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

In Iraq’s most sacred city, a governor from Michigan holds sway

Hannah Allam writes for McClatchy :

The governor of Iraq’s most sacred territory is a slick-haired, sharp-dressed, foul-mouthed, sleep-deprived workaholic who’s lost track of how many times he’s been hauled into court on charges of abuse of power: “Maybe 10? Twenty?”

Najaf Gov. Adnan al Zurufi makes no apologies for his brash style of leadership, which he says is the reason he’s among the last of the U.S. occupation-era appointees to hold office. If he were more diplomatic, chances are he wouldn’t have survived here given his American citizenship and hard-line stance against the Iranian-backed Shiite Muslim militias that hold parallel authority.


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Brent erases Iraq rally with price below when Mosul taken

Moming Zhou writes for Bloomberg:

Brent crude fell the most in more than two months, reversing a rally that started when Islamist militants seized the northern Iraqi city of Mosul almost a month ago. West Texas Intermediate also declined.

The Islamic State, a splinter group of al-Qaeda, has taken control of provinces in northwestern Iraq after seizing Mosul on June 10. The insurgency hasn’t spread to Iraq’s south, the source of more than three-quarters of its oil output. Brent’s premium over WTI narrowed to a one-month low on expectations U.S. crude inventories decreased last week.

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Iraq parliament to meet Sunday

VOA reports :

Iraq's new parliament will hold its next session July 13, the acting speaker said on Tuesday, after a five-week delay announced on Monday was criticized by local lawmakers and the United States.

The first session of the parliament elected in April ended last week without agreement on the three key posts of prime minister, president and parliamentary speaker, with the country in crisis over the seizure of large parts of the north and west by Sunni Islamist insurgents.

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Iraq-or Sunnistan, Shiitestan and Kurdistan

Jake Flanagin writes for the New York Times:

When the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria launched its 2014 assault on Iraq, the ensuing chaos ignited familiar discussions about the future of the country and the possibility of a “three-state solution.”

In 2013, Robin Wright analyzed a redrawn map of the Middle East in The New York Times, pointing out how 5 countries could “become 14″ in the future. These hypotheses appear more prescient than ever.

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Remains of long-lost temple discovered in Iraq

Own Jarus writes for Live Science :

Life-size human statues and column bases from a long-lost temple dedicated to a supreme god have been discovered in the Kurdistan region of northern Iraq.
The discoveries date back over 2,500 years to the Iron Age, a time period when several groups — such as the Urartians, Assyrians and Scythians — vied for supremacy over what is now northern Iraq.

"I didn't do excavation, just archaeological soundings —the villagers uncovered these materials accidentally," said Dlshad Marf Zamua, a doctoral student at Leiden University in the Netherlands, who began the fieldwork in 2005. The column bases were found in a single village while the other finds, including a bronze statuette of a wild goat, were found in a broad area south of where the borders of Iraq, Iran and Turkey intersect.

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As Shiite militias return to the fight, Iraqi politicians worry about sectarian war

Hannah Allam writes for McClatchy :

Mohamed Thaban al Shiblawy was prepared for this moment from the time he was a boy, with lessons about the protocols of battle from tribal lore and old photos that show his rifle-toting grandfather astride a horse during the 1920 uprising against the British occupation of Iraq.

Shiblawy, 46, is now emir of his ancient tribe, the Shibil, which claims more than 250,000 members and keeps offices near Najaf in an area locals still proudly refer to as “cannon” after the British armaments they captured nearly a century ago.


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Anbar tribal leader: Maliki is ‘more dangerous’ than ISIS

Omar al-Mansuri writes for Rudaw:

Sheikh Hatem al-Suleiman, 43, is one of Anbar province’s most influential tribal sheikhs and is chief of the powerful Dulaim tribe in Ramadi.

Suleiman is founding member of the Anbar Salvation Council, a key group in the Sunni Awakening that collapsed after Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki refused to include the group in state and military institutions. As the leader of Anbar’s Tribes Revolutionary Council, he is a key leader in the Anbar insurgency and a sharp critic of Maliki. As early as 2006, he became a leader in mobilizing Sunni Arab rebels against Al-Qaeda.

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How Iraq became Obama’s war

Jeff Greenfield writes for the Daily Beast:

It’s so familiar. A re-elected President finds himself buffeted by violence abroad and hostile political winds at home. Poll numbers drop; the midterm elections loom as a specter that threatens irrelevancy if not impotence in the last two years—“lame duckers” on steroids. And once again, the cry of “second term curse!” is heard in the land.

Which means it’s time to revisit an argument I offered just before Barack Obama was sworn in for that second-term: again and again, it turns out that the afflictions attacking a second-term Chief Executive are rooted in what happened in his first term. Only this time, those second-term woes threaten a “third-term” hope of another second-term President.

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Insurgents in Iraq seizing advanced weaponry

Matt Bradley reports for the Wall Street Journal:

As Iraqi soldiers dug in three weeks ago to defend the northwestern city of Tel Afar, they were shocked to see waves of Islamist militants coming to battle in Iraqi military vehicles.

The line of Humvees, along with a number of powerful mortars, appeared to have been stolen by the insurgents only days earlier when they seized a sprawling base near the northern city of Mosul, said Ammar Tuma, a member of parliament's Security and Defense Committee who received regular updates from the battle.

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Iranian pilot killed in Iraq defending shrine

VOA reports:

An Iranian pilot was killed defending Shi'ite Muslim holy sites in neighboring Iraq, Iran's state news agency said, in the first official report of an Iranian death related to an upsurge in violence there since June.

Shoja'at Alamdari Mourjani, who was buried in the Iranian city of Shiraz on Friday, was killed while fighting Sunni jihadists in Samarra, north of Baghdad, it said.

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