ISHM: June 17 - 24, 2021

News and Press Release
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Key Takeaways:

  • EU Agrees To Send Election Monitors; U.S. Seizes Websites Of Iran-Backed Iraqi Channels – On June 19, Iraq’s Foreign Minister met with his Ukrainian counterpart to discuss trade, transportation link, cooperation in agriculture, and student exchange programs. On June 20, IHEC said that candidates with alleged ties to Saddam Hussein’s regime have until June 30 to appeal a recent decision to disqualify them. On June 20, the PUK and Gorran signed an agreement formalizing a political coalition they announced last month. On June 21, the European Union approved a request from Baghdad to send observers to monitor Iraq’s upcoming election. On June 22, the U.S. Department of Justice seized three websites affiliated with the Iran-backed Kataib Hezbollah militia, and 33 other websites affiliated with the Iranian Islamic Radio and Television Union (IRTVU), including websites for TV stations al-Forat and Afaq, affiliated respectively with Ammar al-Hakim and Nouri al-Maliki. On June 23, KRG President Nechirvan Barzani met with Jordan’s King Abdullah II in Amman to discuss bilateral relations. more…

  • A New String Of Bombings Target The Power Grid Near Kirkuk, Himrin, And Baghdad – Between June 17 – 24, the explosions of at least 12 IEDs and one remnant of war killed three Iraqis and wounded 11 more. Several of the explosions damaged electricity towers near Kirkuk, Salah ad-Din and Baghdad. Between June 18 – 23, eight other militant attacks killed at least six Iraqis and wounded at least 13 others in various provinces. On June 20, a Katyusha rocket targeted Ain al-Assad air base in Anbar province without causing casualties or damage. On June 21, local sources said that Turkish warplanes bombed a village in Duhok province, setting fires in the area. more…

  • Families Of Murdered Activists Demand Justice; Average Daily COVID-19 Infections Rise Above 5,000 – On June 20, the Iraqi Migration and Displacement Minister urged world governments on World Refugee Day to fulfill their responsibilities toward refugees and asylum seekers under international law. On June 20, dozens joined Samira al Wazni, mother of assassinated activist Ehab al-Wazni, to protest in front of a Karbala court to demand justice for crimes against activists. The sit-in continued for three days, during which security forces attempted to forcefully disperse it. On June 24, the UN Special Representative in Iraq met with Wazni’s family, who asked the UN to pressure Iraqi authorities to expose the killers. On June 21, the Migration and Displacement Ministry said it returned 960 IDPs from the Al-Jadaa camp to their home towns in Ninewa and Salah ad-Din provinces. On June 24, Iraq’s Ministry of Health said the total number of COVID-19 infections reached 1,311,093 while deaths approached 17,000. The average number of new cases was 5,209 per day during the last 7-day period, up from an average of 4,584 per day during the 7-day period ending June 10. The number of vaccinated people reached 751,164. more…

  • Iraq to Drill 96 New Oil Wells At West Qurna; Lack Of Funds Further Delays Census Plans – On June 17, the Basra Oil Company signed a contract with ExxonMobil and Schlumberger to drill 96 oil wells at the West Qurna 1 field to increase production capacity by 200,000 barrels per day (bpd). On June 17, Iraq’s Oil Ministry inaugurated a new upgrade to the gas separation plant at the Abu Gharb oil field in Maysan province. On June 22, Iraq’s Planning Ministry said that conducting a census this year was unlikely due to lack of allocations for the nation-wide program in the 2021 budget 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.