Sunday, June 01, 2008

The other "Mosul operations" story

Here are the main parts of an article by journalist Zaid Al-Zubaidi that appeared in the Lebanese paper Al-Akhbar yesterday (Saturday May 31).

The security operation by the Iraqi government in Ninawa province has uncovered the fact that a large part of the provincial [security] agency has been implicated in corruption and in feeding operations of violence, since the fall of Baghdad in 2003. But the recent disclosures, connected in their overwhelming majority with the Democratic Party of Kurdistan--led by the president of the Kurdistan Region Masoud Barzani--have not led to confrontations between the [Iraqi] government and the Kurdish parties, unlike what happened between the Baghdad government and the Sadr trend [in Basra and elsewhere].

The names of responsible officials in the Democratic Party of Kurdistan, involved in violent operations, have been piling up at the [Iraqi] security agency since the disclosure of the involvement of Khosro Goran, the Deputy Governor of Mosul who is close to Barzani, in running a network of assassinations and liquidations in this northern province. After this affair having remained for a long time subject to bargaining, or under cover of silence, day before yesterday [that would be Thursday May 29], there was a public confirmation from security sources that are reliable, to the effect that "the leadership of the Ninawa operations have issued arrest warrants against Goran's deputy Mehdi al-Harki, who is a leader in the Kurdistan Democratic Party, and a number of members of the provincial council".

Investigations with a number of arrested people disclosed that they had been operating in a private network of assassinations and bombings connected with Goran, who works also as the head of the Mosul branch of the Democratic Party of Kurdistan.

People close to that investigation said the confessions indicated participation in the network by Major Ahmed al-Jawari, who worked for a time as office-director for the governor [that would be Dureid Kashmula] , and he [al-Jawari] was arrested immediately.

And the source said that admissions by the arrested persons indicated that Goran had encouraged them to communicate with a number of people connected with the AlQaeda organization and asked them to give this Islamic organization financial and logistic help.

And the source said that a group of people connected with Goran admitted having carried out the assassinations of Sheikh Faidi al-Faidi, a prominent Imam in the Buldiyat district of Mosul, and of the general secretary of the banned Baath party in Mosul, Najam al-Iraqi, and of the former director of that party, Nazar Yunis, in addition to a number of specialist doctors and university professors. The total operations of which Goran is accused, represented by his management of this network of assassinations done under his direct orders, comes to 900 assassination operations, in addition to his secret support for gangs within the city that have the aim of forcing citizens turn over security to the Peshmerga, in order to make the city more linked to the Kurdistan region.

Prime Minister Maliki had originally planned to make Goran one of his advisers in the Iraqi government, but Iraqi intelligence under Abdullah al-Shahwani informed him, just before he went to Mosul, of reports that Goran was involved in assassinations, and as a result Maliki eliminated the Mosuli authority [meaning either Goran, or Goran and others] from his operation planning group. Sources in the leadership of the Mosul operation said Maliki was "not ready for the size of the surprise that was waiting for him in Mosul," adding that he later expressed regret that Mosul had been left under the control of Peshmerga for five years.
The journalist names others connected with the administration of Mosul who were also subject of arrest warrants. But he doesn't mention Goran himself, leaving open the question what has happened to him. Here is the only hint:
Media sources in Mosul said Goran's deputy in the party, Al-Harki, conveyed a message from Barzani to vice president of the republic Tareq al-Hashemi, asking him "not to stir up the Goran affair in the media", but to transfer [Goran] out of the city, and Barzani would settle the matter quietly, fearing vengeance of the people of Mosul against the Kurdish parties. And Barzani asked that the replacement of the governor of Mosul be announced simultaneously with the firing of Goran, and before the issuance of an arrest warrant [against Goran], so that this will have the appearance of being natural administrative changes following the security operation.

4 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Badger, if this is true, it is dynamite!

Well, now that I'm writing a stupid comment, I might as well take the opportunity to thank you for your "informed comment", and to ask you a question that has puzzled me for some time :
I'd like to know how you follow the Arab newspapers' coverage on Iraq ; in the last two weeks, you had articles from al-Akhbar, al-Hayat, iraq-amsi, Aswat al-Iraq, al-Manara, al-Quds al-Arabi, Nahrainnet, al-Manar, as-Sabah, al-Watan, Akhbar al-Khalij, al-Ghad, al-3amara, al-badil al-Iraqi.
Are you a professional newspaper-reader, or do you follow the Arabic language news by way of a site like Google news?

Thanks again!

Peter

11:29 AM  
Blogger badger said...

Like anything else, I read the sites that have have proved to have useful stuff in the past (and for the newspapers, to get started you can find fairly complete lists by country at onlinenewspapers.com). Plus at any given time there are other people that link to arabic news sites that I'm not already familiar with, so it builds up. Right now the person who links to a whole variety of interesting and for me often obscure material is Ladybird, an Iraqi, at roadstoIraq.com. (And she's fast: That's where I saw this latest al-Akhbar.com piece referred to, for instance).

If you check the archives, you'll see that when I started back in Sept 06, I believe, my range was a lot narrower. I started this as a way to practice my reading. I keep threatening to pull back and do other things, but every once in a while there are these things that knock your socks off, so it's hard

The Khosro (or Khasro) Goran story has the ring of truth, I'd say.

3:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

this is quite a bombshell. don't quite know how i missed it over the last couple days. this is why i keep coming back and scrolling your older posts.

amazing. not exactly a rumor one could keep under wraps in iraq. the chances it will ever see the light of day here is the US..zilch.

thank you badger, again..

7:48 AM  
Blogger annie said...

whoops, that was me

7:49 AM  

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