DEBKAfile Exclusive Report June 14, 2008
On the long-term treaty regulating the US military's future role in Iraq, Iraqi politicians are challenging what they call American demands to maintain more than 50 permanent bases in Iraq. The US president, on a farewell tour of Europe, said in Berlin June 11 that he believes his administration will finish the treaty.
DEBKA-Net-Weekly 352 of June 6 disclosed the terms of the troop level agreement, which is still in negotiation.
To subscribe to DEBKA-Net-Weekly click DEBKA-Net-Weekly.com?ref=001">HERE.
More than 2 million Shiites gather in Karbala Saturday for Ashura climax as dozens died in clashes with messianic cultists in Basra and Nasiriya
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report January 21, 2008
Another 217 people injured. The violence erupted Friday in the southern towns of Basra and Nasiriya when Soldiers of Heaven messianic cultists attacked Shiite worshippers and security forces. In Nasiriyah, the cultists fired mortars at a police station followed by a machine gun and RPG assault. Among the 15 killed there were the city police commander and 7 officers.
More than 200 Kurdish rebel targets hit in Iraq since Dec. 16 by Turkish air force and artillery<br/>
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report December 26, 2007
Reporting this, the Turkish military said Tuesday, Dec. 25, hundreds of PKK insurgents had been killed in four air strikes, one ground incursion and artillery bombardment of Kurdish PKK hideouts. The fourth took place Tuesday after Iraqi Kurdish president Massoud Barzani, at a news conference in Suleimaniya, warned Ankara to stop its cross-border attacks on PKK havens in the autonomous Kurdish region.
<span class="debka">debka</span><span class="file">file</span>: Amid massive Arab presence in Washington, Bush and Maliki sign framework for "enduring" US troop presence in Iraq<br/>
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report November 30, 2007
The deal in principle was concluded by the US president and Iraqi prime minister over a secure video-link Monday, Nov. 26, amid the hubbub leading up to the Annapolis Middle East conference.
Iraqi officials foresaw a long-term presence of 50,000 US troops, down from the current 170,000. They will withdraw to bases outside the cities. debkafile's military sources report that 20 huge land and air bases are currently under construction in Iraq.
Negotiations on the shape and size of the long-term US military presence will be wrapped up to a July 2008 deadline when the US intends to finish withdrawing the five combat brigades added in 2007.
More about this pivotal "declaration of principles" and its ramifications in debkafile's Special Report below.
Kurdistan leader Masoud Barzani reported secretly admitted to<br/>an Israeli hospital after attempted assassination - Iraqi insurgent sources<br/>
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report November 27, 2007
The president of Iraqi Kurdistan is said to have been taken secretly to a hospital in central Tel Aviv after a brief stopover in Amman, Jordan. This is not confirmed by any other source. Neither is the report that Barzani had been wounded Friday, Nov. 24, in an assassination attempt by one of his aides in Irbil, the Kurdish capital. Kurdish officials only admitted he was out of the country, while a source close to Barzani's Kurdistan Democratic Party said he had been taken out of Iraq Friday for medical treatment without mentioning his destination.
<span class="debka">debka</span><span class="file">file</span>: Iraqi PM Nouri Maliki makes pledges on which he cannot deliver
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report November 5, 2007
At international talks on Iraq security taking place in Istanbul Saturday, Nov. 3, Maliki vowed to stop Kurdish rebels using Iraq as a base for attacks against Turkey. debkafile's military sources: Iraq has nothing like the military strength needed to take on the Turkish separatists PKK rebels carrying out hit-and-run attacks from northern Iraq.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report September 8, 2007
This leaves 5,000 soldiers, all of whom were redeployed from southern Iraqi provinces to a base in Basra international airport. The rest of the British force is expected to leave in the coming months.
<span class="debka">debka</span><span class="file">file</span> Exclusive: Al Maliki plans to negotiate deal for routing Iraqi oil through Syria in his three-day visit to Damascus
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report August 22, 2007
The Iraqi premier, Nouri al-Maliki, arrived in the Syrian capital Monday, Aug. 20 accompanied by his oil minister, Hussein Shahristani. The Syrian army and military intelligence provided the groundwork for the neighborly visit by keeping the border with Iraq sealed for the last two weeks. Bashar Assad approved this closure out of the blue after five years of giving Iraqi insurgents and al Qaeda free rein to pump fighters, weapons, money and explosives for Iraqi insurgents across the border.
Iran and Iraq to negotiate deal for new pipeline to carry 200,000 barrels a day of southern Iraqi crude to Iran's refineries<br/>
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report August 14, 2007
This was announced Wednesday, Aug. 9, after Iraqi PM Nouri Maliki's visit to Tehran.
The latest DEBKA-Net-Weekly out last Friday revealed new and dramatic developments in the oil pipeline war building up in the Gulf between Iran and Saudi Arabia.
To subscribe to DEBKA-Net-Weekly click DEBKA-Net-Weekly.com?ref=001">HERE.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report July 6, 2007
The parked car exploded in the Shiite district of Shaab before nightfall.
Two pilots were rescued with minor injuries from a US attack helicopter shot down south of Baghdad Monday. An American warplane dropped two laser-guided bombs to destroy downed Kiowa.
US and Iraqi forces backed by war planes and helicopters confronted and killed at least 23 al Qaeda-affiliated insurgents in the Anbar capital of Ramadi west of Baghdad in a two-day weekend battle.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report June 8, 2007
Raheem al-Hasnawi, who represented Grand Ayatolllah Ali Sistani in the town of al-Mishkhab, north of the shrine city of Najef, was gunned down Tuesday night outside his home. There is no indication of responsibility. At least 7 people were killed, 25 wounded in two almost simultaneous parked car explosions in Baghdad's Shiite Kathimiya district Wednesday. US military officials say the thousands of extra forces deployed in Baghdad since February now control about a third of Baghdad's neighborhoods.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report May 29, 2007
Seven American soldiers died Saturday in separate attacks.
Also Sunday, US troops freed 41 Iraqi citizens kidnapped and tortured by al Qaeda in Diyala, northeast of Baghdad.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report April 21, 2007
A comprehensive, updated study of Iraq's reserves shows Iraq's reserves to be double the volume thought. The potential presence of a further 100 bn barrels in the Western Desert could raise Iraq from the third largest source of oil, with known reserves of 116 bn barrels, to second place, behind Saudi Arabia and ahead of Iran. Iraq would be a major draw for international oil companies if the conflict there were resolved.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report April 17, 2007
One died in an EFP roadside bombing in the south; a second in the southwest, when his patrol was hit with small arms fire. Two soldiers were wounded.
Also Monday, gunmen killed 13 Iraqi soldiers, injured 4, in an ambush of their military checkpoint outside the northern city of Mosul.
Earlier, radical Shiite cleric Moqtada Sadr ordered his faction's six ministers to quit Nouri al-Maliki's coalition government until the US depart Iraq.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report March 9, 2007
Nadim al-Jabiri, leader of the party which is influential in oil-rich Basra, urges the dismantling of sectarian blocs as the first step for saving Iraq. Former prime minister Iyad Allawi is negotiating with Fadhila and other parties to join a new secular coalition alongside the main Sunni bloc to offset the ruling Shiite Alliance.
Leading Iraqi Shiite politician Abdel Aziz al-Hakim accuses US forces of violating Iraqi sovereignty by arresting Iranian nationals<br/>
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report January 19, 2007
The SCIRI leader's comment to the BBC referred to two recent raids. In one, US troops last year attacked Hakim's residential compound in Baghdad and detained two Iranian officials. They were later released. Last week, five more were taken into custody in the Iranian liaison office in the northern town of Irbil. US officials allege they are Revolutionary Guards agents who are training and arming Iraqi insurgents.
Iraq's Kurdish foreign minister Hoshyar Zebari urged constructive relations with neighboring Iran. "We full respect the views, policies and strategy of the United States, which is Iraq's strongest ally, but the Iraqi government has national interests of its own," said Zebari.
Sunni Muslims from Gaza to Srinagar protest Saddam execution, calling "Death to America and Iran"<br/>
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report January 9, 2007
Iraqi prime minister Nouri al-Maliki said the hanging was an internal, Iraqi affair, as hundreds of protesters marched in Amman, Sudan, Rabat, Khartoum, Bangladesh and Pakistan. Libya will build a statue of the late Iraqi dictator. In Iraq, the Muslim Scholars Association, the main Sunni clerical group, denigrated the execution a s a "purely political act." Demonstrators blamed Shiite leaders for carrying out the death sentence. Police are blocking the path of the Saddam supporters to his grave in the village of A;-Awja.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report April 3, 2006
US secretary of state Condoleezza Rice and UK foreign and UK foreign secretary Jack Straw embarked on an intense two-day effort to help put an Iraqi unity government in place. Before leaving Baghdad Monday, April 3, Rice said: "It is not our job to choose Iraq's prime minister. He can only be determined by the Iraqi people. He must be a strong, unifying force for the various blocs who were also elected. A political vacuum does not assist the security situation."
Rice did not mention Jaafari by name, even through he has been presented by Kurdish and Sunni Muslim factions as the main sticking point for accord and even his own Shiite block is now divided against him.
debkafile's sources in Baghdad note that Jaafari's disappearance would ease the coalition-building process, but not the the problem underlying his leadership.
It is no secret to Baghdad's political insiders that the Iranians are in the middle of an artfully contrived program to exploit Iraq's democratic process for the capture of positions of political influence in Baghdad.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report March 20, 2006
Without mentioning the fact that US and the next largest force, the British, have already begun withdrawing from 75 percent of Iraqi territory, US defense secretary Donald Rumsfeld maintains that the "rationale for a free and democratic Iraq is as compelling today as it was three years ago," and "the vast majority of the Iraqi people want the coalition to succeed" and a better future for themselves and their families.
But he does not say how this success can be achieved, when Sunni insurgents and al Qaeda are poised "to fill the vacuum" created by the departure of US troops.
The Olmert-Livni unilateral pullback strategy in the West Bank offered the Israeli voter ahead of the March 28 election, far from being a bold design, is more like a pale imitation of the Rumsfeld-Chiarelli perception of the Iraq imbroglio, a transposition of America's strategic mistakes from Iraq to the West Bank.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report December 27, 2005
The decision by the Iraqi Supreme Court to disqualify 90 delegates who were elected to parliament on December 15, most of them Sunni Muslims, because they were once members of the Baath Party, echoes the decision reached in the middle of 2003 by Paul Bremer, the first US administrator for Iraq.
This will have two immediate consequences: approximately 30 percent of the democratically elected parliament will be prevented from taking their seats, leading the Sunnis to total disenchantment with the democratic election process. They will seize on this setback as further proof that whatever they do, including massive participation in the elections, they will never be admitted to a position of influence within the Shite-Kurdish regime in Baghdad.