Iraq

Iraq Security and Humanitarian Monitor: July 7 - 14, 2022

Key Takeaways:

  • MPs Prepare Anti-Gay Rights Bill; Iraqi, Turkish Officials Spar Over Water Rights; Kadhimi To Attend Saudi Arabia Summit; KDP Says PUK Must Accept New Balance Of Power – On July 8, a member of Parliament’s legal committee said a group of MPs were collecting signatures in support of a bill that would outlaw homosexuality in Iraq. On July 12, Iraq’s Water Resources Minister urged the Foreign Ministry to summon Ankara’s ambassador and deliver an official objection letter over recent remarks in which he said Iraq must modernize its outdated and wasteful irrigation systems instead of demanding more water from Turkey. On July 14, the office of PM Mustafa al-Kadhimi said the Iraqi leader will travel to Saudi Arabia early next week to participate in a summit that will be attended by the leaders of Arab Gulf countries, as well as Jordan, and Egypt, and U.S. President Joe Biden. On July 14, a KDP lawmaker said the party’s “final decision” was to “move forward with the nomination of Reber Ahmed” for the presidency. The KDP lawmaker said the rival PUK “must stop and respect the election results,” insisting that “the old Kurdish equations are over.” more…
  • Unidentified Helicopters Attack Homes In Bashiqa; Explosion Hits PMF Weapons Depot – On July 13, two unidentified helicopters opened fire from their machine guns on two houses in the Bashiqa subdistrict, north of Mosul. Iraqi security forces are investigating the incident, which did not leave casualties. On July 14, a Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF) weapons depot in the al-Qaim region near the Syrian border suffered an explosion that destroyed weapons and ammunitions stored in the facility. It is unclear whether the explosion was accidental or the result of hostile action. In other developments, between July 7 – 12, militant attacks in Sinjar and Tarmiyah killed two Iraqis and wounded two more, while an attack with explosives targeted a civilian selling alcohol in Najaf, and two Katyusha-type rockets struck near a PMF base in Diyala. more…
  • Polluted Water Sickens Hundreds Of Children; Iran And Iraq Seek Cooperation On Sandstorm Prevention – On July 12, health officials in Anbar reported a large increase of gastrointestinal infections among children. The director of Fallujah’s general hospital said that 30-50 children are coming to his hospital each day with symptoms including diarrhea and vomiting, which he blamed on polluted drinking water amid rising temperatures and dwindling water supplies. On July 14, Iraq and Iran signed a memorandum of understanding on cooperation to combat sandstorms. The memorandum appears to revolve around Iran’s alleged success in manufacturing “environmentally friendly soil covers” that can be used to stabilize soil. In other developments, on July 14, Iraq’s Health Ministry said the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases reached 2,396,707, an increase of 22,661 from the 2,374,046 reported on July 7. Hospitalizations increased from 31,925 to 35,998, but the daily average for new cases decreased to 3,237/day during the last seven days from 3,626/day during the previous reporting period. The number of people who received the COVID-19 vaccine reached 10,913,004 including 1,219 who received their shots on July 14. more…
  • Baghdad Wants to Take Over 17 Of Kurdistan’s Oil Deals; Half Of Foreign Labor In Iraq Is Unauthorized – On July 7, Iraq’s Oil Minister said his government was serious about enforcing a recent court decision against four foreign oil companies operating in the Kurdistan region, adding that Baghdad’s plans to bring the region’s oil operations under its control will target a total of 17 companies. On July 11, Iraq’s Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs said that most of the foreign workers who are currently in the country represent unauthorized labor, adding that it had issued only 100,000 work authorizations to foreigners since 2012, at most half the total size of foreign labor in Iraq. In other developments, on July 13, Reuters reported that delays in a project to expand crude oil pumping capacity at the Basra ports will deny Iraq up to 150,000 bpd in additional exports it was trying to reach in the second quarter of this year. 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.