Iraq + 1 more

ISHM: July 22 - August 5, 2021

News and Press Release
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Key Takeaways:

  • Kadhimi In Washington As Strategic Dialogue Resumes; U.S. To End “Combat” Mission By Year End; Kadhimi Says “White Paper” Reforms Will Commence – On July 23, Iraq and the U.S. launched a new round of strategic dialogue talks in Washington D.C., during which the U.S. pledged additional support for Iraq in several sectors, including public health, humanitarian assistance, clean energy initiatives, education, and the October elections. On July 26, PM Kadhimi met with President Biden at the White House and the two leaders agreed to end the U.S. combat mission in Iraq by the end of the year. Biden said that the 2,500 American troops currently in Iraq will “be available to continue to train, to assist, to help and to deal with ISIS as it arises, but we’re not going to be, by the end of the year, in a combat mission.” On July 26, Iraq’s Parliament said that it will form a committee to temporarily run the Iraqi High Commission For Human Rights until a new board of commissioners is appointed, citing the “expiration of the current commissioners’ term,” but the Federal Supreme Court said the move was unconstitutional. On August 2, PM Kadhimi said his government will begin implementing the “administrative and executive mechanisms” of the economic reform plans included in the “white paper” his Cabinet released last October. more…

  • ISIS Intensifies Power Grid Bombings And Attacks On ISF And Civilians; Activists Targeted In New Attacks In Iraq’s South; Senior Militia Commander Assassinated – Between July 25 – 28, unknown gunmen murdered the son of a prominent activist in Basra, and three IEDs targeted civilian residences in Dhi-Qar, including that of a local activist. Between July 29 – August 4, at least five IEDs targeted convoys transporting supplies for the International Coalition, and two rockets struck near the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad. Between August 1 – 5, numerous IED explosions damaged nearly two dozen high voltage transmission towers across several provinces in northern and central Iraq, causing widespread power outages. Between July 26 – August 4, seven other explosions killed four Iraqis and injured at least five. Between July 23 – August 5, attacks by ISIS militants killed at least 24 Iraqis and wounded at least another 34, including many civilians. The deadliest incident occurred on July 30, when militants killed seven civilians at a funeral in Salah ad-Din. On August 2, unidentified gunmen assassinated the commander of the PMF’s 9th brigade, Abu Sadiq al-Khashkhashi, in Babylon province. more…

  • Officials Say Hospitals Are Full As COVID-19 Cases Continue To Rise, But Vaccinations Rise Too; UN Report Says Torture Remains A problem In Iraq’s Justice System – On July 23, the U.S. promised additional humanitarian aid to Iraq, including 500,000 Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines and almost $155 in additional humanitarian funding. On July 29, a UNHCR factsheet on IDPs in Iraq said more than six million people represent “population of concern,” including 1,198,940 IDPs, 4,867,050 returnees, 245,952 Syrian refugees, 37,472 other-state refugees, and 47,000 stateless individuals. On July 30, the EU announced that it will provide €7 million to support the UN Mine Action Service in clearing mines and explosive remnants of war left behind from the war with ISIS. On August 1, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said that donors have provided $172 million in humanitarian funding as of August 1, which represents only 28.3% of the $607.2 million needed for its 2021 Humanitarian Response Plan for Iraq. On August 3, Iraq received over 17,000 looted artifacts recovered from the United States, Japan, the Netherlands, and Italy. On August 3, a new UN report about mistreatment and torture in Iraq’s justice system described numerous accounts of torture, mistreatment, diregard for due process, and neglect that detainees encountered while in detention. The report urges Iraqi authorities to put the existing anti-torture legal measures into action to put an end to the atrocities. On August 5, Iraq’s Health Ministry said confirmed COVID-19 cases in Iraq reached 1,684,955 and deaths reached 19,000. Daily averages for new cases significantly increased to 11,595 new cases per day this week, up from 8,606 per day reported during the week ending July 22. Last week, Iraqi health officials said that all specialized COVID-19 care facilities were almost full. warning that if cases continued to rise rise, hospitals may be forced to deny care to incoming patients. more…

  • July Oil Revenue Exceeds $6 Billion; KRG To End Salary Cuts; Cabinet Supports Major Energy Deal With France’s Total – On July 24, Iraq and Lebanon signed an agreement to trade one million tons of Iraqi fuel for Lebanon’s services in support of Iraq’s health and agriculture sectors. On July 24, Iraq’s Cabinet authorized the Oil Ministry to continue the negotiations with French energy company TotalEnergies (Total) concerning a multi-project deal focusing on natural gas production, seawater treatment, and solar energy. On July 25, KRG PM Masrour Barzani announced that the KRG will end the 21% salary deductions imposed last year on civil service employees. On July 29, a spokesman for Iraq’s Electricity Ministry said the Ministry has not yet received “a single dollar” from its allocation under the 2021 federal budget. On August 1, the Iraqi Ministry of Oil said that crude oil exports during July averaged 2.918 million bpd and generated $6.514 billion in revenue. more…