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

Gunmen attack Italian logistics manager in Iraq’s Basra: sources

Reuters reports:

Gunmen shot and wounded the Italian manager of a logistics company in the southern Iraqi oil city of Basra on Sunday, security officials and a company source said. Carlo Morandi from the Italian-Iraqi joint venture Sama Alimad was shot twice while withdrawing money from a bank and taken to hospital for surgery, but his injuries were not life-threatening, the officials said.

Basra police spokesman Colonel Kareem al-Zaidi called the incident "criminal, not terrorist", and said Morandi had not been targeted as a foreigner.

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Emma Sky: Why Iraq is the ‘worst strategic failure since the foundation of the United States’

Kevin Sylvester reports for CBC News:

Emma Sky was in the middle of the storm in Iraq, and she still isn't quite sure how she got there. In 2003, Sky, a British civilian, volunteered to help in the post-invasion reconstruction of Iraq. She ended up spending much of the next 10 years there, watching the country collapse even further into chaos and violence.

Sky, who has written a new book about that time called The Unraveling: High Hopes and Missed Opportunities in Iraq, says she was opposed to the 2003 invasion of Iraq, but signed on to help in the reconstruction of the country.

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From their trenches, Peshmerga forces keep a sharp eye on Shingal

Rudaw reports :

From their sandbagged trenches and bunkers, Peshmerga forces peer over Shingal, the Kurdish-Yezidi city in northern Iraq that was overrun a year ago by the Islamic State (ISIS) group. The extremists still control most of the city, but Kurdish fighters and snipers man the frontlines, keeping a close eye on ISIS activity below. The city sits on a vital ISIS supply route from Mosul to Raqqa. The Kurdistan Region’s Peshmerga and other Kurdish forces engage in daily skirmishes with the militants. These photographs by Rudaw capture Peshmerga conditions inside the trenches in Shingal.

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The heroes working to rescue ISIS’s core victims

Phyllis Chesler writes for the New York Post:

‘I’ve been raped 30 times and it’s not even lunchtime,” cried one young Yazidi woman in a dangerous and desperate call.
Chillingly, she begged the man on the line, someone embedded with the Kurdish Peshmerga fighting ISIS: “If you know where we are, please bomb us. There is no life after this. I am going to kill myself anyway.” That request was made a year ago. So far, no brothel has been bombed, no slave auction interrupted.

President Obama’s much favored “international community” — the United Nations, the European Union, the politically correct Western intelligentsia, the NGOs, the human-rights organizations — hasn’t rescued this woman or any of the other mainly Christian and Yazidi sex slaves who remain in the clutches of the barbarians.

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U.S.: Tests show mustard gas traces in ISIS attack

CBS news and AP report:

A senior U.S. military officer says preliminary tests show traces of the chemical agent sulfur mustard on mortars that Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) militants used to attack Kurdish forces in Iraq. U.S. Brig. Gen. Kevin Killea, chief of staff for the military operations in Iraq and Syria, says the field testing is not conclusive, so final tests are underway to get the full make-up of the chemicals on the fragments.

U.S. officials have been looking into reports that ISIS militants used the chemical weapon mustard gas in the August 11 attack in Makhmour. Similar reports surfaced in July. Killea told Pentagon reporters on Friday that Kurdish forces brought the mortar fragments to U.S. forces for testing, so there may be questions about the chain of custody of the evidence.

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Isis fight sends Iraq to debt markets

Annabelle Williams writes for City AM:

Baghdad plans to raise $6bn as ongoing battles with militants have decimated infrastructure. Iraq is heading to the bond markets with hopes of raising billions, as low oil prices and the fight against Isis eat into state finances. Deputy governor of Iraq’s central bank, Zuhair Ali Akbar, confirmed the country will issue $6bn (£3.9bn) in dollar-denominated debt, in its first bond issue for nearly a decade. Citi, Deutsche Bank and JP Morgan are understood to be working on the offering.

Fighting Isis has drained Iraq’s resources, and the government is hoping the bond sale will help to plug a hole in its fiscal deficit. It has been a particularly tough time for Iraq since its main revenue stream, oil, has halved in price over the past 12 months.

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Arbil: the departure terminal for Iraq’s exodus

AFP reports :

Iraq's gateway to Europe, the northern city of Arbil, is the first bottleneck on a long and uncertain journey for a growing number of Iraqis choosing exile. "We're selling a lot of one-way tickets these days. More than ever. People are desperate," said Emre Shawkat, who runs a tourism transport business in Arbil, capital of Iraq's autonomous Kurdish region.

In 2014, tens of thousands of Iraqis fled when the Islamic State jihadist group launched an onslaught that overran large areas and brought the country to the brink of breakup. The militants have carried out atrocities from beheadings and mass executions to enslavement and rape in the territory they control in Iraq and in neighbouring Syria.

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Where is Iraq’s Baath party today?

Dina Al Shibeeb reports for Al Arabiya:

The Baath party, which ruled Iraq until the U.S.-led invasion in 2003, has forged an unlikely alliance with the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

The party was secular, but in the 1990s late President Saddam Hussein embarked on the Return to Faith Campaign, which resulted in a more religious school curriculum in schools, to garner more support from conservatives. After the toppling of Saddam in 2003 and the dismantling of the Baath party, it seemingly fizzled into thin air, with its leftover members targeted by the United States. However, it continued to survive underground.

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Turkey seeks to extend mandate for Iraq, Syria incursions: official

AFP reports :

Turkey's government is seeking to extend for one more year a parliamentary mandate that allows the military to combat Islamist jihadists and Kurdish militants in neighbouring Syria and Iraq, a foreign ministry official said on Friday. The current mandate under which the Turkish armed forces launched airstrikes in Iraq and Syria expires on October 2, the official told AFP on condition of anonymity.

"The process to extend it has started," the official said, adding that the document was sent to the parliament speaker's office, having been signed by the cabinet.

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IS destroying heritage in Syria and Iraq

AP reports:

The Islamic State group's demolition of the St. Elian Monastery in the central Syrian province of Homs is the latest in a long campaign that has destroyed or extensively damaged some of the Middle East's most spectacular archaeological and cultural sites.

Some of the world's most precious cultural treasures, including ancient sites in the cradle of civilization, are in areas controlled by the group and at the mercy of extremists bent on wiping out all non-Islamic culture and history. In addition to pre-Islamic sites, the militants have also targeted churches, mosques and museums.

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