Iraq

Iraq Security and Humanitarian Monitor: August 18 - 25, 2022

Key Takeaways:

  • Iraq’s Judiciary Prosecutes Senior Sadrists Over Alleged Threats; Militia Leader Calls For Killing Kadhimi – On August 23, crowds of Muqtada al-Sadr’s followers surrounded the Supreme Judicial Council’s complex in Baghdad to pressure the judiciary to dissolves parliament. The judiciary accused the Sadrists of sending threatening phone messages to members of the Federal Supreme Court and issued arrest warrants and travel ban orders against three of Sadr’s senior aides. Although Sadr soon withdrew his supporters, he warned that another “surprise” step could be coming soon. PM Kadhimi cut short a trip to Egypt, where he was attending a regional summit, and returned to Baghdad to address the situation, calling for dialogue, and stressing that demonstrations must not disrupt the functions of state institutions. Meanwhile, Sadr’s rivals in the Coordination Framework condemned Sadr’s actions and said they would not engage in direct talks unless Sadr ends “the occupation of state institutions.” On August 23, the leader of the Kataib Sayyid al-Shuhada militia, Abu Ala al-Walaie, accused PM Kadhimi of being complicit in Sadr’s escalation against the judiciary and made an implicit call to kill Kadhimi “before it’s too late.” In other developments, on August 21, an Iraqi court summoned the former minister of industry for questioning after a video surfaced in which the former minister is seen taking an oath to place the ministry under the control of his party leader. On August 24, an Iraqi court in Baghdad issued an arrest warrant for the former governor of Salah ad-Din, Ammar Jabr al-Jubouri, along with other provincial officials, on corruption charges. more…
  • U.S. Says Drone Attack On Coalition Forces In Syria Came From Iraq – On August 24, the U.S. Central Command said it conducted strikes against militias affiliated with Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps in eastern Syria in response to an August 15 drone attack on Coalition Forces, which it said utilized Iranian drones launched from an area in Babylon province. In other developments, between August 19 – 23, the explosions of five IEDs and one remnant of war in Kirkuk, Salah ad-Din, Ninewa, and Baghdad killed two Iraqi children, wounded three soldiers, and destroyed a high-voltage pylon. Two of the IEDs had targeted convoy transporting supplies for the anti-ISIS International Coalition. Between August 20 – 25, Iraqi airstrikes and group troops killed at least 11 ISIS militants, including senior local commanders in Salah ad-Din, Kirkuk, Anbar, and Ninewa. On August 25, security sources in the Kurdistan region said that an attack with nine “Grad” rockets targeted the Turkish military base at Zelikan, north of Mosul. more…
  • UN, Iraq Meet To Discuss Decommissioning Al-Hol; Humanitarian Response Faces Persistent Funding Gap – On August 22, Iraq’s National Security Advisor said that the Iraqi government and United Nations formed a joint working group tasked with repatriating Iraqis displaced in northeast Syria and the future decommissioning of the al-Hol camp. To this end, the official said Iraq and the UN created four sub groups to work on child protection, rehabilitation, security and accountability for adult camp residents, and reintegration and services. On August 22, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) reported a serious funding gap affecting the 2022 Humanitarian Response Plan (HRP). OCHA said that donors have provided $105 million in funding through the month of July, just over 26% of the $400 million needed to reach nearly a million people with acute humanitarian needs. In other developments, on August 22, Iraq’s Health Ministry reported that between August 14 – 22, there were 2,342 new infections with COVID-19, 5 new fatalities, and 60,377 people received their vaccines. The average number of new cases during the last reporting period dropped to 335 per day, compared to 434 per day during the 7-day period ending August 14. more…

For more background on most of the institutions, key actors, political parties, and locations mentioned in our takeaways or in the stories that follow, see the ISHM Reference Guide.

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