Iraq + 7 more

ISHM: April 8 - April 15, 2021

News and Press Release
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Key Takeaways:

  • KRG President Holds “Transparent” Talks With Leaders In Baghdad; National Security Advisor Dispatched To Iran; Supreme Court Judges Sworn In – On April 10, Nechirvan Barzani began a three-day visit to Baghdad, and met with PM Kadhimi and other key decision makers to discuss political, economic and security challenges. Kadhimi stressed the need to enhance security cooperation, while Barzani and called on political factions to learn from the “mistakes of the past.” On April 10, the State of Law Coalition submitted an appeal to amend articles of the 2021 budget. SoL claimed that some articles were “modified or removed” post negotiations. Parliament’s legal committee said amendments were no longer a possibility. On April 11, new members of the Federal Supreme Court took the oath of office. President Salih described the court as the “faithful guardian of Iraq’s democratic system.” On April 12, National Security Advisor Qasim al-Araji held meetings in Tehran with his Iranian counterpart. A senior Iraqi official said al-Kadhimi dispatched al-Araji to discuss the results of the Strategic Dialogue Baghdad and Washington held on April 7. On April 12, President Salih signed a decree to hold early general elections on October 10. On April 12, Deputy Speaker of the Parliament Hassan al-Kaabi called on lawmakers to expel Dhafer al-Ani after the latter accused militias of holding thousands of people at secret prisons. more…
  • Armed Drone Hits Coalition Command Center In Erbil; Car Bomb Kills Several Iraqis In Baghdad; Launcher Loaded With 24 Rockets Discovered Near Ain al-Assad Base – On April 14, a drone loaded with TNT explosives targeted a command center for the International Coalition at Erbil International Airport. The attack briefly halted flights from Erbil Airport. Elsewhere in Iraq, security forces discovered a vehicle outfitted with a missile launcher pad loaded with 24 rockets near Ain al-Assad air base in Anbar. On April 15, a vehicle-borne IED detonated in a busy market in the Sadr City area of eastern Baghdad. The attack killed at least four civilians and wounded another 16, and caused significant damage. Between April 11 -14, six roadside IED exploded near convoys transporting supplies for the International Coalition in Salah ad-Din, Muthanna, Dhi-Qar, Diwaniyah, Babylon, and near Baghdad. more…
  • Lawsuit Accuses Former PM Abdul-Mahdi Of Crime Against Humanity; Authorities Impose New Restrictions To Curb Infections – On April 8, five Iraqi families filed a lawsuit against former Iraqi Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi over the killing of protesters in October 2019. The lawsuit accuses Abdul-Mahdi of “crimes against humanity, torture and forced disappearances.” On April 11, Iraq received its first shipment of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine, totaling 50,000 doses, along with an additional 200,000 doses of the Sinopharm vaccine donated by China. On April 12, Iraq’s Health Ministry announced new COVID-19 restrictions during the entire month of Ramadan. The new measures include curfews and reduction of official business hours. On April 15, the Iraqi Ministry of Health said the total number of COVID-19 infections reached 956,860. The average number of new cases increased to 7,631 per day during the last 7-day period, compared to an average of 6,642 per day during the 7-day period ending April 8. more…
  • Iraq Increases Foreign Reserve By $8 Billion, New Commercial Transit System Deployed At Border Crossings – On April 10, college graduates blocked three major bridges in Nasiriyah and burned tires to prevent access to Dhi-Qar Oil Company facilities and the Petroleum Products Distribution department, demanding jobs. The protests created a fuel shortage in the province. On April 11, PM Kadhimi said that the Central Bank’s foreign currency reserves increased by more than $8 billion since his government began reform measures almost a year ago. On April 13, authorities decided to adopt a new commercial transit system at six border crossings with Iran, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, and Syria. The measure, which went into effect on April 14, aims to increase government revenue, and to allow the transit of goods between other countries via Iraq. 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.