Iraq jihadist group ISIS diverting river to forestall Iraqi army attack on Falluja

By Nidhal al-Laithi Azzaman, April 8, 2014 Jihadists from the Islamic State for Iraq and the Levant (ISIS) are filling in the Euphrates River with gravel and mud to divert its course, sources from inside Falluja said. The sources, refusing to be named, said ISIS was fearing an imminent attack by Iraq troops on the(…)

Iraq jihadist group ISIS a ‘threat’ to Baghdad

By Nidhal al-Laithi Azzaman, April 7, 2014 Iraqi troops have fortified positions in the outskirts of Baghdad and in the vicinity of Baghdad International airport following reports that the Islamic State of Iraq and Levant (ISIS) was planning attacks on the capital. Iraqi security forces said the ministries of interior and defence were deploying troops(…)

Iraqi inmates abused at Saudi prisons

By Dalya Ahmad Azzaman, April 4, 2014 Iraq has accused Saudi Arabia of abusing its detainees held at Saudi prisons. The Ministry of Human Rights said it asked the Saudis to grant Iraqi investigators permission to visit Iraqi inmates incarcerated in Saudi prisons. “We call on Arab and international human rights organizations to follow up(…)

Iraq’s wheat crop to hit 4.5 million tons this year

By Adel Kadhem Azzaman, April 3, 2014 Good weather conditions should help the country harvest up to 4.5 million tons of wheat this year, said Ali al-Muttair, spokesperson for the Ministry of Agriculture. Muttair said the volume equals Iraq’s annual consumption of the crop, which is mostly turned into flour and used as bread. Iraq’s(…)

Who calls the tune for Arab media?

By Fatih Abdulsalam Azzaman, April 2, 2014 The proliferation of television channels and media outlets in the Arab world was supposed to give the Arab media some degree of freedom. But unfortunately they are still the pipers with Arab regimes and governments calling the tunes. For this reason, the media in the Arab world have(…)

Parliament fails to approve budget

By Nidhal al-Laithi Azzaman, March 31, 2014 Iraqi deputies have once again failed to pass 2014 budget with many of them staying away when the budget proposal was brought up for discussion. The current parliament has only three weeks before its current term comes to an end. The failure to pass the budget has almost(…)

Rancor replaced differences in Arab summit in Kuwait

By Fatih Abdulsalam Azzaman, March 29, 2014 The scenes from last week’s Arab summit in Kuwait showed Arab leaders to be not only week but in denial of the rudiments that are necessary for the renaissance of any society or nation. The items on their agenda were related to topics they had no power to(…)

Central bank buys 36 tons of gold

By Shaymaa Adel Azzaman, March 27, 2014 The Central bank has almost doubled its gold reserves after a large purchase of 36 additional tons of the precious metal. “This month (March) the Central Bank purchased 36 tons of god,” said a statement issued by the bank. “The purchase is a corner stone of the country’s(…)

Will violence derail Iraqi elections?

Azzaman, March 25, 2014 Iraqi general elections are about a month away, but will they go ahead as planned? The resurrection of al-Qaeda-linked militants, particularly in central Iraq, will certainly make the vote almost impossible in many areas. For nearly three months, fighting has been raging in the Province of Anbar with violence mounting in(…)

Kurds surrender killer of Iraqi journalist

By Ali Latif Azzaman, March 24, 2014 Kurdish authorities have handed over to Iraqi police the Kurdish presidential bodyguard who gunned down a journalist in Baghdad. The journalist Mohammed al-Shammari was both a practicing reporter and a professor at Baghdad University’s College of Journalism. The Kurds have a large contingent of their heavily armed militiamen(…)

ISIS militants kill senior police officer in restive Diyala

By Salam Abedsammari Azzaman, March 22, 2014 Militants have killed a senior police officer in an attack on a police headquarters in the restive Province of Diyala. The officer Lt. Gen. Ragheb al-Umari was affiliated to a federal police force and was leading a contingent of security forces to aid local police fend off attacks(…)

Italian drone to map ancient Sumerian sites in southern Iraq

By Basem al-Rikabi Azzaman,  March 21, 2014 Italian archaeologists excavating ancient sites in southern Iraq plan to use a drone to survey the ruins of Ur and the surrounding areas, the Governor of Dihqar Province Mohammed Baqer said. Baqer said the drone was already flown to a nearby base and his provincial authorities have obtained(…)

Southern city opens new museum

By Noor Ali Azzaman, March 19, 2014 The southern city of Hilla has opened a new museum housing artifacts which were kept by the city’s residents. Hilla, which is the capital of the Province of Babel, is rich in antiquities. It is situated a few kilometers away from the fabled ancient city of Babylon. “Many(…)

Old-fashioned checkpoints lead to higher casualties from violence

By Fatih Abdulsalam Azzaman, March 18, 2014 Long queues of cars form at entrances and roads leading to Iraq’s major cities as they await their turn for inspection by checkpoints manned by security guards. The guards rely on old-fashioned search techniques and takes them ages to search properly a few vehicles. The approach Iraqi security(…)

Kurds warn Baghdad amid rising tension over oil exports and revenues

By Abbas al-Baghdadi Azzaman, March 17, 2014 Iraqi Kurds have threatened “unspecified measures” if the central government in Baghdad persists in blocking their share of oil revenues. The Kurds theoretically are part of Iraq but they have turned their region, comprising three provinces, into a semi-independent state. Their parliament and government take decisions without recourse(…)

Iraq shuts down power plants due to excess output

By Shaymaa Adel Azzaman, March 16, 2014 For the first time in more than two decades Iraq says its power output surpasses domestic needs. Electricity output currently exceeds demand prompting the Ministry of Electricity to shut down several power stations, the ministry said in a statement. The statement said Iraqis across the country, barring the(…)

ISIS militants put up tough resistance in Anbar’s provincial capital

Azzaman, March 14, 2014 By Nourideen Hameed Conditions in the restive Province of Anbar are worsening with armed groups holding positions and putting up tough resistance to assaults by government troops. The Province, of which Ramadi is the provincial capital, is the largest in area among the country’s 18 provinces and borders Syria, Jordan and(…)

Power exhibition draws 80 firms

By Israa al-Qaisi Azzaman, March 12, 2014 An electricity exhibition by the Ministry of Electricity has drawn 80 foreign firms from different countries, said the ministry’s adviser Mohammed Jaafar. Jaafar said the firms from a variety countries such as Iran, Turkey, India and Spain among others was inaugurated early this week to make the latest(…)

Government negotiating with armed groups in Falluja

  By Nidhal al-Laithi Azzaman, March 11, 2014 The government is holding talks with at least five armed groups who are currently in control of the strategic town of Falluja, said a senior provincial official in the Province of Anbar. Falluja, which administratively belongs to the Province of Anbar, has been in the grip of(…)

Will Arab Gulf states invade Qatar?

 By Fatih Abdulsalam Azzaman, March 8, 2014 How can we interpret the decision by Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain to withdraw their ambassadors from Qatar? What will Qatar lose even if the three countries severed diplomatic relations and expelled it from the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), which itself has become a shaky(…)