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

Iraq, Syria, and the Gulf: The Cost of an ISIS-Centric U.S. Strategy

Anthony H. Cordesman writes for CSIS:

The United States seems to be succeeding in putting more and more pressure on ISIS. Although it is far from clear when ISIS will be defeated in either Syria or Iraq, the combination of anti-ISIS forces in each country now seems likely to inflict a series of steady defeats, and ISIS may lose control of a number of major population centers at some point between the end of the year and mid-2017.

Any such victory, however, depends on the various anti-ISIS factions in Syria and Iraq avoiding deeper conflict among themselves. Victory also will be limited even in terms of the defeat of ISIS. Many ISIS fighters will escape. ISIS already has cells and affiliates in other countries. And—just as Al Qa’ida in Mesopotamia transformed itself into ISIS—there will still be movements committed to equally violent forms of Islamist extremism such as the Al Nusra Front. The “war against terrorism” will go on, perhaps focusing even more on outside states, while the vengeful fighters will disperse to other countries.

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Repair of Iraqi parliament hall costs $5 million, report

Rudaw reports:

The Iraqi parliament’s grand session hall that was vandalized by rioters last April will cost around $5 million to repair, according to a parliament report that has examined the damages.

Angry rioters stormed the Iraqi parliament on April 30 despite the heavy security around the building and occupied, among others, the hall number 4 where the general meetings usually take place.

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Twin bombings kill at least 28 in Iraq’s Baghdad

Al Jazeera reports:

At least 28 people have been killed and scores more wounded in bombings targeting a commercial street and an army checkpoint in the Iraqi capital of Baghdad, Iraqi police say.

A car packed with explosives blew up on Thursday in a commercial street of Baghdad al-Jadeeda, an eastern district of Baghdad, killing more than 15 people and wounding more than 50, a police officer said.

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Iraq troops free first neighborhood in ISIS-held Falluja, military says

Joshua Berlinger, Tim Hume and Mohammed Tawfeeq report for CNN:

Iraqi security forces have recaptured their first neighborhood in ISIS-held Falluja, the military announced Wednesday, in the wake of U.N. warnings that fleeing civilians faced a threat from government-allied militias.

Iraq military spokesman Col. Mohammed Ibrahim told CNN that the neighborhood of al-Shuhada al-Thaniya in southern Falluja had been liberated, and Iraq's flag was now flying over a government building in the area.

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Iraq refugees return home: ‘Europe didn’t welcome us’

Valerie Plesch reports for USA Today:

Brothers Montather and Ali Al-Zobady gathered their belongings in this makeshift refugee camp on the Macedonian border and made their way to the Athens airport.

The Iraqi refugees weren’t trying to circumvent barriers in southern Europe to reach Germany like so many others in the past two years — they were going home to Diyala in eastern Iraq.

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Two years after fall of Mosul, Iraqis struggle to accept exiled lives

Sofia Barbarani reports for Reuters:

Under a scorching sun, men in northern Iraq work to replace dirt roads with asphalt as a mechanical paver rumbles nearby.

The laborers are from Harshm camp, which is sheltering 1,500 people who fled their homes when Islamic State seized Iraq's second biggest city, Mosul, in June 2014.

There are some 3.4 million Iraqis like them, people uprooted in their own country.

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Satellite images show ancient Iraq temple destroyed

AFP reports:

Satellite images confirm the destruction of the ancient Nabu temple in Iraq, the UN said late Wednesday, after the ISIS group claimed to have blown it up.

The UN training and research agency UNITAR said it had analysed satellite images collected on June 3 over the ancient Assyrian city of Nimrud in northern Iraq.

“Compared to imagery collected 12 January 2016, we observe extensive damage to the main entrance of what is known as Nabu Temple,” the agency said, providing the two sets of satellite images.

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Isis bombers, bribery and endless checkpoints – the death-defying trials of an Iraqi trucker

Patrick Cockburn reports for The Independent:

Iraq is breaking up into competing centres of power and truck drivers are among those who can best describe the miseries of trying to travel from one fragment of the country to another.

“Our life is horrible,” says Mohammed Oday, a driver sitting with seven or eight others in the shade of a road bridge beside a parking lot filled with trucks on the outskirts of the oil city of Kirkuk.

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Protesters hack Iraqi parliament website: ‘Idiots are leading the country’

Loveday Morris and Mustafa Salim report for The Washington Post:

First they ransacked parliament, sending the country's lawmakers fleeing for safety. Now, Iraqi protesters have taken their fight against government corruption online, hacking the parliament's website.

Pictures of three Iraqis who are said to have died in recent protests were displayed Wednesday afternoon on the legislature's official site, which usually runs parliament news and statements from politicians. "Revenge for the martyrs of the peaceful demonstrations," it read. "Idiots are leading the country."

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Fighting the Islamic State with Iraq’s Golden Division: The Road to Fallujah

Vice News reports:

In 2014, Islamic State militants swept into Western Iraq's Anbar Province, overrunning Iraqi security forces, enslaving minorities, and causing thousands to flee for their lives.

The jihadist group captured Iraq's largest city, Mosul, and the cities of Ramadi and Fallujah, where hundreds of US troops died fighting the Islamic State's predecessor.

Now, two years later, the Iraqi security forces, with help from Iranian-supported Shiite militias and US military advisors and warplanes, are fighting to take back towns and cities in Anbar, one battle at a time.

But it's a difficult task: Anbar has been the crucible of Iraq's insurgency, and is the country's Sunni heartland — long marginalized by and hostile to the Shiite-led government in Baghdad.

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