2 million, $15 million operational, $200,000 capital
Annual Average Growth Rate 2005-2007 in Iraqi dinars: 33% decline in total spending, 277% increase in operational spending, 93% decline in capital spending

Electricity Ministry’s Budget and Spending 2008
2008 Appropriated $1.3 billion
Spent $229 million as of June 2008, 17.6%

August to October 2008 Iraq reached its peak average daily output 4,919 megawatts, which equaled pre-war production

Provinces: Supply and Demand From Most To Least
Basra: Supply 15,576 megawatts/Demand 20,966 megawatts – 74% met
Dhi Qar: Supply 6,030 megawatts/Demand 9,215 megawatts – 65% met
Anbar: Supply 4,728 megawatts/Demand 7,488 megawatts – 63% met
Diyala: Supply 3,256 megawatts/Demand 5,299 megawatts – 61% met
Kurdistan (Dohuk, Irbil, Sulaymaniya): Supply 12,725 megawatts/Demand 20,746 megawatts – 61% met
Salahaddin: Supply 5,359 megawatts/Demand 8,754 megawatts – 61% met
Tamim: Supply 4,291 megawatts/Demand 7,373 megawatts – 58% met
Muthanna: Supply 2,380 megawatts/Demand 4,610 megawatts – 51% met
Ninewa: Supply 9,751 megawatts/Demand 19,359 megawatts – 50% met
Qadisiyah: Supply 2,925 megawatts/Demand 5,760 megawatts – 50% met
Karbala: Supply 3,035 megawatts/Demand 6,222 megawatts – 48% met
Baghdad: Supply 28,863 megawatts/Demand 60,246 megawatts – 47% met
Najaf: Supply 3,999 megawatts/Demand 8,525 megawatts – 46%
Babil: Supply 4,378 megawatts/Demand 9,678 megawatts – 45% met
Maysan: Supply 2,747 megawatts/Demand 6,222 megawatts – 44% met
Wasit: Supply 3,089 megawatts/Demand 6,914 megawatts – 44% met
Iraq: Supply 113,141 megawatts/Demand 207,377 megawatts – 55% met

SOURCES

Aswat al-Iraq, “15 daily hours of power by mid next year – PM,” 11/14/08

Azzaman, “Electricity Ministry accused of doctoring power output figures,” 8/28/08

Department of Defense, “Measuring Stability and Security in Iraq,” September 2008

Iraq Directory, “The Minister of Electricity: Iraq needs 11 MW of power energy,” 10/7/08

Ketz, Sammy, “Iraq power generation finally hits pre-invasion levels,” Agence France Presse, 8/25/08

Ryan, Missy and Qusay, Aws, “Iraqis Measure Progress with Flip of Switch,” Reuters, 11/14/08

Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction, “Quarterly report to the United States Congress,” 10/30/08

United States Government Accountability Office, “Iraqi Revenues, Expenditures, and Surplus,” August 2008

Webb, Simon, “Iraq signs billion-dollar power deals with GE, Siemens,” Reuters, 9/28/08

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Could Maliki Be Deposed?

Since March 2008 Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has been forming Tribal Support Councils. Originally, these were created to help the security forces crackdown on the Mahdi Army militia of Moqtada al-Sadr. Beginning in the summer however, Maliki has been creating councils across the south and north to establish his control over the country, and increasingly to challenge the rule of his main coalition partners, the Supreme Islamic Iraqi Council (SIIC) and the Kurdish parties, in the provinces. This is coming to a boiling point as both groups are increasingly criticizing Maliki’s rule, and rumors are beginning that they might even make a move to unseat him from power.

There have been several reports that the SIIC and Kurds might be looking to replace Maliki as prime minister of Iraq. First, Nibras Kazimi, former Iraqi National Congress member, New York based writer, member of the Hudson Institute, and operator of the Talisman Gate blog, wrote that he had heard that the Kurds and Supreme Council were considering replacing Maliki with either current Vice President Adel Abdel-Mahdi of the SIIC, former prime minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari who broke away from the Dawa Party and formed his own National Reform Party this summer, or Ali al-Adeeb of the Dawa Party. Al-Quds al-Rubi reported that while Iraq’s President Jalal Talabani of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan was meeting with members of parliament he said that Maliki’s government needed to be reformed, while Iraq-Ina wrote that Talabani was trying to depose the Prime Minister.

That followed a public dispute between Maliki and the Presidential Council, which consists of President Talabani, Vice President Tariq al-Hashemi of the Iraqi Islamic Party, and Vice President Abdel-Mahdi. On November 18, they sent a letter to Maliki suggesting that the government should stop wasting money forming Tribal Support Councils, and instead use the funds on the existing security forces. They also said that the Prime Minister should stop forming the councils until there is a formal framework to integrate them into the government. Two days later, Maliki gave a televised speech in which he said that Talabani was picking on the Support Councils, while the Kurds were breaking the constitution by deploying their Peshmerga militia outside of Kurdistan, and signing oil contracts without government approval. Maliki also said that the constitution needed to be amended so that the central government could have more power, implying that the Kurdish Regional Government needed its authority to be curtailed. That was an empty threat since the changes to the constitution have been held up for over a year, but upped the war of words between the two sides. The Presidential Council was not pleased by Maliki’s comments, and told him on November 21 that he shouldn’t have made their differences public.



Tribal Support Councils have been formed in 4. Wasit, 5. Maysan, 6. Basra, 7. Dhi Qar, 8. Muthanna, 9. Qadisiyah, 10. Babil, 11. Karbala, 12. Najaf, 17. Tamim, and others to support Prime Minster Maliki

All of this began back in March 2008 when the government moved against the Sadrists. During the crackdowns in the south, Maliki reached out to various tribes to help deal with the Mahdi Army. This first happened in Basra when Maliki gave 10,000 tribesman jobs in the provincial police in return for fighting the militias. Tribal Support Councils were also formed in Babil, Karbala, Maysan, and Dhi Qar as the fighting spread across the south. After that initial wave, the Prime Minister moved ahead creating councils in Qadisiyah Wasit, Najaf, Kirkuk, Muthanna, and other areas. Each was paid $21,000 by the government, and then $10,000 a month afterwards. They reported to the Committee for National Reconciliation in Baghdad, although there is talk of forming a National Tribal Support Council. Tribal sheikhs have been eager to join these councils because it gives them power and new standing, as well as jobs for their followers. As reported earlier, many of the country’s tribes were weak after the invasion because they had become dependent upon Saddam and his patronage to maintain their positions. Working for Maliki then, is an all too familiar relationship for many of these sheikhs. Many of these tribes are also national in character, which means that the Prime Minister is building up support not only in the individual provinces where the councils are, but across the country.

The Supreme Council was the first to object to this policy. As they rule most of the south, they saw the Support Councils as a brazen attempt by Maliki to build up his support and challenge their authority in the upcoming provincial elections, scheduled for the end of January 2009. SIIC officials in Babil, Wasit, Karbala, Dhi-Qar, Basra, Muthanna, and Qadisiyah have all protested the tribal groups. Governors and provincial councils have all complained that Maliki never consulted with them when forming the Support Councils, and that they are not part of the local governments, answering to Baghdad rather to them.

The Kurds became concerned later in the year when Maliki began focusing upon the north. As mentioned several times before, in August 2008 government forces moved into the disputed Khanaqin district in Diyala province, which the Kurds have occupied since the 2003 invasion. That caused a confrontation between Baghdad and the Kurdish Regional Government that could have led to violence. By September, Kurdish President Massoud Barzani gave an interview where he accused Maliki of acting like an autocrat, never following through with their promises to the Kurds, and questioning whether Kurds should stand behind the Prime Minister’s government. Maliki then set up Support Councils in Kirkuk and Mosul, and attempted to form one in Khanaqin, while also trying to move Kurdish forces out of Mosul.

As a result, the Kurds have stepped up their attacks upon Maliki. Beginning in November, they have said that Maliki is acting like a totalitarian, and that the Support Councils are illegal and unconstitutional. The Patriot Union of Kurdistan and the Kurdistan Democratic Party issued a joint statement that compared the tribal groups to Kurds that fought for Saddam in the 1980s and 90s. Kurdish President Barzani followed that up with a TV interview with al-Jazeera in which he said that the the councils were mercenaries and would be treated as enemies by the Kurds. Maliki responded by organizing two days of protests by his new tribal allies. On November 15, tribes came out on the streets to support Maliki and the Support Councils and protest against the Kurds in Tikrit in Salahaddin, Hawijah in Tamim, Karbala, Najaf, Nasiriyah in Dhi Qar, Samawah in Muthanna, and Hilla in Babil. Demonstrators said that Kirkuk, Mosul, and Diyala were parts of Iraq, responding to the Kurd desire to annex districts in those areas.

The Kurds and SIIC have been close allies since before the 2003 U.S. invasion. They were the main reason why Maliki was able to stay in power in 2007 when various factions were trying to unseat him. The Prime Minister has been emboldened after his successful crackdowns on the Sadrists earlier this year however, and now feels as if he can take on his allies in the provinces that they control. He is building up support across the country before the provincial elections, but it could come at a cost. If the Kurds and SIIC want, they can depose him in parliament with a no confidence vote. Worse, his moves could lead to violence between the Tribal Support Councils and local police and Peshmerga controlled by the SIIC and Kurds. So far these disputes have stayed verbal, but the rhetoric is increasing, and shows the deep divisions that remain in Iraq.

For more on the Tribal Support Councils, Inter-Shiite Power Struggles, and the Kurdish-Baghdad Dispute see:

Cold War Between Baghdad and Kurds Turns Hot

Deal Struck To Defuse Kahanqin Issue

Disputes Over Tribal Support Councils

Khanaqin Deal Off?

Kurdish-Baghdad Tensions Over Diyala

The Kurds Come Out Swinging

Maliki Responds To His Critics On Tribal Support Councils

Maliki Still Pushing The Kurds On Khanaqin District

Maliki Ups the Ante in Khanaqin District of Diyala

Maliki’s Tribal Support Councils Appear To Be Paying Off

Shiite Rivalries Increasing As Provincial Elections Near

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