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

Beyond Mosul: Iraq’s displacement and sectarian timebombs

Annie Slemrod writes for IRIN:

Ameriyat al-Fallujah is home to some 50,000 internally displaced people (IDPs) from across Iraq – traumatised men, women, and children who have escaped IS fighters or the war against them.

The focus, both militarily and for the international media, is further north, on the Mosul offensive that could finish off IS in Iraq. But while eventual victory there seems likely, it’s the far more uncertain future of these uprooted people and millions like them that holds the key to a proper and lasting peace.

The majority of Iraq’s estimated 3.2 million displaced actually don’t live in official camps. Here in Anbar, the province with the highest number of IDPs (540,000), only about 20 percent are staying in camps and more than half are with host families. Others reside in schools, unfinished buildings, informal settlements, or rented accommodation. By contrast, only around three percent of Baghdad’s 450,000 IDPs live in camps.

Click here for the entire story

Mosul completely surrounded by Iraqi-led troops, paramilitary forces say

Angela Dewan and Mohammed Tawfeeq write for CNN:

Mosul is now entirely surrounded by Iraqi-led forces, an alliance of paramilitary groups said Wednesday, more than a month since the operation was launched to seize control of the key city from ISIS militants.

The Popular Mobilization Units (PMU) made the announcement in a statement that was also distributed by the Iraqi Joint Operations Command.

The development marks the tightest chokehold the Iraq-led coalition has had on Mosul so far, cutting off crucial supply routes and containing ISIS fighters.

Click here for the entire story

ICC eyeing foreign fighters in Syria, Iraq

Jo Biddle reports for AFP:

The chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court Tuesday put foreigners fighting with Islamic State jihadists on notice that she was seeking ways of bringing to justice those behind crimes in Syria and Iraq.

Neither Syria or Iraq have joined the tribunal, but chief prosecutor Fatou Bensouda told AFP her office had jurisdiction over crimes committed in either country by citizens of the 124 nations which have signed up to court.

But she also revealed that apart from a handful of exceptions most foreign fighters "are not really at the top echelons of the ISIL structure," and that the "primary responsibility" for prosecuting them lay first with their national courts.

Click here for the entire story

In Mosul camps, traders profit as aid falls short

John Davison writes for Reuters:

The Iraqi Kurdish trader threw a large bag of crisp packets over the barbed wire to his Arab customer. The man counted them, bartered briefly, and money changed hands through the camp's metal fence.

Dozens of mostly Iraqi Kurdish street sellers from towns close to the Hasan Sham and Khazir camps, which are hosting thousands of people displaced by the fighting to drive Islamic State out of Mosul, have started coming every day to sell food, water and household items to those living inside.

Camp residents who complain of a lack of food and clean water say the makeshift marketplaces fill a crucial gap left by insufficient humanitarian aid, but fear being exploited by businessmen as their money begins to run out.

Click here for the entire story

Friend or Foe? Sometimes Hard to Tell in War for Mosul

AP reports:

He claimed to be a native of Mosul and said he had just escaped his embattled neighborhood. When his cell phone chirped cheerfully, he said it was his mother calling and picked up.

But the clean-shaven man seemed to have a Syrian accent, not Iraqi. His conversation with whoever was on the other end of the line was strange at times as he gave details on the situation in the nearby districts. "We're wearing enough and we have everything we need," he assured the caller.

Iraqi troops nearby eyed him suspiciously as he spoke to The Associated Press on Nov. 12 just after he showed up with his wife and small daughter among dozens of people fleeing the fighting in Mosul. The troops then took him aside and detained him, believing he was an Islamic State group member.

Click here for the entire story

ISIS Used Chemical Arms at Least 52 Times in Syria and Iraq, Report Says

Eric Schmitt writes for The New York Times:

The Islamic State has used chemical weapons, including chlorine and sulfur mustard agents, at least 52 times on the battlefield in Syria and Iraq since it swept to power in 2014, according to a new independent analysis.

More than one-third of those chemical attacks have come in and around Mosul, the Islamic State stronghold in northern Iraq, according to the assessment by the IHS Conflict Monitor, a London-based intelligence collection and analysis service.

The IHS conclusions, which are based on local news reports, social media and Islamic State propaganda, mark the broadest compilation of chemical attacks in the conflict. American and Iraqi military officials have expressed growing alarm over the prospect of additional chemical attacks as the allies press to regain both Mosul and Raqqa, the Islamic State capital in Syria.

Click here for the entire story

Iraqi villagers mourn air strike victims as Mosul toll mounts

John Davison writes for Reuters:

For Saeed Yousef, being rid of Islamic State came at a high price. As Kurdish forces drove militants from his Iraqi village four weeks ago, an air strike by a U.S.-led coalition hit his brother's home, killing the brother and seven relatives, family and local officials say.

Only days later when the jihadists withdrew from Fadiliya, around 9 miles (15 km) northeast of Mosul, were the family able to dig the charred bodies from the rubble for burial.

The U.S.-led coalition supporting Iraqi forces battling Islamic State in Mosul is investigating and has not yet provided details, although it says it goes to great lengths to avoid civilian casualties. But Amer Yousef and his family are among increasing numbers caught in the crossfire of the campaign.

Click here for the entire story

Iraqi battle for Mosul prompts fears of more sectarian violence

Ingrid Formanek, Mohammed Tawfeeq and Muhammad Jambaz write for CNN:

Iraqi paramilitary forces are in a raging battle to take a key ISIS stronghold west of Mosul, but their presence is prompting fears that the fighting could result in the escalation of sectarian violence in Iraq.

The Shia-led Popular Mobilization Units, or PMUs, have significantly advanced against ISIS in the Tal Afar area,with the help of the Iraqi air force targeting the terror group and killing 12 militants, according to Iraq's Joint Operations Command.

Tal Afar is a predominantly Sunni city that was divided between Sunni and Shia Turkmens before ISIS captured it in 2014.

Click here for the entire story

Fleeing Iraqi Women Tell of Harsh Treatment in Mosul

Margherita Stancati writes for The Wall Street Journal:

To earn extra income for her family, Iman Iraqi set up a home business doing wedding makeup for brides in the Islamic State-controlled city of Mosul. She lived to regret it.

When the extremist group’s religious police found out, they stormed her house, confiscated her equipment and detained her and her brother. They made Ms. Iraqi sign a pledge she wouldn’t reopen the salon, or her brother would be lashed.

Ms. Iraqi is among more than 50,000 civilians who have fled the city of over 1 million people in the weeks since Iraqi and Kurdish forces launched an offensive last month to retake the city. She and about two dozen other women recounted living like prisoners in their homes for more than two years under a system that made them invisible.

Click here for the entire story

Militias Held, Beat Villagers

Human Rights Watch reports:

Iraqi government-backed Hashad al-Asha’ri militias detained and beat at least 22 men from two villages near Mosul. The militias also recruited at least 10 children in a camp for displaced people as fighters against the Islamic State, also known as ISIS.

“Civilians in ISIS-held territory in and around Mosul are asking themselves what will come next. The answer to that question should be greater respect for human rights,” said Lama Fakih, deputy Middle East director at Human Rights Watch. “For some civilians who have come under the control of Hashad al-Asha’ri militias, however, the change in guard has not meant protection from rights abuses.”

Click here for the entire story

Page 4 of 539« First...23456...102030...Last »