Iraq

Iraq Security and Humanitarian Monitor: June 30 - July 7, 2022

Key Takeaways:

  • Time “Running Out” For KDP-PUK Deal; Mob Attacks MP’s Office Over Anti-Militia Remarks; CF Cohesion Strained As Maliki Sets Sights On The Premiership – On July 3, a PUK spokesperson said that time was “running out” for his party and the KDP to reach an agreement on a joint presidential candidate as both parties remained determined to push their respective choices. The PUK official said he expects the PUK and KDP candidates to compete for election in Parliament if an agreement is not reached shortly after next week’s Eid holiday. On July 4, an angry mob attacked the office of Diyala MP Raad al-Dahlaki, and militia-affiliated politicians issued threats against him, after the MP called for removing the Popular Mobilization Forces from Diyala and other predominantly Sunni provinces. On July 5, members of the State of Law coalition (SoL) said the bloc plans to officially present its leader, Nouri al-Maliki, to be the Coordination Framework’s (CF) candidate for prime minister. The Nasr, Hikma, and Badr factions within CF expressed objections to nominating Maliki. Hadi al-Amiri reportedly warned that he might withdraw his bloc from Parliament if CF could not agree on a candidate that’s acceptable to the Sunni, Kurdish, and Sadrist blocs. On July 4, U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham visited Baghdad and Erbil for meetings with federal Iraqi and KRG leaders that reportedly focused on Syria and disputes between Baghdad and Erbil. more…

  • IEDs Hit Iraqi Security Forces And Demining Team; Iraq Needs Until 2024 To Get All Its 24 T-50 Jets Operational – Between July 2 – 5, the explosions of seven IEDs, and one attack by ISIS militants, killed at least four Iraqis and wounded 21 in the provinces of Diyala, Ninewa, Baghdad, Salah ad-Din, and Dhi-Qar. Most of the casualties were caused by two attacks on security forces in the Sherween region of Diyala, and two explosions that struck army troops and a demining team in Ninewa. On July 4, the commander of Iraq’s air force said that the three, long-grounded, T-50 jets brought into service last week will be joined by an additional five by the end of this year, followed by 16 aircraft in 2023 and 2024. On July 5, Turkish warplanes struck suspected PKK targets near the Makhmour refugee camp, damaging several buildings in the area. On July 5, Iraqi security forces killed two “of the most dangerous” ISIS militants in Kirkuk province; the number two militant in the “Wilayat Dijlah” and the militant in charge of ISIS finances in the area. more…

  • Humanitarian Response Plan Is 78% Underfunded; Iraq Reports More Cholera, Hemorrhagic Fever Cases; Latest COVID-19 Wave Escalates – On June 5, 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 $90 million in funding through the month of June, just over 22% of the $400 million needed to reach nearly a million people with acute humanitarian needs. On July 3, Iraq’s Health Ministry said the number of confirmed hemorrhagic fever cases increased to 230, with 38 fatalities. The Ministry also said the number of confirmed cholera cases increased to 160, including two fatalities. On July 7, Iraq’s Health Ministry said the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases reached 2,374,046, an increase of 25,384 from the 2,348,662 reported on June 30. Hospitalizations jumped from 14,662 to 31,925, and the daily average for new cases nearly tripled to 3,626/day during the last seven days compared to the previous reporting period. The number of people who received the COVID-19 vaccine reached 10,903,353 including 15,171 who received their shots on July 7. more…

  • Oil Revenue Hits New High In June; Survey Reveals Detailed Unemployment Data; Court Voids KRG Oil Contracts – On July 1, Iraq’s Ministry of Oil said that crude oil exports in June averaged 3.37 million bpd and generated $11.5 billion in revenue, nearly $70 million higher than the record $11.43 billion achieved in May. On July 5, data from a nationwide labor force survey provided a detailed picture of the labor market in Iraq. Key findings indicated that the national labor force participation rate was 39.5% in 2021, and nationwide unemployment stood at 16.5%. Females were twice more likely to be unemployed than males, and young people were three times more likely to be unemployed than adults. Moreover, more than 54% of total employment was in the informal sector. On July 6, news reports said that an Iraqi court in Baghdad ruled that the contracts of four foreign oil companies operating in the Kurdistan region were void. The ruling on July 4 reportedly affected Western Zagros, DNO, HKN Energy, and Genel Energy, because their contracts were in violation of the February 15 ruling by the Federal Supreme Court against oil operations in the Kurdistan region. 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.