Iraq

Daesh stages murderous fightback in Mosul

Author: 

Simon Nelson

With the assault on Mosul advancing quickly, Daesh have mounted a last ditch fightback. Seven eastern districts of Mosul have been lost; fighters who remain are hiding amongst the civilian population and launching repeated smaller guerilla style attacks on the approaching troops. 34,000 people have now fled the city.

The war on Daesh is producing winners and losers — and the people of Mosul may be among the latter.

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Socialist Worker drops “stop the bombing”

Author: 

Will Sefton

In Socialist Worker (18 October) Charlie Kimber says Mosul will be “the next city to be razed by imperialism”. He does not, however, make a direct call on the US or UK to end their bombing in support of Iraqi government forces.

The recognition that to shout “stop the bombing” is not an automatic “anti-imperialist” duty, when the alternative is like Daesh, marks a real shift. But where is the accounting?

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Mosul: thousands flee the city

Author: 

Simon Nelson

As we go to press Iraqi government troops are on the point of entering Mosul in their drive to expel Daesh (Islamic State) from the city. With Kurdish Peshmerga and Shia militias operating in the surrounding areas, Mosul is surrounded, leaving Daesh with limited capacity to repel the attack.

Iraqi government troops are on the point of entering Mosul in their drive to expel Daesh (Islamic State) from the city.

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Sectarian dangers in Mosul

Author: 

Simon Nelson

The progress of Iraqi forces in their effort to re-take Mosul has gathered pace. Many Daesh fighters have been pulled out of the city to consolidate their power back in the rest of the terrain they control.

Daesh have used suicide attacks, carried out a diversionary operation in Kirkuk, and tried to halt Iraqi forces with clouds of toxic smoke from a burning sulphur plant; but it still seems unlikely that their fighters will be able to resist the combined forces of Kurdish peshmerga and the Iraqi army, backed by US and UK airstrikes.

The progress of Iraqi forces in their effort to re-take Mosul has gathered pace.

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Aid needed for civilians in Mosul battle

Author: 

Simon Nelson

The United Nations has appealed for an additional £50m to cope with an expected flood of refugees as the Iraqi government starts its operation to re-take the city of Mosul from Daesh.

UN humanitarian chief Stephen O’ Brien has said: “I am extremely concerned for the safety of up to 1.5 million people living in Mosul who may be impacted.”

Mosul is Iraq’s second largest city. Before 2014 it had a population estimated at up to two million. 60% were Sunni Arabs, about 27% Kurds, with Assyrians, Turkmens, and smaller minorities of Christians and Yazidis. Most of the non-Sunni or non-Arab people have fled since 2014. The Iraqi government counter-attack is heavily supported and aided by the USA, which brokered a deal on oil and gas revenues between Baghdad and the Kurdish Regional Government of northern Iraq in order to get them to cooperate in the counter-attack.

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What’s wrong with “Stop the War”?

Author: 

Simon Nelson

The Stop The War Coalition enjoyed its heyday around the time of the 2003 invasion of Iraq, but has regained some prominence since David Cameron’s government first proposed the bombing of Syria in August 2013.

A genuine anti-war movement needs to have an internationalist viewpoint. Solidarity against the forces of barbarism whether western or not should be our guiding principle. And the Stop the War Coalition has singularly failed to follow it.

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Notes on a debate with Tony Greenstein

Author: 

Daniel Randall

On 15 September, I debated anti-Zionist activist Tony Greenstein in Brighton, on the topic of antisemitism on the left.

The audience was comprised mainly of local Labour Party and Momentum activists. The debate was conducted in largely civil tones - perhaps, given the depth of our differences with Tony Greenstein, both in terms of policy and approaches to political activity, too civil.

Three corrections.

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Chilcot and Labour democracy

Author: 

Gerry Bates

Jeremy Corbyn was right in his response to the Chilcot report on the 2003 invasion of Iraq, published on 6 July.

The invasion was “an act of military aggression launched on a false pretext... [which] led to the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people and the displacement of millions of refugees. It devastated Iraq’s infrastructure and society. The occupation fostered a lethal sectarianism... that turned into a civil war...

“While the governing class got it so horrifically wrong — many of our people actually got it right.

Jeremy Corbyn was right in his response to the Chilcot report on the 2003 invasion of Iraq, published on 6 July.

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23 June: a victory for reaction and regression

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Editorial

The vote in the 23 June referendum that Britain should leave the European Union was a victory for the forces of reaction and historical regression. It has fed the fires of reactionary nationalism and chauvinism in other EU countries, people who want to go back to a Europe of competing, and possibly warring, nation-states, to what degree and with what consequences remains to be seen. In Britain, it has triggered a wave of attacks on migrants.

The vote in the 23 June referendum that Britain should leave the European Union was a victory for the forces of reaction and historical regression.

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