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

Economic sanctions against Iran crime: Iraq PM

Press TV reports:

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi says the economic sanctions imposed on Iran are a “crime”. Abadi made the remarks in a statement which his office released following the Iraqi premier’s meeting with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif in Iraq's capital, Baghdad, on Monday. During the meeting, Abadi also congratulated the Iranian nation on the conclusion of the nuclear talks between Iran and the P5+1 countries, saying Iran’s success is a victory for the whole region.

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Erbil-Baghdad oil relations swing between deal, no deal

Encouraged by more international interest in purchasing its oil, coupled with the apparent failure of the federal Iraqi government to provide agreed-upon budget handouts, the autonomous Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) has embarked on a new policy of unilateral independent oil sales.

Since the beginning of June, the KRG has unilaterally sold the bulk of oil produced from its zone as well as Kirkuk’s fields, much to the Iraqi government’s ire. Figures compiled by the KRG’s Ministry of Natural Resources show that out of around 17 million barrels of oil pumped in June to the Turkish Mediterranean port of Ceyhan, almost 12 million barrels were sold directly by the KRG, cutting out the federal authorities in Baghdad. The rest was delivered to Iraq’s State Oil Marketing Company (SOMO).


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Turkey bombarding PKK targets in Iraqi Kurdistan’s Mergasur district

Rudaw reports :

Turkish artillery has targeted the Mergasur border ​area in the ​North of the Iraqi Kurdistan region. The Gora Dem, Rashkey, Kani Surekan and Beshun regions on the border of the Mergasur district were bombarded. “A big fire broke out due to the shelling in Mergasur district,” said Rudaw’s reporter in the region.

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Australian man charged over plans to fight IS in Iraq

BBC reports :

The 28-year-old was stopped trying to board a Qatar-bound flight at Melbourne Airport, last December. He told officials his final destination was northern Iraq, Australian Federal Police (AFP) said in a statement. The Melbourne man was arrested on Monday, accused of preparing to take up arms with Kurdish-aligned forces. Travelling to Syria or Iraq to support those involved on either side of conflicts there is illegal under Australian law, with a maximum penalty of life imprisonment.

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Five killed, nine injured in Baghdad attacks

Anadolu Agency reports :

Five people were killed and nine others were injured Monday in violence in the Iraqi capital, a police source told Anadolu Agency. The source said that “two people were killed and nine others were injured when a local-made improvised explosive bomb [IED] went off targeting a market place in al-Sadr area in eastern Baghdad.” “Two civilians were killed by unidentified assailants in al-Bayyaa area – a Shia majority area – while another civilian was killed by unidentified gunmen in Hai al-Jamaa area in western Baghdad,” the same source added.

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Iraqi troops wrest strategic Anbar base from ISIS

Abby Reese reports for the World:

Iraqi forces recaptured Anbar University on Sunday, a key Islamic State (ISIS) base located on the outskirts of Ramadi. The operation to retake the university complex was supported by U.S. air strikes against ISIS positions around the city.

ISIS militants used the site as a command base after taking control of the city in May. The campus is strategically located outside the city and the Islamic militants could have used it to stage any offensive to retake the city. Recapturing the complex from ISIS is a significant boost to the Iraqi forces’ efforts to reclaim the city, officials said.

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What does the Iran nuclear deal mean for Iraq?

Mustafa Habib reports for the Guardian:

Just a few hours after the agreement was announced, Iraqis were heatedly discussing the topic on the streets, in cafes and on social media forums: did the United States sell them out? Will Iran now be able to interfere in Iraq with impunity? As with most topics related to its eastern neighbour, with whom Iraq shares a 1,500-kilometre border and a war-tainted history, the public’s reactions to the nuclear deal were divided along the ethnic and sectarian fault lines present in Iraqi society.

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Iran shares nuclear report with Iraq

The Daily News reports:

Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif said July 27 that he had presented a report on this month’s landmark deal on Iran’s nuclear energy program to Iranian-born Shiite leader Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani in southern Iraq.

At a joint press conference held in Iraq, where Zarif is currently on a days-long visit, the Iranian minister said his report to al-Sistani covered “the progress of ongoing negotiations [over as-yet-unresolved issues], as well as the challenges” that Iran continues to face. Al-Sistani, for his part, told reporters that international cooperation was still necessary “to counter terrorism and extremism,” in reference to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) militant group, which remains in control of large parts of Iraq and Syria.

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KRG President Barzani: PKK did not utilize opportunities provided by Turkey

Nurbanu Kizil reports for the Daily Sabah:

The president of the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) in Northern Iraq, Masoud Barzani on Monday has harshly criticized the PKK for failing to make good use of the opportunities provided by Turkey and blamed them for having pride.

"The Turkish government has taken positive steps, and has adopted a positive attitude for a peaceful resolution, however, we have seen that some sides (the PKK) has taken it as a matter of pride and did not utilize these opportunities," Barzani said. The KRG president emphasized that issues cannot be resolved through provocation, slogans, fight and violence, while he added that one should side with peace and dialogue.

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Real U.S. allies in Iraq difficult to identify, experts say

Andrew Tilghman writes for the Military Times:

The steady growth of Shiite militias in Iraq is making it increasingly difficult for American forces deployed there to determine exactly which Iraqi forces they are supporting, experts say. The official line from Defense Department is that the U.S. will support operations involving both the Iraqi army and some militia forces that are operating "under command and control of the Iraqi government."

But the Pentagon wants to avoid providing direct support for anti-Islamic State militia forces loyal to Iran, a longtime enemy, a reflection of the deeply opaque and tumultuous politics of the Middle East.

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