03 June 2020
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The murder of a well-known female activist in Iraq's rebellious south this week has reminded many of the dangers faced by the country's protest movement even amid the coronavirus lockdown in the country. Despite an ongoing pandemic and the dire economic situation in Iraq, anti-government demonstrators have tried to keep their now six-month-long protest movement alive. But protesters have remained highly vulnerable to attacks, as the murder of Anwar Jassem Mhawwas - known popularly as “Umm Abbas” - in the southern city…
The Pentagon is deploying additional air defense systems to Iraq to better protect U.S. troops from missile and rocket attacks by the Islamic Republic of Iran and its proxies. The Pentagon is also consolidating troops at larger and better-protected bases, which will save lives and preserve the American combat power necessary to respond to any additional aggression. The Department of Defense confirmed last week that it deployed Patriot air and missile defense systems to Iraq. The two batteries went to Ain al-Asad Air Base…

The PMU Is Getting More Aggressive in Iraq Thursday, 09 April 2020 03:50

In January, Muqtada al-Sadr, the leader of Iraq’s largest political party, traveled to Iran’s holy city of Qom to meet with representatives of several Iraq-based paramilitaries from the hugely influential Popular Mobilization Units (PMU). That visit was part of an attempt by Sadr to position himself as the face of public anger directed against the United States over the assassination of Iranian military commander Qassem Suleimani. Sadr is an important figure in Iraq not only because of his ties to Iranian Supreme Leader…
BAGHDAD — In February, an Iraqi militia commander trained by Iran took over the empty office of his slain superior, Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, killed weeks before alongside Iranian military mastermind Qassem Soleimani in a U.S. drone strike. Many pro-Iran militiamen hoped this was the answer to their problems: the experienced commander Abdul Aziz al-Mohammedawi might replace Muhandis as overall leader of Iraq's paramilitary groups, scattered after the killing of their two mentors. Instead, it has led to new splits. Factions…
Iraq depends on oil revenues, which have plummeted. The country is so desperate it is asking for donations to help it weather the pandemic. BAGHDAD — When Iraq recorded its first cases of coronavirus, its health minister asked the government for $5 million in emergency funds. But there were no funds to be had. “There is no money and we are in a difficult situation,” said the minister, Jaafer Sadiq Allawi, as he appealed for help from a cleric at…
Iran is facing one of the worst public health crises in its modern history. Tens of thousands of people there have been infected with the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) and more than 2,000 have lost their lives. Many members of the country’s medical staff and health officials keep calling on the government to take the necessary steps to disrupt the spread of the virus. Kianush Jahanpur, the spokesperson for Iran’s Health Ministry, revealed the depth of the crisis by tweeting: “Based on our information,…

Iraq: We Have Met The Enemies Wednesday, 25 March 2020 05:03

Most Iraqis agree that Iran is a toxic neighbor that, in its current state (an increasingly unpopular religious dictatorship) is a toxic force obsessed with controlling Iraq and the Iraqi government. Iran has sent hundreds of IRGC officers, most of them from the Quds Force (similar to the U.S. Special Forces, but specializing in supporting Islamic terrorists not fighting them) and even more lower-ranking IRGC personnel to Iraq. Dozens of senior IRGC officers have been killed in Syria and Iraq…
The Trump administration voiced an “enormous disappointment” in Iraq's caretaker government on Friday, following attacks on US coalition troops that killed at two American soldiers this month. US Assistant Secretary of State for Near East Affairs David Schenker said the situation is “a high point of contention” between the two countries. Speaking from the State Department, he said “it’s no secret that we’ve been, I think, enormously disappointed with the performance of the Government of Iraq in fulfilling its obligations…
March 20 (UPI) -- The rocket attack on March 11 that killed a young Scottish medic -- Lance Cpl. Brodie Gillon -- and two Americans in Iraq has raised once more the specter of resurgent Iranian aggression in the region. The 26-year-old British reservist had volunteered for a deployment in Iraq. She was killed when 18 Katyusha rockets struck Camp Taji, where she was stationed, 25 miles north of Baghdad. A further 14 military personnel were wounded in the unprovoked attack.…
Is Iraq on course to becoming a failed state? The Kataib Hezbollah militants (part of Al-Hashd Al-Shaabi) who killed several coalition troops last week are closely allied to Iran, as well as to powerful elements within Iraq’s parliament. This is just one of many warning signs of how Iraq is devolving from nation state to a warring cluster of paramilitary fiefdoms under Iranian hegemony.  Iraqis demand effective governance and an end to institutionalized corruption. Yet, whoever is appointed to the…

Iraqi MPs loyalties are not to their people Saturday, 14 March 2020 22:41

Who has ever heard of a member of this honourable body speak out against the greedy game of exchanging favours and interests between political leaders? Political life in Iraq today is not led by real parties but by parliamentary blocs and groupings. Even the only Shia party, the Dawa Party, which earlier branded itself as a political and proselytising movement, found it more lucrative to abandon those ideals and delve into shady deals of pillaging public money. Other than the…

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