Iraq death toll tops 1,000 in January

By Mohammed al-Salehi Azzaman, February 3, 2014 Casualty figures released by the U.N. mission in Iraq show that more than1,013 Iraqis were killed in January, making it one of the most violent months in the past few months. At least 795 civilians were killed in January along with 122 soldiers and 96 police officers. Compared(…)

Will Iraq implode?

By Fatih Abdulsalam Azzaman, February 1, 2014 Almost every Iraqi city, town, district or village today boasts of having its own military council. We do not have an exact number of these councils and it is not always clear who stands behind them. But the situation is getting problematic and dangerous because every party sees(…)

Tribal leader asks government to stop bombing Falluja

By Nourideen Hameed Azzaman, January 30, 2014 The leader of Sunni Arab tribes fighting al-Qaeda in the Province of Anbar has urged the government not to send in troops into the strategic city of Falluja, large parts of which are still held by militants. Ahmad Aburisha, who leads tens of thousands of armed tribesmen, said(…)

Oil Ministry creating two more national oil companies

By Shaymaa Adel The Oil Ministry will create two more state-run oil companies to handle oil development and output in two southern provinces, Oil Minister Abdulkareem al-Ubaidi said. “The ministry has taken all the measures necessary so that the provinces of Wassit and Dhiqar can have their own oil companies,” the minister said. He said(…)

Woman academic promoted to university president first time in Iraq

By Haneen Saad Azzaman, January 28, 2014 Saba Adnan has become the first Iraqi woman academic to assume the post of president of university of Tikreet north of Baghdad. The appointment of Dr. Adnan is seen as a sign of attempts to practice equality of sexes in appointment, particularly at higher levels of education in(…)

Basra takes government to court as row over oil revenues widens

By Khaula al-Ukaili Azzaman, January 27, 2014 The Province of Basra has filed a lawsuit against the government, accusing it of illegally slashing its share from oil revenues, Basra Governor Majed Naser said. Naser said the government was breaching the law by refusing to implement legislation under which his province was entitled to $5 per(…)

Iraq reopens border crossing with neighboring Iran

By Salam Abdulshamari Azzaman, January 26, 2014 In a sign of increasing trade exchanges, Iraq and Iran have reopened a new border crossing at the Kurdish city of Mandali in the Province of Diyala. The crossing was active some 30 years ago and was one of the oldest routes for the exchange of trade and(…)

Southern provinces may halt oil production if not given fair share of oil revenues

By Basem al-Rikabi Azzaman, January 24, 2014 Iraq’s southern provinces have warned that they may stop the flow of oil from fields in their region if their demand for a fair share of the country’s oil revenues is ignored,  said Hassan Toran, Governor of the southern Province of Dhi Qar. “If the demand by southern(…)

It was wrong to exclude Iran from peace talks on Syria

By Fatih Abdulsalam Azzaman, January 23, 2014 The speeches delivered in the opening session at the Geneva II peace conference on Syria were bitter, repetitive in the ideas and the language they carried. This is always the case with negotiations with foregone conclusions. They start with unrealistic demands to see whether opponents would consider accepting(…)

Iraqi premier mulls setting up ‘national council’ to oversee oil exports

By Abbas al-Baghdadi Azzaman, January 21, 2014 Prime Minister Noori al-Maliki wants to set up a ‘national council’ that will supervise oil development, output and exports. Maliki made the remarks following reports that Baghdad and the Kurdish region were close to solving differences over oil exports. A high-level Kurdish delegation headed by the region’s Prime(…)

Impoverished province to produce 1 million barrels of oil a day in 2016

By Saadoun al-Jaberi Azzaman, January 20, 2014 The impoverished Province of Missan is expected to produce up to one million barrels of oil per day by 2016, said Sami Naji, a senior official at the Missan Oil Company. The province, of which the city of Amara is the provincial capital, sits on some of the(…)

Oil-rich Basra warns against cut in its share of oil royalties

By Shaymaa Adel Azzaman, January 18, 2014 Basra has warned the government against a proposed reduction in its share from the country’s oil revenues. The Province of Basra has Iraq’s most prolific oil fields and is the largest contributor to the country’s oil output estimated at 2.7 million barrels of per day. The province, like(…)

More than 200,000 flee fighting in Anbar Province

By Nourideen Hameed Azzaman, January 17, 2014 More than 200,000 people have been displaced by fighting in the restive Province of Anbar, a senior provincial official has said. Hameed al-Hashem, deputy chairman of the provincial council, said fighting was raging in the provincial center of Anbar and the strategic town of Falluja. However, he said,(…)

Parliament backs increase in discount on oil and gas sales to Jordan

By Shaymaa Adel Azzaman, January 16, 2014 Iraqi deputies say they will approve a government request to increase the discount on oil exports to Jordan to $20 per barrel from $18, according to the Oil and Energy Commission at the Iraqi parliament. Besides oil, Iraq supplies Jordan with natural gas, liquefied petroleum gas and heavy(…)

Imagine Iraq without oil

By Fatih Abdulsalam Azzaman, January 14, 2014 Let us imagine that the national budget does not rely on oil revenues due to the depletion of oil wells or their closure for one reason or another. What will become of Iraq if a case or scenario like this – which is not totally unlikely – becomes(…)

The war everybody is waiting for

By Fatih Abdulsalam Azzaman, January 13, 2014 There are obvious signals on the path to the war that is to be launched over the Province of Anbar. The sides are mobilizing forces and resources, locally, regionally and internationally. The U.S. is sending more than one signal to furnish Iraq with advanced weapons including Apache helicopters(…)

Pressed in Syria, Jihadists sneak into Iraq

By Abbas Baghdadi Azzaman, January 12, 2014 Al-Qaeda linked militants are pouring into Iraq from Syria following losses in recent battles, the most senior Muslim Sunni tribal Chieftain has said. Ahmad Aburisha, who heads Arab Sunni tribes in the restive Province of Anbar, said most of the Jihadists of the al-Qaeda-affiliated Islamic State in Iraq(…)

Refugee exodus continues as al-Qaeda militants solidify positions in Falluja

By Ali Latif Azzaman, January 10, 2014 The inhabitants of the embattled city of Falluja are fleeing in droves as al-Qaeda militants strengthen positions and blow up bridges leading to the city. The Iraqi Red Crescent said at least 13,000 families have fled the city in the past few days and the exodus was continuing.(…)

Iraq snubs Iran’s offer to help it fight al-Qaeda militants

By Saadoun Shakir Azzaman, January 9, 2014 Iraq has rejected an offer from Iran to help it fight al-Qaeda militants who are currently in control of a strategic town and parts of a provincial capital in the western parts of the country. “Iraq is not in need of Iran’s assistance and intervention in its fight(…)

Sunni tribesmen vow to crush al-Qaeda militants

By Noorideen Hameed Azzaman, January 7, 2014 Sunni tribesmen in the restive province of Anbar are rising against al-Qaeda and its operatives who are reported to have infiltrated their areas in large numbers. “The tribes are readying themselves for a decisive battle against al-Qaeda and ISIS,” declared Sabah Karhout, Anbar’s provincial council chairman. ISIS is(…)