ISHM: February 1 - 7, 2019

Report
from Education for Peace in Iraq Center
Published on 07 Feb 2019 View Original

Key Takeaways:

  • Controversy Over U.S. Military Presence in Iraq and Relations with Iran – On February 1, the Sairoon electoral coalition in the Iraqi Parliament gathered signatures to pass a law to end the security agreement between Iraq and the United States. On February 3, United States President, Donald Trump mentioned in an interview to CBS that he plans to keep American troops in Iraq so they can offer rapid response to events in the region as well as to monitor Iran. Following President Trump’s remarks, a delegate from Iraq’s Kata’ib Hezbollah threatened forceful actions against American troops if they move to invade either Iran or Syria. On February 5, the Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi held a press conference in which he spoke about the American military presence in Iraq and the relationship between the Peshmerga and the Iraqi military. Mahdi dismissed the idea of using United States military presence in Iraq to monitor Iran. On February 6, Ammar Hakim, the head of the Iraqi political coalition, the National Wisdom Movement, rebuked President Trump’s remarks during a meeting with the Special Assistant to the Speaker of the Iranian Parliament, Hossein Amir-Abdollahian. The same day, the most senior Iraqi Shi’ite cleric, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani rebuked the statement recently made by the United States President, Donald Trump, stating that Iraq will not be a place for troops to station themselves in order to commit violence against another country. On February 6, Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi met with the Governor of Iran’s Central Bank, Abdul Naser Hemmati. During this meeting, Abdul-Mahdi stated that Iraq will not take part in sanctions against Iran. more…

  • Iraqi Officials Meet Foreign Counterparts to Discuss Foreign Ties, Trade, Reconstruction – On February 2, The Iraqi government agreed to provide Jordan with 10,000 barrels of oil per day at a reduced price. On February 3, the Turkish Foreign Minister, Mevlut Cavusoglu announced that the Turkish president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan is set to visit Iraq after the elections in Turkey next month. On February 4, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister, Mikhail Bogdanov arrived in Baghdad for a two-day visit. In a meeting with Bogdanov, the head of the Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq (HMI), Hamam Hamoudi stated that,”the era of American hegemony in the Middle East has ended.” On February 4, Shafaaq News reported that French President, Emmanuel Macaron plans to visit Iraq soon. Macaron intends to visit Iraq to discuss security and political matters. On February 5, the Speaker of Jordan’s House of Representatives, Atef Tarawneh met with Iraqi Speaker of Parliament, Mohammed al-Halbousi in Baghdad. On February 6, Italian Prime Minister, Giuseppe Conte met with Iraqi Prime Minister, Adel Abdul-Mahdi in Baghdad. more…

  • KRG and Baghdad Discuss Relations; Negotiations Continue over Formation of Iraqi Kurdistan’s Government; Federal Budget Officially Approved – On February 3, Deputy Prime Minister of Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), Qubad Talabani met with Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi to discuss improving relations between the two governments. On February 4, Iraqi president, Barham Saleh approved the federal budget for the current year. On February 5, the two most powerful parties in Iraqi Kurdistan, the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) and the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) held a meeting in Erbil to discuss the formation of Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) and the election of the next governor of Kirkuk. On February 5, the Iraqi government issued several resolutions on the newly passed budget. On February 7, Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi met with the Prime Minister of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), Nechirvan Barzani for the first time since Abdul-Mahdi assumed the post of Prime Minister. more…

  • Militant Attacks Persist Throughout Iraq; Disputed Areas Between KRG and Iraq Receive Political and Humanitarian Attention; Sarzir Border Crossing Reopens Between KRI and Turkey – On February 1, two children were killed with four others injured in an IED attack in the Makhoul Mountains in the north of the Salah ad-Din province. On February 2, Dr. Alaa Mashthob Abboud, a popular writer and documentary filmmaker, was assassinated outside of his home in Karbala. On February 3, international coalition jets bombed positions of the Islamic State in Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) in the Makhoul and Hamrin mountains. On February 3, a terrorist attack occurred on the side of a road south of Balad targeting a bus of Iranian pilgrims bound for Shia religious sites wounding seven individuals. On February 4, the Iraqi military claimed to have stopped three separate attempts to fire rockets on the Ayn al-Asad air base in Anbar province. This base is the second largest in Iraq and is used by Iraqi, American, and British forces. On February 4, the Sarzir border crossing between Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI) and Turkey reopened after being shut down for thirteen days. On February 5, a contingent of officials from the United Nations Assistance Mission of Iraq (UNAMI) visited Tuz Khurmatu in the Salah al-Din province along with a member of the provincial council to review challenges and disputes in the region. more…

  • Humanitarian Organizations Provide Assistance to Impoverished and Displaced Iraqis; Work Continues to Clear Mines Across Iraq – On February 1, the Iraqi Red Crescent Society (IRCS) provided food and other services to more than 80,000 poor families in Babylon and Muthana. On February 3, the Iraqi Red Crescent Society affirmed their push to help families affected by torrential rains in the Najaf province, an area 200km south of Baghdad, by working with local governments to help families salvage their homes and by sending more relief materials to the affected areas. On February 6, the head of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), Pete Mauer, announced that 1.8 million Iraqis remain displaced more than a year after the conclusion of the intensive fighting against the Islamic State in Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS). On February 7, UNICEF reported supplying winter clothes to more than 160,000 refugee and internally displaced children and mothers. On February 7, Reuters reported that the United Nations cleared more than 17,000 explosive hazards in Iraq last year, including nearly 2,000 IEDs. 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.