Iraq Oil Report (36)

Troops make progress in Tal Afar battle as U.S. defense secretary visits Iraq

Government forces breached the city limits of Tal Afar in northwestern Iraq on Tuesday on the third day of a U.S.-backed offensive to seize it back from Islamic State militants. Tal Afar, a longtime Islamic State stronghold, is the latest objective in the war following the recapture of Mosul after a ...

Kurds' Risky Dream of Independence

After yearning for independence for generations, Kurds in Iraq are scheduled to take a major step in that direction with a nonbinding referendum set for Sept. 25. The vote, expected to endorse a separate state, would be a mistake, increasing turmoil in a part of the world roiled by the fight against ...

Yazidi PMU Fighters Face Uncertainty in the KRG

Iraq's Yazidi community remains deeply traumatized by the genocide carried out against it by the Islamic State beginning in August 2014. As if the mass murder, enslavement of thousands of women, and destruction of their ancestral homeland were not enough, Yazidis also face suspicion and unchecked ...

Iraqi forces must rescue many abducted Yazidis from Tal Afar: Yazidi MP

As Iraqi forces pressed their offensive to retake Tal Afar on Monday, a Yazidi politician urged them to quickly rescue the many Yazidi men, women and children still believed to be held captive in the city by Islamic State militants. Vian Dakhil, a member of the Iraqi parliament, said the fate of ...

Amid Mosul rubble, a crucial challenge: rebuilding education

Sundus al-Yusuf can't wait to get back into her western Mosul classroom to teach lessons in Arabic and math. Within weeks, classes are set to resume across Iraq. But so far, after nearly three years of curriculum-changing ISIS occupation, and a nine-month assault by Iraqi security forces that left ...

First major aid in three years reaches Iraq's West Mosul: ICRC

People in the western part of Iraq's devastated city of Mosul have received their first major delivery of aid since Islamic State militants captured the city in 2014, the International Committee of the Red Cross said on Monday. The agency began distributing food and other essential items last week ...

Q&A: Sherwan Zrar, Kurdistan voting commission spokesperson

Beyond the political debates swirling around the KRG independence referendum is a fundamental logistical question: are the resources in place to hold the vote as scheduled?

Abadi's office denies claims Baghdad agreed to assist Kurds financially, politically

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi's media office on Sunday denied claims made by a Kurdish official that Baghdad would guarantee financial and political concessions if they postponed the Sep. 25 referendum. Mala Bakhtiar, the executive secretary of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan politburo, told ...

Iraqi forces close in on IS-held town west of Mosul

Iraqi forces made significant progress as they closed in on the Islamic State-held town of Tal Afar, west of Mosul, the U.S.-led coalition and an Iraqi military spokesman said Monday. U.S. Army Col. Ryan Dillon, a coalition spokesman, told The Associated Press that Iraqi forces have retaken some ...

Iraq's Kurds might put off independence vote in return for concessions from Baghdad: official

Iraq's Kurds may consider the possibility of postponing a planned Sept. 25 referendum on independence in return for financial and political concessions from the central government in Baghdad, a senior Kurdish official said. A Kurdish delegation is visiting Baghdad to sound out proposals from Iraqi ...

ISIL's smouldering footprint in Qayyara

Billowing clouds of smoke cloaked the sun, orange flames sprang dozens of feet into the sky, and the stench of petrol hung in the air. Everywhere Muhamed Oussama looked, it was apocalyptic. For several months, this was the daily grind for Oussama, a 38-year-old Iraqi firefighter from Kirkuk. ...

Revived After Mosul, Iraqi Forces Prepare to Battle ISIS in Tal Afar

Iraq's security forces, which suffered huge casualties in the nine-month-long slog to take back the city of Mosul, are replenished enough to begin the fight for the Islamic State stronghold of Tal Afar — one of the last urban areas held in Iraq by the militant extremist Sunni group, American ...

Iraqi ship sinks after collision, at least four sailors dead: state TV

An Iraqi ship sank on Saturday after a collision with another vessel in Iraq's territorial waters, killing at least four sailors, Iraqi state television reported. Diving support vessel al-Misbar had 21 sailors on board, of which 10 were rescued, the Baghdad-based channel said, citing a statement ...

The Islamic State May Be Failing, But Its Strategic Communications Legacy Is Here To Stay

No insurgency in recent memory has enjoyed as much sensationalist news coverage as the Islamic State, which has consistently been referred to as the most powerful,' most dangerous,' and most barbaric' terrorist outfit since its 2014 blitz across Iraq and Syria. But as the vast gains made against the ...

Garraf oil field attacked

Production is unaffected, and the police chief says local residents are reacting to belief that oil operations are responsible for recent earthquakes.

War in the Arab world has devastated the region's heritage

The Middle East is used to ruins. A millennium ago the mad caliph' of Cairo, Hakim, ordered the levelling of all churches, including the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem, Jesus's burial site. The Mongols sacked Baghdad in 1258, causing the Tigris to flow black from the ink of discarded books. Tamerlane ...

US helping clear 'historic' amount of explosives in Mosul

The wires protruding from the small, misshapen stuffed animal revealed the deadly booby-trap tucked inside. For the people of Mosul, the sophisticated bomb was a reminder of how difficult it will be to return to homes littered with hidden explosives by Islamic State militants and dotted with the ...

Iraq acknowledges abuses committed against civilians in Mosul campaign

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi's office said on Thursday a unit of the security forces committed "abuses" against civilians during the offensive to oust Islamic State insurgents from the city of Mosul. His government began an investigation in May into a report by German newsmagazine Der ...

For a Yazidi Woman, Justice for ISIS Crimes Is Still Elusive

Nadia Murad was 21 years old when, she says, Islamic State fighters abducted her, beat her and raped her. Her offense: belonging to the minority Yazidi community, whom the Islamic State regards as infidels. Her cause for the last two years: demanding justice for the Islamic State's atrocities. This ...

Former Exxon advisor likely to succeed ousted Basra governor

In the wake of a scandal that led to the sudden resignation of Basra's governor, Taha al-Tamimi has emerged as the top candidate to lead Iraq's oil capital.

Iran general slams Iraq referendum plan during Erdogan talks

Iran's Armed Forces chief of staff said Wednesday after talks with Turkey's president that a referendum on independence in Iraq's Kurdish region would trigger conflict and negative consequences for the entire region. General Mohammad Hossein Bagheri's remarks, carried by Iran's official IRNA news ...

With a wary eye on Iran, Saudi and Iraqi leaders draw closer

It was an unusual meeting: An Iraqi Shi'ite Muslim cleric openly hostile to the United States sat in a palace sipping juice at the invitation of the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, the Sunni kingdom that is Washington's main ally in the Middle East. For all the implausibility, the motivations for the ...

Powering west Mosul's water plants

Mosul was declared fully liberated by the Prime Minister of Iraq in early July, and the difficult work of rebuilding has begun. More than 700,000 civilians are still away from their homes – waiting to restart their lives. Through its Funding Facility for Stabilization, UNDP has been implementing ...

IS insurgency targets energy sites, interrupting oil exports

Kirkuk pipeline exports were briefly offline after IS militants bombed high-voltage power lines – one of a dozen insurgent attacks to hit northern Iraq in the past week.

New life amid the ruins of Mosul's maternity hospital

As yet unnamed twin babies lie in an incubator in a run-down room in Mosul's main maternity hospital. Less than two weeks old, they are two of seven newborns crammed into a makeshift premature baby ward. Born just three weeks after Iraqi forces declared that they had finally recaptured the last part ...

Iraq asks UN to collect evidence to prosecute Islamic State

Iraq is asking the U.N. Security Council for assistance in collecting evidence to prosecute extremists from the Islamic State group for possible crimes against humanity. Iraq's Foreign Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari said in a letter to Secretary-General Antonio Guterres circulated Wednesday that his ...

Suicide attacker kills seven Iraqi soldiers near city of Baiji

Seven Iraqi soldiers were killed on Wednesday when a suicide attacker tried to infiltrate a security headquarters near the northern city of Baiji where Islamic State is entrenched in nearby mountain areas, security sources said. Around five assailants attacked the compound where police and army ...

Iraqi Cabinet decisions: Aug. 15, 2017

Whenever the media office of the Council of Ministers releases decisions of the Cabinet, Iraq Oil Report publishes a translation from the original Arabic.

Iraq minister faces questions over trade corruption allegations

Iraq's parliament on Tuesday questioned acting Trade Minister Salman al-Jumaili over corruption allegations linked to the ministry, mostly stemming from a deal to import Indian rice in 2016. The minister, a Sunni Muslim in a government dominated by Shi'ites, was questioned by lawmaker Alia Nussayif ...

Iraq bombing Islamic State-held Tal Afar ahead of assault: Iraqi military spokesman

Iraqi forces are carrying out air strikes on Tal Afar, a town held by Islamic State west of Mosul, in preparation for a ground assault, an Iraqi military spokesman said on Tuesday. Islamic State's self-proclaimed caliphate effectively collapsed last month, when U.S.-backed Iraqi forces completed the ...

Iraqi Shiite militias pledge to take part in next IS fight

Iraq's Shiite militias announced on Monday they will participate in the next major battle against the Islamic State group after the Iraqi forces' victory in Mosul last month. The Shite militias did not fight in the urban part of Mosul, Iraq's second-largest city, but were key in clearing far-flung ...

Iraq's Shiites Test Iran

Over the last few months, Iraq's Shiite political groups have intensified their fight for influence in Baghdad in preparation for the parliamentary elections next year. Much to the displeasure of Iran, which has supported a number of these groups, some Iraqi Shiites have been publicly distancing ...

Iraqi Shi'ite leader visits UAE, strengthening ties with Sunni states

An influential Iraqi Shi'ite cleric plans to visit the United Arab Emirates on Sunday, strengthening his ties with Sunni-ruled states of the Middle East. It will be the second such trip in as many months for Moqtada al-Sadr, who commands a large following among Iraq's urban poor. He visited Saudi ...

2 U.S. Soldiers Killed in Iraq in Combat Operations

Two American soldiers were killed while conducting combat operations in Iraq, the United States military said in a statement on Sunday, adding that initial reports indicate the incident was not due to enemy contact.' Five other soldiers were wounded, the statement said, without providing further ...

In 'liberated' Mosul, ISIS still imperils the path to city's revival

The first sign Ghaith Ali had that Islamic State militants were still active in liberated' western Mosul was a mysterious square object on the floor of a house he entered to make it ready for returning families. Suspecting explosives, the Iraqi policeman told the rest of his patrol to back away, but ...

Iraq's Kurds stick to independence vote despite U.S. request to postpone it

Iraq's Kurds are sticking to a plan to hold an independence referendum on Sept. 25, despite a U.S. request to postpone it, a high-ranking Kurdish official told Reuters on Saturday. The United States and other Western nations are worried that the vote could ignite a fresh conflict with Baghdad and ...