Iraq + 2 more

ISHM 230: November 7 - November 14, 2019

News and Press Release
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Key Takeaways:

  • Death Toll Among Protesters Reaches 327 Amid Intensified Crackdown; Iran Continues Pressure To Preserve Abdul-Mahdi’s Government; UN Issues Roadmap For Reforms, U.S. Supports Early Elections; Proposed Election Law Reforms Released – On November 8, the Iraqi government intensified its crackdown on anti-government protesters and security forces continued to use tear gas, stun grenades, and live fire to disperse protesters, resulting in many casualties in several provinces. On November 9, AFP reported that Qassem Soleimani, the commander of the Quds force within Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps, met with Mohammed Ridha al-Sistani, the son of Iraq’s most senior Shia cleric, and Moqtada al-Sadr, the leader of the Saeroun coalition, to persuade them to keep Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi in office. On November 10, the United Nations Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) issued a roadmap to address the political crisis in Iraq. The initiative demanded the release of protesters detained since October 1, and investigations into forced disappearances and the use of excessive force against protesters. On November 11, al-Sumaria reported that the new election law proposed by President Barham Salih includes five major changes from the existing law. A key provision would decrease the size of parliament from 329 members to 213. more…

  • Rocket Attack Targets Major Base; IED Injures Five Italian Soldiers; Iraqi Security Forces (ISF) Kill Dozens Of ISIS Members In Diayla, Ninewa And Kirkuk – On November 8, unknown militants launched 17 Katyusha rockets at an Iraqi army base in Qayyara, south of Mosul, that also houses U.S. troops. The incident did not cause casualties among the Iraqi or Coalition personnel. On November 10, an IED severely injured five Italian soldiers outside Kirkuk city. The soldiers were participating in the international mission to train and advise the ISF. On November 11, ISIS elements attacked ISF patrols in Diyala province, killing four soldiers, and wounding seven. On November 11, the ISF and International Coalition forces killed two ISIS militants in Kirkuk province. On November 11, Iraq’s counterterrorism service (CTS) killed fourteen ISIS militants in an air assault operation in the Makhmour mountains, southeast of Mosul. On the same day, Iraqi airstrikes killed four militants in Diyala province. On November 12, another Iraqi airstrike killed ten ISIS members in a region between Jalawla and Khanaqin in Diyala province. A ground force followed up at the scene and killed four additional ISIS members. Another airstrike on November 12 killed seven ISIS militants in Tabaj Basin, northeast of Baqubah. On November 12, the ISF killed three ISIS militants west of Kirkuk city. more…

  • UNAMI Asks Iraqis To Help Document Human Rights Abuses; Kidnapped Activist Al-Mahdawi Released; Nearly 16,000 Syrian Refugees Arrived In Iraq – On November 9, the United Nations Assistance Mission in Iraq (UNAMI) announced that it established an email address that civilians can use to confidentially report human rights violations, especially those connected to the ongoing protests. On November 13, security forces announced the release of activists Saba al-Mahdawi and Ali Hashim, who were kidnapped by assailants in Baghdad on November 2 and November 7, respectively. On November 14, the Joint Crisis Coordination Center (JCC) of the KRG reported that 15,721 Syrian refugees arrived in the KRI since the start of the Turkish incursion in Syria last month. On November 12, the UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, said that foreign nations should take back their citizens who are currently detained in Iraq and Syria due to suspected ISIS affiliation. more…

  • Umm Qasr Port Resumes Operations; Oil Ministry Says Protests Not Affecting Oil Exports; Government Seeks To Create 240,000 Public Sector Jobs – On November 9, the Umm Qasr port in Basra reopened and resumed operations at normal capacity after being forced to shut down for several days by protesters blocking its entrance. On November 9, the Minister of Oil announced that oil production and export operations were continuing uninterrupted despite anti-government protests. On November 11, the parliament’s labor and social affairs committee announced that it expects to create 239,000 new jobs in the 2020 federal budget, to be funded by savings anticipated by the passage of a new pension law that reduces the retirement age. On November 13, Iraq’s Ministry of Oil established a new mechanism for marketing surplus fuel oil produced by Iraq’s refineries, saying it could generate $700 million of additional revenue per 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.