Iraq

ISHM: October 28 – November 4, 2021

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News and Press Release
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Key Takeaways:

  • Fatah Insists On Rejecting Results As Recount Shows Little Changes; Sadr Wants Majority Government; Court Convicts Journalist Killer; Independent MPs Form Bloc – On October 29, the ruling AKP party in Turkey said that military operations against the PKK in Iraq and Syria were necessary to prevent the emergence of “terrorist statelets.” On October 31, Muqtada al-Sadr said Iraq should have a “national majority government,” formed by a ruling coalition, and an opposition coalition “whose advice would be binding and won’t be marginalized.” On October 30, the coordination framework for Shia powers reiterated its rejection of election results, saying IHEC didn’t not following the law during the recount. Meanwhile, Fatah supporters threatened to escalate after “one last peaceful protest” planned for Friday. On November 1, the Fatah Coalition urged election winners to provide guarantees that there will be no attempts to “dismantle” the PMF. On November 1, an Iraqi court sentenced the convicted killer of journalists Ahmed Abdul-Samad and Safaa Ghali to death under article 13 of Iraq’s counter-terrorism law. The killer confessed that a Kataib Hezbollah commander ordered the murder. On November 1, PM Kadhimi appointed a new chief for Iraq’s National Security Service. On November 2, the Taqaddum party urged PM Kadhimi to take immediate action to address worsening security conditions in Diyala. On November 3, a group of independent lawmakers announced the formation of a new parliamentary bloc called “The Popular Independent Bloc.” On November 2, IHEC officials said that most of the objections they received were without evidence, resulting in little to no changes in results, as IHEC performed a manual recount of ballots from 2,000 stations. more…
  • Mortars Pummel Diyala Villages; Rockets Hit Baghdad After Hiatus; Erbil And Baghdad Inch Closer To Forming Joint Brigades – Between October 28 – November 1, five militant attacks killed at least six Iraqis, wounded one person, and left another person missing. Between October 28 – 30, several attacks with mortars targeted villages in Muqdadiyah as tensions continued in the district in the aftermath of an ISIS attack on October 26 that killed 11 civilians. Between October 30 – November 4, the explosions of four IEDs and remnants of war wounded at least seven Iraqis in Ninewa, Diyala, and Baghdad. A fifth IED killed a Turkish soldier in the Kurdistan region. On November 1, Iraqi airstrikes killed five ISIS militants in northern Salah ad-Din province. On October 31, three Katyusha rockets struck the al-Mansour and al-Harthiyah neighborhoods of Baghdad. Iraqi officials think the rockets were targeting the U.S. embassy. On November 1, a Peshmerga commander said that federal Ministry of Defense and KRG Ministry of Peshmerga have finalized “most of the steps” towards establishing two joint brigades intended to operate in the disputed territories. more…
  • Funding Hinders Aid Delivery To 700,000 In Need; Diyala Violence And Erbil Floods Destroy Homes, Displace Thousands – On October 31, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said the 2021 Humanitarian Response Plan (HRP) reached 780,000 of the 1.5 million people it targeted. Donors have provided $264 million in funding, only 43% of the $607 million required. Aid organizations identified insufficient funds as the main reason behind the gaps in response. On November 1, the governor of Erbil said that heavy rainfall caused flash floods that destroyed 500 homes, reportedly displacing more than 3,000 people. On November 2, Iraq’s Ministry of Migration said that more than 300 families had been displaced from villages in the Muqdadiyah district of Diyala in the aftermath of recent violent incidents that struck the area. Officials said a total of 57 homes were destroyed by arson. On November 4, Iraq’s Health Ministry said the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases increased to 2,060,066. Deaths from confirmed COVID-19 cases reached 23,271 while hospitalizations decreased to 26,874. The daily average for new cases during the last 7-day period dropped to 1,135/day from 1,429/day during the previous reporting period. The total number of vaccinated people reached 6,117,038 including 90,833 who received their shots on November 4. On November 1, Iraq made vaccines available to people 12 years and older. more…
  • Oil Revenue Rises Sharply; Central Bank Increase Funding To Housing Initiatives; Baghdad Sends Erbil More Cash For Salaries – On November 1, Iraq’s Oil Ministry said that oil exports in October averaged 3.119 million bpd and generated $7.68 billion in revenue, nearly 15% higher than September, as oil prices continued to improve. On November 1, Iraqi officials said that Baghdad has recently paid $490 million to Kuwait in Gulf War reparations, leaving a balance of only $629 million. On November 2, the Central Bank of Iraq said it has decided to allocate IQD2.6 trillion in new funding to support national housing initiatives. On November 2, a KRG spokesman said that Baghdad has decided to send Erbil a new payment of IQD200 billion to pay the salaries of its civil servants. On November 4, the Iraqi Drilling Company said it signed a contract with the North Oil Company to rework ten oil wells in the Khabbaz oil field in Kirkuk province. 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.