24 June 2017
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Bloody protests in Baghdad over the weekend by followers of influential cleric Moqtada al-Sadr signal the resumption of a power struggle between Iraq's Shi'ite leaders which had been put on hold to focus on the war against Islamic State. With Iraqi forces all but certain to defeat Islamic State in Mosul this year, Sadr has begun mobilizing his supporters ahead of two elections, for provincial councils in September and the crucial parliamentary vote, by April 2018. His main rival is…
None of the camps housing Mosul's displaced allow for freedom of movement and some camps even ban mobile phones. The 16-year-old boy had been following us as we made our way through Nargizlia. It is the most recent addition to the camps housing the 135,000 people who have fled the fighting as the Iraqi government tries to retake Mosul, its second-largest city, from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, known as ISIS) group. Ghazi, who had been…

International Armed Conflict Back to Iraq Saturday, 04 February 2017 09:17

U.S. President Donald Trump criticized his predecessor Barack Obama several times for squandering three trillion dollars to build an allied Iraq and leaving the country an easy target for the Iranians. Instead of assuring Trump, Iranian authorities indirectly sent Trump indirect threatening messages through giving orders to one of its militias in Iraq “Harakat al-Nujaba” to launch missiles in order to show off its’ power. Al-Nujaba is one of the militias that can target neighboring countries and is similar to…

Iraq: Activity report 2016 Thursday, 02 February 2017 20:24

Millions of people throughout Iraq continue to suffer the consequences of armed conflict and the lingering effects of past violence. Tens of thousands of people were killed or injured. Since 2014, over 3.3 million people have been displaced in various parts of the country. In addition, over 140,000 people have been displaced since October 2016, when the Iraqi military launched a campaign to retake the city of Mosul. Displaced people and communities living near front lines, in retaken villages or…
As Iraq gears up for provincial elections, the floor under the ruling Shia alliance is cracking. Anger is mounting among a population that says its demands have not been met, as shown during recent protests against Iraqi Vice- President Nuri al-Maliki in southern Iraq. Maliki’s unsolicited, self-funded political tour to several southern cities in December drew crowds of enraged protesters demanding the departure of a man they blame for Iraq’s current situation. Dissatisfied masses scolded Maliki — as their placards…
The Islamic Republic continues on its path of death and destruction. A conglomerate of Iran-backed Shiite militias in Iraq, known as the Popular Mobilization Units (PMU), or more commonly by the Arabic label al-Hashd al-Shaabi, pose a very dire threat for the future of Iraq. This sectarian group of dangerous armed elements is resorting to any and all crimes with the objective of pursuing Tehran’s policies across Mesopotamia. The PMU, established back in the mid-2014, has taken part in the battles…
BAGHDAD — On Dec. 26, the leader of the Sadrist movement, Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, met with Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi to discuss the reform project advanced by Sadr over a year ago through popular protests against those accused of corruption. One of those blamed was former Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, currently one of Iraq’s vice presidents.The meeting came after a series of demonstrations against Maliki, who has been visiting Shiite cities in central and southern Iraq. Anti-Maliki demonstrations in the…
BRUSSELS, Jan. 6 (UPI) -- When President Barack Obama leaves the White House later this month, he will leave behind a shocking legacy of death and destruction in the Middle East. His foreign policy vision, which saw the United States focus on cooperation with Iran as its core strategy, has unlocked a Pandora's box of conflict and sectarian strife across the zone. Obama has now belatedly, during the closing days of his administration, come to realize that the nuclear deal with Iran and…
Now that the collapse of Islamic State is within sight in Iraq, a lot rides on whether the Iraqi Shiite militias taking part in that campaign will stop at the international border or will cross into Syria in coming months and open a new phase of that country’s war. The Hashed al-Shaabi or Popular Mobilization Forces, which unite several of Iraq’s powerful Shiite militias, were established to combat Islamic State in mid-2014. At the time, the regular Iraqi army collapsed…
'This is the most joyful time of the year. We are one people,' say shoppers in Baghdad A tall, glittering tree erected outside a shopping centre in Baghdadcould be considered an incongruous display of Christmas festivity in mainly-Muslim Iraq. But the 7-metre-high tree at Sama Mall in the south east of the capital, adorned with tinsel, stars and bells, is one of a number of decorations put up by residents and business owners in solidarity with the country’s Christian minority. Muslim businessman Yassir Saad…
IRBIL, Iraq — The Iraqi parliament passed a law Saturday making militia units, including ­Iranian-backed groups accused of human rights abuses, an official part of the country’s security forces. Lawmakers passed the measure 208 to 0 in a session that was boycotted by most Sunni politicians, who opposed an initiative that extends the influence of powerful Shiite groups that many Iraqi Sunnis view with suspicion. Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi praised the law, saying that it gave due to fighters who…

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