jeudi 30 janvier 2014

The Energy Triangle between Turkey – Iraq's central government – KRG

The Energy Triangle between Turkey – Iraq's central government – KRG
Bilgay Duman, ORSAM Middle East Researcher

It appears that the relations between Turkey and Iraq have become tense again upon the news regarding the shipment and even storage of oil and gas from Iraq's Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) to Turkey's Ceyhan Port following the talks on oil and gas held between Turkey an KRG. Turkey's Energy Minister Taner Yildiz' statements corroborate the KRG-Turkey oil flow. In his statements, Yildiz reiterated his position on Turkey's Iraq policy that there would not be any attempt to damage Iraq's integrity by also considering sensitivities of Iraq's central government as he reassured them. Turkey maintains its determined attitude in its relations with KRG and takes steps that could pave the way for KRG's oil export. However, here Turkey underlines that the oil received from KRG is the Iraqi oil, and clearly suggests that Turkey will act accordingly.

On the other hand, it is known that Turkey has been holding talks on oil and gas with Iraq's central government, and wants to cooperate with Baghdad on energy. At this point, Turkey's energy relations with KRG might disrupt the (potential) cooperation between Turkey and Iraq's central government. As a matter of fact, there were some news asserting that Iraq was thinking on various alternatives on oil trade last week.(1) It is alleged that Iraq's State Oil Marketing Organization (SOMO) is planning on building new pipelines, and even opening the oil pipeline to reach Israel's Haifa port by 2019. Although Iraq has not responded to this allegation, it is not possible to suggest at least for now that the pipelines which are said to be alternative and new are not rational and that they could be an alternative to Turkey. At this point, it would be helpful to study Iraq's oil export routes and to put forth the regional position in order to be more clear.

Iraq's crude oil export reached the highest level in late 2012 before the U.S. invasion of Iraq. The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) states that Iraq which exported an average of 2,3 million bbl/d of crude oil towards the end of 2012 produced an average of 2,9 million bbl/d of crude oil by the end of 2012. It is said that 400 thousand barrels of this amount was produced in the areas under the control of KRG. Iraq aims at producing 9,5 million bbl/d in 2017.(2) Some 500 thousand barrels of oil is presented for domestic consumption. The most important oil export point of Iraq is the Mina al-Bakr/Al-Basra oil terminal. It is known that only Al-Basra terminal in Iraq operates in full capacity. Here, the strategic importance of Al-Basra, which is Iraq's only port opening to sea, comes to the forefront.

On the other hand, the Kirkuk-Ceyhan crude oil pipeline which is one of the 5 terminals in Iraq and passes through Turkey, is one of the biggest export pipelines of Iraq. The Kirkuk-Ceyhan pipeline which is composed of two lines does not operate in full capacity, and from time to time it is not preferred to pump oil via this pipeline for reasons such as lack of security, sabotage and plundering. The Kirkuk-Ceyhan pipeline of approximately thousand-km-long has the optimal capacity of exporting some 1.6 million bbl/d of oil. The capacity of the pipeline passing through Turkey is said to be 1.1 million bbl/d. But its maximum capacity was 900 thousand bbl/d of crude oil before the war. There are two other pipelines which are closed except for these two lines. One of them links Kirkuk to Israel's Haifa Port, and the other links Kirkuk to Syria's Banias Port. The Kirkuk-Banias pipeline between Iraq and Syria which was completed in early 1950s is some 552 miles long (888 km). (3) The pipeline which was closed during the Iran-Iraq war (1980-1988) was reopened in 2001; but it was closed again after the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003. The pipeline with capacity of 300,000 bbl/d made it possible to export crude oil as high as 150,000-200,000 bbl/d when it was open. It was brought forward to repair and reopen the pipeline greatly damaged during the U.S. invasion of Iraq which has not been active since 2003. The issue which was firstly brought up to the agenda during Iraq's Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's visit to Syria in August 2007, was discussed during Iraq's Foreign Minister Hosyar Zebari's visit to Syria in late 2007 and it was declared that it was agreed to reopen the pipeline. Knowing that the parts of pipeline in the Iraqi border had been damaged to a large extent, there is no certain information about the opening date of the pipeline. But it might be suggested that it is not likely the pipeline will be opened in the short term after the crisis in Syria in 2011. Even if the crisis in Syria was solved before long, continuation of instability would not make it possible to revise the pipeline.

On the other hand, it is frequently mentioned in the international public opinion that the 1000-km-long Kirkuk-Haifa Oil Pipeline, completed and opened in 1935; but closed upon the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948, will be reopened. It is known that there are two different projects on reopening the pipeline. One of them envisages to repair and the other one to reconstruct the pipeline. The experts assert that the pipeline will be repaired in a short period of time like in 5-6 months, and it will cost 200 million dollars. However, it is known that the pipeline which has not been operating for 60 years is completely damaged, and its extension in Jordan was sold as a scrap, while the current state of the Israeli extension of the pipeline is not known. On the other hand, reconstruction of the pipeline is on the agenda as well. According to the U.S. Ministry of National Infrastructure, the new pipeline projected to size 105 cm will cost 400 million dollars. However, considering that the great majority of this pipeline will pass through Iraqi territories, the security of this pipeline appears as a significant problem. As is known, many attacks were carried out against the Kirkuk-Ceyhan Oil Pipeline, and export came to a standstill. Furthermore, it might be suggested that it is not likely for Iraq's central government to bring up such a pipeline to the agenda due to the lack of diplomatic relations between Iraq and Israel and due to Iran's influence in Iraq even if an agreement was reached on reconstructing or repairing the pipeline between Iraq and Jordan. But indirect diplomatic relations between KRG and Israel might be taken into consideration. Even if there was an energy link between KRG and Israel at this point, it seems quite difficult in terms of geographical conditions to transfer oil from the regions under KRG control to Israel. Because the oil to be transferred from KRG must reach Israel either through Jordan or through Lebanon via Syria. This being the case, it is highly unlikely for KRG to transfer the oil to Israel via the pipeline.

Even if not on the agenda, it is also possible that Iraq could transfer oil via Iran. According to unofficial records, 2000 tankers of oil per day is sold from KRG via Iran. Also it is known that there have been attempts to improve the cooperation on energy between Iraq's central government and Iran. Considering this mutuality, it is possible to suggest that the Iranian government turned a blind eye on the oil sale from KRG in line with the national interests, and that it kept its relations with Iraq's central government and KRG separately. In this regard, it might be said that Iran acted in accordance with the conjuncture and put forward rational policies.

In that sense, Turkey considers its relations with Iraq's central government and KRG independently from one another. Nevertheless, for Turkey the relationships established with both Iraq's central government and KRG correspond to main dynamics of Turkey's Iraq policy, and the relations are maintained within the framework of Iraq's integrity. From this point forth, it is possible to suggest that Turkey assesses its relations with KRG and Iraq's central government separately from one another, and that it avoids interfering in the crisis of authority between KRG and Iraq's central government. Hence, it can be said that Turkey regards the relations between KRG and Iraq's central government as “Iraq's domestic political issue”. As a result, we can suggest that Turkey has been pursuing a policy of balance by staying out of political, administrative and economic problems between the central government and KRG, and it will continue to pursue this policy. On the other hand, it is also seen that under current conditions, the projects put forward cannot be an alternative to Turkey. It appears that Turkey is also the best alternative for Iraq which desires to take major steps on energy in the short term. In this respect, there is a mutuality between Turkey and Iraq. Therefore, it is obvious that it would be to the benefit of both countries if they did not ruin the strong and lasting cooperation for temporary political interests.

(1) Yeni Şafak Gazetesi, “Petrolde By-pass Hamlesi”,, Access: 20 January 2014.
(2), Access: 20 January 2014.
(3), Amerikan Enerji Enformasyon Dairesi Irak Ülke Analizi 2001, Access: 20 January 2014.

27 January 2014

lundi 27 janvier 2014

Martina Anderson MEP announces Hearing in the European Parliament in Brussels on Tuesday January 28th, entitled "Britain's War In Ireland".

Martina Anderson MEP announces Hearing in the European Parliament in Brussels on Tuesday January 28th, entitled "Britain's War In Ireland".

“This will be part of the schedule for the delegation I am hosting of relatives bereaved due to British State actions and also representatives of organisations campaigning on their behalf. These organisations include "Justice for the Forgotten" (concerning justice for the victims of the Dublin-Monaghan Bombings), the "Pat Finucane Centre for Human Rights" and "Relatives for Justice."

At this hearing relatives and campaigners will outline their experiences and explore the policies behind British actions and their collusion with unionist gangs.

Journalist Anne Cadwallader whose recent book "Deadly Allies" brought more, new information into the public domain on Britain 's dirty war in Ireland, will be speaking about her research. Ms Cadwallader has worked for RTÉ, the BBC, The Irish Press, Independent Network News and Reuters, spending a large part of her time reporting from the North. She is currently working as an investigator and case worker with the Pat Finucane Centre.

At a time when the political parties in the North of Ireland are discussing how to deal with the legacy of our troubled past it is important to ensure that Britain’s role in the conflict and its consequences are not ignored.

Britain has used every means possible to hide information, obstruct enquires and protect their military personnel from prosecution for their role in the killings carried out by the State forces and for their collusion with pro-British unionist murder gangs.

The meeting will take place in ASP 1 C 047 at 9am-10.30am Tuesday 28th January.

Martina Anderson MEP 

dimanche 26 janvier 2014

EU announces €75m Support for Iraq

Posted on 21 January 2014.

EU announces €75m Support for Iraq

That is why, compared to the previous financial period (2008-2013), bilateral cooperation with Iraq has decreased. According to the latest World Bank classification, Iraq is an “upper-middle-income” country with a GNI/capita amounting to $5 870 (2012) (equivalent to €4 310). The main difficulties faced by Iraq are not caused by lack of resources, but rather political instability, weak capacities and inadequate governance. The EU support should, therefore, serve as a catalyst for transfer of expertise and know-how.

The main areas of cooperation are coherent with the Iraqi National Development Plan 2013-2017. The EU will support the Iraqi Government reforms on Rule of Law and Human Rights, Capacity Building in primary and secondary education and Sustainable Energy for all.

Regional and thematic cooperation will cover complementary areas (e.g democracy and human rights, civil society organizations and local authorities).

Examples of EU-funded projects in Iraq

The EU supports two education projects in Iraq with the objective of reducing disparity in access and quality of education. An improvement in teaching methodologies, schools management and community involvement with the training of a significant number of staff and civil society partners has been recorded so far. Child-friendly standards are met in 1,200 schools and 600,000 children now benefit from a child- friendly learning environment, teaching and learning methods.

There is a very dynamic and diverse civil society in Iraq that has significantly grown in the past few years. An EU-funded programme helps to improve the working relations between public authorities and civil society. Awareness sessions were held involving 1,010 participants from Iraqi civil society and public authorities.

(Source: EU)

EU Parliament Brussels - Exchange of views with Massoud Barzani on the Situation in Iraq

Exchange of views with Massoud BARZANI, President of the Kurdish Regional Government of Iraq, on the situation in Iraq:- extracts EP Committee on Foreign Affairs

Maliki gives Kurds three options to solve problems with Baghdad

26.01.2014 – Hawar Abdulrazaq – BasNews, Erbil – 

Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al Maliki has told Iraqi Kurds that they have three options to solve the issues between Baghdad and Erbil. – In an interview with Iraqi news channel Samaria, Maliki said that according to Iraq’s constitution, the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) should pay the salary of the Kurdish military forces (Peshmerga).

“When it comes to the issue of the Peshmerga budget, the Kurds have three options, the first is to allocate their salaries from within their share of the Iraqi budget, the second is for the Peshmerga to become part of the Iraqi army and the third is to amend the constitution,” the Iraqi Prime Minister explained.

PM Maliki noted that every year the KRG makes this an issue and has asked Kurdish officials not to add new articles to the constitution regarding this matter so that the issue does not become an even greater problem. “If the Iraqi budget is not approved by the end of this month then the government will be forced to use other policies and those policies might cause other problems,” Maliki warned. Last week, PM Maliki met with Kurdish Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani to solve outstanding issues between Baghdad and Erbil, notably those pertaining to oil and the Peshmerga budget.

mercredi 22 janvier 2014

Turkmens from Netherlands and Belgium commemorated their Martyrs of 16th January 1980

On 19th January 2014, Turkmens from the Netherlands and Belgium gathered in Amsterdam to commemorate their Martyrs of 16th January 1980.

The meeting started with a speech by Eşref Kerkülü, TÖGB - Hol. Türkmeneli Birliği,  it was followed by the singing of the Iraqi Turkmen National Anthem.

After 2 minutes of silence to commemorate the Martyrs, verses of the Holy Koran were recited by Uyghur Imam Husetin Tacalli.

The meeting continued with speeches by ITF EU representative Dr Hassan Aydinli,   TÖGB - Hol. Türkmeneli Birliği Eşref Kerkülü, and Eğitimci Öğretmen Dr. Halil Otrakci.

The commemoration was also attended by Turkish and Azerbaijani journalists and friends.

* Turkmen Martyrs of 16th January 1980 

 "On March 25th, 1979, a group of Turkmen leaders was arrested. Among them were Dr Necdet Nuraddin Kocak and (retired) Brigadier Abdullah Abdulrahman. This was just a few days after the arrests of Dr Redha Demirci and a businessman, Adel Sharif. For nine months, right up to the day before their execution, their exact location and legal charges against them were unknown. Their families were notified they had been granted permission to visit them for a farewell meeting only on the eve on their execution. They had been sentenced to death on January 16, 1980, by the notorious Revolutionary Court that had denied them a fair trial or professional, legal defence. Hence the Baath government, for the first time, demonstrated their willingness to carry out the execution and assassination of Turkmen activities. This was the demise of Dr Demirci who was believed to succumb to horrible punishment in the prison. Obviously, to obtain confessions, the bodies of the other revealed horrifying marks as a result of punishments during interrogation." 

"On 16th January 1980, dozens of Turkmen intellectuals and leaders were sentenced to death after mock and censored trials. Most prominent among them were retired Colonel Abdullah Abdurrahman, Associate Professor Dr. Necdet Kocak, Agricultural Engineer Dr. Riza Demirci, and businessman Adil Sherif, Lieutenant Colonel Halit Akkoyunlu, educator Mehmet Korkmaz. Later, hundreds of Turkmen intellectuals were similarly tried and hanged. Many others died in prisons from torture. Trials were behind closed doors and defendants did not have the right to hire lawyers" 
Excerpt from Mofak Salman Kerkuklu's book: 'Turkmen of Iraq'.

mardi 21 janvier 2014



The Turkmen Martyrs Cemetery was visited by officials on the 16th of January on Turkmen Martyrs Day. Those participating in the visit to the cemetery commemorated the martyrs with respect and mercy.

Members of the Turkmen leading cadre Colonel Abdullah Abdurrahman, Assistant Professor Dr. Necdet Koçak, Dr. Rıza Demirci, Adil Şerif and their comrades were executed by the former regime on the 16th of January 1980.

The Turkmen political party and movements, youth organizations and non-governmental organizations convened at martyr Necdet Koçak’s gravesite at the Musalla Cemetery in Kirkuk.

The Head of the Iraqi Turkmen Front Erşat Salihi and Executive Board Member Münir Kafili also attended the commemoration ceremony. A Fatiha was recited at the grave of the martyr and wreaths were placed on the gravesite.

The Honorary Head of the Iraqi Turkmen Front Dr. Sadettin Ergeç made a speech at the cemetery saying, “We have reached the point we are today with the blood of our martyrs. We must take ownership of our history. Let’s take ownership of our land”.

The Head of the Iraqi Turkmen Front and Kirkuk MP Erşat Salihi said that the Turkmen owed their existence to the struggle of the martyrs.

Deputy Head of the Turkmen Decision Party Yavuz Ömer Adil, Head of Turkmen Veterans Association Yaşar Vindavi and ITF Kirkuk Province Directorate Organization Officer Muhammet Saman were among those attending the ceremony.

samedi 18 janvier 2014

OPINION: Here is a list of the real forces behind the violence in Iraq by Haifa Zangana


Here is a list of the real forces behind the violence in Iraq

Violence is spiraling out of control in Iraq, as the regime dodges responsibility.

Last updated: 18 Jan 2014 08:27

Haifa Zangana

Haifa Zangana is an Iraqi novelist, artist and activist. Among her books are "Dreaming of Baghdad" and "City of Widows: An Iraqi woman's account of war and resistance". She co-authored "The Torturer in the Mirror" with Ramsey Clark and Thomas Ehrlich Reifer.

The Iraqi government's war on terror will not diminish the suffering of the Iraqi population, writes the author [AP]

During his visit to Iraq on January 14, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon voiced concern about the deteriorating security situation. In his joint press conference with Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, Ki-moon urged all political leaders to "address the root causes of the problems", calling for "political cohesion" and "political dialogue, inclusive dialogue".

Ban Ki-moon was immediately rebuffed by al-Maliki, who said: "Talk about dialogue in Al-Anbar is rejected because we do not hold dialogue with al-Qaeda". He seemed to be saying there is no one in the province worth talking to. In doing so, al-Maliki resorted to his usual rhetoric accusing Anbar's population of being 'terrorists', despite the fact that protesters, along with five other provinces, have been peacefully demonstrating since December 2012. His statements were obviously intended to legitimise a sectarian-inspired brutal military campaign against the protestors.

The question is: Will the siege, bombardment and military onslaught on Fallujah and Ramadi in Anbar province , put an end to the terrorist acts and frequent car explosions taking place in markets, cafes and mosques and in various Iraqi cities? Will the highly publicised US-Iraqi franchised "war on terror" in Anbar put an end to the endemic suffering of Iraqis?

Inside Story - Al-Qaeda: Testing loyalties in Iraq?

Hardly so. Explosions continue unabated in many cities, even with the launch of Maliki's military assault on Falluja and Anbar. And despite the countless official statements of arresting and killing scores of "al-Qaida emirs" (leaders), as well as members of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS). In Arabic, the ISIS has an acronym that reads as Daaish, which sounds comical, and in Baghdadi dialect is close to "Dagash" that translates to "phoney".

What Maliki chooses to ignore and what Ban Ki-moon has singled out is precisely what the protest movement has been demanding all along: looking at the root causes of the problems. In Iraq's case, they are sectarianism, corruption, lack of basic services, violations of human rights, increasing unemployment and organised gangs and militias flourishing under a kleptocratic government.

The Maliki government has been harvesting over $100bn a year for some time now, from the nation's oil wealth.That amounts to about $20,000 a year per average Iraqi household of 7 people, except that Iraqis are left deprived of basic commodities. The wealth is squandered or stolen, a situation illustrated byTransparency International as: "Massive embezzlement, procurement scams, money laundering, oil smuggling and widespread bureaucratic bribery have led the country to the bottom of international corruption rankings, fuelled political violence and hampered effective state building and service delivery."

Terrorism thrives through official corruption, since any officer has a price for letting go of a car or a convict. The officers themselves pay to get their positions, and they have to cover the costs for acquiring them. The Maliki regime blames all terrorist acts on al-Qaeda, and recently on Daaish. Iraqis, however, suspect an abundance of diverse actors according to where and when a terrorist act is committed, including the regime itself, its security officers who strive to increase their funding and its officials who resort to covering up tracks, burning documents and eliminating rivals.

Al-Maliki also selectively chooses not to mention the regime's own militias: Asaib Ahl al-Haq, Iraqi Hezbollah, the Badr brigades, factions of the Mahdi army and the Mokhtar army. The latter's leader has bragged on Baghdadiya TV, about their responsibility for several attacks. No investigation has been done and no one was arrested. There is also hardly any mention of the Iraqi Special Forces inherited from the occupation, especially trained by Colonel James Steele under US ambassador John Negroponte and attached now directly to al-Maliki's office.

Above all, there is no mention of the plethora of foreign-led special operation agents, private security contractors, and organised networks of professional killers, some of whom, many Iraqis believe, are protected by the regime, in the shadow of the US' biggest embassy in the world, in the fortified green zone in Baghdad. Added to this list is Iran and its using of Iraq as a battle ground to settle scores with the US, or making their presence felt in the ongoing bargaining about its regional role.

Al Jazeera World - Roadtrip Iraq

Al-Maliki's political alliance, originally designed by the US-led occupation and carried on by the same players despite the fallacy of an electoral process, proved to be a complete failure leading the country from one disaster to another. A political process based on a sectarian-ethnic quota is the Frankenstein created and nurtured by the US and the UK to divide and conquer by positioning themselves to be the indispensible arbitrator. But like all rootless monsters, and oppressive subservient rulers navigating between masters, it has grown beyond the control of its creator planting the seeds of fragmentation and animosity.

The squabbling of the politicians, calling themselves partners in al-watan (homeland), has developed, in some cases, into a full-blown bloody clashes, such as when security forces raided the home of MP Ahmed al-Alwani in Ramadi, which led to the killing of his brother and five guards.

Under current Iraqi law, 48 offenses are subject to the death penalty. Men as well as women are executed in an unprecedented rate. Just in 2013, 169 people were executed, the highest such figure since the 2003 US-led invasion, placing it third in the world, behind China and Iran. Iraq's justice system is "too deeply flawed to warrant even a limited use of the death penalty, let alone dozens of executions at a time," the United Nations human rights chief Navi Pillay said, warning that the death penalty undermines efforts to reduce violence and achieve a more stable society. Torture, sexual abuse and the threat of rape and actual rape are frequently inflicted on detainees, regardless of their gender.

Adding to its crimes against Iraqi people, the US continues to deliver to al-Maliki's regime weapons and equipment, abetting its militarisation and uncontrollable violence against civilians.

The Iraqis themselves believe that no future without full political and economic sovereignty, equal citizenship and respect of human rights. Otherwise the madness of revenge will continue to prevail.

Haifa Zangana is an Iraqi novelist, artist and activist. Among her books are Dreaming of Baghdad and City of Widows: An Iraqi woman's account of war and resistance. She co-authoredThe Torturer in the Mirror with Ramsey Clark and Thomas Ehrlich Reifer.

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

vendredi 17 janvier 2014

WAR CRIMES - A Report on United States War Crimes Against Iraq to the Commission of Inquiry for the International War Crimes Tribunal

A Report on United States War Crimes Against Iraq to the Commission of Inquiry for the International War Crimes Tribunal

by Ramsey Clark and Others

Table of Contents from the print edition
Not including the WWW Index or Introduction


Copyright © 1992 by The Commission of Inquiry for the International War Crimes Tribunal

Twenty three years ago the NIGHTMARE started in Iraq.

Twenty three years ago the NIGHTMARE started in Iraq.

The US/UK invasion of Iraq was an unlawful War of Aggression.

Violation of the laws which prevent a War of Aggression and a Crime Against Peace, are also arguably to worst crime a nation can commit.

below the list of the countries who participated:

Country & Number of Troops 

United States 575,000 - 697,000 
Saudi Arabia 52,000 - 100,000 
United Kingdom 43,000 - 45,400 
Egypt 33,600 - 35,000 
France 18,000 
Syria 14,500 
Morocco 13,000
Kuwait 9,900
Oman 6,300
Pakistan 4,900
United Arab Emirates 4,300
Qatar 2,600
Bangladesh 2,200
Canada 2,000
Australia 1,800
Italy 1,200
Netherlands 600
Niger 600
Senegal 500
Spain 500
Bahrain 400
Belgium 400
Afghanistan 300
Argentina 300
Czechoslovakia 200
Greece 200
Poland 200
South Korea 200
Denmark 100
Hungary 50
Norway 280

Coalition Forces Strength:
1,820 fighters (1,376 American, 175 Saudi, 69 British, 42 French)
3,318 tanks
8 aircraft carriers
2 battleships
20 cruisers
20 destroyers
5 submarines

Mosul’s heroine, Fatima al-Shammariya : As al qaeda advances in Ninawa, one woman takes a stand

 | عربي
niqash | Ahmad al-Sayegh | Mosul | 16.01.2014

Locals in the northern province of Ninawa are worried that extremists fleeing conflict in Anbar are going to end up back in Mosul, a traditional base for them. As signs that this may well be happening grow, many are singing the praises of one woman who took up arms against the group.

The story of the 35-year-old woman who dared to confront extremist groups in a village near the troubled city of Mosul has been spreading. About a week ago gunmen disguised in military uniforms entered Fatima al-Shammariya’s village in the Rabia district, about 100 kilometres west of Mosul. They were searching for her brother, a soldier who was on leave at home.

A Mosul local takes up the story: “She was brave and intelligent and she realized that these so-called military men were driving a civilian car. So she asked the men to hand back her brother, whom they had hand cuffed. When they didn’t respond, Fatima took her Kalashnikov and shot at them. They shot back and she was seriously wounded.”

In the end, the Sunni Muslim extremists, who are believed to be associated with Al Qaeda, left the village, worried that the whole village would turn on them. They also released her brother and locals say they didn’t get a chance to harass any other men in the village either.

Eyewitnesses say al-Shammariya died holding her gun tightly and that it was very hard to remove it from her hands. Since the incident many locals are demanding that the young woman’s bravery be recognised – they suggest a street be named after her or a monument built; many poems have already been written about her.

This kind of sentiment is to be expected in Iraq at the moment where levels of violence are rising and ordinary people fear what extremist groups are doing to their country. This is especially true of Mosul, a city that is well known as one of the Sunni Muslim extremist organisation Al Qaeda’s bases.

As one Facebook post put it: “When Anbar – or Baghdad or Kirkuk – sneezes, then Mosul catches a cold”.

Currently Mosul locals’ concern centres on reactions to operations in Anbar province, where the cities of Ramadi and Fallujah have seen members of extremist groups emerge and then disappear.

“If the military hold is tightened in Anbar the members of Al Qaeda will retreat to this province,” says Abdul Rahim al-Shammari, a member of the provincial council in Mosul and former head of the security committee there.

The area’s geography suggests he is correct. The desert in Anbar, in which extremists hide and set up base camps, stretches all the way to Ninawa province and extremists are known to dominate in southern areas of Ninawa – places like Biaj, Shura, Qayara, Tal Abta and Hadar.

“Any withdrawal of the army from Mosul will see the extremists take control,” local analyst, Wafiq al-Samarrai, told NIQASH. “Because here [unlike in Anbar] there are no tribal forces that are capable of confronting Al Qaeda. The police are powerless here.”

In fact, in many ways the Al Qaeda-affiliate, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, or ISIS, has already been making their presence felt in the area. Violence seems to have escalated over the past two weeks and it is becoming commonplace to hear explosions or the sound of gunfire. However it is the situation to Mosul’s south, which is open to the desert, that is most worrying.

For almost a year the Iraqi army’s control over this area has been diminishing. The number of military checkpoints on the road between Mosul and Baghdad has fallen and those manning the ones left behind have tended to withdraw late at night, retreating back to their headquarters in case they become targets. ISIS has also managed to damage an important bridge in the Qwair area, south east of Mosul. Locals would often use this bridge as an alternative route into the city so they could avoid the dangers of travelling on the main road.

These kinds of problems have seen a revival of the campaign to make the province a semi-autonomous region, independent of Baghdad. Sunni Muslim leaders in the province recently met to support the Sunni Muslim governor, Atheel al-Nujaifi’s proposal to submit a request for provincial independence to the Iraqi government in Baghdad.

Whether this goes any further remains to be seen – there are plenty of dissenters to this plan in Ninawa too.

And in another sign of the very real problems that Mosul is facing, local taxi drivers have decided to stop carrying military personnel. They use special code words to describe military passengers and often reject their fares; they only want civilians as passengers now.

“Two days ago an armed group stopped us on the road and checked our passengers to see if they might be soldiers or policemen or if they were wearing military uniforms,” the cabbie, who wanted to be known only as Abdullah, said. “We were shaking with fear,” he admitted. “I swear to God that Fatima al-Shammariya was more courageous than many men.”

jeudi 16 janvier 2014

16 OCAK 1980

OPINION.:Ethnosectarian Displacement Returns To Iraq

Posted by Joel Wing - Musings on Iraq

The on going fighting in Iraq’s Anbar province has led to thousands of families fleeing their homes. The Iraqi Red Crescent claimed that up to 13,000 families, roughly 78,000 people had left their residences so far. Once the situation becomes more secure however, many of these people are likely to return. What is much more worrisome is that ethnosectarian displacement appears to be returning to Iraq due to threats and attacks in not only the north and center of the country where the insurgency is based, but in the south as well. This is another sign that security is deteriorating in Iraq.

In Diyala province in northeastern Iraq the insurgency is attempting to make a comeback. Part of its tactics is to scare and intimidate the local population. In July 2003, the first reports emerged about people being forced out of their homes in the governorate. By October it was said that up to 400 families had fled the area. On October 1 for example, 30 families from the Shammar tribe were displaced from Baquba after receiving a number of threats from gunmen. The next week there was a story that 60 families had left Baquba for the Khalis district after being intimidated by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS). Another 250 mostly Kurdish and Turkmen families left by December. The deteriorating situation led both the provincial council and the governor to ask Baghdad for assistance with the refugees, and to help provide security. Like in the past, the insurgency has carried out a sectarian policy of trying to rid areas that it controls of groups that are not Arab or Sunni. Many consider Shiites apostates, and see them and Kurds and other minorities as non-Iraqis and agents of foreign powers. This was the same reason why they attacked them in the civil war years, and are doing so again today.

Ninewa is witnessing a similar situation. In September 2013, a suicide bomber struck a Shabak funeral in Mosul that killed 15, and wounded another 20. Afterward a number of families left the city for their own protection. Ninewa is one of the most diverse provinces in Iraq. There are a huge number of minorities like the Shabak who insurgents have consistently gone after for not being Muslims. The Shabak community has suffered through a lot of his violence.

The Islamic State is attempting to take and hold territory in Babil, because it provides strategic bases for attacks into both Baghdad and southern Iraq. In December 2013, threats by ISIS led 84 Shiite families to leave their homes in the Musayib district. Afterward insurgents blew up ten of their homes. Before the people were having their farms raided at night, which led the security forces to give each family a gun to protect themselves, but they were too scared to use them. The Islamists’ work paid off when all those families fled.

The troubling thing about this current phase of forced displacement is that it is not just occurring in insurgent hotbeds like Ninewa and Diyala, but in the south as well. In September 2013 150 families from the Sadoun tribe left Dhi Qar for Salahaddin. Local officials claimed that the number was really only seven, but a shooting in a town that was blamed upon the Sadouns led to other locals blaming and threatening them. In November the press ran a few stories that Sunnis were fleeing the city of Basra. Many received threatening letters that they would be killed if they didn’t leave. The Sunni Endowment ended up closing down its mosques in the province for a number of days as a result. It was believed this was retaliation for terrorist attacks upon Shiites in Baghdad and other cities. This didn’t appear to be the work of militias as some Sunnis claimed. Instead it looked to be individuals and tribes retaliating against Sunnis who they believed were responsible for violence either directly like the Sadoun tribe or indirectly like the people in Basra. What made Iraq fall into civil war in the past was when Shiites felt like the Americans and the government could not protect them and they began to take matters into their own hands. The vigilante justice seen in Dhi Qar and Basra was a disturbing trend, which if repeated would mean that Baghdad is losing control over the situation, and cannot even police the relatively peaceful south.

The violence in Iraq today has gone beyond just the headline grabbing bombings or the more mundane drive-by shootings to include the forced displacement of several hundred families across Iraq. Most of this is the work of insurgent groups who are seeking to force non-Sunni Arabs out of their areas. Other incidents however are Shiites taking out their frustrations on Sunnis. That is more disturbing because it was acts such as those that threw the country into civil war in the past. When Shiites get involved in the fighting that is when the country will fall into another sectarian conflict. Iraq is not at that point, but the levels of violence, and the anger it is invoking amongst the general population is disturbing. Tracking refugees is another metric to follow to determine if Iraq falls off the precipice.


Agence France Presse, “Tribes, police seize parts of Iraq city from militants,” 1/10/14

AIN, "Gunmen displaced 30 families northern Baquba," 10/1/13
- “MP: 110 families of Anbar province emigrate due to armed groups’ threats,” 9/6/13

Buratha News, “84 displaced families from a household begins displacement to Musayyib and Babylon acknowledge control of al-Qaeda,” 1/3/14

Lewis, Jessica, “Further Indications of al-Qaeda’s Advance in Iraq: Iraq Update #39,” Institute for the Study of War, 11/15/13

Al-Mada, “Diyala National Alliance warns: Displacement returned to the province and 400 families displaced from Baquba,” 10/14/13
- “Fallujah residents content themselves with one meal for fear of running out of food and thousands displaced,” 1/5/14

Maher, Ahmed, “Violence in Iraq sparks new sectarian displacement,” BBC Arabic, 11/6/13

National Iraqi News Agency, "BREAKING NEWS. Killing and wounding of /25/ civilian ,east of Mosul," 9/14/13
- “Displacement of more than 60//family from Baquba city to Khalis district in Diyala province,” 10/9/13
- “Ten houses blown up in Hilla,” 12/31/13

Shafaq News, “8000 displaced form Fallujah residents to Erbil,” 1/7/14

Al-Shammari, Salam, “More Iraqi families flee sectarian violence,” Azzaman, 12/29/13

Posted by Joel Wing at 7:15 AM

mercredi 15 janvier 2014

Abu Ghraib 2.0? Horrifying images of US Marines burning Iraqis prompt military investigation

Abu Ghraib 2.0? Horrifying images of US Marines burning Iraqis prompt military investigation
Published time: January 15, 2014 18:31

This handout photo from SBS TV received 15 February, 2006 shows a hooded prisoner allegedly being tortured at Iraq's notorious Abu Ghraib jail supposely during interrogation by US soldiers in Baghdad in 2004. (AFP Photo)

The Pentagon confirmed early Wednesday that a formal investigation has been launched after photographs began to surface purportedly showing US troops burning the remains of dead Iraqis.

Those images were published Wednesday morning by website TMZ, which claims to have recently come into possession of 41 photos in all that they believe to have been taken in Fallujah sometime in 2004 amid the US-led Iraq occupation.

The website has only published eight of the images, including ones in which men appearing to be US Marines are seen dousing the dead with chemicals and setting them ablaze. TMZ is withholding the majority of the photographs, however, because many are simply “too gruesome,” they claim, including one alleged to be in their possession showing a human body being devoured by dogs and another covered in flies.

Among the photographs that were published by TMZ is one in which a man in full military garb is shown holding his high-powered firearm to what appears to be the charred remains of a human skull.

According to the website, the photographs were turned over to the US Department of Defense last week. TMZ says that Col. Steve Warren, the Pentagon’s director of press operations, told them the images do seem to show US servicemen engaged in unlawful activity.

Now as authorities begin their probe, the latest leak may uncover the most embarrassing incident of its kind to plague the US military since images taken inside America's now infamous Abu Ghraib prison were published nearly 10 years ago.

This handout photo from Australia's SBS TV released 15 February, 2006 allegedly shows a prisoner (C) in Iraq's notorious Abu Ghraib jail being held by a US soldier (L) in front of a dog (R) in Baghdad in 2004. (AFP Photo)

When those photographs were first published almost a decade ago, images showed the world horrific instances of abuse and torture that even today remains one of the biggest scars to mar the Iraq War and occupation during its nearly nine-year-long duration. Eleven US troops were convicted for their conduct there.

With regard to the latest leaked images, Col. Warren also confirmed the existence of an investigation to Stars & Stripes, a news outlet carried out as a service of the US Defense Media Activity. That website is refusing to publish the images until more information about them develops.

Warren informed Stars & Stripes that the US Marine Corps is conducting the military’s probe, and Capt. Richard Ulsh, communications director for the Marine Corps, told the Pentagon-affiliated paper that an investigation has indeed been launched to examine the veracity of the photographs, the circumstances involved and possibly the identity of the alleged servicemen caught on film.

“The findings from this investigation will determine whether we are able to move forward with any investigation into possible wrongdoing,” Capt. Ulsh said.

As far as Pentagon spokesman Warren is concerned, though, the Defense Department can’t at this time say for certain that the alleged troops seen in the images engaged in any conduct that without a doubt fails to comply with the Uniform Code of Military Justice.

“On the burning, you know, it’s hard to tell [whether it’s a violation of the UCMJ],” he told Stars & Stripes.“While we don’t routinely burn human remains, there are circumstances when that might be necessary for hygiene, health — things like that.”

Mishandling human remains is a violation of the UCMJ, however, and the results of the just-launched Marine Corps investigation may soon call for a court-martial to convene in order to prosecute anyone thought to be affiliated with unlawful activity uncovered by TMZ.

"The actions that are depicted in these photos are not in any way representative of the honorable, professional service of the two-and-a-half million service members who went to war in Iraq and Afghanistan in the last decade,” Col. Warren told TMZ.

Marine Corps spokesman Capt. Ty Balzer echoed Warren’s remarks when reached for comment by theNew York Daily News early Wednesday.

“I can’t stress that enough,” Capt. Balzer said. “Service members go over there and follow the rules, they really do.”

This handout photo from SBS TV received 15 February 2006 allegedly shows a hooded and bound prisoner being attacked by a dog in Iraq's notorious Abu Ghraib jail supposedly during interrogation by US soldiers in Baghdad in 2004. (AFP Photo)

Even taking into consideration the Abu Ghraib incident, the most recent embarrassment suffered by the military is hardly the first as of late. In January 2012, video footage made its way to the web showing US troops urinating on the bodies of what appeared to be slain Afghans, and several months later the Los Angeles Times published photographs depicting US soldiers posing with the gory remains of several Afghan suicide bombers.

A spokesperson at the Pentagon press office’s Iraq desk did not immediately return RT’s request for a comment on TMZ’s alleged Fallujah images.



The 93rd establishment anniversary of the Iraqi Army was celebrated with a reception held yesterday evening by the Embassy of Iraq. The reception which was held at the Swiss Hotel was attended by the Ambassador of Iraq Talal Al-Obaidi, Ambassador of Iran Alireza Bikdeli, Chief Advisor to President Abdullah Gül for the Middle East Erşat Hürmüzlü, Iraqi Turkmen Front Coordinator and Turkey Representative Dr. Hicran Kazancı and numerous diplomats from foreign countries. The reception started with the playing of the Iraqi National Anthem and the Turkish National Anthem.

The Iraqi Army was established on January the 6th in 1921 to ensure the internal and external security of Iraq. After the Saddam regime was ousted the Iraqi Army was restructured and equipped with modern weapons and is considered to be one of the strongest armies in the Middle East. 

lundi 13 janvier 2014

Iraq: ICC receives "devastating" dossier on British war crimes

Iraq: ICC receives "devastating" dossier on British war crimes

Iraq: "Devastating" Dossier Alleging British War Crimes Lodged with the International Criminal Court.

A "devastating" two hundred and fifty page document: "The Responsibility of UK Officials for War Crimes Involving Systematic Detainee Abuse in Iraq from 2003-2008", has been "presented to the International Criminal Court, and could result in some of Britain's leading defence figures facing prosecution for "systematic" war crimes" the (London) Independent on Sunday has revealed.(i)

Felicity Arbuthnot.

The dossier charges that: ' "those who bear the greatest responsibility" for alleged war crimes "include individuals at the highest levels" of the British Army and political system.'

Among those named, states the Independent, are two former Defence Ministry supremos, Geoff Hoon and Adam Ingram, Defence Secretary and Minister of State for the Armed Forces, respectively, under Tony Blair's premiership, during the planning and invasion of Iraq and for most of the UK's occupation. General Sir Peter Wall, head of the British Army is also named.

Shocking allegations have been compiled from the testimonies of four hundred Iraqis: 'representing "thousands of allegations of mistreatment amounting to war crimes of torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment." '

The document, lodged with the International Criminal Court at the Hague on Saturday (11th January 2013) "calls for an investigation into the alleged war crimes, under Article 15 of the Rome Statute" and is the result of some years of work by Birmingham based Public Interest Lawyers and the European Centre for Constitutional and Human Rights (ECCHR.). The submission: "is the most detailed ever submitted to the ICC's Office of the Prosecutor on war crimes allegedly committed by British forces in Iraq."

In 2006 the ICC opined that: "There was a reasonable basis to believe that crimes within the jurisdiction of the court had been committed, namely willful killing and inhuman treatment." However, since the claims were less than twenty cases, prosecutors declined to mount an investigation.

Subsequently: "hundreds of other claims have come to light, prompting consideration of the complaint now. It is the start of a process which could result in British politicians and generals being put in the dock on war-crimes charges." The: "pattern of abusive treatment by UK services personnel in Iraq continued over almost six years of military operations." When is a crime not a crime, one wonders, when it is "only" in double figures?

Evidence is presented of: "systematic use of brutal violence, that at times resulted in the death of detainees, while in the custody of UK Services Personnel." The two law bodies claim: "there is evidence of brutality combined with cruelty and forms of sadism, including sexual abuse, and sexual and religious humiliation", with widespread use of "hooding", prisoners forced in to excrutiating: "stress positions, sleep deprivation, noise bombardment and deprivation of food and water."

All such techniques were banned under the government of Edward Heath in 1972, after being used in Northern Ireland. Claims are that these legally outlawed techniques were used: "in a variety of different UK facilities (in Iraq) ... from 2003 to 2008." (Incidentally, after September 2007, the British stated that only had a small military contingency remained, assisting in training Iraqis.)

Alleged tortuous treatment was compounded, seemingly, by: "failures to follow-up on or ensure accountability for ending such practices became a cause of further abuse. The obvious conclusion is that such mistreatment was systematic."

The Independent quotes Professor William Schabas, human rights law expert: "What this application does is throw down the challenge to the court to show there are no double standards. There is definitely a case for an investigation by the ICC." He suggested that "there's no doubt" of war crimes committed by British forces in Iraq. "People should be worried."

The UK Ministry of Defence and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office both state that any allegations of abuse have been, or are being investigated through various, including legal channels, with William Hague emphasizing that there was no need for the ICC to become involved.

The ICC as a body has also come under fire, accused of only putting on trial, or investigating largely Africans and ignoring other alleged human rights abuses.

ECCHR Secretary General, Wolfgang Kaleck told the Independent: "With the current communication to the ICC we want to move forward the criminal prosecution against those political and military leaders in the UK who bear the most responsibility for systematic torture in Iraq", adding: "The International Criminal Court in The Hague is the last resort for victims of torture and mistreatment to achieve justice.

"Double standards in international criminal justice must end. War crimes and other severe violations of human rights must be investigated and prosecuted, regardless of whether they are committed by the most powerful."

According to Phil Shiner of Public Interest Lawyers, the actions of British officials in high places, involved in the invasion, planning, execution and occupation, are to come under investigation. : "I think we easily meet the threshold for these issues to be looked at, I would be gobsmacked and bitterly disappointed if they don't look at this."

Geoff Hoon, Adam Ingram and General Sir Peter Wall could not be reached for comment.

A small sample of the eye watering allegations presented to the ICC can be found in the full article referenced below.

The full submission document, which the Independent has exclusively seen, will be released publicly on Tuesday.


dimanche 12 janvier 2014

ORSAM Türkmen Araştırmaları Programı

ORSAM, 2009-2014 yılları arasında Irak Türkmenleri Programı kapsamında toplantı, rapor, makale, internet sitesi (Türkçe ve İngilizce) yazıları ve söyleşilerden oluşan 2009’da 99, 2010’da 181, 2011’de 85, 2012’de 89 ve 2013’te 34 olmak üzere toplam 488 çalışma üretmiştir.

2009-2014 yılları arasında Irak Türkmenlerini konu alan 40 toplantı yapılmıştır. Irak Türkmenlerin güncel sorunlarını konu alan bu toplantıların 15’i Türkmen Aydınları Toplantısı’dır. Iraklı Türkmen aydınlarının bir araya gelmesi, hem Irak’ta hem de Irak dışında yaşayan Irak Türkmenlerinin sorunlarını tarafsız bir ortamda konuşabilmesi ve bu sorunlara çözüm üretebilmesi amacıyla yapılan Türkmen Aydınlar Toplantılarına 2009 yılı içerisinde, 15, 2010 yılında 23, 2011’de 16 ve 2012 yılında da 3 olmak üzere toplam 57 Türkmen aydını konuşmacı olarak katılmıştır. Toplantılardaki tüm konuşmalar tam metin olarak ORSAM Internet Sitesinden ( kamuoyuyla paylaşılmıştır. Böylece Türkmen Aydınları Toplantılarıyla kamuoyu Türkmenlerin sıkıntı, düşünce ve isteklerinden haberdar olurken, aynı zamanda Türkmenlerin kendilerini ifade etmeleri ve tanıtmaları açısında önemli bir platform oluşmuştur.

ORSAM, Irak Türkmenleri konusunda bir ilki gerçekleştirerek, saha araştırmasına dayalı uluslararası 22 rapor yayınlamıştır. ORSAM’ın Irak Türkmenlerine ilişkin hazırladığı raporlar, Irak’ta Türkmenlerin yaşadığı coğrafyalara yapılan ziyaretler ve bu ziyaretlerde elde edile bilgiler ve belgeler ışığında hazırlanmıştır. Bu raporları diğer çalışmalardan ayıran en önemli husus, birincil kaynaklara dayanmasıdır. ORSAM, Irak Türkmenleri konusunda bir ilki gerçekleştirerek, saha araştırmasına dayalı uluslararası raporlar yayınlamıştır. Irak Türkmenleri hakkında 2009’da 3, 2010’da 5, 2011’de 7, 2012’de 4, 2013’te 3 olmak üzere yayınlanan 22 rapor dört dilde (Türkçe, İngilizce, Arapça ve Almanca) yayınlanmıştır. Bu raporlar Irak Türkmenlerini konu alan fakat Irak dışında yayınlanarak uluslararası mahfillere ulaştırılan ender çalışmalardır.

Metnin Tamamı


Exclusive: Devastating dossier on 'abuse' by UK forces in Iraq goes to International Criminal Court

Exclusive: Devastating dossier on 'abuse' by UK forces in Iraq goes to International Criminal Court

Senior UK military and political figures could end up in the dock as 400 victims denounce 'systemic' use of torture and cruelty

Sunday 12 January 2014

A devastating 250-page dossier, detailing allegations of beatings, electrocution, mock executions and sexual assault, has been presented to the International Criminal Court, and could result in some of Britain's leading defence figures facing prosecution for "systematic" war crimes.

General Sir Peter Wall, the head of the British Army; former defence secretary Geoff Hoon; and former defence minister Adam Ingram are among those named in the report, entitled "The Responsibility of UK Officials for War Crimes Involving Systematic Detainee Abuse in Iraq from 2003-2008".

The damning dossier draws on cases of more than 400 Iraqis, representing "thousands of allegations of mistreatment amounting to war crimes of torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment".

They range from "hooding" prisoners to burning, electric shocks, threats to kill and "cultural and religious humiliation". Other forms of alleged abuse include sexual assault, mock executions, threats of rape, death, and torture.

The formal complaint to the ICC, lodged yesterday, is the cumulation of several years' work by Public Interest Lawyers (PIL) and the European Centre for Constitutional and Human Rights (ECCHR). It calls for an investigation into the alleged war crimes, under Article 15 of the Rome Statute.

The dossier, seen by The Independent on Sunday, is the most detailed ever submitted to the ICC's Office of the Prosecutor on war crimes allegedly committed by British forces in Iraq. The court has already acknowledged that there was little doubt that war crimes were committed. In 2006, it concluded: "There was a reasonable basis to believe that crimes within the jurisdiction of the court had been committed, namely wilful killing and inhuman treatment." At that time, prosecutors cited the low number of cases – fewer than 20 – as a reason for not mounting an investigation. But, since then, hundreds of other claims have come to light – prompting consideration of the complaint now. It is the start of a process which could result in British politicians and generals being put in the dock on war-crimes charges.

Tony Blair meets troops in Iraq in 2003. A dossier alleging "systematic" war crimes by British forces - sent to Iraq by the former Prime Minister - has been presented to the International Criminal Court

The sheer scale and seriousness of the allegations passes the "gravity" threshold to justify an investigation, according to the complaint. It continues "those who bear the greatest responsibility" for alleged war crimes "include individuals at the highest levels" of the British Army and political system. It concludes the evidence "justifies further investigation" into the criminal responsibility "of senior individuals within the UK military and government". It adds British military commanders "knew or should have known" that forces under their control "were committing or about to commit war crimes". And "civilian superiors knew or consciously disregarded information at their disposal, which clearly indicated that UK services personnel were committing war crimes in Iraq".

The complaint argues that "the pattern of abusive treatment by UK services personnel in Iraq continued over almost six years of military operations".

A number of top British officials face serious scrutiny, according to Phil Shiner (inset, left) of PIL. He said: "I think we easily meet the threshold for these issues to be looked at, I would be gobsmacked and bitterly disappointed if they don't look at this."

Only a handful of courts martial relating to the conduct of British forces in Iraq have been held to date. Just one has resulted in a conviction – Corporal Donald Payne was jailed for a year in 2007 for the inhuman treatment of Iraqi civilians. This one conviction aside, "Nobody has been found guilty of anything of any seriousness at all," said Mr Shiner.

The complaint being considered by the ICC presents evidence of the "systematic use of brutal violence, that at times resulted in the death of detainees, while in the custody of UK Services Personnel". And it claims "there is evidence of brutality combined with cruelty and forms of sadism, including sexual abuse, and sexual and religious humiliation". It points to the widespread use of "hooding", forcing people to remain in painful "stress positions", sleep deprivation, noise bombardment and deprivation of food and water. These interrogation techniques were used by British soldiers in Northern Ireland before being banned in 1972. There are "clear patterns" of the banned techniques being used "in a variety of different UK facilities [in Iraq] ... from 2003 to 2008," says the complaint. And evidence "suggests that failures to follow-up on or ensure accountability for ending such practices became a cause of further abuse. The obvious conclusion is that such mistreatment was systematic."

The report will be publicly released at the Law Society, London, on Tuesday. It comes as the ICC is under mounting pressure to demonstrate a willingness to act against war crimes committed by Western countries – and not solely focus on African nations. Last October, the ICC was criticised by the Ethiopian foreign minister, Tedros Adhanom, who accused it of being "a political instrument targeting Africa and Africans".

Professor William Schabas, a renowned expert on human rights law, based at Middlesex University, said: "What this application does is throw down the challenge to the court to show there are no double standards." He added: "There is definitely a case for an investigation by the ICC," and claimed "there's no doubt" that war crimes were perpetrated by British forces in Iraq. "People should be worried," he added.

The complaint amounts to "a prima facie investigation mapped out for the prosecutor", and is "supported by sophisticated legal argument which adheres to the requirements of the [ICC]," according to Professor Andrew Williams, a law expert at the University of Warwick and author of A Very British Killing: the Death of Baha Mousa


Geoff Hoon at the Basra base camp, Iraq in December 2004. The former Defence Secretary has been named in a dossier alleging widespread abuse of Iraqi prisoners by British soldiers which could see some of Britain's leading defence figures facing prosecution for "systematic" war crimes.

In a statement, an MoD spokesperson said: "These matters are either under thorough investigation or have been dealt with ... further action through the ICC is unnecessary when the issues and allegations are already known to the UK Government, action is in hand and the UK courts have already issued judgments."

The spokesperson added: "We reject the suggestion the UK's Armed Forces – who operate in line with domestic and international law – have systematically tortured detainees."

But Wolfgang Kaleck, ECCHR secretary general, said: "With the current communication to the ICC we want to move forward the criminal prosecution against those political and military leaders in the UK who bear the most responsibility for systematic torture in Iraq." He added: "The International Criminal Court in The Hague is the last resort for victims of torture and mistreatment to achieve justice. Double standards in international criminal justice must end. War crimes and other severe violations of human rights must be investigated and prosecuted, regardless of whether they are committed by the most powerful."

General Sir Peter Wall, Geoff Hoon and Adam Ingram did not respond to requests for comment.

Allegations of torture

Testimonies of hundreds of Iraqis who say they were tortured by British soldiers are being considered by the International Criminal Court in The Hague. Here are a few of the accounts submitted (all names have been withheld).

A man who was beaten in front of his family said: "They made me sit in a kneeling position with my head pushed downwards and then they started to beat me. They beat me on my face, back and stomach."

Another, who suffered more than 60 punches to his head, stated: "There were many soldiers pushing and throwing me... As each soldier caught me they would punch me." He described how his son was also abused: "A soldier brought my eight-year-old son into the room. The officer started slapping my son round his face and shouting at him... I was on the floor in a terrible condition and couldn't move."

Another man who was hooded stated: "Sand kept coming into the hood. It was extremely uncomfortable and difficult to breathe... We were left to kneel in the sun for hours. If I moved position and bent my head forward at all, a soldier would come and kick me hard."

A young detainee recalled: "The soldier put his boot on my chest and pulled my trousers down.... I was shouting and was curled up against the wall. Then the soldier pulled me by my legs away from the wall. He turned me over on my stomach. He started rubbing his penis on my back, while the other soldiers watched. Then I felt him ejaculate on my back. I was trying to move away but another soldier came and pressed his foot on my legs."

Another man said: "Interrogators spent a lot of time insulting my sister and other family members. They threatened to rape my sister and force me to watch and said they would also arrest my old mother and father."

And an individual held in solitary confinement said: "I was beaten regularly, and was not allowed to go to the toilet or to shower. The psychological suffering during this period is indescribable."

Rights violations

March 2003 US and British forces invade Iraq.

September Baha Mousa dies in British Army custody in Basra. Inquiry finds death was caused by factors including lack of food and water and stress positions used by British troops.

April 2004 US forces launch assault on the city of Fallujah. It later emerges napalm and depleted uranium were used in the attack. Human rights abuses, including the sexual abuse, rape and killing of prisoners by US forces at Abu Ghraib prison are made public.

May In aftermath of the Battle of Danny Boy in Basra, British troops allegedly abused the human rights of a number of Iraqi nationals – allegations being examined by the Al-Sweady inquiry. British troops deny they murdered any prisoners after they were captured.

September 2007 Seventeen Iraqi civilians killed and 20 injured in Baghdad by troops from the private security firm Blackwater Security Consulting.

2013 Iraq experiences its deadliest year since 2008.

vendredi 10 janvier 2014

Iraqi Turkmens to have education in mother-tongue

Salihi says the amendment is meaningful in a period of intense violence against Turkmens in Iraq.

World Bulletin / News Desk

A new law amendment in Iraq will allow Turkmen, Syriac and Asuri people to open schools in their localities for education in their mother tongue, Iraqi Turkmen Front (ITF) head Ershad Salihi said on Thursday.

The Iraqi National Assembly voted on Wednesday in favor of the amendment to add Turkmen, Syriac and Asuri languages to official languages of Iraq, bringing the number of official languages in the country to five after Arabic and Kurdish.

"Turkmen, Syriac and Asuri minorities in Iraq will be able to open courses and educational institutions at all levels that serve to enhance the human potential," said Salihi in a written statement.

The Turkmen language was used officially in Iraqi provinces such as Kirkuk and Irbil as far back as 80 years ago, he said, adding that the practice was later banned.

The Iraqi Turkmen leader said that he considers the ratification of the amendment meaningful especially in a period of violent incidents against Turkmens.

The new measures came out after an appeal by deputies representing the three minorities.

The new law also includes a clause on the use of Kurdish in all governmental procedures and official correspondence as well as scripts on money and passports.

mercredi 1 janvier 2014


30 ARALIK 2013

The general elections to take place on the 30th of April 2014 were discussed at the meeting organized by the Iraqi Turkmen Front (ITF). The meeting chaired by the Head of the Iraqi Turkmen Front and Kirkuk MP Erşat Salihi was also attended by ITF Coordinator and Turkey Representative Dr. Hicran Kazancı, ITF Deputy Head Hasan Turan, ITF Election Department Head Münir Kafili, executive board members, political department representatives and other authorities.

The preparations for the general elections were discussed at the meeting and a reminder not to give those who wanted to compromise the unity of Turkmen a chance. The importance of the concurrence of all statements made to the press including the Kirkuk Turkmen Front List and encouraging Turkmen to participate in the elections was underlined.

Head of ITF and Kirkuk MP Erşat Salihi said that the electronic cards would be distributed to the voters by the Independent High Electoral Commission in the near future and that everyone must get such a card. Salihi pointed out that terror attacks in Turkmen regions had escalated and warned that, “As elections draw closer Iraq might experience tension”. Salihi reminded that the security measures in Iraq were far from sufficient and that initially those living in Tuzhurmatu needed to know the newcomers who took up residence in their streets and watch out for what is going on in front of their doors.

Salihi emphasized that the Kirkuk Turkmen Front List was the list of all Turkmen and said, “Our aim is to achieve more unity. Our nation must be aware that terror has united against us”. Salihi indicated that everyone must take part in the elections saying, “I am sure of the Turkmen nation. The Turkmen nation is an ambitious nation”.



"Altay Türkçesi: Slerdi cangı cılla utkup turum!
Azerbaycan Türkçesi: Yeni iliniz mübarek olsun!
Başkırt Türkçesi: Hizzi yangı yıl menen kotlayım!
Çuvaş Türkçesi: Sene sul yaçepe salamlatap!
Füyu Kırgızcası: Naa cılıngar guttug bolsun!
Gagauz Türkçesi: Yeni yılınızı kutlerim!
Hakas Türkçesi: Naa çılnang alğıstapçam sirerni!
Karaçay-Malkar Türkçesi: Cangı cılığıznı alğışlayma!
Karakalpak Türkçesi: Canga cılıngız kuttı bolsın!
Karay/Karaim Türkçesi: Sizni yanhı yıl bıla kutleymın!
Kazak Türkçesi: Janga jılıngız kuttı bolsın! veya Janga jılıngız ben!
Kırım Türkçesi: Yangı ılıngız kaırlı (veya mubarek) olsun!
Kırgız Türkçesi: Cangı cılıngız kuttu bolsun!
Kumuk Türkçesi: Yangı yılıgız kutlu bolsun!
Nogay Türkçesi: Yanga yılıngız men!
Özbek Türkçesi: Yengi yılıngız mübarek bolsun!
Sarı Uygurca Türkçesi: Ak éy yahşi mo!
Şor Türkçesi: Naa çıl çakşı polzun!
Tatar Türkçesi: Sezne yanga yıl belen tebrik item!
Tuva Türkçesi: Caa çıl-bile bayır çedirip or men!
Türkiye Türkçesi: Yeni yılınız kutlu olsun!
Türkmen Türkçesi: Teze yılınızı gutlayaarın! (Irak Türkmenleri) Yengi iliyiz (iliwiz) mubarak olsun!
Uygur Türkçesi: Yengi yılıngızğa mübarek bolsun!
Yakut Türkçesi: Ehigini şanga sılınan eğerdeliibin!"