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

ISIS-infested Iraq has time to worry about porn sites

Diana Moukalled reports for Al Arabiya:

Iraqis, beware of pornography websites as they are the biggest threat to you - at least this is what we should conclude from the current campaign to ban porn sites. In a nutshell: “Never mind the angry protests, or political parties’ violations of freedoms, or the rise of religious parties, or government’s increased failures; only worry about porn.

This rhetoric is present in a country where innocent people are victims of explosions, murder and slaughter; where the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) has celebrated its second year in control of Iraqi areas; and where Iran proves its status as a political and military authority. All this is happening amid political bickering that divides the Iraqi people and destroys whatever is left of a state that is woefully corrupt.

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US, allies target militants in 23 air strikes in Syria, Iraq: US

Reuters reports:

US-led forces conducted 16 air strikes in Iraq and seven in Syria on August 8 against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) targets, the US military said.

In Iraq, five air strikes near Mosul, three near Ramadi and three near Sinjar aimed to beat back the militants, destroying excavators, tactical units, buildings and weapons, the Combined Joint Task Force said on August 9 in a statement. Other strikes were located near Kirkuk, Falluja, Tal Afar, Makhmur and Kabbaniyah, it said.

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Minorities in Iraq’s Kurdistan push for greater political voice

Sharon Behn reports for Voice of America:

Christian and Turkmen minority lawmakers threw their voices behind a proposal put to Kurdistan's Constitutional Committee Monday that would set up political councils to enshrine the rights of ethnic and religious minorities and ensure their participation in the Iraqi region’s governance.

Christians are often treated as second class citizens by the Kurdish majority, explained Srood Maqdasy, a Christian Member of Parliament. “We can call it a feeling of superiority, we have religious problem, we have problem with regard to land occupation and properties, a lot of problems. So this council will follow these issues,” Maqdasy told VOA.

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Iraq: UN agency forced to cut critical food aid amid funding shortfall

The U.N. News Center reports:

A severe funding shortfall in Iraq is pushing the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) to cut the amount of aid it delivers to nearly one million displaced people in the war-torn country, the Organization has confirmed.

“Unfortunately, lack of funds and the rise in the number of displaced Iraqis forces us to reduce the size of the food rations we provide to tens of thousands of families living outside camps,” Jane Pearce, the WFP Representative and Country Director in Iraq, said in a press release issued earlier today.

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What are the lessons from Iraq for Iran?

Fred Hiatt writes for Delaware Online:

Last week President Obama defended the Iran agreement in part by dismissing its critics as people who supported the war in Iraq 13 years ago – “the same people who seem to have no compunction with being repeatedly wrong,” he said.

Politicians and pundits should be judged on their records. If you think my support of the Iraq war in 2002 invalidates any other argument I will ever make, then you shouldn’t read my column.

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Iraq’s prime minister pitches plan to overhaul government

AP reports:

Iraq's prime minister unveiled a bold plan to abolish three vice presidential posts and the offices of three deputy premiers, hoping to cut spending amid mass protests against his government.

Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi's Cabinet backed the plan, which still needs parliamentary approval, but it's unclear whether it could end the endemic corruption in Iraq's political system.

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ISIS claims suicide bombing in central Iraqi city of Baquba that kills at least 30

Mohammed Tawfeeq and Greg Botelho report for CNN:

A suicide car bomb ripped through a busy outdoor market Monday night near the Iraqi city of Baquba, killing at least 30 people and wounding 40 others, police and health officials said.

In a statement posted on Twitter and re-tweeted by several of its supporters, ISIS said its members were behind the attack -- a claim that's hardly surprising, given the group's grisly record of terror in war-torn Iraq and neighboring Syria.

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Islamic State claims Iraq car bombs that kill nearly 60

Reuters reports:

At least 58 people were killed and more than 100 wounded on Monday in two blasts in eastern Iraq claimed by Islamic State in a province once considered mostly free of them. In January Iraqi officials declared victory over the insurgents in Diyala province, which borders Iran, after security forces and Shi'ite paramilitaries drove them out of towns and villages there. But the militants have remained active.

An explosion at a market in Huwaidar, about 4 km (2.5 miles) north of the provincial capital of Baquba, killed 51 people and wounded at least 80, police and medical sources said.

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Saddam-era officers dominate high ranks of ISIL: report

Press TV reports:

​Officers serving under the rule of Iraq's former dictator Saddam Hussein are reportedly in charge of top positions in the ranks of the ISIL Takfiri terrorist group. According to senior Iraqi officers, ISIL's top command is dominated by former officers from Saddam's military and intelligence agencies, The Associated Press reported.

Officials say there are as many as 100 to 160 Saddam-era officers in the ranks of the terrorist group. It is also said that the officers are in mostly mid- and senior-level positions.

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How foreign-policy lessons from Iraq inform Obama’s Iran deal

Fred Hiatt reports for the Washington Post:

Last week President Obama defended the Iran agreement in part by dismissing its critics as people who supported the war in Iraq 13 years ago — “the same people who seem to have no compunction with being repeatedly wrong,” he said.

Politicians and pundits should be judged on their records. If you think my support of the Iraq war in 2002 invalidates any other argument I will ever make, then you shouldn’t read my column. That’s fair enough.

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