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

In Iraq city, rare alliance spurs hope in battle against Islamic State

TAMER EL-GHOBASHY writes for the Wall Street Journal:

Children walked around in unruly clusters here, wearing navy blue-and-white uniforms following the start late last month of a school year delayed by an Iraq once again at war. Shoppers lingered to buy vegetables and live chickens at stalls at a busy public square, as a dozen uniformed Iraqi soldiers stationed at the entrance of the open-air market looked on.

For a city said to be under mortal threat from the extremists of Islamic State, there was no sign of fear or panic, owing to what residents and officials say is an emerging alliance in Abu Ghraib between Sunni Muslim tribal leaders, Shiite-controlled government forces and Shiite militia. In a country torn by Sunni-Shiite antagonism, such cooperation is rare. For the Iraqi government, though, the partnership forged in Abu Ghraib provides a glimmer of optimism as its reeling security forces attempt to regroup and retake territory seized by Islamic State.

Click here for the entire story

Fierce fighting rages in Iraq’s Anbar

Al Jazeera reports:

The Iraqi army says it has held off a fierce assault by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) on the city of Ramadi. The claim comes amid an announcement by the Iraqi government that it will triple its defence budget in an effort to defeat the group. Ramadi is one of the last major urban areas in the crucial Anbar province under Baghdad's control. ISIL holds thousands of kilometres of territory across Iraq, posing a threat to Kirkuk, Diyala and Salahuddin besides Anbar. Iraqi security forces, backed by tribesmen, managed to defend a government complex in the city on Thursday, in the latest in a series of drives which have seen the return of some territory lost to ISIL, army officials said. "We were able to stop the militants from advancing in the government complex," army Colonel Haytham al-Daraji told AFP news agency.

Click here for the entire story

An SOS plea from Iraq’s Salim al-Jabouri

Raed Omari writes for Al Arabiya:

I was really not that aware of the risky situation in terror-plagued Iraq until after attending a recent news conference by Iraqi Parliament Speaker Salim al-Jabouri here in Amman. The Islamist Sunni politician expressed distress about the quick advancements of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) into his country. There was unmistakable dismay in his statements over the inadequate support Iraq was receiving from neighbors and friends in its war against ISIS and radicalism. Jabouri, indeed, frightened us journalists when he warned with confidence that terror would reach all Iraq’s neighbors if ISIS was not defeated in his “always-at-war” country. Diplomatic euphemisms aside, such feelings were not difficult to establish from Jabouri’s brief statements and answers to journalists.

That his country is unable to fight ISIS alone, Jabouri said he had requested Jordan offer Iraq assistance in its war efforts against terror. During a joint presser with Jordanian Lower House Speaker Atef al-Tarawneh, Jabouri said: "We look forward for a Jordanian role in empowering the Iraqi institutions to counter terrorism and radicalism.” He also expressed hope that Jordan would contribute to training the Iraqi security forces battling terrorism. Meeting also with Jordan’s King Abdullah and Prime Minister Abdullah Ensour, Jabouri also asked for the kingdom’s help in Iraq’s anti-ISIS war, emphasizing that the entire region would be immune to radicalism once terrorists – meaning ISIS – were defeated in Iraq.

Click here for the entire story

The war against Islamic State: gaining more foes than friends

The Economist writes:

THERE is no cause yet for cheer, but for the first time since last summer’s blitzkrieg by Islamic State (IS) the news from Iraq and Syria has been less than uniformly grim. General Martin Dempsey, America’s chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, on November 15th told American troops in Iraq that the battle is “starting to turn”— though it will take time to defeat the jihadists. The UN’s envoy for Iraq, Nickolay Mladenov, assured the Security Council that the strategy of enlisting local forces was showing signs of progress. “We’re not looking at the collapse of the Iraqi state,” he said. “We’ve turned the tide.”

After months of setbacks the wobbly American-led coalition battling IS has halted the group’s momentum and begun to seize the initiative. Relentless air attacks have depleted the group’s arsenals, reduced its mobility and reportedly killed several of its senior commanders. The coalition’s campaign has grown in scope and sophistication. A single raid on November 19th, targeting a complex of IS fortifications north-west of Kirkuk, involved aircraft from seven countries.

Click here for the entire story

Militants execute two female parliamentary candidates in Mosul

Ludovica Laccino writes for the International Business Times:

Members of terror group Islamic State (Isis) have allegedly executed two female parliamentary candidates in the besieged city of Mosul, Kurdish media network Rudaw reported. It is believed that the women were killed in the Faisalya area in central Mosul.

"IS gunmen executed two former female candidates in Mosul after the Sharia Court issued death sentence on them," said Saad Mamuzin, the head of the Kurdistan Democratic Party KDP's Mosul branch. "One of the candidates was Ibtisam Ali Jarjis on the Watanya list, and the second one was Miran Ghazi a candidate for Arab List," he added, and then explained that the two women had repented in one of IS's mosques to spare their lives.

Click here for the entire story

How Chuck Hagel’s resignation might affect ISIS fight

Luis Martinez writes for ABC news:

Chuck Hagel’s departure as Defense Secretary will probably have a minimal impact on the administration’s three part strategy to fight ISIS in Iraq and Syria that is expected to take years. Hagel had raised questions about the strategy’s lack of focus on the Syrian regime of Bashar al Assad, but not about the president’s decision that American troops sent to Iraq will not serve as combat troops.

Online supporters of the Islamic terror group ISIS have taken to Twitter to cheer the resignation of Chuck Hagel, claiming it was ISIS that forced him out. An Arabic-language hashtag that roughly translates to “ISIS toppled American Defense Secretary” has been used dozens of times on the social networking site, sometimes alongside images mocking Hagel and the Obama administration. It’s unclear if the social media-savvy terror group actually started the campaign, or if it was the just product of the group’s online supporters.

Click here for the entire story

Kurdish independence good for Iraq: Iraqi politician

Hevidar Ahmed writes fro Rudaw:

Kurdish independence is inevitable and will be a good thing for Iraq, according to Sunni Arab Iraqi Parliamentarian Misha'n al-Juburi. In an interview with Rudaw, al-Juburi – a member of the newly-formed al-Arabiya Coalition – said the Islamic State (ISIS) threat convinced him of need of rapprochement with the Kurds. “After the resurgence of the Islamic State, I decided that it is time to resolve our differences,” he said. “Together we must protect Iraq and the Kurdistan Region from this group.” al-Juburi said he was a friend of the Kurds but also that his role in Baghdad was “to raise awareness of the Kurdish plan to divide Iraq and deepen sectarian divisions.” It is clear the Kurds are maneuvering towards independence, he said. “All their efforts are to make this happen.” “I understand why the Kurds have concerns about a strong united Iraq,” he said, blaming former prime minister Nouri Al-Maliki for threatening the Kurds. “He was an autocratic leader just like the former regimes in Iraq,” he said. “We must no longer allow for another dictator to emerge in Iraq.”

Click here for the entire story

ISIS ‘prince’ killed in Iraq’s Hit

Al Arabiya reports :

An air strike in west Iraq reportedly killed on Wednesday a senior figure in the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), Al Arabiya’s correspondent reported. Senan Meteeb, the so-called ISIS “emir” of the western Anbar province, was reportedly killed by a coalition air raid in the Anbar city of Hit. Twenty-four other ISIS fighters were also reportedly killed. The reported killing of Meteeb comes a day after Islamist militants shot dead 25 people from the Albunimr tribe in Anbar. The militant group has killed hundreds from the tribe. The United States is planning to arm the Sunni tribesmen in Anbar to help bolster the battle against ISIS in the Sunni stronghold. Tribal fighters in Anbar, whose cooperation with the Shiite-dominated state is seen as key to defeating ISIS, have been demanding more air support from Baghdad and the U.S.-led international coalition.

Click here for the entire story

Thousands of Iraq chemical weapons destroyed in open air, watchdog says

C.J. Chivers reports for the New York Times:

The United States recovered thousands of old chemical weapons in Iraq from 2004 to 2009 and destroyed almost all of them in secret and via open-air detonation, according to a written summary of its activities prepared by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, the international body that monitors implementation of the global chemical weapons treaty. The 30-page summary, prepared after quietly held meetings between the organization’s technical staff and American officials in Washington in 2009, was provided to The New York Times by the Pentagon on Friday. It included a table disclosing limited details on 95 separate recoveries and destructions of chemical warheads, shells or aviation bombs, for a total of 4,530 munitions from May 2004 through February 2009 — a period of often intense fighting in Iraq.

Click here for the entire story

U.S.-supplied weapons are already ending up in ISIS hands

Michael B. Kelley writes for Business Insider:

Entrenched corruption in the Iraqi military and police forces is undermining the fight against the Islamic State militant group. The US is seeking to empower Iraqi forces and Sunni tribes by funneling more than $1 billion in supplies and weapons through the government in Baghdad. "But some of the weaponry recently supplied by the army has already ended up on the black market and in the hands of Islamic State fighters, according to Iraqi officers and lawmakers," The New York Times reports. "American officials directed questions to the Iraqi government." Tribes argue that the US should arm them directly, but the Shia-dominated Iraqi government and its main backer, Iran, are wary of bolstering Sunni groups.

Read more:

Click here for the entire story

Page 3 of 22912345...102030...Last »