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Published On: Sun, May 1st, 2016

Iraq on the Verge of Collapse after Storming of Parliament

Christof Lehmann (nsnbc) : Iraq is on the verge of collapse as a nation State after the parliament was stormed by supporters of the Shi’ite cleric  Muqtada al-Sadr and circles around former Prime Minister Nouri Al-Maliki. The storming of parliament came after MPs failed to vote in favor of a new reshuffle of the Cabinet of Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi. The protesters have now withdrawn from Baghdad’s “Green Zone” but Iraq may be at the verge of collapse as a nation State. A collapse that has been manufactured by domestic and foreign forces since at least 2013.

Followers of Iraq's Shi'ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr are seen in the parliament building as they storm Baghdad's Green Zone in IraqAfter storming parliament, protesters, including followers of the Shi’ite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr and satellite individuals and groups around former prime Minister Nouri Al-Malaki, have withdrawn from the Iraqi capital’s heavily fortified Green Zone. The withdrawal came after the government ordered the formation of extra security detachments to force protesters to withdraw from the House of Representatives and the headquarters of the General Secretariat of Council Ministers. In late March prime Minister Haider al-Abadi responded to sustained protests by announcing a cabinet reshuffle that, however, had to be approved by parliament.

The situation is literally unintelligible without intelligence dating back to the decision to invade Iraq with ISIL via Turkey, made on the sidelines of the Atlantic Council’s Energy Summit in Turkey in 2013. Al-Abadi is increasingly coming under pressure and is by many power-brokers in Iraq and abroad considered as a destabilizing rather than a consolidating factor in Iraqi and regional politics.

Haider al-Abadi_Iraq_NEO_may 2015Al-Abadi announced that he reduced the number of Cabinet ministers from 21 to 16 and submitted the names of 14 nominees for the reshuffled ministerial portfolios. He added, that given the current situation, and the threats posed by the Islamic State (ISIL / ISIS / Daesh) he wouldn’t replace his current interior and defense ministers. Al-Abadi had himself proposed several reforms in August 2015.

The proposed reforms should target corruption, government spending and merge several ministries. The initiative failed as the government and security forces had to focus on the ongoing subversion of the country by the self-proclaimed Islamic State, on disputes between the central government in Baghdad and the semi-autonomous Kurdish region in northern Iraq, and other domestic and regional security concerns. Ironically, ISIL has a substantial number of former members of Iraq’s military and officers who were fired after the latest U.S. invasion of Iraq among its core members.

Assad Al-Mutabi, a close ally and confidant of former Prime Minister Nouri Al-Maliki commented on the situation, saying: “This is a big mess. … It is a very sensitive time, we are in an open war with Daesh and our finances are not in very good shape”. The central government in Iraq has to a large degree lost control over oil revenue generated in the semi-autonomous Kurdish dominated north of Iraq. The local Kurdish administration of Barzani has, moreover, consistently been accused of laundering stolen Syrian oil via northern Iraq. The lion share of this oil is being exported via Turkey.

Dr. Henry Kissinger

Dr. Henry Kissinger

In June 2014 nsnbc international obtained clandestinely recorded audio and other evidence that proved that the final decision to launch the invasion of Iraq by ISIL via Turkey fell on the sidelines of the Atlantic Council’s Energy Summit in Istanbul, Turkey, on 22 – 23 November 2013.

The evidence was leaked during a meeting between the author and a person from within the inner circle around former Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri. The summit was, among others, attended by Turkey’s now former President Abdullah Gül, by then Prime Minister, now President R. Tayyip Erdogan, U.S. Energy Secretary Ernst Monitz, Atlantic Council President Frederick Kempe, former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, former U.S. National Security Adviser Brent Scowcroft.

It is noteworthy that Scowcroft has long-standing ties to Henry Kissinger and to the Minister of Natural Resources of the Kurdish Administrated Region of Northern Iraq.

“Had Baghdad been more cooperative about the Syrian oil fields at Deir-Ez-Zor in early 2013 and about autonomy for the North [Iraq’s northern, predominantly Kurdish region] they would possibly not have turned against al-Maliki; Or he would have been given more time”, said the Hariri insider during the almost two-hour-long conversation.

In April 2013 the EU lifted its ban on the import of Syrian oil from "rebel held territory to finance the opposition".

In April 2013 the EU lifted its ban on the import of Syrian oil from “rebel held territory to finance the opposition”.

In March 2013, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry demanded that Iraq “stops the arms flow to Syria”, while U.S. weapons were flowing to ISIS via Saudi Arabia into Iraq and Jordan.

On Monday, April 22, 2013, 27 of the 28 E.U. foreign ministers agreed to lift the ban on the import of Syrian oil from opposition-held territories to allow the “opposition” to finance part of its campaign.

“ISIS that was supposed to control [the region around] Deir Ez-Zor. [Turkish Energy Minister Taner] Yildiz and [Kurdish] Energy Minister Ashti] Hawrami were to make sure the oil could flow via the Kirkuk – Ceyhan [pipeline];… Ankara put al-Maliki under a lot of pressure about the Kurdish autonomy and oil, too much pressure, too early, if you’d ask me”, the source said. He added that the pressure backfired.

Previous reports confirmed that Baghdad started intercepting weapons and insurgents along the Saudi – Iraqi border, cutting off important supply lines for ISIS brigades around Deir Ez-Zor, and that Al-Maliki began complaining about a Saudi – Qatari-backed attempt to subvert the Iraqi State since late 2012. Noting my remark he replied:

“That is right, but the heavy increase in attacks came in May – June 2013, after al-Maliki ordered the military to al-Anbar “.

ISIS routes to Syria via Al-Anbar since 2012. Map Plottings: Red, Agha H. Amin. Blue, Christof Lehmann.

ISIS routes to Syria via Al-Anbar since 2012. Map Plottings: Red, Agha H. Amin. Blue, Christof Lehmann.

A previous article in nsnbc explains how Baghdad’s blockade caused problems in Jordan, because many of the transports of weapons, fighters and munitions had to be rerouted via Jordan.

The Hariri insider added that the oil fields should have been under ISIS control by August 2013, but that the plan failed for two reasons. The UK withdrew its support for the bombing of Syria. That in turn enabled the Syrian army to dislodge both ISIS and Jabhat al-Nusrah from Deir Ez-Zor in August.

“The situation was a disaster because in June Hariri, Yidiz, Hawrami, Scowcroft, and everybody was ready to talk about how to share the oil between the U.S., Turkey and E.U.. The Summit in November should have dealt with a fait accompli”, the Hariri source stressed, adding that Washington put a gun to al-Maliki’s head when he was invited to the White House.

Both the President of the Kurdish region of Iraq, Masoud Barzani and Iraqi PM Nouri al-Maliki were invited to Washington in early November 2013. “Certain circles in Washington put a hell of a lot of pressure on Obama to put a gun to al-Maliki’s head”, said the Hariri source, adding that “time was running out and Obama was hesitant”. Asked what he meant with “time was running out” and if he could specify who it was that pushed Obama, he said:

“Barzani was losing his grip in the North (Kurdish Iraq); the election [in September] was a setback. All plans for distributing Iraqi oil via Turkey and for sidelining Baghdad were set between Kirkuk and Ankara in early November…

“Who exactly pressured Obama? I don’t know who delivered the message to Obama. I suspect Kerry had a word. It’s more important from where the message came, Kissinger, Scowcroft, Nuland and the Keagan clan, Stavridis, Petreaus, Riccardione, and the neo-con crowd at the [Atlantic] Council. … As far as I know ´someone` told Obama that he’d better pressure al-Maliki to go along with Kurdish autonomy by November or else. Who exactly ´advised` Obama is not as important as the fact that those people let him know that they would go ahead, with, or without him”.

CarBombISISAsked whether he knew details, how the final green light for the ISIS campaign was given, he said:

” Behind closed doors, in the presence of both Scowcroft, Hariri, and a couple of other people”. To my question “if he could be more specific” he replied “I could; I want to stay alive you know; Riccardione was tasked with the operation that day”.

The current crisis around much-needed reforms and the Cabinet reshuffle of Al-Abadi’s government are, in so many words, unintelligible without this background intelligence. Several analysts and experts, including Peter Lvov, Ph.D in political science noted already in January 2016 that the disintegration of Iraq could happen within a matter of days.

CH/L – nsnbc – 01.05.2016

About the Author

- Dr. Christof Lehmann is the founder and editor of nsnbc. He is a psychologist and former independent political consultant on conflict, conflict resolution and a wide range of other political issues. In March 2013 he established nsnbc as a daily, independent, international on-line newspaper. He can be contacted at nsnbc international at nsnbc.wordpress@gmail.com

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  1. Tremendous revelations Dr. Lehmann . It becomes all so self-explicatory , the whole long haul planning of the massacre in Syria. Many thanks

  2. Stefan Widmer says:

    Pienso que estos hechos significan exactamente lo contrario.
    Sadr es un Clerico iraquí que sabe convivir con los Sunnies.
    Creo que en Iraq resurge una Nación milenaria.
    Si Russia lo permite…
    Iran e Iraq tienen muchas heridas comunes que curar y en el fondo, si no hubiera existido la Guerra Fría, ambos, serían Pueblos Hermanos.
    Las divisiones religiosas son un mero invento occidental, con el fin de dividir y reinar…

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