Russia "can complement the fight we have against ISIS," Iraq's ambassador to the United States says. "To us, the United States and the coalition are the primary partners," the envoy, Lukman Faily, told CNN on Thursday. But "if support is provided from others, we will certainly think twice before saying no." "Russia, other countries, have their own threat in relation to ISIS, and they also have a stake. We would like and seek support from all to cleanse our country from ISIS. "Iraqi needs (are) paramount for us." Faily emphasized that Baghdad is not looking elsewhere but said it would "seriously consider" offers of support.
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Protesters torched an office of the main political party in Iraq's Kurdish north on Friday after at least one demonstrator was killed in the worst unrest the region has seen for several years. Five other people were wounded in the city of Qaladize following a week of strikes and demonstrations in Kurdistan that threaten to destabilize the autonomous region while it is at war with Islamic State militants.
In other towns and cities across the region, political parties tightened security around their offices to avert attacks from rivals. The protests grew out of public anger at an economic crisis that has left many Kurds struggling to get by, but have become wound up in a power struggle between the region's political parties.
The photographs in the New York Times told contrasting stories last week. One showed two Taliban soldiers in civilian clothes and sandals, with their rifles, standing in front of a captured U.N. vehicle. The Taliban forces had taken the northern provincial capital of Kunduz. The other photograph showed Afghan army soldiers fully equipped with modern gear, weapons, and vehicles.
Guess who is winning? An estimated 30,000 Taliban soldiers with no air force, navy, or heavy weapons have been holding down 10 times more Afghan army and police and over 100,000 U.S. soldiers with the world's most modern weaponry -- for eight years.
Iraq’s Defense Ministry said Friday it was not informed when Russia launched more than two dozen cruise missiles across its airspace this week, and it described the lack of coordination in the region’s increasingly cluttered skies as “dangerous.”
U.S. officials have also said they were given no notification before Russia fired the volley of 26 cruise missiles, which traveled nearly 1,000 miles across Iran and Iraq and into Syria from warships in the Caspian Sea — despite the ongoing presence of U.S.-led coalition jets in the airspace.
Twenty seven people were killed in Iraq on Thursday when mortars landed in the provincial capital of Baquba, police and medics said. It was not clear who fired the mortars at the northern town. Iraq is facing a multitude of security challenges, including ultra-hardline Sunni Islamic State militants who control a third of the country and have fuelled sectarian tensions.
For years the semi-autonomous northern region of Iraqi Kurdistan has compared well with the rest of the country – it is often described as a less conflicted, safer and more democratic part of Iraq. But now it seems to be lagging behind Baghdad, where the current Prime Minister is trying to institute radical and important reforms.
Three months after Baghdad announced a series of reforms, aimed at ending corruption, increasing transparency and helping solve the country’s financial and security crises, the Iraqi Kurdish government in Erbil has done nothing similar – and that's despite the fact that, although they may not always act like it, the Iraqi Kurdish are part of Iraq and are actually suffering the same problems.
Since the fall of Saddam Hussein's regime following the US-led invasion of Iraq in 2003, there have been hundreds of failed and delayed construction and development projects in the country. A few months after it was built, the wall of the Imam Al-Hadi elementary school in Husseiniya, in northern Baghdad, collapsed on the night of Feb. 27; in November 2014, the local government in Babil withdrew the al-Tahmaziya street pavement project in southern Hilla from the contracting firm due to delays in the project’s implementation; and the local government of Dhi Qar province, 375 kilometers (217.5 miles) south of Baghdad, took away the licenses of 50 companies to delay the implementation of projects.
Protesters hurled stones and scuffled with riot police in the second largest city in Iraq's Kurdish north on Thursday, in the most intense show of discontent since an economic crisis hit the region. Teachers, hospital workers and other public sector employees have taken to the streets and gone on strike for a week, demanding their salaries from the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), which is three months in arrears.
Thursday's protest focused on a five-star hotel in the center of Sulaimaniyah, where political parties were meeting to resolve a deadlock over the presidency that has compounded the economic crisis.
A prominent women’s rights advocate will urge the U.N. Security Council next week to help fight sex trafficking in Iraq by pushing Baghdad to legalize shelters for women fleeing abuse and enslavement.
Yanar Mohammed, an Iraqi activist who founded an underground network of safe houses for women trying to escape violence, announced Wednesday that she plans to testify before the Council on Oct. 13 about how Iraq’s ban on shelters of this type puts women and girls in danger.
Neither Russia nor Iraq warned the United States that cruise missiles had entered Iraqi airspace en route to Syria, a U.S. official told VOA. Russia said Wednesday that it used four warships in the Caspian Sea to launch rockets at Islamic State targets in Syria. Rockets fired from those ships would have traveled through Iraqi airspace, where U.S. and coalition pilots are conducting anti-Islamic State operations to help Iraqi and Peshmerga forces defeat the extremists.
The official acknowledged to VOA that this is exactly the kind of action that could result in a mishap or misunderstanding. The official did not appear alarmed, however, by the move.