Living standards collapse in Mosul as city reels under ISIS militants

By Samer Saeed Azzaman, July 3, 2014 More than half the people of Mosul have seen their living standards slashed drastically since the city fell to militants from the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIS) more than three weeks ago. Mosul is Iraq’s second largest city with a population of nearly two million(…)

Iran suspends travel of pilgrims to Iraq

Azzaman, July 2, 2014 Iraq’s holy shrines in Najaf and Karbala, which attracted hundreds of thousands of tourists every month, are almost deserted. Pilgrims from Iran, which numbered in thousands every day, have stopped coming since Sunni militants belonging to the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIS) overrun the city of Mosul more(…)

Islamic militants flee as Iraqi army units enter Tikrit

By Mazen Abdulhameed Azzaman, June 30, 2014 Militants from the Jihadist group known as ISIS are fleeing Tikrit, the provincial capital they overrun almost two weeks ago, according a high-ranking provincial official. Salahudeen Kareem, who chairs the council of the Province of Salahudeen of which Tikrit is the capital, said the militants were abandoning their(…)

Uneasiness grows over Kurdish leader’s remarks on oil-rich Kirkuk

Azzaman, June 28, 2014 As battles rage against militants from the Islamic State in Iraq, the fate of the oil-rich city Kirkuk is still high on the agenda of various Iraqi factions. Kurdish pershmerga forces are currently in full control of the city and remarks by Kurdish leader Massoud Barzani that his troops are there(…)

Iraqi deputies wary of Kurdish ‘expansion’

By Adel Kadhem Azzaman, June 27, 2014 So far the Kurds have emerged as the only winners from the crushing defeat of Iraqi armed forces at the hands of militants from the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIS). Three weeks into its lightening attack that saw its Jihadists in control of territory stretching(…)

News is victim of crises

By Fatih Abdulsalam Azzaman, June 26, 2014 Some governments fear the free flow of news when things look normal. One can imagine their fear and apprehension at time of war and critical crises. When U.S. troops invaded Iraq more than 11 years ago, the Pentagon under former Secretary of Defense Ronald Rumsfeld saw the media(…)

No need to wash or shroud Iraqis killed in fight against ISIS, Shiite clerics say

By Tamara Abdulrazzaq Azzaman, June 24, 2014 Iraqis who get killed in fighting militants from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS) are not in need of a proper Muslim burial, senior Shiite clerics in Najaf have decreed. It is obligatory on Muslims to wash and shroud the deceased before burial, but the(…)

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(…)