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الخميس، 27 فبراير 2014

Iraqi Sunni Grand Mufti accuses Maliki of ‘genocide’ in Anbar

Sheikh Rafi Al-Rifa’i says dialogue with Maliki “pointless.

Masked Sunni Muslims gunmen take up position with their weapons during clashes with Iraqi security forces outside the city of Falluja, 70 km (44 miles) west of Baghdad, February 23, 2014. (REUTERS/Stringer)

Brussels, Asharq Al-Awsat—Sheikh Rafi Al-Rifa’i, the Sunni Grand Mufti of Iraq, hit out at the Iraqi government on Sunday, saying dialogue with Prime Minister Nuri Al-Maliki was “pointless,” and described the events in Fallujah as “genocide.”
Rifa’i’s comments came as Iraqi military forces continued to surround the city of Fallujah in Iraq’s Anbar province, after it was seized by insurgents in January. Iraqi security forces also continued to clash with insurgents in other areas of the province.
The situation in the province remains chaotic, with different tribal factions siding with or against the central government in Baghdad in its attempts to reassert control of the Sunni-majority province, which was the site of major anti-government protests last year against perceived sectarian bias on the part of the government and security forces.
Adding to the turmoil, members of jihadist groups linked to Al-Qaeda are reported to be among the insurgents, including members of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS). The Iraqi military declared a 72-hour ceasefire in Fallujah on Saturday, which is due to expire today.
Rifa’i said the government was “unable to hold dialogue,” and that “[it] only knows how to kill, oppress and displace, and knows oppression in all its meanings.”
He added: “We never stopped talking, and now it [the government] is fighting us in our province, Anbar Province, under the guise that we are ISIS. Anbar was the province which fought against Al-Qaeda, and Maliki and his party and supporters had no role in fighting terrorism in the province. Now they are fighting the people of the province as if they were terrorists, and the solution is for the international community to play its role because it was they who imposed on us these ugly types who took us to this stage, and the international community must rectify the damage it caused.”
Rifa’i, who was in Brussels with a group to attend a conference on human rights in Iraq organized by the European Parliament, said that sectarian tensions in Anbar and the rest of Iraq had been stoked by political leaders for their own ends.
In his speech at the conference, Rifa’i said: “I come to you from a country where human rights are totally ignored. I left on the ground in Fallujah my brother’s blood which had not yet dried, where he was torn to pieces with three of his neighbors in front of their wives and children, the same as dozens of children, women, old men and youths who were killed cold-bloodedly by the arbitrary bombardment—part of the government’s strategy in its war on the people [and opponents] under the pretext of fighting terrorism.”
He added: “The Iraqi government, represented by the prime minister and commander of the armed forces, exercises hateful sectarianism which uses excessive force against Iraqi people, and the Sunnis in Iraq have suffered most from the injustice of this government.”
Rifa’i warned that what was taking place today in Fallujah and other areas of Anbar was “genocide in which the current Iraqi government [has] used all kinds of heavy and medium weaponry  . . The Iraqi government was intent on dividing the people, leading to a civil war in which the only loser would be the Iraqi people.”
He told Asharq Al-Awsat: “Sunnis ruled the country for 1,400 years and what did the Shi’ites say? They said they had no role in Iraq. I say to them that, for instance, 70 percent of Ba’ath Party members were Shi’ites and 37 of 55 most wanted [members of the previous regime] were Shi’ites, and everyone knows that the Ba’ath Party was not Sunni and did not rule people in the name of Sunnis.”
In response to a question on whether he agreed with comments at the conference about the suffering of Christians in Iraq, Rifa’i said: “Of course. I was visited two weeks ago by the new patriarch of the Levant Church along with the ambassador of the Vatican and other Christian dignitaries  . . They know that we care about them as we do about ourselves, because religions share fate  . . and this fate is enough to make us brothers who love and support each other in order to eradicate misery from this country.”
The Sunni Mufti said Iraq needed internal and external initiatives to find solutions to the current situation in the country and that he personally supported the internal solutions.
He also pointed the finger of blame to some outside the country. “Everyone knows there are external forces that have agendas working inside Iraq, which means we need internal and external solutions  . . we demanded that the EU and the international community do their moral and legal duty because they were part of the reason which took Iraq to this stage and they must correct the mistakes they made.”
He added: “There are no problems between Iraqis, but there are political gangs who have taken over people’s money, their fortunes and their dignities  . . and the way out is to dispose of these gangs. [They] came in the name of political and religious parties [but] all we saw from them was that they had no link to religion whatsoever.”

Genocide in Fallujah

by Struan Stevenson on 25-02-2014
BRussells Tribunal
The humanitarian situation in Fallujah is dire. The sectarian prime minister of Iraq, Nouri al-Maliki has surrounded the city with thousands of troops, effectively sealing it off.

STRASBOURG, France, Feb. 25 (UPI) -- The unfolding tragedy in the Iraqi city of Fallujah seems to have slipped off the international radar screen as the focus of the global community drifts from Syria to Ukraine and back again.
The humanitarian situation in Fallujah is dire. The sectarian prime minister of Iraq, Nouri al-Maliki has surrounded the city with thousands of troops, effectively sealing it off.
The Iraqi air force has mounted daily bomb attacks, cutting off electricity and water supplies and destroying several bridges to prevent food and water from reaching the besieged inhabitants. Last week, it bombed Fallujah General Hospital, killing nearly all of the doctors and nurses and many of the patients and forcing the hospital's closure.
More than 300,000 people have been made homeless.
U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and the U.N. Assistance Mission to Iraq continue to plead with Maliki to provide humanitarian aid to the city and to enter into negotiations that can bring an end to violence in the predominantly Sunni, Al Anbar province. The sharp response from the aggressively pro-Shiite prime minister was there would be "no negotiation with terrorists." In a single sentence he has labeled all of the residents of Iraq's largest province as "terrorists" to justify his genocidal campaign.
During the Saddam Hussein dictatorship, the Sunnis in Al Anbar fared well. Following the U.S. invasion, it was Al Anbar where the Americans suffered most casualties and after Maliki came to power, he implemented a ruthless de-Baathification policy that saw tens of thousands of Sunnis in Al Anbar stripped of their jobs and income.
Since the U.S. military withdrawal, the Iraqi prime minister, egged on by his puppeteers in Tehran, has escalated the daily intimidation of the province, with assassinations, bombings, arbitrary arrests and atrocities that finally drove the Sunni population onto the streets in protest.
For the past 18 months, hundreds of thousands of people in Fallujah, Ramadi and other Al Anbar cities have mounted large demonstrations, calling for an end to corruption and the abuse of power by Maliki.
Their protests provided Maliki with the perfect excuse for a bloodbath. Claiming that Fallujah and Ramadi had been infiltrated by al-Qaida and terrorists from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, Maliki mounted his bloody offensive on the civilian population of Al Anbar.
There is sporadic evidence of one or two jihadists infiltrating the protests in Al Anbar, attracted by the chaotic situation but they were quickly driven out by the local tribesmen, who want no truck with al-Qaida.
But Maliki's ploy worked well. He persuaded Washington that he was engaged in a war against terror and the United States sprang into action, shipping over rockets, missiles, drones, jets, helicopter gunships and light weapons, which are being used to annihilate the Sunni population of Al Anbar.
Innocent men, women and children are being massacred daily, while America counts the dollars from its lucrative sale of weaponry to oil rich Iraq. Futile protests from UNAMI and Ban and a deathly silence from the European Union, do little to stop the murderous onslaught.
Last week, I organized a major conference in the European Parliament in Brussels, attended by Iraqi political and spiritual leaders, including the grand mufti of Iraq, leader of the Sunni religion. They all denounced the horrific genocidal war that is being allowed to rage in Al Anbar, fueled by a steady supply of U.S. arms.
I read out a letter signed by 128 scholars, sheiks and tribal leaders from Al Anbar province who called for help from the West.
The European Parliament in Strasbourg will this week debate and vote on a resolution on Iraq. It is Europe's chance to make its voice heard; to condemn the atrocities being carried out by Maliki and to demand a stop to the flow of weapons from the United States.
The European Union doesn't have an army but it has massive economic power. Maliki must be told that unless he stops the bloodshed, all economic ties with Iraq will be cut.
This is a wake-up call for West, particularly the United State which continues to back Iraq's government.
The massacre of innocents in Fallujah has exposed the true colors of Nouri al-Maliki, a corrupt and despotic tyrant whom many Iraqis see as worse than Saddam. The sinister involvement of the fascist regime in Tehran, which seeks to spread its brand of fundamentalist Islam across the Middle East, should set the alarm bells ringing.
Struan Stevenson, a member of the European Parliament, is president of the Parliament's Delegation for Relations with Iraq.

UN worried to death about Iraq

UN worried to death about Iraq
by Haifa Zangana on 23-02-2014
BRussells Tribunal
'The Iraqi regime does not exhibit any worry about the UN's concern. It is a regime that does not take into account the need to plan long-term for a country that could be a secure home for its entire people', writes Haifa Zangana

"Words alone are not enough if we are truly to aim for a world in which all human beings are equal, regardless of gender, religion and ethnicity"

The United Nations has been worried about Iraq for decades. This is evident through the various reports that have been issued from its various organisations and agencies, ranging from UNESCO to UNICEF and the UN Human Rights Council to UNAMI (United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq). The fact that the UN is concerned is cause for concern in itself because most of what has happened in Iraq was because of the UN's own policy towards the country and the decisions that it made against the people in favour of one superpower. Its policies reduced all superpowers, even if only for a brief time, to one superpower; the United States.
For example, in the 1990s, the UN became extremely concerned for Iraq's wellbeing after it was hit with an unjust blockade, quite overlooking the fact that it was the UN itself which was responsible for drafting the resolution for the blockade in favour of implementing American and British policies.
Iraq has been a chronic concern for the UN since the US-led invasion in 2003, but how can we forget that the UN had witnessed the biggest lie and conspiracy against Iraq when the mastermind behind the invasion, US Secretary of State Colin Powell, presented a film "proving" that Iraq was home to weapons of mass destruction that could destroy the entire world?
The founding of UNAMI came soon after the invasion as a measure to control increasing anxiety, but Iraq remained under military occupation until 2011 and despite the changing faces of numerous UN envoys, the anxiety was never contained. Indeed, anxiety over Iraq continued to grow, particularly over human rights concerns. The politicised and corrupt judiciary has sentenced many people to death based on testimony from anonymous informants; the UN Human Rights Commission now deems the situation in Iraq to be inhumane. The Secretary-General of the UN, Ban Ki-moon, expressed his concern over the situation in Iraq in front of government officials and Prime Minister Nouri Al-Maliki during a visit to Iraq last month. Mr Ban did not find any reason to reduce his anxiety.
If Ban Ki-moon has allotted some of his time to express his concern for Syria, he should remember that UN organisations like UNAMI are forced to address concerns in Iraq alone. UNAMI's latest source of humanitarian and political concerns is the city of Fallujah, which was at the forefront of testing the resolve of the US-led occupation. All political parties in Iraq have been called to address the causes of violence by partaking in dialogue and political initiatives. The prime minister of the sectarian government in Baghdad has rejected this call, saying that there can be "no negotiation with terrorists"; at a stroke he has labelled all of the residents of Iraq's largest province as "terrorists" in order to justify his neo-fascist policy of collective punishment. The UN's invitation to Al-Maliki's government to partake in dialogue is based on a common policy for dialogue with the most intractable of enemies. Nour Al-Maliki's former enemy and closest friend as of late, Bashar Al-Assad, is sitting down with people he considers to be terrorists. America is negotiating with the Taliban and its allies among the combatants in Afghanistan and Pakistan; it is also negotiating with Iran. The British sat down with Irish Republicans. That's just the tip of the iceberg. So why doesn't Al-Maliki negotiate with the people of Anbar Province? Why has he refused to listen to the demands of peaceful protestors for more than a year?
The humanitarian situation in Fallujah is dire. The Iraqi army recently bombed the Fallujah General Hospital killing most of its employees and leading to the evacuation of patients and the closure of the hospital's departments. Furthermore, random shelling in Anbar has led to a number of casualties and has displaced more than 300,000 people over a six week period.
The UN continues to make appeals to provide humanitarian aid to the city, as the situation of displaced individuals grows more and more unstable due to shortages of food and water in addition to poor sanitation and lack of access to health care. It is a well-known fact that the regime has bombed several bridges in an effort to prevent supplies from reaching the people and has also surrounded the entrances of the city with thousand of troops who prevent men from entering or leaving. The regime's barbaric policies imitate those of the occupation while the UN tries to ease its conscience by issuing condemnations and reports.
For decades Iraq, like Palestine and many other countries, has suffered from the UN's double standards concerning issues such as human rights, equality and justice. There are few who still believe in these deceptive misleading humanitarian ambitions.
When I asked a friend of mine if I could participate in a conference on human rights in Iraq, he turned and asked in a desperate voice, "Will this even do any good or will it be just another conference in which people babble about Iraq?" I answered him by emphasising how important it is to inform the world about the crimes against the people, because we are still coming to terms with what is happening in Syria, so the issue of human rights is high on the agenda. In spite of my answer, though, I agree with him that the reality of the situation is frustrating.
Universal human rights remain meaningless if there is no accountability. This is clearly evident in the mass violations of human rights in many countries, like Iraq, in which the people have to fight for the ability to survive while regimes and repressive authorities are left with the freedom to practice large-scale terrorism and torture.
The Iraqi regime does not exhibit any worry about the UN's concern. It is a regime that does not take into account the need to plan long-term for a country that could be a secure home for its entire people. It is a sectarian regime that survives by using genocide against its own people while accusing them of being terrorists when, in reality, it is the government which authorises terrorism against the masses and destroys any hope of a democracy.
It is at once ironic and amusing that the actions of Iraq's political factions have caused the UN such concern. What should be emphasised are not calls for violence or terrorism, but if the UN (and the self-declared democratic parties in Iraq, which are now yet another thing to worry about) is truly concerned about human rights violations in Iraq and other countries, it will need to do more to gain credibility than merely expressing its concerns. Words alone are not enough if we are truly to aim for a world in which all human beings are equal, regardless of gender, religion and ethnicity.
This is a translation of the Arabic text published by Al Quds Al Arabi newspaper on 17 February, 2014

السبت، 22 فبراير 2014

100 killed, 530 wounded in Fallujah

100 killed, 530 wounded in Fallujah
by Middle East Monitor on 21-02-2014
BRussells Tribunal
The militants are deployed around Al-Karma and will not allow the army to storm the city.

The Sunni-majority Anbar province has been witnessing sporadic clashes between the Iraqi army and the so-called 'Al-Ashaer Revolutionaries'

Some 100 civilians have been killed and 530 wounded since the outbreak of violence in the western Iraqi city of Fallujah two months ago, medical sources told the Anadolu news agency.
The media spokesman of Fallujah General Hospital Wessam Al-Issawy said in a statement to Anadolu that his team had received a corpse and seven wounded civilians today as a result of the army's shelling. Al-Issawy said many of those affected are women and children.
The head of the Gamila clan in the Anbar province said random shelling continued on the eastern neighborhoods.
"Armed men from Al-Ashaer in Al-Karma, east of Fallujah, confronted army troops when they tried to storm their neighborhood from the eastern side, which led to violent clashes that resulted in the withdrawal of the army from Al-Karma," he said, adding that the militants are deployed around Al-Karma and will not allow the army to storm the city.
The Sunni-majority Anbar province has been witnessing sporadic clashes between the Iraqi army and the so-called "Al-Ashaer Revolutionaries", who are armed men from Al-Asaher confronting army troops trying to enter Fallujah and Ramadi.
The clashes came against the backdrop of the arrest of a Sunni MP, Ahmed Al-Alwani, and the killing of his brother on December 28 last year.
Since December 21, the Anbar province has been subjected to a large-scale military operation by the Iraqi army who is targeting Al-Qaeda affiliated militants from the Islamic State in Iraq and Levant group.

Sadr's sudden retirement shakes up Iraqi politics

But why was this decision taken? The answer is not clear.

Iraqi Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr (C) takes part in Friday prayers at the Abdul Qadir Gilani Mosque, Baghdad, Jan. 4, 2013. (photo by REUTERS/Thaier Al-Sudani)

Iraqi cleric Muqtada al-Sadr has decided to retire from politics and has cut his relationship with the political and organizational representatives belonging to his movement. The political situation in Iraq has a new twist.
The surprise caused by Sadr’s statement issued on the evening of Feb. 15 was met with confusion by the political elites close to him. They heard of the decision through the media — and so did Sadr’s grassroots supporters, the Iraqi political parties and the general public.
Sadr announced in a brief statement that he was closing all his offices and entities in Iraq, that he was cutting his relationship with his political representatives in the government and parliament and that he was retaining 19 cultural and charity institutions, which are run under his direct supervision.
Although the statement did not give clear reasons for this decision, there were signals alluding to its motives such as “ending corruption” in the name of Sadr's offices inside and outside Iraq, “ending the suffering of the Iraqi people,” disengaging from “politics and politicians” and saving the reputation of the Sadr family, which is revered.
These signals, in addition to leaks coming from people close to Sadr, pointed to an internal crisis between Sadr and his movement, ranging from Sadr’s loss of confidence in his offices, his associates and the political bodies that operate under his command; the discovery of financial corruption and the use of Sadr’s name in illegal acts, in addition to the fact that some of Sadr’s 40 members of parliament signed the controversial pension law, which provided exceptional privileges to parliament members and senior state officials. That law angered the street and infuriated top Shiite cleric Ali al-Husseini al-Sistani, who called on the public not to elect the forces that voted for the law.
But those reasons do not seem to justify Sadr’s major step, especially given that he could have expelled any deputy or figure in his movement without the need for dissolving it. And he could have made significant changes in the Sadrist current’s work and orientations.
Starting in 2008, Sadr has succeeded in changing how his political current works. He changed the militarist principles and foundations on which his current was founded in 2003. He dissolved and froze the military activities of the Mahdi Army militia and took centrist and peaceful positions in the various Iraqi crises. He showed his support for a comprehensive reconciliation in the country. He regained his relationship with Sunni Arabs and Kurds after a phase of hostility created by the civil war.
But his greatest achievement was his ability to control and neutralize his movement’s militia members. Thus, many of these members left Sadr and joined other militias such as Asaib Ahl al-Haq and the Hezbollah Brigades of Iraq, while others got involved in civilian duties.
During those years, Sadr was able to rebuild trust with Sunni Arabs after he had been at the forefront of those accused of involvement in the 2006-2008 civil war. This was a significant breakthrough, and it helped speed up the floundering government policies meant to fairly deal with the civil war.
Looking at Sadr’s movement over the last six years, he seems very capable of making drastic changes in his movement without the need to dissolve or restructure it. For that reason, common reactions to Sadr’s decision were confusion and suspicion. Some say that Sadr will reverse his decision, because in August 2013 he decided to retire from politics and then came back.
But people close to Sadr told Al-Monitor he will not reverse his decision this time, at least not before the April elections. They said that Sadr’s decision was made months ago, and this shows that his retirement was planned and not a result of emotions.
But why was this decision taken? The answer is not clear. Sadr’s situation after the formation of the government, his bone-breaking fight with Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, the failure to isolate him in 2012 and the absence of signs of political change in Iraq after the elections amid renewed talk of a third term for Maliki may all have been factors that frustrated Sadr.
Sadr expressed this frustration in an interview with me for Al-Hayat at the end of 2013, when he declared that Iraq is heading for division and that there is no hope for political change in Iraq.
In that interview, Sadr expressed feeling isolated. He spoke about a lack of Arab or Western enthusiasm to receive him as an Iraqi leader with popular support, and he expressed a desire to visit European and Arab countries. He also did not rule out visiting the United States.
“Frustration” might be an appropriate description at this stage, at least to explain Sadr’s last decision, which was reflected in the form of mass resignations by his parliament deputies and by prominent leaders' demands for Sadr to reverse his decision.
In addition to the frustration about how foreign forces treated him, in the same interview Sadr also complained of the failure of his partners in Iraq to respond to the moves he made to prevent civil war. He blamed the Sunnis for not reciprocating his positive moves. He said that he prayed behind Sunni clerics, but none of them agreed to pray behind him. Sadr also blamed the president of the Kurdistan Region of Iraq, Massoud Barzani, for not meeting his invitation to visit Najaf in response to his visit to Erbil in mid-2012.
But all that is not enough to justify Sadr’s frustration. Perhaps he did not want to turn his current — which he has always described as a “popular current” — into a political party. The description “popular current” has not produced a clear structure for the current, a distribution of roles or an internal decision-making.
The close link between Sadr the cleric, who carries an aura of sanctity inherited from his family, and Sadr the political leader, who has often displayed political statesmanship and pragmatism, has produced different power centers within his current as well as actions in his administration that may have helped break down some of his administrative structures.
As we await what will happen in the coming days in Iraq and for clear signs that Sadr’s decision is final, the status of a significant and popular political current that occupies a large part of the political, administrative and military structure in the state is now unknown. No other Shiite force can now attract Sadr, for ideological, political and historical considerations. Sadr’s supporters will not likely rush to the polls or to political work without their leader.
The other forces, especially the Shiite ones, should carefully reconsider their political and electoral calculations. And that will not be easy amid a confused Iraqi political reality that cannot handle major changes in the power balance.
see also Iraq is Run by Wolves : The Farewell Speech of Muqtada Al-Sadr

U.N. says violence in Iraq's Anbar displaces up to 300,000

"Over the last six weeks up to 300,000 Iraqis - some 50,000 families - have been displaced due to insecurity around Fallujah and Ramadi"

An Iraqi Sunni family, fleeing the violence in the Iraqi city of Fallujah, poses for a picture in Arbil in Iraq's Kurdistan region, Jan. 11, 2014. (Reuters)

Violence in Iraq's Anbar province, where militants control all of one city and parts of another, has displaced up to 300,000 people in six weeks, the United Nations has said.

The province has been hit by a surge in fighting between pro- and anti-government forces that began at the end of last year, as Iraq suffers its worst violence since 2008.

"Over the last six weeks up to 300,000 Iraqis - some 50,000 families - have been displaced due to insecurity around Fallujah and Ramadi" in Anbar, a U.N. refugee agency statement released on Tuesday said.

"Most of the displaced have fled to outlying communities in Anbar province to escape the fighting, while 60,000 persons have fled to more distant provinces," according to the statement summarizing remarks by spokeswoman Melissa Fleming in Geneva.

The displaced Iraqis join more than 1.1 million compatriots who fled violence in past years and have still not returned to their homes.

The U.N. said last month the number of people displaced by the fighting in Anbar was already the highest since the brutal sectarian violence of 2006-2008.

The crisis in the western desert province erupted in late December with clashes in the Ramadi area when security forces dismantled Iraq's main Sunni Arab anti-government protest camp, which was near the city.

Anti-government fighters subsequently seized parts of Ramadi, the provincial capital, and all of Fallujah to its west, just a short drive from Baghdad.

It is the first time anti-government forces have exercised such open control since the peak of the deadly violence that followed the 2003 US-led invasion.

Anbar Governor Ahmed al-Dulaimi at the weekend gave fighters in Fallujah a week to surrender, but said authorities would not negotiate with jihadists involved in the violence.

While government forces have made steady progress in retaking areas of Ramadi, they have largely stayed out of Fallujah for fear that an incursion would spark a drawn-out urban conflict with high numbers of casualties.

Fallujah was a bastion of the Sunni insurgency following the invasion, and American forces there saw some of their heaviest fighting since the Vietnam War.

The Anbar stand-off comes amid a protracted surge in violence, with security forces also grappling with near-daily attacks nationwide.

There have been calls for the Shiite-led government to address Sunni grievances in order to undermine support for militants, but with April elections looming, Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has taken a hard line.
Last Update: Wednesday, 12 February 2014 KSA 12:49 - GMT 09:49

Ten years on, the US are helping to destroy Fallujah again

The Iraqi Government’s accusation of an external Al-Qaeda takeover was made to justify a ferocious siege and bombardment of the Fallujah and Ramadi.

Conflict and carnage on a scale unseen since the height of the Occupation nearly a decade ago have broken out in Iraq’s Anbar Province. Over 140,000 people have been made homeless since fighting started at the end of last year. According to the UN, 65,000 people fled the fighting in the towns of Fallujah and Ramadi in one week alone.

Some commentators see the violence as a spillover from the Syrian conflict. Others analyse it in terms of Sunni tribesmen in dispute. When Iraq’s corrupt government earned a rebuke from the usually inert UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon, who called on Nuri al-Maliki to address the root causes of the conflict, the Iraqi prime minister retorted, “We do not hold dialogue with al-Qaeda.”

The pernicious narrative, peddled by the Iraqi Government and picked up in the mainstream media, that Al-Qaeda had taken over Fallujah, was a long way from the truth. But it helped to secure an immediate delivery of arms to the Iraqi regime from its US puppeteers to help quell the protests in Anbar.

For protests is what they are. They began over a year ago, demanding the freeing of tens of thousands of detainees held without charge by the security forces. Brutal torture and rape - regardless of gender - are widespread in Iraq’s jails. Last year alone, the state executed 169 people, putting it third in the league behind China and Iran.

The Iraqi Government’s accusation of an external Al-Qaeda takeover was made to justify a ferocious siege and bombardment of the Fallujah and Ramadi.  As Iraqi activist Haifa Zangana has pointed out, “Al-Maliki selectively chooses not to mention the regime's own militias: Asaib Ahl al-Haq, Iraqi Hezbollah, the Badr brigades, factions of the Mahdi army and the Mokhtar army. The latter's leader has bragged on Baghdadiya TV, about their responsibility for several attacks. No investigation has been done and no one was arrested. There is also hardly any mention of the Iraqi Special Forces inherited from the occupation, especially trained by Colonel James Steele under US ambassador John Negroponte and attached now directly to al-Maliki's office. Above all, there is no mention of the plethora of foreign-led special operation agents, private security contractors, and organised networks of professional killers, some of whom, many Iraqis believe, are protected by the regime, in the shadow of the US' biggest embassy in the world, in the fortified green zone in Baghdad.”

Government shelling of the towns in Anbar Province has been intense. Human Rights Watch has accused the regime of “indiscriminate mortar fire in civilian neighbourhoods” and “killing its own citizens unlawfully”. Hundreds of people have been killed and more than 200,000 displaced.

The Pentagon is considering following up its arms shipments with the deployment of more troops in the region to train Iraqi forces. This would be fitting, given the atrocities the US military inflicted on this unhappy country along with a deliberate sectarian set of state institutions. It is almost ten years since the first round of collective punishment was inflicted on Fallujah - by US forces.

The 2004 bombardment was a war crime. NGO's and medical workers estimated that between 4,000 and 6,000 mostly civilians were killed. In addition, 36,000 of the city's 50,000 homes were destroyed, along with 60 schools and 65 mosques and shrines, and up to 200,000 residents were forced to flee.

Months later, the US admitted that it had used white phosphorous as a battlefield weapon in the assault on Fallujah. A documentary on the Italian RAI channel showed images of bodies recovered afterwards, which it said proved the incendiary, similar in effect to napalm, had been used against men, women and children who were burned to the bone. Unconfirmed reports suggest the Iraqi regime is using similar munitions this time around.

One commentator who has seen through the current misinformation is former US marine Ross Caputi. Writing in The Guardian, he said, “I am having flashbacks to my time as a marine during the second siege of Falluja in 2004. Again, claims are being published that al-Qaida has taken over the city and that a heavy-handed military response is needed to take the city back from the control of terrorists. The first time around, this claim proved to be false. The vast majority of the men we fought against in Falluja were locals, unaffiliated with al-Qaida, who were trying to expel the foreign occupiers from their country. This week, the Iraqi Ministry of Interior's assertion that al-Qaida's affiliate, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, has taken over half of Falluja is being parroted in headlines by almost every major media network. But again, it appears that the role of al-Qaida in Falluja is being exaggerated and used as a justification for a military assault on the city.”

It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad, but Predictable World: Scaling the Patterns of Ancient Urban Growth

It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad, but Predictable World: Scaling the Patterns of Ancient Urban Growth

cities from sapce
With more than 7.1 billion people living across the globe, cities house more than 50% of the world’s population. The United Nations Population Fund projects that by 2030 more than 5 billion people will live in cities across the world. The Global Heath Observatory, a program run by the World Health Organization, predicts that by 2050, 7 out of 10 people will live in cities, compared to 2 of 10 just 100 years ago.
Recently, researchers developed what is called “urban scaling theory” to mathematically explain how modern cities behave in predictable ways, despite their unprecedented growth. Recent work in urban scaling research considers cities “social reactors”. In other words, the bigger the city, the more people and more opportunity for social interaction.  Think for a moment about the social interactions that occur just on the block outside of your local coffee shop; now multiply those interactions by millions. Cities magnify the number of interactions, increasing both social and economic productivity and, ultimately, encouraging their own growth.
The authors of a recent PLOS ONE paper sought to determine whether ancient cities “behaved” in predictable patterns similar to their modern counterparts. To do so, they developed mathematical models and tested them on archaeological settlements across the Pre-Hispanic Basin of Mexico (BOM, approximated by the red square in the figure below). Based on their findings, they suggest that the principles of settlement organization, which dictate city growth, were very much the same then as they are now, and may be consistent over time.
To test their predictions, the researchers analyzed archaeological data from over 1,500 sites in the BOM, previously surveyed in the 60s and 70s by researchers from the University of Michigan and Penn State.
BOM Location
Using low-altitude aerial photographs and primary survey reports from the original surveyors, the researchers organized the following data from approximately 4,000 sites: the settled area, the average density of potsherds—broken pieces of ceramic material—within it, the count and total surface area of domestic architectural mounds, the settlement type, the estimated population, and the time period.
The researchers were interested in examining areas of the BOM that enabled social interaction between residents, so they excluded site types that did not allow social interaction, for example, isolated ceremonial centers, quarries, and salt mounds. They then grouped the remaining 1,500 sites into both chronological groups and size groups. For chronological grouping, each site was assigned to one of four time periods: the Formative period (1150 B.C.E.–150 B.C.E.), the Classic period (150 B.C.E.–650 C.E.), the Toltec period (650–1200 C.E.), and the Aztec period (1200-1519 C.E.). By the Aztec period, the area had developed from amorphous rural settlements to booming metropolises comprising over 200,000 people.
BOM Population
For site grouping, settlements greater than 5,000 people were categorized differently than smaller settlements. In the figure above, panel B denotes settlements dating to the Formative period (1150 B.C.E.–150 B.C.E.), and panel C, settlements dating to the Aztec period (1200-1519 C.E.).
After separating the data into both chronological groups and size groups, the researchers applied their mathematical models and tested their predictions about urban growth in the settlements of the BOM. One aspect of city development assessed by the researchers was the evolution of defined networks of roads and canals in growing cities. Because roads act as conduits, directly influencing social interaction—much like the roads leading to the aforementioned coffee shop—growing cities develop increasingly defined networks to connect social hubs to one another.
Take, for example, the figure below, which displays both a city in an early stage (panel A) and later (panel B) of growth:
Panel A shows the early, or Amorphous Settlement Model, displaying a small settlement easily accessible to the individual via walking, and thus negating the necessity for clearly defined networks of roads. Panel B, on the other hand, shows the Networked Settlement Model, an infrastructure-dense area where networks are clearly defined to accommodate the increased size of the city and density of the residents. Larger cities analyzed by the authors, like Teotihuacan of the Classic period and Tenochtitlán of the Aztec period, epitomize the Networked Settlement Model with its organized network of roads and canals. The findings from the BOM echo the earlier-stated notion that, like their modern counterparts, ancient cities may have acted as “social reactors”, in part by facilitating an increasingly defined network of roads, themselves directly influencing the ability of residents to socially interact.
Scientists use urban scaling theory to show that population and social phenomena follow distinct, mathematical patterns over time. By developing mathematical models to predict measurable changes in city growth, these researchers applied the same patterns to ancient cities and concluded that the development of settlements over time in the BOM seem analogous to those observed in modern cities. Researchers predict that the same mathematical models could be reformatted to estimate population size of ancient cities, as well as to develop measures for calculating socio-economic output like the production of art and public monuments based on the relationship size between settlement size and division of labor. Although there is still much to be solved through the equations of urban scaling theory, the consistency of city growth over time has implications for both the past and the present.
Citation: Ortman SG, Cabaniss AHF, Sturm JO, Bettencourt LMA (2014) The Pre-History of Urban Scaling. PLoS ONE 9(2): e87902. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0087902
Image 1: Auroras Over North American as Seen From Space by the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
Image 2: doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0087902
Image 3: doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0087902
Image 4: doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0087902


الخميس، 20 فبراير 2014

Iraq: Stop the massacre of Anbar’s civilians!

Iraq: Stop the massacre of Anbar’s civilians!
by Abdul Ilah Albayaty Hana Al Bayaty Ian Douglas Eman Ahmed Khamas on 20-02-2014
BRussells Tribunal
A new US “Surge” is in the making and will only bring more death and destruction.

Maliki’s use of the army against the civilian population of Anbar constitutes the defeat of the policies Iraq has been following since 2003 and cements the divorce between the people of Iraq and the current sectarian government.
This new round of bombing has already produced 300,000 displaced, adding to the tragedy of the millions of Iraqi citizens already displaced by the failed and brutal US occupation.
While states are legally obliged to refrain from assisting other states to undertake internationally criminal acts, the United States is upping its supply of arms and military advisors to Iraq, along with intelligence cooperation. A new US “Surge” is in the making and will only bring more death and destruction.
Maliki’s government cannot wantonly kill civilians and claim a “State of Law”:
— Collective punishment is illegal under international law.
— Shelling water and electricity facilities, religious buildings, and hospitals are war crimes and crimes against humanity.
— The scale and target of the Maliki military strikes and shelling is utterly disproportionate and illegal and criminal in the face of the legitimate demands of the Anbar tribes.
— The lack of proportionality itself constitutes a war crime and crime against humanity.
— It is paramount for people everywhere to mobilise now to save Fallujah’s and Anbar’s civilians, understanding that their suffering mirrors the impact of the fascist sectarian regime that the US occupation created.
We appeal to all individuals of conscience, to all those who support human rights, to all progressives who believe in democracy and the right to self-determination, to the UN Security Council, to the president of the UN General Assembly, to members of the UN General Assembly, to the European Commission and member states, to the European Parliament and peoples, to Islamic and Arab states and people and their organisations, and to all human rights, anti-war and civil society organisations to:
1. Order the Iraqi government to stop its use of wanton shelling, air force attacks, and heavy artillery against the civilian population in keeping with the responsibility of states to protect civilians under the provisions of the Fourth Geneva Convention and its additional protocols.
2. Constitute an independent investigative committee to document the war crimes and crimes against humanity committed in Anbar and submit its findings to the International Criminal Court.
Abdul Ilah Albayaty
Hana Al Bayaty
Ian Douglas
Eman Ahmed Khamas

We call on all to join us, sign and spread this appeal. To endorse, email to:


by Struan Stevenson on 20-02-2014
BRussells Tribunal
PRESS RELEASE - For Immediate Release - 19th February 2014

A high-level conference involving some of the most prominent political and religious leaders in Iraq, was held in the European Parliament, Brussels, on Wednesday 19th February. Organised and chaired by Struan Stevenson, MEP, President of the European Parliament's Delegation for Relations with Iraq, the conference focused on human rights in Iraq and featured speeches from Sheik Dr Rafe Al Refaei - Grand Mufti of Iraq, Saleem Abdullah Al-Jabori - Chair of the HR Committee in the Council of Representatives, Haidar Mulla - Member of the Iraqi Council of Representatives, Minister Falah Mustafa Bakir - KRG Head of Department of Foreign Relations, Yonadam Kanna - Chair of the Labour and Social Affairs Committee in the Iraqi Council of Representatives, Kamel Zozo - Syriac Assyrian Chaldean Movement,  Elisabetta Zamparutti - 'Hands Off Cain' NGO,  Btrus Sliwa - Head of the KRG's Independent Human Rights Board, Dr Abdul- Razzaq Rahim al- Shemmeri- Spokesman for the Herak Delegation from Al Anbar Governorate, Dr Sabah Al-Mukhtar - President of the Arab Lawyers Union, UK, Dr Mohammad Taha Hamdoon, Spokesman of the Popular Movement in Iraq, Dr Moneir Hashm Al-Aobyde, Spokesman for the Movement of Baghdad and many others. The eminent speakers were welcomed by Dr. Charles Tannock MEP, Foreign Affairs Spokesman for the ECR Group.
Many Iraqi guests had travelled to Brussels to participate in the conference, which follows the publication of a highly critical report on Iraq by the European Parliament's Directorate-General for External Policies - entitled "Iraq's deadly spiral towards a civil war". A resolution condemning the on-going violence and abuse of human rights in Iraq is also under preparation in the European Parliament and will be debated in Strasbourg next Wednesday, 26th February. The draft resolution refers repeatedly to the damning report on the abuse of women in Iraq published recently by Human Rights Watch.
Speaking after the Conference, Struan Stevenson MEP said:    
"Last November, I was in Iraq. I met with many leading politicians, religious leaders and with courageous men and women who had led popular uprisings and protests in Al Anbar and 6 provinces of Iraq and in many Iraqi cities. The message from all of them was identical. They told me that lawlessness, terrorism, corruption and the systematic abuse of human rights are each a daily feature of life in Iraq. They told me that Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki is rapidly becoming another Saddam Hussein and that modern Iraq is a dust bowl of violence and bloodshed. More than 9,500 people died last year in bomb attacks and assassinations in an increasingly ugly insurgency that threatens to take the country back to the civil war that erupted from 2006-2008. Over 1000 have died already this year.
"It was these same people, people from different ethnic backgrounds, from different faiths and creeds, but who share a desire to see freedom, democracy, justice and peace restored to their country, who urged me to organise today’s conference, so that they could come to the European Parliament and reveal the truth about Iraq to the West. I am deeply grateful to them and thank them for the expense, effort and courage they have expended to come here today.
"They told us in graphic detail how Maliki is using the Iraqi military in a genocidal campaign of ethnic cleansing against the Sunni population of Ramadi and Fallujah, aided and abetted by a generous supply of missiles, rockets, drones and other weaponry from the US, which he uses to slaughter his own people, on the pretext that they are terrorists. The US has even decided to sell and rent Maliki Apache helicopters which he will use to massacre men, women and children in Al Anbar. It is an outrage.
"I am also appalled at the treatment of the 3000 refugees in Camp Liberty who are incarcerated in prison-like conditions and where the Iraqis are even restricting supplies of food and preventing emptying of sewage tanks, causing the camp to flood with polluted sewerage water and risking health. These defenceless people have been repeatedly attacked by Maliki's forces, including the horrific massacre of 52 of their colleagues in Camp Ashraf last September, when 7 hostages were seized, 6 of whom are women and nothing has been heard from them since. The limp-wristed response from the west has simply encouraged further atrocities of this kind.
"It is time the West woke up to the tragedy of Iraq. It was the US and the UK - George W. Bush and Tony Blair - who invaded Iraq and overthrew Saddam, declaring: "Mission accomplished". They boasted that they had left behind "a functioning democracy", when in fact they left behind a basket case. It was the US who colluded with Iran to return Maliki to power after the last election, even although he had lost that election by 2 seats. Now, in breach of the Erbil Agreement, Maliki has retained control over the Defence, Intelligence and Interior Ministries in his own office and he has even created new, independent security 6 intelligence organisation that is answerable only to him, giving him despotic powers.
"There is still time for the West to reassert its authority and make amends for its disastrous intervention in Iraq. The UN, US and EU must tell Maliki that his whirlwind of bloodshed, violence, corruption and abuse will no longer be tolerated. Unless there are free and fair elections on 30th April that can restore a semblance of democracy to Iraq and provide the beleaguered people of that country with a non-sectarian, secular government, committed to the restoration of the rule of law and respect for human rights, then the economic umbilical cord to the West must be severed."
In his address to the conference Dr Rafe Al Refaei - the Grand Mufti of Iraq, said: "Maliki is following a heinous policy of indiscriminate bombings of innocent people. The people of Al-Anbar did not start the war. We did everything to reach a peaceful settlement. Maliki forces attacked the peaceful rallies. They have bombarded the houses of innocent people. My own brother was killed last week in the bombardment and was not from al Qaeda or from Daesh.   When Maliki launched his so-called war against terrorists in the desert in Anbar province not a single combatant of al Qaeda was killed. The only people killed were innocent shepherds.  What is happening in Fallujah is genocide. 1000 civilians have been injured. Events in Iraq have taken a very dangerous turn. It could lead to a civil war in which all Iraqi people will lose. The European Parliament should deal with this matter. We've been handed on a golden platter to the Iranian govt."
Saleem Abdullah Al-Jabori - Chair of the HR Committee in the Council of Representatives said: "We called on the international community to come to our rescue, but we were faced with just talk and no action. Now Iraqi women's tears have dried up. We're sick of unfulfilled promises. But all of this has not put an end to bloodshed in Iraq. All of the violations are serious, all are important. They are issues of international governance and international law. We Iraqis are the ones who suffer. Investigators use torture to obtain confessions. We need to adopt legislation that will put a stop to violations of prisoners. A person can be detained for years on false accusations. But HR violations will not lead to the eradication of terrorism. Our committee has managed to get many women released from prison. Iraq is rich in diversity, but the killing still goes on. There are around 10 car bombs every day. The Iraqi media should be given more freedom to report the truth. Tens of thousands of civilians have been displaced in al Anbar Province. A generation has lost all of its rights."
Haidar Mulla - Member of the Iraqi Council of Representatives said: "Mr Stevenson has increased the influence of the EU in Iraq and in particular, he has increased the importance of HR. We had hoped that Iraq would become a democracy after the fall of the previous regime. But our HR record is not something we should be proud of. Our task is difficult and complex. We have to pave the way for a culture that respects HR. Until now GoI did not implement article 19 on HR. This is not a gift to the people. It is their right.  Currently there is a ratio of one military personnel to 27 civilians and even so we cannot live peacefully. We have a political crisis and we have to deal with it politically."
Btrus Sliwa - Head of the Independent KRG Human Rights Board said: "The Ministry of HR was abolished in 2009 because it was being politically influenced. The government set up an independent board not linked to any political body. There is a high rate of domestic violence against women in parts of Kurdistan which we have legislated to stop. There are also now an estimated 200,000 IDPs in Kurdistan as well as over 200,000 refugees from Syria."
Dr Abdul-Razzaq Rahim Al Shemmeri - speaker for the Herak Delegation from the al-Anbar Governorate said: "This is my first time in the EU and I have come to bring the true voice of Anbar to the European Parliament. Why do you turn a blind eye to the Shia militias who slaughter our people? The Sunni movement entered the conflict through the demonstrations and sit-ins which started in 2012. But it was clear from the start that there was no political will to deal with the demonstrators in a peaceful way. Maliki's army invaded the places where the demonstrators were gathering. The crimes being committed there are similar to Bosnia, Herzegovina. Anti-terrorist forces were sent by the GoI in 2013 to arrest leaders of the so-called terrorist movement in Anbar under the pretext of fighting terrorism. Maliki resorted to threatening us, stating it was a rebellion under influence of foreign forces. He told his forces to finish us off before we finished him off!"
Dr Sabah al-Mukhtar - UN Permanent Representative, Arab lawyers Union, said: "Sending foreign troops to spread democracy turns the concept upside down. HR abuses occur in every country, but Iraq has a unique situation. Maliki abuses all of the human rights of all of the people, all of the time. Iraq is also bottom of the transparency international list of corrupt states, behind even Somalia and Sudan. Why did the Americans liberate Iraq and then hand it over to the mullahs in Iran?
Minister Falah Mustafa Bakir - KRG Head of Department of Foreign Relations, said: "HR is not a privilege. It is a basic right. We care about HR because as Kurds we have a long experience of suffering. Our democracy is in its infancy. No-one can claim they are perfect. Respect for HR is what we care about in Kurdistan. We have a culture of tolerance and peaceful coexistence. This has led to prosperity for the people and an economic boom. Diversity is the source of our strength. We have also provided shelter for IDPs and refugees. The KRG also focused on women and children to address issues that empower and protect them. Women must be part of society and properly protected in all walks of life. Unlike  the federal government in Baghdad, we have always welcomed UN HR reports. As Kurds we will not accept the status of 2nd class citizens. We'd like to see all of Iraq become like Kurdistan."
Kamel Zozo, representing the Syriac Assyrian Chaldean Movement said: "Iraq is a country for all of us. As Christians we've been there since the creation of Iraq. Now we are filled with bitterness and sadness when we see what has happened to the ethnic minorities. The system of government in Iraq is now a despotic one. Christians are doomed to extinction. This is the land of our fathers and forefathers and yet we are being driven from it. We must enact necessary laws to give us protection. Plans to change the demography of Nineveh and other regions are directly targeting the Christian community. We are being pushed into an unknown future.  Can I request that EP pays attention to the minorities in Iraq."
Elisabetta Zamparutti - Italian politician in the Radical Movement and Treasurer of "Hands off Cain" NGO, said:  "Executions began again after a suspension in August 2005.  Over 600 people have been executed since then, 117 last year alone. Iraq is now 3rd behind China and Iran for the number of executions it carries out. There are wooden gallows working overtime in the old intelligence HQ building in Baghdad, where Saddam was hanged. No records of these executions are kept. The justice system in Iraq is broken. Those executed are not represented properly. Evidence taken from secret informants cannot be challenged in court. We need to reflect on the situation in Iraq today."
Struan Stevenson MEP
President of the European Parliament's Delegation for Relations with Iraq

Report on Status of Iraq Government War Crimes in Anbar Province

Report on Status of Iraq
Government War Crimes in Anbar Province

by Dr. Al Darraji

February 17, 2014

This is a report generated by Iraqi sources and compiled by Dr. Al Darraji on the case of Fallujah, Iraq. It is not the work of the publisher. It was translated by Omar Abdel-Ghaffar. 
Government War Crimes in Anbar Province
Report by the Conservation Center of Environmental & Reserves in Fallujah (CCERF): Fallujah Case Study
February 2014
Fallujah � Iraq
 1. Introduction
Since the start of the peaceful sit-ins of December 2012, numerous peaceful protests have sprung up and spread in the Sunni Iraqi provinces against the sectarian political system, and the continued violation of human rights by the repressive Maliki forces. Instead of negotiating the legal, legitimate demands of the protesters, the Maliki regime conducted a brutal crackdown on the protests, the brutality increasing gradually with time. The number of arbitrary mass arrests increased with a parallel increase in killings in an attempt to exterminate the protesters. This was especially evident in the three consecutive crimes that took place at the beginning of 2013, where protesters were gathered in the cities of al Huwayja, Fallujah, an Mosul. Maliki�s regime justified its policy with the excuse of fighting terrorism, then declared that the demands of the protesters were legitimate, only to go back to declare war on terrorism, a war that in reality is a war against those who oppose that regime and its sectarian government.
The Kurdish Coalition considered the DAISH (Dawlat al Islam fi al Iraq wal Sham, "The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant") question to be more of a political fabrication than a terrorist reason, Mr. Shuwan Muhammad Taha, a representative on behalf of the Kurdish Coalition, in an interview with Sumeria News, accusing I�itilaf Dawlat al Qanun (Rule of Law Coalition) of calling all of those who oppose it on the DAISH question terrorists (19). The policies of political marginalization and persecution have reached the representatives of Maliki� MPs, when they accusing their colleagues within Parliament of being DAISHIs. A representative for I�itilaf Dawlat al Qanun, Mr. Muhammad Sadoun al Seyhud claimed that the political parties that refused to be present under the Parliamentary Dome to approve the new budget were all "DAISHi"
Now, increasingly the fact of genocide plan with increasing such statements that call for genocide under the pretext of terrorism, according to an Iraqi newspaper term lawmakers (Mada) said on the MPs of Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, said there was no part in Anbar valid to be as party in a dialogue with the government, and that raises the political initiatives not only serve the terrorists. Mr. Hussein Saffi (MP in Dawa party) in a statement to this newspaper "pointing out that military effort is the only solution to end the crisis in Anbar, rejecting calls for dialogue advocated by some political sides, wondering "dialogue with whom?", and added," No political party in Anbar even talk with them, they are a group of terrorists, and any trying to confuse it supports terrorism"(30).
Before the military operations in the province of al Anbar began, Maliki declared that large units would be directed to go to Anbar desert, especially the Houran Valley, with a lot of troops from the rest of the provinces, in order to combat terrorism and the terrorist groups that he claims have arrived from Syria!!. But, after the operations began in Anbar Desert, he changed the redirected all of his troops to the cities of Al Ramadi and Fallujah in a clear act of sectarian-based extermination. Repressive policies like these were the main motivation for the uprising in the first place, in addition to the general public refusing to ignore the existence the crimes of his unconstitutional private forces, SWAT. The military operations began on Maliki�s part when he, with the use of the military, arrested an MP, Mr. Ahmed Al-Alwani and assassinated his brother and his sister-in-law. Immediately afterwards, he ordered attacks on the protesters in the square in Al Rumadi, in order to make sure that the protests would not remain peaceful, and that it would turn into a sectarian conflict, one which he could manipulate to his advantage in the election of April 2014. Since December 22, the Maliki government has been carrying out an operation in the Anbar desert under the banner of fighting the terrorist groups that are hiding there, but it soon became clear that it was a widespread, armed attack directed at the residential areas in Rumadi and Fallujah, with random bombing of buildings using heavy artillery, tanks, and air strikes.
Unfortunately, the Security Council�s declaration of support for the Maliki war on terror has not taken into consideration the deadly attacks carried out against innocent Sunnis, and the opposition in general. This grossly inappropriate reaction on the part of the international community is the result of the UNAMI failing to bring accurately relate the humanitarian crisis and genocide crimes by the Mailiki� regime�s operations. Evidence of the corruption and deliberate cover-up on the part of the UNAMI in favor of the Maliki� regime can be seen in its disregard for human rights, as shown in the delay in the periodical reports of the human rights situation in Iraq. This report originally was released every three months, then every six months, and now it is released only once a year, making it not as accurate of an analysis. The UNAMI has also failed to take any action by invitation the Special Rapporteurs of human rights to Iraqi for investigate the mass crimes and violations of Maliki� regime, despite the numerous reports that expose his brutality and repression.
The continuing genocidal policies against the Sunnis in Iraq motivated a member of the European Parliament, Mr. Struan Stevenson, who heads the European Parliament Committee on Relations with Iraq, to say that "Iraq is regressing quickly to a state of civil war and ethnic cleansing." His point is made even clearer through the televised speeches by Maliki, in which he threatens the protesters, and, with sectarian language, encourages supporters to aid him in his struggle against the residents of Anbar.
In the midst of this political drama, the residents of Anbar and Fallujah have been forced to take action in order to protect themselves from the very real threat that the Maliki forces pose. Self-defense of course, is a right that has been enshrined in all Divine and human-made legal codes, and is a necessity for the inhabitants of these provinces in the face of the criminal policies of this sectarian government.
The dangerous situation of systematic targeting against the residents of Anbar, especially those in the cities of Al Rumadi, Fallujah, al Karmah, and al Khalidiyah, in addition to the government�s decision to cut off all humanitarian aid to those cities as well as nearby cities which host thousands of refugees, all confirm the policy of sectarian extermination which many international politicians and analysts have warned of. The inhuman cruelty of the attacks carried out by the Maliki regime demands the international community�s immediate intervention in order to stop the massacres mentioned in this report, keeping in mind that the population of Fallujah and its nearby towns adds up to 650,000 civilians.
2. Crimes of Genocide and Collective Punishments Against Civilians

Since the start of the military operations in Fallujah on 22 Dec. 2013, the indiscriminate bombing of the city targeted all aspects of life within it. The residents of Fallujah have accused the Maliki government of murdering their children by bombing schools and demolishing mosques and homes (22,10,23). The victims of the Iraqi forces� artillery, which are centered in Mazra�a Camp near Fallujah, have confirmed that many bombs fell on their houses in the morning, while families were having breakfast, injuring numerous women and children in the village of Sbeyhat (the city of Karma) near Fallujah (4). An elderly man (living in the area of Jubeil) who was injured upon exiting the taxi-cab that had taken him to the city from Baghdad, claimed that the military had opened fire on him meters after he left the area which they controlled. He was transported to the hospital with life-threatening wounds and a critical state of shock (6).
The family of a young girl who was shot during a battle in the Na�imiyah area of the city confirmed that the conflict has forced all the residents to flee, and that the regime�s forces targeted families attempting to return to their homes (7). Eye-witnesses and citizens related to victims in the city of Karmah have released a video of panicking orphaned children whose orphanage had been bombed and reduced to rubble (9). Towards the end of January 2014, Liqaa Wardi, an MP accused the Maliki government of failing to fulfill its promise of stopping the bombing of Fallujah and other cities in the south of Anbar, claiming that over 15 rockets had been fired in the different areas of city. Wardi said in an interview with Sumeria News that the central government has not stood by its promise of ceasing the shelling  in Falluja city, where 15 rockets and mortars were dropped in the areas of Na�imiyah, Buwahwy, and Jamilah, south of Qadaa, resulting in many casualties, including a female refugee who was living in a school (15).
Another witness was Mr. Hmed al-Isawy, aged 32, who was a assistant in a high school in Amriya, Fallujah. He recalled for us that on January 28, 2014, government forces bombed the Buwahwy area, near Fallujah, and blew up several houses, and killed livestock, as can be seen in the images attached below. This incident has been confirmed also by Ms. Aum Jamal, when she was present with her family displaced from Fallujah, in a mosque at this area when the shells rained down on as indiscriminate shelling on the area, many residents rushed to her ​​children rescued by smuggled with the families of the other car out of the danger zone. She has been displaced from her house in Fallujah ( neighborhood Ressala) out of Fallujah because of the indiscriminate shelling on Fallujah, and fear for her children life (32).
2. 1. Statistics Regarding the Victims of Shelling in Residential Areas
The chief of the Residing Physicians in General Fallujah Hospital, Dr Ahmed Shami Jassem, spoke to us about the number of victims as of January 27th 2014, saying there were 313 severely wounded civilians (amongst them 31 children, 31 women). The number of dead is 59 martyrs (amongst them 10 children and 4 women). He added that bullets caused most of the wounds during the first three days of the operation, which proves that military tried to force their way into the neighborhoods of the city. This contrasts with the wounds that he treated after January 3rd 2014, which were caused by shrapnel due to the indiscriminate shelling of the city and its homes (2).
We were able to find an official medical document that confirms that the number of civilian casualties in Fallujah since the beginning of the military operation by the Maliki Regime on December 30 2013 up until February 5th 2014 is 452 victims. Of them, 69 have died, and 383 were wounded. Of the wounded, 40 were children and 39 were women, and amongst the dead 10 were children and 4 were women (12). While another medical sources in Fallujah said the number of martyrs reached 85, while the wounded had exceeded the 400 injured, mostly children, women and the elderly (30).
2.2. Eye-Witness Accounts of the Indiscriminate Shelling
Many satellite television channels have tried to relay to the public the indiscriminate shelling against the civilians in the city of Fallujah (18). Below, we have excerpts of some cases and eyewitness accounts of victims and their families as following:
1) According to documentary films passed on a satellite channel and workers in place mortuary in General Hospital, has killed two families of six members were eating their dinner during the fall of the shell on them in the house the night of January 23 to 24, 2014, as the wounded wife one and remained the daughter of one of them the only survivor of the accident and the accompanying image her name is Ayat Mohammed Fayyad (10 years old) , note that the incident occurred in the neighborhood of Nazzal (5) .
2) Lamiaa (25 year-old) spoke to us about one of her female relatives who lay beside her in the Intensive Care Unit of the Fallujah hospital. She said that her house was targeted with mortars and heavy artillery, fired at them from the Na�imiya Police Station during the government forces� attack on the residential neighborhood. Her relative said that she was shot in the head, and surgeons had to intervene in order to remove the shrapnel from her head and she currently is bed-ridden and is in critical condition (1).
3) A young girl (Assile Jaber Hamid Ghatran) (aged 14), she was wounded by shrapnel in her neck, the upper right side of her body, and the lower left side of her body, as can be seen in the picture below.
4) The girl (Adian Omar) from al Dubbat District, aged 4 months, was wounded on the evening of January 24th 2014 due to a mortar landing on her relative�s house. A window near her fell upon her, severely wounding her head, as can be seen in the images attached below.
5) The young girl (Fatima Thamir Hamid) (11 years old) was wounded by shrapnel on her left hand, as can be seen in the image below.
6) Documented information has reached us from medical sources regarding the civilians who arrived in the Fallujah hospital on January 30th, 2014. Their images can be seen below, and they are:
  1. Iman Muhammad Abdel-Razzaq, 40 years, female, wounded in Karmah, Fallujah
  2. Ishaaq Saleh Muhammad, 4 years, male, wounded in Karmah, Fallujah
  3. Abire Saleh Muhammad, 18 years, female, wounded in Karmah, Fallujah
  4. Shurouq Burhan Ali, 7 years, female, wounded in Resalah, Fallujah
  5. Ashwaq Muhammad Jassem, 25 years, female, wounded in Resalah, Fallujah
  6. Sarah Muhammad Awdah, 13 years, wounded in Karma, Fallujah
  7. Fatima Muhammad Awdah, 15 years, wounded in Karmah, Fallujah
  8. Saleh Muhammad Abdel-Razzaq, 45 years, wounded in Karmah, Fallujah
7) Amongst the tragic stories that have been relayed to us is the story of Abu Muhammad al Falluji (Ali al Halbusi) who lies today in the Intensive Care Unit in one of Erbil�s hospitals, capital of the semiautonomous territory of Kurdistan. He has been in a situation between life and death for two weeks now, and he does not know that he has lost two of his children due to shelling by the military. The family claims that the shelling occurred on the Nazzal neighborhood in the center of Fallujah, and the shell fell upon his house, which he refused to abandon, due to his belief that maybe a diplomatic solution would solve the Anbar Crisis.  In an interview with Mada press, Karim Hassan al Halbousi, the victim�s relative, said "Abu Muhammad, who is 53 years old, was an officer�s assistant in the former military. After the dissolution of the military, he worked as a cab driver in a car owned by his brother. Al Halbousi added that "He provided for three children, two of them are boys in middle schools. The lone survivor is a girl whose engagement to her cousin was supposed to be announced but had to be postponed due to the conflict. An eyewitness clarified to us that he, on "Wednesday morning (January 15th 2014) issued a warning about the number of casualties due to the density of the bombings. One of these stray bombs fell upon Abu Muhammad�s kitchen while the family was having breakfast." He remarks that "The mortar resulted in the destruction of the entrance of the house and prevented neighbors from saving Abu Muhammad�s family, except after a lengthy struggle which involved not only direct neighbors, but people from all over the Nazzal neighborhood." He added that the event resulted in the immediate death of Abu Muhammad�s two sons, and in his own injury, in addition to resulting in his wife and daughter suffering from minor injuries. He continues: "The medical team in the Fallujah hospital performed two urgent surgeries on Abu Muhammad, but failed to improve his condition or awaken him from the coma. He was placed in a coma due to a piece of shrapnel that was lodged near his brain, in addition to damage to his liver and right kidney, as well as several fractures in his leg." On his part, another relative of Abu Muhammad�s named Ali Muhsin al Halbousi, in an interview with Mada Press claimed that "The Fallujah hospital suffers from a lack of resources and an overcrowding of casualties. Also, it is threatened by shelling as well, for two bombs were detonated near the Emergency Room door, which prompted us to consider moving Abu Muhammad, but we could not decide where to� we were constantly concerned with how we could move him within the city and out of it throughout his surgeries and despite his critical condition, because of the constant fighting and dense shelling between the army and the armed rebels in our neighborhoods."
8) On January 26, 2014, Dr. Wissam Jassem al Isawi admitted that the hospital had received that morning 35 injured civilians and 7 martyrs, amongst them women and children. The Maliki regime�s forces had begun to indiscriminately shell the residential suburbs in the Naimiya neighborhood, Karma city, and al Saqlawiyah city, ensuring that all of the victims were members of peaceful families that had stayed in their homes during the shelling (21). While some local activists published interviews with the families of the victims of pictorial civilian was hit and damaged as a result of indiscriminate shelling by the forces of al-Maliki regime (25).
On January 30th 2014 an MP representing Fallujah (Liqaa Wardi) criticized the Maliki regime�s failure to stop the indiscriminate shelling of Fallujah (15). The cruelty of the regime�s forces against innocent civilians violates article three of the Geneva Convention. This article demands that in the case of armed conflict in the territory of one of the belligerents, anybody who is not participating "must be treated with humanity at all times".
2. 3. The Crimes of Bombing Medical Centers and their Cadres
Fallujah Hospital was targeted more than three times up till January 27th by government forces. The first time, a mortar was dropped on the hospital, which resulted in the injury of civilians who had gone to the hospital for medicine. The second shelling damaged the roof of the building, causing major monetary damage. The third attack was artillery shelling which heavily damaged the hospital, and caused a power outage. The Head of the Doctors Residing in the Hospital confirmed that the general state of depression, terror, and fear amongst the medical cadres was overwhelming, not to mention the dangerous psychological effect the shelling has on the patients. In addition, medical staffs who works in the hospital was targeted on his way to work. Mr. Muayed Salman al Furaji was killed by bullet wounds shot by the Maliki regime�s forces on January 28th, 2014 as he entered Fallujah, coming from his home in the Bufraj area near the town of al Rumadi. 
Lft: Mr. Muayed Salman al Furaji. Rt: Shell in front of the emergency department at the hospital
On the evening of Sunday, February 2nd, 2014, the private hospital of Talib Hammad was damaged by several shells fired by the Maliki regime, as is depicted in the pictures of the journalist Shaker al Muhammadi of the Al-Waleed news agency. Other film published of locals documenting this crime (28).
On February 4, 2014, and citing satellite Fallujah channel, a spokesman for the hospital in Fallujah Dr. Wissam al-Issawi confirmed that fall 3 shells on nearby Falluja Medical College Hospital for the educational year, which caused some damage of building. This accident news also confirmed by the Al-Waleed news agency, Local News, which was published the following photos to the scene :
2. 4. Probability Use of Shells Carrying Chemical Weapons and Fissile Weapons
Some information from eyewitnesses within Fallujah has confirmed that gasses defused from some mortar shells for several hours after they landed. Mahmoud Nouri Kamel, one of these eyewitnesses has given us images of these thermal shells, which fell on the city yesterday, near ice cream of Fairouza. When the shells fell, a strong flame blazed from it, and a chemical vapor that smelled like rotten eggs wafted towards those nearby. Images below depict the occurrence. Other eyewitnesses have sent us videos of the remains of a mortar that exuded a nausea-inducing vapor (8).
An eyewitness confirmed for Al-Taghier Satellite Channel that the military used fissile (cluster) weapons targeting markets, homes, and mosques. Medical sources in the city hospital of Fallujah have spoken of tens of civilians suffering from injuries and deaths due to such gases yesterday as the military tried to regain control of the city from the tribesmen who currently lead the resistance and have control of the city (11).
3. Forced Displacement of Civilians
The brutality of the indiscriminate shelling of residential neighborhoods has forced tens of thousands of civilians to exuding or escaping from the city. The estimation of humanitarian aids workers said about 40% of the original population still resides within the city. Most of the citizens who remain depend on daily salaries, meaning that they do not have the resources to rent a house outside of the city. Many civilians, when interviewed by satellite television channels said that they are forced to remain under life-threatening shelling due to their inability to leave and find refuge anywhere else (17). Others were forced to seek refuge from the fighting in abandoned skeletal buildings despite the lack of electricity, water, heat, and cooking utilities (24).
UN Reports confirmed the displacement of over 65,000 people due to the struggle in the towns of Fallujah and al Rumadi, and has left over 140,000 people homeless. The violent shelling has damaged numerous schools and hospitals and has thus displaced those families that were residing in them.
While children�s organization UNICEF pointed that more than 40 000 children have been displaced with their families in addition to the killing and wounding many of them through indiscriminate shelling of the city and the organization continues its attempts with the Maliki regime in order to create safe corridors for the exit of the displaced families with kids. While the International Organization for Migration (IOM) confirming on the 44 000 families have been displaced from Anbar, because of the military campaign of the owners of the cities (30).
Many civilians moved to the villages surrounding Fallujah, and a large group of them have moved to the north of Iraq and the other cities of Anbar and nearby Salahul Din. Others have resorted to residing in schools, the lack of temporary housing forcing them to live in classrooms.
The Watanya (National) Coalition, which follows the former Prime Minister, Iyad Alawi has admitted in a public statement dated on February 1st 2014 that "The residents of the city of Fallujah suffer under deteriorating humanitarian conditions which should inspire shame in any Iraqi who seeks the continued unity of the nation, and the protection of its future." The Watanya Coalition has also declared that "Fallujah is a city in a state of disaster, and promised to send immediate delegations to the UNAMI and the Red Crescent to provide the necessary humanitarian aid for the displaced families, since the government has failed to do so." This statement confirms the sheer size of the government cover-up on this genocidal crime, which is directed even towards refugees who fled the city because of the military operation. It also confirms the scandalous cover up and complete disregard on the part of international humanitarian organizations, not only in providing aid, but also in observing and implementing the articles of the Geneva Convention in cases of war.
President of the Iraqi Parliament Mr. Osama Najafi said that there are 50 000 families have been displaced due to military operations in Anbar province, and added that the conditions of those displaced so bad to the point of need general alarm !! Iraqi Red Crescent Society announced, in (January 30, 2014 ) , for the high number of displaced people from Anbar to more than 46 thousand families, emphasizing assistance to more than 24 thousand families of it (13) . Which means more than 22 000 displaced families stayed without humanitarian aid !!
We documented in recent days, some of the films that demonstrate the survival of many civilians inside Fallujah on 1 � 4February 2014, near the local markets for vegetables and food , which forced civilians to come out in these tough times for shopping or livelihood daily (20) . In addition to the deployment of activists inside the city for the movies to prove survival of many families that their points of relief in the inner city with more than 100 000 civilians, most of them from poor families and earning power per day, or are unable to work (29).
The greatest proof of the sectarian gov. an is the report by refugees from Anbar, when they arrived to the capitol Baghdad, complaining of restrictions placed on them by the armed forces, and the continued arrests, as well as the searching of Sunni quarters of the city, obstructing the daily lives of the families living in them. Since the arrival of fleeing families from Fallujah and al Rumadi to the capitol, the military, under the excuse of security reasons, has been conducting raids on these fleeing families. Numerous refugees have been arrested in the Sunni areas of Amriya, Ghazaliya, Sayedeya, Yarmouk, and Hittin, which house the families that fled the indiscriminate shelling in their homes. In addition, the local city councils in these areas has also expressed a need to review the families which flee to it, in order to keep a record of the number of families present in each area and handing them [I don�t know if they mean the records or the families] over to the government forces. On the other hand, the fleeing families were banned by the Maliki forces from entering the cities of Samraa except after showing proof of a sponsor-resident from within the city.
With the promotion of government sources and parliamentary belonging to Maliki�s bloc, for that there is the risk of the spread of terrorism and spread in the rest of the provinces after being accused the people of Anbar as they have become an incubator for terrorism!!, it is the definitive evidence to planned extermination arguments did not prove, but in their imaginations criminal diseased (31).
Now I have ever been trapped in the city of Fallujah, about more than a month did not stop the indiscriminate shelling of government or restless. Over the days get complicated living situation and deteriorating humanitarian situation, the center of the steadfastness of the people and their determination to hold fast to the demands for which more than a full year (26). As the cut cellular communications in Anbar province has increased the effects of the blockade against civilians and increase the suffering in the lack of communication between their children displaced in other areas or with the views that have prevented aid from entering the cities of Fallujah and Ramadi, except in limited cases. This prompted Motaheidon block MPs to threat to sue the cellular phone companies because of this non- humanitarian work after pressure Maliki regime, in order to tighten the blockade and prevent the dissemination of news of crimes and the fact that the humanitarian situation there is frightening (27). On 5 February 2014, the head of the parliamentary Committee on Migration Liqaa Wardi announced to Al-Tagheir channel that the 15 thousand displaced people from Anbar to Kurdistan scored only three thousand of them!! (27).
4. Recommendations
  1. Urgent international action to stop the military operations in the province of Anbar, which could be considered an operation of mass punishment that reach the genocide level, in order to protect civilians and to make it possible for the knowing the truth, especially the catastrophic humanitarian crisis taking place right now.
  2. The creation of an international investigation committee on behalf of the UN Security Council or the UN Human Rights Council. Although all of the information available indicates an international crime within the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court, which requires the action from the Prosecutor to investigate all available information.
  3. A review of the mechanisms used by the UNAMI in Iraq, which have become a burden on the people, giving these transgressions political legitimacy. And it became necessary to return the position of the Special Rapporteur for Human Rights in Iraq.
  4. Stopping any military aid to the Maliki regime�s government in Iraq until the investigations surrounding the crimes that have been committed are done.
  5. The urgent entrance of international aid organizations in order to alleviate the poor living conditions of the refugees, who number more than 200 thousand from the city of Fallujah and its nearby villages, in addition to 100 thousand within the city.
  6. The need to adopt solutions based on justice and transparency in knowing the facts and to hold the perpetrators, whatever their positions, and stay away from political solutions that represent the agendas of some political parties, domestic or international , which not only bring us more of the devastation and suffering over the past ten years.
  7. The need urgent action by the International Red Cross in the verification of war crimes in violation of the Geneva Conventions, especially with all the evidence documented in this report . And the need to bring the perpetrators of the war against international forums as stipulated in their responsibility, which gave her the international community.
  8. The need for international pressure to force the Iraqi government to sign and ratify the Convention on the International Criminal Court to halt the series of genocide in Iraq.

5. References
  1. Testimonies of people with indiscriminate bombing of the al-Maliki government forces. Arabic speech.
  2. An interview with a chief of doctors residents in Fallujah General Hospital Dr. Ahmed Shami on January 28, 2014.
    1. Some houses which have long been indiscriminate shelling in the neighborhood of Al Askary in Fallujah.
  1. Women injured as a result of indiscriminate shelling on the vine spend east of Falluja 30/01/2014.
  2. Government bombardment on Fallujah kills entire family in the Nazzal neighborhood. TV Al-Tagheir channel. January 24 January 2014.
  3. Government forces firing on unarmed elderly man at the entrance to Fallujah 30/01/2014.
  4. Woman infected as a result of indiscriminate shelling of the government army forces on civilian homes in the city of Fallujah.
  5. Pictures of the remains of the projectile, which took place yesterday in the Fallujah mosque near Othman bin Affan in Fallujah.
  6. Home was bombed Bakarmh orphans and children appeal to the world to intervene to save them from government aggression 01/25/2014.
    1. Fallujah residents accuse the prime minister of killing their children and the demolition of mosques and homes. TV Al-Tagheir channel. 2 February 2014.
  7. Army shells used in the bombing of fissile revive Fallujah after failing to break into. TV Al-Tagheir channel. 2 February 2014.
  8. Medical document issued by the hospital in Fallujah on February 2, 2014.
  9. Najafi : 50 000 families have been displaced from Anbar, and their need to declare a state of the horn . Alsumaria TV. 2 February 2014.
  10. Chihod describes the blocks impeding the adoption of the budget as "DAISHi." Alsumaria TV. 1 February 2014.
  11. Deputy for Motahedon bloc accuses the government of not fulfill its commitments on the stop the bombing of Fallujah. Alsumaria News. January 30 January 2014.
  12. Witnesses dozens of families migrating from the area east of the city of Fallujah Abadi because of indiscriminate shelling. TV Al-Tagheir channel. January 30 January 2014.
  13. Fallujah residents declare their stay in their homes in defiance of indiscriminate shelling of the city. TV Al-Tagheir channel. January 28 January 2014.
  14. Army continues bombing civilians in Fallujah and the succession of deaths and injuries, most of them women and children. TV Al-Tagheir channel. 26 January 2014.
  15. Kurdistan Alliance: Daish issue of fabricating a political rather than a terrorist. Alsumaria News. February 1, 2014.
  16. Public life for the people of Fallujah, near the local shopping centers and the daily work in the sale of vegetables and food.
  17. Fallujah hospital is full of Iraqi Army random shelling victims.
  18. Al-Maliki Air Force bombing on Abu Ayyub al -Ansari mosque in Fallujah.
  19. Massive destruction caused to civilian homes impact of the continuing shelling violent boiling of Fallujah. TV Al-Tagheir channel.
  20. Family without a water escape from the bombing of Fallujah to the semi- abandoned building outside the city.
  21. Testimonies of families hit and injured her children because of the indiscriminate shelling of the al-Maliki regime forces.
  22. The humanitarian situation is deteriorating dramatically inside Fallujah and the United Nations criticized the siege of the city. TV Al-Tagheir channel. 4 February 2014.
  23. Motahedon block: will we prosecute telecommunications companies that cut their services for the province of Anbar. 4 February 2014. Alsumaria TV.
  24. Maliki�s forces bombed a hospital in Fallujah 02/03/2014.
    1. Interviews with many of the families remaining in the city.
  1. The displacement of about 40 thousand Iraqi children with their families. Al Jazeera TV.
  2. PM Block (Dahwa party): the storming of Fallujah needs to study the minute. And her families are forced to be an incubator for militants. Mada Newspaper. February 5, 2014.
    1. Survivor testimony of Aum Jamal from Ressala neighborhood in Fallujah.