Iraq Oil Report's Daily Brief compiles the most important news and analysis about Iraq from around the web.

Seven dead as suicide bomber targets Shiite holy site in Iraq

The National reports:

At least seven people were killed and 28 wounded in Baghdad on Sunday as a suicide bomber struck preparations a major Shiite religious observance next month.

Residents of the Iraqi capital’s western Eskan neighbourhood were setting up tents ahead of Ashura, which commemorates the 7th century death of Imam Hussein, the grandson of the Prophet Mohammed.

No one immediately claimed the attack, but ISIL and other Sunni extremists frequently target Iraq’s Shiite majority, who they view as apostates deserving of death.

Click here for the entire story

In battle for Iraq’s Mosul, many forces with many motives

Susannah George and Lee Keath write for AP:

An unlikely array of forces is converging on the city of Mosul, lining up for a battle on the historic plains of northern Iraq that is likely to be decisive in the war against the Islamic State group.

The tacit alliance — Iraqi troops alongside Shiite militiamen, Sunni Arab tribesmen, Kurdish fighters and U.S special forces — underscores the importance of this battle. Retaking Mosul, Iraq’s second-largest city, would effectively break the back of the militant group, ending their self-declared “caliphate,” at least in Iraq.

But victory doesn’t mean an end to the conflict. In a post-Islamic State Iraq, the enmities and rivalries among the players in the anti-IS coalition could easily erupt.

Click here for the entire story

Gun and suicide bomb attacks kill 12 in Iraq’s Tikrit

The National reports:

Militants killed 12 people in a shooting and a suicide bombing opn Saturday in the northern Iraqi city of Tikrit, which was recaptured from ISIL last year.

It was not clear last night whether the renewed violence in Tikrit would delay plans by Iraqi forces to recapture Mosul. Western officials have indicated that the drive for Iraq’s second city will begin next month, although Baghdad has declined to give a specific date for the operation.

In Saturday’s attack, militants shot dead four security personnel at a checkpoint on the west side of the city, then continued north and detonated an explosives-rigged vehicle at another checkpoint, killing eight more people.

Click here for the entire story

ISIS has a navy? The US is sinking it

Ryan Browne writes for CNN:

US and allied warplanes have sunk over 100 ISIS boats, destroying 65 of them in September alone, according to the international military coalition.

While Iraq is nearly entirely land-locked, the Tigris and Euphrates rivers that cross that country are navigable, and ISIS has been using watercraft for a variety of purposes, including transporting fighters and conducting improvised explosive attacks.

The US-led anti-ISIS coalition provided CNN with video of a September 10 airstrike against an ISIS tactical unit aboard a boat near Bayji, Iraq.

Click here for the entire story

UK: British Warplanes Bomb IS to Support Iraqi Push on Mosul

Menelaos Hadjicostis writes for AP:

British Tornado and Typhoon aircraft stationed at a U.K. air base in Cyprus are pounding Islamic State targets ahead of a major offensive by Iraqi security forces next month to recapture the key northern city of Mosul from IS militants, a senior Royal Air Force officer says.

Air Commodore Sammy Sampson said Iraqi forces are confident they can retake the country's second-largest city from IS and that British warplanes will provide the needed support to get the job done.

"We'll stand by them. We'll support them. We will make it do-able for them," Sampson told reporters Thursday on a guided tour of the RAF Akrotiri base's operations.

Click here for the entire story

AP Exclusive: Iraq oil fires could jeopardize Mosul mission

AP reports:

A fire at one of Iraq's oil fields could hinder military and humanitarian efforts as operations to recapture the Islamic State stronghold of Mosul get underway.

Black smoke continues to billow into the air from the Qayara oil field, damaged by IS militants last month as they fled the town, creating health risks for civilians and troops amassing there. The fires are also clogging up the skies in the area, where critically important airstrikes and aerial reconnaissance missions are taking place almost daily.

Located on the west bank of the Tigris River, about 40 miles (65 kilometers) south of Mosul, Qayara has since become an important staging ground for military and humanitarian efforts ahead of the Mosul operation since it was recaptured by Iraqi forces last month.

Click here for the entire story

The Latest: UN to Help Iraq Tackle Sexual Violence

Edith M. Lederer reports for AP:

The United Nations and Iraq signed an agreement Friday aimed at helping the Baghdad government tackle sexual violence in conflict, an issue that made headlines following the capture and rape of Yazidi women by Islamic State extremists in 2014.

Zainab Hawa Bangura, the U.N. special envoy for sexual violence in conflict, and Iraq's Foreign Minister Ibrahim Al-Jaffari, signed the joint communique on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly's annual ministerial meeting.

She said the U.N.-Iraq collaboration will especially focus on challenges Iraq faces with accountability for sexual violence and bringing perpetrators to justice. To date, there have been no trials.

Click here for the entire story

U.S. forces are using white phosphorus munitions in Iraq but it’s unclear exactly how

Thomas Gibbons-Neff reports for The Washington Post:

U.S. forces are using white phosphorus munitions in their fight against the Islamic State based on pictures and videos posted online by the Pentagon, but it is unclear exactly how the controversial armament is being employed.

White phosphorus shells are intended to make smoke screens or signals for advancing troops. When launched against soldiers and civilians, however, the munition can cause severe burn wounds that can be dangerous for medical personnel treating the injured.

International humanitarian law stipulates that white phosphorus munitions should only be used in areas devoid of civilians. Even using it against enemy combatants has raised concerns, given that the munitions can cause horrific injuries.

Click here for the entire story

Abadi orders weapons caches out of Baghdad in wake of deadly blast

Sarah al-Qaher writes for Al-Monitor:

A weapons depot exploded in a residential area east of Baghdad on Sept. 2, killing four people and injuring 11 others. The depot belonged to a militia affiliated with the Popular Mobilization Units (PMU).

Though no one has claimed responsibility yet, on Sept. 16, Muqtada al-Sadr, head of the Sadrist movement and Saraya al-Salam faction within the PMU, accused unnamed militias of responsibility for this incident and said that some militias keep their arms depots in residential areas intentionally to ensure their domination over these areas.

Click here for the entire story

The Coming Crisis in Mosul

Dexter Filkins writes for The New Yorker:

A humanitarian catastrophe is looming over northern Iraq. As many as a million people are expected to stream out of Mosul when Iraqi government forces, backed by the United States, move to retake the city from isis. The much anticipated military operation could begin as early as next month, but aid workers here say they do not have anywhere near the resources, money, or manpower to deal with the expected human tide.

“It’s a nightmare—a disaster heading our way,’’ Alex Milutinovic, the director of the International Rescue Committee in Erbil, told me. “The Iraqi government is determined to destroy isis, but it is impossible to accommodate the number of refugees the military operation is going to produce.”

Click here for the entire story

Page 1 of 51412345...102030...Last »