ISHM: October 14 – 21, 2021

News and Press Release
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Key Takeaways:

  • Updated Election Results Show Few Changes; Militias Indirectly Threaten Violence To Stop Alleged Fraud – On October 15, President Salih and the chief of the Supreme Judicial Council issued a joint statement calling for calm amid escalating tensions following the release of election results, which were met with fierce objections from the Fatah coalition and affiliated militias. On October 16, IHEC published the full preliminary results of the October 10 election, including votes from 3,681 voting stations that required a manual count. The updated results upgraded the turnout level to 43% but otherwise revealed slight changes from the initial results released earlier. On October 17, a journalist affiliated with the Fatah Coalition said he had information that “military measures” including rocket attacks against neighboring countries, may be taken should peaceful measures fail to address the “stealing of votes.” On October 19, Imtidad leader Alaa al-Rikabi said that his group will try to create an alliance of all independent lawmakers to form the next government. On October 20, security forces blocked roads leading into the Green Zone as Fatah coalition supporters gathered for a second day to denounce election results and demand full manual recount of ballots. On October 20, IHEC officials said they have begun looking into 1,400 objections that political parties had submitted to contest election results. more…
  • Turkey Extends Iraq Operations Until 2023; Iraq Captures ISIS Militant Behind Baghdad’s Deadliest Bombing – Between October 15 – 21, the Turkish military said its forces had killed 20 members of the PKK in various locations in northern Iraq. On October 20, Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan asked his parliament to extend an authorization to conduct military operations inside Iraq and Syria until October 30, 2023. Between October 16 – 21, five militant attacks killed at least three Iraqis and wounded three others. Between October 17 – 20, security sources reported four IED explosions in Ninewa and Dhi-Qar resulting in one civilian injury. On October 18, PM Kadhimi said that Iraq’s security forces captured an ISIS militant named Ghazwan al-Zobaie, who is the suspected mastermind behind several major bombing that struck Baghdad in the past, including a suicide bombing that killed more than 300 people at a shopping mall in the capital’s busy Karrada district in 2016. more…
  • UN Agencies Warn Of Climate Change Impact On Vulnerable Communities As Water Shortage Shuts Down Agriculture – On October 16, three UN aid organizations issued a joint statement warning about the effects of climate change on vulnerable communities in Iraq that rely mostly on farming, fishing, and raising animals. The statement noted that in hard-hit Ninewa and Salah ad-Din, families were forced to borrow or eat less food at “almost double the national average.” On October 19, Iraqi officials said that that country will have to cut the area of cultivated land that is irrigated by surface water by half due to water scarcity. On October 21, Iraq’s Health Ministry said the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases increased to 2,042,117. Deaths from confirmed COVID-19 cases reached 22,875 while hospitalizations decreased to 39,679. The daily average for new cases during the last 7-day period dropped slightly to 1,660/day from 1,690/day during the previous reporting period. The total number of vaccinated people reached 5,456,847 including 72,642 who received their shots on October 21. more…
  • Iraq And UAE Sign Investment Protection Treaty; Schlumberger To Drill 96 Wells At West Qurna – On October 18, the chief of Iraq’s National Investment Commission and the Deputy Finance Minister of the UAE signed a bilateral treaty for the promotion and protection of investments. On October 21, Iraq signed a new contract with oil service company Schlumberger to drill 96 wells at the West Qurna-1 oil field to boost production capacity by 200,000 bpd. 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.