Iraq + 3 more

ISHM: November 11 – 18, 2021

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News and Press Release
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Key Takeaways:

  • UNSC Defends Iraq's Elections; Hakim Presents Proposal To Address Political Impasse; Sadr Calls On Militias To Hand Over Weapons -- On November 15, the UN Security Council issued a statement urging all Iraqi parties to respcet the "legally defined process and to facilitate a peaceful and independent judicial review of electoral appeals." The statement affirmed that the UN will "monitor any unlawful attempts to undermine the election." On November 16, Ammar al-Hakim presented a proposal to resolve political tensions in the aftermath of the October election. Political sources said Hakim's proposal raised seven points that include canceling the current election law, disbanding the current IHEC, and holding early election within two years. On November 18, Muqtada al-Sadr told parties that rejected the election results that they "must hold their members who are suspected of corruption accountable...and purify the Hashed of undisciplined individuals," if they want to be part of the next government. He stressed that armed factions must disband and hand over their weapons. In other developments, on November 12, supporters of the Fatah coalition and affiliated militias gathered near entrances to the Green Zone in renewed demonstrations to express their rejection of the October 10 election results. On November 18, a group of activists and mothers of protesters and activists who had been killed or disappeared since October 2019 organized a protest at Tahrir Square in Baghdad to demand ending impunity for violence against activists, journalists, and thought leaders. more...

  • IEDs and Militant Attacks Leave Five Dead As ISF Pursue ISIS In Diyala And Kirkuk -- Between November 11 -- 18, five militant attacks killed three Iraqis and wounded three others in Diyala and Basra. Between November 12 -- 14, the explosions of six IEDs and one remnant of war killed two Iraqis and injured eight in Ninewa, Dhi-Qar, Babylon, Kirkuk, and Diyala. Between November 12 -- 18, Iraqi security forces killed at least nine ISIS militants, including the leader of a snipers cell, during operations in Kirkuk and Diyala. In other developments, on November 16, three rockets struck near a Turkish military near the Shaikhan district. Meanwhile, the Turkish Defense Ministry said that Turkish airstrikes killed eight PKK fighters in the Metina and Hakurk areas in Iraqi Kurdistan. more...

  • Iraq Repatriates Hundreds Stranded On The Polish Border; COVID-19 Infections Continue To Decline -- On November 12, Iraq's Foreign Ministry said that Baghdad has decided to halt direct flights to Belarus to protect Iraqi migrants from "human smuggling networks" that have been taking them to Europe via Belarus, adding that Iraq's embassies in Moscow and Warsaw were working to organize a voluntary return of Iraqis stranded under difficult humanitarian conditions on the Polish-Belarusian border. The first repatriation flight took off from Minsk on November 18 with 430 Iraqis on board. On November 18, Iraq's Health Ministry said the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases increased to 2,072,478. Deaths from confirmed COVID-19 cases reached 23,607 while hospitalizations decreased to 18,783. The daily average for new cases during the last 7-day period dropped to 796/day from 977/day during the previous reporting period. The total number of vaccinated people reached 6,876,232 including 122,239 who received their shots on November 18. In other developments, on November 14, Iraq's Planning Ministry said that poverty rates in Iraq have dropped slightly, from nearly 32% recorded in 2020 to 29% during the first half of 2021. more...

  • Iraq To Develop Akkaz Gas Field With National Effort; Flights From Kirkuk Airport May Begin Soon; Oil Exports To Rise In Q1 2022 -- On November 13, Iraqi oil officials discussed plans to commence development works at the Akkaz gas field in Anbar province relying on domestic efforts as "a first step towards boosting gas supplies, and to prepare to attract international investments." On November 15, the director of the new international airport in Kirkuk said that flight operations at the airport will commence "very soon," noting that the airport acquired its operational license on September 22. On November 16, Iraq's Oil Minister said that Iraq aims to increase its crude oil exports in the first quarter of 2022, targeting 3.2 million bpd in exports from its southern oil fields. In other developments, on November 13, a financial adviser to Prime Minister Kadhimi said that Iraq's external debt has been gradually shrinking and currently stands at around $20 billion. On November 15, Iraq's Finance Ministry said that the sales of "Bina" certificates of deposit generated more than IQD1 trillion dinars (approximately $700 million) within 45 days of their launch. more...

Attention readers! ISHM will take a break for Thanksgiving, but it will be back the week after, with comprehensive coverage of the week we missed!

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.