Al-Jazeerah: Cross-Cultural Understanding
News, December 2017
Ethnic Strife, Killing, and Un-repatriated Refugees Continue in Iraq Despite Ending the Campaign on ISIS
December 25, 2017
The following are just examples of news stories about the continuous Iraq war. Daily news stories can be accessed from the news sources listed below and others in the internet.
The following are news stories from the independent Iraqi Arabic news agency, Yaqein ( http://yaqein.net/ ):
The following are news stories from a pro-Iraqi government website (http://www.iraqinews.com/), which usually reports those who are killed by Iraqi government attacks as Islamic State fighters, implying no civilians were killed by bombing residential neighborhoods:
Senior officer shot dead by unknown gunmen on Kirkuk road
by Mohamed Mostafa Dec 25, 2017, 2:31 pm
A senior police officer was shot dead by unknown gunmen at a road in Kirkuk province, Kurdish security sources were quoted saying on Monday.
Aljournal News website quoted the source saying that unknown attackers targeted the vehicle of al-Sharia village’s police chief, Fadel al-Sabaawi with a barrage of gunfire, killing him along with his son.
al-Sharia is a village of al-Zab region, a part of the former Islamic State stronghold town of Hawija, southwest of Kirkuk.
According to the source, the gunmen erected a fake checkpoint on the Hawija-Kirkuk road, attacking the officer’s car while it was passing by.
Iraqi forces recaptured Hawija from Islamic State militants in October, ending nearly three years of the group’s occupation of the town that left thousands displaced and hundreds dead.
Iraq’s Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi declared final victory over Islamic State earlier this month, marking the end of the group’s self-proclaimed “caliphate” rule declared by its supreme commander, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, in 2014 from Mosul.
Iraqi security forces still, however, struggle with occasional attacks blamed on IS across the country, reinforcing a belief that the militants still pose a security challenge even after they lost all of their major havens.
Two Islamic State militants killed in campaign at Hamreen mountains
by Nehal Mostafa Dec 25, 2017, 1:44 pm
Two Islamic State militants were killed as the pro-government paramilitary troops launched an attack in Hamreen mountains.
“The 88th brigade of al-Hashd al-Shaabi [popular Mobilization Forces], backed by police, carried out a wide- scale campaign in Hamreen mountains,” the media service said on Monday. “The troops managed to kill two IS militants and destroy their vehicles.”
According to the statement, the troops seized weapons there. In October, Iraqi army’s ninth armored division and PMFs announced imposing full control on Hamreen mountains, northeastern Iraq.
Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi announced, earlier this month, full liberation of Iraqi lands, declaring end of war against IS members.
Thousands of IS militants as well as Iraqi civilians were killed since the government campaign, backed by paramilitary troops and the coalition was launched in October 2016 to fight the militant group, which declared a self-styled “caliphate” from Mosul in June 2014. Since then, forces took back the group’s former capital, Mosul, the town of Tal Afar, Kirkuk’s Hawija, and each of Annah, Rawa and Qaim in Anbar.
The war against IS has displaced nearly five million people, with tens of thousands of civilians and militants killed since the launch of the offensives to recapture occupied cities.
Six tribal fighters killed in confrontations with Islamic State, west of Kirkuk
by Nehal Mostafa Dec 24, 2017, 11:28 pm
Six tribal fighters were killed in confrontations with Islamic State militants in west of Kirkuk, a security source said on Sunday.
“Six personnel of the Tribal Mobilization Forces were killed during armed confrontations with IS members in al-Rebza village in Riyad, west of Kirkuk,” the source told Alghad Press.
“The clashes broke out as the troops noticed the militants near the village. The group’s losses are still unknown,” the source added.
In related news, a chief of police department and his son as well as a senior tribesmen and his wife were killed in two armed attacks on the road between Hawija and Kirkuk, according to news reports.
Earlier on the day, security troops in Kirkuk announced applying a one-week plan to protect civilians during the celebrations of Christmas and the New Year at the province.
Violence in the country has surged further with the emergence of Islamic State Sunni extremist militants who proclaimed an “Islamic Caliphate” in Iraq and Syria in 2014.
A total of 117 Iraqi civilians were killed and another 264 injured, excluding police, in acts of terrorism, violence and armed conflict in Iraq in November, according to casualty figures recorded by the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI).
Baghdad was the worst affected Governorate, with 201 civilian casualties (51 killed, 150 injured). Salahuddin Governorate followed, with 24 killed and 60 injured, and Kirkuk had 12 killed and 28 injured.
Eight IS bodies found as airstrike targets rest house in Anbar: Military
by Nehal Mostafa Dec 22, 2017, 8:40 pm
Several Islamic State members were killed as Iraqi troops attacked a rest house in Anbar province, a military intelligence department said on Friday.
In a statement, the department said troops carried out a campaign as gathering information about locating a rest house with depth of six meters underground, where militants are hiding at in Hit city in Anbar.
One of the military personnel hurled hand grenades against the militants, killing many of them
Instructions, according to the statement, ordered destroying the tunnel through an airstrike, which killed the militants. “After the tunnel was destroyed, eight IS bodies were found, along with 43 bombs.”
In November, Abadi said his country has defeated Islamic State over the military level, but will declare final victory after desert areas are purged of militants. Earlier in the month, Iraqi forces recaptured Anbar’s western town of Rawa, the very last bastion under Islamic State control.
Iraqi forces, backed by a U.S.-led coalition and paramilitary troops, have been fighting since October 2016 to retake territories Islamic State had occupied. The war against IS has displaced nearly five million people, with tens of thousands of civilians and militants killed since the launch of the offensives to recapture occupied cities.
Kurdistan Workers Party declares new self-rule region in northern Iraq
by Mohamed Mostafa Dec 25, 2017, 8:39 am
The Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) has announced the creation of a new autonomous region in northern Iraq, a step that could provoke more intense Turkish strikes over the locations of the group designated by Ankara and several Western countries as a terrorist entity.
In a statement circulated by Kurdish media, and quoted by London-based The New Arab newspaper, the group declared a new autonomous region in Qandil mountains, comprising five areas.
The declaration was made in the presence of “300 political figures”, the statement said, adding that “the next step would be to elect an administration for the region and to start construction”.
No official response was made by the Iraqi government.
The group has fought for an independent region for Turkey’s Kurds since the 1980s.
PKK and Turkish military encounters resumed in July 2015 for the first time since the militia announced a pullout from Turkish territory in 2013. The battles resumed after PKK accused Ankara of failure of protecting Kurds following an Islamic State attack that killed 32 Kurds at a town near the borders with Syria.
Turkey’s military regularly carries out airstrikes on PKK fighters’ locations in northern Iraq, announcing the killing of many.
The following are news stories from the US Department of Defense website (http://www.defense.gov/News) :
Military Strikes Continue Against ISIS in Syria, Iraq
From a Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve News Release
U.S. and coalition military forces continued to attack the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria between Dec. 18 and yesterday, conducting 11 strikes consisting of 21 engagementsز
Officials reported details of the most recent strikes, noting that assessments of results are based on initial reports.
Strikes in Syria
Yesterday near Abu Kamal in Syria, coalition military forces conducted a strike engaging an ISIS tactical unit and destroying an ISIS vehicle and an ISIS staging area.
On Dec. 20 near Abu Kamal in Syria, coalition military forces conducted three strikes consisting of 13 engagements against an ISIS tactical unit, destroying two ISIS indirect-fire weapons, two explosive hazards, two maneuver elements and an ISIS headquarters command-and-control center.
On Dec. 19 near Abu Kamal in Syria, coalition military forces conducted three strikes consisting of three engagements against an ISIS tactical unit, damaging an ISIS supply route and a command-and-control center.
On Dec. 18 near Abu Kamal in Syria, coalition military forces conducted two strikes consisting of two engagements against an ISIS tactical unit, destroying a heavy weapon.
Strikes in Iraq
There were no reported strikes conducted in Iraq on Dec. 21, 2017.
On Dec. 19 near Qaim in Iraq, coalition military forces conducted a strike that destroyed an ISIS tunnel.
On Dec. 18 near Baaj in Iraq, coalition military forces conducted a strike consisting of an engagement against an ISIS tactical unit.
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