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Of Weapons Old and New, ICP Asks Iraq's PR and UN Envoy Kubis

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, July 22 -- After speaking in the UN Security Council on July 22, Iraq's Ambassador Alhakim emerged still talking about weapons. Inner City Press asked him if some that are arriving are not, in fact, old weapons. He was candid and acknowledged that some of the weapons coming in are old, mentioning Eastern Europe but not any specific country. Video here.

 Later on July 22 when the UN's envoy to Iraq Jan Kubis emerged after Council consultations, Inner City Press asked him about the issue of out of date weapons, specifically from Estonia (the shipment included Romanian AKMS automatic rifles). He said he was aware of the issue, then proceeded with a diplomatic answer about the importance of working through the government in Baghdad. Video here.

  In his formal statement, Kubis said that “since last summer's onslaught by terrorists of the so-called ISIL, Iraq had been living through one of the most difficult phrases in its modern history... Political forces that have backed the Government and its program often cooperate reluctantly, as if the existential threat of ISIL and economic and social difficulties were already matters of the past..

  “One year after the fall of Mosul, a third of Iraq remains under the control and governance of ISIL. The military offensives of the Iraqi security forces, with the critical support of the Popular Mobilization Forces, tribal Sunni volunteers, and the International Coalition, have yet to significantly change the situation on the group. Tikrit was liberated in March, but Ramadi fell in May. The Government's ongoing offensive in Anbar aims to reverse this setback.”

  But how will the antiquated weapons be used? Later on July 22, the US State Department was asked about the Iraqi government's new F-16 and said there is no geographic limitation on them, but they are not to be used for sectarian purposes.  Some are saying that in Iraq's foreign service, those of Kurdish ancestry are being moved around. We may more more on this.

   Kubis in his formal statement concluded upbeat: “With the continued support of the Security Council, I remain confident that we can and we will work hand in hand with the Government of Iraq, political forces and civil society to achieve results in all areas, while increasingly mobilizing, notably regional support and cooperation. At this critical juncture, the Government of Iraq, its leadership and most of all Iraqis themselves need the continuous and massive international community's support and assistance.”

  Including, Inner City Press notes, old weapons from Estonia. Watch this site.


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