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

France’s Macron calls on Iraq to dismantle all militias

Michel Rose and Ahmed Aboulenein write for Reuters:

French President Emmanuel Macron on Saturday called on Iraq to dismantle all militias, including the government-sanctioned, Iran-backed Popular Mobilisation Forces (PMF), a rare public call to do so by a major Western leader.

Macron’s call, which followed a meeting with Iraqi Kurdish leaders in Paris, underscores the tough balancing act Baghdad has to perform between its allies in the war on Islamic State, Iran and Western powers, which do not see eye to eye.

Click here for the entire story

Mosul hospital rebuilt from ruins of battle

Sacha Myers writes for Doctors Without Borders:

After the battle to retake Iraq's second city from Islamic State militants, Al Khansaa Pediatrics Teaching Hospital in eastern Mosul was in ruins, a burnt skeleton of wood and metal was all that remained.

For the hundreds of thousands of returning residents who had fled the fighting, treatment for war wounds and malnutrition, from living for months on rations, was vital.

Doctors Without Borders, known by its French acronym MSF, ensured those who needed help had somewhere to go by putting one of Mosul's largest hospitals back into action.

Click here for the entire story

Hezbollah emerges a winner from Mideast turmoil, alarming foes

Laila Bassam and Tom Perry write for Reuters:

When Iran declared victory over Islamic State in Syria and Iraq, it hailed the “strong and pivotal” role played by Lebanon’s Hezbollah movement.

The praise, contained in a top general’s letter to Iran’s Supreme Leader in November, confirmed Hezbollan’s pre-eminence among Shi‘ite Muslim regional groups backed by Tehran that are helping the Islamic Republic exert influence in the Middle East.

Hezbollah has emerged as a big winner in the turmoil that has swept the Arab world since the uprisings of 2011 that toppled governments in several countries. It has fought in Syria and Iraq, trained other groups in those countries and inspired other forces such as Iran-allied Houthis waging a war in Yemen.

Click here for the entire story

Marathon draws thousands in Iraq’s devastated Mosul

AFP reports:

More than 4,000 runners took part Thursday in a "peace marathon" in  Mosul to raise funds to rebuild the war-ravaged western district of Iraq's second city.

Government forces declared victory in July in their battle to oust the Islamic State group from Mosul, which the jihadists had seized in a lightning 2014 offensive.

Iraqi forces first recaptured east Mosul and in February launched a months-long battle for the densely-populated western sector of a city which is divided by the Tigris River.

Click here for the entire story

At least 800 civilians killed by coalition strikes in Iraq, Syria: report

Reuters reports:

At least 800 civilians have been killed in strikes in Iraq and Syria by the U.S.-led coalition fighting Islamic State since the campaign began in 2014, according to a report released by the coalition on Thursday.

The estimate in the monthly report, which said coalition strikes had unintentionally killed at least 801 civilians between August 2014 and October 2017, was far lower than figures provided by monitoring groups.

Click here for the entire story

What next for PMU in Iraq’s Anbar province?

Shelly Kittleson writes for Al-Monitor:

Flags of Iran-backed Asaib Ahl al-Haq (League of the Righteous) — with their distinctive arm thrusting a gun upward over a green Iraq against a white background, a strip of red and a Quran below — fluttered at the checkpoint into Qaim, above a dusty, barren wadi below. When Al-Monitor visited the area Nov. 6, the checkpoint was manned by Asaib Ahl al-Haq fighters and members of the fellow Popular Mobilization Units (PMU) militia Kataib Hezbollah, also long backed by Iran and a part of which continues to fight on the Syrian side of the border alongside the Syrian regime.

Referring to the capture of the Karableh and Saada areas of Qaim from the Islamic State (IS), Col. Moussa Hamad al-Karbouly told Al-Monitor in Karableh, “PMU fighters from the south were the first to enter.” Karbouly leads the local Sunni PMU force, Liwa Aaly al-Furat (Upper Euphrates Regiment). Many local forces in the area have taken to using the terms “main PMU,” “southern PMU” and “Shiite PMU” to distinguish among outside paramilitary groups and local fighters, who are often somewhat inappropriately referred to as “tribal forces.”

Click here for the entire story

Britain’s May in Saudi Arabia after surprise stop in Iraq

AP reports:

British Prime Minister Theresa May traveled to Saudi Arabia on Wednesday night and met King Salman and his assertive 32-year-old son who now stands next in line for the throne, capping a day that saw her make a surprise visit to Iraq.

May's trip to Saudi Arabia was for talks with the king and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman over the kingdom-led war in Yemen. She's the second European leader to specifically seek out the crown prince as he amasses power.

Earlier on Wednesday, May arrived in Baghdad to an honor guards' greeting, welcomed by Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi.

Click here for the entire story

Iraq’s FlyBaghdad plans European flights next year, IPO in 2020

Reuters reports:

Iraqi budget carrier FlyBaghdad aims to start flights to Europe and India next year, expanding its network beyond the Middle East and is planning a stock market listing in 2020, it chief executive said on Wednesday.

FlyBaghdad, owned by Iraqi investors, launched in 2015, competing against state-owned Iraqi Airways, one of the Middle East’s oldest airlines, and several other private carriers.

“There is a huge population which are cash rich and are not too many places to visit in Iraq. Everyone is talking about travelling,” Chief Executive Ali al-Hamdany told Reuters at an industry conference in Dubai.

Click here for the entire story

Documents reveal how ISIL ran areas under its control

Ali Younes writes for Al Jazeera:

Documents from ISIL-held areas in Iraq have shed light on the armed group's tough rules of internal governance and the fate awaiting fighters who violated its code of conducts and laws.

Obtained by Al Jazeera, the files also provide further evidence about the Islamic State of Iraq and Levant's structure and level of organisation.

The documents were seized from al-Baaj district west of Mosul, Iraq's second-biggest city, following its capture by Iraqi forces in June.

Click here for the entire story

Drought and Neglect Have Decimated Iraq’s Breadbasket

Alex Dziadosz writes for Bloomberg:

East of the Iraqi Kurdish city of Sulaymaniyah, malls and high-rise apartments give way to cement-block factories, warehouses, and junkyards. Tucked among a freeway, a gravel pit, and a trash heap as tall as a barn, Mohammed Osman plucks herbs from four acres of gray, cracked earth fed by sewage from a nearby drainage pipe.

Fifty years ago, Osman says, his family farmed more than 10 times that area, harvesting rice, watermelons, tomatoes, and cucumbers. Much of the land was seized by local officials to make way for factories—without compensation, he claims. What remains is barely fit to produce animal feed. “Honestly, I’m just keeping myself busy now,” Osman says. “This year, I rented three pieces of land and I paid 5 million dinars ($4,300)—and so far, I’ve only made 1 million back.”

Osman’s is a common sort of story in Iraqi Kurdistan, where farmers face a dizzying array of problems, from drought and polluted water supplies, to ruthless urban expansion and an influx of cheap imports. Endowed with a temperate climate and fertile soil, the Kurdistan region was once known as Iraq’s breadbasket. In 1980 the area supplied about half of the country’s wheat, as well as barley and a variety of vegetables. Today the main wholesale market in Erbil, the regional capital, is packed with trucks from Turkey and Iran and produce from as far as China. “We get zero support,” one Kurdish farmer says as he unloads tomatoes.

Click here for the entire story

Page 39 of 679« First...102030...3738394041...506070...Last »