Tikrit incidents, Translation has attended ... Field reporter was disappeared.
Seventh monitoring report
Tikrit incidents, Translation has attended ... Field reporter was disappeared.
Through its 7th report, Iraqi media house, has monitored press coverage of events followed Tikrit's liberation, including looting homes, markets, governmental institutions as well as private institutions.
The report addressed observing the coverage through the hubs of 'Arabic and foreign coverage, local coverage, use of the coverage for incitement purposes'.
On the 1st of March 2015, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi announced the launch of military operations to regain control of Salahuddin province from ISIS.
On the 3rd of March, hundreds of families started displacement of combat zones in Salahuddin province.
On the 4th of March, Iraqi Ministry of interior announced the liberation of 97 zones in Salahuddin province from ISIS.
On the 6th of March, the leadership of 'popular crowd' confirmed the fully liberation of 'Al-Dor' township in Salahuddin province from ISIS control.
The 9th of March was the liberation day of 'Alam' township by Iraqi security forces.
On the 10th of March, Iraqi forces backed by popular crowd troops seized control on Tikrit Teaching Hospital and raised the Iraqi flag over the building.
On 11th of March, Iraqi forces entered eastern of Tikrit city.
On 12th of March, the joint Iraqi forces have arrived Tikrit downtown and seized control on Qadisiyah district (northern Tikrit), where street war was held to expel ISIS militants.
On the 22nd of March, large reinforcements was arrived like munitions, weapons, and air coverage to the province to get ready to storm the city of Tikrit.
On the 26th of March, international coalition announced on launching an air strike against ISIS points in the city of Tikrit, for the first time, around a week after the major ground operations halt.
On 31st of March, the federal police fighters announced the purge of presidential palaces compound in Tikrit and liberation of most city's neighbourhoods.
On the 1st of April, Reuter’s news agency issued a report on the violations and looting practices in Tikrit.
On 3rd of April, 'Al Abadi' had ordered to address the vandalism practices in Tikrit and arresting anyone who does so.
Arabic and foreign coverage
Foreign media was the first in publishing arson and looting practices that took place in Tikrit on the 1st of April, and 'Reuters' got the scoop of this event by a detailed report that has been a source of many other foreign, Arabic, and even local medias.
According to monitoring it was obvious that foreign media were based primarily on statements of frank officials, and secondarily on their correspondents, also it was noticed that they didn't cover the event from the political standpoint as much as they focused on details of the incident and its implications and interactions.
"Iraqi media house" noticed that American press did not pay attention to the incident as much as British media published series of almost daily reports since the incident and even until two weeks after.
It was observed that Arabic media coverage for the incident varied dramatically between very interested where allocated dozens of reports, follow-ups, and analyses, and uninterested, merely on local or international official data published on the incident.
Monitoring revealed that some of Arabic media linked the incident to political purposes further than the security notch, and sometimes used offensive and provocative terms.
It was noticed by IMH that Iranian media was strongly present in the military operations in Tikrit, since it was launched, as 'Al-Alam' and Iranian official news agencies have reported Instantaneous news on course of battle, and ignoring the incident, turned to the topic just to deny that it happened basing on statements of deputies in 'National Alliance'.
Monitoring included samples of the most prominent of European, American and Iranian media, about their coverage of the incident.
"Reuters" was singled in publishing a detailed report of (1796 words) with many photos about looting that took place in Tikrit, on 1st of April, based on two of its reporters who were in Tikrit at time of the incident as the agency admitted, as well as statements of number of army officers with anonymity, said that popular crowd troops burned houses and stores; also Reuters report supported with statement of Chairman of the Council of the province of Salahuddin 'Ahmed Karim' , who agreed with officers statements, in addition to one of Representatives of the province.
The report included an analytical paragraphs about the extent of control of Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi on popular crowd and the conflict between Iran and United States, and attempts to influence Iraqi government by some local politician parties.
Reuters didn't mention its correspondent’s names in accordance to security reasons, but published 'Ned Parker' name who co-wrote the theme of Baghdad, while editing was for 'Michael Williams'.
The Daily Star
The Daily Star has allocated a late wide coverage for the incident, it started publishing information on looting on the 7th of April, and focused on statements by Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi during a press conference with President of Kurdistan, Massoud Barzani in Erbil, in which he talked about a destruction and burn of 152 houses and shop as a result of violations, the coverage and its interactions were continued in the subsequent days.
The Daily Mail has excerpted Reuters' report about the incident, also it published a separate topic titled 'Shiite troops out of government control', and published many images of fires from from Tikrit, as well as a statement of chairman of Provincial Council of Salahuddin Ahmed Karim.
The Washington Post
The Washington Post has started a late perfunctory coverage, and merely quoted officials statements that perhaps Iraqi militias have committed the incident, and it mentioned on its first report that the city was already destroyed due battles.
New York Times
New York Times has started a late brief coverage by publishing a report days after the incident, accusing thieves who Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi ordered to arrest, also quoted Reuters report without modification, or follow-up.
The Wall Street Journal
The Wall Street Journal has published a report several days after the incident, which included several statements from all parties with explicit names, and kept following-up the interactions of local and international official statements through analysing.
France 24 has relied a report related to AFP agency, that in turn quoted a statement of Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi to arrest those who were involved in looting and arson incidents in Tikrit as an emphasis on its commission, also it quoted statements from members of 'popular crowd' said that terrorists have committed the crime.
Al Alam 'The Iranian Channel'
AlAlam hasn't address the incident at all, but focused on comments by Iraqi officials on the victory achieved in the city;
And on the 4th of April it has published a report entitled 'Iraqi popular crowd announces the handing of Tikrit to local police' and quoted a statement of popular crowd spokesman declaring that the city was handed over to the police, also he said that 'there are some attempts to distort the victory’.
The Qatari channel has covered the event on the first day basing in the first lace on witnesses said that popular crowd elements burned houses and stole shops; those information have been followed by a report quoted the Chairman of Salahuddin statement which was excerpted from another agency without mentioning its name, saying that burning and looting practices were taking place in the city's; also it quoted a statement of Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi for accounting those who were involved in the incident, as well as a statement for the Vice President Osama Nujaifi that shows his displeasure of what happened;
The channel continued covering the incident extensively, with daily increment of intensive and mobilising headlines, like the one 'After the sabotage of Tikrit, militia Crowds kill workers in Diyala, which was based on videos that were posted on the Internet related to Tikrit.
It was the first Arabic media that broadcasted a breaking news on the burning and looting in Tikrit according to its correspondent there, included a statement of the leader of the Sadrist Moqtada al-Sadr criticizing what he called 'brazen militias'; several hours later another breaking news said that Salahuddin provincial council withdraws from Tikrit because of arson and looting, without mentioning the source of the information, but then it put the name of chairman of Tikrit provincial council, Ahmed Karim as a source for the statement.
Then Arabia went on broadcasting daily reports and news about the incident based on an international official US, UN and international data on fears of violations against human rights, using various of terminologies during following up the news like 'popular crowd', 'popular crowd militias' and 'Shiite militias'.
The UAE newspaper has published news about the incident days after it happened, its report which is titled 'withdrawal of popular crowd from the city' included a statement of Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi calling for arresting those who were involved, and later published a report titled "Tikrit in custody of security forces, and clans accuses Iran of retaliation', without naming clans or providing any given statement about that.
The Kuwaiti newspaper has dealt with the incident after issuance of the statement of Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, it published the statement as a subject, and pointed at the departure of Salahuddin governor and chairman of council of Tikrit as a protest against violations, with no add news or statements.
The Egyptian newspaper has published a story about the incident several days after it took place, its report mainly included Abadi statement as well as paragraphs of Reuters report, later then published a story about the agreement on popular crowd withdrawal from Tikrit accompanied with non-explicit statements of local officials.
Al Arabi Al Jadid
Under a remarkable title 'Persian slogans, and houses burning in Tikrit," the newspaper has issued a report the day after the incident, it was based on a statement of one of the tribes in Tikrit, said that 'dozens of shops and houses were burnt', and quoted a statement of an explicit source in Ministry of Defense, said that 'militia elements are now communicate with their relatives, and hand them over the loot at Tikrit gate, then return again to load other thefts, in order to send them to their home provinces, to be sold there';
Also it published news about burnt houses and Persian writings on the city walls, referring to social networks and a source of those news.
The newspaper dealt with the incident two days after its occurrence by publishing a report entitled 'theft and burning houses obscured victory lights in Tikrit', based on comments of deputy from Anbar, and a formal statement of a Shiite clerics warns of what he called 'temptation victory', also quoted a statement from the 'political analyst' while reported Abadi statement of accounting those who were involved.
The newspaper dealt with the incident four days after its occurrence, it published a story entitled 'popular crowd' leaves Tikrit, based on Abadi statement, and witnesses said that they saw crowd troops which withdraw from the city, and quoted a statement from the Chairman of Tikrit council Ahmed Karim saying that 'Federal Police will take over the task of holding the land after crowd's withdrawal'.
Denial and exaggeration of the incident
The Monitoring Report had examined the incident news coverage of selective Iraqi local media models from denial and exaggeration sides.
Media which related to political religious sides that have armed factions within the popular crowd forces, have not address looting case after expulsion of ISIS militants of city of Tikrit, an example of such media 'Al Ittijah' channel and 'Al Ittijah Press' agency affiliate to Hezbollah Brigades, and 'AlGhadeer' affiliates to Badr Organization, and 'Al-Aahd' Radio affiliates to parliamentary Liberal bloc that is close to Sadrists and "afaaq" of the former Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, as well as many news sites such as the "state of law", "Buratha News agency", 'Kunoz media', Iraqi media news network, and 'Biladi', etc.
Such media outlets have focused on victories carried out by popular crowd forces in the city of Tikrit, and confirmed the return of normal life to the city, also described any party that accused popular crowd forces of abuse in Tikrit as 'sectarian' or 'liar'.
Some of those media has conclusively denied looting in Tikrit, considering such news came in order to cover victories of popular crowd forces.
Some channels like 'Al Ghadeer', attributed looting practices to ISIS militants, or elements involved in Speicher massacre, and considered it as 'a distortion' to the reputation of popular crowd forces.
Some channels such as 'Al Ittijah' admitted the violations, through publishing single brief news about Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi order to prosecute the perpetrators of vandalism in Tikrit.
Most of those channels had neglected the press releases issued by Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi Speaker of Parliament Saleem Al Juboori to hold all those who practiced violations in Tikrit.
Passing over, arrear coverage
Iraqi Media Network has ignored incident's news for the first two days, then on the 3rd of April it published news about government's attitude regarding perpetrators of violations.
Number of media outlets neglected the incident at the first place, to the extent that some of them issued news that deny it, then after, they retreated.
On the 1st of April 'Dijlah' satellite channel has published a news story which quoted from MP Mishan al-Jabouri his denying to the violations that happened in Tikrit, but then on the 4th of April it has published news refers to violations practice.
Al Rasheed channel has published news about the violations in Tikrit, four days after Reuters report.
Exaggeration in violations coverage
Al Sharqiya channel has published news of looting in Tikrit, on the 2nd of April, one day after Reuters report.
Al Sharqiya channel focused on this topic and described who have done it 'uncontrolled elements'.
Some T.V. channels and news agencies have published photos of fire outbreak in buildings and shops near the security forces elements, but it was uncertain and reliable in terms that fire was caused by burning practices or as a result of military operations.
'Al Tagheer' channel displayed images of looting operations ''according to the channel'' in 'Tikrit' and 'Dour' cities, without disclosing source of pictures, and described who did it 'militia elements'.
In addition to publishing statements from unknown parties denouncing the looting operations, such as a statement issued by the "General Command of former Iraqi armed forces" without revealing the identity of that leadership.
Some other news sites adopted the previous method, such as the 'News' agency, 'Bass' News, and 'liberation yards' site, and others.
IMH report has monitored an editorial style in the coverage of Tikrit event for accusing one of the military and security equation parties in the city, and the looting came as a good material for targeting.
Popular crowd opposition
Some media deliberately overlooked the statements of popular crowd leaders, tribal, and political figures who were quoted by saying that ''an existence of local revenge motivations'';
Additionally those channels interpreted government data according to what support their standpoint.
Below selected models from this category:
'Agency news' has published series of reports under incitement headlines such as 'Karbouli: looting and arson in Tikrit make us reconsider the popular crowd involvement in liberation of Anbar', ''press certificates on security forces and popular crowd violations in Tikrit"; it also quoted “Sunday Times" report which entitled "Western newspapers: Frightening destruction and massacres in Tikrit".
The agency reports did not include any reference to statements by leaders of popular crowd or what was attributed to local sources ''existence of retaliatory motives between clans of the region led to looting and vandalism incidents''.
While "Iraqna news network" has published a report in which he said according to Al-Jazeera. “Displaced people accuse popular crowd of looting and arson in Tikrit'', accompanied by a video depicts burning shops, and included testimony of number of residents of the city, including one called "Qahtan Karim - one of the tribal leaders in Tikrit - he said that looting and theft included the areas that recovered by Iraqi forces from ISIS;
He added that more than %40 of infrastructure and shops were looted in Tikrit.
The Kurdish ''Bass News'' site: has published a report, in which stated that gunmen affiliate Hezbollah the pro-Iran armed militia have stormed Tikrit cemetery and messed up graves back to Iraqi military from the city who were killed Iraqi-Iranian war 1980-1988.
The source added, that "the remains of the dead have been taken and spread out of graves by insurgents";
The report was followed by several reports, one of them attributed a statement of one a source in the government of Salahuddin province who stated that looting and burning practices are continued despite the decision of prime minister to departure of popular crowd forces out of city.
In another report the site had cited a statement by the Council of tribal leaders and notables of Tikrit, denouncing the looting and bombing properties of citizens' houses, government departments, mosques, and kidnapping, killing of remaining families in the city by "popular crowd and Iranian militias as a sectarian motives’’.
Kirkuk news agency went on the same direction, where it has published several reports with shocking titles, attached with images taken from videos and photographs that spreaded on social networking sites, for burnt homes and shops, as well as a report quoted to a private source about the continues of blasting and looting in "Qadisiyah" neighbourhood by Brigades of Hezbollah which internalized in popular crowd forces and their refusal to withdraw despite the fact that Iraqi government and leaders of popular crowd issued orders to withdraw from the city of Tikrit;
Also a report translated from foreign media, includes a former CIA client analysis which says ''What is happening today in Tikrit after the entry of Iraqi forces backed by Shiite militias paves the way for the division of Iraq into three states for Kurds, Sunnis, and Shiites'', and warned of civil-religious war in the country, especially with the Iranian pressure who wishes to apply a Shiite agenda in Iraq.
Istiqlal agency has publishing same reports as agencies which were mentioned in this part monitoring report with different and more provocative titles, as well as new interpretation style like brigade affiliate Sistani announces withdrawal Tikrit, to evacuate the responsibility on what is happening 'killing and burning Tikrit people'.
‘’Liberation yards’' site has published news story saying that they are 'exclusive' raised the level of seriousness of the events such as, "looting and theft in Tikrit amounted to 1,800 cases' which stated that violations committed by tucked militias in popular crowd carried out executions on families who were arrested when entering Tikrit, including women and children, indicating that some of dead bodies were found in their homes in the city.
Pro-(popular crowd) coverage
The majority of official, partisan, and Shiite religious media deliberately downplayed of the seriousness of events as well as the identity of perpetrators and tried to promote remarks to a parliamentary and Sunni tribal figure from Salahuddin province who blamed the vandalism to some Sunni tribes that have revenges against ISIS militants.
‘’Kunooz’’ Media site has published a statement of a deputy ''Faeza Al Obaidi'' who said, "What happened of robberies, looting, and burning in Tikrit is an internal reprisals," while she criticized the media channels that "tried to highlight the negative situations instead of the positives achieved from behind victories of security forces and volunteers (popular crowd)''.
‘’Media center of the communication," has published a report on press conference of the deputy commander of popular crowd under the title "Al Muhandis: Ppopular crowd is not responsible for looting in Tikrit," the deputy commander of popular crowd explained that "there are gangs exist and are known and there are internal and local conflicts between tribes, there are, for example, disputes between Albu-Ajeel clan and other clan.
''Najaf news network'' site has published a statement of a deputy of Basra ''Tawfiq Al Kaabi'' in which he said that ISIS gangs distributed leaflets before Tikrit liberation, aimed to discredit popular crowd and the central government found the publications and documents distributed by ISIS gangs which incite their supporters to pillage and insult ''Sahaba'' Before the operation of Tikrit liberalization, in order to discredit popular crowd, but neither the news network nor the deputy had provided a model of those publications.
The news network has quoted 'Nun' agency's saying, that it got a document of the Islamic state in Iraq and Levant confirms that elements of ISIS terrorist group have carried out looting burning of houses and shops in Tikrit,and provides a set of instructions issued by the terrorist group to its elements who fled the city after cleared by security forces and popular crowd; but ISIS is no longer using the name "Islamic state in Iraq and the Levant'' in its official forms;
The network also published a statement attributed to Interior Ministry which confirmed that ISIS burnt houses before leaving the city, as the site published a statement for Vice Haitham al-Jubouri, in which he said "total stores that burned is not more than 10, and was not by popular crowd but was reprisals by people as a reaction on those who participated and harbored ISIS in Tikrit; and it also published pictures of trucks carrying luggage allegedly belonging to ISIS in Mosul and Syria, have been posted on social networking to accuse popular crowd forces on thefts in Tikrit.
The images themselves have been published earlier, as stolen cars by ISIS militants in Mosul and Syria, as appears in the pictures themselves hostile slogans to the Syrian regime president, Bashar al-Assad.
Iraq of Law site chose to focus on the statements of deputies of National Alliance who have confirmed that the attack against popular crowd "paid and carried out by ISIS politicians " and accused Baathists in looting and burning the state buildings in Tikrit, along the lines of "looting and burning of state buildings which were executed to tarnish the uprising in 1991, as stated by the deputy Ali al-Badri.
The website quoted MP 'Aaliyah Nassif' her denouncing the attempts by some Arabic and Western media to distort the victory of popular crowd on ISIS in Tikrit, describing the events as individual cases of "atypical", some are exaggerated and some are fabricated, and mainly others regarded to revenges of some clans in the province, and a statement by a member of Union of Forces block Abdul Dhiab was published and confirmed the existence of information indicating that some of those who are involved in stealing and burning in Salah al-Din, are inhabitants of those areas;
Later on a report quoted security spokesman body of popular crowd yousif kilabi in which he said that possession of crowd documents that confirm ISIS involvement of 90 percent of looting and burning of houses in the city of Tikrit, in a reference to a document attributed to ISIS but with its old name, have been spread in social networking and news sites, ordering its elements to theft and destruction of private and public property when they having to withdraw from any city.
‘’Al Ittijah Press’' was keen highlight the statement of MP for the mass of Iraqi forces Union Faiza al-Obeidi who told the satellite channel of Al ittijah that what happened from robberies, looting and burning in Tikrit were internal reprisals by clans, not by popular crowd.
‘’kaan News’' has published a statement for a leader in popular crowd 'Kareem Nouri' in which he summarized the outcomes of event in 67 burnt houses and 85 shops, and said that such acts "intended to distort the reputation of popular crowd in Tikrit, also he accused ISIS group of being responsible of all that.
The incident has not been confirmed by any Iraqi media until the publication of Reuters report
Some media relied on officials statements issued about them in press materials, not by searching for facts by independent or private sources, or field reporters.
Some media relied on photos and videos taken from social networks, without follow-up or provide information on their sources, or verify their credibility, and the identity of people who appear in them.
Limited number of media were able to cover the subject as much as acceptable to some extent of objectivity.
Some media outlets relied on publication of news reports, global media, and considered such information significantly certain, without making efforts to check how true this from editing rooms.
As usual, fixed information, data sources, and evidence, by photographs and statements from various explicit and non-explicit sources were lost in coverage that dealt with the events of Tikrit, while political exploitation and sectarian incitement had occupied the scene.
The press investigation materials hasn't come out with losses values after Tikrit liberation, except numbers announced by Iraqi Prime Minister, and number of leaders of the popular crowd, .
No interviews have been held with looted homes or shops owners
Media coverage of the incident took a lone line in obtaining information, often went out with one of two outcomes 'the popular crowd committed violations, or was innocent of violations'.
Translated by: Halla AlSalam