jeudi 5 mars 2015

ITF EU Representative was invited to the Press Conference of the European Syriac Union at Brussels on 3rd March 2015

ITF EU Representative was invited to the Press Conference of the European Syriac Union at Brussels on 3rd March 2015


Mr. Leo Van Doesburg, Director for European Affairs & Policy Advising
Mr. Johannes de Jong, Manager European Christian Political Foundation
Ms. Rima Tüzün, Head of Foreign Affairs European Syriac Union
Dr. Hassan Aydinli, Iraqi Turkmen Front EU representative
Photo taken at Press Club Brussels Europe.

ITF EU representative Dr. Hassan Aydinli was invited to the Press Conference organized by the European Syriac Union, representing the Chaldean-Syriac-Assyrians in the Middle East to the EU.

At this press conference the European Syriac Union called the EU Member States to support the Syriac-Assyrian political and military forces in Syria (Syriac Military Council) and Iraq (Nineveh Plain Forces) as well as their Kurdish, Yezidi and Turkmen allies.

The ESU provided information on the armed resistanc by the Syriac-Assyrian Christians and the need to include this rightful self-defense in the allied strategy.

On this occasion ITF EU Representative issued the following Press Release (please click on picture to enlarge):

Bombshell: British Iraq inquiry in flames

Bombshell: British Iraq inquiry in flames

If ever there was a geo-political bombshell, this is it. Twelve years after the illegal and inhumane invasion of Iraq based on lies, fabrication and downright arrogance, 6 years after the launch of the Chilcot inquiry, comes today the following allegation. 
For those who have followed the Iraq story, a must read.



To Sir Richard Ottaway,

Chair of Parliamentary Foreign Affairs Committee

House of Commons


28 FEB 2015

Dear Sir,

Following the meeting of the Foreign Affairs Committee on 4th Feb 2015 concerning the Chilcott Inquiry, which was unsatisfactory in not establishing a completion date, I shall be grateful if you will investigate a much graver matter concerning the validity of the Inquiry as a whole. That is its failure to be impartial within European Human Rights Law.

Sir Lawrence Freedman was appointed Privy Councilor as Adviser to PM Tony Blair on Foreign Affairs, in the period from 1997-2007. He has also formed a company with the MOD to train the military and businesses in military strategy. I contend that these positions are incompatible with his membership of the Chilcot Inquiry.

At 9 am on the 18th of January 2010, one hour before Jonathan Powell was due to give evidence to the Chilcot Inquiry, Sir John Chilcot received the following letter from Sir Laurence Freedman,

"Jonathan Powell will be giving evidence today. I thought it would be helpful to set out, for the record, my involvement in Prime Minister Tony Blair's speech, delivered to the Economic Club of Chicago on 24 April 1999 on 'The doctrine of the International Community.

I was asked by Jonathan Powell to submit ideas for this speech on about 12 April 1999 and I submitted the attached memo on April 16th. I believe I discussed it with Jonathan Powell early the following week, but I made no more submissions."

Now of these submissions there were, in fact, twelve paragraphs included in Blair's speech verbatim.

One paragraph of the memo of the suggestions from Professor Freedman was as follows:-

"Many of our problems have been caused by two dangerous and ruthless men - Saddam Hussein and Slobodan Milosevich. Both have been prepared to wage vicious campaigns against sections of their own community, and Saddam Hussein even occupied a neighboring country. As a result of these destructive policies both have brought calamity on their own peoples. Instead of enjoying its oil wealth Iraq has been reduced to poverty, with political life stultified through fear."

The following are extracts from 'THE BLAIR DOCTRINE' delivered by Blair to the Chicago Economic Club on April 22 1999,

" Many of our problems have been caused by two dangerous and ruthless men - Saddam Hussein and Slobodan. Both have been prepared to wage vicious campaigns against sections of their own community, and Saddam Hussein even occupied a neighboring country. As a result of these destructive policies both have brought calamity on their own peoples. Instead of enjoying its oil wealth Iraq has been reduced to poverty, with political life stultified through fear."

The wording, in turn, is reminiscent of statements two years earlier to be found in The Project for a New American Century, PNAC, written by Wolfowitz, Perle, Rumsfeld, Bolton, and Cheney. (All committed zionists, as is Freedman.) Freedman must have been aware of the PNAC, and may, as a war strategist, have met its authors and even contributed to its ideas, if not the actual words. Recently, in 2010, he did indeed share a conference platform with Richard Perle, again compromising his role as an impartial member of the Chilcot Inquiry during its progress from 20069 and 2015.

The Blair Doctrine was delivered by Blair in Chicago two years before Bush was elected as President, and eleven months before 9/11. Blair had of course been groomed in America as a young, charismatic, potential leader in the late 1980s and early 1990s with Fulbright International Travel Scholarships, along with Karzai and Gordon Brown.( Tony Benn was convinced Blair was a CIA instrument in smashing the Labour party.) The PNAC push to deal with Saddam Hussein had come long before Bush was elected President. As Sir Christopher Meyer said to the Chilcot Inquiry , Blair was " a firm believer" in removing Saddam Hussein long before 9/11. In Blair's own words ..."I had a vision ... greater than Iraq , greater than the American Alliance, greater than the greatness of our history." There was no stopping him . ( cf " A Journey "p 500 - 501).

Sir Jeremy Greenstock, who gave evidence to the Chilcot Inquiry on its second day, closed his remarks as he was leaving, " in our conversations ( a clever word) I was surprised you did not mention Israel." Certainly the PNAC authors were very concerned to stop Saddam paying the families of Palestinian suicide bombers, as was Freedman.

The second part of my letter deals with the possible deception by Chilcot himself, and, according to European Human Rights Law, the lack of validity of the Inquiry because it can not be considered impartial. This lack of validity will cause extreme distress for Military Families Against War, as it is contrary to the protection given by European Human Rights Law to enable those affected to be confident that they can obtain an unbiased hearing. Rose Gentle will be staggered that she will never obtain justice for her dead son because the Chilcot Inquiry is rubbish. Nor will all the Iraqis ever be compensated whose relatives and children have been killed, maimed and psychologically damaged in the wreckage of a country in civil war. The fact that the barbarian acts of Lindsey England with her cigarette pointing at the penises of naked Iraqis at Abu Ghraib or the sexual torture ( "work them hard") in Camp Bread Basket will never be exposed in the International Criminal Court along with The Leaders of the war ( whose actions lead to all others), will be a stimulus to continuous violence in the future, as the Joint Intelligence Committee prophesied in the year 2000.

When in a letter of of 3 March 2011 I challenged Sir John about the Freedman Letter, his secretary replied that he had known about this "a long time before". "and had full confidence in the balance of his team".

But how long before ? (Cicero in a speech in praise of Pompey used this same legal ambiguity) Was it 24 hours before? Was it written in panic ?

Was it 2 months before? or at the commencement of his Inquiry in Nov 2009?

Now if it was at the commencement of the Inquiry how was Chilcot able to say, with a straight face, that :- "We come to this task with open minds and a commitment to review the evidence objectively. Each member of the committee is independent and non-partisan. We are determined to be thorough, rigorous, fair and frank to enable us to form impartial and evidence-based judgements on all aspects of the issues, including the arguments about the legality of the conflict."

Sir John also made clear that the Inquiry team would be critical if they felt it necessary.

"The Inquiry is not a court of law and nobody is on trial," he said. "But I want to make something absolutely clear. This Committee will not shy away from making criticism. If we find that mistakes were made, that there were issues which could have been dealt with better, we will say so frankly."

"We are all committed to ensuring that our proceedings are as open as possible because we recognise that is one of the ways in which the public can have confidence in the integrity and independence of the inquiry process.

How was he able to allow the official Inquiry Biography of Freedman, (which I quote below) still to omit in 2009, and still go on omitting in 2015, without alteration, the fact that Sir Lawrence Freedman was Foreign Affairs Policy Adviser to Blair between 1997 and 2007.

Official Chilcot Inquiry Biography Freedman

Sir Lawrence Freedman has been Professor of War Studies at King's College London since 1982. He became head of the School of Social Science and Public Policy at King's in 2000 and was appointed Vice-Principal in 2003.

He was educated at Whitley Bay Grammar School and the Universities of Manchester, York and Oxford. Before joining King's he held research appointments at Nuffield College Oxford, IISS and the Royal Institute of International Affairs. He was appointed Official Historian of the Falklands Campaign in 1997.

Professor Freedman has written extensively on nuclear strategy and the cold war, as well as commentating regularly on contemporary security issues. Among his books are Kennedy's Wars: Berlin, Cuba, Laos and Vietnam (2000), The Evolution of Nuclear Strategy (3rd edition 2004), Deterrence (2005), the two volume Official History of the Falklands Campaign (second edition 2007) and an Adelphi Paper on The Transformation in Strategic Affairs (2004). A Choice of Enemies: America confronts the Middle East, won the 2009 Lionel Gelber Prize and Duke of Westminster Medal for Military Literature. His most recent book is Strategy: A History (2013).

If it was at the commencement in Nov 2009 that Chilcot knew of Freedman's role in composing Blair's 1999 speech, why was the Official website Biography not updated to read more accurately as follows :-

Sir Lawrence Freedman was appointed a Privy Councilor in 2009 on account of his services

as Foreign Affairs advisor to PM Tony Blair from 1997 to 2007. Freedman contributed twelve crucial paragraphs, including removing Saddam Hussein, to "The Blair Doctrine" delivered to The Chicago Economic Club in April 1999, a year and a half before 9/11.

Freedman is closely associated with the authors of the Project for the New American Century of 1998. He has also established a Company with the MOD to train military and businesses in military strategy

I understand that while the Chilcot Inquiry has been in progress Freedman has been Professor of War Studies at Kings College London and has recently supervised a Phd study at Exeter on Israeli counter terrorist strategy and IDF War strategy. He has written a number of Papers on Israeli IDF anti terrorist strategy. He has written papers on the value of nuclear deterrence. He has set up a private company Simulstat with close association with the MOD teaching strategy to military and business at Cranfield and Shrivenham.. Such a close association with the MOD would make it hard for him to be critical of the MOD .

As Professor of War Studies he must know the Nuremberg Protocols of 1946 and the 40 Blue Books produced from Courtroom 600 Nuremberg and that planning and executing an aggressive war was considered "the supreme international crime of all "punishable by death.

In a public hearing it would only be human that Sir Lawrence would wish to distance himself from his master Tony Blair and the strategy of regime change, which as Foreign Secretary Jack Straw said "he had advised the Prime Minister on numerous occasions was palpably illegal".

One begins to wonder if, in Sir Lawrence Freedman, one is not dealing with Mephistopheles himself . He has managed to inveigle himself into the position of being both Judge and Jury of his own actions, and to manipulate as a puppet a man less clever than himself. We will never know the truth of the first week of Shock and Awe, how little Ali's burnt body came to be scarred with with charcoal flash marks like Hiroshima plutonium. We will never know of the mother in Fallujah staring at her beautiful child with a huge cancer on her face and of mothers, giving birth to babies with one eye, and their innards carried outside their bodies, whether the MOD knew all along that the munitions used with depleted uranium and plutonium would cause these tragedies, because Freedman himself was advocating the use of nuclear weapons and was himself negotiating with the MOD to form a company from which he would benefit. We do not know if Freedman himself copied terms such as Shock and Awe ( Sturm und Drang ) and |Storm Shadow Missiles" (Sturmtruppen ) |from Nazi Germany because the whole Inquiry is rotten to the core . We will not know if Freedman is in touch with Blair's lawyers extending the maxwellisation Programe by deceit ad infinitum..

I therefore request that you investigate the impartiality of Sir Lawrence Freedman and whether the Chilcot Inquiry should quickly be brought to a close as not complying with European Human Rights Law. Maxwellisation could clearly go on for a very long time indeed without a conclusion. I suggest that on the morning of Jonathan Powell's appearance Freedman must have been very worried indeed that the cat might have come out of the bag. Perhaps the Committee was instructed by Chilcot to steer clear of these speeches when questioning Powell.

I shall be pleased to forward to you copies of the many letters I have received from Sir John's staff.

While writing this letter to you , Bassim an Iraqi Sheik, to whom I tried to teach English , lost his nephew and youngest brother who were killed in Baghdad. He has now lost all the male members of his family, since his brother was killed, while hooded, by the Americans , and his brother in law by the Shia Militia. You could never meet a kinder or more intelligent man than Bassim. I dedicate this letter to him.

Yours sincerely.

Nicholas Wood . Secretary to the Submission of 19 Nov 2009

Secretary to the Letter from Privy Councillor Tony Benn to Kofi Anan 2003

\Secretary to The Blair War Crimes Foundation.

cc Mrs Rose Gentle, Military Families Against War .

ccThe Editor Private Eye.

lundi 2 mars 2015

MEP David Campbell Bannerman, Chair of D-IQ on the Humanitarian crisis in Iraq and Syria

Wednesday, 11 February 2015 - StrasbourgProvisional edition

 14. Humanitarian crisis in Iraq and Syria, in particular in the IS context (debate)
Video of the speeches
  David Campbell Bannerman (ECR ). - Madam President, the escalation of armed conflict – thanks to ISIS – across Iraq and neighbouring Syria has resulted in a serious and worsening humanitarian crisis. There have been new and secondary movements of internally displaced people (IDPs) across the entire region. The numbers are really staggering, with approximately three million in Iraq and 7.6 million in Syria.
One issue disclosed at a recent Iraq delegation meeting is that there is very little information on those in ISIS-controlled areas. The real extent of the humanitarian challenge is well hidden. As the brave Peshmerga and Iraqi forces push to regain territory from ISIS, such as at Kobani, so we see the true extent of the underlying damage and deprivation. Many of those internally displaced have been subject to the most unthinkable of crimes, with large numbers of women and children raped or sexually abused by ISIS. There is a great need for counselling support, not just the basics.
As President of the Iraq delegation, I encourage international partners, the Iraqi government and the Kurdistan regional government to redouble their efforts in terms of financial and logistical support in providing essential services, land allocation and site preparation for IDP camps. Our thoughts are very much with the people of Iraq and Syria at this very troubled time.

Human suffering in Syria and Iraq: what action does the EU have to take?

Human suffering in Syria and Iraq: what action does the EU have to take?


Commissioner Christos Stylianides discusses the worsening humanitarian crises in Syria and Iraq as a result of the violence by the Islamic State.

Kirkuk foreshadows challenges for a post-ISIL Iraq

Kirkuk foreshadows challenges for a post-ISIL IraqAl Jazeera – Wed, Feb 25, 2015

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Kirkuk foreshadows challenges for a post-ISIL Iraq

All eyes are on the Iraqi city of Mosul, the capital of the self-styled Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), which could be attacked by Iraqi forces as soon as April or May 2015 according to a

US government briefing

given to reporters in February 19. But whenever Mosul is actually attacked, the key challenge for the liberating forces will not end when ISIL fighters are expelled. Governance of multiethnic Mosul city will pose an equally significant test for the Iraqi and Kurdish leaderships, as well as their international allies.

One way to gauge the complexity of post-conflict stabilisation is to look at the Iraqi city of Kirkuk today. Kirkuk sits partway between Baghdad and the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) capital of Erbil. Placed at a crossover point between the Kurdish highlands, Turkmen towns and Arab farmlands bordering the Tigris, Kirkuk expanded greatly after oil production began in the province in the 1920s.

The 1957 census - considered the least politicised - broke down Kirkuk's population by mother tongue, finding the province was 48.3 percent Kurd, 28.2 percent Arab, 21.4 percent Turkmen, and the rest Chaldean, Assyrian, or other. From the 1960s onwards, urban Turkmen and Kurds were targeted with increasing violence by successive Iraqi governments: In 2003, the pendulum swung again and the Kurds became the dominant force within the city.

Strategic geography of Kirkuk

Kirkuk is the point at which Iraqi Kurdistan is at its narrowest. Throughout the last century, Kirkuk was used as the jump-off point for government incursions into the Kurdish highlands. Kirkuk sits astride the most direct highway linking the two main KRG cities, Erbil and Sulaymaniyah. For a hostile force to control Kirkuk is to cut the Kurdish region in half.

Today, the Kirkuk area continues to represent a neuralgic point for the Iraqi Kurds - a potential chink in their armour. Multiethnic Kirkuk is almost unique because of the large numbers of Arabs who live within the frontline secured by the Kurdish Peshmerga forces. Kirkuk is linked to the KRG by highways and a busy flow of commercial and passenger traffic still transits between Kirkuk and the KRG cities every day.

This has made Kirkuk the single most significant entry point for ISIL car bombers and attack cells seeking to penetrate the Kurdistan Region. On January 30, ISIL launched a major localised offensive against the Peshmerga frontline southwest of Kirkuk city, simultaneously installing a team of suicide attackers on the roof of a hotel in the city. Mass sweeps and intelligence-led raids are now combing Kirkuk's Sunni Arab communities for terrorist cells.

Kurdish parties and Kirkuk

Kirkuk has attained a political symbolism over the past 50 years, much as Mosul is a political and economic centre for many of Iraq's Sunnis. The Kurdish political parties vie for influence in Kirkuk and when the city is attacked, the parties rush to defend it. In August 2014, the inflow of Kurdish Peshmerga to Kirkuk arguably stripped other fronts to the extent that the ISIL offensive penetrated almost to Erbil.

Control of Kirkuk city currently rests with the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), the smaller of the two largest Kurdish political parties, but the rival Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) is gradually encroaching. In July 2014, the KDP opportunistically expanded their military control of western Kirkuk, including the Northern Oil Company's Bai Hassan and Avana oilfields.

Kirkuk Governor Najmaldin Karim, who is close to PUK leader Jalal Talabani, must balance the dual needs to maintain Kurdish unity to defend the city while at the same time restraining the further expansion of KDP influence in Kirkuk.

Kirkuk's oil: More vital than ever

Compared to southern Iraq's massive post-1950s oilfields, which are still expanding their production, the grand old Kirkuk fields have been in decline for a while. Yet, control of the western Kirkuk oilfields is more significant than ever because of the dire financial straits that Iraq is suffering from due to high government spending needs and the collapse in oil prices since November 2014.

Kirkuk oil played a central role in the passage of the 2015 budget and the Baghdad-KRG revenue-sharing deal contained within it. Under the deal, Kurdistan must provide Baghdad with 250,000 barrels per day (bpd) of Kurdish-produced crude oil, which is made possible, in part, by the KRG's takeover of the Bai Hassan and Avana fields. The KRG likewise is committed to helping Iraq export 300,000 bpd of Northern Oil Company-produced Kirkuk crude via Kurdistan's pipeline to Turkey. Every barrel of oil shipped will furthermore earn $2 for the province under the "petrodollar" scheme.

In the next year, Kirkuk oil could fill a vital gap in Iraq's budget (and provide Kirkuk province with investment) or it could become a source of disagreements between Baghdad and Erbil. The Iraqi government is already eyeing the return of Bai Hassan and Avana oil to the federal exchequer.

The Kurds meanwhile are winning over the Northern Oil Company with an effective outreach programme of technical support and pipeline-building, which could aid the full KRG annexation of Kirkuk's oil industry if the revenue-sharing deal with Baghdad breaks down.

Shia Popular Mobilisation units

Perhaps the newest challenge to emerge in Kirkuk is the tension between the predominately Shia Hashd al-Shaabi (Popular Mobilisation Units or PMUs) and the Kurdish-led administration. The PMUs have been gradually working their way up the Baghdad-Kirkuk road since September 2014, liberating Shia Turkmen towns overrun by ISIL and garrisoning Sunni settlements with a heavy hand.

Now the PMUs have reached the southern outskirt of Kirkuk city, the first federal security forces to return to Kirkuk since the 12th Iraqi army division disintegrated last June. The Kurds swore at that time that no federal forces would return to Kirkuk but the Shia militias, in part due to Iranian backing, have very effectively grown their presence, with large training camps emerging to arm local Shia Turkmen and Arab Kirkuki volunteers.

Such Shia militants are not completely novel in Kirkuk: Shia Kirkukis from the Iranian-backed Kataib Hezbollah and Asaib Ahl al-Haq (AAH) terrorist groups fired rockets at the US-occupied airbase and attacked US vehicles in Kirkuk right up until the US departure in 2011.

Now these groups are beginning to challenge Kurdish dominance: On February 8, Badr leader Hadi al-Amiri, the PMU leader in much of northern Iraq, visited the Kirkuk governor with an imposing 50-vehicle security detail. On February 17, AAH leader Qais al-Khazali said that his fighters would enter Kirkuk city to challenge the Peshmerga if Kirkuk's Shia residents called upon AAH to do so.

This emerging risk is an indication of the potential complexities that could challenge the post-ISIL governance of northern Iraq, particularly of a liberated Mosul city, an ethnic melting pot with nearly a million residents.

The ultimate significance of the ISIL offensive in Iraq may not be the movement's fleeting control of Iraqi cities but rather in the ethno-sectarian militias and decentralising forces released by the loss of government control.


Dr Michael Knights is the Lafer Fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. He specialises in the politics and security of Iraq. He has worked in every Iraqi province and most of the country's hundred districts, including periods embedded with Iraq's security forces and local governments.

The views expressed in this article are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect Al Jazeera's editorial policy.

Kirkuk. A Silent Giant Oilfield, GEO ExPro

Kirkuk. A Silent Giant Oilfield
Munim Al-Rawi, Ph.D., Carta Design Ltd.
The giant Kirkuk field, discovered in 1927, has had a very chequered history and requires imaginative reservoir engineering methods to return it to optimum productivity.
This article appeared in Vol. 11, No. 6 - 2015

The Kirkuk oilfield is partly located in the Kirkuk Governorate in north-eastern Iraq and partly in the Erbil Governorate in Kurdistan Iraq. It was discovered by the Turkish Petroleum Company at Baba Gurgur in 1927 and was brought into production by the Iraq Petroleum Company (IPC) in 1934, which produced it until full nationalisation in 1972. From then it was operated by the Iraqi National Oil Company (INOC) until 1989 when the North Oil Company (NOC), a state-owned company, replaced INOC in the operation of the Kirkuk oilfield (see GEO ExPro Vol. 6 no. 2, Oil from Babylon to Iraq, for a fuller history of the discovery of the field). On 11 July 2014 Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) forces seized control of the field, and it is reportedly pumping 120 Mbopd from Kirkuk and the nearby Bai Hassan field via the KRG export pipeline, which runs to the Turkish port of Ceyhan on the Sea.

Iraq’s oil and gas infrastructure. (Sources: Platts/Aqrawi et al 2010, reproduced with permission of Scientific Press)

This giant field, managed by different operators and at the centre of a very troubled and much fought over region, has silently suffered a great deal of reservoir damage.

Kirkuk includes three pay zones. The first, the Kirkuk Tertiary Reservoir, is the largest producing reservoir in Kirkuk and comprises 98% of Kirkuk’s recoverable reserves. The second and third pays in the Upper and Middle Cretaceous are small and non-producing.

The original oil in place reserves of Kirkuk were estimated at 38 Bbo. Since 1934, the field has remained the most important producer in northern Iraq, with over 8.9 Bbo proven remaining oil reserves in 2007. After eight decades in operation, and many reservoir problems, Kirkuk still produces 0.5 MMbopd.

In the subsurface, Kirkuk is an anticlinal structure trending northwest to south-east, 100 km long and 4 km wide at the original oil/water contact level in the Tertiary Reservoir. Structurally, it is composed of three domes, referred to, from south-east to north-west, as Baba, Avanah and Khurmala, which are separated by saddles, namely Amshe and Dibega. At the surface, however, it is a simple folded structure due to the Miocene salt flowage of the Lower Fars Formation.

Schematic cross-section of Kirkuk Baba Dome; not to scale. Modified after Dunnington, 1958, Figure 17.

Schematic longitudinal cross-section of Kirkuk field. Modified after Dunnington, 1958, Figure 18.

Reservoir Geology

The Eocene-Oligocene Kirkuk Tertiary Reservoir is 365m (1,200 ft) thick and consists of a series of extensively fractured limestones, some porcelaneous and some dolomitised. These limestones were deposited in a variety of environments, including back-reef/lagoonal, fore-reef, and basinal, and have a wide range of porosity and permeability properties. The Oligocene Bajawan, Baba, Tarjil, and Palani Formations, which belong to the Kirkuk Group, are producing in Baba Dome, while the Eocene below, namely the Avanah and Jaddala Formations, are producing in the Avanah and Khurmala Domes.

The oil is contained both in an extensive, extremely permeable but low-capacity fracture system and in a low-permeability but high-capacity, matrix-pore system. The porosity and permeability of the carbonates of the Kirkuk Group are usually good; some wells within the Baba Dome produced 100,000 bopd. The porosity ranges from 15 to 25% (averaging about 22%) and the average permeability is about 100 mD. The API gravity of oil ranges from 18° to 36° (average 30°) and was approximately 500 psi undersaturated at the original reservoir pressure of 1,100 psi. Sulphur content is 1.5–4%. The reservoir is underlain by a field-wide aquifer.

The other two reservoirs in the Kirkuk oilfield are the Upper Cretaceous Shiranish Formation and the Middle Cretaceous Upper Qamchuqa Formation. They are fractured carbonates, contain oil and gas, and are likely in communication with the first pay reservoirs. However, these reservoirs have been kept for pressure observation and were not commercially produced.

Eternal fires (burning gas seeps on the Baba Dome at Kirkuk) with Kirkuk production facilities in the background (photo taken on a field visit by BP in 1988). Photo courtesy Robin Cleverly/BP

Pushing Production Causes Problems

As of January 1989, the original oil in place reserves of the Kirkuk oilfield were estimated at 38,045 MMbo, proven remaining oil reserves were 10,238 MMbo, and the cumulative oil production to end 1988 was 12,017 MMbo. Proven remaining oil reserves were reported as of January 2007 to be 8,973 MMbo, including estimated reserves for Khurmala Dome of 2,800 MMbo in place with 1,000 MMbo recoverable. 

Production at Kirkuk started in 1934 from the Kirkuk Tertiary Reservoir in the Baba and Avanah Domes only, continuing at a low rate for the first twenty years of production. From 1951, however, there was a rapid five-fold increase in production over just three years. The reservoir is characterised by a density of fractures in the entire structure, but particularly in the structurally higher zones. This quick increase in production resulted in a rapid decline in reservoir pressure, and caused the creation of secondary gas caps in both Baba and Avanah Domes, since the water drive force is weak, as well as a small rise in the oil/water contact.

Estimated reserves and production for the Kirkuk field.

To maintain reservoir pressure, it was decided to use water injection, with, as a temporary measure until the start of water injection, gas from the nearby Bai Hassan being injected into Kirkuk from 1957 to 1961; 200 Bcfg was injected in total.

Water injection started in 1961 at Amshe Saddle. Despite the wide distribution of injected water in the Baba and Avanah Domes, it did not reach the south-east part of Baba Dome or the north-west part of Avanah Dome in equal amounts, which caused a rise of the oil/water contact in the producing regions of Baba and Avanah Domes, which in turn had a domal effect on the contact. In 1970 water injection commenced in the Tarjil area (south-east of Baba Dome), followed in 1978 by water injection in north-west Avanah Dome.

It is important to note that production of oil from the Kirkuk Tertiary Reservoir is done by the removal of oil from fractures, vugs and large pores through water swapping in a rapid or instantaneous manner, and also by imbibition, where water replaces oil in small pores, in a slow process that requires time. Assessment of the imbibition process and the rate of oil recovery and remaining oil in the flooded areas of the reservoir are the subject of ongoing reservoir engineering and laboratory studies.

A continuous increase in production rates requires the drilling of wells to replace those flooded by water because of the rising oil/water contact. The total numbers of wells drilled rose from 162 in 1964 to 230 by 1989.
Unique Reservoir Needs Help

An analysis of this outstanding Kirkuk Tertiary Reservoir reveals a number of factors affecting reservoir behaviour.

These include:

Kirkuk Tertiary Reservoir characteristics, Well K-115. Modified after INOC, 1987.
Calculating the actual percentage of fractures and vugs within the reservoir, which affects the oil reserves volume and recovery factor calculations of the original oil in place in rock matrix and fractures. Current estimates are that 95% of oil is in the matrix and 5% is in fractures.

Reservoir water salinity is low, dropping to 90,000 ppm. Measurements taken before the start of water injection indicate that it has changed in the three domes, which makes it difficult to calculate the original water saturation. Water injection has altered the salinity in the fracture areas.

Mud loss during well drilling in the highly fractured areas of the reservoir makes it difficult to measure reservoir resistivity and water saturation.

Due to the variation in the reservoir rock characteristics and fractures, it is also difficult to precisely simulate reservoir behaviour.

There are difficulties in evaluating the level of water saturation in flooded areas, and in estimating how much oil remains in the reservoir.

Declining crude oil qualities and increased ‘water cut’ (damaging intrusions of water into oil reservoirs) were probably the result of over pumping. Production from Kirkuk reached as high as 680,000 bpd, well above the field’s estimated optimal production rate of 250,000 bpd. Iraq attempted to sell as much oil as possible in the months leading up to the March/April 2003 war.

In addition, some analysts believe that poor reservoir management practices during the first Gulf war between 1981 and 1988, including the reinjection into the periphery of the Baba Dome of excess fuel oil (as much as 1.5 Bbo by one estimate), refinery residue and gas-stripped oil, may have seriously, even permanently, damaged the Kirkuk Tertiary producing reservoir. Among other problems, fuel oil reinjection has increased oil viscosity at Kirkuk, making it more difficult and expensive to get the oil out of the ground.

The unique Kirkuk Tertiary Reservoir has suffered a great deal from different management practices and will require imaginative reservoir engineering methods to put it back into good productive order. Some reappraisal has already been undertaken and will require full implementation on the ground to achieve results.

In September 2013, BP signed a letter of intent to help revive this ageing oilfield through a better understanding of the state of the Kirkuk reservoir. For BP, the agreement could be a first step toward clinching a longer-term development contract. Will the current political status in Iraq allow Kirkuk to be productive again?


Adnan A. M. Aqrawi, Jeremy Goff, Andrew D. Horbury and Fadhil N. Sadooni (2010), Petroleum Geology of Iraq, 424p, hard covers. ISBN 978 0 901360 36 8. Scientific Press Ltd, PO Box 21, Beaconsfield, Bucks, HP9 1NS, UK.

Dunnington, H.V., 1958. Generation, migration, accumulation, and dissipation of oil in northern Iraq. In: Weeks, L.G. (ed), Habitat of Oil, American Association of Petroleum Geologists, 1194-1251. Reprinted in GeoArabia, Vol. 10, No. 2, 2005, p. 39-84.. Gulf Petrolink, Bahrain.

INOC, 1987. Country Paper, Republic of Iraq, in Arabic, in OAPEC, 1987. Addendum of papers and case studies presented at the seminar on petroleum reservoirs. Kuwait, 11-14 October 1987.

Platts, 2014. Kurdish forces move to protect Iraq’s Kirkuk oil hub. June 12, 2014.

dimanche 1 mars 2015

ISIS May Have Committed Genocide Against Iraq Minorities, Report Says

Noah Rayman @noahrayman Feb. 27, 2015

SAFIN HAMED—AFP/Getty ImagesMembers of the Yazidi minority search for clues on February 3, 2015, that might lead them to missing relatives in the remains of people killed by the Islamic State (IS) jihadist group, a day after Kurdish forces discovered a mass grave near the Iraqi village of Sinuni, in the northwestern Sinjar area.

"Many minority communities continue to live under the threat of mass killing in Iraq," an advocate said

The Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS) has systematically targeted minorities in Iraq and may be guilty of committing genocide, a new report from human rights groups says.

The report aims to shed light on the atrocities committed against minority religious groups, including Christians, Yazidis and Turkmen. Based largely on eyewitness accounts and field visits across Iraq, the report says ISIS has committed summary executions, sexual violence and torture that amount to crimes against humanity and possibly genocide.

“Information exists which would support a prima facie case that ISIS forces have committed the crime of genocide against religious minorities in northern Iraq, in particular against the Yezidi minority,” the report says.

The report, released in Brussels on Friday, comes days after ISIS kidnapped at least 90 Assyrian Christian men, women and children in Syria.

samedi 28 février 2015


Launch of "Between the Millstones: Iraq's Minorities Since the Fall of Mosul"A report of a consortium of NGOs   

(Minority Rights Group, Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization, No Peace Without Justice and Institute for International Law and Human Rights).

Brussels, 27th February 2015.

Since June 2014, the rapid spread of ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and al Sham) forces across northern Iraq has triggered a wave of displacement, with more than 2 million people uprooted.  Ethnic and religious minorities have been particularly targeted, including Turkmens, Christians, Yezidis, Kaka'is, and Shabaks, with thousands killed and many more injured or abducted.

Alison Smith, NPWJ; Johanna Green, UNPO; Mays Al-Juboori, MRG; William Spencer, HLHR

William Spencer, Institute for International Law and Human Rights and
Dr Hassan Aydinli, Iraqi Turkmen Front (ITF) EU Representative

Marino Busdachin, General Secretary of  UNPO and
Dr Hassan Aydinli, Iraqi Turkmen Front EU Representative.

Minority communities in Iraq have been targeted by the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) in a systematic strategy to remove them permanently from large areas of Iraq, warns a group of human rights organizations in their new report.

"Between the Millstones: Iraq's Minorities Since the Fall of Mosul" provides critical information on the legal basis for war crimes prosecutions.

According to the report, the Iraqi government lacks a legal framework to address the rights and entitlements of the displaced people, it should clarify its role and responsibilities.

The Iraqi government and the Kurdish Regional Government should investigate and prosecute corruption in the delivery and acquisition of humanitarian aid and make sure that humanitarian aid is fairly divided among the displaced people.

The Iraqi government should provide urgent assistance to the humanitarian effort and resettle minorities who have been displaced.

Summary executions, forced conversion, rape, sexual enslavement, the destruction of places of worship, the abduction of children, the looting of property and other severe human rights abuses and crimes under international law have been committed repeatedly by ISIS.  While minorities have long been vulnerable to attacks by extremists, this violence appears to be part of a systematic strategy to remove these communities permanently from areas where they have lived for centuries.

For these groups to have a future in the country, Iraqi and Kurdish authorities, the international community and other stakeholders must work together not only to ensure their immediate security, but also take steps through comprehensive legal and social reform to bring an end to their long-standing marginalization and prevent further abuses.

All IDPs are suffering especially minority women.

Regarding the TURKMENS, the report states that prior to June 2014, Turkmens were intimidated by Kurdish and Central government authorities, as well as by extra-judicial militias, on religious and ethnic grounds as well as for the presence in the 'disputed territories'. More recently, Shi'a Turkmens have been summarily executed by ISIS fighters.

The reports also states that Iraq's Turkmen community has strong support from Turkmen diaspora organizations such as the Europe-Turkmen Friendships and other groups.

Concerning TURKMEN SITES, the report says:

As ISIS forces swept through Tal Afar and the surrounding areas in June and July 2014, numerous Turkmen mosques, shrines and religious and cultural sites were destroyed or desecrated, including Shi'a mosques in the villages of hardaghli, Brauchli and Qaranaz, all of which until recently had a large Turkmen population.  ISIS forces also destroyed the shrine of Arnaour and the Shi'a mosques of Husseiniyh al-Qubba, Husseiniyh Jawad, Husseiniyh Kaddo, Husseiniyh Muslim Bin-Aqeel and Husseiniyh Askar-Mullah in Tal Afar. The largest and oldest library in the Tal Afar district was also blown up - a huge blow to the Turkmen population. Another library in the Diyala governorate, with some 1,500 Islamic historical texts and stories, was reportedly burnt to the ground by ISIS forces.

In Mosul the tomb of Ibn al-Athir was destroyed, and the shrine of Imam al-Abbas in al-Qubba village and three Shi'a mosquess were set ablaze by ISIS militants in the village of Al-Sharikhan. ISIS forces reportedly used bulldozers in the Turkmnn town of al-Mahlabia to destroy the shrines of Sheikh Ibrahim and the shrine and tomb of the Sufi Sheikh Ahmed Rifa'i.

Shi'a mosques and other sites of religious significance were reportedly set on fire by ISIS forces in the Turkmen towns of Qubba and Qubbek, in Tal Afar district.

Several important Sunni shrines were also reportedly destroyed in Mosul and Kirkuk, including the shrine of Sufi Salih, in addition to some Kaka'i shrines. Two Shi'a shrines in Sinjar - Sayida Zainab and Saiyed Zakariya - were also destroyed, as well as the Shi'a holy shrine of Imam Ridha in Tiskhrab village.

In the Tukmen village of Chardaghli, a Sunni mosque was destroyed along with three Shi'a mosques. In the Turkmen village of Staeh, Sunni and Shi'a mosques as well as Yezidi religious shrines were destroyed.

The report also mentions the Denial of Entry issue that minority communities have experienced from certain areas of Iraq, particularly by Kurdish forces. The KRG has been criticized by numerous human rights activists for applying discriminatory rules based on ethnicity and religion, with Assyrians, Kurds and Yezidis typically being permitted to enter the Iraqi Kurdish region, while Iraqi Turkmen and Shi'a and Sunni Arabs have been denied access.

Regarding Employment and Education, the report states that though children have the right to be educate in their mother tongue under the Iraqi Constitution of 2005, this has not been respected.
In the Iraqi Kurdish Region minority groups are pressured to be educated in Kurdish and fincancial incentives are used to promote the language. Provision of education in the children's native tongue is also under-resourced in Iraq: many Turkmen communities, for example, have struggled to access education in their own language. 

On the Sexual and gender-base violence, the report says:
There have been numerous reports of sexual abuse, rape, abductions, enslavement and other violations of a sexual nature perpetrated by ISIS militants on women and children across Iraq.
In many cases, sexual violence has been used as a tool of terror and coercion. In one incident on 12-13 June 2014, ISIS forces reportedly raped and killed at least nine women and girls as young as 12 years old in the Turkmen town of BESHIR. The bodies of the women were then stripped naked and hung from lamp posts and water tanks around the town. 

The report also says that some Turkmen and Yezidi children left by ISIS forces in an orphanage in Mosul showed signs of being physically and sexually assaulted.

While Yezidi women have been especially targeted, at least several hundred Shi'a women, mostly Turkmen, have also been kidnapped and sold into sexual slavery by ISIS, as well as Christian women.

Finally the report makes several recommendations to the Federal Government of Iraq, to the Kurdish Regional Government and to the International Community, to prevent further abuses and for the Restoration and Reconciliation.