Iraq drawn into ‘secondary’ battles

By Fatih Abdulsalam Azzaman, December 17, 2014 All the battles targeting Islamic State militants in Iraq today are of a secondary character from a military viewpoint. The battles are marginal because they are geared towards safeguarding the capital, Baghdad, and the areas which the authorities are keen to protect for demographic reasons. Everyone knows the [...]

Iraq’s dinar to weather slump in oil prices, experts say

By Shaymaa Adel Azzaman, December 16, 2014 The sharp fall in oil prices is not likely to adversely impact the exchange rate of the Iraqi dinar, experts said. They said Iraq’s hard cash reserves are estimated at $70 billion, enough to pay for imports for at least a year. “Iraqi law does not allow the [...]

Iraqi Airways to boost fleet to 80 planes by end of 2016

By Shaymaa Adel Azzaman, December 15, 2014 Iraqi Airways has taken delivery of a new Boeing 737 as part of a deal Iraq has signed with the U.S. company for the purchase of 45 aircraft. The Iraqi national carrier was banned from flying from 1990-2003 due to U.N. trade sanctions imposed on Iraq for its [...]

Year of belt-tightening ahead for Iraqis as oil prices drop by nearly 50%

By Abbas al-Baghdadi Azzaman, December 14, 2014 The slump in oil prices by nearly 50% since last June has forced the government to revise its 2015 budget several times, introduce new cuts and new taxes. The draft budget will be presented to parliament for approval this week but Prime Minster Haider Abadi says most figures [...]

Training underway to retake Mosul from Islamic State militants

By Samer Ilyas Azzaman, December 12, 2014 Prime Minister Haider Abadi has revealed that military plans are underway for an assault on the northern city of Mosul to retake it from Islamic State (IS) militants. IS, also known as ISIS, routed several Iraqi army division in its lightning attacks in June, occupying Mosul, Iraq’s second [...]

Iraqi security forces reported to have “300,000 ghost personnel” on payroll

By Abbas Baghdadi Azzaman, December 10, 2014 Prime Minister Haider Abadi is fighting a two-pronged war at two different battlefields and both of them are sapping his country’s resources. With oil prices plummeting by up to 40% since he took office and spending skyrocketing to cover a ferocious war with Islamic State militants, he wants [...]

More than 1 million Iranians flock to religious city in south

By Husain Madhloum Azzaman, December 9, 2014 More than one million Iranian pilgrims are taking part in the religious festival commemorating the death of the Prophet Muhammad’s grandson, Imam Hussein, Muslim Shiites most revered saint. The influx is the largest ever in modern history by Iranian pilgrims in one single religious ceremony in Iraq. They [...]

Waves of pilgrims march towards holy city of Karbala

By Mohammed Dhaher Azzaman, December 8, 2014 Some say they are seven millions others say they can even be more but whatever the estimate it must be the largest gathering of people in one single spot in the world. At least one million pilgrims are said to have poured from Iran to commemorate one of [...]

Integrity commission tracks down Saddam Hussein’s ‘hidden treasure’

By Adel Kadhim Azzaman, December 7, 2014 Iraq’ Integrity Commission says it has traced at least $1 billion in cash, jewelry as well as other precious items, which were stashed away by former president Saddam Hussein and one of his half-brothers. The commission said $500 million which presumably were deposited Swiss banks and held by [...]

Which Iraqi ministries are the most corrupt?

By Abbas al-Baghdadi Azzaman, December 5, 2014 Corruption is common in all government institutions but it is most rampant in the ministries of defense, municipalities, oil, trade and interior, the anti-corruption parliamentary commission has found. “Large Iraqi factions protect those taking bribes and cover them,” the commission said. “In fact (institutions) have become geniuses in [...]