CAMP LIBERTY UPDATE – 20160706
Camp Liberty residents are striving to recover from the July 4th rocket attack. Meanwhile, they know another attack is only a matter of time. This 50-rocket assault injured the same amount of people. Due primarily to fast response of the residents getting to safety, no one was killed. That does not change the intent of the attackers’ brutality, only the end result.
With all the United Nations representatives currently visiting the camp, hopefully one of them will challenge Iraqi camp management over the logistics siege. So far not a single U.S. Baghdad Embassy representative has arrived.
Provided are photographs of Camp Liberty during the attack (Attachment A), the May 2016 MOIS reconnaissance operation of the exact same area that was struck (Attachment B), the United Nations delegation inspecting the damage (Attachment C), and residents’ demonstration against the attack and logistics/life support siege (Attachment D).
Provided below and prior to the assessment portion of this report is Struan Stevenson’s July 5, 2016 press release titled: “Iraq: Shocking Missile Attack on Iranian Refugee Camp Condemned.”
Sent: Wed, Jul 6, 2016 4:26 am
Subject: Security of residents
Dear Wes, As you are aware, Monday night Camp Liberty was attacked with 50 Falaq missiles resulting destruction of large parts of the camp and 50 residents were injured including 14 women. Thanks God no one was killed, but this does not reduces the savagery of this attack by the militias affiliated to Iranian regimes’ Quds force We have repeatedly warned against the Iranian regime’s ominous intentions against Liberty residents for massacring them; unfortunately, however, our concerns have not been paid any attention by the international bodies like UN and US state Department yet. The residents expected that the US state Department to take stance immediately after this missile attack and condemn this criminal attack, but US embassy and the State Department have kept silent in this regard up to now. Silence in this regard is very dangerous and serves against the residents’ safety and security, because it would encourage the Iranian regime and its agents in Iraq to conduct further attacks even more severely. We would appreciate if you could convey this message to our American friends to ask the State Department to immediately take the following measures aimed at the residents’ safety and security:
1. Taking stance and condemning this criminal attack by US State Department; the attack which was against Liberty residents who are “people of concern” with the “protected person” status. Also, asking the GoI to identify, arrest and bring to justice the perpetrators of this crime.
2. Taking immediate measure to secure and provide safety and security of Liberty residents until all of them have left Iraq.
3. Also asking the GoI to take all protective measures regarding Camp Liberty to prevent further attacks.
4. Preventing the agents of the Iranian regime’s ministry of intelligence and the terrorist Quds Force from being brought to Camp Liberty under the guise of families, as they pave the path for the massacre of the residents and collect information for missile attacks.
July 4, 2016: In tonight’s missile attack over 50 residents were injured and hurt and some of them were transferred to Baghdad hospital. 14 of injured residents were female. Transfer of agents of Iran’s ministry of intelligence (MOIS) to camp Liberty, and also outrageous blockade of the camp and preventing entry of fuel, food, medicine and service vehicles to the camp for 8 days were meant to set the ground for this missile attack. Residents had warned time and again about these measures and emphasized that these measures are meant to set the ground for attack against camp Liberty, some pictures of tonight’s missile attack is enclosed. Also a short clip of the fire in the camp can be seen in the following link: https://youtu.be/VSzyAOmLMGY We demand the UN and the US embassy in Baghdad to firstly take perpetrators of this crime accountable and bring them in to justice, secondly guarantee the safety and security of the camp until the last person leaves the camp, thirdly to ask the GoI to stop the inhumane measures of the suppressive committee in preventing entry of fuel, food, medicine and service trucks to the camp and fourthly prevent transfer of MOIS agents under the pretext of families to camp Liberty for reconnaissance and information gathering from the camp.
July 6, 2016: All the sites which were targeted on Monday nights’ criminal missile attack against camp Liberty were already identified by agents of Iran’s Ministry of Intelligence (MOIS) and the terrorist Quds force. Iranian regime by sending these agents under the pretext of families, to camp Liberty had taken pictures and films from inside the camp to complete its reconnaissance for this criminal attack. While Iraqi forces had prohibited the residents to have any mobiles with camera, the suppressive committee allowed the agents to be free to climb over the protective T-walls of the camp and take pictures and films from inside the camp with professional cameras. The female section which was targeted last Monday was identified by these agents. Since the residents and specially the female residents of the camp were concerned about this issue and they knew that following the presence of the agents there would be an attack against the camp, many times in their letters to UN, UNAMI, UNHCR and US officials had raised this issue. More specifically the female residents had raised their concerns with UNAMI monitors that these agents under the pretext of families who are allowed to climb over the protective T-walls of the camp are here to make reconnaissance and following their presence there would be attack against the camp. Unfortunately UNAMI did not take those warnings seriously and repeated the deception of the suppressive committee that those agents are families. Some pictures of the agents over the south parameter T-walls of the camp and comparison of the same pictures after the missile attack is enclosed. We urge the UN and the US embassy in Baghdad to ask the GoI to prevent transfer of the agents of MOIS and the terrorist Quds force to camp Liberty under any cover.
July 5, 2016: This morning a delegation from UN visited the sites of camp Liberty which were damaged in last night’s missile attack by the militias affiliated to the terrorist Quds forces of Iranian regime. This delegation visited female residence which vast part of it was completely destroyed in last night’s missile attack. The delegation visited the impact points and destroyed residential areas, the burnt dining halls and took pictures and films. (Some pictures is enclosed) it is worth noting that last month the agents of Iran’s Ministry of Intelligence and the terrorist Quds force were brought to camp Liberty by suppressive committee. By climbing over the protective T-walls of southern perimeter of the camp these agents took a lot of film and pictures from inside the camp and especially from the same residential area of females which was targeted. The criminal missile attack against the camp was carried out while it is the eighth day that the camp is under blockade of fuel, food, medicine and under severe logistic pressure.
July 4, 2016: Today for the eighth successive day camp Liberty is under crisis due to lack of fuel and the condition has become worse than yesterday. To economize the existing fuel in the generators tanks, yesterday the residents, while they are fasting in heat of 50 C only had electricity and air conditioning for two hours during the day and two hours during the night, and rest of the time they had to stay in hot metal trailers, therefore many residents have dehydrated and are in bad condition. Food is also cooked by wood, and the central kitchen and bakery are not able to work anymore. Soon the water purifying system and other services will stop working. In addition to lack of fuel, the hygienic crisis of not discharging the black water tanks is putting more pressure on the residents. In following the issue, all the interlocutors and checkpoints are saying that the National security system is in charge of this condition and in many occasions they have said to UMAMI and the residents that this crisis will be solved only by signature of the officials of National security. Imposing such inhumane condition against the defenseless residents of camp Liberty, who have been resolving all the logistics of the camp for years, including fuel, food and medicine with their own expenses, is a clear breach of human rights and a war crime. Today residents gathered in front of UNAMI to protest this condition. They also wrote a collective letter and forwarded to international officials emphasizing the gravity of the situation. It is imperative to take immediate action to end this condition. We urge the US embassy, UNAMI and UNHCR to take urgent actions to take this logistic blockade from the camp, especially in coming days of Eid holidays no one will respond to this crisis and the condition would become worse every day.
For Immediate Release 5th July 2016
IRAQ: SHOCKING MISSILE ATTACK ON IRANIAN REFUGEE CAMP CONDEMNED
Four Urgent calls on UN and US
In yet another outrageous and unprovoked attack on the defenseless Iranian refugees in Camp Liberty, near Baghdad Airport, over 50 missiles were fired last night into the compound from within the tight government-controlled security zone surrounding the camp’s perimeter. Over 50 residents, including 14 women, were seriously injured and large parts of the camp were destroyed.
Struan Stevenson, president of the European Iraqi Freedom Association (EIFA) has strongly condemned the attack and demanded immediate action by the UN and US to safeguard the residents and expedite their resettlement in European countries. Struan Stevenson said: “This was a horrendous and cowardly attack. But I am forced to ask, what on earth are the United Nations and United States doing? While they had repeatedly given assurances regarding the safety and security of the residents in writing, they kept their silence and did nothing while Iranian agents, with the full connivance of the Iraqi government, undertook repeated surveillance missions to the camp, under the pretext of being family members of the refugees, while in fact they hurled abuse at the residents and took detailed photographs of the camp’s layout.
We repeatedly warned that this was a clear precursor to another missile attack, as we have witnessed this happening again and again in the past when dozens of Camp Ashraf and then Camp Liberty residents have been brutally murdered. Despite our warnings the UN and US did nothing.
“For the past 8 days food, fuel and medicines have been blockaded by the Iraqi government’s agents again acting on orders from their Iranian sponsors. This blockade has caused untold suffering to the residents during RAMADAN while temperatures have soared to over 50 degrees and they have no fresh food, or any means of fueling generators to provide air-conditioning and no vital medicines for the sick. The residents and their representatives and supporters had repeatedly warned that all of these measures were leading up to another attempted massacre. This is a pattern that has been repeated again and again and our warnings to the UN and US have simply been ignored. Their ineffectiveness and incompetence has been quite breathtaking.
“And now that 50 missiles have been launched into the camp causing horrifying injuries and destruction, we all know that the missile attack could not have happened without the active collusion of at least some parts of the Iraqi government and their Iranian patrons.
“The EIFA demands the immediate intervention of the UN and the US embassy in Baghdad, firstly to hold the perpetrators of this crime accountable and bring them in to justice and secondly to guarantee the safety and security of the camp until the last person can be airlifted to safety. Thirdly the UN and US must immediately demand that the Iraqi Government stops any further suppressive measures against the camp’s residents, in particular preventing the entry of fuel, food, medicine and service trucks to the camp. Fourthly, the Government of Iraq must be prevented from allowing Iranian Intelligence (MOIS) agents, under any pretext whatsoever, from mounting further reconnaissance and surveillance missions at Camp Liberty”.
Note: Struan Stevenson is President of the European Iraqi Freedom Association (EIFA). He was a Member of the European Parliament from 1999 to 2014 and was President of the European Parliament’s Delegation for Relations with Iraq from 2009 to 2014.
This attack could not have been performed without the involvement of the Iraqi government. I do not believe current Prime Minister al-Abadi was directly involved in this attack, as was Nouri al-Maliki during all Ashraf and Liberty attacks while he was Prime Minister. There should be no doubt Badr Corps Commander al-Ameri and his subordinate commander, Minister of Interior al-Ghabban, were directly involved in coordinating and making possible this attack. Both of them take their orders directly from Tehran, not from al-Abadi.
Right when the Iraqi government had secured a $2.7-billion loan from the United States, this attack against the residents was conducted on American Independence Day. It not only pokes a finger into the eye of the United States, but to Western Europe and the United Nations. Iran and its puppet government in Iraq are making it clear they will do what they wish and fully understand there will be no repercussions.
Several months have now past since U.S. State Department provided the United Nations all necessary funding to move all residents to Albania. Not one single mass move has occurred. The longer it takes for the United Nations to get these people out of Iraq the more frequently and intense will be the attacks.
Colonel (Retired), U.S. Army Military Police
Former Antiterrorism/Force Protection OIC for Coalition Forces – Iraq
Former Commander – Camp Ashraf