Category Archives: تقارير

DEFYING THE GOVERNMENT ATTEMPTS TO KILL THE TALENTS

MOHAMMED ALDARRAJI ADDS NEW INTERNATIONAL AWARDS TO HIS COLLECTION

BY MOHANNAD ALZUBAIDI

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

GIFT OF MY FATHER POSTER

GIFT OF MY FATHER POSTER

Baghdad, for 4 years, Iraqi ministry of culture was running under the supervision of a military officer. Sa’adon AlDulaimi, the culture minister and acting defense minister, didn’t meet any of the Iraqi intellectuals during the 4 years of his ministerial period as he was busy with defense ministry, leaving everything to a politicized group with no real cultural background. On top of them was the Manager of Cinema and Theater Directory, Nawfal Abu Rugaif.

ABU RUGAIF (LEFT) AND ALDULAIMI (RIGHT)

ABU RUGAIF (LEFT) AND ALDULAIMI (RIGHT)

4 years of corruption and no real culture in country that was thirsty for cultural activities. Lacking of experience and corruption were not the only symptoms that marked Abu Rugaif and AlDulaimi era, but most devastating is fighting intellectuals in this country.

Abu Rugaif who marked his era with suing artists received new slam this month. One of his intellectual victims won another international award this month.

Mohammad AlDarraji, most famous Iraqi film maker after 2003 and the maker of the only long films after 2003, “Son of Babylon” and “Under the Sands of Babylon”, and the founder of Iraqi Center for Independent Film. His center won another international award today.

Salam Salman, the director of the short film “Gift of My Father”, won the Crystal Bear award for short film in Berlin International Film Festival 2015.

SALIM SALMAN WITH THE CRYSTAL BEAR IN BERLIN FILM FESTIVAL

SALIM SALMAN WITH THE CRYSTAL BEAR IN BERLIN FILM FESTIVAL

“I would like to hint here to the corrupted policy that fought “Under the Sands of Babylon” film and wasted the state money”, Independent Film Center said in a statement released after the winning referring to Abu Rugaif’s policy.

In 2014 AlDarraji criticized the policy of the culture ministry in terms of cinema and theater that pushed Abu Rugaif to sue him in the court. Abu Rugaif won the case first and court fined AlDarraji for 20 million ID (about $16,000) but AlDarraji appealed and won the case.

“The center has proved that it is able to reach prominent festivals in order to deliver the Iraqi voice with independent cinema marked with international specification”, the center said in the statement.

MOHAMMED ALDARRAJI

MOHAMMED ALDARRAJI

Iraq Situation Report: February 3-4, 2015

Sinan Adnan and ISW Iraq Team

Key Takeaway:

The legislation of the National Guard Law, along with other conditions, were first demanded by Iraqi Sunni political leaders in exchange for their participation in PM Abadi’s government. The goal behind the demand for this law was to give provinces with a Sunni majority the opportunity to maintain a security apparatus semi-independent of Baghdad. The initial approval of the law by the Council of Ministers is a positive indicator that the government is taking active measures to address grievances of Iraqi Sunnis. Nevertheless, it is important to highlight that further challenges lie ahead of the law; it will most likely involve a great deal of political maneuvering at the CoR before it is agreed upon. It will also likely be edited multiple times to accommodate the demands of different political blocs at the CoR. Despite the fact that the law was initially proposed to address Iraqi Sunni grievances, initial reporting from minster Saman Abdullah al-Dawudi, who is a member of the drafting committee, indicated that the National Guard would also include the “Popular Mobilization.” The government uses the term “Popular Mobilization” to describe both Iraqi Shi’a volunteers and members of the Iranian-backed Iraqi Shi’a militias fighting ISIS. It is unclear at this time if the draft law discusses the future status of Iraqi Shi’a militias. The future status of the militias will almost certainly be a point of contention between militia leaders like Hadi al-Ameri and Qays al-Khazali backed by Iran on one hand; and Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi, moderate Shi’a leaders within the political sphere, and the Shi’a religious establishment in Najaf on the other hand. The debate over these issues could stall the law for a lengthy period of time.

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Iraqi libraries ransacked by Islamic State group in Mosul

January 31, 2015

SINAN SALAHEDDIN, Associated Press
SAMEER N. YACOUB, Associated Press

BAGHDAD (AP) — When Islamic State group militants invaded the Central Library of Mosul earlier this month, they were on a mission to destroy a familiar enemy: other people’s ideas.

Residents say the extremists smashed the locks that had protected the biggest repository of learning in the northern Iraq town, and loaded around 2,000 books — including children’s stories, poetry, philosophy and tomes on sports, health, culture and science — into six pickup trucks. They left only Islamic texts.

The rest?A fighter from the Islamic State, formerly known as the ISIL, mans an anti-aircraft gun mounted on the rear of a vehicle in Mosul

“These books promote infidelity and call for disobeying Allah. So they will be burned,” a bearded militant in traditional Afghani two-piece clothing told residents, according to one man living nearby who spoke to The Associated Press. The man, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he feared retaliation, said the Islamic State group official made his impromptu address as others stuffed books into empty flour bags.

Since the Islamic State group seized a third of Iraq and neighboring Syria, they have sought to purge society of everything that doesn’t conform to their violent interpretation of Islam. They already have destroyed many archaeological relics, deeming them pagan, and even Islamic sites considered idolatrous. Increasingly books are in the firing line.

Mosul, the biggest city in the Islamic State group’s self-declared caliphate, boasts a relatively educated, diverse population that seeks to preserve its heritage sites and libraries. In the chaos that followed the U.S.-led invasion of 2003 that toppled Saddam Hussein, residents near the Central Library hid some of its centuries-old manuscripts in their own homes to prevent their theft or destruction by looters.

Mosul University under Islamic State control; all women must wears full Islamic scarf

Mosul University under Islamic State control; all women must wears full Islamic scarf

But this time, the Islamic State group has made the penalty for such actions death. Presumed destroyed are the Central Library’s collection of Iraqi newspapers dating to the early 20th century, maps and books from the Ottoman Empire and book collections contributed by around 100 of Mosul’s establishment families.

Days after the Central Library’s ransacking, militants broke into University of Mosul’s library. They made a bonfire out of hundreds of books on science and culture, destroying them in front of students.

A University of Mosul history professor, who spoke on condition he not be named because of his fear of the Islamic State group, said the extremists started wrecking the collections of other public libraries last month. He reported particularly heavy damage to the archives of a Sunni Muslim library, the library of the 265-year-old Latin Church and Monastery of the Dominican Fathers and the Mosul Museum Library with works dating back to 5000 BC.

Citing reports by the locals who live near these libraries, the professor added that the militants used to come during the night and carry the materials in refrigerated trucks with Syria-registered license plates. The fate of these old materials is still unknown, though the professor suggested some could be sold on the black market. In September, Iraqi and Syrian officials told the AP that the militants profited from the sale of ancient artifacts.

The professor said Islamic State group militants appeared determined to “change the face of this city … by erasing its iconic buildings and histor

In this Friday, Jan. 23, 2015 photo, Iraqis look at books on al-Mutanabi Street, home to the city’s book market in central Baghdad.

y.”

Since routing government forces and seizing Mosul last summer, the Islamic State group has destroyed dozens of historic sites, including the centuries-old Islamic mosque shrines of the prophets Seth, Jirjis and Jonah.

An Iraqi lawmaker, Hakim al-Zamili, said the Islamic State group “considers culture, civilization and science as their fierce enemies.”

Al-Zamili, who leads the parliament’s Security and Defense Committee, compared the Islamic State group to raiding medieval Mongols, who in 1258 ransacked Baghdad. Libraries’ ancient collections of works on history, medicine and astronomy were dumped into the Tigris River, purportedly turning the waters black from running ink.

“The only difference is that the Mongols threw the books in the Tigris River, while now Daesh is burning them,” he said, using an Arabic acronym for the Islamic State group. “Different method, but same mentality.”

In this Friday, Jan. 23, 2015 photo, Iraqis look at books on al-Mutanabi Street, home to the city's book market in central Baghdad.

In this Friday, Jan. 23, 2015 photo, Iraqis look at books on al-Mutanabi Street, home to the city’s book market in central Baghdad.

Bullets hit flydubai passenger jet at Baghdad airport

BAGHDAD, Jan 27 (Reuters) – Bullets hit a passenger jet operated by budget carrier Dubai Aviation Corp, known as flydubai, as it was landing at Baghdad airport, the company and officials said on Tuesday.

An aviation official and a security official told Reuters two passengers were lightly injured when three or four bullets hit the body of the plane on Monday evening but they were unable to specify the source of the gunfire.

Flydubai, Emirates Airlines, Sharjah’s Air Arabia and Abu Dhabi’s Etihad Airways suspended flights following the incident, in line with a directive from the United Arab Emirates’ civil aviation authority.

“After landing at Baghdad International Airport (BGW) on 26 Jan. 2015, damage to the aircraft fuselage consistent with small arms fire was discovered on flydubai flight FZ 215,” a company spokesperson said.

The spokesperson denied that any passengers had required medical treFile photo of Baghdad International Airportatment and said an investigation was underway.

The aviation official said Iraq had briefly suspended air traffic on Monday following the incident but that most flights had resumed on Tuesday morning. (Reporting by Maher Nazih and Ahmed Rasheed in Baghdad and Nadia Saleem and David French in Dubai;

the Tactical Situation in Kobani, Syria U.S. Central Command News Release

January 26, 2015

Release # 201501902
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

TAMPA, Fla. – U.S. Central Command confirms that anti-ISIL forces now control approximately 90 percent of the city of Kobani. U.S. Central Command congratulates these courageous fighters and thanks them for their efforts.

Pro-Kurdish demonstrators celebrate in central Istanbul, after Kurdish forces took full control of the Syrian town of Kobani

Anti-ISIL forces have fought aggressively with resilience and fortitude. While the fight against ISIL is far from over, ISIL’s failure in Kobani has denied them one of their strategic objectives.

Iraq Situation Report: January 24-26, 2015

By: ISW Iraq Team  

Key Takeaway:

The Iraqi Security Forces and the Peshmerga on one side and ISIS on the other side are all setting conditions for a future operation that aims to dislodge ISIS from Mosul.  U.S. and Iraqi officials have signalled that such an assault on the city will take place in the months ahead. The operations of the Peshmerga near Mosul appear to be setting the conditions for this assault by contesting areas outside the city.  For example, the Peshmerga continued their offensive conditions-setting operation west of Mosul by attacking Iski Mosul village, northeast of Tal Afar, likely to prevent ISIS from using the village as a launching pad for a counter-attack to reverse the recent gains achieved by the Peshmerga on January 21st.  In response to these advances, ISIS launched an attack on the Peshmerga in the areas of Tal al-Rim and Sultan Ali, southeast of Mosul, both considered the first line of defense for Iraqi Kurdistan due to their proximity to Arbil. ISIS likely intended to force the KRG to divert resources away from the front west of Mosul. ISIS also severely damaged the Sabuniya Bridge, located on the road that leads to the western entrance of Mosul, in order to prevent anti-ISIS forces from using that route as an avenue of approach for a future assault on the city. ISIS is reportedly seeking to dig a trench around the city for the same purpose. ISIS has almost certainly taken more defensive measures in and around Mosul since it took control of the city in June 2014, although reports about such measures have been recently on the rise. The Kurdish forces are unlikely to be the tip of the spear for the assault into Mosul, but rather aim to set conditions for that operation by clearing areas nearby. Despite repeated statements from Iraqi officials about a nearing assault, Baghdad is allocating effective ISF units to other fronts that need immediate protection like Ramadi, Baghdad, the Baghdad Belts, Haditha, and Diyala, in some cases cooperating with the militias. This disparity between stated priorities and actions likely signals the competition between requirements for the defense of Baghdad and the offensive against Mosul. It also likely suggests that the timeline for clearing the city is months, rather than weeks.

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Iraqi security forces recapture villages near Iran border

BAGHDAD, Jan 26 (Reuters) – Iraqi security forces and pro-government militias took control of about two dozen villages from Islamic State fighters in the eastern province of Diyala near the border with Iran, security sources and local officials said on Monday.Shi'ite fighters and military vehicles are seen during a military operation to retake positions held by Islamic State militants, on the outskirts of Muqdadiyah in Diyala province

The assault, which began Friday, enabled Shi’ite militias, the Iraqi army and Sunni tribesmen to push the militants out of the Muqdadiya area, the closest Islamic State outpost to the Iranian border about 40 km (25 miles) to the east.

Iraq‘s Shi’ite-led government, backed by U.S.-led air strikes, has been trying to push back Islamic State since it swept through northern Iraq in June, meeting virtually no resistance.

“We managed on Jan. 25 and after three days’ tough battle to defeat the terrorists in northern Muqdadiya and we cleansed all the villages of Daesh,” said Hadi al-Amri, head of the Badr Organisation, using a derogatory Arabic acronym for Islamic State.

He told a news conference broadcast on state television on Monday at least 58 soldiers and pro-government fighters were killed in the operation and 247 wounded.

About 65 Islamic State fighters were also killed, Sadiq al-Hussaini, chairman of the security panel of Diyala’s provincial council, told Reuters.

He said other militants had fled but did not specify where. Mountainous terrain could make it difficult to eliminate Islamic State from the area.

Previous seizures have often been followed by a counter-offensive and it was not clear how strong a hold the pro-government forces had on the area.

Residents and security sources said Shi’ite militias had destroyed several mosques and set fire to dozens of houses in the village of Shirween, even some belonging to Sunni fighters who had participated in the offensive.

“After liberating some villages in northern Muqdadiya, a group of militias assaulted us and accused us of being IS members. After they restricted our movement, they began to blow up the large houses,” said Salam Abdullah al-Jobouri, a Sunni tribal fighter.

An army major, a local official and a Sunni tribal leader confirmed the reports. The major said security forces were unable to stop the militias.

“We know such actions should stop and could send a wrong message to the residents of other villages, but I’m afraid we do not have the power to stop it,” he told Reuters.

The Interior Ministry could not immediately be reached for comment.

While Islamic State’s advance has forced thousands of people from their homes, government attempts to regain territory have also displaced many.