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(…)

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(…)