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(…)

Mortars kill seven people in Falluja as fighting intensifies

By Ali Latif Azzaman, May 26, 2014 Mortar fire has hit a residential area in the town of Falluja, killing 7 people and injuring 20 others, a hospital source said. Ahmad al-Shami said Falluja hospital received seven dead bodies and 20 injured people. “They were killed and injured due to mortars that fell on their(…)

Christian endowment bans Christian Iraqis from accompanying the Pope to Israel

By Nidhal al-Laithi Azzaman, May 25, 2014 The Christian Endowment in Iraq says Iraqi Christians are not allowed to accompany Pope Francis in his current visit to Israel. The endowment said many Christians had applied to visit Israel but their applications were turned down because it feared reprisals from Muslim militants in the country. Iraqi(…)

Falluja hospital running out of staff and supplies

By Nourideen Hameed Azzaman, May 23, 2014 The only hospital in the town of Falluja is running out of doctors and nurses as well as medical supplies, said Ahmad al-Shami. Shami, who has been handling the press since the town was occupied by members of the Iraq-based Jihadist group ISIS, said only three doctors and(…)

Iraq operates two high-speed Chinese trains; Iraqis celebrate as they stop at stations

By Shaymaa Adel Azzaman, May 22, 2014 Iraq has added two high-speed Chinese trains in latest bid to modernize its old and rickety railways. The diesel-driven trains are used to carry passengers between Basra and Baghdad and Iraqis lined the pavements to celebrate their arrival and stops during their inauguration trip. Karim Nouri, the spokesperson(…)

Iraq elections: will the winners bring about change?

By Fatih Abdulsalam Azzaman, May 20, 2014 The electoral commission has announced the results of last month’s general elections with Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s alliance emerging as the winner with 92 of the 328 seats in the Council of Representatives (parliament). Maliki falls short of a majority. His only way for a third term is(…)

Hundreds of thousands said to have fled fighting in Falluja

By Ali Lateef Azzaman, May 18, 2014 At least 400,000 people are feared to have fled fighting in the town of Falluja and other areas in the restive Province of Anbar, west of Baghdad. The exodus of people leaving the town surged as Iraqi troops started a campaign of heavy shelling in preparation for an(…)

Iraqi army destroys ‘death boats’ and ‘paths of devil’

By Salam al-Shammari Azzaman, May 17, 2014 Fighting is raging between Iraqi troops and militants from the Iraq-based Jihadist group ISIS in the provinces of Diyala and Kirkuk, Iraqi army and police commanders said. Violence has surged in both provinces, particularly outside their provincial capitals, as ISIS, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant,(…)

Iraq and its contradictions

By Fatih Abdulsalam Azzaman, May 16, 2014 Today almost everything is mixed in Iraq. One cannot separate between what is private and what is public and what is personal and what is part of government policy. The volume of contradictions is massive in the country. In today’s Iraq the religious is mingled with the secular,(…)

Iraq, Iran 2013 trade volume hit $12 billion

Azzaman, May 15, 2014 The volume of trade between Iraq and Iran reached $12 billion in 2013, said Iranian Minister of Economic Affairs and Finance Ali Tayyeb-Nia. Tayyeb-Nia made the remarks as he welcomed Iraq’s Deputy Prime Minister for economic affairs Roos Noori Shawis who is on an official visit to Tehran. Tayyeb-Nia said half(…)

Turkey is ‘obliged’ not to sell oil originating in Kurdish north

Azzaman, May 13, 2014 Iraq has asked Turkey to abide by a 2010 agreement which obliges it not to deliver any quantities of oil it receives from the Kurdish north to Baghdad, the Ministry of Oil said. The ministry’s spokesperson, Isam Jihad, said Iraq and Turkey have an agreement which specifically forbids Turkey from exporting(…)

Militants execute 20 Iraqi soldiers as troops close in on jihadists in Falluja

By Nourideen Hameed Azzaman, May 12, 2014 Militants executed 20 Iraqi soldiers whom they had taken prisoner following an ambush on an Iraqi army convoy close to the northern city of Mosul, Iraqi army officers said. The officers, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the troops mistook jihadists from Iraq-based ISIS to be friendly soldiers(…)

How much did Iraqi elections cost?

By Fatih Abdulsalam Azzaman, May 11, 2014 Iraq held general elections last month and 22 million Iraqis were eligible to cast their votes. Few Iraqis probably realize how much the elections cost. The figure is staggering and many may wonder whether it is worth it. The massive costs, estimated at $121 for each eligible voter,(…)

Differences deepen between Baghdad and Kurds in north over budget and oil exports

By Adel Kadhem Azzaman, May 8, 2014 Tensions have intensified between the regional Kurdish government in the north and the central government in Baghdad even though the country is waiting for the results of the last month’s general elections. The sides have never been so apart since the 2003 U.S.-led invasion Iraq, which the Kurds(…)

Hundreds of thousands have fled fighting in Anbar Province

Azzaman, May 7, 2014 Hundreds of thousands of Iraqis are reported to have fled fighting between Iraq-based Jihadist group ISIS and government troops in the western province of Anbar. Most of the refugees have escaped to nearby towns and villages but some have made it to northern Iraq as well as Baghdad and some southern(…)

Will Iraqi elections bring any change?

By Fatih Abdulsalam Azzaman, May 6, 2014 Millions of Iraqis went to polls at the end of last month despite mounting violence and risk of attacks targeting polling stations. They were mainly driven by the hope that the elections will eventually bring about change and transformation that will deliver them from infighting on the political(…)

Hundreds of Iraq’s exiled academics return home

 Azzaman, May 5, 2014 Hundreds of exiled academics have returned home and are already teaching at the country’s 29 state-run universities, said Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research. The minister Ali al-Adeeb said his ministry was working hard to assign faculty posts to any exiled academic who had left and was willing to return.(…)