Thursday, June 19, 2014

Baghdad - Awaiting the Storm

Last UPDATE: June 21

Today, June 19, the Lebanese daily Al-Akhbar الأخبار, Beirut, comes with a life report from Baghdad where lots of people are trying to flee into areas that are considered more safe than the capital of Iraq. Here some important excerpts from that report:

The following article has been quoted from the Arabic edition of Al-Akhbar. That article is not included in their English language edition:

مسلحون يهاجمون أكبر مصفاة نفط في العراق

Armed militants attack major oil refinery in Iraq.

عناصر من «داعش» يستولون على ملالة عسكرية للجيش العراقي في صلاح الدين (أ ف ب)ـ

Members of ISIS take on wearing out the troops of
Iraq's [government] forces [in the sign of] religion.

هاجمت مجموعة من المسلحين، فجر اليوم، مصفاة بيجي أكبر مصافي النفط في العراق والواقعة في شمال البلاد، حيث تدور اشتباكات عنيفة مع قوات خاصة تحاول حمايتها، بحسب ما أفاد مسؤول في المصفاة.ـ

This morning, a series of assaults [has been launched] by militants [on] the refinery of Baiji, the biggest of Iraq's oil refineries and which is situated in the north of the country where heated fighting is taking place with special forces [deployed] for its protection according to [somebody] from the refinery.

وقال المسؤول إن «مجاميعاً مسلحة تمكنت، في الرابعة من فجر اليوم، من اقتحام أجزاء من المصفاة في بيجي، وأدى ذلك إلى اشتباكات واندلاع حريق في بعض الخزانات المخصصة لتجميع الفضلات النفطية». وأضاف أن «المصفاة توقفت بشكلٍ تام عن الإنتاج، منذ أول من أمس، حين جرى إخلاء الموظفين الأجانب والإبقاء على بعض الموظفين العراقيين الأساسيين»، معتبراً أن هذا الأمر يمثل «ضربة كبيرة للاقتصاد العراقي».ـ

[That questioned person] said " all militants [came over them] at four o'clock this morning with an [invasion] sufficient for the refinery in Baiji. After that being accomplished, [there were] fightings and an outbreak of fire in certain reservoirs intended for the storage of petrol waste. "


[Source: Al-Akhbar / Arabic Edition الأخبار on June 19, 2014]

According to an official Iraqi source quoted by CNN, 60% of the refinery should be under control of ISIS, while relatives of the refinery staff told Al-Jazeera it was about 75%.

Iraq is known to possess the fourth largest natural resources of crude oil and is ranking among the most important exporters of oil and oil products in the world. Recent reports from different western and Chinese sources mentioned a nine-month-maximum of oil prices which was directly related to sectarian unrest in Iraq.

استمرار الاشتباكات بديالى و لجؤ إلى مناطق

Continued fighting in Diyala and [people]
fleeing into the Peshmerga territories.

Editor's Note: The expression "Peshmerga" means "those looking into the eyes of death" and is referring to the army of Kurdish fighters who are experienced in guerrilla warfare. The Peshmerga are engaged in fighting ISIS north of Baghdad and are reportedly well-equipped with weapons of U.S. and Russian origin.

تجددت الاشتباكات في ديلى شمال شرق بغداد, بين مسلحين و القوات الحكومية شمال قضاء للمقدادية و كذلك في جلولاء.ـ

Renewed fightings in Diyala, north-east of Baghdad, between armed militants and northern government forces passed by Muqdadiyah and Jalula as well.

Editor's Note: Diyala is the name of an Iraqi province neighbouring Baghdad. Its center of administration is Baquba (بعقوبة). The town of Muqdadiyah / Miqdadiyah (298.000 inhabitants المقدادية) where fighting has passed lies about 80 km northeast of Baghdad and 30 km northeast of Baquba. Jalula (جلولاء) is a smaller town located on Diyala River.

[Source: Al-Jazeera / Arabic الجزيرة نت on June 20, 2014]


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