Iran – Iran executed a prisoner the 1 Jun 14 linked to the opposition group Mujahedeen-e-Khalq, the official IRNA news agency reported, despite a last-minute plea from Amnesty International, which said he had not been given a fair trial. The report said Gholamreza Khosravi was sentenced to death in 2010 for providing photos of the country's military facilities as well as financial aid to the MEK, and for helping to recruit for the group. IRNA said the death sentence was approved by the country's Supreme Court after an appeal by Khosravi's lawyer. It said the trial was held in a court in Tehran which deals with security-related charges, and that Khosravi's lawyer was present. The report did not detail the method of execution, but death sentences in Iran are usually carried out by hanging. Iranian state television said Khosravi was executed after being convicted of "spying for foreigners." Khosravi was arrested in 2007, after having been previously detained from 1981 to 1986, IRNA said. The MEK began fighting to overthrow the Islamic Republic shortly after the 1979 revolution that toppled a pro-Western monarchy. The group was based in Iraq during the reign of Saddam Hussein, who waged an eight-year war against Iran in the 1980s that killed more than 1 million people on both sides. Iran insists it only executes those convicted in fair trials, and that criticism of its judicial system is part of a Western effort to undermine the Islamic Republic.
Iraq – Jihadists took students and staff hostage at Anbar University in the Iraqi city of Ramadi on the 7 Jun 14. Iraq is suffering its worst violence in years as terrorists have launched major operations in three provinces in recent days that have killed well over 100 people and highlighted their long reach. The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant gunmen infiltrated the university from the nearby Al-Tasha area, killed its guards and then blew up a bridge leading to its main gate. Security forces "liberated all of the male and female student hostages from the dormitories in Anbar University" and regained control of checkpoints at its entrances.
Dozens of people including civilians were killed on the 6 Jun 14 in fighting between Sunni Islamist insurgents and Iraqi government troops in the northern city of Mosul, a day after a curfew was imposed there. The fighting erupted in Mosul a day after government forces used helicopters to bomb militants and retake control of the city of Samarra further to the south. The insurgents have been gathering momentum over the past year in their conflict with Iraq's Shi'ite Muslim-led government, particularly in western provinces bordering Syria such as Nineveh, of which Mosul is the capital. Security sources said the militants advanced on Mosul from the northwest and deployed in large numbers in the west of the city, killing at least four riot policemen and three soldiers in separate clashes. In southern Mosul, five suicide bombers stormed an arms depot and some managed to detonate their vests before being shot, killing eleven soldiers. In the village of Muwaffakiya near Mosul, two suicide car bombs exploded on the 6 Jun 14 killing six members of the Shabak minority that lives there and is often a target for Sunni Islamist insurgents. By the evening of the 6 Jun 14, 90 percent of Mosul was back under government control but the army was still firing mortar rounds at remaining pockets of resistance. Most of the militants withdrew into the desert, made their way to neighbouring provinces or simply took cover among the local population. Mosul has long been a stronghold for insurgents, who have been invigorated by the conflict in nearby Syria. The Sunni militant Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) is active on both sides of the border. To the south of Nineveh lies the Sunni-dominated province of Anbar, where the army has been fighting tribal and Islamist groups including ISIL since they overran two cities early this year.
Also on the 6 Jun 14 security forces thwarted an attempt by militants to seize the headquarters of the counter-terrorism police in the centre of Baquba in Diyala province. Two people were killed in the clashes. On the 5 Jun 14 the terrorists came within striking distance of the Shi'ites' Askari shrine, whose destruction in 2006 unleashed the worst bout of Sunni-Shi'ite violence since the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in 2003.
The Iraqi prime minister has called for a national state of emergency after the city of Mosul and parts of the northern province of Nineveh fell to al-Qaeda-inspired fighters it was reported on the 10 Jun 14. Nouri al-Maliki said on the 10 Jun that he would ask parliament to declare the emergency after the overnight takeover by groups including the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant. He said: "We will not allow Mosul to be under the banner of terrorism, We call on all international organisations to support Iraq and its stance in fighting terrorism. The entire world will suffer if terrorism spreads." He stated that the government would arm and equip civilians who volunteered "to defend the homeland and defeat terrorism". Osama al-Nujaifi, the parliament speaker, said Iraqi soldiers abandoned their posts in Mosul when the attack began, action he described as "a dereliction of duty".
Iraq's prime minister has asked parliament to declare a state of emergency after Islamist militants effectively took control of Mosul it was reported on the 10 Jun 14. Nouri Maliki said "vital areas" of the city had been seized; some 150,000 people are believed to have fled. Overnight, hundreds of militants from the jihadist Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIS) movement overran the town and much of Nineveh province. Fierce fighting had erupted between Iraqi forces and ISIS fighters in a town called Rashad near Kirkuk, south-east of Mosul. Iraqi parliament speaker Osama al-Nujaifi told journalists in Baghdad that "all of Nineveh province" had fallen to the militants who were now heading south towards Salaheddin province. ISIS has been informally controlling much of Nineveh province for months, imposing tolls on the movement of goods and demanding protection money from officials in a manner to be self funding. In the past week, it and its allies have attacked cities and towns in western and northern Iraq. On the 10 Jun 14 it was reported that jihadist flags were flying from buildings and that the militants had announced over loudspeakers they had "come to liberate Mosul". Many police stations were reported to have been set on fire and hundreds of detainees set free.
Nouri Maliki, who is struggling to form a government in the wake of the Apr 14 elections and prior to the elections and has vowed to drive the ISIS "terrorists" out of mainly-Sunni Mosul. As he is unlikely to succeed in the near future it runs with the vows when Sunni militants took over Falluja, west of Baghdad, in Jan 14 and they are still there.
The current situation in Iraq is extremely fluid at the moment making a consolidated report difficult especially with so many factors involved. The situation is likely to go on for some time before being resolved.
Iraq/Kurdistan – A double bombing targeting Iraq's Kurdish minority ha killed at least 18 people in the country's north east, as clashes continued for a second day it was reported during the reporting period. A suicide attack, followed by a car bombing, struck the offices of Iraqi president Jalal Talabani's Patriotic Union of Kurdistan party in the town of Jalawla, in the ethnically mixed Diyala province on the 8 Jun 14. Police officials said the first attack took place in the morning when a suicide bomber set off his explosive vest at the gate of the PUK office. Minutes later, a car bomb exploded near the building as security forces arrived to inspect the scene of the first blast. The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant said it carried out the attack, saying the attack had been carried out by two suicide bombers as revenge for the arrest of Muslim women in Iraq's Kurdish region.