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

Iraq teeters on the edge of civil war

Tom Ashbrook of WBUR-FM's "On Point" reports:

It was two years and four months ago that the last American troops marched out of Iraq.  After most of a decade and more than $2 trillion spent there.  After nearly 4500 American deaths, and more than 32,000 Americans wounded.  After an Iraqi death toll so big it’s still being debated.  After all that, right now Iraq is on the verge of civil war.  Some say it’s effectively there.  Fallujah and Ramadi overrun with insurgents.  Al Qaeda back, and trouble north, south, east and west.  Bombings in Baghdad.  Syria’s upheaval bleeding in.  This hour On Point:  the new trouble in Iraq.

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Iraqi parliament hopeful Khazali fought in Syrian civil war

Agence France-Presse reports:

An Iraqi Shiite who proudly fought Sunni rebels in Syria's civil war is now running for parliament in his home country, where the conflict has raised already-high sectarian tensions.

Faleh al-Khazali is one of an unknown number of Iraqi Shiites who have gone to fight on the side of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad against a Sunni-led rebellion.

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Terraseis to deploy first 3-C project in Kurdistan

Scandanavian Oil-Gas Online:

Terraseis, a seismic acquisition contractor focused on operating in challenging environments, is deploying a Three-Component seismic recording system in the Kurdish Region of Iraq to carry out a seismic 3D survey that shall include 3-C data acquisition. This shall be the first 3-C project in Kurdistan and follows on a string of seismic firsts achieved by Terraseis during its thirty previous projects in Kurdistan since 2005.

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Militants attack balloting center in Iraq, kill 10

The Associated Press reports:

Militants wearing military uniforms carried out an overnight attack against a balloting center in a remote area of the country's north and killed 10 guards, a senior police official said on Tuesday.

It was the latest in a surge of attacks around the country as Iraq gears up for crucial parliament elections on April 30. The attack came as Iraq's Shiite-led government struggled to keep a lid on a surge in sectarian violence that has sent bloodshed soaring to levels not seen since the country was pushed to the brink of civil war in 2006 and 2007.

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Iraq army kills attackers, clears university building

Aref Youssef of Turkish Press reports:

Iraqi army forces on Sunday killed two militants and arrest a third, bringing an end to an attack by suspected members of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) on a university building in eastern Baghdad.

A unit of army Special Forces killed two militants wearing explosive belts who were holed up inside the Imam Kadhim University building and arrested a third, a security source, who asked to remain anonymous, told Anadolu Agency.

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Suicide bombings, attacks in Iraq kill 33 people

The Associated Press reports:

Suicide bombings and other attacks across Iraq killed at least 33 people and wounded nearly 80 more on Monday, officials said, the latest in an uptick in violence as the country counts down to crucial parliament elections later this month.

Over the past year, violence has surged in Iraq to levels unseen since 2008. The increase in deadly shootings and bombings has become the Shiite-led government's most serious challenge as the nation prepares to head to the polls on April 30 — the first vote in Iraq since the U.S. army withdrawal in 2011.

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For extremists in Syria, extortion brings piles of cash from Iraq

Alice Fordham reports for National Public Radio:

The renegade Islamist group known as ISIS now controls swaths of Syria and Iraq, and it's partly because the fighters are so rich. ISIS, or the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, is known for having the biggest guns and paying the highest salaries.

While kidnapping, oil smuggling and donations from sympathizers have been well-known sources of money, the groups also run complex and brutal protection rackets, according to analysts.

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Militant attacks kill 16 in central Iraq

Agence France-Presse reports:

Attacks in central Iraq, including two suicide car bombings aimed at checkpoints, killed 16 people on Monday, security and medical officials said.

The latest violence came as Iraq suffers a protracted surge in bloodshed that has killed more than 2,700 people so far this year.

 

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What we left behind

Dexter Filkins writes in The New Yorker:

Christmas Day last year, Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki appeared on Iraqi television to wish his country’s Christian minority—which has been fleeing by the thousand since the American invasion, in 2003—a happy holiday. Maliki, who is sixty-three, wore a dark-blue suit and a purple tie, and stood almost perfectly still at a lectern flanked by Iraqi flags. His long face conveyed, as it almost always does, a look of utter joylessness. Having spent much of his life hunted by assassins, Maliki gives the impression of a man who learned long ago to ruthlessly suppress his feelings. “He never smiles, he never says thank you, and I’ve never seen him say, ‘I’m sorry,’ ” a longtime associate of Maliki’s told me. For Maliki, the holiday greetings were a pretext. What he really wanted to talk about was protests unfolding in Anbar Province, west of Baghdad. “Thank God, the truth has been revealed,” he said.

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Iraq needs drastic rethink on crude resources

Saadallah Al Fathi writes in Gulf News:

As if to commemorate the 11th anniversary of the invasion and occupation of Iraq, the ‘Economist’ in its March 23 issue had an article titled ‘Electricity in Iraq’ and added ‘Not yet switched on, in any way’.

The Ministry of Electricity recently said that available supplies are 10,550 MW, which was the same number as in the first-half of 2013 and indicating that no additional capacity was added since. The Ministry’s generation over that period was close to 6,000 MW only, and imports from Iran and Turkish barges in the Gulf were about 1,300 MW, on average. Therefore, Iraqis are supplied domestically with about 57 per cent of their requirements and about 69 per cent at best with imports.

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