05 April 2020
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Iraq has banned Reuters for three months after the UK-based news agency reported that the number of cases of coronavirus infections in the country is much higher than the government admits. Reuters reported yesterday that there are “thousands” of cases in Iraq and cited doctors, a Ministry of Health official and a senior political official to back its claim. The official figure quoted by the government in Iraq is 772 confirmed cases and 54 deaths from the virus. READ: The Arab states need to be…
BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Iraq has thousands of confirmed COVID-19 cases, many times more than the 772 it is has publicly reported, according to three doctors closely involved in the testing process, a health ministry official and a senior political official. The sources all spoke on condition of anonymity. Iraqi authorities have instructed medical staff not to speak to the media. Iraq’s health ministry, the only official outlet for information on the coronavirus, dismissed the sources’ reading of the spread of…
The United States has deployed Patriot air defence systems to an Iraqi military base as a precaution against Iranian-backed militia attacks, US and Iraqi military sources have said.  One of the Patriot batteries was deployed to the Ain al-Asad base last week and was being assembled, according to a US defence official and an Iraqi military source, AFP reported.  The base was targeted by Iran in January, following a US strike that killed top Iranian General Qassem Soleimani.  The US is planning…
Baghdad, Iraq, 30 March 2020: Iraq today reported over 630 cases with 46 deaths since the start of the COVID19 outbreak in the country on 24 February 2020. This makes Iraq the country with the second highest number of COVID19 related deaths across the Eastern Meditarrinean region after Iran. The World Health Organization (WHO) expects a spike in tallies of infected cases within the coming 10 days due to the increase in lab testing capacity. Three laboratories became operational for COVID-19…
he US Department of Defense has ordered commanders to prepare for a campaign to destroy the Iraqi militia that Washington holds responsible for deadly rocket attacks against US personnel. The Pentagon blamed Kataib Hezbollah for a March 11 rocket attack that killed one British and two US personnel in Iraq. The order was described by officials with knowledge of the internal communications to the New York Times. But the order faced resistance from within, the military's top commander in Iraq, Lt…
Iraqi authorities have closed the entrances to the Sadr City neighbourhood in Baghdad, as the government moves to prevent residents from disobeying a curfew designed to tackle the coronavirus pandemic. According to Iraqi website Shafaq News, security services placed concrete blocks at the entrances to the working-class neighbourhood to prevent vehicles from leaving the area. "Under the direction of the commander of Baghdad operations, the security forces closed the entrances and exits of Sadr City," a security source told Shafaq News. He…
The British government is introducing new laws to protect the country’s soldiers from being prosecuted for crimes they have committed while serving outside the country. New legislation will introduce a five-year time limit on any prosecutions, meaning soldiers are unlikely to be prosecuted for any crimes committed following the 2003 invasion of Iraq or during the war in Afghanistan. The measures will cover only British soldiers serving outside the UK, and so will not protect any who committed offences during…
Iraq’s protest movement has rejected the appointment of Adnan al-Zurfi to succeed former Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi. For the first time, protest groups and a wide range of Shiite parties and blocs have agreed on rejecting a candidate. This means that Zurfi will not be able to form a new government and face the same fate of Mohammad Tawfiq Allawi, the earlier nominee who failed to form a cabinet by March 2. Anti-government protesters in Tahrir Square, central Baghdad,…
The UN envoy to Iraq condemned the use of hunting rifles loaded with birdshot against peaceful protesters in Baghdad. Birdshot is a type of shotgun ammunition that is designed for hunting birds in the wild, but it can also cause significant injury to humans if used on them. The UN Assistance Mission for Iraq said it received credible reports of protesters being shot at by gunmen using hunting rifles on the nights of February 14-16, leading to at least 50…
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told the Iraqi prime minister that the U.S. is prepared to act in self-defense if attacked in Iraq, according to a readout of a call between the two officials released on Monday. Pompeo spoke with Iraq’s Prime Minister Adil Abd al-Mahdi on Sunday and called on the Iraqi government to fulfill its obligations protecting coalition troops working in the country to defeat ISIS and identify and hold accountable the groups responsible for a rocket attack last week that…
ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – A civilian activist in the southern Iraqi city of Amarah survived an assassination attempt on Thursday after unidentified gunmen opened fire on his car. According to local sources, the attack was in retaliation to protesters' burning of the local headquarters of an Iran-backed militia blamed for killing two others earlier in the week. “Raza al-Eqeely, a student sit-in protest coordinator in Maysan province, survived an assassination attempt unharmed. He was shot at seven times while riding…
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