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

For some Iraqi youths, ethnic divisions just skin deep

Abigail Hauslohner reports for The Independent:

To get to Dante's lair, you have to walk down an alley, up the stairs and along a corridor of a dilapidated shopping centre in Baghdad's central Karrada district.

Inside a dimly lit room there on a sweltering night, a group of tough-looking young men and teenagers are gathered around a comrade who was struggling to remain stoic despite the pain.

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Maliki visits Iraq’s former president in Sulaimani

Rudaw reports :

Despite local opposition to his visit, Iraq’s embattled Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki arrived at Sulaimani today to see former president Jalal Talabani after his return from Germany.

The visit comes at a time that relations between Erbil and Baghdad are at all time low due to serious disputes between both governments over oil and gas issues and the autonomous region’s share of the federal budget that has been blocked by Baghdad since January. Talabani, secretary general of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) and Iraq’s former president returned from medical treatment in Germany last week.

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Sistani: Iraq leaders must not cling to power

Al Jazeera reports:

Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, Iraq's top cleric, has called on political leaders to refrain from clinging to their posts, in an apparent reference to Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, who has defied demands that he step aside.

Speaking through an aide who delivered a sermon after Friday prayers in the holy city of Kerbala, Sistani said leaders should show flexibility so that political deadlocks can be broken and Iraq can confront dangers and terrorism. Last month, Sunni fighters from the Islamic State staged a stunning sweep through northern and western Iraq, posing the biggest challenge to Maliki's Shia-led government since the departure of US forces in 2011.

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House to Obama: no troops to Iraq without our ok

AP reports :

The House overwhelmingly passed a resolution Friday that would bar President Barack Obama from sending forces to Iraq in a "sustained combat role" without congressional approval, a bill with greater symbolic than legal effect.

The nonbinding measure hasn't been debated in the Senate. Its language opens up several questions related to the Constitution's separation of powers between executive and legislative branches, even if Obama and his top military advisers already have ruled out sending combat troops to help Iraq fight extremist insurgents.

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Sunni politician seized in Iraq by gunmen released

Sameer N. Yacoub reports for AP:

Gunmen in Iraq seized and later released a prominent Sunni politician, officials said Saturday, as confusion remained over who abducted the lawmaker.

Riyadh al-Adhadah, head of the Baghdad Provincial Council, returned to his home a day after gunmen abducted him and four of his bodyguards, said Ghalib al-Zamili, a member of the council. The bodyguards also were released, according to a police officer who declined to be named because he is not authorized to brief journalists.

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Fleeing atrocities, Iraqi Turkmens turned away at Turkish border

Tulin Daloglu writes for al Monitor:

After 2005, when sectarian strife started to slowly rip apart Iraq, the plight of Turkmens has been the most ignored tragedy — even in Turkey. With the Islamic State (IS) taking control of Mosul and Tal Afar early June, Turkmens are once again left without support to face their own destiny.

 

 

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US officials, lawmakers clash over Iraq policy

AP reports :

Senior U.S. officials and lawmakers butted heads Wednesday over the American response to Iraq's expanding Sunni insurgency, with Republicans saying drone strikes should have been authorized months ago and even Democrats questioning the Obama administration's commitment to holding the fractured country together.

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Attack on prisoner convoy kills 60

Sinan Salaheddin reports for AP:

Gunmen attacked a prisoner convoy north of Baghdad on Thursday, setting off a gunbattle with troops in which 52 prisoners and eight soldiers were killed, officials said.

The dawn attack began with militants firing mortar rounds on Iraqi army bases in the town of Taji, where suspects were being held on terrorism charges, prompting officials to evacuate the facilities, fearing a jailbreak.

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Kurds elect Fouad Massoum to be Iraq’s next president

Rudaw reports :

Kurdish members of the Iraqi parliament elected Fouad Massoum, one of the two candidates of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) to the post of Iraq’s president on Wednesday evening. Massoum won 30 votes against his fellow candidate Barham Salih’s 23.

Massoum’s election by the Kurdish MPs has ended weeks of deliberation by the PUK to choose its candidates for the post. Both Massoum and Salih are senior leaders of the PUK. Massoum has served as the head of the Kurdish parliamentary bloc in Baghdad and Salih was once deputy Iraqi prime minister and Kurdistan Region’s premier for a two-year term.

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Najaf, Qom take different approaches in Iraq

Ali Mamouri writes for Al Monitor:

Najaf and Qom have taken two different approaches in dealing with general political affairs in Shiite communities since the introduction of the idea of ​​velayat-e faqih. Although this idea was put forward for the first time in Najaf by the founder of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, it has not been welcomed by the Shiite hawza (seminary). Finally, Khomeini managed to attain his wish to implement velayat-e faqih on the ground after the victory of the Islamic Revolution in Iran, which made this idea widely popular within the Iranian seminary of Qom.

 

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