Iraq’s oil output exceeded 3.5 million barrels per day in February

By Shaymaa Adel Azzamen, March 2, 2014 Iraq produced more than 3.5 million barrels a day in February, said Deputy Prime Minister Husain al-Shahristani. The volume is the largest since late 1970s when the country’s output hovered at 4 million barrels daily. Iraq’s output declined with the start of 1980 war with Iran due to(…)

Hundreds of civilians killed in restive Province of Anbar

By Noorideen Hameed Azzaman, March 1, 2014 Hundreds of people have been killed during fighting with al-Qaeda-linked militants in the restive Province of Anbar west of Baghdad. Heavy clashes mainly in the provincial center of Ramadi and the strategic city of Falluja have been going on for nearly two months since Jihdadists of the Islamic(…)

Iraq denies it signed arms deal with Iran

By Nidhal al-Laithi Azzaman, February 27, 2014 Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zeibari has said his country had not signed any deals to import weapons from Iran. He made the remarks in Tehran in a joint press conference with his Iranian counterpart Mohammad Javad Zarif. Zeibari is on an official visit to Iran and is reported(…)

Thousands of families flee violence in Anbar to Kurdish north

  By Shaymaa Adel Azzaman, February 26, 2014 More than 6,000 families have fled the surge in violence in the Province of Anbar where Iraqi forces are battling the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIS), said Displacement and Migration Minister Daindar Douski said. Douski said his ministry was providing financial assistance and other(…)

Iraq’s petrochemical industries grind to a halt for lack of fuel

By Tamara Abdulrazzaq Azzaman, February 25, 2014 Iraq’s once flourishing petrochemical industries have come to a grinding halt due to lack of fuel, a statement issued by the State Company for Petrochemical Industries said. The statement, faxed to the newspaper, said the company ceased production shortly after the 2003-U.S. invasion. It only partially resumed operations(…)

Hyundai building $6.5 billion refinery in Iraq’s Karbala

By Shaymaa Adel Azzaman, February 23, 2014 South Korea’s Hyundai is to start building a giant refinery in the southern religious city of Karbala capable of refining 140,000 barrels per day, the Oil Ministry said. The ministry’s spokesperson Isam Jihad said representatives from Hyundai and Iraqi authorities will lay down the foundation stone for the(…)

Kurdish region faces ‘financial’ crisis as Baghdad refuses to transfer oil royalties

By Shaymaa Adel Azzaman, February 22, 2014 The regional government of Iraqi Kurdistan is unable to pay of hundreds of thousands of its staff, said a senior Kurdish official in Baghdad. The official Mahmoud Othman said it was the first in more than a decade the Kurdish authorities find themselves in such a financial crisis.(…)

Arab Sunni tribes rise against al-Qaeda

Azzaman, February 21, 2014 By Salam Abdulshammari Arab Sunni Tribes in the restive Province of Diyala have mobilized their tribesmen to defend their areas against any possible penetration by ISIS, the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant. ISIS, which is affiliated to the terror group al-Qaeda, has strengthened positions in the western Province of(…)

Shiite cleric Sadr liaising with Saudi Arabia and Qatar

Azzaman, February 19, 2014 By Ali Latif Falling out with Iran, Shiite cleric Moqtada Sadr has turned to Sunni Gulf countries for support and financing, an adviser to Prime Minister Noori al-maliki said. The adviser, Sami al-Askari, made the remarks only three days after the surprise decision by the powerful cleric to retire from political(…)

Will Shiite cleric Moqtada Sadr reconsider decision to retire?

By Fatih Abdulsalam Azzaman, February 18, 2014 There are so many interpretations, guesses and innuendos about the decision by Shiite cleric Moqtada Sadr to retire from political life in the country. Sadr was so clear in citing reasons for his decision which goes as far as rejection to have representatives in the Iraqi parliament; in(…)

PM asks senior Shiite cleric to reconsider ‘retiring from political life’

Azzaman, February 17, 2014 Prime Minister Noori al-Maliki has urged Shiite cleric Moqtada Sadr to reconsider his decision to retire from political life and have no representatives in the government or parliament in the future. The decision has shocked the government, which now fears his withdrawal will lead to a political vacuum and give its(…)

Would ‘federalism’ have spared us the war in Anbar?

By Fatih Abdulsalam Azzaman, February 16, 2014 There are shortcomings in the new Iraqi constitution. There are articles that need to be revised and developed. But the problem with the current constitution is that its application is based on political whims and the selection of what suits the ruling and powerful factions and ignoring of(…)

ISIS militants capture more territory in Iraq

By Karim Abedzair Azzaman, February 14, 2014 Jihadists from the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIS) are in control parts of the highway to the Jordanian borders and are reported to be grabbing more territory from the government. The militants stop and check all vehicles on the highway and are reported to be(…)

British archaeologists start second season of excavations in southern Iraq

By Basem al-Rikabi Azzaman, February 13, 2014 A team of British archaeologists have started their second season of excavations in southern Iraq, targeting an ancient Babylonian settlement that was a thriving urban center more than 4,000 years ago. The site called Tell Khaiber is close to the ancient Sumerian city of Ur, which according to(…)

Iraq’s rice yields barely enough for 20 days

By Khaula al-Ukaili Azzaman, February 12, 2014 Iraq’s rice yields are hardly enough to cover 20 days of domestic consumption, the Ministry of Trade has said in a statement. “Rice harvest last year (2103) was 85,000 tones. The volume could only cover 20 days of the country’s total needs,” the statement said. The statement said(…)

Iraq may need a Geneva conference to solve issue of Falluja

By Fatih Abdulsalam Azzaman, February 11, 2014 The stagnation in Iraq’s political scene and no improvement in sight was bound to lead to a security and political vacuum. The demonstrations that swept several parts of the country, particularly the Muslim Sunni-dominated areas were the harbinger of the worse to come. There is nothing wrong with(…)

Gunmen kill four Iraqis scientists

By Salam Abdulshammari Azzaman, February 9, 2014 Unidentified gunmen have killed four Iraqi scientists in the past few days, raising fears of a repeat of attacks that once specifically targeted university professors and academics. Dr. Abdulwahab Abdulrazzaq, a chemistry scientist, was the latest victim of such attacks. Abdulrazzaq was killed on his way home from(…)

Iraq says recoverable oil reserves stand at 15 billion barrels

By Shaymaa Adel Azzaman, February 8, 2014 Iraq’s recoverable oil reserves have shot to 150 billion barrels, thanks to new major discoveries, Oil Minister Abdulkareem Luaibi said. Previously, the ministry’s official figure of oil reserves stood at 120 billion. Luaibi attributed the surge to “large-scale discoveries made by the ministry in explorations across the country.”(…)

Iraq importing more ‘anti-terror’ weapons to fight al-Qaeda

By Abbas al-Baghdadi New consignments of ‘anti-terror’ weapons have arrived in Iraq as the fight against al-Qaeda militants intensifies in the predominantly Muslim Sunni Province of Anbar, according to the Security and Defense Commission at the Iraqi parliament. “The decisive battle against Daaish (ISIS), terrorist organizations and other armed groups is approaching. The country has(…)

Do not miscalculate Falluja?

By Fatih Abdulsalam Azzaman, January 5, 2014 Reuters News Agency quoted the other day a senior Iraqi security official as saying that government troops would not enter Falluja because there are still civilians in the city. The official, who spoke to Reuters on condition of anonymity, added that he hoped the civilians would flee Falluja(…)