Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Mosul followup

Prime Minister Maliki issued an order last month for the vacating of all government buildings by whatever non-government entities have been occupying them, (one famous result of that was the widely-publicized agreement of the Sadrist current to vacate the former Olympic Committee building in Basra last month), and the latest newsworthy implementation of which was supposed to be the vacating by the Peshmerga militia of buildings in the Arabi district in northern Mosul. As noted in an earlier post, the vice-governor of Ninawa province Khosro Goran (if he has not been officially fired yet) said in Irbil, where he has fled, that this would not be vacated, and reports said the buildings in question were being reinforced and armed--including with anti-aircraft rockets--in order to defend them against any possible attack by the Iraqi government forces. (The link to this news-item that was cited in the earlier post appears to have been scrubbed, but the same news-item on the same site, Badeel al-Iraq, is now available here).

GZ politicians appear to be following this story, even if the news agencies aren't, because the Iraqi parliament today voted in favor of a measure asking Maliki to please postpone implementation of the order for vacating government buildings. Aswat al Iraq reports this very briefly along with other parliamentary news. The writer doesn't explain what was behind this, but it seems very likely that this reflected anxiety about a confrontation between the government and the Peshmerga in Mosul at a time when the news is supposed to be that the city's problems have been essentially cleaned up.

And in another report that doesn't seem to square with the official story, the Iraqi-resistance site yaqen.net says there was quite a large demonstration by armed resistance groups in Mosul--over 1000 people with light and medium weapons and vehicles, their correspondent said--the first such show of force since the "Mother of the two Springs", nee "The Lion's roar in justified Assault" operation was begun some three weeks ago.

The Yaqen report in effect taunts the American/Iraqi/Peshmerga forces. The reporter writes:
And the city of Mosul witnessed yesterday (Monday May 2) a number of armed operations against the American occupation forces, the Iraqi government forces, the Peshmerga, and the so-called Awakenings, as members of the resistance stepped up their operations, taking various forms, while members of the occupation and government forces are still issuing statements in their press conferences in the Green Zone that it is they who control the ground in the Mosul operations.
The demonstration today, says the Yaqen writer, was confirmation by the resistance that it is they who will be deciding the time and timing of the confrontation, and nature of it.


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