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

Islamic State second-in-command likely killed: U.S.

Andrea Shalal and Susan Heavey report for Reuters:

Islamic State's second in command and other senior leaders were likely killed this week in a major offensive targeting its financial operations, U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter said on Friday, the latest setback for the militant group.

Carter told a Pentagon press briefing the United States believes it killed Haji Iman, a senior leader in charge of finances for the self-declared caliphate, and Abu Sarah, who Carter said was charged with paying fighters in northern Iraq.

U.S. Marine General Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told the briefing the deaths reflected "indisputable" new momentum in the fight against Islamic State.

Click here for the entire story

Turkish soldier killed in northern Iraq after Islamic State fires rockets: army

Reuters reports:

A Turkish soldier was killed and another wounded in northern Iraq on Saturday when rockets fired by Islamic State during clashes with Iraqi Kurdish fighters landed in a base where Turkish troops were deployed, the army said.

NATO member Turkey, part of the U.S.-led coalition against Islamic State, sent troops to northern Iraq in December, citing heightened security risks near Bashiqa, where its soldiers have been training an Iraqi militia to fight Islamist militants. Baghdad objected to the Turkish deployment.

"Islamic State targets identified in the region have been shot back at," the Turkish military said in a statement.

Click here for the entire story

ISIS claims attack on stadium in Iraq that killed 29

AP reports:

A suicide bomber blew himself up in a soccer stadium south of the Iraqi capital on Friday, killing 29 people and wounding 60, security officials said, as the military announced new gains on the ground against ISIS.

The bombing took place during a match in the small stadium in the city of Iskanderiyah, 30 miles (50 kilometers) from Baghdad, the officials said. Medical officials confirmed the death toll. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk to the press.

Click here for the entire story

U.S. Military Officials Expect More Troops Sent to Iraq

Ben Kesling writes for The Wall Street Journal:

Top military officials said Friday they expect more U.S. forces to join the fight against Islamic State in Iraq over the coming weeks.

Gen. Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said officials will recommend that President Barack Obama increase the force already in Iraq, which numbers at least 3,800.

The extra troops will be used to help Iraqi forces as they accelerate their push into Islamic State strongholds, Gen. Dunford said.

He first spoke about the proposal at a Pentagon news conference held with Defense Secretary Ash Carter. The general didn’t say how large of an increase in service personnel they recommended.

Click here for the entire story

Will lessons learned in Ramadi help retake Mosul from ISIS forces?

Ben Thompson writes for Christian Science Monitor:

The Iraqi military announced Thursday it was launching an offensive to retake Mosul, one of the republic’s largest cities, from Islamic State (IS) militants who have occupied it since 2014.

Iraqi forces have been building up for weeks in the town of Makhmur, about 60 miles southeast of Mosul, joined by Kurdish peshmerga and US troops. The peshmerga, from the Iraqi Kurdistan region that makes up much of northern Iraq, have been moving in on Mosul and have already cut off the city on three sides, according to Reuters.

The Kurds and US forces have been readying for the offensive for weeks. US officials announced it was beginning cyber attacks against IS installations earlier this month, and at a US Department of Defense briefing in late February, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Gen. Joseph Dunford said that “operations against Mosul have already started.”

The US has also provided training to the forces aligned against IS in the region, and will back them with air support during the operation.

Click here for the entire story

Do gas condensate exports represent new beginning for Iraq’s hydrocarbon industry?

Rami Khrais writes for Al-Monitor:

Iraq exported its first shipment of gas condensate on March 20, from the port at Khor al-Zubair to Fujairah in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Hamed Zubai, undersecretary at the Iraqi Ministry of Oil, reported that the Iraqi Oil Marketing Co. had arranged for the 10,000-cubic-meter consignment, and the Basrah Gas Co. had successfully exported the shipment.

“Due to surplus exceeding local consumption, gas condensate exports will continue. In addition, the ministry seeks to export other types of associated gas-processing products,” Zubai said during a March 20 news conference. He did not mention potential export destinations. “Exporting condensate opens the door for the state to secure added financial returns, driven by the fact that the global price per ton is around $350.” What does this development mean, and does it represent a new beginning for the gas industry in Iraq?

Click here for the entire story

In Syria and Iraq, the Islamic State is in retreat on multiple fronts

Liz Sly writes for The Washington Post:

As European governments scramble to contain the expanding terrorist threat posed by the Islamic State, on the battlefield in Iraq and Syria the group is a rapidly diminishing force.

In the latest setbacks for the militants on Thursday, Syrian government troops entered the outskirts of the historic town of Palmyra after a weeks-old offensive aided by Russian airstrikes, and U.S. airstrikes helped Iraqi forces overrun a string of Islamic State villages in northern Iraq that had been threatening a U.S. base nearby.

These are just two of the many fronts in both countries where the militants are being squeezed, stretched and pushed back. Nowhere are they on the attack. They have not embarked on a successful offensive in nearly nine months. Their leaders are dying in U.S. strikes at the rate of one every three days, inhibiting their ability to launch attacks, according to U.S. military officials.

Click here for the entire story

Iraq Isn’t Lost to Iran

Zalmay Khalilzad writes for The Wall Street Journal:

The conventional wisdom in Washington, D.C., seems to be that Iraq is hopelessly lost to Iran. The best that the U.S. can do, this view suggests, is to destroy Islamic State there and develop a special relationship with an independent or semi-independent Iraqi Kurdistan.

Washington should do those things. But it also should not abandon the rest of Iraq. Based on recent meetings in Baghdad with Iraqi leaders, including Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, I believe that the country is not lost.

Click here for the entire story

Turkish warplanes strike PKK targets in northern Iraq

Reuters reports:

Turkish warplanes bombed and destroyed nearly a dozen targets belonging to the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) in northern Iraq late on Wednesday, the armed forces said, the latest operations targeting insurgent camps near the Turkish border.

The F-16 and F-4 jets carried out the operation against the camps in the Hakkurk, Haftanin, Avasin and Basyan areas at 9 p.m. local time (1900 GMT), destroying 11 targets including ammunition depots and shelters, the military said on Thursday.

Click here for the entire story

Calm before the storm at Baghdad protest camp

Jean Marc Mojon writes for AFP:

Sitting in the shade near the protest tents, Raad al-Haeri watched as convoys of armored SUVs ferried politicians and diplomats in and out of Baghdad’s Green Zone. The 27-year-old scrapes together around $400 a month working odd jobs and has the spare time to join the thousands of supporters of preacher Moqtada al-Sadr in their protest against corruption.

“When you see those MPs driving their huge armored cars getting salaries of $12,000 or whatever it is, you don’t feel good. These people are stealing Iraq’s money,” he said.

A few steps away, behind coils of razor wire and rows of anti-riot police, VIP traffic through one of the main gates of the Green Zone continued as usual.

Sadr’s followers set up protest camps Friday at several entrances to the restricted zone, which houses premier Haider al-Abadi’s office, parliament and foreign embassies, including the huge U.S. mission.

Click here for the entire story

Page 20 of 473« First...10...1819202122...304050...Last »