Özgür Gündem: ISIS attack planned in Amman

It has emerged that the recent ISIS assault on Iraq was planned at a meeting in the Jordanian capital of Amman.

According to the Özgür Gündem newspaper, the secret meeting was attended by the KDP and Ba'athists and took place with the knowledge of the US, Israel, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Turkey on 1 June, 8 days before the attack on Mosul began.

The article in Özgür Gündem has exposed the forces behind the Iraq plans of ISIS. According to the article, the ISIS plan to capture Mosul and advance on Baghdad was formulated at a meeting in Amman on 1 June.

The meeting was attended by many influential organisations and figures in the world of Middle East politics.

The Özgür Gündem newspaper based its story on a copy of the document shown to their correspondent by a diplomat with years of experience in the Middle East. The diplomat told the reporter that the document had been sold to Iraqi officials for $4 million. 

Those who attended the meeting

The diplomat said that Iran had been made aware of the meeting and had  threatened the President of South Kurdistan, Massoud Barzani.

The diplomat, who preferred to remain anonymous, listed the attendees as follows: King Abdullah of Jordan's representative and intelligence chief Salih Kelob; Azad Berwari, on behalf of the KDP (it has emerged he went to Damascus to meet Bashar Assad during the ISIS encirclement of Kobane) and an assistant of Massoud Barzani named as Jouma; various sections of the Ba'ath Party;

Izzat Ibrahim al-Douri, leader of the Army of the Men of the Naqshbandi Order, known as Saddam's right hand man;

Jaish al-Mujahideen representatives Amid Rukun and Abu Mahir; a person by the name of Seyfeddin on behalf of the Ansar al-Islam organisation led by Mele Kerakar, and representatives of other Islamist organisations, some of them north African.

Iran threatens KDP

The diplomat claimed that Massoud Barzani had been in Amman 4 days before the meeting took place, and had played a role in the build up to the meeting.

On hearing about the meeting the Iranians had sent Ahmet Chalabi (the person who told the Americans that Saddam had chemical weapons) to tell Barzani to withdraw his support for ISIS, and that he would regret a failure to do so.

Iran told Iraqi Prime Minister Maliki that they would provide him with military back up and that he would not need to ask the US.

Following the ISIS attack on Mosul the KDP raided the Iraqi 12th army in Kirkuk and seized all their weapons and equipment.

It is said that the PUK Peshmerga Commander Sheikh Jafari turned a blind eye to this. It is said that the PUK's recent discomfort with the KDP is due to the KDP's wish to take Kirkuk from the PUK.

The diplomat, a Middle East expert, said: "Israel and the US, who are in favour of continuing chaos in Syria, see benefits in this chaos spreading across the region. The US and Israel may produce a solution out of the clash of different, uncontrolled forces. This is their approach."

The role of Salafists

The diplomat said that the situation in Iraq provided a suitable environment for the advance centred on ISIS. Responding to a question regarding the relationship of the Salafist movement to this plan, the diplomat said: "this plan also addresses the strategic aims of many Salafist movements. One of its aims is to draw more forces in the Middle East into conflict." 

What is Turkey's role in this plan?

The diplomat continued: "Turkey and Saudi Arabia want to widen the conflict in Syria throughout the region for both sectarian and political considerations."

New situation in the Middle East

According to the diplomat, recent developments indicate the existence of a new 'strategic' situation in the region. He added that there were three possible outcomes: "either a new map of Iraq will emerge, which will affect the whole region. Or a new equilibrium will be achieved, although it would still not be the old Iraq. Or conflict will intensify and continue." He said it was unlikely any of these outcomes would emerge soon, adding, regarding ISIS taking consular staff hostage in Mosul: "Everyone has their own ISIS, but Turkey did not imagine ISIS would do this."