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Iraq’s Kurdish region hit by economic slump

By Fareed Hassan Azzaman, September 18, 2014 The Kurdish region is in the grips of an economic slump that has seen a sharp plunge in revenues and sluggish retail activity in its three provinces, the region’s parliamentary commission on finance said. The commission’s chairman Izzat Saber said the region’s revenues have plummeted by at least(…)

Saudi Arabia and Iraq to halt media attacks on each other

By Nidhal al-Laithi Azzaman, September 17, 2014 In a new sign of a thaw in relations, Saudi Arabia and Iraq have agreed to halt attacking each other through their media organs, boost bilateral ties and coordinate in fighting what they as common risk represented in the rise of Islamic State (IS). The foreign ministers of(…)

Iraq urges U.S. air strikes to break siege of town by Islamic State militants

By Dholfqar al-Baldawi Azzaman, September 16, 2014 Iraq has formally asked the United States to launch air strikes against militants of Islamic State (IS) who have been encircling a town of nearly 50,000 inhabitants for more than two months. There are fears of IS, also known as ISIS, storming Dhiloiya north of Baghdad and committing(…)

Church leader asks France to send troops to protect Iraqi Christians

By Marwan al-Ani Azzaman, September 15, 2014 An Iraqi church leader has asked France and its western partners to deploy troops in their fight against Islamic State (IS) in order to drive its militants out of Christian villages and towns the jihadist group currently occupies. French President Francois Hollande visited Iraq last week and reiterated(…)

Halt of aerial bombing encourages displaced civilians to return to Falluja

By Nourideen Hameed Azzaman, September 14, 2014 The town of Falluja which militants from Islamic State (IS) occupied more than six months ago has seen no aerial bombing in the past three days, spurring many of its displaced in habitants to return, residents said. The residents, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said inhabitants were(…)

Sunni tribes form front to confront Islamic State

By Mazen Abdulmajeed Azzaman, September 12, 2014 Sunni tribes in the Province of Salahudeen are rallying behind the government in its battle against militants (IS) of Islamic state. A new tribal council has been formed in the province whose target is to mobilize tribesmen to retake the city of Tikrit, the provincial capital. IS, also(…)

Iraq to release more than 1000 prisoners

By Mohammed al-Salehi Azzaman, September 11, 2014 The government is to release 1163 prisoners who have been languishing in jail without trial, the Justice ministry said. The ministry’s spokesperson Hayder al-Saadi said the move was part of government’s policy not to keep Iraqis in detention without trial. “The prisoners will be released in batches,” Saadi(…)

Besieged Iraqi town sends out SOS signal as Islamic State militants intensify attacks

By Mohammed Al-Salehi Azzaman, September 9, 2014 The picturesque town of Dhiloiya is almost encircled by militants from Islamic State (IS) and its inhabitants are pleading with the government to send troops to break the siege. Dhiloiya, home to nearly 50,000 people, has been fighting IS, also known as ISIS, on its own for more(…)

Iraqi minorities still homeless despite ‘liberation’ of some of their areas

Azzaman, September 8, 2014 By Fareed Hassan Kurdish peshmerga have regained territory and cleared numerous villages and towns that were occupied by militants of Islamic State (IS) but the minorities who lived in them are not willing to return. Under pressure from U.S. air strikes, IS, also known as ISIS, was forced to abandon villages(…)

What does a ministerial portfolio in Iraq mean?

Fatih Abdulsalam Azzaman, September 7, 2014 A cabinet portfolio has a special meaning for Iraq as it is the case in Lebanon. No other country in the world shares the same concept. In Iraq for instance, a cabinet position is viewed as personal property. It is allocated to a special group or faction, who usually(…)

Hundreds of thousands of displaced Iraqis miss out on school

By Nashoor Ali September 6, 2014 Hundreds of thousands of Iraqi students have failed to join schools this year, after being displaced as a result of  violence in at least five Iraqi provinces, the Education Ministry has said. Only in the Kurdish region there are 300,000 displaced students who cannot join classes, the ministry’s spokesperson(…)

Iraq edges closer to Iran as fighting with Islamic State intensifies

Azzaman, September 4, 2014 The stunning military successes by the Islamic State (IS) have made Iraq more reliant on Iran than any time before. Iran already played a pivotal role in stating Iraqi politics but the geopolitical realities arising from the IS’s invasion have given Tehran more leverage on almost all aspect of life in(…)

Iraqi university bans students from wearing jeans

Azzaman, September 3, 2014 An Iraqi university has forbidden students, both girls and boys, from wearing jeans claiming that the garb contravened “Islamic ethics.” The Presidency of the University of Kufa, situated close to the holy city of Najaf, has issued the order that has already been passed to the deans of its 12 college(…)

Arab conflicts for sale!

By Fatih Abdulsalam Azzaman, September 2, 2014 Inter-Arab conflicts are laughable. Most of them are proxy conflicts. One such conflict that dragged on for so long was been between the two wings of the Arab Baath party that ruled both Syria and Iraq. Iraq-Syria crisis was sold under the cover of conspiracy theory but it(…)

Number of Iraqis living in poverty at 30%

By Shaymaa Adel Azzaman, August 31, 2014 Poverty in Iraq has risen to nearly 30% after it had dropped to 19%, the Planning Ministry said in a statement. Iraq has a population of 32 million people and the substantial rise in poverty rates means that more than 10 million Iraqis are now poor. The statement(…)

Iraqi planes evacuate starving children from besieged town

By Mazen Abdulhameed Azzaman, August 29, 2014 Iraqi air force planes are defying Jihadists of the Islamic State (IS) by delivering food and medical supplies to nearly 18,000 inhabitants of Amerli. “One helicopter managed to land in the besieged town and evacuated the most vulnerable to a hospital in Baghdad, including some starving children,” an(…)

Turkey biggest beneficiary of Islamic State’s oil smuggling

By Nidhal al-Laithi Azzaman, August 28, 2014 The Islamic State (IS) cashes in on the smuggling of Iraqi and Syria oil but Turkey makes the best out of the illegal trade, an international oil consultant said. Isam al-Jalabi said large quantities of oil were being smuggled and Caliph al-Baghdadi of the Islamic Caliphate known as(…)

Iraqi forces ‘gearing up’ to retake Mosul from Islamic state

By Mohammed al-Salehi Azzaman, August 27, 2014 Iraqi troops and allied Sunni tribal leaders are on their way to launch an attack to retake Mosul, a senior provincial official said. Zuhair al-Jalabi, the head of Nineveh’s provincial council, said the troops and tribes were emboldened following the advances of Kurdish militias or peshmerga and units(…)

Mosul MPs urge government to halt aerial bombing

By Samer Saeed Azzaman, August 26, 2014 Members of parliament representing the Province of Nineveh have urged the country’s leaders to halt airstrikes on the city of Mosul, the provincial capital. Mosul, Iraq’s second largest city fell to Jihadists from the Islamic State (IS) on June 10, who have imposed harsh Islamic rules of the(…)

Iraq’s transport minister heading force to break siege of Amerli

Azzaman, August 24, 2014 A militia force of nearly 2,000 fighters is heading towards Amerli to save its more than 18,000 inhabitants from a possible massacre by Jihadits from the Islamic State who are encircling the town. The force commanded by Transport Minister Hadi al-Ameri is reported to have already engaged in fighting militants from(…)