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In Iraq, UN UNaware of Airdrop to ISIL, Of Airstrikes & Open Dam, Barrel Bombs

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, October 7 -- When UN official Kevin Kennedy called into the UN noon briefing from Erbil on October 7, he mentioned bringing aid into Iraq's Anbar Province, under control of the Islamic State and not the government.

So Inner City Press asked Kennedy, until recently the head of the UN Department of Safety and Security and now UN Deputy Humanitarian Coordinator in Iraq, if the UN could confirm human rights groups' reports on the use of barrel bombs in Anbar.

Kennedy replied, “I don't know about the military issues, I'm not in charge of that.” We'll take him at face value. But note that the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in its reports on Syria does report on barrel bombs. What's the difference?

Inner City Press asked Kennedy about Islamic State's use of water as a weapon, specifically its threat to dams. Kenney said “water is a concern, a dam just south of this region [Erbil] opened and began to flood this morning, We begin working on today.”

On a second round, Inner City Press asked Kennedy since there are aid workers in the field in Iraq if the US and others give the UN notification of their airstrikes. Kennedy replied obliquely that the UN tried to keep aid workers safe by “any means we can.” So is that a yes?

Finally, Inner City Press asked Kennedy about the report by NBC News that the Iraqi Air Force dropped supplies to ISIL. Kennedy said he hadn't seen it. Well, here it is. Watch this site.


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