Iraq fears new wave of antiquities smuggling as ISIS controls hundreds of ancient mounds

By Tamara Abdulrazzaq Azzaman, June 23, 2014 The advancing Jihadists of the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIS) have now more than 400 Mesopotamian mounds under their control, particularly in northern Iraq, said a senior Antiquities Department officials. Ali al-Hashemi, the department’s spokesperson, said ISIS had three major Assyrian metropolises within the territory(…)

A country of contradictions

Fatih Abdulsalam Azzaman, June 22, 2014 In no stage of its modern history Iraq has been facing as many contradictions as it is now. Everything that is taking place in the county at the moment contradicts logic and common sense. The first contradiction is represented in the government’s eagerness and pleading for the return of(…)

Fear grips Kirkuk inhabitants amid absence of security and basic commodities

By Marwan al-Ani Azzaman, June 20, 2014 Prices of essential commodities and fuel have surged dramatically in Iraq’s oil-rich city of Kirkuk with some basic commodities no longer available, residents said. Kurdish forces are in full control of the city and most of the province of which Kirkuk is the capital following the withdrawal of(…)

Iraq claims hikes in oil output as foreign majors evacuate staff

Azzaman, June 19, 2014 Iraq says its annual oil output capacity is now in the range of 42 million tons per year at a time foreign firms developing its oil fields are fleeing the country. The surprise advance by militants of the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant and their control of much of(…)

The unlearned lesson from Iraq: If America could not do it how Iran can?

By Fatih Abdulsalam Azzaman, June 17, 2014 The current situation in Iraq is a natural outcome of shortsighted readings by politicians and their revolving around a vicious circle of trivialities and insignificant issues. Today and after the fall of Mosul and Takreet and with large swath of territory outside government control everything has a different(…)

Kurds accused of helping ISIS capture Mosul

By Adel Kadhem Azzaman, June 16, 2014 A senior member of parliament from Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s the State of Law Coalition has accused the Kurds of helping ISIS militants capture the northern city of Mosul. Hanan al-Fatlawi said the Kurds were implicated in the sudden and surprising takeover of Mosul, Iraq’s second largest city(…)

Kurdish forces move into Diyala Province

By Salam Abed Azzaman, June 15, 2014 Kurdish militias known locally as peshmerga have moved into the pre-dominantly Sunni Province of Diyala and are currently in control of four provincial towns, according to Governor Amer al-Majmai. The governor made the remarks as militants from the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant had reportedly infiltrated(…)

Iraqi army division merges with Kurdish forces to guard Kirkuk against ISIS

By Marwan al-Ani Azzaman, June 14, 2014 An Iraqi army division has joined forces with Kurdish militias in a bid to protect the oil-rich Province of Kirkuk from attacks by militants of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, a senior provincial security official in the province said. Mohammed al-Jibouri of the provincial security(…)

Iraq’s armed forces were not trained to fight

By Fatih Abdulsalam Azzaman, June 11, 2014 It is indeed shocking to see senior Iraqi officials saying that the collapse of Iraqi troops and police forces in the city of Mosul and other towns took them by the surprise. Tens of thousands of troops left their weapons, tank,s armored personnel carriers and vehicles behind and(…)

Despite mounting violence, Diyala Province reaps bumper harvest

By Salam Abdulshammari Azzaman, June 10, 2014 Farmers in the restive Province of Diyala have shipped 180,000 tons of wheat so far to government silos, Abdulqhaliq al-Azzawi of the provincial agricultural council said. Azzawi said the province was on its way to achieve a record harvest with farmers harvesting more than a quarter of a(…)

ISIS on move to occupy Iraq’s second largest city

By Nidhal al-Laithi Azzaman, June 9, 2014 Iraq-based Jihadists have strengthened their positions in the northern city of Mosul and are on the move to occupy more chunks of the country’s second largest city, security sources said. Following their control of at least five neighborhoods in the city, Jihadists of the Islamic State of Iraq(…)

Militants occupy almost half of Iraq’s second largest city

Azzaman, June 7, 2014 Large numbers of gunmen have stormed the northern city of Mosul and are currently in control of almost half of its residential quarters, residents inside the city said. The assault on Mosul comes as insurgent groups have widened their area of control mainly in the predominantly Muslim Sunni provinces such as(…)

30,000 archaeological pieces still missing since 2003-U.S. invasion

By Kadel Kadhem Azzaman, June 6, 2014 The government has done nothing to trace the artifacts that have gone missing since the 2003-U.S. invasion of Iraq, among them 30,000 archaeological pieces representing Mesopotamia’s various epochs, according to the Parliamentary Commission on Tourism and Antiquities. Husain Shakir, a commission member, said Iraq’s heritage suffered from neglect(…)

Falluja hospital receives more dead bodies as medical staff come under attack

By Mohammed al-Salehi Azzaman, June 5, 2014 More dead bodies and wounded residents have poured into the state-run hospital in Falluja at a time the hospital itself has come under mortar and air attack. On Wednesday, the hospital received 17 dead bodies from indiscriminate shelling on the town of Falluja, which government troops are trying(…)

Iraqi troops poised to ‘retake’ Falluja from ISIS

By Nourideen Hameed Azzaman, June 3, 2014 Iraqi troops are ready for a final assault to storm the strategic town of Falluja, stilly occupied by an Iraq-based Jihadist group, said a senior member of the Parliamentary Commission on Security and Defense. Iskander Wattot said troops supported by tanks and artillery had surrounded the city and(…)

Iran heavily involved in rehabilitating Iraq’s transport infrastructure

Azzaman, June 2, 2014 Iranian firms are building bridges, roads and investing heavily in railway infrastructure in Iraq, said Transport Minister Hadi al-Ameri. Ameri said there was no ceiling or limitation to bilateral cooperation in transport systems and investment in railway infrastructure will bring the countries closer once Iranian firms complete linking their railway lines.(…)

Government denies use of barrel bombs

By Mohammed al-Salehi Azzaman, June 1, 2014 The Ministry of Defense has denied reports that its warplanes and helicopter gunships were using barrel bombs in Falluja and other areas in the restive Province of Anbar. The ministry said the reports were fabricated and forged by the Iraq-based Jihadist group ISIS, the Islamic State of Iraq(…)

Iraqi Kurds on path to oil ‘independence’

By Fareed Hassan Azzaman, May 30, 2014 Iraqi Kurds are brandishing their own ‘oil weapon’ against the central government in Baghdad, saying their own oil fields are capable of making them financially self-sufficient. The Kurds, according to their own regional prime minister, can now export up to 250,000 barrels of oil a day via Turkey(…)

Thousands of ‘terrorists’ fighting to topple government, says premier

Azzaman, May 29, 2014 Thousands of ‘terrorists’ have entered Iraq and many more are trying to infiltrate its borders, said Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki. Maliki said the thrust of militants who poured into Iraq from Syria nearly three months ago was so violent that he feared the whole system would collapse. He made the remarks(…)

War of the mosques returns amid fears of new cycle of civil war

By Kareem Abdulzair Azzaman, May 27, 2014 The disparate sectarian groups in Iraq, namely Muslim Shiites and Sunnis, do only kill each other. They destroy each other’s mosques and places of worship. ‘War of the mosques’ was the trigger for the all-out civil war in Iraq which only subsided in 2008 after nearly three years(…)