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

Barzani in Ankara for key talks on oil exports, revenues

Rudaw reports :

Kurdistan Region President Massoud Barzani was in Ankara Monday for important talks on oil exports and revenues, officials said.  Safeen Dizayee, spokesman of the autonomous Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), told Rudaw that the visit could mean Kurdish civil servants finally getting paid at the end of this month, after going without salaries since Baghdad froze budget payments early this year.

“We requested that Turkey import more Kurdish oil,” Dizayee said. He revealed that current exports were 120,000 barrels per day (bpd), and that “we will try to raise the rate to 400,000 bpd by the end of the year.”

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Get ready for Kurdish independence

Zalmay Khalilzad writes in the New York Times:

In the coming weeks, Iraq’s leaders must make existential decisions. If they cannot form a unity government led by a new prime minister and motivate Sunni moderates and tribes to fight the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, Iraq is likely to disintegrate.

If the central government fails to grant satisfactory concessions to Sunnis and Kurds, the Kurds will push for sovereignty and independence. The Kurds are serious, and the international community must adapt to this emerging reality. While all Iraqi leaders bear responsibility for resolving the current crisis, the greatest share lies with the country’s Shiite politicians, who dominate the central government. Shiite parties must select a candidate for prime minister who can share power, decentralize the government and depoliticize the security forces.

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34 killed in raid on alleged brothel in Baghdad

CNN reports:

An attack on apartments that neighbors say were used as a brothel in Baghdad killed at least 28 women and six men Saturday, security officials told CNN.
An AFP correspondent on the scene reported that the attackers left a message on a door: "This is the fate of any prostitution."

Unidentified militants wearing military uniforms and street clothes stormed several apartments in the Zayona residential complexes in eastern Baghdad, officials said. They fired their weapons in the streets before breaking down doors to enter the buildings, security officials and residents told CNN. Once inside, they killed the men and women, the officials said.

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Iraq parliament defers vote on new government

Al Jazeera reports:

Iraq's deadlocked parliament has ended its second session without making any progress towards forming a new unity government that can confront armed rebels who have seized control of a huge part of the country.

Deputies had gathered in parliament on Sunday for talks intended to agree on a prime minister, president and speaker of parliament, three months after Iraq's parliamentary election. But the meeting only lasted for 30 minutes before it was adjourned.

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Expansion of ‘secret’ facility in Iraq suggests closer U.S.-Kurd ties

Mitchell Prothero reports for Mcclatchy:

A supposedly secret but locally well-known CIA station on the outskirts of Irbil’s airport is undergoing rapid expansion as the United States considers whether to engage in a war against Islamist militants who’ve seized control of half of Iraq in the past month.

Western contractors hired to expand the facility and a local intelligence official confirmed the construction project, which is visible from the main highway linking Irbil to Mosul, the city whose fall June 9 triggered the Islamic State’s sweep through northern and central Iraq. Residents around the airport say they can hear daily what they suspect are American drones taking off and landing at the facility.


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Iraq’s parliament ends session still deadlocked

Sinan Salaheddin and Qassim Abdul-Zahra report for AP:

Iraq's deadlocked parliament ended its second session after just 30 minutes Sunday without making any progress toward forming a new government that can unite the country and confront the Sunni militant blitz that has seized control of a huge chunk of the country.

The legislature is under pressure to quickly choose a new speaker of parliament, president and prime minister - the first steps toward a new government. Hopes had been raised that lawmakers might at least vote on a speaker of parliament Sunday after Sunni blocs announced that they had agreed on a candidate for the post, Salim al-Jubouri.

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Islamic State routs Iraqi armored column in Anbar

Bill Roggio writes for the Long War Journal:

Fighters from the newly established Islamic State ambushed and destroyed an Iraqi armored column in the western province of Anbar. Islamic State fighters also captured several American-made armored personnel carriers. The ambush highlights the deteriorating state of the Iraqi security forces.

The Islamic State's Anbar Wilayat (division or province) released a series of photographs on its Twitter account on July 10 that document the ambush of an Iraqi armored column and the aftermath of the attack.



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How Saudi Arabia helped ISIS take over the north of the country

Patrick Cockburn writes for the Independent:

How far is Saudi Arabia complicit in the Isis takeover of much of northern Iraq, and is it stoking an escalating Sunni-Shia conflict across the Islamic world? Some time before 9/11, Prince Bandar bin Sultan, once the powerful Saudi ambassador in Washington and head of Saudi intelligence until a few months ago, had a revealing and ominous conversation with the head of the British Secret Intelligence Service, MI6, Sir Richard Dearlove. Prince Bandar told him: "The time is not far off in the Middle East, Richard, when it will be literally 'God help the Shia'. More than a billion Sunnis have simply had enough of them."

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Iraq’s top diplomat replaced, sources say

Hamdi Alkhshali and Michael Martinez report for CNN:

In a possible portent of growing factional conflict, a leading Kurdish minister was removed from Iraq's government, and the Kurdish semi-autonomous government took over two oilfields in the north, officials said Friday.

Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari, the face of Iraqi diplomacy for a more than a decade, was removed Friday by Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, two senior Iraqi government officials said.

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Iraq sends volunteer force to Ramadi

Edward Yeranian reports for VOA:

Iraqi government TV reported that the 4,000 volunteers were being airlifted to Ramadi from the country's mostly Shi'ite regions of Karbala, Baghdad, Najaf and Basrah. It said Anbar province governor Ahmed Khalaf al-Dulaimi made the announcement in a statement Saturday.

Anbar province military commander General Rashid Flayeh indicated that around 2,500 of the volunteers had been flown into Ramadi Friday by helicopter. The rest were expected to be flown in Saturday. Government forces currently control Ramadi, although Sunni insurgents hold the Anbar town of Faluja, 25 kilometers from Baghdad.

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