Iraq:The current military operation in Tarmiya north of Baghdad involves some of the Iran-aligned militias who participated in Jurf al Sakhr and the goal seems to the be same: empty the towns of its Sunni population and turn them into massive military bases for militias
Jurf al Sakhr is never mentioned in news articles and military reports. The population of an entire town,around 80,000, was displaced under the pretext of fighting ISIS. Tarmiyah appears to be facing the same fate.
If this succeeds again, what will stop the Iran-aligned militias from repeating this in all of the towns of southern Salahudin province and completely surrounding Baghdad?
We focus a lot on populations displaced by or because of ISIS but rarely mention on tens of thousands of civilians uprooted from their homes or denied return by the militias. Set aside the moral obligation to care about these people, there is no doubt that ISIS will exploit this
Tarmiyah is undeniably a hot spots for ISIS sleeper cells. It remains a problem for security forces an intelligence operation + tightened security + local cooperation are the only ways to address this problem. The army and Counter Terrorism Service should be involved only.
The involvement of controversial groups who have already sealed off a major strategic town and converted it to a massive militia-only base is extremely alarming. These actions in Iraq debunk the myth of US countering Iranian activity or that both countries have influence.
The Iran-aligned militias who have state legitimacy because they operate under the PMF umbrella continue to orchestrate slow but continous demographic change in several areas, creating more IDPs and further leaving a vulnerable and angry Sunni population to look for protection
Let's summarize militia activity: Attacking military bases (that host US and Iraqi military personnel), attacking residential areas in Erbil, establishing themselves even further in Ninewa and enticing further conflict with KRG& Turkey, and demographic change.
. @shellykittleson wrote about Jurf al Sakhr. Even Iraqi officials can't access the area. It's a militia only zone.

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More from @RashaAlAqeedi

19 Feb
Happy to share the analysis which I co-authored with my colleague ⁦⁦@CarolineRose8⁩ on the complicated situation in Iraq following the militia attacks in Erbil. ⁦@NewlinesInst
Iraq including KRG urgently demands its own policy. newlinesinstitute.org/iran/iran-usin…
A militia attack on a US base inside KRG is more significant than one in Baghdad. America was hesitant to interfere as ISIS swept through Ninewa, but when they attempted to attack Erbil, US sent the airforce. This was test that the IRGC knew of, or approved as we point out.
Another significance was including Turkey to the list of familiar targets like the US,Israel, and Saudi Arabia. The inclusion of Turkey adds an entirely new dimension. We discuss in the article, and @shellykittleson articulates the issue in this piece newlinesmag.com/reportage/bomb…
Read 10 tweets
19 Feb
تصلني تغريدات معاتبة من بعض المتابعين لأنني أكتب باللغة الإنكليزية أكثر من العربية أو اللهجة المحلية. أود أن أوضح السبب مرة واحدة فقط: عملي. أنا باحثة وناشرة مختصة بالشأن العراقي والجماعات المسلحة منذ حوالي ٧ سنوات، وما أنشره موجه لصناع القرار المختصين بالشأن الأمني في الغرب.
ما بين ٢٠١٨-اواخر ٢٠٢٠، كنت مديرة تحرير "ارفع صوتك"، وكان عملا مؤقتا ساعدني في تعميق معرفتي بالمجتمعات العراقية التي لم تتح لي فرصة الاندماج معها وأنا في العراق (تركت الموصل أوآخر ٢٠١٣) وهذا دفعني للكتابة بالعربية واللهجة المحلية.
اليوم عدت إلى عملي الأساسي كباحثة واستخدامي لتويتر هو لأجل ترويج ما أنشره عن الشأن الأمني والسياسي، وهو موجه كما ذكرت للنخب الغربية والأمريكية تحديدا، وهذا سبب إقامتي في واشنطن العاصمة.
Read 4 tweets
21 Jan
Waking up to the horrific heartbreaking scenes of the double suicide bombings in Baghdad. The victims again are the weakest and most vulnerable.
Mostly street vendors who sell tea who earn $4 a day and people passing by. Waiting for any official announcement by any group as to who is responsible and why.
28 killed till this minute and more injured.
Read 11 tweets

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