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

Cholera infections in Iraq climb to more than 800: Health Ministry

Press TV reports:

Iraqi medical authorities say the number of recorded cases of cholera in the conflict-ridden Arab country has climbed to more than 800, though no new deaths have been reported in days. Director General of Planning and Development in Iraq’s Health Ministry Hassan Hadi Baqer, told Arabic-language al-Sumaria satellite television network that 50 new people have been diagnosed with symptoms of cholera, including bad diarrhea and high fever, raising the number of those who have contacted the infection to 823.

Baqer added as many as 30 of the new cases came from the city of Diwaniyah, located 130 kilometers (80 miles) south of the capital, Baghdad, seven from Baghdad’s Karkh district, which lies on the western side of the river Tigris, five from al-Rusafa on the eastern sector of the river, six from the holy shrine city of Karbala and the other two from the southeastern province of Maysan.

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Jordan MP’s son ‘carried out Iraq suicide attack’

AFP reports :

A Jordanian parliamentarian's son died carrying out a suicide attack claimed by the Islamic State militant group in Iraq this week, Jordanian media said Friday. Independent legislator Mazen al-Dhalaein was quoted as telling the Khaberni website that his son, Mohammed, who went by the name of Abu Baraa, had died in Iraq. He said he learned of his son's death after seeing his photo on social media accounts linked to IS.

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Welcome to the ISIS fanatics’ fairground

Tom Wyke reports for the Guardian:

Perhaps inspired by Banksy's bemusement park Dismaland, ISIS have bemused social media users by showing off pictures of two new fairgrounds in its territory in Syria and Iraq. The new theme parks were opened near ISIS's self-styled capital of Raqqa in Syria and the Iraqi city of Fallujah. The propaganda photos attempt to portray the apparent normality of life under the brutal jihadi regime, with smiling children enjoying the rides in the war-zone.


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Iraq’s female cycling champions: Dealing with the war with Isis

Cathy Otten reports for the Independent:

The sun dips as the cyclists from Iraq's national team move effortlessly around a bend in the road. They climb the hill by the sprawling university and shake off a group of men trying to outrace them on scooters.

Leaving the men behind, they climb higher above the city of Sulaimaniyah in the Kurdish north of the country. A group of labourers, wearing broad straw hats to block out the sun, watches in stunned amazement as the six young women ride by in a blur of pink helmets and green, red and blue jerseys. Sirwan Sami, the team's coach, looks out from the window of his van and sounds a pealing siren to warn off a lorry driver veering too close to the racers on the broad highway.

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Iraq: Explosions in Baghdad kill at least 18 people

AP reports:

Two large bombings in Shiite-majority neighborhoods in Baghdad killed at least 18 people on Saturday. The larger attack took place in the Kadhimiya neighborhood, where the police said a suicide bomber set off his explosives at a checkpoint. At least 11 people were killed, including at least four civilians, and more than 36 people were wounded. In the second attack, a suicide bomber set off explosives on a busy street in the Huriya district, killing seven people and wounding 25, the police said. No one immediately claimed responsibility, but the Islamic State group, which controls about a third of Iraq and Syria, has carried out several similar attacks.

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Jordan, Egypt to activate energy cooperation, engage Iraq

The Jordan Times reports:

Prime Minister Abdullah Ensour and Egyptian Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources Tarek El Molla on Thursday discussed ways to enhance bilateral relations and cooperation, especially in the field of energy. At the meeting, attended by Energy Minister Ibrahim Saif and Egyptian Ambassador to Jordan Khaled Tharwat, Ensour said Jordan stands by Egypt and will keep helping it face the challenges it is going through, the Jordan News Agency, Petra, reported.

After discovering the Zohr gas field in Egypt’s regional waters, Jordan hopes to increase cooperation in the field, stressing that the Kingdom has an interest in importing gas from the Arab country, the premier said.


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U.S. flounders for answers in quick-shifting Syria, Iraq

James Rosen writes for McClatchy :

Like someone on an accelerating treadmill becoming steeper by the minute, the U.S. government is struggling to keep pace with a battlefield in Syria and Iraq that’s changing at warp speed. With new Iranian forces reportedly entering Syria following the launch of Russian airstrikes there, the Pentagon said Thursday that it had suspended sending U.S.-trained Syrians back into their homeland while it reassesses the troubled train-and-equip program.

Despite insisting that Moscow’s entry into the air wars hadn’t affected the American campaign in Syria, military officials acknowledged that in the 24 hours after Russian bombing began Wednesday, there were 22 U.S.-led airstrikes in Iraq but only one in Syria.

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Iraqi prime minister says he would ‘welcome’ Russian airstrikes in Iraq

Loveday Morris writes for the Washington Post:

As Moscow deepens its military involvement in the region, Iraq appears to be increasingly looking east for assistance in its fight against Islamic State extremists, with Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi indicating Thursday that he would welcome a Russian bombing campaign.

In an interview with France 24 television, Abadi accused the U.S.-led coalition of a lack of support and questioned the will of Western leaders to defeat the Islamic State. He said Russian strikes were a “possibility” but had not been discussed.

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Finland freezes asylum decisions for Iraq, Somalia refugees

The Middle East Online reports:

Finland on Wednesday temporarily froze its decisions on Iraqi and Somali asylum claims, to assess whether more applicants could be sent back home following a surge in arrivals from the two restive countries. "The Finnish Immigration Service freezes its decision-making on Iraqi and Somali asylum claims for the time being. This is due to the ongoing assessment of the security situation in Iraq and Somalia," the service in charge of handling the applications said in a statement.

Finland has seen a dramatic rise in the number of mostly Iraqi and Somali asylum seekers, and the Immigration Service implied it planned to adopt a tougher line in the assessment of their applications.

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Foreign Affairs Minister reviews ties with Iraq, Georgia, Sweden, Saint-Vincent-and-the-Grenadines

The Bahrain News Agency reports:

Foreign Affairs Minister Shaikh Khalid bin Ahmed bin Mohammed Al Khalifa met the Iraqi Foreign Minister, Dr Ibrahim Al Jaafari, on the sidelines of the 70th session of the UN General Assembly, where they discussed the firm historic ties between the two countries and their people as well as political and security developments in Iraq and the region.

During the meeting, the Minister of Foreign Affairs renewed the Kingdom of Bahrain’s firm position and keenness on Iraq’s unity, sovereignty and independence, affirming the Kingdom’s support in efforts to combat the Da’esh terrorist organization and bringing peace and security to all parts of Iraq. Dr. Ibrahim Al Jaafari expressed his country’s thanks for the Kingdom of Bahrain’s supportive position towards Iraq and its appreciation to the brotherly ties between the two countries.

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