21 Sept 13 a funeral was targeted in the Shiite area of Baghdad, Sadr City district. Two
explosions occurred with one being a vehicle bomb the other not known. It was a deliberate
attempt to target the emergency services as they arrived and attended to the injured mourners
as a third bomb exploded. This would appear to not only target the emergency services but
a deliberate attempt to incite sectarian violence and fuel the fire towards a civil war between
the Sunni and Shiite Muslim communities. In a report from the Jordan Times, 24 Sept 13,
a delegation from Shiite tribal leaders from the area went to request Moqtada al-Sadre the
leader of the former Mehdi Army/Militia and petition him to re-mobilize the group to protect
Iraq’s Shiite areas. Currently there are numerous groups attempting to improve the security
but without any real leadership. By mobilizing the militia once again they are attempting
to ensure a better security system. This obviously shows that the Prime Minister Nouri al-
Maliki who is also the commander in chief of the Iraqi armed forces is failing in his job and
the Shiite community have lost faith in his ability for security. But by involving al-Sadre this
may lead to further complications.
On the 29 Sep 13 there were reports that a series of explosions had been detonated in the
autonomous region of Kurdistan’s city of Irbil. Three car bombs and a roadside IED had
targeted the security forces HQ and the Interior Ministry. These explosions may have been
the result of the fighting between the Kurds on the Syrian side of the border and one of the
Jihadist groups in Syria. Irbil is a very stable part of the country and has not experienced the
violence that the rest of Iraq has been undergoing.
Israel – There have been two Israeli soldiers killed one by a sniper and another who had
been abducted and murdered. Although the Palestinians have made no secret that they want
to kidnap Israeli soldiers these two murders will put a strain on the attempted peace protest
which is strained at best. Retaliation for the two murders may not go unpunished and Israel
will wish to exact revenge. But at the moment with tensions high in Syria, Israel may not
wish to give fighters there an excuse to change their tactics and fight on the side of the
Palestinians especially as the war in Syria is said to be currently at a stalemate.
Syria – A vehicle bomb exploded at a crossing point between Syria and Turkey at the Bab
al-Hawa crossing on the 16 Sep 13. The vehicle was on the Syrian side and manned by an
Islamic Brigades. It is believed that the aim is to destabilize crossing point security as Turkey
is on the opposite side to Syrian government and it may also be an area where logistics are
ferried through from one country to another. The day before this attack a Syrian helicopter
was shot down as it flew into Turkish airspace. After the aircraft was requested to return
back into Syrian airspace and refused it was shot down but landed in Syria. The Turkish
government has repeatedly informed the Syrians that it would not tolerate anymore incidents
and would respond. The attack on the border checkpoint may also have been in retaliation.
However, no group or side has claimed responsibility for the attack.
On the 19 Sep 13 there were reports that an explosive device was detonated on the Homs-
Mesyaf road whilst a minibus was passing. The blasts were detonated as a convoy of buses
past and the passengers were possibly Alwawites of which president Bashar belongs to.
Although the FSA have been ousted from the area attacks of a terrorist/guerrilla nature in the
rear of the front line are to be expected.
Various reports are stating that the forces opposing Bashar al-Assad are fighting among
themselves. The al-Qaeda elements have started to fight those who are supporters of the
FSA. Members of al-Nusrah Front and the Islamic State of Syria and Sham (ISIS) over ran
the border crossing point at Azaz near the border with Turkey. It is believed that al-Qaeda
elements are attempting to take over the whole countryside north of Aleppo. Infighting
has also been reported in the towns of Deir al-Zor and Raqaa on the 18 Sep 13. Reports of
this nature must give the Assad regime a boost. The FSA wish to oust the current president
whereas the al-Qaeda elements are not only in favor of ridding the country of Assad but
setting up their own Caliphate. For those in the west this must be a little difficult when it
comes to supplying and arming groups fighting in the country. At the moment there appears
to be a three way split in the country. Also during the reporting period thirteen rebel groups
operating in the country fighting to rid Assad have said that they are no longer part of the
Syrian National Coalition and say that it no longer represents their interests. They have
requested a new alliance and to establish an Islamic State in Syria. There appears to be three
main bodies fighting in the country at present.
Yemen - Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula launched a coordinated attack today against a
military base in the eastern city of Mukallah, the capital of Hadramout province. A platoon-
sized element of AQAP fighters dressed in uniforms belonging to the Interior Ministry's
paramilitary Central Security Organization attacked the based and seized it. Several military
personnel were killed in other reports (dated 30 Sept 13) there were claims that there were
some hostages of senior rank being held. This attack comes approximately ten days after
a well coordinated attack by the group on a Yemeni military base in Abyan province. The
group is still seen as a major threat not only in Yemen but internationally.