23 October 2017
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U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Sunday promoted a Trump administration goal of uniting Saudi Arabia and Iraq in common cause to counter Iran's growing assertiveness in the Middle East. Tillerson participated in the inaugural meeting of the Saudi Arabia-Iraq Coordination Committee, along with Saudi King Salman and Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, telling the leaders that the event highlighted the improving ties between the longtime rivals and showed "the great potential" for further cooperation. He noted the August…
Iraqi army units have seized positions in and around Kirkuk, a major oil city that's dominated by the country's Kurdish people, who voted for independence last month. Iraq's U.S.-trained Counter Terrorism Service has taken control of the provincial government headquarters in Kirkuk, and the Iraqi flag is flying over disputed areas, Reuters reported. The Iraqi national army also took over the North Oil Company, a refinery in Kirkuk, oil fields and an air base, according to news agencies. Reports indicated that the…

Corruption nears religious symbols in Iraq Sunday, 15 October 2017 22:13

Corruption, it is always corruption, because the consequences of corruption are far more destructive than terrorism and war. What we suffered from unbridled terrorism and catastrophic war over the past three years in Iraq has been the legitimate spawn of the corruption of previous governments. Here is a new story of corruption, which is one of thousands; a pervasive form of corruption, in which the ruling (Islamic) parties that practiced, nurtured and protected it did not consider the sanctity of…
An Iraqi federal court has ordered the arrest of Kurdistan officials involved in overseeing a referendum last month on the region's independence. The arrest warrants, issued by Baghdad's Rusafa investigation court, apply to members of the Kurdistan Region's electoral commission. Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi last month demanded the suspension of the controversial vote. Kurdish leaders later insisted the referendum was legitimate. On Wednesday, the Rusafa court said "legal measures" would be taken through the office of the public prosecutor…
Kurdistan has voted overwhelmingly to secede from Iraq, in a historic referendum which brings it one step closer to a century-old dream of statehood but risks fuelling a new regional conflict. The referendum passed with 92.73 percent support and turnout of more than 72 percent of the 3.3 million registered to vote. Hendrin Mohammed, the head of the Kurdish region's election commission, declared that out of the 3 million valid ballots, 2.9 million were for independence and 224,464 were against.…
Iraqi authorities have moved a group of more than 1,300 foreign women and children — the family members of suspected ISIS fighters — and a refugee agency is raising the alarm about their precarious situation and the specter of retribution. "The families had been held in a camp in Kurdish-controlled territory while Iraq figures out what to do with them," NPR's Jane Arraf reports. The Norwegian Refugee Council said in a statement that the women and children were transferred Sunday…

Double attack in southern Iraq kills more than 80 Saturday, 16 September 2017 13:31

IRBIL, Iraq — A coordinated attack on a restaurant and a security checkpoint in southern Iraq killed more than 80 people Thursday, police and health officials said, in a rare spasm of violence targeting a route used by Shiite pilgrims to visit their holiest shrines. Gunmen wearing military uniforms stormed into a restaurant in Nasiriyah, about 200 miles south of Baghdad, around lunchtime and opened fire, the head of the provincial health department said. Patrons in the eatery included Iranian and…
Baghdad- Indicators show a fierce and early electoral struggle in Iraq’s Dawa Party, the ruling party since 2005. This struggle is mainly between Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi and Vice President Nouri al-Maliki. Suspending party membership of Baghdad’s former governor Salah Abdulrazeq and leaking the internal investigation document reveal the ongoing struggle between the two parties. Sources from Dawa party affirm that the pro-Abadi party deliberately leaked the document to media to defame Maliki due to his tight relation with the…
Iraq’s anti-corruption court has issued 26 jail sentences to high-ranking Iraqi officials in a push to eliminate corruption and fraud in the country. Prime minister Haider Al Abadi announced on Wednesday that his government had taken crucial steps to stem corruption, which has crippled the economy. “We have taken rapid steps to tackle corruption, we have arrested and charged a number of corrupt officials,” Mr Al Abadi said in a tweet. The sentences ranged from six months to 15 years. Among…
The governor of the Iraqi province of Basra has fled to neighbouring Iran, amid a growing corruption scandal allegedly connected to other high ranking officials. Majid al-Nasrawi escaped the country with his son on Thursday through the Shalamjah border crossing hours after he stepped down from his position, which he has held since June 2013. The former governor is facing corruption charges, which also implicate his son, involving contracts for projects to build and improve services in the oil-rich city of…
INU -Prominent Shi’ite clerics from Iraq are calling for the demobilisation of powerful Iran-backed Shi’ite militias. This news comes now that the nation has got back from the Islamic State extremist group Mosul - its second-largest city. Muqtada al-Sadr, the leader of a militia, said last week that he wanted Hashed al-Shaabi to demobilise. Al-Sadr is known for being very anti-American and is popular among the poor people in urban Baghdad. He is calling for the dismantling of Hashed al-Shaabi…
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