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

Party squabbles have Iraqi PM by the coattails

Omar Sattar writes for Al Monitor:

A Cabinet shuffle that Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi is expected to make will be limited to the substitution of ministers with representatives from their own parliamentary bloc or other blocs having a higher number of seats. That is, it will not take into account demands by protesters geared toward reducing government waste, inefficiency and corruption and forming a technocratic Cabinet.

Abadi had announced a package of reforms in August, including dismissals of the prime minister’s deputies and vice presidents as well as 140 senior government officials and the elimination and merger of 10 ministries. In early 2016, Iraqi media had reported an imminent reduction in the number of Cabinet seats and high-profile Cabinet dismissals, but on Jan. 25, Abadi confirmed that a shuffle would be limited to ministerial changes and exclude the elimination or merger of ministries. Abadi's announcement angered the Iraqi street, particularly the Popular Movement, which had hoped that protests ongoing since last August — the most recent of which was held Jan. 29 in Baghdad — would result in holding corrupt officials accountable, abolishing unnecessary positions and forming a Cabinet of competent ministers without regard to sectarian quotas.

Click here for the entire story

Ground incursion into Syria, Iraq opens gates of hell: Hezbollah Brigades

Press TV reports:

The Hezbollah Brigades, a popular resistance group fighting Daesh militants in Iraq, has warned Saudi Arabia and other Persian Gulf countries against any ground incursion into Syria or Iraq, saying such a move would “open the gates of hell” to the potential aggressors. In a Sunday statement, the Special Operations of Hezbollah Brigades, also known as Kata'ib Hezbollah or Hezbollah Battalions, advised “the sons of Saud and those rulers who stand behind them not to take a risk and to learn (their) lesson.”

Click here for the entire story

The RAF blitz on ISIS has destroyed more than 585 targets across Iraq and Syria

Tom Sculthorpe writes for the Daily Mail:

The Royal Air Force has hit more than 585 targets after flying more than 2,000 combat missions against ISIS in Iraq and Syria, it was announced today. Justine Greening, the International Development Secretary, said RAF aircraft and drones had helped in securing military success in Ramadi, Iraq and near Al Hal and around the Tishrin Dam in Syria.

In the most recent strikes detailed by the Ministry of Defence, Tornado jets fired a Brimstone missile and dropped three Paveway bombs at Kisik Junction in northern Iraq.

Click here for the entire story

Iraqi official calls Turkish soldiers stationed in Iraq ‘intruders’

Today's Zaman reports:

The Turkish soldiers in Iraq have been branded as “intruders” by the Iraqi parliament's Security and Defense Commission, which called on Turkey to remove all its soldiers stationed in Iraq. A statement by commission member Falih Elhazali notes that Iraq has tried diplomatic and legal routes, including taking up the matter with the United Nations Security Council (UNSC), for Turkey to remove its soldiers, but to no avail. “Turkish soldiers are intruders in northern Iraq,” he said.

Elhazali stated that Turkish soldiers would only be removed from Iraq via a military operation, which, he claimed, Iraq's volunteer resistance forces, the Hashd al-Shaabi, are ready to do. Elhazali pointed out that the prerogative for such action is in the hands of the Iraqi government.

Click here for the entire story

Iraq building wall around Baghdad: Abadi spokesman

Press TV reports:

A spokesman for Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi has confirmed the construction of a security wall around the capital, Baghdad, after the premier apparently dismissed the idea. Saad al-Hadithi said on Sunday that the wall is being built but stressed that it is "not politically motivated" or aimed at "achieving demographic change."

The remarks came a day after Abadi in a statement described Baghdad as the capital of "all Iraqis," and added that there can be "no wall or fence to isolate it or prevent other civilians from entering it."

Click here for the entire story

Pentagon says Canada will triple trainers in northern Iraq

Kristina Wong reports for The Hill:

The Pentagon announced Monday that Canada is tripling the number of its troops training Iraqi forces in Northern Iraq as part of the campaign against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. In addition, Canada is doubling its intelligence effort, and expanding humanitarian and development contributions. While the country has stopped airstrikes against ISIS, it will help refuel coalition aircraft as well as contribute surveillance aircraft.

Click here for the entire story

Despite war at home, more Syrian refugees return from Iraq

UNHCR reports:

Under a cold winter sun, 65-year-old Nazo Osi Ali and her two daughters pull their bulging suitcases out of the back of a blue station wagon at this town in northwest Iraq across the Tigris River from Syria.

Ten months ago Nazo fled to Iraq to escape the fighting in Syria, but now she needs to return home to her war-ravaged country for medical reasons. "I have high blood pressure and a bad tooth and I want to see my own doctor and dentist," she says. "It is too expensive to get treatment in Iraq." She is one of a growing number of Syrian refugees ground down by the protracted exile who have made the dangerous decision to return to Syria, where five years of conflict have killed around a quarter of a million people.

Click here for the entire story

Iranian-backed militia seen with US tank in Iraq

Caleb Weiss writes for the Long War Journal:

Kata’ib Sayyid al Shuhada (KSS), an Iranian-backed Shia militia which operates in both Syria and Iraq, has been spotted using a US-made M1 Abrams tank in a recently released video. The video, which is a montage of different militias within the Popular Mobilization Units (PMU’s), a Shia-led collection of militias in Iraq, has been shared on several PMU social media outlets.

Around the 16 second mark of the video, a KSS flag can clearly be seen atop an Abrams. It is unclear exactly where the militia is located during this clip, but it is likely within Iraq’s central Salahadin province, where KSS has done a considerable amount of fighting against the Islamic State. It is also unclear when the footage was taken, however, the footage is likely recent since the montage was released two days ago. It is also likely the tank is from the Iraqi Army, as the militias operate with and alongside the Iraqi security forces.

Click here for the entire story

Iraq to deploy 4,500 to Makhmour front for planned Mosul offensive

Rudaw reports :

Iraq’s defense ministry is aiming to deploy 4,500 soldiers to the Makhmour front in preparation for the long-anticipated offensive against the Islamic State (ISIS) Mosul. Iraq's Defense Minister Khaled al-Obaidi who visited Makhmour on Saturday did reportedly discuss the deployment of troops with Kurdish military officials.

Shakhawan Abdullah, a Kurdish lawmaker and head of the Iraqi parliamentary security committee told Rudaw that “the deployment comes with Kurdistan’s consent and coordination, and it is also temporary.” He added that the military base and the control of the front will be given back to Peshmerga forces after the Mosul operation.

Click here for the entire story

Iraq deploying troops to retake Mosul

AFP reports :

The Iraqi army is deploying thousands of soldiers to a northern base in preparation for operations to retake the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) group’s hub of Mosul, officials said on Monday. ISIS seized Mosul in June 2014 and except for air strikes has held Iraq’s second city largely unopposed for over 18 months as the country’s security forces battled the militants in other areas.

“Units from the Iraqi army have begun arriving to a military base near the Makhmur district to start launching initial military operations toward Mosul,” a staff brigadier general told AFP on condition of anonymity.

Click here for the entire story

Page 1 of 42912345...102030...Last »