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Iraq announce liberation of Eastern Mosul

Asia @en di

 After more than 100 days of hard urban combat, Iraqi officials announced the liberation of eastern Mosul today.

While clearance operations are ongoing, the Iraqi security forces control all areas inside the city east of the Tigris River, the east bank of the river around all five bridges crossing the Tigris River, Mosul University and the Ninevah Ruins.

During their offensive to liberate the city of more than one million residents, which was held by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant for more than two years, the Iraqi and peshmerga security forces fought through an elaborate defense formed over the past two years to not only keep the Iraqi security forces out, but the residents of Mosul captive. Through it all, the Iraqi security forces displayed their professionalism by placing the lives of citizens before their own and taking precautions to protect the citizens of Mosul while battling a brutal and fanatic enemy, Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve officials said.

Meanwhile, they added, ISIL resorted to using children and other civilians as shields against coalition and Iraqi air and artillery strikes and used protected facilities such as hospitals, mosques and schools as weapons storage facilities and bases for its terrorist operations.

Air Strikes

Since Oct. 17, the coalition has conducted 558 air strikes in assistance of the Iraqi forces, using 10,115 munitions against ISIL targets. These munitions have destroyed at least 151 vehicle bombs, 361 buildings/facilities, 140 tunnels, 408 vehicles, 392 bunkers, 24 anti-air artillery systems, and 315 artillery/mortar systems.

During the offensive, the Iraqis fended off an average of five vehicle bombs a day, and endured daily mortar and sniper attacks, as well as surveillance and frequent attacks by ISIL unmanned aerial systems dropping grenades on friendly forces.

“This is a monumental achievement for not only the Iraqi security forces and sovereign government of Iraq, but all Iraqi people,” said Army Lt. Gen. Stephen J. Townsend, the commanding general of Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve, the multi-national counter-ISIL coalition tasked with the military defeat of ISIL in Iraq and Syria.

“This would have been a difficult task for any army in the world,” Townsend said. “And to see how far the Iraqis have come since 2014, not only militarily, but in their ability to put their differences aside and focus on a common enemy, gives real hope to the people of Iraq that after years of fighting and instability, peace and security are attainable.”

“There is still a long way to go before ISIL is completely eliminated from Iraq, and the fight for western Mosul is likely to be even tougher than the eastern side,” he said. “But the [Iraqis] have proven they are both a professional and formidable fighting force and I have every confidence that ISIL’s days are numbered in Iraq.”

“The warriors of the coalition join me in congratulating our comrades in the Iraqi security forces on this achievement and wish them good luck and Allah’s blessings for the fight on the west side that lies ahead,” the general said.

The coalition trains, equips and enables the Iraqi and peshmerga security forces with advise and assist teams, intelligence, artillery and air strikes. Since the start of operations in October 2014, the coalition has trained more than 50,000 Iraqi fighters and launched more than 17,000 strikes on ISIL targets in support of its partners on the ground.

Over the past two years, with coalition training and equipment, the Iraqis rebuilt their military and liberated more than two million people and major population centers such as Ramadi, Fallujah, Tikrit, Kirkuk, Qayyarah and Sharqat. Now they are well on their way to the complete liberation of Iraq’s second largest city, Mosul, officials said.

Source : DoD

Mosul,coalition srikes hits isis waterboard

Asia @en/BreakingNews @en di


From a U.S. Central Command News Release

SOUTHWEST ASIA, Jan. 21, 2017 — In three days of operations that began Jan. 18, coalition forces struck 90 watercraft and three barges on the Tigris River in Mosul, Iraq, U.S. Central Command officials reported today.

Many of these watercraft were being used to ferry Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant fighters and equipment across the river from East Mosul to West Mosul in an attempt to escape the Iraqi security forces as they continued to clear the remaining portions of East Mosul, officials said.

Iraqi security forces secured the Eastern bank of all five bridges across the Tigris River in Mosul during the past week of clearing operations, they added, making it difficult for ISIL fighters to flee.

ISIL Fighters Desperate

“We believe this was a desperate attempt to retrograde ISIL fighters now that the Iraqi security forces own the eastern bank of every bridge in Mosul,” said Air Force Col. John L. Dorrian, spokesman for Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve. “This is one more example of how the coalition is supporting the military defeat of ISIL by launching airstrikes while Iraqi military complete the clearance of eastern Mosul.”

Since the operation to liberate Mosul began Oct. 17, the coalition has destroyed at least 112 watercraft on the Tigris River in Mosul, officials said, with several more damaged or destroyed outside of the city.

Xi Jinping at the WEF in Davos: “no-one can win a trade war”

Asia @en di

Globalization versus protectionism, this could be the focus of the clash that prepares globally in the coming years between the two giants of the world economy: China and the US.

The elected president Donald Trump’s rhetoric, summarized in the “America first” slogan, focuses on the American interests protection on the commercial level, questioning the economic relations with the Asian opponent. After the sunset of ambitious Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement (TPP), the new administration seems willing to withdraw from international treaties favoring bilateral free trade agreements which may provide greater protection of American interests. A perspective that puts Beijing in alarm, as it sees in globalization and liberalization of trade the high road to continue on the growth path.

Chinese President Xi Jinping has therefore decided to take the field in person, by taking part today, with a delegation of the highest level, at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. Never in the past any Chinese leader participated in the prestigious annual Davos summit, a novelty that well represents the importance of the moment, a few days before the assignment of the new president Trump at the White House, on 20th of January.

As expected, in his speech Jinping spoke in defense of globalization and free trade, while warning Washington against the danger of a trade war between the first and the second largest economy on the planet, from which no one would come out as a winner.

In a symbolic speech, the Chinese president has defended the outcomes of economic integration, considering it, at the same time, inevitable and unavoidable. “Many of the problems troubling the world are not caused by economic globalization,- Jinping said. “Whether you like it or not, the global economy is the big ocean you cannot escape from.” “We must remain committed to free trade and investment. We must promote trade and investment liberalization,” he added, stressing that “No one will emerge as a winner in a trade war.” A clear message for the new Trump administration, in order to deter any markedly protectionist choice.

While recognizing the negative effects of globalization on certain sectors of the economy and society, Chinese President considers isolationism a wrong reaction: “TThe right thing to do is to seize every opportunity to jointly meet challenges and chart the right course for economic globalization”.

With the Davos speech, Xi Jinping has a twofold purpose: to counter the protectionist narrative of President Trump and remind everyone that China is ready to take over the US, if the protectionist choice will be confirmed by the facts, in the role of global economic leader. Beijing is ready to propose a series of new free trade agreements, not only with the countries of the Pacific region, orphans of the TPP, but also with the Latin American continent.

Is Trump really inclined to leave the field open to the emerging superpower to focus only on defense of american internal market? In this case, Beijing will be able to create new conditions to sustain chinese growth?

2017 could be a year of great changes for the global economic order.

Mosul, released 70% of the city

Asia @en di

The Iraqi troops supported by the coalition released 70% of the city after weeks of fierce fighting house to house.

The conquest of all the bridges over the Tigris represents a decisive step towards the complete liberation of the city from the regular Iraqi army has and Peshmerga troops.
This morning was also taken Istitutoi the Technical University of Mosull on University Boulevard, avenue that joins to the Tigers on the fifth deck, action that would close in a bag the possible resistance of the neighborhoods near the river for an accurate home security action to home.
This success is due in part to the tactical efforts of the coalition that, with shelling and tactical support to Iraqene troops, including Zerawani and Peshmerga forces, has allowed an advanced much faster these days.
The commander of the operation inherente Resolve, the US army colonel brett sylvia, in yesterday’s press conference expressed how important it was strategic coordination between the tactical support and iraqene forces, an exceptional teamwork that led to today’s result .
I this scenario the shelling and the use of drones made it possible to take out the main tactical resource of ISIS, the car bombs and improvised explosive devices, finally giving the room for maneuver necessary for the liberation of the city.
These car bombs designed to maximize the explosion shattering effect for months have been the point of formza black militia putting in serious difficulty the security forces. These cars were thrown against difensia line, check points or advancing troops by creating casualties and chaos that permettava an effectiveness on the survivors throw.
Mosul in nearly 24 months of occupation was fortified and underground tunnels were made both for people and for small means making it possible for terrorists to move safely from one point to another city.
But the loss of these resources does not mean destroying their offensive capabilities of Mosul also fly small commercial quadricotteri Drones with a 45-minute autonomy able to disengage or explosive devices to launch as a suicide bomber on iraqi’s lines

Global coalition Strikes in Iraq against Daesh

Asia @en/BreakingNews @en di

Attack, bomber, fighter and remotely piloted aircraft and rocket artillery conducted 11 strikes in Iraq, coordinated with and in support of Iraq’s government:

— Near Huwayjah, a strike engaged an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed an ISIL-held building.

— Near Mosul, seven strikes engaged four ISIL tactical units; destroyed a fighting position, a heavy machine gun, seven ISIL-held buildings, four vehicle bombs, a vehicle bomb facility, two weapons caches, three tactical vehicles, a tunnel entrance and a mortar; damaged 18 supply routes; and suppressed two mortar teams and an ISIL tactical unit.

— Near Tal Afar, three strikes destroyed an ISIL-held building and four unmanned aerial vehicle construction facilities.

Task force officials define a strike as one or more kinetic events that occur in roughly the same geographic location to produce a single, sometimes cumulative, effect. Therefore, officials explained, a single aircraft delivering a single weapon against a lone ISIL vehicle is one strike, but so is multiple aircraft delivering dozens of weapons against buildings, vehicles and weapon systems in a compound, for example, having the cumulative effect of making those targets harder or impossible for ISIL to use. Accordingly, officials said, they do not report the number or type of aircraft employed in a strike, the number of munitions dropped in each strike, or the number of individual munition impact points against a target. Ground-based artillery fired in counterfire or in fire support to maneuver roles is not classified as a strike.

Peshmarga senza materiale sanitario dirottato da Baghdad

Asia @en/Defence di

Una volontaria, Fulgida Barattoni, ha trascorso un mese nel campo militare di Sulaymanyah con l’obiettivo di formare istruttori di primo soccorso. Feriti soccorsi dopo ore e materiale sanitario inesistente. La realtà delle condizioni in cui i Peshmarga combattono.

La frammentazione politico e culturale dell’Iraq non riesce a compattarsi neppure di fronte a quello che dovrebbe essere un comune nemico, lo Stato Islamico. Ma la scacchiera è articolata, complicata, ostaggio di ataviche ruggini che sono vive più che mai. Ed è così che l’esercito curdo dei Peshamarga, l’unico che oppone in modo organico le armi all’avanzata del Califfato si trova senza quel sostegno sanitario di cui avrebbe diritto. Ma non perché manchino bende, garze o materiale. Di quello il magazzino dell’ICRC, il Comitato internazionale dei Croce Rossa, ne è pieno grazie alla solidarietà di tutti i comitati di Croce Rossa sparsi per il mondo.

Il problema è che quel materiale può arrivare ai Peshmarga soltanto attraverso la Società Nazionale di Mezzaluna Rossa Irachena di Baghdad che attinge al magazzino dell’ICRC per distribuire ai profughi “dimenticando” i Peshmarga che vivono, soffrono e perdono la vita combattendo contro l’Isis. Ad affermarlo è chi ha vissuto per un mese a fianco delle guerriere curde del campo militare di Sulaymanyah, città del Nord-Est curdo a pochi chilometri dal confine con l’Iran. Fulgida Barattoni, ex Presidente di IPB Italia e crocerossina per vocazione è partita da Fusignano a fine novembre con l’obiettivo – riuscito – di organizzare un corso per istruttori di primo soccorso. “Ero in Italia e guardando la TV vedevo immagini di soldati feriti a Mosul che venivano trascinati brutalmente per le gambe e per le braccia efrettolosamente caricati su auto di fortuna per essere portati in ospedali distanti un paio di ore tanto che i feriti per lo più giungevano a destinazione già morti – racconta.

3 “La mia formazione di oltre 30 anni di “crocerossina” mi ha impedito di restare indifferente e forte degli ottimi contatti da anni intrattenuti con le istituzioni kurde ancora dalla caduta del Rais Saddam Hussein ho preso l’aereo e sono partita verso l’ Iraq. Nel giro di pochi giorni – continua – ho messo in piedi un corso per formare degli istruttori di primo soccorso con le Peshmerga donne del campo militare di Sulaymanyah. Lo scopo era di insegnare a valutare e stabilizzare il soldato ferito prima di trasportarlo in ospedale ma ancora più di fare in modo che ogni corsista fosse poi grado di insegnare ad altri in modo da moltiplicare i corsi negli altri campi militari”. Per un mese, la Barattoni ha vissuto con le donne guerriere dormendo su giacigli scomodi, esposti al freddo intenso e condividendo il cibo, scarso e povero di proteine. Ed è lì che ha scoperto il gap che rende i Peshmarga ancora più soli. “La frammentazione culturale e politica dei popoli che abitano l’Iraq fa si che ai soldati Peshmerga “che sono kurdi” non arrivi nulla di tutte le donazioni che le Società Nazionali di Croce Rossa mandano al magazzino dell’ ICRC “Comitato Internazionale di Croce Rossa” che mi dicono essere uno dei più forniti e al quale attinge la Società Nazionale di Mezzaluna Rossa Irachena di Baghdad ma non per aiutare i soldati che combattono ma solo per sostenere tutti i rifugiati che riparano in Iraq dopo che la via balcanica attraverso la Turchia è stata chiusa con le armi – spiega. “A molte alte istituzioni ho posto il quesito: “la prima Convenzione di Ginevra impone l’obbligo di soccorrere i soldati feriti sul campo di battaglia” ma come mai ai soldati Peshmerga non viene dato nulla e non hanno bende, kit medici, addirittura ambulanze e personale medico e paramedico che interviene a fianco dei soldati solamente durante le fasi di “attacco” mentre nelle fasi di posizionamento e/o ritirata non c’e’ nessuno a soccorrere i soldati che rimangono feriti? Mi hanno risposto che “non ci sono soldi”, che il governo di Baghdad non manda da più di un anno i fondi federali al KRG, il Governo Regionale del Kurdistan, che quindi non ha i soldi per pagare i dipendenti pubblici e anche le scuole.

“Quelle in Sulaymanyah” sono chiuse perché gli insegnanti non ricevono più gli stipendi da un anno e mezzo. Nella zona di Erbil, gli insegnanti anche se non pagati tengono le scuole aperte ma anche qui i motivi sono complessi e interni alla storia del popolo kurdo incastonato in questa porzione di Iraq, la cui democrazia ha ancora un lungo cammino da fare”. Ora la Barattoni è tornata a casa, a Fusignano, non prima però di aver verificato la creazione di altri corsi gestiti dalle sue “ex studenti”, allargati anche ai colleghi uomini. “Io ero una privilegiata perché a pranzo mangiavo con le Peshmerga ufficiali e di sera con la “truppa”. La mensa di queste ragazze era molto povera di proteine, minerali, vitamine.


Praticamente niente carne, niente frutta, qualche vegetale e qualche legume. Una salsa di pomodoro con legumi oppure uno zucchino o una patata con contorno di riso era la dieta pranzo e cena. Per rendere sopportabile la vita del campo militare – ricorda – alle donne sono stati organizzati dei turni di 4 giorni di servizio e 8 giorni a casa in famiglia a riprendere le forze. E’ impressionante vedere quanti bambini accompagnavano il giorno di “paga” le soldatesse allineate in fila fuori del loro comando. Ed è straordinario vedere come le “Peshmerga” dai 20 ai 60 anni possano anche rinunciare a lavarsi per il freddo così intenso da non riuscire ad affrontare il gelo dell’acqua, ma non a truccarsi, diradare le sopracciglia, marcare gli occhi, mettersi capelli posticci per infoltire le chiome. Allo specchio si attardano il tempo necessario poi – conclude – indossano anfibi e passamontagna, imbracciano il fucile e vanno a combattere, mentre a casa hanno mariti e figli, maneggiando granate e strisciando dietro cumuli di terra”.


Monia Savioli


Coalition strikes in Iraq

Asia @en/BreakingNews @en/Defence di

Attack, bomber, fighter, and remotely piloted aircraft as well as rocket artillery conducted six strikes in Iraq, coordinated with and in support of the Iraqi government:

— Near Mosul, three strikes engaged two ISIL tactical units, suppressed three mortar teams, damaged 14 supply routes, disabled a bridge, and destroyed five mortars, two supply caches, four fighting positions, a command and control node, a weapons cache, and a vehicle bomb factory.

— Near Rawah, a strike engaged an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed a vehicle.

— Near Sinjar, a strike destroyed an ISIL fighting position, a mortar, and a UAV.

— Near Tal Afar, a strike destroyed a semi-truck.

Task force officials define a strike as one or more kinetic events that occur in roughly the same geographic location to produce a single, sometimes cumulative, effect. Therefore, officials explained, a single aircraft delivering a single weapon against a lone ISIL vehicle is a strike, but so is multiple aircraft delivering dozens of weapons against buildings, vehicles and weapon systems in a compound, for example, having the cumulative effect of making those targets harder or impossible for ISIL to use. Accordingly, officials said, they do not report the number or type of aircraft employed in a strike, the number of munitions dropped in each strike, or the number of individual munition impact points against a target. Ground-based artillery fired in counterfire or in fire support to maneuver roles is not classified as a strike.

Iraq: Agreement Over Turkish Troops In Bashiqa

Asia @en/BreakingNews @en di

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said Jan. 7 that he had reached an agreement with Turkey over Turkish troops stationed in the town of Bashiqa near Mosul, Reuters reported. Iraq has demanded that these troops withdraw and, in October, this erupted into a diplomatic row. Turkey insists that the forces are there legitimately, having been invited by local authorities. While Abadi said that Ankara had agreed to “respect the sovereignty of Iraq,” the precise details of what this would entail have not been released. Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildrim began a two-day visit to Baghdad Jan. 7, the first since the October diplomatic tensions. No matter how cordial it is, Yildirim’s visit will not resolve the issue that has strained Iraqi-Turkish relations recently.



Vessel of fire: 17 people still missing, 23 dead

Asia @en/BreakingNews @en di

A search resumed on Monday for 17 people reportedly missing after a ferry fire off the coast of Indonesia’s capital that left at least 23 dead, officials said. The victims died on Sunday when the vessel, Zahro Express, carrying more than 260 people from a port near Jakarta to Tidung, a resort island in the Kepulauan Seribu chain, caught fire, officials said. Most of the passengers were Indonesians celebrating the New Year holiday, according to local media reports.

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