Antiquities smugglers seized in Iraq’s Babel

By Noor Ali Azzaman, October 22, 2013 Iraqi police have captured a group of illegal diggers trading in smuggled antiquities in the southern Province of Babel, a police source said. The source said the group included diggers who carried illegal excavations at prominent ancient Mesopotamian sites in the province which covers the ancient city of(…)

Fewer tourists heading to Iraq’s Kurdish north

By Fareed Hassan Azzaman, October 21, 2013 There has been a drop in the number of tourists to the Kurdish north, particularly during Eid al-Adha, the second most important Muslim festival. The Eid took place last week and it used to draw tens of thousands of tourists each year, most of them from the central(…)

Multiple suicide bombings become part of Iraq-style violence

Azzaman, October 20, 2013 The surge in violence in Iraq has taken a new turn in which a chain of suicide bombers attack simultaneously or consecutively, causing maximum damage. These multiple suicide bombings have so far killed more than 450 people this month and injured thousands more. In one small town west of Baghdad eight(…)

The worst is in store for Iraq

By Fatih Abdulsalam Azzaman, October 15, 2013 I do not think any party in Iraq has an answer to the upsurge in violence and the shedding of blood in the country. At the same time, I do not think any of them would deny the fact that conditions are destined to aggravate in the coming(…)

Insurgents control long section of Iraq’s twin pipeline via Turkey

By Marwan al-Ani Azzaman, October 14, 2013 Insurgents battling the government in Baghdad are in control of a long section of the twin pipeline that carries Iraqi crude to Turkish terminals on the Mediterranean. “The section of the pipeline passing through territory held by armed groups has been the target of repeated attacks,” said Mohammed(…)

Baghdad international fair attracts 700 foreign firms

By Khaula al-Akabi Azzaman, October 12, 2013 The 40th session of the Baghdad international fair was inaugurated yesterday with 19 countries and 700 foreign firms taking part. The trade fair is Iraq’s largest and is annually held in October. “The fair demonstrates Iraq’s determination to proceed with reconstruction, cooperation and investment and at the same(…)

Iraqis enjoy uninterrupted power supplies for first time in 20 years

By Israa al-Kubaisi Azzaman, October 11, 2013 For first time in more than 20 years, Iraqis are now enjoying uninterrupted power supplies from the national grid. The Ministry of Electricity says the country’s power plants currently produce enough energy that meets domestic demand. “The national grid is now supplying Baghdad and all other provinces with(…)

Iran’s non-oil exports to Iraq reach $2.8 billion in six months

By Mohammed al-Salehi Azzaman, October 10, 2013 Iran has exported goods worth $2.868 billion to Iraq in the first six months of this year, local newspapers, quoting Iranian customs official said. They said the value of Iranian goods reaching Iraq did not include what the country pays for its fuel and electricity imports which are(…)

Southern province to buy Swiss and British bomb detectors

By Basem al-Rikabi Azzaman, October 8, 2013 The southern Province of Dhi Qar wants to buy modern bomb detection devices from British and Swiss firms, Governor Yahya Baqer said. He said the companies, which he refused to name, have agreed to supply the province with “detectors that will expose bombs and other explosive material.” Baqer(…)

Iraqi passports meet international standards, says ministry

By Mohammed al-Salehi Azzaman, October 7, 2013 Iraq has denied reports that its passports are of a low quality and easy to forge. The Ministry of Interior said the passports currently in use were printed by “a certified international firm and are regarded as among the best in the region.” In a statement the ministry(…)

Dozens executed in Iraq

By Tamara Abdulrazzaq Azzaman, October 5, 2013 Twenty three people were executed in Iraq last week, a statement by the Justice Ministry said. The statement, quoting Justice Minister Hassan al-Shammari, said the executions took place following  lengthy court proceedings and appeals by the convicts. The charges were mainly centered on committing terror attacks but three(…)

Kurds to dole out hard cash donations as oil royalties surge

By Kifah Kareem Azzaman, October 3, 2013 Iraqi Kurdish authorities are considering a plan to hand out hard cash donations of up to $1000 to each family in their autonomous region, said the prime minister of the Kurdish regional government, Nechervan al-Barzani. Barzani said Kurdish oil and gas discoveries were on the rise and the(…)

Electricity Ministry vows end to outages in two months

By Israa al-Qaisi Azzaman, October 1, 2013 The Ministry of Electricity has made yet another vow to put an end to power outages in the country. “The electricity crisis will completely disappear within two months as generating capacity is on its way to reach 13,000 megawatts,” according to the ministry’s spokesperson Musaib al-Mudaris. Earlier promises(…)

Why taking revenge on Kurdish city of Irbil

By Fatih Abdulsalam Azzaman, September 30, 2013 The Kurdish city of Irbil was the scene of rare violence on Sunday. A series of bombings rocked the city, killing at least six members of the Kurdish security forces. Irbil is the capital of Iraq’s autonomous region, which, in Iraqi terms, has been an oasis of peace(…)

Fearful of sectarian violence, Iraqi families flee home towns to safer areas

By Saadoun al-Jaberi Azzaman, September 29, 2013 Shiite families in Sunni-dominated north are fleeing to southern Iraq and Sunni families in the Shiite-dominated south are heading north. Latest figures from the Iraqi Refugee Commission show that 1942 Shiite families in northern Iraq have fled to the Shiite religious city of Najaf. Government officials have also(…)

Southern provinces among the most impoverished in Iraq

By Shaymaa Adel Azzaman, September 27, 2013 Unemployment was higher in Iraq’s southern provinces than the rest of the country, the Ministry of Planning said. More people suffered from poverty in these provinces than other parts of the country, the ministry’s spokesman Abedzahra al-Hindawi said. Hindawi said national statics showed a drop in unemployment across(…)

Iraq’s oil exports via Turkey stagnate at 300,000 barrels daily

By Shaymaa Adel Azzaman, September 26, 2013 Oil production from Iraq’s southern fields is booming but its northern fields are operating much below capacity, according to well-placed sources at the state-run Northern Oil Company. The sources, refusing to be named, said certain fields in the northern oil-rich Province of Kirkuk were facing “technical problems” and(…)

Iraq wants to buy Iranian weapons, including drones

By Nidhal al-Laithi Azzaman, September 24, 2013 Iraq is turning towards neighboring Iran for light arms and sophisticated weaponry as its fight against terror and insurgent groups intensifies. A high-level defense Iraqi defense delegation is in Tehran and its leader, Acting Defense Minister Saadoum al-Duliami is reported to have obtained the green-light from Prime Minister(…)

Oil and violence dominate Iraqi scene

By Basem al-Rikabi Azzaman, September 23, 2013 Two news items dominate the Iraqi media. The first is about oil. The second about the upsurge in violence. The media have their counts of bombing attacks, mainly by suicide bombers. Seventy such attacks were reported last week, claiming more than 400 lives. But the media also provide(…)

Iraq sees drop in poverty levels and unemployment

By Shaymaa Adel Azzaman, September 22, 2013 Iraq’s yearly development plans have helped it reduce poverty to 19 percent from 23 of the country’s population of more than 30 million, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Planning said. Mahdi al-Allaq said the country will see further drops in poverty levels as Iraqi ministries have already started(…)