Archive | Iraq

Iraqi parliament votes military action against Kurdish referendum

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Iraqi Parliament authorized “military measures” against Kurdish region independence referendum

… by  Southfront 

The referendum is including areas outside the Kurdish autonomous region, a flagrant challenge to the Iraqi constitution

[ Editor’s Note: This little gem slipped by the corporate media, but it is, in no way, a little item. The Iraqi Parliament’s language was couched very carefully in the term “to preserve the unity of Iraq”. Everyone who wants to, understands what that means, and that includes the Kurds.

If the Kurds continue with their push for independence, with the obvious goal of not wanting to share their oil revenues with the rest of the country, then they will need a protector. The Americans and Israelis have fulfilled that role and would like nothing better than to have a dependent colony in the heart of Iraq, and so close to Iran.

It does not take a geopolitical genius to see that, with the US coalition’s ISIS ploy going down in flames, it is seeking to deploy its replacement – where a quasi-state is already in place.

But this move would be like waving a red flag in front of a bull; and it would bring Iran, Iraq, Turkey and Syria together with an intensely shared interest – the ISIS threat being replaced by a new Kurdish threat, with the same backers of ISIS.

They will understand that once such a base were established, it would be more costly to “fix” the problem than it would be to do that on the front end. That is why this vote was taken in the Iraqi Parliament – to lay out their options for the Kurds to take into consideration.

Iraq needs a civil war now like it needs a hole in the head. But the Balkanization of the country would be worse, so its decision, though an unpleasant one, will be simple… as it is better and less costly to fight now than later. Iran would see this clearly, with Turkey remaining more of a wildcard, by talking a good game but saving its powder for dealing with the Syrian and Turkish Kurds, for whom the Iraqi Kurds declaring independence would be like waving a green flag at the Indy 500 races.

So chaos and destabilization still reign supreme in the Mideast, where we always see the same players, pursuing as they so often like to say, “their interests”. This is not a New World Order ploy, but an Old World one, with American exceptionalism at the helm… Jim W. Dean ]

The Kurds are courting disaster with this referendum

–  First published  …  September 13,  2017  –

On Tuesday, the Iraqi Parliament voted against a Kurdistan Region independence referendum planned for September 25 and obliged the Iraqi government to take measures to “preserve the unity of Iraq”.

The vote authorized Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi to take any measures against the referendum process taking place in the Kurdistan Region as well as in other areas outside of the administrative border othe region but under control of Kurdish forces.

The issue was put on the agenda upon the request of 80 MPs, according to Kurdistan-based Rudaw Media Network. In total, the session was attended by 204 of 328 MPs. All the Kurdish factions in the Iraqi parliament boycotted the vote.

The Iraqi Constitution had enumerated issues for which a referendum is required, and those do not include the Kurdistan referendum,” parliament speaker Salim al-Jubouri said in a statement. “The inclusion of disputed territories in the referendum is also a violation of the constitution.”

Protesting against the vote, the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) representatives left the chamber. The voted petition contains “military measures” against the move, Rudaw reported citing Sirwan Sereni, a KDP MP.

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Nazi premier support Kurdish independence vote in Iraq

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Image result for Netanyahu IN NAZI UNIFORM CARTOON

… from Press TV,  Tehran

[ Editor’s Note: More in-your-face Netanyahu duplicity here, pushing for the Kurds “to attain a state of their own”, while he has always blocked such for the Palestinians despite the UN resolutions supporting it, and none for the Kurds.

But unlike the rest of us, Bibi does not have to worry about public opinion. His wife has already been charged with public graft, while hubby has two cases pending.

It’s amazing how Israeli law enforcement can prosecute high officials in Israel and yet, here in the US, Israelis and their Lobby friends appear to be immune, even from espionage prosecution. And, interfering in US elections is considered their national sport.

Despite the appearance of a squeaky clean reputation, the FBI is forever stained for having rolled over on this virtual no-prosecution of Israeli espionage, under the cover of its endangering national security – meaning that the Israelis can spill the beans on a lot of nasty things we have done with them which the public would be revolted to know.

But Americans also own a great deal of the blame, as the stories on this have been out for decades, but the public at large seems to be just fine with it all. US Christian Zionists, who give more money to Israel than American Jews do, figure that the more Israeli espionage the better, as that helps Israel, and the rapture will come sooner. Israelis consider them religious loons, but are happy to take their money and political support, where they give nothing in return.

Who in an official US government position would stick their neck out to do something about this when they know the public, or any of its institutions, would not support them? The same goes for the Congresscritters, who fear the Israeli Lobby more than the devil himself. It’s one hell of a sad situation… Jim W. Dean]

Jim’s Editor’s Notes are solely crowdfunded via PayPal – JimWDean@aol.com

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The Kurds could be jumping off a cliff and not know it

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu voices support for the formation of a Kurdish state in the lead-up to a planned independence referendum in Iraq’s Kurdistan region, which has sparked strong criticisms from the central government as well as Iraq’s neighbors.

In a Wednesday announcement, Netanyahu’s office said Israel supports the “legitimate efforts of the Kurdish people to attain a state of its own.”

The statement, however, noted that Tel Aviv opposes the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which has long been fighting for autonomy in Turkey.

“Israel opposes the PKK and considers it a terrorist organization,” it said.

During a meeting with a delegation of 33 US Republican congressmen in mid-August, Netanyahu expressed interest in partitioning Iraq and establishing an independent Kurdish state in the country.

Read more:

Netanyahu does not frequently speak publicly about the highly sensitive issue which also worries Turkey. The last time Netanyahu addressed the issue publicly was in 2014 when he said in a speech that Israel should “support the Kurdish aspiration for independence.”

Israel has a longstanding relationship with the Kurds, whom it regards as one of the few non-Arab allies in the area.

A report published in the New Yorker magazine in 2004 said Israeli military and intelligence operatives were active in Kurdish areas and providing training for commando units.

According to the report, Israel has been expanding its presence in Kurdistan and encouraging Kurds, its allies in the region, to create an independent state. The Kurdish referendum is scheduled for September 25, despite the strong opposition from the central government in Baghdad and Iraq’s neighboring countries.

On Tuesday Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi rejected the planned Kurdish referendum on independence from the Arab country as “unconstitutional,” warning that the Kurds are “illegally” exporting Iraq’s oil.

The comments came a few hours after the country’s parliament overwhelmingly voted against the plebiscite, which has been planned by the Kurdistan Regional Government. The vote prompted Kurdish lawmakers to quit the parliament floor.

Several regional countries, including Iran and Turkey, are concerned that such a referendum could ignite a fresh conflict with Baghdad and possibly neighboring countries, diverting attention from the ongoing war against Daesh Takfiri terrorists in Iraq and Syria.

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Iraq: “US-led Coalition Jets Deliberately Bombed Our Positions to Halt Our Progress Against ISIS”

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Babylon Battalions Leader

Featured image: Ryan Khaldani, a leader of the Popular Mobilization Units-aligned Babylon Battalions

“The American planes bombed our positions to prevent us from reaching the Nineveh Plains”, said Ryan Khaldani, a leader of the Popular Mobilization Units-aligned Babylon Battalions, adding that the countries, known to be hostile to Iraq, are looking for ways to create tensions in the country, especially as regards the post-ISIS era.

In an interview with Al Mayadeen network, Khaldani said that both, the US-led international anti-ISIS coalition and the Kurdish Peshmerga were deliberately making moves that benefited ISIS, while causing damage to the Iraqi forces fighting ISIS.

He also said his movement firmly opposes the forthcoming referendum on independence of the so-called “Iraqi Kurdistan”, noting that his movement will not allow not even an inch of the Nineveh Plains to be taken away from its original inhabitants.

He, however, said that for now his movement will not raise its arms against Peshmerga, although it might resort to tougher measures should the latter try to take the land by force.

On September 24th, the Barazani regime in so-called “Iraqi Kurdistan” will hold a referendum on the province’s independence from Iraq.

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Echoes of Echoes of Iraq-WMD Fraud in Syria

NOVANEWS
Just as the West ignored signs in 2002-03 that anti-government Iraqis were fabricating WMD claims, evidence is being brushed aside that Syrian jihadists have ginned up chemical attacks, reports Robert Parry.

Featured image: At the start of the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003, President George W. Bush ordered the U.S. military to conduct a devastating aerial assault on Baghdad, known as “shock and awe.”

The New York Times and other Western media have learned few lessons from the Iraq War, including how the combination of a demonized foreign leader and well-funded “activists” committed to flooding the process with fake data can lead to dangerously false conclusions that perpetuate war.

What we have seen in Syria over the past six years parallels what occurred in Iraq in the run-up to the U.S.-led invasion in 2002-03. In both cases, there was evidence that the “system” was being gamed – by the Iraqi National Congress (INC) in pushing for the Iraq War and by pro-rebel “activists” promoting “regime change” in Syria – but those warnings were ignored. Instead, the flood of propagandistic claims overwhelmed what little skepticism there was in the West.

Regarding Iraq, the INC generated a surge of “defectors” who claimed to know where Saddam Hussein was concealing his WMD stockpiles and where his nuclear program was hidden. In Syria, we have seen something similar with dubious claims about chemical weapons attacks.

The Iraqi “defectors,” of course, were lying, and a little-noticed congressional study revealed that the CIA had correctly debunked some of the fakers but – because of the pro-invasion political pressure from George W. Bush’s White House and the U.S. mainstream media’s contempt for Saddam Hussein – other bogus claims were accepted as true. The result was catastrophic.

But the telltale signs of an INC disinformation campaign were there before the war. For instance, by early February 2003, as the final invasion plans were underway, the parade of Iraqi “walk-ins” was continuing. U.S. intelligence agencies had progressed up to “Source Eighteen,” one fellow who came to epitomize what some CIA analysts suspected was systematic INC coaching of sources.

As the CIA planned a debriefing of Source Eighteen, another Iraqi exile passed on word to the agency that an INC representative had told Source Eighteen to “deliver the act of a lifetime.” CIA analysts weren’t sure what to make of that piece of news since Iraqi exiles frequently badmouthed each other but the value of the warning soon became clear.

U.S. intelligence officers debriefed Source Eighteen the next day and discovered that “Source Eighteen was supposed to have a nuclear engineering background, but was unable to discuss advanced mathematics or physics and described types of ‘nuclear’ reactors that do not exist,” according to a Senate Intelligence Committee report on the Iraq War’s intelligence failures.

“Source Eighteen used the bathroom frequently, particularly when he appeared to be flustered by a line of questioning, suddenly remembering a new piece of information upon his return. During one such incident, Source Eighteen appeared to be reviewing notes,” the report said.

Not surprisingly, U.S. intelligence officers concluded that Source Eighteen was a fabricator. But the sludge of INC-connected disinformation kept oozing through the U.S. intelligence community, fouling the American intelligence product in part because there was little pressure from above demanding strict quality controls. Indeed, the opposite was true.

A more famous fake Iraqi defector earned the code name “Curve Ball” and provided German intelligence agencies details about Iraq’s alleged mobile facilities for producing agents for biological warfare.

Tyler Drumheller, then chief of the CIA’s European Division, said his office had issued repeated warnings about Curve Ball’s accounts.

“Everyone in the chain of command knew exactly what was happening,” Drumheller said. [Los Angeles Times, April 2, 2005]

Despite those objections and the lack of direct U.S. contact with Curve Ball, he earned a rating as “credible” or “very credible,” and his information became a core element of the Bush administration’s case for invading Iraq. Drawings of Curve Ball’s imaginary bio-weapons labs were a central feature of Secretary of State Colin Powell’s presentation to the U.N. on Feb. 5, 2003.

The Syrian Parallel

Regarding Syria, a similar mix of factors exists. The Obama administration’s advocacy for Syrian “regime change” and the hostility from many Western interest groups toward President Bashar al-Assad lowered the bar of skepticism enabling propaganda arms of Al Qaeda and its jihadist allies to have enormous success in selling dubious accusations about chemical attacks and other atrocities.

The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Ross fires a tomahawk land attack missile from the Mediterranean Sea toward Syria, April 7, 2017. (Navy photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Robert S. Price)

As with the CIA analysts who tripped up a few of the Iraqi liars, some United Nations investigators have seen evidence of the trickery. For instance, they learned from townspeople of Al-Tamanah about how the rebels and allied “activists” staged a chlorine gas attack on the night of April 29-30, 2014, and then sold the false story to a credulous Western media and, initially, to the U.N. investigative team.

“Seven witnesses stated that frequent alerts [about an imminent chlorine weapons attack by the government] had been issued, but in fact no incidents with chemicals took place,” the U.N. report stated. “While people sought safety after the warnings, their homes were looted and rumours spread that the events were being staged. … [T]hey [these witnesses] had come forward to contest the wide-spread false media reports.”

Accounts from other people, who did allege that there had been a government chemical attack on Al-Tamanah, provided suspect evidence, including data from questionable sources, according to the U.N. report.

The report said,

“Three witnesses, who did not give any description of the incident on 29-30 April 2014, provided material of unknown source. One witness had second-hand knowledge of two of the five incidents in Al-Tamanah, but did not remember the exact dates. Later that witness provided a USB-stick with information of unknown origin, which was saved in separate folders according to the dates of all the five incidents mentioned by the FFM (the U.N.’s Fact-Finding Mission).

“Another witness provided the dates of all five incidents reading it from a piece of paper, but did not provide any testimony on the incident on 29-30 April 2014. The latter also provided a video titled ‘site where second barrel containing toxic chlorine gas was dropped tamanaa 30 April 14’”

Some other witnesses alleging a Syrian government attack offered curious claims about detecting the chlorine-infused “barrel bombs” based on how the device sounded in its descent.

The U.N. report said,

“The eyewitness, who stated to have been on the roof, said to have heard a helicopter and the ‘very loud’ sound of a falling barrel. Some interviewees had referred to a distinct whistling sound of barrels that contain chlorine as they fall. The witness statement could not be corroborated with any further information.”

However, the claim itself is absurd since it is inconceivable that anyone could detect a chlorine canister inside a “barrel bomb” by “a distinct whistling sound.”

The larger point, however, is that the jihadist rebels in Al-Tamanah and their propaganda teams, including relief workers and activists, appear to have organized a coordinated effort at deception complete with a fake video supplied to U.N. investigators and Western media outlets.

For instance, the Telegraph in London reported that

“Videos allegedly taken in Al-Tamanah … purport to show the impact sites of two chemical bombs. Activists said that one person had been killed and another 70 injured.”

The Telegraph also quoted supposed weapons expert Eliot Higgins, the founder of Bellingcat, as endorsing the report.

“Witnesses have consistently reported the use of helicopters to drop the chemical barrel bombs used,” said Higgins. “As it stands, around a dozen chemical barrel bomb attacks have been alleged in that region in the last three weeks.”

To finish up pointing the finger of guilt at the government, the Telegraph added that “The regime is the only party in the civil war that possesses helicopters” – a claim that also has been in dispute since the rebels had captured government air assets and had received substantial military assistance from Saudi Arabia, Turkey, the United States, Israel, Jordan and other countries.

The Al-Tamanah debunking received no mainstream media attention when the U.N. findings were issued in September 2016 because the U.N. report relied on rebel information to blame two other alleged chlorine attacks on the government and that got all the coverage. But the case should have raised red flags given the extent of the apparent deception.

If the seven townspeople were telling the truth, that would mean that the rebels and their allies issued fake attack warnings, produced propaganda videos to fool the West, and prepped “witnesses” with “evidence” to deceive investigators. Yet, no alarms went off about other rebel claims.

The Ghouta Incident

A more famous attack – with sarin gas on the Damascus suburb of Ghouta on Aug. 21, 2013, killing hundreds – was also eagerly blamed on the Assad regime, as The New York Times, Human Rights Watch, Higgins’s Bellingcat and many other Western outlets jumped to that conclusion despite the unlikely circumstances. Assad had just welcomed U.N. investigators to Damascus to examine chemical attacks that he was blaming on the rebels.

Assad also was facing a “red line” threat from President Obama warning him of possible U.S. military intervention if the Syrian government deployed chemical weapons. Why Assad and his military would choose such a moment to launch a deadly sarin attack, killing mostly civilians, made little sense.

But this became another rush to judgment in the West that brought the Obama administration to the verge of launching a devastating air attack on the Syrian military that might have helped Al Qaeda’s Syrian affiliate and/or the Islamic State win the war.

The controversial map developed by Human Rights Watch and embraced by the New York Times, supposedly showing the flight paths of two missiles from the Aug. 21, 2013 sarin attack intersecting at a Syrian military base. But the map was later disproved because only one rocket carried sarin (the one on the right) and it had only a fraction of the necessary range.

Eventually, however, the case blaming Assad for the 2013 sarin attack collapsed. An analysis by genuine weapons experts – Theodore A. Postol, a professor of science, technology and national security policy at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Richard M. Lloyd, an analyst at the military contractor Tesla Laboratories – found that the missile that delivered the sarin had a very short range placing its likely firing position in rebel territory.

Later, reporting by journalist Seymour Hersh implicated Turkish intelligence working with jihadist rebels as the likely source of the sarin.

We also learned in 2016 that a message from the U.S. intelligence community had warned Obama how weak the evidence against Assad was. There was no “slam-dunk” proof, said Director of National Intelligence James Clapper. And Obama cited his rejection of the Washington militaristic “playbook” to bomb Syria as one of his proudest moments as President.

With this background, there should have been extreme skepticism when jihadists and their allies made new claims about the Syrian government engaging in chemical weapons attacks, just like the CIA should have recognized that the Iraqi National Congress’s production of some obviously phony “walk-ins” justified doubts about all of them.

Iraqi National Congress President Ahmed Chalabi

After the invasion of Iraq and the U.S. failure to find the promised WMD caches, INC leader Ahmed Chalabi congratulated his organization as “heroes in error” for its success in using falsehoods to help get the United States to invade.

But the West appears to have learned next to nothing from the Iraq deceptions – or arguably the lessons are being ignored out of a desire to continue the neoconservative “regime change” project for the Middle East.

Pressure to Confirm

U.N. investigators, who have been under intense pressure to confirm accusations against the Syrian government, continue to brush aside contrary evidence, such as testimony regarding the April 4 “sarin incident” at Khan Sheikhoun, that suggested a replay of the Al-Tamanah operation.

In a new U.N. report, testimony from two people, who were apparently considered reliable by investigators from the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, asserted that anti-government aircraft spotters issued no early-morning warning of a flight leaving the Syrian military airbase of Shayrat, contradicting claims from Al Qaeda’s allies inside Khan Sheikhoun who insisted that there had been such a warning.

If no warplanes left Shayrat airbase around dawn on April 4, then President Trump’s case for retaliating with 59 Tomahawk missiles launched against the base two days later would collapse. The U.S. strike reportedly killed several soldiers at the base and nine civilians, including four children, in nearby neighborhoods. It also risked inflicting death on Russians stationed at the base.

But the U.N. report accepts the version from the activists and rebels inside the Al Qaeda-controlled town and then goes on to endorse other rebel claims regarding alleged Syrian military chemical attacks on at least 20 other occasions.

The New York Times was mightily impressed with the U.N. report’s “unequivocal condemnation” of Assad’s regime and cited it as justification for Israeli warplanes bombing a Syrian military facility on Thursday. Rather than criticize Israel for attacking a neighboring country, the Times framed the action in a positive light as having “brought renewed attention to Syria’s chemical weapons.”

But the journalistic (and intelligence) point should have been that the West was fooled in Iraq by self-interested “activists” flooding the Times, the CIA and the world with fake information — so many bogus walk-ins that they overwhelmed whatever half-hearted process there was to weed out lies from truth. The Syrian “opposition” appears to have adopted a similar strategy in Syria with similar success.

Given the history, skepticism should be the rule in Syria, not credulity. Or, as President George W. Bush once said in a different context, “fool me once, shame on — shame on you. Fool me — you can’t get fooled again.”

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Iraq: The Liberation of the Historic City of Tal Afar

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The Liberation of the Historic Iraqi City of Tal Afar, Occupied by the Islamic State Group

The first images of the liberated Iraqi city of Tal Afar have been heartbreaking, showing the partial destruction of its magnificent citadel, writes Nermeen Al-Mufti in Tal Afar

 

The citadel of the Iraqi city of Tal Afar (Talafer) dating back to the Assyrian period of 700 BCE dominated the city and could be seen from every side, yet this historical structure was destroyed by the Islamic State (IS) group that occupied the city in January 2015.

Tal Afar is located in the Nineveh governorate in the north of Iraq near the Syrian and Turkish borders 63 km west of Mosul and about 360 km north-west of the capital Baghdad. Its population before the IS occupation was almost 450,000, more than 90 per cent of them Turkmen.

When it was taken over by IS in June 2014, about 70 per cent of the population was internally displaced, being forced into camps in different cities in Iraq. Some of the city’s population went to Sinjar, 50 km east of Tal Afar, but in August 2014 Sinjar was also attacked by IS, forcing many to begin another painful journey.

More than 500 Turkmen women and children were kidnapped and hundreds were killed by IS. Many others died, among them children, during the long trek to the camps.

On 20 August, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi announced the beginning of the battle for Tal Afar in a televised statement, warning the IS fighters occupying the city that “we are coming to Tal Afar” – the name of the military operation – and that “either you surrender, or you die.”

The Iraqi Counter-Terrorism Service (CTS), Special Operations Forces (ISOF), Federal Police and Hashd (Popular Mobilisation Forces) all took part in the battle for Tal Afar, the Hashd forces being supported by Division 16 of the Turkmen Forces, the Iraqi Air Force and Coalition warplanes.

During the days before Al-Abadi’s announcement, thousands of leaflets were dropped on the city asking people to prepare for the battle, and safe passage was guaranteed to civilians wanting to leave. Some 32,000 civilians were still in the city before the fighting began, including some 2,000 IS fighters and their families.

Many analysts said that the military operations would likely last for months and could be as hard as those in the nearby city of Mosul that had also been occupied by IS. The surrounding landscape would make taking the city more difficult, it was said, and IS had announced that Tal Afar was its temporary capital after the loss of Mosul.

However, on 21 August, Abdel-Amir Yarallah, commander of the Tal Afar operation, said the CTS had seized five villages south-west of the city and had cut roads leading into it. Federal Police and Hashd forces deployed in the village of Tal Al-Housan advanced 19 km west of Tal Afar, where hundreds of militants were killed and tunnels and ammunition discovered.

Abu Ridha, the commander of the Turkmen forces, announced that car bombs had been used by IS forces.

On the third day of the battle, the different Iraqi forces were edging their way towards the Tal Afar Citadel. High-ranking officers announced that IS had lost control of its fighters, and that hundreds had been killed with others fleeing the scene of battle.

On 25 August, the Iraqi flag was raised over the citadel, and on 27 August Tal Afar was declared liberated. The forces then began to make their way to the Al-Eyadhiya township 11 km north-west of Tal Afar, and on 31 August Al-Abadi announced the liberation of the whole of the Nineveh governorate.

Spokesman of the Turkmen Forces Ali Al-Hussaini told Al-Ahram Weekly that Tal Afar and the townships related to it had been liberated rapidly because of the siege of the city, cutting support and provisions for the IS forces. The siege had begun during the Mosul operations, he added, and civilians had begun leaving the area with guaranteed safe passage, meaning that the Iraqi forces had been able to use heavy artillery and air strikes.

According to Yarallah, the Iraqi forces killed about 2,000 militants and more than 50 suicide bombers during the campaign, while destroying 77 car bombs, 71 bobby-trapped buildings and 990 roadside bombs. He said that 115 Iraqi soldiers had been killed and 679 wounded in the battle.

Spokesman for the local Turkmen Rescue Foundation Mahdi Sadoun said in a statement that the historic name of Tal Afar would not be changed to Tal Al-Dhafar (hill of victory) as some had demanded. There are many explanations behind the city’s historic name, among them its literal meaning of “hill of soil” because of the citadel’s dusty colour.

Tal Afar is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world with a history going back 6,000 years. Its character was changed in the last century because of the demographic and Arabisation policies of the former Saddam Hussein regime.

Tal Afar has been the birthplace of many brilliant army officers, among them Said Hammou, assistant Iraqi chief of staff in the 1970s, and it has given the Turkmens many poets and artists, among them poet Felak Oglu and musician Yassin Yahya Oglu.

Images of the destroyed citadel of the city were devastating for all who saw them, and the people of Tal Afar also had other reasons to mourn. Ali Hassan, a policeman who participated in the battle for the city, stopped silently in front of his demolished house and told the Weekly that

“I have not been able to cry even though all my memories of my wife and three children are related to the house.”

Hassan found the main door still standing, but when he opened it he found the interior of the house had been demolished.

“I dreamed that my beloved wife would open the door,” he added, saying that his whole family was now living in the southern Iraqi city of Kerbala.

He said that the people of Tal Afar would come back to rebuild their city and with it their community. Meanwhile, there has been destruction and massive graves have been found of civilians executed by IS.

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Iran official gives alarming insight into Iraq partitioning

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Mohsen Rezaei, the former commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) and the current secretary of Iran's Expediency Council
Mohsen Rezaei, the former commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) and the current secretary of Iran’s Expediency Council

A senior Iranian official has called on Iraqi Kurdish leaders to forgo a planned referendum for secession, warning that a possible breakup of the Arab country could have grave consequences for the security of the region.

The warning by Mohsen Rezaei during a meeting with Iraqi journalists in Baghdad Sunday night came as the date drew nearer for the semi-autonomous Kurdistan region in northern Iraq to hold the plebiscite on September 25.

“Iraq is a well-known nation and a member of the United Nations with international borders, and its breakup is a very wrong thing, because the disintegration of the country would be the starting point for dangerous insecurities in the region,” he said.

It would have “dangerous” ramifications for the regional countries, said Rezai, who is currently the secretary of Iran’s top arbitration body, the Expediency Council, having served as the head of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) all through the eight-year Iraqi war of the 1980s on Iran.

“If the disintegration of Iraq begins, it will be extended to Syria and Turkey, and a separatist war will break up in the region, which may plunge the region to 20 years of insecurity,” said Rezaei.

“That is why the Islamic Republic of Iran, Turkey, Syria and Iraq are strongly opposed to a geographical change in the region,” he said of the four ethnically diverse nations which have Kurdish populations.

The Iranian government has maintained generally positive relations with Kurdish political entities and it greatly values stability along its western border with Iraq. That mountainous region already enables some Kurdish groups to skirmish with Iranian forces.

With Turkey obsessive in opposing a Kurdish state, Rezaei warned of possible deployment of Turkish troops to northern Iraq if the Kurds secede.

The anti-Turkish PKK terrorist group dominates the armed groups operating in northern Syria. If a Kurdish state is forged from Iraq, the Turks will assume that it would appropriate Kurdish-occupied territory in Syria. That would formalize a major security threat along Turkey’s border.

The US has been supporting Kurdish militants in Syria for some time, shipping in massive volumes of heavy weapons to the region, which has sounded alarm bells in Turkey.

As a result of a secession, Rezaei said, new wars would start in the region between the central government of Iraq and Kurdistan, which would only harm the Kurdish nation.

“Unfortunately, the issue of the referendum on the Iraqi Kurdistan, more than being a popular demand, is a personal issue, and many Kurdish leaders are against it,” he said.

Masoud Barzani, president of the Iraqi Kurdistan region, has told various officials he would push for a referendum, but the UN and the Europeans have refused to support it, at least publicly.

Rezaei said, “Some Kurdish leaders want to make a name and a reputation through the referendum, while what Iraqi Kurdistan needs is security and progress.”

The Iranian official is in Iraq along with Expediency Council chairman Ayatollah Mahmoud Hashemi Shahroudi who met with Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi in Baghdad Sunday.

Iran’s Expediency Council chairman Ayatollah Mahmoud Hashemi Shahroudi (R) and its secretary Mohsen Rezaei arrive at Baghdad Airport on Sept. 3, 2017.

Rezaei said UN and European countries’ refusal to send delegations to observe the Kurdish referendum is “the biggest failure” for the process.

“If the Kurdish leaders of Iraq continue to insist on a referendum, that would have no more than two reasons: either personal motivation or behind-the-scenes hands,” he said, adding that the future would expose those hidden agendas.

Rezaei touched on the US policy in the region, stressing that the Americans do not want complete security to be established in Iraq and Syria, and oppose any action that leads to lasting security in these two countries.

Read more:

Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has also expressed interest in partitioning Iraq and establishing an independent Kurdish state in the Arab country, the Jerusalem Post reported last month.

The Israeli premier expressed his “positive attitude” toward a Kurdish state in the northern areas of Iraq during a meeting with a delegation of 33 US Republican congressmen, the Israeli paper said.

A report published in the New Yorker magazine in 2004 said Israeli military and intelligence operatives were active in Kurdish areas and providing training for commando units.

According to the report, Israel has been expanding its presence in Kurdistan and encouraging Kurds, its allies in the region, to create an independent state.

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ExxonMobil, Kochs, Nazi regime Pushing Washington to Partition Iraq and Syria

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ExxonMobil, Kochs, Israel Pushing Washington to Partition Iraq and Syria

The currently stateless Kurds sit astride the Iraq-Syria border on land blessed/cursed with oil, other resources, and geopolitical significance. Is it any wonder that mega-corporations and their client states are looking to use the Kurds, stoke conflict, and exploit the situation?

Exxon's own research in the 1980s indicated that without major reductions in fossil fuel combustion, "[t]here are some potentially catastrophic events that must be considered." (Photo: Luc B / Flickr)

WASHINGTON, D.C. (Analysis) — Years before the U.S. illegally invaded and then occupied Iraq, plans were circulating within the Pentagon to partition the country along “sectarian” lines, with the express purpose of allowing the U.S. and its regional allies to better control oil resource production and movement within the Middle East.

In Syria, the same narrative of partition has more recently been circulated as the “only” solution to the nation’s sectarian divisions, divisions which did not emerge until they were artificially created in 2011 when the current conflict began and later fomented by hostile foreign actors.

While the Bush and Obama administrations pushed for the partition of Iraq on several occasions, it was largely corporate actors during that time that took the most active steps towards creating an independent state within the Iraqi region controlled by the U.S.-allied Kurds, an area with sizeable energy reserves and other strategic resources.

The area of Syria controlled by the U.S.-backed Kurds conveniently connects directly with the Kurdish “statelet” in Iraq, making the possibility of a larger independent Kurdistan more feasible. This area also boasts the largest concentration of many of Syria’s most critical resources.

While past administrations avoided openly recognizing the partition of Iraq, the administration of President Donald Trump is striking a different tone, largely due to the influence within the administration of some of the biggest players who actively sidestepped Iraq’s government in favor of the Kurds years ago.

Chief among such players was ExxonMobil — whose CEO at the time, Rex Tillerson, is now Trump’s Secretary of State — along with other corporations whose financial and political support for the Trump administration is well-documented.

The geopolitical and economic motives for a partitioned Iraq

The corporatist, neoconservative dream of partitioning Iraq has been around for well over a decade, first materializing a year before the U.S.’ ill-fated 2003 invasion of that nation. The plan, drafted by former Vice President Dick Cheney and Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitzcontemplated the division of Iraq into three autonomous, sectarian “statelets” for Iraqi Muslim Sunnis, Muslim Shi’as, and ethnic Kurds, who are also predominantly Muslim. This partition, it was believed, would allow the U.S. and its regional allies to more easily dominate Iraq and its important fossil fuel resources, along with conferring other “strategic advantages.”

As U.S.-based private intelligence firm Stratfor noted in 2002, the invasion and destruction of Iraq would pave the way for partition and thus greater U.S. control over Iraq and the entire Middle East:

“After eliminating Iraq as a sovereign state, there would be no fear that one day an anti-American government would come to power in Baghdad, as the capital would be in Amman [Jordan]. Current and potential U.S. geopolitical foes Iran […] and Syria would be isolated from each other, with big chunks of land between them under control of the pro-U.S. forces.

Equally important, Washington would be able to justify its long-term and heavy military presence in the region as necessary for the defense of a young new state asking for U.S. protection – and to secure the stability of oil markets and supplies. That, in turn, would help the United States gain direct control of Iraqi oil and replace Saudi oil in case of conflict with Riyadh.”

Creating the divisions needed to justify partition

The big problem for the partition plan, however, was the simple fact that these diverse groups had coexisted with minimal sectarian violence in Iraq for centuries. This meant, of course, that the sectarianism that was needed to justify partition had to be engineered. The U.S., in its invasion and subsequent occupation of Iraq, happily obliged, sponsoring sectarian violence through the military training – including torture techniques – it gave to Iraqi militias, police and military forces that divided along particular ethnoreligious lines.

Many of these organizations have been found to be repeat human rights offenders and have targeted particular ethnoreligious groups within Iraq. Despite their egregious track record, the U.S. continues to financially support these armed groups.

The U.S. has also worked to create and strengthen ethnoreligious divisions within the country by promoting Iraqi organizations founded on religion or ethnicity rather than along political lines.

Though some analysts believe that the biggest winners in the U.S.-created environment of Iraqi sectarianism were the Iraqi majority population of the Shi’a – which, after all, was given control of the post-invasion government – it was really the Kurds who gained the most as a result of the U.S.’ machinations to divide and conquer Iraq.

The Kurds are the largest group of nomadic people in the world and have long existed without their own state. As journalist Sarah Abed has noted,

“This fact has allowed Western powers to use the ‘stateless’ plight of the Kurdish people as a tool to divide, destabilize and conquer Iraq and Syria, where colonial oil and gas interests run deep.”

Although the most powerful Kurdish political parties in these countries do not see themselves as pawns, history shows that Western colonial powers have used them that way in the past and continue to do so, often with their willing cooperation.

In recent decades the U.S. government and military have openly supported Kurdish separatist elements, though they have stopped short of recognizing “Kurdistan” as a state completely independent of the Baghdad-based government. This role fell instead to U.S. corporations, such as ExxonMobil, a major force in the fossil fuel industry. In 2011, ExxonMobil unilaterally brokered an oil deal with the Kurdistan region, bypassing Iraq’s central government in the process.

According to ExxonMobil, the move was partly motivated by problems it was having contracting with Iraq’s central government regarding oilfields in southern Iraq. However, the promise of oil reserves in Kurdistan said to be “one of the world’s most promising regions for the future [of] hydrocarbon discovery,” was also a clear motivator. As a result, ExxonMobil sided with the Kurdish separatists over the central government, giving clout to Kurdish goals of greater regional autonomy – and thus furthering their shared goal of a divided Iraq.

Other oil corporations – including Chevron and Gazprom, among others – followed Exxon’s lead..

By 2014, more than 80 foreign energy corporations had struck deals with Kurdistan. Oilman Ray Hunt, whose Hunt Oil Co. signed its own unilateral agreement with Kurdistan in 2007, has consistently heaped praises upon Kurdistan and has also made clear his vision for the future of Iraq: “In the end, you’ll end up with a soft partition of Iraq.”

Corporate connection to Trump’s change of heart on Iraq partition

12,000 Oil Smuggling Trucks Photographed Crossing Into Turkey From Iraq

A photograph released by Russian intelligence depicting thousands of trucks laden with oil crossing from Syria into Turkey. December, 2015.

Over the years since these deals were struck, the Kurdish separatist parties in Iraq have benefited immensely, though more recently they have been hit hard by the global drop in oil prices. In 2014, they were exporting 280,000 barrels of oil every day. And, despite troubles with foreign companies brought on by falling oil prices and the rise of Daesh (ISIS), the Kurds – as of the end of 2016 – were exporting nearly 600,000 barrels a day.

Though Daesh was painted by the media as a scourge to the Kurds, they have in fact benefited from Daesh’s invasion of large swaths of Iraq. Indeed, the Kurds – trained, armed and provided with airstrike support by the U.S. and Israel – have taken control of many former Daesh territories and have thereby expanded the size of their own territory.

The U.S. and its regional allies have said that the Kurds’ ability to confront Daesh essentially entitles them to “have their way.” As Sadad Ibrahim al-Husseini, former head of exploration and development for the Saudi state oil company Aramco told The New York Times in 2014:

“At the end of the day, the Kurds will have their way, because they are the only credible Sunni group that can confront ISIS.”

Not surprisingly, the Kurd’s oil riches have brought them into direct conflict with Iraq’s central government, which has since cut off national funding for the Kurdish region and threatened any country or company buying Kurdish oil with legal action for violating the nation’s constitution by not sharing its oil sale revenue equally among all Iraqis.

However, countries like Turkey and Israel continue to buy significant amounts of oil, as well as natural gas, from the Kurds. Turkey’s case is particularly interesting given Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan’s well-known hatred of the Kurds and opposition to Kurdish independence in Syria. However, when it comes to Iraqi Kurdistan at least, economic factors have won out, with Turkey’s ruling party having stated that Kurds in Iraq have the right to self-determination.

Kurdish control of Iraq’s oil-rich north is key to the partitioning plan. As Michael Makovsky, a former Pentagon official, told The New York Times:

“I think Iraqi Kurdish independence is inevitable, at least eventually. They have natural allies in the United States because of the oil companies involved in drilling there. And the Turks and Europeans need their gas.”

Though candidate Trump had not voiced support for a partition of Iraq, spurred by his administration’s strong ties to the oil industry, Washington has become even more friendly to the Kurds – and to the idea of Kurdish secession – since Trump took office.

However, when the State Department was asked by journalist Nafeez Ahmed whether it still stood by the traditional position of supporting a unified Iraq, a department spokesperson answered:

“With respect to the unity of Iraq, you’re right; that is something we make a point of saying. But ultimately, these are all internal political discussions that Iraq needs to have with all ethnic groups resident in the country.”

As Ahmed notes, this is the first time that the State Department has officially announced the U.S.’ willingness to consider the partition of Iraq.

Why the sudden change of heart?

Ali Khedery, pictured far left, watches as U.S. President George W. Bush signs an agreement with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki. (Photo: Public Domain)

Ali Khedery, pictured far left, watches as U.S. President George W. Bush, sings an agreement with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki. (Photo: Public Domain)

ExxonMobil once again emerges as a key player — not surprisingly, given that current Secretary of State Rex Tillerson was Exxon’s CEO when the unilateral contract with the Kurds was forged. Tillerson, however, is not the only former ExxonMobil employee with ties to the Trump administration. Ali Khedery — a former Pentagon official who served in the U.S. coalition authority in Iraq, and a former ExxonMobil executive — has repeatedly promoted the division of Iraq.

Khedery is also the founder of Dragoman Ventures, a firm connected to the Committee to Destroy ISIS, which has been instrumental in bringing about the Trump administration’s change of opinion regarding Iraq’s partition. The Committee’s executive director, Sam Patten, also shares deep connections to members of Trump’s campaign and transition teams, as well as to certain Iraqi oligarchs suspected of having ties to U.S. intelligence and insurgent elements in Iraq.

Nor is oil the only resource that has swayed the Trump administration and its corporate allies to view partition favorably. Iraq’s Anbar province was recently found to contain nearly a tenth of the world’s total deposits of phosphates, a key ingredient in the production of nitrogen fertilizer. Now — with control of more than 70 percent of the world’s phosphate supply, and with markets reaching a point where demand is beginning to outstrip supply — the world’s largest producer of nitrogen fertilizer is eager for access to Anbar province.

That company, Koch Fertilizer Inc., is owned by the infamous Koch Brothers. Fully one-third of Trump’s entire transition team had ties to Koch Industries.

The role of Israeli ties in pushing the partition plan

Ethnic Kurdish Israelis protest outside the Turkish embassy in Tel Aviv, Israel, July 8, 2010.

Ethnic Kurdish Israelis protest outside the Turkish embassy in Tel Aviv, Israel, July 8, 2010.

The Trump administration’s close ties to Israel may also be a factor in Trump’s willingness to consider Iraq’s partition. Though the U.S. is clearly driving partition in both Iraq and Syria, it is not alone. Israel stands to gain greatly from a partition of Iraq and has worked, like the U.S., to engineer sectarianism there and strengthen the Kurds. The Kurds have received weapons, training, and more from Israel — well before the rise of Daesh, with ties dating back to the 1960s.

Israel has also directly supported the Kurds’ economy. In 2015, despite warnings from Baghdad, Israel was importing as much as 77 percent of its oil supply from Iraqi Kurdistan, funneling much-needed money to the cash-stripped Kurdish regional government.

Israel has long recognized the potential role of the Kurds in dividing countries it and its allies seek to weaken. It is hardly a coincidence that Israel’s Greater Israel project aligns almost perfectly with “Kurdistan.” In the Oded Yinon plan, or the plan for a “Greater Israel,” the use of the Kurds is considered imperative as a means for dividing neighboring countries in order to aid in Israeli plans for greater domination and territorial expansion.

In addition, Israel considers the Kurds an important part of its long-standing goal to destabilize Iran. For instance, WikiLeaks revealed in 2010 that Israel’s intelligence agency Mossad had expressed interest in using the Kurds and other ethnic minorities to topple the Iranian government by manufacturing the country’s division. Given that the partition of Iraq would isolate Iran from Syria, Israel – like the U.S. – views partition as serving multiple goals, ultimately enabling Israel to dominate the entire Middle East.

Syria partition plan follows the Iraqi partition playbook

Iraq is by no means the only Middle Eastern country that Western powers are seeking to partition. The partition of Syria has been repeatedly sold to the public as the “only” solution to Syria’s ongoing “sectarian” conflict, now well into its seventh year. However, this sectarianism was engineered and stoked by foreign powers to bring about the current conflict in Syria. WikiLeaks revealed that the CIA was involved in instigating anti-Assad and “sectarian” demonstrations as early as March 2011. Declassified CIA documents show the plan to engineer sectarianism in order to weaken the Syrian state dates back to at least the 1980s.

The partition idea was also repeatedly touted by the Obama administration, which stated that it “may be too late” to keep Syria whole.

In 2011, when the conflict was in its infancy, the U.S. and its allies – namely Israel, Qatar, Turkey, France, the U.K. and Saudi Arabia – began supplying tons upon tons of weapons to insurgent and sectarian elements within Syria, heavily arming the so-called “moderate” Wahhabi opposition like the Free Syrian Army and the Kurds. As the conflict raged on – and the “moderate” opposition was exposed time and again as sharing close ties with internationally recognized terror organizations like al-Qaeda – Washington’s support began to shift increasingly towards the Kurds.

As in Iraq, the spread of Daesh in the area became a pretext for the U.S. not only to arm the Kurds but also to allow them to take control of areas, such as Raqqa, once held by Daesh. Media and government sources repeatedly told the public that the Kurds must be armed, as they were the only group that had proven “effective” in countering Daesh. This past March, the Kurds declared the formation of a Kurdish federation under democratic self-rule. This declared federation has yet to obtain international recognition, but – given what has transpired in Iraq and in U.S.-Syrian relations – such an achievement doesn’t seem far off.

The Kurds and their U.S. allies currently have gained effective control of Syria’s north, which comprises about a quarter of the entire country but boasts over 90 percent of Syrian oil and gas potential. According to Yeni Şafak, the U.S. along with the Saudis, Egypt, and Kurdish officials have held meetings where decisions were made to extract, process and market the oil, with the Kurds being given a handsome share of the profits. As of 2015, they were said to be earning in excess of $10 million every month.

Syria’s Kurdistan exports its oil to Iraq’s Kurdistan, with which it conveniently shares a border. It is then refined and sold to Turkey. Though no corporations are explicitly involved, the deal between Syrian and Iraqi Kurds was brokered by unnamed “oil experts” and “oil investors.” The Kurds in Syria and Iraq did not even sign the agreement in person. They were subsequently “informed” and instructed to supervise the operation.

A source in Iraq’s Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) told NOW News that

“with regard to southern Kurdistan, it was a company and not the KRG that signed the deal, and it is [the company] that directly hands over the sums in cash every month.”

Given that over 80 foreign companies are involved in the KRG’s oil trade, most of them based in the U.S., we can safely assume that many of the same players have also been involved in developing the oil trade of Syria’s Kurdistan.

Non-oil assets of Syrian Kurdistan also tempt corporations and governments

Kurdish Fighters take positions at the top of Mount Annan overlooking the Tishrin dam, after they captured from ISISmilitants, south of Kobani, Syria December 27, 2015. (Photo: Rodi Said)

Kurdish Fighters take positions at the top of Mount Annan overlooking the Tishrin dam, after they captured it from ISIS militants, south of Kobani, Syria December 27, 2015. (Photo: Rodi Said)

In addition to oil, the “Kurdistan” of Syria also includes much of Syria’s freshwater, including its three largest reservoirs, as well as much of its electricity (hydropower via Tabqa) and its agricultural resources. The growth of Syria’s Kurdistan also has major implications for one of Syria’s other key assets: its location. In 2013, The New York Times noted that “Syria’s prime location and muscle make it the strategic center of the Middle East.”

Syria’s strategic location makes it crucial to the regional flow of hydrocarbons. Having the northern section of Syria — and potentially the eastern as well, if the U.S. gets its way — under the control of a U.S. ally could have a profound effect on future and existing pipelines. Notably, it would complicate the land route between Syria and Iran, Syria’s staunchest regional ally and long-time foe of the U.S. and Israel — a scenario highlighted by U.S.-based intelligence firm Stratfor back in 2002.

The words of late journalist and historian Patrick Seale – “Whoever would lead the Middle East must control Syria” – ring true for the U.S. government now more than ever. With internal reports warning of the U.S.’ waning position as the “world’s only superpower,” the division of Iraq and Syria is essential to Washington’s designs to maintain its influence, as well as the influence of the corporate powers it protects.

Posted in USA, ZIO-NAZI, Iraq, SyriaComments Off on ExxonMobil, Kochs, Nazi regime Pushing Washington to Partition Iraq and Syria

Depleted Uranium and Radioactive Contamination in Iraq

NOVANEWS

The amount of devastation caused by the Depleted Uranium (DU) weaponry used against Iraq during the consecutive US led wars is historically unprecedented in modern warfare. The devastating magnitude of the complications and damage caused as a result of the use of such radioactive and toxic weapons on the environment and the human population was intensified as a result of the intentional concealment, denial and misleading information released by the Pentagon about the quantities, characteristics, and Iraqi area’s within which these weapons were used.

Information revealed about a severe illness known as the ‘Gulf War Syndrome’ which spread amongst US Army veterans who were exposed to DU while using theseweaponry, helped Iraqi researchers and Medical Doctors to understand the nature of the effect of these weapons, and the means required to investigate further into this issue.

DU is a chemically toxic and radioactive heavy metal produced as waste by the nuclear power industry. It is used in weapons because it is an extremely hard material capable of piercing armor.

The synergistic impact on health due to the 1991post-Gulf War1 economic sanctions, and DU related radioactive and toxic contamination, raised the number of casualties in contaminated areas such as in Southern Iraq.

During 2003, the invading forces used additional rounds of DU in heavily populated areas such as Baghdad, Samawa, Fallujah, Diyala, Najaf, Salahuddin, Basra and Nasiriya (again), and other cities.

The continual use of DU after-Gulf War I in 1991, then during and after the US led military operations in 2003 invasion of Iraq increased the total contamination area with DU in Iraq. Consequently, civilians in previously contaminated areas received an extra dose of radioactivity after 2003. An action that can only be interpreted as committing unseen genocide against the unarmed civilian population in these areas.

Accordingly, hundreds of thousands of Iraqis have received higher doses of radioactivity than those received from standard natural sources of radiation. As a result, a multifold increase of diseases related to Low Level Radiation (LLR) exposure have been registered amongst Iraqis since 1995, including an increase of children’s leukemia, congenital malformations, breast cancer etc…

The leukemia incidence rates for instance, shifted towards younger children during these recent years, and its association with geographically distributed contaminated areas, offers strong evidence of the correlation between LLR exposure, and the resulting health damages.

Through this paper, an overview of major scientific DU conclusions will be presented, drawn from investigations and research conducted since the year 1991 by Iraqi researchers and MDs. This research was never published outside Iraq because of the comprehensive sanctions imposed on Iraq from (1991-2003). They were published only in Iraqi University peer reviewed journals and two related conferences.  Schemes of the research papers can be classified into three categories:

  1. DU contamination detection and exploration programs.
  2. DU effects on human body cells.
  3. DU related epidemiological studies.

1.0 Introduction:

Depleted Uranium (DU) weaponry has been used against Iraq since the Gulf War 1 in 1991. An estimated (DU) expenditure of 320 – 800 tons were shot mainly on the withdrawing Iraqi troops from Kuwait to the north of Basra City [ 1].

The use of (DU) ammunition on Iraqi territory never stopped since 1991. Different generations of (DU) supported Tomahawk missiles & Bunker Buster Bombs [1] have been used during the 90’s on what were known as the No-Fly Zones (Northern & Southern regions of Iraq), and during the attack on Iraq in 1998. Bombing Iraq with DU continued during the military operations of the invasion of Iraq in 2003, then afterwards in other cities which resisted the occupation of Iraq [2].

With the comprehensive sanctions imposed on Iraq in 1991, the United States & its allies used radioactive & toxic weapons to exhaust Iraq’s institutions & population to prepare for the invasion of Iraq in 2003. Using extra hundreds of tons of (DU) expenditure   during the invasion of Iraq made the radioactive contamination situation more complicated.

For many years the US-UK led armed forces avoided any release of information about the amounts, types, and locations of the targets destroyed by these weapons within Iraqi territories [2]. As a result, thousands of Iraqi children and their families in West Basra were repeatedly exposed for extended durations to DU low-level radiation (LLR) and toxic effects. Many researchers have found a direct correlation between this exposure, and the significant increase of certain diseases such as congenital malformations, malignancies, congenital heart diseases, chromosomal aberration, and multiple malformations in Basra [3].

Right after Gulf War 1, European and American Anti-DU activists and NGO’s issued many publications identifying the harmful effects of DU on-Gulf War veteran health and Iraqi population. These publications helped Iraqi researchers start a series of exploration research programs to define DU contaminated areas in Iraq, and to estimate the radiation doses the civilian population in Southern Iraq and the Iraqi troops located there were exposed to during military operations in 1991. The programs also set out to assess the risk level related to contamination levels in the surrounding environment.

These exploration research programs were performed under severely constrained conditions allowing very limited technical resources because of the US imposed economic sanctions on Iraq during the 90’s posing a serious scientific challenge at the time.

Conducting these researches under the tight conditions and very limited technical and other resources under the economic sanctions was a serious scientific challenge at the time since the American and British occupation forces:

  • Forbidding any release of information related to types, amounts, and locations of targets destroyed by DU projectiles, and any statistics related to Iraqi army and civilian casualties after the occupation of 2003 [4].
  • Refusal to clean up contaminated areas (as was performed by the same named troops) in Kuwait [5].
  • International agencies were prohibited the right to conduct full (DU) related exploration programs and risk assessments by US led occupying forces [6] the way they did in Kosovo [7]. Such an act indicates that these forces are relying on time to dissipate these contaminants with the purpose that the evidence of this crime be lost. Such assessment with proper resources, experts, and technology would link, with conclusive evidence, the harmful health impacts with exposure to DU oxidesamong the population of the contaminated areas.

Using such weapon and related misleading information can be considered as war crimes. They represent grave breach of the Geneva Convention and international law becausethese weapons have caused and continue to cause undifferentiated harm and suffering to civilian populations in all contaminated areas long after the end of the military operations [8].

DU contamination mechanism and health impacts

Dr Rosalie Bertell, a radiology scientist wrote in 2006 [9]; when DU munitions hit the target, they ignite prophetically and generate heat that reaches a temperature of (3000-6000°C). This heat causes a sublimation of DU and other metals to form a gas or aerosol in the forming DU nanoparticles. The nanoparticles can cross the lung-blood barrier and gain entrance to the cells resulting in the creation of free radicals. This is an effect of ionizing radiation. The other effect of DU comes from the fact that it is classified as a toxic heavy metal. Heavy metal toxicity attacks the proteins in the human tissue cells which normally fights the free radicals and creates additional free radicals [9]. This causes an oxidative stress that leads to failure of protective enzymes, damaging the cellular communication system and the mitochondria. Free radicals can also disrupt the protein’s folding process of (DNA). This misrouting of proteins causes certain diseases such as cystic fibrosis, diabetes insipidus and cancer. The amassing and accumulation of misfolded proteins leads to neurodegenerative diseases like Parkinson’s disease. Gulf veterans have manifested many of the symptoms of these neurodegenerative diseases. Other effects are:

  • Immune and Hormonal systems’ damage
  • Distribution of thyroid function
  • Mycoplasmal Invasion to human body
  • Teratogenic Toxicity, where soluble DU oxides crosses the placenta to the fetus. As a result, damages might range from behavioral problems to mental retardation and congenital malformations.

Studies have shown that the Gulf War1 male veterans were twice as likely- and female veterans almost three times as likely- to report children with birth defects than counterparts who did not serve in the first Gulf War [9].

In her analysis, Dr. Bertell further emphasized that the carcinogenic properties of Uranium are linked the weakening the immune system of individuals, and showing that a depressed immune system often changes the status of subclinical cancer into clinically diagnosable cancer. Other related important studies related to these aspects are of Miller, A. et al [10] [11], Hindin et al [12], and Schroder [13].

The existence of radioactive DU oxides in these areasis considered ascontinuous source of exposure to both toxins and harmful radioactivity. It also represents a continuous and systematic attack on the civilian population each time DU oxide contaminated dust storm blow on the city of Basra and all surrounding areas tens of years to come.

In this paper, the genuine scientific efforts of the Iraqi scientists and researchers who tried hard to define DU contaminated areas in Southern Iraq after Gulf War 1 of 1991, and to show a correlation with its perceived consequences on general population health, all while under the US-UK led economic sanctions imposed on Iraq will be reviewed.

Most of these studies couldn’t find their way to internationally peer-reviewed journals because of the comprehensive sanctions imposed on Iraq, even though they have been published in Iraqi University peer-reviewed scientific journals in addition to the proceedings of two DU and War Consequences scientific conferences (1998, 2002).

It is also an obligation to let the world know that some of these studies cost the authors their lives after the occupation of Iraq in 2003. One of them is Dr. Alim Abdul Hameed Yacoub (Dean of Basra Medical College) who was killed, along with his son, when his car was forced off the highway on the way to his home town of Basra after being attacked and threatened twice at his home by pro-occupation militias two weeks before his death. They cost other researchers their freedom, such as Dr. Huda Ammash who was accused of being (Lady Anthrax) and imprisoned without any real accusation for 3 years just because she conducted very important research on Iraqi Armed Forces veterans who were exposed to DU weapons.

In addition to the assassination of about 500 Iraqi scientists after the US led invasion of Iraq by US trained Death Squads and pro-occupation militias, in what appears to be measures taken to discontinue any kind of scientific research in Iraq including DU-related research [14] in occupied Iraq.

2.0 Schemes of DU related research that have been conducted and published in Iraq (1991-2003):

Studies in this paper are classified into the following schemes:

  1. Detection and modeling of DU contaminated areas through site measurements and laboratory tests
  2. Epidemiological Studies Related to (DU) Contamination Health Effects.
  1. Pathological Studies of DU Effects on Human Health

2.1 Detection and modeling of DU contaminated areas through site measurements and laboratory tests

In 1993 the first Iraqi team of researchers from the Iraqi Atomic Commission and the College of Science in University of Baghdad [15][16] investigated with very limited information and a Sampling Program the increase of DU related radioactivity in selected areas West of Basra. Destroyed Iraqi tanks and vehicles contaminated upon destruction with DU ammunition were still laying around these areas. The areas included: Northern Rumaila oil fields, Al-Shamia, Kharanje, Southern Rumaila oil field, and Jabal Sanam. Exposure measurements revealed the existence of DU contamination in the studied areas. Tables 1, 2, and 3 show the results of these measurements. As we can see from the results not allsampled tanks and Iraqi artilleries have been destroyed by DU projectiles.

Table (1) Field Measurements of 1993 at North Rumela Area [15]

Table (2): Field Measurements of 1993 at Shamia Airfield /Khudairat al-Audhaimi Area [15]

Table (3): Field Radioactivity Measurements of 1993 at DMZ and Surrounding Area [15]

In 1996 Al-Azzawi, S.N. and her team conducted a comprehensive exploration program through the Environmental Engineering Department in University of Baghdad [17] [18] [19][20][21] [22][23].  The program involved taking hundreds of exposure measurements, soil and destroyed targets smear samples, surface water and channels sediments samples, bio-samples from vegetation cover, fish, and grazing animal tissues.  Sampling included areas of heavy military engagement during the first Gulf War of 1991 such as Safwan, Jabal Sanam, al-Zubair, Northern Rumaila oil fields, and Southern Rumaila Oil Fields (Figures 1 and 2). The measurements and tests were part of the academic requirements of three Masters of Engineering degree thesis in Environmental Engineering.

A BGS-4 gamma-ray scintillation counter was used to measure onsite exposure. The counters were used for 124 field exposure measurements in and around the destroyed tanks and other military vehicles. High purity germanium detectors were used to test 124 soil and sediment samples, 58 surface and groundwater samples and 158 bio-samples in the Laboratory of Environmental Radiation in the Iraqi Atomic Organization. All field measurements were supervised and by specialists from Iraqi atomic energy organization and according to IAEA related standards. Also, all laboratory tests were conducted during continuous visits and checking of UN/US inspection teams to all the latter organization’s activities.

Selected measurements from 1996 exploration program results are shown in (Table 5). Modeling pollution transport from hundreds of destroyed artilleries to surrounding areas till 1996 shows the spreading of DU contamination in the area from 1991 – 1996 [17] [18] [19]:

  • 1,718 km² of soil contaminated with DU oxides and particles,
  • 140,000 m² of channel sediments,
  • 845,100 tons of vegetation cover

Table 5: Selected Exposure and Soil Radioactivity Measurements From the 1996 exploration program [17] [18]

T: Destroyed Tank        A: Destroyed Armored Vehicle

Risk assessment related to previous measurements showed that people in the Western part of Basra City, and the Iraqi and American troops received a total whole body radioactive dosage of (442 – 577) mSv [24], mostly during the first six months of the 1991 Gulf War military operations. Comparing this value with the background annual radioactivity vlue of (2.4 mSv) we can see that this amount is about 200 times more than normal natural radioactivity the human body receives. Findings of  the predicted health damages related to these doses were defined and published at the time[25].

In 1999 – 2000 a follow-up exploration program in the same contaminated area of West Basra was conducted by (Al-Azzawi and Al Nuiamy, 2002) [24] [25]. The program included radioactivity measurements of site exposure, soil sediments, water samples, and laboratory tests. Samples were collected from previously studied areas plus areas where most of the DU contaminated tanks and wreckage were collected and unfortunately placed on the banks of Wafaa Al Qaied waterway causing further contamination.

Results of this program indicated the existence of higher than natural background radioactivity in some of the soil samples and sediments from nearby surface water channels sediments in the areas but in general the radioactivity was less than that of 1996. Sand and dust storms with the weathering process contributed to the dispersion of these contaminants to nearby populated areas.More than (127) days of dust storms used to hit that area since the Nineties of last century [26].

Also in 1999-2000 Al-Azzawi, Maarouf and Al-Mousori conducted an exploration program to check of the possibility of radiological contamination in Ninevah Governorate and its center Mosul City, after being attacked in 1998 by new generations of Cruise missiles (AGM 154 J50W) on three targets on the Eastern bank of Tigris River in Mosul city. The program also involved checking the extension of The Chernobyl Plume on Iraqi territories after 13 years [27].

The field measurements using Portable Scintillation Counter have proved that there is clear radiological pollution in the study area. The measured average exposure rate was 11.38 µR.h-1 in Mosul city and 10.11 µR.h-1 in Nineveh governorate which are more than the background level of the study area that amounted to 7.0 µR.h-1.

The laboratory tests have also shown an increase in Ra-226 concentrations which is one daughter of the decay series of U-238. The tested maximum concentration of Ra-226 is 146 Bq.kg-1 in Mosul City and 107 Bq.kg-1 in Nineveh governorate, while the background level calculated in these regions should be 55 Bq.kg-1. This is an indication that the increase can be attributed to the pollution of the study area by Uranium weaponry and that the missiles used to destroy these targets contain Uranium radioisotopes.

The Pentagon kept denying the existence of radiological contamination and the harmful effects of DU on human population and environment. They also accused the findings of the Iraqi research teams during the Nineties as (Iraqi regime propaganda).

After 4 years under the US occupation of Iraq comes the proof from the occupation assigned Iraqi government that all our work was genuine and scientifically credible.

During the National Meeting on Radiological Pollution in Iraq, held in Mansur Melia Hotel in Baghdad, the Minister of Environment in Iraq Narmeen Othman presented the results of the environmental radiological assessment that were conducted in 2007 in some areas of Iraq including Northern and Southern Oil Fields in Southern Iraq after a significant increase of registered cancer cases (as being mentioned in that meeting) [28]. Results of that assessment shows the following:

  • In Rumaila Oil Fields 48 sites were found radiologically contaminated
  • Among the 17 stations of Northern Rumaila Oil Fields, eight sites were found contaminated with radioactive radionuclide
  • Also Phase one of that environmental radiological assessment showed 264 radiologically contaminated samples as follows:
  • In Samawa area 202 samples were collected. 71 soil samples, 10 water samples, 106 dust smear samples. And one vegetation cover sample. Contaminated samples were 36 sample.
  • In Zubair area, 62 samples. 41 of them contaminated.
  • In Basra area, 103 samples. 62 samples were radiologically contaminated.
  • In Nasrya area, 153 samples. 49 of them were contaminated.

It is noteworthy to highlight the fact that these findings come after 15 years of the original exploration programs we have conducted in these areas [ ] [ ].

Tawfiq, N. F. et al in 2000 [29] measured alpha-emitters concentrations in soil samples from different Iraqi cities using Solid State Nuclear Track detectors CR-39 and CN-85. Her team found high concentration radioisotopes measurements of (7.8) ppm in Muthana governorate (Samawa City).

The Dutch troops later in 2003 refused to camp in Samawa City, due to high DU related radioactivity detected by those troops [30]. After few days, they finally moved to a nearby desert area. It was also confirmed that New York Guardsmen serving in Samawa city during 2003 were exposed to DU [31].

Tawfiq research team also confirmed that other cities with higher radioisotope concentrations in soil than that of the area’s background levels which typically range in (1.02-2.2) PPM were: Basra (7.2) ppm, Nasirya (Al-Shatra city) (6.2) ppm. These locations fell on withdrawing Iraqi troops withdrawal route from Kuwait in Jan 1991. The same route the Iraqi troops were intercepted and destroyed by US DU weapons.

In 2000, Al-Gurabi, S. and her team measured DU related increases in radioactivity along the areas bordering Kuwait and Saudi Arabia. They also measured Northern Rumaila Oil Field and areas to the Northwest of Basrah City [32]. Results showed higher activity concentrations of DU related radioisotopes in all investigated areas except the center of Basrah City.

Butras, Wartan and Butras in (2000-2001) [33] measured radioactivity in three different areas of Basrah using Alpha and Beta measuring LB1200 detectors. The measured areas:

A: Iraqi-Saudi-Kuwaiti borders

B: Qurna city, Zubair city, Faw and Umm Kasir seaports.

C: Shatt Al-Arab district in Basra

Results proved the existence of higher radioactivity measurements than background levels of (18*10-3) mRem/hr in area (A) after 10 years of the war. Umm Kasir area registered (10 * 10-3) mRem/hr, compared to normal background levels in the area are within the range of (7 * 10-3) mRem/hr [33].

During the year 2000, Al-Kinani, et al [34] collected (11) soil samples from Safwan, Southern Rumaila and the unarmed border zone using a gamma radiation detector. Results indicated that (7) of these samples were contaminated with DU radioisotopes. Sample (SSI) U235/U238 ratio was found to be (0.00351) which indicates high DU contamination a destroyed tank in that area. Other ratios ranged between (0.0041-0.0037).

Dozens of other studies were conducted and published in Arabic or English peer-reviewed scientific journals of various Iraqi universities. Those published investigation programs were all conducted by well-known professors and researchers who followed the IAEA and other international scientific standards’ procedures.  Researches and radiological laboratory tests that were done in conjunction with the environmental department of the Iraqi Atomic Commission were searched and reviewed by periodic UN inspection teams’ visits and the IAEA teams. These teamswere inspecting all the activities throughout the nineties until the invasion of Iraq in 2003.

The Radiation Protection Centre (RPC) has also identified between 300 and 365 contaminated sites by 2006. Most of them located in the Basra region in Southern Iraq [35 ]

2.2 Epidemiological Studies Related to (DU) Contamination Health Effects:

Many epidemiological studies were conducted in contaminated cities to define the correlation between (DU) contamination and the increase of malignancy incidence rates and congenital malformation in Basra Governorate for example. Most of these studies were performed by faculty members of Al-Basra College of Medicine since 1995. Some of these studies were published in the University of Basra Medical Journal. Others were presented in the two Iraqi conferences about the effect of economic sanction and (DU) weaponry used against humans and the environment in Iraq, held in 1998 and 2002 respectively.

Results of these studies pointed out a very clear trend concerning the existence of correlation between contamination and the resulted increase of the related diseases in geographically contaminated areas. Among others, the following studies are specifically important:

  • Alim Yacoub et al, 1998 [36] [37] presented an analysis of recorded cases of registered malignant diseases among children under 15 years of age in Basra for the period (1990 – 1997). This analysis showed a rise of 60% in children’s leukemia from 1990 to 1997. Also, a 120% increase in all malignant cases among children under the age of 15 for the same period were registered. The study also showed the shift of age distribution of leukemia cases towards younger than 5 years of age from 13% in 1990 to 41% of total cases in 1997.
  • Al-Sadoon, et al, 1998 [38] showed a threefold increase in congenital malformations registered cases in 1998 compared to 1990 in Basra city. Congenital heart diseases, chromosomal aberrations, and multiple malformations all indicate exposure to teratogenic environmental factor.
  • Alim Yacoub, et al, 1999 [39] also introduced an analysis of the incidence and pattern of malignant diseases in Basra from the analysis of the histopathological reports of Basra University Teaching Hospital for the period 1990-1997.

The study indicated that there was a rise of about 160% in reported cases of uterine cancer in 1997 compared to 1990 and an increase of 143% in thyroid cancer cases in 1997 compared to 1990 recordings. Also, a 102% increase in breast cancer and 82% rise in lymphomas in 1997 compared to 1990.

The records also indicated a shift in the types of the five major leading malignancies in Basra in 1997 such as breast, bladder, lymphomas, uterine, and skin cancers. While those of 1990 were malignant diseases of bladder, skin, breast, lung, and larynx.

  • Alim Yacoub, Imad Al-Sadoon and Jenan Hasan, 2002 presented a paper [40] that examines the association between exposure to DU radiation and the rising incidence of malignancies among children in Basra through time sequence criteria, and dose-response criteria through the geographical shift of the increase of incidence rates in Al-Zubair and other Western areas from less than 5/100,000 prior to 1993 to 22/100,000 in 2000  compared to only Al-Hartha area (North of Basrah) only prior to 1993 (with the highest incidence rates of 10/100,000 in 1993). They also tested the biological plausibility criteria through the shift of the increase of leukemia incidence rate towards younger ages of less than 5 years old after 1995.

Yacoub et al, 2002, couldn’t explain the reason behind the constant increase of malignancies incidence rates among children in Al-Hartha district in Northern Basra City, figure from (10 incidents / 100,000) to (42.7 / 100,000) in the year 2000.

This increase can be attributed to the existence of the largest electrical power generation and transformation facilities in Iraq of 800 MW. This power plant was destroyed during air raids several times first week of bombing in 1991. Nobody measured the radioactivity in Al-Hartha power plant, which might be also destroyed with DU expenditure.

We must be aware that these epidemiological studies were limited to Basra General Hospital, which is the education hospital of Basra Medical College. The mentioned number of cancer incidence cases and congenital malformations would be a lot higher if the studies involved all hospitals of Basra.

  • Abbas Ali & Jawad al Ali, 2002 [41] presented an evaluation of chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) annual incidence which started to rise from 1995 up to the year 2000, when the increase began to plateau.
  • Pathological Studies of DU Effects on Human Health

Dr. Huda Ammash- Professor of Molecular Biology in the College of Science in University of Baghdad, 1998, presented a paper on the mechanisms of toxicity induced by free radicals resulting from irradiation with DU and ionization of the atmosphere in Iraq [42] [43]. This paper pinpointed the need for DU toxicity studies on enzymes (SOD), Caralase, hydrogenates and Glyceraldehydes Dehydrogenates levels. She also presented the multi aborative cases on the DNA level where out of 50 studied cases, 29 cases were found with DNA abnormalities (with no hereditary evidence). Other multi aborative cases investigating the toxoplasmosis effect showed that out of 130 cases, over 65% more were infected than those recorded in 1989.

Muhammed, Z.T. et al, 2002, [44] published a paper about the effects of DU radiation on the human immune system enzyme. A group of (26) Iraqi veterans who were exposed to DU radiation with (43) control individuals were all subjected to tests for Adenosine DA Amines (ADN) enzyme activity. Results indicated mean activity of the enzyme of the exposed individuals of (0.184 ±0.016) U/gm protein, while the unexposed individual’s enzyme activity (0.291 ±0.022) U/gm protein.

ADA enzyme activity in the exposed individuals were found to be significantly lower than the control group. P<0.05 significant correlation coefficient was found between ADA activity as an important immune enzyme and related clinical signs and symptoms related to defective cellular immune functions.

Ammash, H., Alwan, L. and Marouf, B.A.,2002, published a paper (in Arabic) [45] about the results of Genetic hematological analysis for a group of individuals who live in DU contaminated areas in Southern Iraq. Blood tests for the (47) individuals who lived in Basra contaminated areas and other (30) individuals as a control group who lived in Baghdad. The research included other clinical and correlated factors.

Blood tests included hemoglobin concentration, packed cell volume test (PCV), total count (WBC) test and chromosomal changes and defects tests. Factors such as exposure type and exposure time due to nature of work were taken into consideration (45% of the studied groups are from Iraqi troops who were involved in military engagements of the Gulf War 1). The others were civilians who lived in contaminated areas.

The test results of the study clearly showed that a 21% of the studied individuals in Basra group suffered a reduction in hemoglobin concentration of (9-13) g/dl.

The other 79% of the individuals from Al-Basrah studied groups with normal hemoglobin concentrations of (12-15) g/dl and (13-18) g/dl for males and females in the group respectively.

The blood Packed Cell Volume (PCV) test results showed that 25.5% of the Basrah study group showed abnormal (PCV) rates of (30-39) % less than the normal rate. One male’s individual blood (PCV) was 3% higher than normal. Other individuals’ blood (PCV) in the studied group had normal rates ranging between (40-54) %.

Total count of white blood cells (WBC) test results showed that 8% of the individuals in the Basrah study group had less than normal (WBC) which is 4000 c/ml or higher than the normal rate or (11000) c/ml. Control group individuals all had normal (WBC).

Compound chromosomal changes in the lymphocytes of peripheral blood of the individuals of the Basra study group had been found to have a ratio of (0.1118) % which is significantly higher than that of the control group. The ratio of dicentric and ring centric chromosomal abnormality fraction was found to be (0.04479) which is also higher than the ordinary ratio. Chromosomal damages were mostly in male veteran individuals. One case was that of a 13-year-old at the time of exposure in Al-Zubair contaminated area.

From the Veterinary College of Basra University, Khadier, A.A. et al, 2000[46] conducted a study to detect levels of DU related radioactivity in pastures and animals within the contaminated areas of Safwan, Al-Zubair, N. Rumaila, Jabal Sanam, Kharanj Village, etc.

Blood samples from sheep and other grazing animals were collected. Analysis of blood samples using Lyoluminescence and Track Detectors proved the existence of very small concentrations of radioisotopes in a few sheep that fed from and around the destroyed artillery and tanks within the studied areas. It is believed the polluted dust on the leaves was the source of radioisotopes in the tested blood samples.

Al-Sadi, H.I. and Sawad, A. 2002 [47] from the Veterinary College of the University of Basrah also presented a study about the pathological conditions of the animals in Basrah. The study reported the existence of three types of animal neoplasm; seminoma in rams, mesotheliomas in buffalo, and ovarian cystadenomas in female dogs.

These types of neoplasms have never been reported in these regions before the Nineties. Also, some types of congenital defects in farm animals have been described.

2.4 Other related studies after the occupation of Iraq (post 2003)

The American and British armed forces used Depleted Uranium weapons during the military operations of Iraq’s invasion and occupation in 2003. As usual they wouldn’t admit or release information where and the amounts they have used to prevent the civilian population the extra exposure to more of these toxic and radioactive munitions. The UK government in 2010 admitted that British forces fired less than three tons of DU in 2003 [48].

The American armed forces kept lying and misleading the public until the findings of a DU related research published by the European organization PAX in collaboration with the ICBDUW and George Mason University of America. The research confirmed the use of about 181000 shells of depleted uranium or about 200 tons (Wim Zwijnenburg and Doug Weir, 2016). The research also identified the places where it was used [2]. Maps and illustrations showed that US forces fired these DU projectiles in most densely populated cities this at the time, including Basra, Baghdad, Najaf, Amarah, Tikrit, Karbala, Falluja and Baquba, as shown in Figure 5.

Figure 5: Areas bombed by DUweapons during the 2003 Iraqi occupation in 2003[2].

In 2006 and 2007 technical staff from the Iraqi Radiation Protection Centre collected environmental samples at four selected sites in Southern Iraq, namely As Samawah, Al Nassiryah, Al Basrah and Al Zubayr [49]. Since no information from US/UK armed forces defines where they used the DU ammunition in 2003!!because this information wasreleased in 2016 [2]. It seems clear that the samples were collected from previously identified DU contaminated areas of 1991.

A total of 520 samples of soil, water, vegetation, and smear tests, were taken. collected samples were shipped from Iraq to the Spiez Laboratory in Switzerland, which, on behalf of UNEP, analyzed them using Inductively Coupled Plasma-Mass Spectroscopy (ICP-MS). The radioanalytical results were then made available to the IAEA to make a prospective estimation of the radiation doses to the Iraqi population living in the above-mentioned four locations and the associated radiological risks [49].

The results of that very limited investigation program stated that:

“annual radiation doses to the public that could arise from the various types of exposure scenarios were calculated. based on the measurements carried out on the samples collected in this study. The radiation doses from DU were found sufficiently low not pose a radiological hazard to the population living at the four studied locations” [49 ].

That meansIAEA built their dose calculations on measured radioactivity in 2006, while contamination in these areas exist since 1991 (because all these areas were included in our exploration programs and researches in the Nineties as mentioned previously) [17] [18 ] [29] The risk assessment should have included cumulative radiation doses of all paths for the period 1991 to 2006,  and not as they calculated from the instant they measured in 2006 (as an isolated event).

Soil concentration and activity values of the contaminants also should have been calculated back to their 1991 values and not its value in 2006 where its been dissipating and decaying for more than 15 years.

The risk assessment calculations IAEA adopted, depending on the following pathways [49 ]:

I Inhalation of soil re-suspended by the action of wind or human activities;

II Inhalation of re-suspended dust inside military vehicles hit by DU munitions;

III. Ingestion of soil;

  1. Ingestion of vegetables;
  2. Ingestion of and drinking water.”

Remember that in IAEA risk calculations they considered the exposed population live above these areas??, while dominant wind direction in Iraq and during dust storms is NW-SE [50].  That means they should have measure additional doses from contaminants blowing down from Samawa city on Nasiriya, Basra, and Zubair cities from 1991-2006, and so on of all other cities, check locations of these cities in figure.

Figure 5: Map of Iraq showing locations of cities involved in IAEA risk assessment(Samawa, Nasiriya, Basra, and Zubair).

IAEA risk assessment missed two other important pathways:

  1. Ingestion of contaminated meat, milk, and other items of food chain.
  2. Absorption of DU oxides through skin and immersion in emitted Radon cloud.

If we take all these factors in the calculation of the risk assessment the value would be hundreds of times higher than what IAEA team calculated.

During 2004 and 2005, after the US military assault on Falluja and the destruction of more than 50% of it, tests on city residents who had children or lost embryos suffered from congenital malformations showed that there were more concentrations of uranium than normal in their bodies (Alaani et al.,2012) [51]

Alaani et al, 2012 [52] published results have drawn attention to increases in congenital birth anomalies and cancer in Fallujah Iraq blamed on teratogenic, genetic and genomic stress thought to result from depleted Uranium contamination following the battles in the town in 2004.  Hair samples from 25 fathers and mothers of children diagnosed with congenital anomalies were analyzed for Uranium and 51 other elements suggest the enriched Uranium exposure is either a primary cause or related to the cause of the congenital anomaly and cancer increases. Thus, raised about the characteristics and composition of weapons now being deployed in modern battlefields.

Chris Busby, Malak Hamdan, and Entesar Ariabi, 2010 [53] Published a paper that concludes  results confirm the reported increases in cancer and infant mortality which are alarmingly high in Falluja. Also, the paper confirms a remarkable reduction in the sex ratio in the cohort born one year after the fighting in 2004 identifies that year as the time of the environmental contamination.

Samira T. Abdulghani, et al. [54] paper about “Perinatal and neonatal mortality in Fallujah General Hospital, Fallujah City, Anbar Province, west of Iraq.” Scientific Research, Open Access.  http://www.scirp.org/journal/OpenAccess.aspx.

Dr Jawad al Ali, 2005 [55] published a paper about variable degrees of increased rates of cancers in Basra, particularly breast cancer, lymphomas, lung, colo-rectal ovaries, soft tissues and kidneys.

He added that Cancers which show no increase include the cancers of stomach, uterus and skin cancers. The overall incidences over the year showed tangible increase particularly during the year 2005.

Geographical distribution: the highest rate was in the west of Basra followed by the center of Basra, eastern area and the lowest is at the northern area. The age risk: the data showed massive increase in risk with age. The lowest rate is for the children less than five years (11.4/100.000). The highest rate was for the age group more than 65 years

(541.9/100.000). The total incidence rate was 59.1/100.000.

Conclusion

  • The USA and UK continuously used Depleted Uranium weapons against the population and environment in Iraq from 1991 until today.
  • Occupation intentionally denied and covered up the types, locations and amounts of DU projectiles that have been used in Iraq to prevent taking measures that could have reduce health damages on civilians resulting from the exposure to cumulative doses of these contaminants.
  • Occupation forces prohibited UNEP, WHO and other international agencies to conduct any exploration programs to detect DU contamination and assess the health risks and clean up remedies during the way it has been conducted in Serbia and Kosovo.
  • Forbidding the release of any casualties statistics by the health ministry of the occupation assigned government in Iraq right after the occupation of Iraq is another crime to cover up the magnitude of human lives losses related to the occupation of Iraq.
  • Exploration programs and site measurements proved without a doubt that the existence of DU related radioactive contamination all over most of Iraq (except the northern area of Kurdistan).
  • Published epidemiological studies in Basrah introduced a clear correlation between DU related exposure and the multifold increase of malignancies, congenital malformations, and multiple malformations among the population in DU contaminated areas.
  • Other pathological and hematological studies indicated the existence of chromosomal and DNA aberrations and abnormalities in the 1991 Iraqi Gulf War veterans. Other studies proved their effects on lowering the activities of the human immune system in exposed individuals.
  • Intentional continuous use of DU against the people and environment of Iraq is a crime against humanity due to its undifferentiated harmful health impacts on civilian long times after the military operations. Existing DU contamination in the surrounding environment is a continuous source of exposure to civilian’s population, and can be considered as systematic attacks on civilians in each DU contaminated dust storm blown on these cities. Article 4 of the official regulations and Article 7 of the ICC.

Notes 

[1] William, Dai. 2002. “Hazards of Uranium weapons in proposed war on Iraq”, sept. 22nd, 2002. The Eos life-work resource center.

Updated 27 October 2002. http://www.eoslifework.co.uk/u231.html.

[2] Wim Zwijnenburg and Doug Weir, 2016. Targets of Opportunity; Analysis of the use of depleted uranium by A-10s in the 2003 Iraq War. A joint investigation by PAX and ICBUW. Published on www.paxforpeace.nl website.

[3] Asaf Durakoviæ.1999.” Medical Effects of Internal Contamination with Uranium”. CMJ online. March 1999 (Volume 40, Number 1).

http://www.fukuleaks.org/edanoleaks/Scribble_Japan_Earthquake/pdfs/medical_effects_cmj.pdf.

[4] USA Today, 2003, Iraq’s Health Ministry ordered to stop counting civilian dead from war, Dec. 12 2003.

[5] Kirby, A., 2003, “US rejects Iraq DU clean-up”, BBC news online, April 14th 2003.

[ 6] Sunday Herald, “WHO suppressed scientific study into depleted uranium cancer fears in Iraq”. Feb 22, 2004.

[7] Depleted Uranium sites in Kosovo detailed by UNEP. http://www.unep.org/Documents.Multilingual/Default.asp?DocumentID=189&ArticleID=2741.

[8] Karen Parker,  2007.”War Crimes Committed by the United States in Iraq and Mechanisms for Accountability”. Consumers for peace. Oct.10, 2007.

[9] Rosalie Bertell, 2006. “Depleted Uranium: All the Questions about Du and Gulf War Syndrome are Not Yet Answered”. International journal of Health services.

http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/pdf/10.2190/13JL-9LHM-FMR4-0V7B.

[10] Miller, A. et al. “Genomic instability in human osteoblast cells after exposure to depleted Uranium: Delay lethality and micronuclei formation”. Journal of Environmental Radioactivity. vol.64(2-3), 2003 (PP 247-259).

[11] Miller, A. et al, “Effect of the military-relevant heavy metal, depleted uranium and heavy metal tungsten-alloy on gene expression in human liver carcinoma cells (HepG2).” Mol. Cell Biochem. vol. 255(1-2). Jan. 2004 (PP. 247-56).

[12] Hindin, R., Brugge, D. and Panikkar, B. (2005), ‘Teratogenicity of Depleted Uranium aerosols: A review from an epidemiological perspective’, Environmental Health: A Global Access Science Source, 4:17, http://ehjournal.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/1476-069X-4-17.

[13] Chroder, H. et al. “Chromosome aberration analysis in peripheral lymphocytes of Gulf War and Balkans War veterans”. Radiation Prot. Dosimetry. Vol. 103(3) 2003 (PP. 211-219).

[14] Spanish Campaign against the Occupation and for the Sovereignty of Iraq.

Iraq Solidaridad 2005-2013. “The killing of Iraqi Academics: A War to Erase the Future and Culture of Iraq.” List of Iraqi academics assassinated in Iraq during the US-led occupation. http://www.iraqsolidaridad.org/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/List-of-Iraqi-academics-assassinated-November-2013.pdf.

[15] International Conference on DU, 2000, “Health, ecological, legal, and economic aspects of conventional radioactive weapons”, Committee of Solidarity   with the Arab Cause, Nov. 26-2, 2000, Gehone, Spain.

[16] Iraq Foreign Affairs Ministry, 1995, “Radiation effects”, an official paper submitted by the Iraqi delegation to the briefing meeting on nuclear liability during the 42nd Session of the General Conference, Vienna, 1995.

[17] Al-Azzawi, S., Maarouf, B., Seleh, M.J., Al-Saji, M., Al-Hilli, W., and Maguar, A., 1997.  “Damages resulted from the use of DU weaponry against Iraq”. Technical Report published in Arabic, Environmental Engineering Dept. College of Engineering, University of Baghdad. Baghdad, Iraq, 157pp.

[18] Al-Azzawi, S.N., Ma’arof, B.A., Mahmmod, M.A., Al-Hili, W.M., Al-Saji,, M., Jada’an, A.M. 1999. “Environmental Pollution Resulting from The Use of Depleted Uranium Weaponry Against Iraq in 1991.” Journal of Arabic Universities Association. College of engineering. University of Baghdad, vol. 6, no. 2, Baghdad, Iraq. Published in Arabic. Pp.47-62.

[19] Al-Azzawi, S. et al, “Environmental Pollution Resulting from the Use of Depleted Uranium Weaponry Against Iraq During 1991, World International Conference on DU, Hamburg, Germany, 2003.

[20] Al-Azzawi, S., and Al-Saji, M., 1998. “Effects of DU radioactive pollution on surface and ground water in selected regions in southern Iraq”. Journal of Arabic Universities Association, vol. 6, no. 1, Baghdad. Iraq. (Arabic language).

[21] Al-Hilli, W., 1998. “Effects of radioactive weapons on soil and air quality in Iraq”, M. Sc. Thesis in environmental engineering. College of Engineering. University of Baghdad. Baghdad, Iraq, 1998.

[22] Al-Saji, M., 1998, “Effects of radiological weapons on surface and groundwater quality in selected areas southern Iraq”. M. Sc. thesis in environmental engineering. College of Engineering, University of Baghdad, Baghdad, Iraq.

[23] Maguar, A.,1998. “Effects of radiological pollution on human and living environment in southern Iraq”. MSc. thesis, environmental engineering. College of engineering. University of Baghdad, Baghdad, Iraq.

[24] Al-Azzawi, S., and Al Naemi, A. 2002, “Assessment of radiological doses and risks resulted from DU contamination in the highway war zone in al-Basrah governorate”. Proceedings of the conference on the effects of the use of DU weaponry on human and environment in Iraq. March 26-27/ 2002. Baghdad, Iraq.

[25] Al-Azzawi, S., and Al Naemi, A., 2002, “Risk assessment related to radiological contamination resulted from the use of DU ammunition in al-Basrah war zone”, proceedings of the conference on the effects of the use of DU weaponry on human and environment in Iraq, March 26-27, 2002, Baghdad, Iraq.

[26] TW, 2016.” Significant increase in frequency and intensity of sandstorms in the Middle East over the past 15 years”. The Watchers Website (WT). June 17, 2016.

https://watchers.news/2016/06/17/significant-increase-in-frequency-and-intensity-of-sandstorms-in-the-middle-east-over-the-past-15-years.

[27] Al-Azzawi, S., Maarouf, B., and Mazouri, N., 2002. “Environmental radiological pollution from the use of DU weaponry against Ninevah governorate during the war”, proceedings of the conference on the effects of the use of DU weaponry on human and environment in Iraq, March 26-27 2002, Baghdad, Iraq.

[28] Hadi al Rubaiay, 2009. “Depleted Uranium is Innocent until Prove its Guilt”. National meeting of the consultants committee of Prime Minister Office on radiological pollution in Iraq. Mansour Melia hotel. Iraqi Media Network Report in Arabic.

file:///H: ف%20الندوة%20الوطنية%20للوقاية%20من%20التلوث%20الاشعاعي..%20اليورانيوم%20الhtml.

[29] Tawfiq, N., et.al., 2002, Determination of Alpha-emitters in Iraqi soil samples using solid state nuclear track detectors CR-39 and CN-85, Proceeding of Conference on the Effects of DU Weaponary on Human and Environment in Iraq, March 26-27, 2002, Baghdad, Iraq.

[30] ICBUW, 2006.” Dutch military in Iraq delays troop transfer from suspected DU contaminated area”. International Coalition to Ban Uranium Weapons. Sept. 29. 2006.

http://www.bandepleteduranium.org/en/dutch-military-in-iraq-delays-troop-transfer-from.

[31] Joanne, L., 2004, “Testing of New York guardsmen: first confirmed cases of Iraq war depleted Uranium exposure”, World Scientist web-site; http://www.wsws.org/articles/2004/apr2004/dwica-a21.shtml.

[32] Al Ghurabi, S. et. al., 2002, “DU pollution in southern Iraq after ten years”. Proceedings of the Conference on the effects of the use of DU weaponry on human and environment in Iraq. published in Arabic. Vol. 1, March 26-27, 2002, Baghdad, Iraq

[33] Butrus, S., Wartan, K., and Butrus, L., 2002, “Assessing radioactive contamination levels in Basrah governorate”. Proceedings of the conference on the effects of the use of DU weaponry on human and environment in Iraq, March 26-27, 2002, Baghdad, Iraq, published in Arabic.

[34] Alkinany, A., Twege, D., and Abdul Allah, K., 2002, “Investigating DU radioactivity in selected locations in Basrah”. Proceedings of the conference on the effects of the use of DU weaponry on human and environment in Iraq, March 26-27, 2002, Baghdad, Iraq, published in Arabic.

[35]The Guardian, 2013. “Iraq’s depleted uranium clean-up to cost $30m as contamination spreads”. March 6, 2013.

[36] Yaqoub, A.A., Al-Sadoon, I., and Hassan, J., 1998. “Incidence and pattern of malignant diseases among children in Basrah with specific reference to leukemia during the period of 1990-1998”. Proceeding of the conference on health and environmental consequences of DU used by U.S. and British forces in the 1991 Gulf War, Dec. 2-3, 1998, Baghdad, Iraq.

[37] Yaqoub, A., et.al., 1999. “Depleted Uranium and health of people in Basrah: an epidemiological evidence; 1-The incidence and pattern of malignant diseases among children in Basrah with specific reference to leukemia during the period of 1990-1998”.  Medical journal of Basrah University (MJBU). Vol.17, no.1&2, 1999, Basrah, Iraq.

[38] Al-Sadoon, I., Hassan, J., and Yaqoub, A., 1998. “Incidence and pattern of congenital anomalies among birth in Basrah during the period 1990-1998”. Proceeding of the conference on health and environmental consequences of DU used by U.S. and British forces in the 1991 Gulf War. Dec. 2-3, 1998. Baghdad, Iraq.

[39] Yaqoub, A., Ajeel, N., and Al-Wiswasy, M., 1998. “Incidence and pattern of malignant diseases (excluding leukemia) during 1990-1997”. Proceeding of the conference on health and environmental consequences of DU used by U.S. and British forces in the 1991 Gulf War. Dec. 2-3, 1998. Baghdad, Iraq.

[40] Yaqoub, A., Al-Sadoon, I., and Hassan, J., 2002. “The evidence of casual association between exposure to DU and malignancies among children in Basrah by applying epidemiological criteria of causality”. Proceedings of the conference on the effects of the use of DU weaponry on human and environment in Iraq. March 26-27, 2002. Baghdad, Iraq.

[41] Ali, A., and Al-Ali, J., 2002. “Chronic myeloid leukemia in Basrah after the Gulf War II”. Proceedings of the conference on the effects of the use of DU weaponry on human and environment in Iraq. March 26-27, 2002. Baghdad, Iraq.

[42] Ammash, H., 1998. “Mechanism of toxicity induced by free radicals resulting from irradiation with DU and ionization of atmosphere in Iraq”. Proceeding of the conference on health and environmental consequences of DU used by U.S. and British forces in the 1991 Gulf War.Dec. 2-3, 1998. Baghdad, Iraq.

[43] Ammash, H., 2000. “Toxic pollution, the Gulf War, and sanctions, the impact on the environment and health in Iraq”. Iraq under Siege, editor: Anthony Arnove, South End Press, Cambridge, Mass, 2000.

[44]Mohammed, Z., et.al., 2002. “Detection of DU effects on human by use of immune system enzyme”. Proceedings of the conference on the effects of the use of DU weaponry on human and environment in Iraq. March 26-27, 2002. Baghdad, Iraq.

[45] Ammash, H., Alwan, L., and Maarouf, B., 2002. “Genetic hematological study for a selected population from DU contaminated areas in Basrah”. Proceedings of the conference on the effects of the use of DU weaponry on human and environment in Iraq. March 26-27, 2002. Baghdad, Iraq.

[46] Khudair, A., Abdul Kader, K., and Al-Taha, T., 2002. “Study of the radiological pollution level in pastures of Basrah in 2000”. Proceedings of the conference on the effects of the use of DU weaponry on human and environment in Iraq. March 26-27, 2002. Baghdad, Iraq.

[47] Al-Sadi, H., and Sawad, A., 2002. “Some interesting pathological conditions in animals in Basrah and the possible etiological role of DU used in 1991 aggression against Iraq”. Proceedings of the conference on the effects of the use of DU weaponry on human and environment in Iraq. March 26-27, 2002. Baghdad, Iraq.

[48] RT, 2010.” Reports emerge the UK used depleted uranium weapons in Iraq”. Russia Today New. July 23. 2010. https://www.rt.com/news/uk-iraq-depleted-uranium/.

[49] Danesi1,P.R.,and Telleria2, D.M ,2006. “Radiological Conditions at Four Selected Sites in South Iraq with Residues of Depleted Uranium”. 1, International Atomic Energy Agency Consultant, Vienna, Austria.  2International Atomic Energy Agency, Vienna, Austria.

file:///H:/DU%20contamination%20doses%20in%20southern%20Iraq%20measured%20for%20UNEP%202003.pdf.

[50] Tara Mohamed Anwar. “ Country Pasture/Forage Resource Profile. Iraq”.

http://www.fao.org/ag/agp/agpc/doc/counprof/iraq/iraq.html.

[51] Alaani, S., Tafash, M., Busby, C., Hamdan, M., and Blaurock-Busch, E., 2011.  Uranium and Other Contaminants in Hair from the Parents of Children with Congenital Anomalies in Fallujah, Iraq. Conflict and Health, V.5; 2011, PMC3177876.

[ 52] Busby C, Hamdan M, Ariabi E. 2010. Cancer, Infant mortality and birth sex ratio in Fallujah, Iraq 2005-2009. Int. J. Environ Res. Public Health 7, 2828-2837.

[53] Alaani S, Savabieasfahani M, Tafash M, Manduca P. 2011. Four polygamous families with congenital birth defects from Fallujah, Iraq. Int. J. Environ Res Public Health 8, 89-96.

[ 54] Al-Ali, Jawad, 2005. “Epidemiological study at Southern Iraq, Basra city”. Proceeding of the Cancer trend in Basra, Iraq. Depleted uranium – 4.5-billion-year health risk meeting. At 17-20 Auditorium in the Parliament House, Japan. Sept 12. 2006.

Posted in IraqComments Off on Depleted Uranium and Radioactive Contamination in Iraq

The Kurdish Connection: I$raHell, ISIS And U.S. Efforts To Destabilize Iran

NOVANEWS

Like the Palestinians, the Kurds aspire to dispose of their own state. However, since the dislocation of the Ottoman Empire, some of their leaders have favored alliances with some imperialist powers rather than those with their neighbors. These leaders – and the families attached to them – have turned into an imperialist joker to disturb the Middle East. They tried to establish puppet states, successively in Iran, Iraq and Syria, that is to say on the lands of those who had welcomed and protected them. Sarah Abed tells us their story.

- Part 1 : “The Kurds: Washington’s Weapon Of Mass Destabilization In The Middle East”, by Sarah Abed, Voltaire Network

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During the Cold War, Mullah Mustafa Barzani (the father of Massoud Barzani) approached Washington and the Shah of Iran. He became an officer of the Mossad. Seen here in Israel with Abba Eban (Foreign Minister) and General Meir Amit (Director of the Mossad).

Kurdish ties to Israel

The Kurdish-Israeli relationship has matured significantly. Since at least the 1960s, Israel has provided intermittent security assistance and military training to the Kurds. This served mostly as an anti-Saddam play – keeping him distracted as Israel fought two wars against coordinated Arab neighbors – but mutual understanding of their respective predicaments also bred an Israeli-Kurdish affinity. All signs point to this security cooperation continuing today. Israeli procurement of affordable Kurdish oil not only indicates a strengthening of economic ties, but also an Israeli lifeline to budget-starved Erbil that suggests a strategic bet on the Kurds in an evolving region.

The people closest to the Jews from a genetic point of view may be the Kurds, according to the results of a recent study by Hebrew University [1].

The Kurds are allied with Syria’s fiercest enemy – Israel – whose planned Greater Israel project coincidentally aligns almost perfectly with the Kurds’ plans for “Kurdistan.” [2] In the Oded Yinon plan, which is the plan for a “Greater Israel,” it states the imperative use of Kurds to help divide neighboring countries in order to aid in their plans for greater domination [3]. Interestingly enough, Kurds brush this alliance off as being just another step in achieving their ultimate goal of creating an autonomous Kurdistan.

Every major Kurdish political group in the region has longstanding ties to Israel. It’s all linked to major ethnic violence against Arabs, Turkmens and Assyrians. From the PKK in Turkey to the PYD and YPG in Syria, PJAK in Iran to the most notorious of them all, the Barzani-Talabani mafia regime (KRG/Peshmerga) in northern Iraq. Thus it should come as no surprise that Erbil supplied Daesh (ISIS) with weaponry to weaken the Iraqi government in Baghdad [4]. And when it becomes understood that Erbil is merely the front for Tel Aviv in Iraq, the scheme becomes clear.

Israel has reportedly been providing the KRG with weapons and training even prior its military encounters with Daesh [5]. On the level of economic strategy, Israel granted critical support to the KRG by buying Kurdish oil in 2015 when no other country was willing to do so because of Baghdad’s threat to sue. KRG Minister of Natural Resources Ashti Hawrami even admitted to the arrangement, saying that Kurdish oil was often funneled through Israel to avoid detection.

In January 2012 the French newspaper Le Figaro claimed that Israeli intelligence agents were recruiting and training Iranian dissidents in clandestine bases located in Iraq’s Kurdish region [6]. By aligning with the Kurds, Israel gains eyes and ears in Iran, Iraq and Syria. A year later, the Washington Postdisclosed that Turkey had revealed to Iranian intelligence a network of Israeli spies working in Iran, including ten people believed to be Kurds who reportedly met with Mossad members in Turkey [7]. This precarious relationship between Israel and Turkey persists today.

Western veterans take up the Kurdish cause

The Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK, and its Syrian spinoff, the YPG, are cult-like radical movements that intertwine Marxism, feminism, Leninism and Kurdish nationalism into a hodge-podge of ideology, drawing members through the extensive use of propaganda that appeals to these modes of thought. Abdullah Ocalan, the leader of the PKK, took inspiration from American anarchist Murray Bookchin in creating his philosophy, which he calls “Democratic Confederalism.”

The PKK spin-off group YPG represents most of the SDF in Syria. With Western political support, they have gained popularity and garnered an impressive amount of support from many military veterans in the West, some of whom have left the comfort of their home countries to fight with the group. One of their most productive marketing tools has been to use young, attractive female fighters as the face of the guerrillas. During their fight against Daesh, the PKK has saturated the media with images of these young female “freedom fighters,” using them as a marketing tool to take their cause from obscurity to fame.

Watch a BBC report on female Kurdish fighters in Syria, featuring Kurdish singer ‘Helly Luv’:

But what doesn’t get reported is how the movement has carried out kidnappings and murder – not to mention its involvement in trafficking narcotics.

Kurdish families are demanding that the PKK stop kidnapping minors. It started on April 23, the day Turkey marked its 91st National Sovereignty and Children’s Day. While children celebrated the holiday in western Turkey, the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) kidnapped 25 students between the ages of 14 and 16 on the east side of the country, in the Lice district of Diyarbakir.

Although the PKK has kidnapped more than 330 minors in the last six months, the Bockum family was the first in the region who put up a tent near their home to start a sit-in protest, challenging the PKK and demanding that it return their son. Sinan was returned to the family on May 4. Al-Monitor reported this incident from the beginning in great detail [8].

As Bebyin Somuk reported in her article, the PKK and PYD still kidnap children in Turkey and Syria [9]. She states: “As I previously wrote for Kebab and Camel, the PKK commits war crimes by recruiting children as soldiers. Some of the PKK militants that surrendered yesterday were also the PKK’s child soldiers. The photos clearly show that these children are not more than sixteen years old. The Turkish army released video [10] of the 25 PKK militants surrendering in Nusaybin.”

SouthFront reported on female PKK fighters who have killed Turkish soldiers [11]. “The women fighters command of the Kurdistan Worker Party (PKK) have released a statement, claiming PKK female fighters killed 160 Turkish military servicemen in 2016. According to the statement, the women fighters command of the PKK carried out 115 operations against Turkish government forces in 2016. The group also vowed to ‘proceed the struggle during the new year for a life of freedom and until victory is achieved.’”

The PKK is also killing Kurds under the guise of protecting their rights [12]. “Senior PKK leader Cemil Bayık, in an interview with the Fırat News Agency (ANF) on Aug. 8, said, ‘Our war will not be confined to the mountains like it was before. It will be spread everywhere without making a distinction between mountains, plains or cities. It will spread to the metropolises.’ Terrorist Bayık’s statement signaled that the PKK would take increasing aim against civilians, targeting civilian areas more than ever. And it is happening. Since July 15, the day when the Gülenist terror cult, FETÖ, launched its failed military coup attempt to topple the democratically-elected government, the PKK perpetrated dozens of terrorist attacks, killing 21 civilians and injuring 319 others – most of them Kurdish citizens.”

According to The Washington Institute “On November 18, FBI Director Robert Mueller met with senior Turkish officials to address U.S.-Turkish efforts targeting the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), also known as Kongra-Gel. A press release from the U.S. embassy in Ankara following the meeting stressed that U.S. officials ‘strongly support Turkey’s efforts against the PKK terrorist organization’ and highlighted the two countries’ long history of working together in the fight against terrorism and transnational organized crime.

These discussions are timely. Despite Ankara’s recent bid to alleviate the Kurdish issue — a bid referred to as the ‘democratic opening’ — the PKK is one of a growing number of terrorist organizations with significant stakes in the international drug trade. In October, the U.S. Treasury Department added three PKK/Kongra-Gel senior leaders to its list of foreign narcotics traffickers. The PKK, along with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), is one of only a few organizations worldwide designated by the U.S. government as both a terrorist organization and a significant foreign narcotics trafficker. [13]

Drug smuggling is reported to be the main financial source of PKK terrorism, according to the organization International Strategic Research, whose detailed report can be seen here [14].

Their exaggerated triumphs against Daesh have helped them evolve from a radical militia to an alleged regional power player. Have they been successful in fighting against Daesh in Syria? Yes – but while the Syrian Arab Army has been more effective, it does not receive a fraction of the praise or recognition that the PKK does.

Pato Rincon, a U.S. military veteran, recently wrote about his experience training with the YPG in Syria [15]. Although initially interested in their desire for autonomy, he soon got to know a different side of the group:

“While they are a direct ideological descendant of the Soviet Union, their take on Marxism has a much more nationalistic bent than that of their internationalist forebears. At their training camp that I attended, they constantly spoke of their right to a free and autonomous homeland–which I could support. On the other hand, they ludicrously claimed that all surrounding cultures from Arab to Turk to Persian descended from Kurdish culture. One should find this odd, considering that the Kurds have never had such autonomy as that which they struggle for. All of this puffed-up nationalism masquerading as internationalism was easy to see through…not only was their idea of Marxism fatuous, their version of feminism was even worse.”

Accounts such as this will certainly not make it to mainstream media, as they do not fit the narrative that the Kurds and their sponsors promote.

In another example of Western support for the YPG, Joe Robinson, an ex-soldier and UK national, recently returned to the UK after spending five months in Syria fighting with the group [16]. He was detained and arrested by Greater Manchester Police officers on suspicion of terrorism offenses as soon as he returned. He joined the British military when he was 18 and toured Afghanistan with the Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment in 2012.

He left the UK when an arrest warrant was issued after he failed to appear in court. Robinson is pictured here in Syria with YPG fighters.

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Robinson is on the far left, holding his weapon while his fellow YPG comrades are holding a Daesh flag. The writing on the wall speaks volumes about the relationship between Israel, the Kurds and the United States.

SDF working with Daesh

The most evident contradiction to be noted is that the Kurds in the SDF are working with the U.S. through its so-called “Operation Inherent Resolve,” which is the official name for its anti-Daesh operations. But at the same time, the U.S.-led coalition, including Kurdish armed units, lets “militants of the Islamic State terrorist group leave Raqqa instead of killing them,” according to Sergey Surovikin, the commander of Russia’s force grouping in Syria.

“Instead of eliminating terrorists guilty of killing hundreds and thousands of Syrian civilians, the U.S.-led coalition together with the Democratic Forces enters into collusion with ringleaders of ISIL, who give up the settlements they had seized without fighting and head to the provinces where the Syrian government forces are active,” he said [17]

Sputnik Arabic was able to talk to Husma Shaib, a Syrian expert on armed groups in Syria who explained why the SDF is comparable to the al-Nusra Front and what the actual aim of their operations in Syria is [18].

“In Syria, we regard these forces as unlawful military formations which operate outside of the legal environment. They are the same a terrorist units like al-Nusra Front and Daesh. The Syrian Democratic Forces do not coordinate their activities with the Syrian Army. We regard them as terrorists,” Shaib told Sputnik.

The SDF is mostly comprised of the Kurdish YPG militia, which unanimously declared the “federalization” of what they call “Rojava,” or “Western Kurdistan,” in March 2016 [19].

The leaders of the SDF announced that they’ll try to annex the majority-Arab city of Raqqa if they manage to liberate it.

The Kurds are ethnically cleansing Arabs from Raqqa en masse in order to pave the way for the city’s annexation to their unilaterally declared “Federation” after its forthcoming capture. [20]

Hostility against SAA forces

On June 18, a U.S. jet shot down a Syrian Su-22 fighter-bomber near the city of Tabqa. The U.S.-led coalition said the Syrian aircraft attacked SDF positions, adding that the coalition downed the Syrian jet as part of “collective self-defense of coalition partnered forces,” according to Sputnik News [21].

However, the SAA stated that they were, in fact, attacking Daesh, not the SDF. The Syrian Arab Army (SAA) then sent in a rescue mission to retrieve the downed pilot. Al Masdar News (AMN) reported that they encountered intense resistance from the SDF, which would imply a serious escalation between the two [22].

The Syrian Army General Command responded with an official statement that the flagrant aggression undoubtedly affirms the US’s real stance in support of terrorism which aims to affect the capability of the Syrian Arab Army- the only active force- along with its allies that practice its legitimate right in combating terrorism all over Syria [23].

“The attack stresses coordination between the US and ISIS, and it reveals the evil intentions of the US in administering terrorism and investing it to pass the US-Zionist project in the region.” The statement added.

It affirmed that such aggressions would not affect the Syrian Arab Army in its determination to continue the fight against ISIS and Jabhat al-Nusra terrorist organizations and to restore security and stability to all Syrian territories.

Earlier in the week, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov told Sputnik that the U.S. strikes on SDF aircraft are aiding terrorists. “In the case of strikes [by U.S. forces on the aircraft and drones of the Syrian Armed Forces], we are dealing with an open complicity with the terrorists operating on Syrian soil,” Ryabkov said.

CIA-armed Kurds in Syria

The U.S.-led coalition has on numerous occasions stated that it is working with the SDF to try to defeat Daesh in Syria. However, there have been numerous reports of U.S.-led airstrikes targeting Syrian civilians, military and infrastructure. These deadly and avoidable mistakes clearly illustrate how the US-led coalition’s presence in Syria has had a harmful impact on civilians. On June 26, the SDF cut off water supplies to 1 million civilians in Aleppo. Some sources stated that this was out of spite, whereas others stated they were unaware of the reason(s) behind such a destructive and deliberate against innocent civilians.

On July 5, 21st Century Wire reported on U.S. efforts to establish a greater military presence in Syria [24]. “The U.S. is setting up its military bases in the territories that were liberated from Daesh by our fighters during the fight against terrorism,” a senior SDF representative stated.

“The number of U.S. military installations in Syria has increased to eight bases according to recent reports, and possibly nine according to one other military analyst,” 21st Century Wire reported. [25]

The Syrian government considers separatist Kurds to be just as dangerous as Daesh and other terrorist groups in the country. Their plans to destabilize the country are more dangerous than those of Daesh, especially since the West provides them with moral support, weapons, training, financial aid, armed vehicles and even air support [26]. “We’ll be recovering [weapons] during the battle, repairing them. When they don’t need certain things anymore, we’ll replace those with something they do need,” stated U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis in late June.

Kurds selling weapons given to them from Germany to fight against Daesh

Reporters from German broadcasters NDR and WDR found several G3 assault rifles and a P1 pistol, all engraved with the initials “BW” for Bundeswehr – Germany’s military – in the northern Iraqi cities of Erbil and Sulaymaniyah. German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier pledges German military support to the Kurds in northern Iraq during a meeting in Erbil with Masoud Barzani, president of the Iraqi Kurdistan region.

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German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier pledges German military support to the Kurds in northern Iraq during a meeting in Erbil with Masoud Barzani, president of the Iraqi Kurdistan region.

The weapons apparently came from stocks that the German government delivered to the Kurdish autonomous government in northern Iraq [27]. The weapons were intended to be used in the fight against the Daesh. Several members of Germany’s Green and Left parties have long raised concerns in parliament that arms delivered to Peshmerga fighters could fall into the wrong hands.

There have been several credible reports since the U.S.-led military alliance formed to help combat Daesh in Syria and Iraq of American-supplied weapons falling into the hands of unallied militias and even Daesh itself [28]

The U.S. has armed the Kurds and supported their efforts since helping them establish the Syrian Democratic Forces on Oct. 10, 2015. The U.S. needed to fund a group within Syria that was fighting against Daesh, but that was not as extremist as the Free Syrian Army, which was outed as being affiliated with al-Qaeda. The U.S. has stated that its main reason for being in Syria is to fight Daesh, but its actions have proved otherwise. Its true mission is to destabilize the country by assisting the Kurds through the SDF and other armed opposition forces in liberating land that can be used as a bargaining tool in future negotiations.

Ron Paul explains why arming the Kurds was a dangerous idea: 

Washington has repeatedly brushed aside Ankara’s irrefutable evidence that the YPG is an extension of the outlawed PKK terrorist organization, which has terrorized Turkey for more than three decades [29]. U.S. Secretary of Defense James Mattis has sent a letter to his Turkish counterpart Fikri Işık pledging that the United States will retrieve the weapons it sent to the YPG immediately after Daesh is defeated [30].

Meanwhile, the U.S. Department of Defense will supply Turkey with detailed lists of the military materials and equipment dispatched to the YPG, implying that the U.S. aims to guarantee transparency in their bilateral relationship. This itself is an attempt to backtrack on a terrible decision that the U.S. may or may not believe they have made. If the reality hasn’t sunk in yet, it most certainly will when the Kurds refuse to give back the weapons or decide to sell them. Washington will then have to deal with an even more disgruntled Turkey [31].

Why Are Kurds Joining Daesh?

For over a year, Kurdish forces have united in defense against bloody Daesh attacks. So how has Daesh still managed to recruit hundreds of young Kurds to fight for the caliphate against their own families?

“There are Kurdish families in Halabja whose sons are in IS [Daesh] and their hearts are broken, but I’ll never go to their funerals,” said the grieving mother of Kaihan Borhan, a Kurd who died fighting with the Peshmerga against Daesh. Her family is distraught that the people responsible for his death could well be Kurdish nationals.

“I have a friend whose brother died fighting for ISIS,” said Kaihan’s brother. “I never grieved for him and my friend cannot bear to look me in the eye.” Here, we can see the path to extremism that many Kurds have taken. Dissatisfaction with the Kurdish intelligence service, Asayish’s persecution of Muslims and domestic grievances are being skilfully exploited by Daesh through the use of propaganda, led by Khattab Al-Kurdi and his Saladin Brigade [32]

“With God’s permission we will sow the seeds of the Caliphate throughout our land,” said Khattab, who has been one of the most persuasive forces in luring Kurds towards the caliphate. Even with Khattab’s reported death in April 2015, the threat of more Kurds joining Daesh seems unlikely to diminish, with a new Kurdish imam carrying the rhetoric forward.

Kurds being used to destabilize Iran

Documents leaked by WikiLeaks in 2010 suggested that Israeli Mossad Chief Meir Dagan wanted to use Kurds and ethnic minorities to topple the Iranian government [33]. The Israeli spy service was aiming to create a weak and divided Iran, similar to the situation in Iraq, where the Kurds have their own autonomous government, the spy chief told a U.S. official.

The Partiya Jiyana Azad a Kurdistane (PJAK), a militant Kurdish nationalist group based in northern Iraq, has been carrying out attacks on Iranian forces in the Kurdistan Province of Iran (Eastern Kurdistan) and other Kurdish-inhabited areas. Half the members of PJAK are women. The PJAK has about 3,000 armed militiamen. They represent yet another example of the Kurds finding themselves in the middle of a conflict and being used as a pawn by the West.

The party is closely linked to the PKK. Iran has often accused PJAK and other Kurdish nationalist groups from Iran of being supported by Israel. Journalist Seymour Hersh has also claimed that the U.S. supported PJAK and other Iranian opposition groups. However, both the U.S. and Israel have denied supporting PJAK. In fact, the U.S. Treasury branded PJAK as a terrorist organization last year.

As Hersh noted in 2004: “The Israelis have had long-standing ties to the Talibani and Barzani clans [in] Kurdistan and there are many Kurdish Jews that emigrated to Israel and there are still a lot of connection. But at some time before the end of the year [2004], and I’m not clear exactly when, certainly I would say a good six, eight months ago, Israel began to work with some trained Kurdish commandos, ostensibly the idea was the Israelis — some of the Israeli elite commander units, counter-terror or terror units, depending on your point of view, began training — getting the Kurds up to speed.” [34]

Why are the so-called Kurdish “freedom fighters” willing to get in bed with any and every group that has an interest in destabilizing Syria? The provocative manner in which the SDF has teamed up with terrorist organizations during the war in Syria is a blaring contradiction to the “revolutionary” public relations image that they have fought hard to establish in recent years.

Iraq, Syria, Turkey and Iran, continue to oppose the notion of having their borders and sovereignty divided by the U.S. for yet another U.S./NATO-dictated social engineering experiment in the Middle East.

Attempts to rewrite geographic history

An estimated 30 million Kurds reside primarily in mountainous regions of present-day Iran, Iraq, Syria and Turkey. They remain the world’s largest nomadic population without a sovereign state. The Kurds are not monolithic, however, and tribal identities and political interests often supersede a unifying national allegiance.

Some Kurds, particularly those who have migrated to urban centers, such as Istanbul, Damascus and Tehran, have integrated and assimilated, while many who remain in their ancestral lands maintain a strong sense of a distinctly Kurdish identity. A Kurdish diaspora of an estimated two million people is concentrated primarily in Europe, with over a million in Germany alone. These migratory wanderers never possessed their own country at any point in their history, but were always part of a larger country or empire that took them in and provided them refuge.

The version of events that the Kurds present is in staunch contrast with the account that is supported by most historians. This has proven to be a point of contention between the Kurds and the citizens of other countries.

The Kurds claim to have been conquered and occupied throughout their history, for instance. Here is an example of their attempt to rewrite history to fit their narrative: “The Kurdish region has seen a long list of invaders and conquerors: Ancient Persians from the east, Alexander the Great from the west, Muslim Arabs in the 7th Century from the south, Seljuk Turks in the 11th Century from the east, the Mongols in the 13th Century from the east, medieval Persians from the east and the Ottoman Turks from the north in the 16th Century and most recently, the United States in its 2003 invasion of Iraq.” [35]

(To be continued…)

[1] Study Finds Close Genetic Connection Between Jews, Kurds, Tamara Traubman, Haaretz, November 21, 2001.

[2] A Strategy for Israel in the Nineteen Eighties (The “Yinon Plan”)”, by Oded Yinon, Translation Israel Shahak, Kivunim (Israel), Voltaire Network, 1 February 1982.

[3] “Preparing the Chessboard for the “Clash of Civilizations”: Divide, Conquer and Rule the “New Middle East””, Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya, Global Research, November 26, 2011.

[4] “PKK revelations on ISIL attack and creation of “Kurdistan””, Voltaire Network, 8 July 2014. “Why Have the Kurds Supplied ISIS With Weapons?”, Michael Rubin, Newsweek, April 26, 2016.

[5] “Israel and the Kurds: Love by Proxy”, Ofra Bengio, The American Interest, March 18, 2016.

[6] “Le Mossad en cheville avec les Kurdes d’Irak contre l’Iran”, Le Figaro, 13 janvier 2012.

[7] “Turkey blows Israel’s cover for Iranian spy ring”, David Ignatius, The Washington Post, October 16, 2013.

[8] “PKK risks peace process with kidnappings”, “PKK kidnappings backfire among Turkey’s Kurds”, Tulin Daloglu, Al-Monitor, April 28 & May 8, 2014.

[9] “The Child Soldiers of the PKK and YPG”, “The PKK and the PYD still kidnap children in Turkey and Syria”, Beybin Somuk, The Kebab and Camel, 2015.

[10] “Army releases video of 25 PKK terrorists surrendering in Turkey’s southeast”, Yeni Şafak, May 25, 2016.

[11] “PKK Female Fighters Claim Killing Of 160 Turkish Military Servicemen In 2016”, South Front, February 1, 2017.

[12] “PKK killing Kurds under the guise of protecting their rights”, Mustafa Kirikçioğlu, Daily Sabah, August 30, 2016.

[13] “Contending with the PKK’s Narco-Terrorism”, Benjamin Freedman & Matthew Levitt ”, The Washington Institute, December 8, 2009.

[14] “Drug Smuggling as Main Source of PKK Terrorism”, Sedat Laçine, International Strategic Research Organization, February 12, 2008.

[15] “The Warped Marxist-Feminist Ideology of the Kurdish YPG”, Pato Ricon, Bombs and dollars, May 9, 2017.

[16] “Ex-soldier has spent five months fighting ISIS while on the run from British police”, Joseph Curtis, Daily Mail, November 26, 2015.

[17] “US-led coalition colluding with IS instead of fighting terrorism — Defense Ministry”, Tass, June 9, 2017.

[18] “So-Called ’Syrian Democratic Forces’ None Other but ’Terrorists Like Daesh’”, Sputnik, June 12, 2017.

[19] “Syria: Is the Race for Raqqa Over?”, Andrew Korybko, Sputnik, June 10, 2017.

[20] “The Kurds Are Ethnically Cleansing Arabs From Raqqa, And The World Is Silent”, Andrew Korybko, Global Village Space, June 15, 2017

[21] “US-Led Coalition Provocations Foster More Terrorist Activity in Syria – Shoigu”, Sputnik, June 30, 2017.

[22] “Breaking: Intense clashes break-out between Syrian Army and US-backed forces in west Raqqa”, Leith Fadel, Al Masdar News, June 19, 2017.

[23] “Army general command: international coalition air force targets an army’s warplane in Raqqa countryside”, Sana, June 18, 2017.

[24] “US Expands Military Footprint in Syria to EIGHT Bases, ‘Modifies’ Kobani Air Base”, Vanessa Beeley, 21st Century Wire, July 5, 2017. “US and French Occupation of Northern Syria”, Translation Anoosha Boralessa, Voltaire Network, 21 July 2017.

[25] “US Strengthens Presence in Northern Syria”, Sputnik, Juky 4, 2017.

[26] “Pentagon Suggests US Will Keep Arming Kurds in Syria After Raqqa”, Sputnik, June 27, 2017.

[27] “Steinmeier promises Kurds more military support to fight ’IS’”, Deutsche Press Agentur, December 8, 2015.

[28] “Armed with U.S. weapons, infamous militia beating ISIS”, Holly Williams, CBS News, February 2, 2015. “ISIS: We have our hands on weapons, ammo air-dropped by U.S.”, CBS News, October 21, 2014.

[29] “U.S. ’in Bed with Terrorists’ If It Arms Syria’s Kurds: Turkey”, Callum Paton, Newsweek, May 10, 2017.

[30] “Turkey: U.S. promised to reclaim weapons from Kurds after ISIS fight”, CBS News, June 22, 2017.

[31] “Erdogan Slams Those ’Who Think They’re Tricking Turkey’ Over Arms for Kurds”, Sputnik, June 25, 2017.

[32] “Inside the Surreal World of the Daesh Propaganda Machine”, Sarah Abed, The Rabbit Hole, May 29, 2017.

[33] “Wikileaks: Israeli Mossad wanted to use Kurds against Iran”, Wladimir van Wilgenburg, Ekurd Daily, December 3, 2010.

[34] “Israeli Agents Operating in Iraq, Iran and Syria”, Seymour Hersh, Democracy Now, June 22, 2004.

[35] “Kurdish History”, The Kurdish Project, consulted June 2017.

Posted in Iran, Iraq, Syria, TurkeyComments Off on The Kurdish Connection: I$raHell, ISIS And U.S. Efforts To Destabilize Iran

Naziyahu Backs Partitioning Iraq for Kurdish State

NOVANEWS

 Nazi Prime Minister Benjamin Naziyahu expressed interest in partitioning Iraq.

Jewish Nazi Prime Minister told the group of 33 congressmen that he favored the establishment of an independent Kurdish state in the Arab country. Nazi regime has a longstanding relationship with the Kurds, who remains one of its few non-Arab allies in the area.

The Jerusalem Post reported that a source who attended the meeting said Naziyahu referred to the Kurds as “brave, pro-Western people who share our values.”

Naziyahu previously spoke on the issue in 2014 when he said in a speech that his Nazi regime  should “support the Kurdish aspiration for independence.”

Two months ago Iranian Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani warned about bids to break up Iraq, saying the partitioning of Arab countries serves the interests of Zionist regime. “The Zionist regime seeks Iraq’s disintegration,” Larijani accused during a meeting with Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi in Tehran.

A report published in the New Yorker magazine in 2004 said Nazi military and intelligence operatives were active in Kurdish areas and providing training for commando units.

According to the report, Nazi regime has been expanding its presence in Kurdistan and encouraging Kurds, its allies in the region, to create an independent state.

Posted in Middle East, ZIO-NAZI, Iraq, TurkeyComments Off on Naziyahu Backs Partitioning Iraq for Kurdish State

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