Iraq

Iraq Security and Humanitarian Monitor: August 4 – 11, 2022

Key Takeaways:

  • Lawmakers Arrested In Kurdistan Protests; Sadr Gives The Judiciary A Week To Dissolve Parliament; Baghdad Braces For Framework, Sadrist Demonstrations; Kurdistan Election Delayed – On August 6, protests demanding jobs and payment of delayed public servants’ salaries erupted in Sulaymaniyah and Erbil. Security forces used tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse protesters, resulting in injuries. The New Generation party said security forces arrested six of its lawmakers who participated in the protests, among 600 people arrested across the region, while a press freedom group said 11 journalists were also arrested. On August 10, Muqtada al-Sadr called on Iraq’s Supreme Judicial Council to intervene in the country’s political deadlock by dissolving Parliament within a week to pave the way for new elections. Meanwhile, a senior aide to Sadr called on his followers to launch mass rallies in several provinces to pressure the judiciary to dissolve parliament. The call coincided with reports that the Coordination Framework plans to hold demonstrations of their own “at the walls of the Green Zone” to support its government formation ambitions and counter Sadr’s pressure on the legislative and judicial authorities. On August 10, Kurdistan election officials said the region was unlikely to organize parliamentary elections this year, originally planned for October, due to ongoing disputes among the political parties over the election law. In other developments, on August 6, protests erupted in several, mostly southern Iraqi provinces over blackouts during an intense heat wave in which temperatures reached 50 degrees Celsius. more…
  • Court Sentences Rocket Attack Cell To Life In Prison; Deadly Explosion Destroys Militia Camp In Najaf – On August 7, a court in Baghdad issued four life sentences against individuals who were found guilty of launching rockets at Baghdad airport. The January 28 attack, in which Iran-backed militias were suspect, involved six Katyusha-type rockets and damaged two aircraft on the airport’s runway. On August 8, an explosion occurred at a camp used by the Saraya al-Salam militia of Muqtada al-Sadr in Najaf. Reports indicated that at least five people were killed and eight were injured, and security sources said more victims could be trapped under the rubble. The militia claimed the incident was caused by a fire that reached medical oxygen tanks, but images from the site showed a complete collapse of the building, suggesting an explosion of great force. In other developments, between August 4 – 11, the explosions of five IEDs and one remnant of war in Kirkuk, Baghdad, and Diyala killed two Iraqis and wounded one. In one of the incidents, security forces intercepted and killed a militant who attempted to use a suicide explosive vest to attack Shia Muslim pilgrims. Between August 7 – 10, four attacks by gunmen in Kirkuk and Salah ad-Din killed one Iraqi and wounded at least eight. more…
  • New Group Of Al-Hol Refugees To Return To Iraq Soon; Cholera Cases Rise Further – On August 10, Iraq’s Migration Ministry said that its will transport a new group of 150 households of Iraqis with perceived ties to ISIS from the al-Hol camp in Syria to the Jedaa IDP camp in Ninewa in the next few days. The group is part of 500 households Iraq plans to repatriate from al-Hol this year. On August 10, a spokesman for Iraq’s Health Ministry said the number of confirmed cholera infections nationwide increased to 819 (up from 548 reported on July 28), four of which were fatal. Meanwhile, the number of confirmed hemorrhagic fever cases increased slightly to 289 (up from 279 reported July 28). more…
  • Oil Companies Face Legal Action In Kurdistan Oil Dispute; Iraq Rebuild Mosul’s Airport – On August 8, an Iraqi commercial court in Baghdad ordered two oil and gas companies operating in the Kurdistan region to appear as defendants in a lawsuit that Iraq’s Oil Ministry filed against them. The lawsuit, targeting Gazprom and Dana Gas, is part of the federal Oil Ministry’s efforts to take control of the region’s oil and gas operations. On August 10, PM Kadhimi laid the cornerstone for a project to rebuild Mosul’s war-damaged international airport, a day after Ninewa’s governor signed contracts with two unnamed international companies to undertake the work. In other developments, on August 11, an Iraqi government spokesman said that Baghdad has agreed to extend the duration of a 2021 deal with Lebanon under which Iraq provides 1 million tons of fuel oil in exchange for Lebanese goods and services. 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.