Operation Hornets Nest / ISIS / Al-Baghdadi

Operation Hornets Nest: Alleged Snowden document says US/UK/Israel are behind ISIS

From Gulf Daily News…

 The former employee at US National Security Agency (NSA), Edward Snowden, has revealed that the British and American intelligence and the Mossad worked together to create the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

Snowden said intelligence services of three countries created a terrorist organisation that is able to attract all extremists of the world to one place, using a strategy called “the hornet’s nest”.

NSA documents refer to recent implementation of the hornet’s nest to protect the Zionist entity by creating religious and Islamic slogans.

According to documents released by Snowden, “The only solution for the protection of the Jewish state “is to create an enemy near its borders”.

Leaks revealed that ISIS leader and cleric Abu Bakr Al Baghdadi took intensive military training for a whole year in the hands of Mossad, besides courses in theology and the art of speech..

The former employee at US National Security Agency (NSA), Edward Snowden, has revealed that the British and American intelligence and the Mossad worked together to create the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

Snowden said intelligence services of three countries created a terrorist organisation that is able to attract all extremists of the world to one place, using a strategy called “the hornet’s nest”.

NSA documents refer to recent implementation of the hornet’s nest to protect the Zionist entity by creating religious and Islamic slogans.

According to documents released by Snowden, “The only solution for the protection of the Jewish state “is to create an enemy near its borders”.

Leaks revealed that ISIS leader and cleric Abu Bakr Al Baghdadi took intensive military training for a whole year in the hands of Mossad, besides courses in theology and the art of speech.

Facts:

1) ISIS leader Al-Baghdadi was once a super-high level prisoner of the US government. Despite the fact that the US had offered a ten million dollar reward for him, the Obama regime ordered his release in 2009.

2) The Obama regime, with major support from Senate neo-cons John McCain and Lindsey Graham, gave hundreds of millions in military aid to Sunni Jihadists in Syria. Thousands of individuals receiving US aid are now members of ISIS. In fact, ISIS has even posted pictures of ISIS fighters with US Senator John McCain on the internet.

3) Israel has directly aided Sunni Jihadists in Syria by bombing Syrian military assets during Jihadist attacks.

4) The Israeli Prime Minister has reacted to the ISIS spearheaded Sunni/Shia Civil War in Iraq with borderline glee. The president of Israel has also suggested that a Sunni/Shia war is beneficial to the future of Israel.

5) The US and Britiain provided Sunni Jihadists with Toyota trucks in Syria. When, an army of ISIS fighters rolled over the Syria/Iraq border it looked like a commercial for Toyota.

RE: Operation Hornets Nest: Alleged Snowden document says US/UK/Israel are behind ISIS

The former employee at US National Security Agency (NSA), Edward Snowden, has revealed that the British and American intelligence and the Mossad worked together to create the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

Snowden said intelligence services of three countries created a terrorist organisation that is able to attract all extremists of the world to one place, using a strategy called “the hornet’s nest”.

NSA documents refer to recent implementation of the hornet’s nest to protect the Zionist entity by creating religious and Islamic slogans.

According to documents released by Snowden, “The only solution for the protection of the Jewish state “is to create an enemy near its borders”.

Leaks revealed that ISIS leader and cleric Abu Bakr Al Baghdadi took intensive military training for a whole year in the hands of Mossad, besides courses in theology and the art of speech..

Facts:

1) ISIS leader Al-Baghdadi was once a super-high level prisoner of the US government. Despite the fact that the US had offered a ten million dollar reward for him, the Obama regime ordered his release in 2009.

2) The Obama regime, with major support from Senate neo-cons John McCain and Lindsey Graham, gave hundreds of millions in military aid to Sunni Jihadists in Syria. Thousands of individuals receiving US aid are now members of ISIS. In fact, ISIS has even posted pictures of ISIS fighters with US Senator John McCain on the internet.

3) Israel has directly aided Sunni Jihadists in Syria by bombing Syrian military assets during Jihadist attacks.

4) The Israeli Prime Minister has reacted to the ISIS spearheaded Sunni/Shia Civil War in Iraq with borderline glee. The president of Israel has also suggested that a Sunni/Shia war is beneficial to the future of Israel.

5) The US and Britiain provided Sunni Jihadists with Toyota trucks in Syria. When, an army of ISIS fighters rolled over the Syria/Iraq border it looked like a commercial for Toyota.
http://topconservativenews.com/2014/07/o…hind-isis/
Baghdadi ‘Mossad trained’
Posted on » Tuesday, July 15, 2014

WASHINGTON: The former employee at US National Security Agency (NSA), Edward Snowden, has revealed that the British and American intelligence and the Mossad worked together to create the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

Snowden said intelligence services of three countries created a terrorist organisation that is able to attract all extremists of the world to one place, using a strategy called “the hornet’s nest”.

NSA documents refer to recent implementation of the hornet’s nest to protect the Zionist entity by creating religious and Islamic slogans.

According to documents released by Snowden, “The only solution for the protection of the Jewish state “is to create an enemy near its borders”.

Leaks revealed that ISIS leader and cleric Abu Bakr Al Baghdadi took intensive military training for a whole year in the hands of Mossad, besides courses in theology and the art of speech..

ISIS Demolish Shia Shrines and Mosques
Violent sectarian tensions in Iraq between the nation’s ruling Shiite groups and Sunni militants advancing in the north are threatening to throw the country back into the grip of civil war.

Hundreds of young Iraqis rallied to a call-to-arms by the nation’s top Shiite cleric, who asked them to fight the militant forces spearheaded by al Qaeda splinter group Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS). The group has seized large swathes of Iraq — and also controls territory in neighboring Syria — including the country’s second-largest city, Mosul.

Now, ISIS threatens Baghdad.
[Image: isis-terrorist-executing-syrian-soldiers.jpg]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abu_Bakr_al-Baghdadi

Ibrahim Awwad Ibrahim Ali al-Badri al-Samarrai (Arabic: إبراهيم ابن عواد ابن إبراهيم ابن علي ابن محمد البدري السامرائي‎), formerly also known as Dr Ibrahim and Abu Du’a(أبو دعاء),[6] most commonly known by the nom de guerre Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi (أبو بكر البغدادي),[7] and in an attempt to claim him as a descendant of ProphetMuhammad, more recently as Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi Al-Husseini Al-Qurashi (أبو بكر البغدادي الحسيني الهاشمي القرشي)[8] and now as Amir al-Mu’minin Caliph Ibrahim[1][9] (أمير المؤمنين الخليفة إبراهيم), has been named the Caliphhead of state and theocratic absolute monarch—of the self-proclaimed Islamic State located in western Iraq and north-eastern Syria. He is the former leader of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), alternatively translated as the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

On 4 October 2011, the US State Department listed al-Baghdadi as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist and announced a reward of up to US$10 million for information leading to his capture or death.[11] Only Ayman al-Zawahiri, chief of the global al-Qaeda organization, merits a larger reward (US$25 million)

Background

Al-Baghdadi is believed to have been born near Samarra, Iraq, in 1971.[13] Reports suggest that he was a cleric at the Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal Mosque in Samarra at around the time of the US-led invasion of Iraq in 2003.[14][7] He earned a master’s degree and a PhD in Islamic studies from the University of Islamic Sciences in the Baghdad suburb of Adhamiya.[13][15][16]

Militant activity

Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi
Allegiance al-Qaeda (formerly)[17]
Commands held Islamic State of Iraq

Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant

Battles/wars Iraqi Insurgency
Syrian Civil War
2014 Northern Iraq offensive

After the US invasion of Iraq in 2003, al-Baghdadi helped to found the militant group, Jamaat Jaysh Ahl al-Sunnah wa-l-Jamaah (JJASJ), in which he served as head of the group’s sharia committee.[14] Al-Baghdadi and his group joined the Mujahideen Shura Council (MSC) in 2006, in which he served as a member of the MSC’s sharia committee. Following the renaming of the MSC as the Islamic State of Iraq (ISI) in 2006, al-Baghdadi became the general supervisor of the ISI’s sharia committee and a member of the group’s senior consultative council.[14][18]

According to US Department of Defense records, al-Baghdadi was held at Camp Bucca as a “civilian internee” by US Forces-Iraq from February until December 2004, when he was released. A Combined Review and Release Board recommended an “unconditional release” of al-Baghdadi and there is no record of him being held at any other time.[19][14] A number of newspapers, in contrast, have stated that al-Baghdadi was interned from 2005 to 2009.[20][21]

Mugshot of al-Baghdadi during Camp Bucca internment

As leader of the Islamic State in Iraq[edit]

Public service announcement for the bounty (reward) of al-Baghdadi (aka Abu Du’a) fromRewards for Justice Program

The Islamic State of Iraq (ISI)—also known as Al-Qaeda in Iraq or AQI—was the Iraqi division of the international Islamist militant organization al-Qaeda. Al-Baghdadi was announced as leader of the ISI on 16 May 2010, following the death of his predecessor Abu Omar al-Baghdadi in a raid the month before.[3]

As leader of the ISI, al-Baghdadi was responsible for managing and directing large-scale operations such as the 28 August 2011 attack on theUmm al-Qura mosque in Baghdad which killed prominent Sunni lawmaker Khalid al-Fahdawi.[11] Between March and April 2011, the ISI claimed 23 attacks south of Baghdad, all of which were alleged to have been carried out under al-Baghdadi’s command.[11]

Following the US commando raid on 2 May 2011 in Abbottabad, Pakistan that killed al-Qaeda supreme leader Osama bin Laden, al-Baghdadi released a statement eulogizing bin Laden and threatened violent retaliation for his death.[11] On 5 May 2011, al-Baghdadi claimed responsibility for an attack inHilla that killed 24 policemen and wounded 72 others.[11][22]

On 15 August 2011, a wave of ISI suicide attacks beginning in Mosul resulted in 70 deaths.[11] Shortly thereafter, the ISI pledged on its website to carry out 100 attacks across Iraq in retaliation for bin Laden’s death.[11] It stated that this campaign would feature various methods of attack, including raids, suicide attacks, roadside bombs and small arms attacks, in all cities and rural areas across the country.[11]

On 22 December 2011, a series of coordinated car bombings and IED attacks struck over a dozen neighborhoods across Baghdad, killing at least 63 people and wounding 180; the assault came just days after the US completed its troop withdrawal from the country.[23] On 26 December, the ISI released a statement on jihadist internet forums claiming credit for the operation, stating that the targets of the Baghdad attack were “accurately surveyed and explored” and that the “operations were distributed between targeting security headquarters, military patrols and gatherings of the filthy ones of the al-Dajjal Army”, referring to the Mahdi Army of Shia warlord Muqtada al-Sadr.[23]

On 2 December 2012, Iraqi officials claimed that they had captured al-Baghdadi in Baghdad following a two-month tracking operation. Officials claimed that they had also seized a list containing the names and locations of other al-Qaeda operatives.[24][25] However, this claim was rejected by the ISI.[26] In an interview with Al Jazeera on 7 December 2012, Iraq’s Acting Interior Minister said that the arrested man was not al-Baghdadi, but rather a section commander in charge of an area stretching from the northern outskirts of Baghdad to Taji.[27]

As leader of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant[edit]

Al-Baghdadi remained leader of the ISI until its formal expansion into Syria in 2013, when in a statement on 8 April 2013, he announced the formation of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL)—alternatively translated from the Arabic as the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS).[28] As the leader of ISIS, al-Baghdadi took charge of running all ISIS activity in Iraq and Syria.

When announcing the formation of ISIS, al-Baghdadi stated that the Syrian Civil War jihadist faction, Jabhat al-Nusra—also known as Al-Nusra Front—had been an extension of the ISI in Syria and was now to be merged with ISIS.[28][29] The leader of Jabhat al-Nusra, Abu Mohammad al-Jawlani, disputed this merging of the two groups and appealed to al-Qaeda emir Ayman al-Zawahiri, who issued a statement that ISIS should be abolished and that al-Baghdadi should confine his group’s activities to Iraq.[30] Al-Baghdadi, however, dismissed al-Zawahiri’s ruling and took control of a reported 80% of Jabhat al-Nusra’s foreign fighters.[31] In January 2014, ISIS expelled Jabhat al-Nusra from the Syrian city of Raqqa, and in the same month clashes between the two in Syria’s Deir ez-Zor Governorate killed hundreds of fighters and displaced tens of thousands of civilians.[32] In February 2014, al-Qaeda disavowed any relations with ISIS.[17]

According to several Western sources, al-Baghdadi and ISIS have received private financing from citizens in Saudi Arabia and Qatar and enlisted fighters from recruitment drives in Saudi Arabia in particular. [33][34][35][36]

As Caliph of the Islamic State[edit]

On 29 June 2014, ISIS announced the establishment of a caliphate, al-Baghdadi was named its caliph, to be known as Caliph Ibrahim, and the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant was renamed the Islamic State.[2][9] There has been much debate across the Muslim world about the legitimacy of these moves.

The declaration of a caliphate has been heavily criticized by Middle Eastern governments and other jihadist groups,[37] and by Sunni Muslim theologians and historians. Yusuf al-Qaradawi, a prominent scholar living in Qatar stated: “[The] declaration issued by the Islamic State is void under sharia and has dangerous consequences for the Sunnis in Iraq and for the revolt in Syria”, adding that the title of caliph can “only be given by the entire Muslim nation”, not by a single group.[38]

In an audio-taped message, al-Baghdadi announced that ISIS would march on Rome in its quest to establish an Islamic State from the Middle East across Europe, saying that he would conquer both Rome and Spain in this endeavor. He also urged Muslims across the world to emigrate to the new Islamic State.[39][40]

On 5 July 2014, a video was released apparently showing al-Baghdadi making a speech at the Great Mosque of al-Nuri in Mosul, northern Iraq. A representative of the Iraqi government denied that the video was of al-Baghdadi, calling it a “farce”.[38] However, both the BBC[41] and the Associated Press[42] quoted unnamed Iraqi officials as saying that the man in the video was believed to be al-Baghdadi. In the video, al-Baghdadi declared himself the world leader of Muslims and called on Muslims everywhere to support him.[43]

 

A Russian expert in oriental studies, Vyacheslav Matuzov, said that the leader of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi has close ties and cooperation with the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).

“All facts show that Al-Baqdadi is in contact with the CIA and during all the years that he was in prison (2004-2009) he has been collaborating with the CIA,” Matuzov told Voice of Russia radio on Tuesday.

He noted that the US does not need to use drones against ISIL because it can easily have access to the ISIL leaders, adding that since the terrorist commanders are the US allies, Washington would never combat them as they are staging the US plans.

ISIL is a Takfiri extremist group which has its roots in the insurgency against the US-led invasion on Iraq in 2006, and was later developed to a bigger group in Syria in 2012.

The group is known to be responsible for mass murders and extremist acts of violence across Syria and Iraq.

ISIL leader Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi, who was a detainee at US Bucca prison in 2005, has announced himself as the caliph of the Muslim world.

Reports said late last month that Local Kurdish sources revealed that Pishmarga forces have discovered Israel-packed foodstuff and equipment in ISIL hideouts in Iraq.

They said that the foodstuff and equipment have been found at the ISIL headquarters were located in Mosul and Kirkuk cities.

The Kurdish sources refrained from revealing more details about their findings.

Earlier reports also indicated that Israeli hospitals are treating the injured ISIL militants fighting in Syria.

Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu also has made a visit to the field hospital established by the Israeli authorities on the occupied Syrian territories to treat insurgents.

Reports said in May that some 283 terrorists have so far been treated in Zif Hospital in the occupied city of Safed, added to several other hundreds who have been receiving treatment at other Israeli hospitals after getting wounded while being chased by the Syrian army.

 

The little information available about Isil’s leader prompts various conspiracy theories

    • Joseph A. Kechichian Senior Writer
    • Published: 13:17 August 11, 2014
    • Gulf News

  • Image Credit: REUTERS
  • A man purported to be the reclusive leader of the militant Islamic State Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi has made what would be his first public appearance at a mosque in the centre of Iraq’s second city, Mosul, according to a video recording posted on the Internet on July 5, 2014, in this still image taken from video. THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. IT IS DISTRIBUTED, EXACTLY AS RECEIVED BY REUTERS, AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS. REUTERS IS UNABLE TO INDEPENDENTLY VERIFY THE CONTENT OF THIS VIDEO, WHICH HAS BEEN OBTAINED FROM A SOCIAL MEDIA WEBSITE

Beirut Identified by the US military as the world’s most dangerous man as early as 2005, Ebrahim Bin ‘Awad bin Ebrahim Al Badri Al Radawi Al Hussaini Al Samara‘i, also known as Abu Bakr Al Baghdadi and Abu Du‘a, reportedly led the so-called Al Qaida in Iraq (AQI), a group that inflicted serious damage on American forces deployed in Mesopotamia.

According to US sources, a series of intense military and intelligence campaigns were launched against him, though Al Baghdadi eluded capture. The same sources confirmed that AQI conducted a vicious campaign between 2005 and 2010 against US and Iraqi troops, and killed thousands, which led Washington to place a $10 million bounty on Al Baghdadi’s head. Buoyed by these putative successes, he allegedly moved into Syria in 2011 to lead the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isil), before returning to his native Iraq. He is believed to have been born near Samarra in 1971 although no one can confirm this. He also purportedly earned a master’s degree and a doctorate in Islamic studies from the University of Islamic Sciences. Again, without any confirmation that he matriculated, or graduated.

There are two things known about Al Baghdadi with some degree of certainty. One, that he was arrested by American forces in Iraq in February 2004 and was held at Camp Bucca as a “civilian internee” until December 2004 [other reports claim that he was interned from 2005 until 2009] and, two, that he suddenly appeared on July 5, 2014, at the Great Mosque of Al Nouri in Mosul when he declared himself Caliph. Everything else is dubious, which added to the mysteries that surround the character, and that encourage those who perceive him as a creation of one or more foreign intelligence services.

The internment at Camp Bucca, which was erected after the Abu Ghraib scandal and that led to the transfer of thousands of detainees from that facility, was intriguing in its own right. As a model camp, Bucca was the scene of careful recruitment of double-agents, even if it was unclear whether interrogators questioned Al Baghdadi about his militant group, the Jam‘iyat Jaysh Ahl Al Sunnah Wal Jama‘ah, or whether they worked with him to integrate the Mujahidin Shura Council in 2006, which was metamorphosed into the Islamic State of Iraq (ISI) in 2006. An Iranian web-page, Ahl Al Bayt News Agency, reported that Veterans Today carried an original story from an unnamed French source—but attributed to the renegade whistle-blower Edward Snowden—claiming that Al Baghdadi was an Israeli actor named “Simon Elliott” or “Elliott Shimon,” born to Jewish parents, and trained to spread chaos in the Arab World.

In the event, ISI build its reputation after 2011, when it directed several anti-Sunni operations in Baghdad, which meant that the group was active in the capital city. Comically, in early December 2012, Iraqi officials declared that Al Baghdadi was in their custody, though this proved to be another embarrassing assertion made by the Nouri Al Maliki government.

Amazingly, Al Baghdadi launched Isil in April 2013 and absconded the Jabhat Al Nusra in Syria, although Abu Mohammad Al Jawlani, a Nusra leader, disputed news that the two groups merged. Ayman Al Zawahiri, the auto-proclaimed Al Qaida leader, declared for his part that Isil was null and void, which added to the mystery and that gave credibility to those who posited that Isil was a foreign fabrication.

At least two additional intriguing developments attributed to Al Baghdadi required attention. First, his creation of the Caliphate—as well as his self-appointed role as Caliph—and the renaming of Isil as the Islamic State, created a serious wedge within the Muslim world. Given the fact that Muslims strove for unity in the Ummah, and because the Caliphate effectively divided believers between those who followed Al Baghdadi and those who overwhelmingly rejected him, it was fair to ask who stood to gain from such divisions. Was that also the reason why Middle Eastern governments, Sunni theologians, historians, and ordinary believers with common sense heavily criticized the declaration of a caliphate? In fact, since the aim of a caliphate was to unify the entire Muslim world under Shariah Law—something that required consensus and could not possible be imposed by fiat—why would a presumed theology graduate propose such a system?

The second intriguing point is the dearth of photographs available of the man. Prior to his Mosul Mosque performance, there were only two authenticated photos of Al Baghdadi, though it was widely known that US troops digitized every prisoner’s face, took finger-prints, and scanned just about everyone’s eyes for future verification. What prevented the release of such data for the ultimate arrest of a renowned terrorist who encouraged his followers to commit acts of genocide?

 Iraq wheat farmers latest victim of Isil

Militants said to be intimidating any producers who tried to resist

    • reuters
    • Published: 11:46 August 14, 2014
    • Gulf News

  • Displaced people from the minority Yazidi community use a power line to charge their mobile phones in an abandoned building outside the city of Dahuk
Baghdad/Abu Dhabi After seizing five oil fields and Iraq’s biggest dam, Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isil) militants bent on creating an Islamic empire in the Middle East now control yet another powerful economic weapon – wheat supplies.

Fighters from Isil have overrun large areas in five of Iraq’s most fertile provinces, where the United Nations food agency says around 40 percent of its wheat is grown.

Now they’re helping themselves to grain stored in government silos, milling it and distributing the flour on the local market, an Iraqi official told Reuters. Isil has even tried to sell smuggled wheat back to the government to finance a war effort marked by extreme violence and brutality.

International officials are drawing uneasy comparisons with the days of hardship under dictator Saddam Hussain, when Western sanctions led to serious shortages in the 1990s. “Now is the worst time for food insecurity since the sanctions and things are getting worse,” said Fadel Al Zubi, the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) representative for Iraq.

Hassan Nusayif Al Tamimi, head of an independent nationwide union of farmers’ cooperatives, said the militants were intimidating any producers who tried to resist.

“They are destroying crops and produce, and this is creating friction with the farmers. They are placing farmers under a lot of pressure so that they can take their grain,” he said, adding that farmers had reported fighters were also wrecking wells.

Many farmers have joined the hundreds of thousands of Iraqis who have fled the Arab and foreign fighters’ advance. Those who remain have yet to be paid for the last crop, meaning they have no money to buy seed, fuel and fertilisers to plant the next.

The statistics following Isil’s lightning advance across northern Iraq in June are grim both for the government in Baghdad and a population that needs reliable food supplies.

Iraq’s trade ministry says 1.1 million tonnes of wheat it bought from farmers this harvest season is in silos in the five provinces. This represents nearly 20 percent of annual Iraqi consumption which the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) puts at around 6.5 million tonnes, roughly half of which is imported.

Amidst the chaos of northern Iraq, it remains unclear exactly how much wheat has fallen into rebel hands, as the government still controls parts of the provinces.

However, a source at the Agriculture Ministry confirmed the size of the problem. About 30 percent of Iraq’s entire farm production, including the wheat crop, is at risk, the source said, requesting anonymity.

Isil already has extensive business dealings.

It is selling crude oil and gasoline both in Iraq and Syria, where it is fighting President Bashar Al Assad’s forces to create a cross-border caliphate.

So far, it has largely used energy and food resources under its control as a fund raiser rather than an instrument of siege, selling instead of withholding them.

A senior Iraqi government official told Reuters that the militants had seized wheat in recent weeks from government silos in the provinces of Nineveh and Anbar, which both border Syria.

These included 40,000-50,000 tonnes taken in Tal Afar and another Nineveh town, Sinjar, where tens of thousands of local people from the Yazidi religious minority have fled the militant onslaught to a nearby mountain range.

Hassan Ebrahim, Director General of the Grain Board of Iraq, said Isil had tried to sell wheat stolen from Nineveh back to the government via middle men in other provinces. “For this reason I stopped purchasing wheat from farmers last Thursday,” said Ebrahim, whose Trade Ministry body is responsible for procuring wheat internationally and from local producers.

Bread prices are stable in Baghdad due to imports and crops in areas still under government control. In Baghdad and nine other southern provinces, the Trade Ministry has bought nearly 1.4 million tonnes from farmers this season.

It is not clear whether the government’s import needs will rise dramatically, given that it will probably not try to supply areas no longer under its control.

Iraq’s wheat harvest began in May, the month before the Islamists and their allies launched their assault, taking the cities of Mosul and Tikrit in days when resistance from thousands of US-trained government soldiers collapsed.

The harvest begins in the south and moves north, meaning that farmers began delivering wheat to government silos in rural areas around Mosul in early June, less than two weeks before militants stormed the city.

Zubi said the government usually pays the producers two months in arrears. Therefore an estimated 400,000 farmers are living under the militants with no hope of being paid for the wheat they delivered before the offensive. “No farmer received his money,” he said, meaning they will not be able to start planting in the seeding season that begins as soon as next month in some areas. “This is their sole income.” The FAO is urgently working to get 3,000 tonnes of wheat seed to the farmers for planting, he said, though this effort faces major problems due to the security situation. Seed deliveries are vital for ensuring that fellow UN agencies such as the World Food Programme, which are already helping hundreds of thousands, are not saddled with feeding yet more Iraqis.

John Schnittker, a former USDA economist who advised theTrade Ministry for three years before USDA pulled its staff out of Baghdad in 2012, said a number of factors would “severely test” the ability of farmers in northern Iraq to grow their wheat crops to be harvested next year.

These included threats to irrigation water due to the militants’ control of the Mosul dam, the government’s inability to get fertiliser and fuel to farmers in areas under Isil, and the fact that many producers fled their homes.

He expected a “lower planted area and lower yields” for the 2014/15 harvest. “It’s very likely to be disrupted because of the conflict.” Meanwhile, the “public distribution system” – the government’s means of supplying subsidised flour and other goods such as vegetable oil, sugar and rice – has broken down in militant-held areas.

Although the system is corrupt and wasteful, impoverished Iraqis depend on it. Schnittker said its breakdown poses a “huge hardship” to northern Iraq’s rural population and would/seventually push more people into refugee status.

 

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