- Militia Supporters Attack KDP Baghdad Office; Political Leaders Condemn Extra Judicial Killings In Salah Ad-Din; Kadhimi Tours European Capitals; Former Ninewa Governor Arrested – On October 17, militia supporters burned the office of the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) in Baghdad. A new group calling itself “Rab’ Allah” is believed responsible for the attack, which followed remarks by a senior KDP member who criticized rogue elements within the PMF. The attack coincided with reports of attacks on liquor stores in Baghdad by another group calling itself “Ahbab Allah.” On October 17, the Ministerial Council for National Security opened an investigation into local security forces’ failure to prevent the executions of eight young men in in Salah ad-Din province, condemning the executions as intolerable security breaches, and promising urgent measures to determine responsibility. PM Kadhimi travelled to Salah ad-Din and met with local security officials to discuss the ongoing investigation. Kadhimi also visited the victims’ families, pledging to bring the perpetrators to justice and to reinforce security forces in the area. The chairman of the PMF commission, Falih al-Fayyadh said that Qais al-Khazali, whose Asaib Ahl al-Haq militia is suspect in the killings, “pledged to cooperate with the investigations.” Between October 18 – 22, PM Kadhimi led a high-level delegation on a European tour in which he visited Paris, Berlin and London. Kadhimi meetings with Europe’s key leaders focused on supporting Iraq mitigate its financial crisis, carry out economic reforms, revive its private sector, and enhance its security and counter-terrorism capabilities. On October 19, police arrested former Ninewa governor Nawfal al-Agoub on embezzlement charges involving IQD76 billion ($64 million) of funds intended for Mosul’s reconstruction. On October 21, the Parliamentary Legal Committee announced that lawmakers will meet next week to discuss the borrowing bill, the districting provisions of the Elections Law, and amendments to the Supreme Federal Court Law. more…
- Militia Involvement Suspected In Kidnapping/Execution Incident In Salah Ad-Din; ISF Targets ISIS Militants In Kanous Island – Between October 15 – 21, eight IEDs killed at least six Iraqis and wounded at least eight more in Ninewa, Diyala, Babylon, and Kirkuk. Between October 16 – 21, at least five other militant attacks killed ten Iraqis and wounded at least seven more in Salah ad-Din, Kirkuk, Ninewa, Babylon and Diyala. On October 17, unknown militants executed eight young men in al-Farhatiya, an area of Salah ad-Din where the Asaib Ahl al-Haq militia has significant presence, raising widespread suspicions of the militia’s involvement in extra judicial killings. Four other individuals were also missing after the attack. On October 21, Iraqi commanders said security forces were conducting a four-day operation that started on October 19 to clear Kanous Island of ISIS fighters. Iraqi Army engineers deployed pontoon bridges to allow the ISF to cross the Tigris into the Island, with is suspected of being a major launch point for the militants in northern Salah ad-Din. more…
- Survey Shows Widespread Pollution In Basra Waterways; Iraq Plans To Close 36 IDP Camps Within Months; COVID-19 Spikes In The KRI While Nationwide Cases Approach 450,000 – On October 15, REACH Iraq released a new assessment of water pollution in Basra’s canals, detecting pollution with trash and vegetation in more than 7,700 locations. On October 18, aid organizations reported 36 incidents of access restrictions in Iraq during September, about half as many incidents they reported in July. These restrictions negatively impacted the delivery of humanitarian aid and assistance to more than 287,700 people, mostly in Ninewa and Anbar. On October 20, police discovered a mass grave for ISIS victims near Kirkuk containing the bodies of fifty people whom ISIS executed during its occupation of the area. On October 21, the Minister of Displacement and Migration announced that the last internally displaced persons (IDP) camp in Karbala closed with the return of its 560 residents to their home districts in Tal Afar and Mosul. The government also closed the Shams and Ahl IDP camps in Abu Ghraib with the return of their 860 residents to their home districts in Anbar province. The minister said that a total of 36 camps will be closed in three stages within the next several months. On October 22, the Ministry of Health reported that the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases increased to 442,164. Deaths from confirmed cases of COVID-19 reached 10,465 while the number of patients currently in hospitals increased to 59,873. To date, 371,826 patients have recovered from the virus and Iraq has tested 2,705,941 samples for COVID-19. The areas most affected this week were Baghdad and the Kurdistan region, which reported a record daily increase of 1,300 positive cases on October 22. more…
- Iraq Targets 2023 To End Gas Flaring; Baghdad Says Erbil Not Complying With Agreed Oil Production Cuts; Parliament To Discuss Borrowing Bill Next Week Amid Opposition – On October 16, a military source in Diyala reported that the Iraqi Army and other branches of the security forces launched several large-scale operations to prevent smuggling through the Khanaqin district, which borders Iran. On October 19, the Ministry of Oil announced it plans to eliminate gas flaring by 2023 by investing in new infrastructure in Basra, Dhi-Qar and Maysan to increase associated gas capture by 1.2 billion cubic feet/day to 2.7 billion cubic feet/day. The ministry is also looking to develop non-associated gas deposits at the Akkaz field in Anbar and Mansouriyah field in Diyala. On October 20, Iraq’s Oil Minister said that the Kurdistan region was not adhering to its share of the 1.06 million bpd in production cuts that Iraq has agreed to under the OPEC+ supply reduction deal. On October 21, the Parliamentary Finance Committee said the legislature will conduct a first reading of the borrowing bill submitted by the Finance Ministry next week to gauge legislative support. Multiple committee members voiced opposition to the bill, saying the government was trying to borrow “astronomical figures” that are allegedly much higher than the actual deficit. more…
For more background on most of the institutions, key actors, political parties, and locations mentioned in our takeaways or in the stories that follow, see the ISHM Reference Guide.
Militia Supporters Attack KDP Baghdad Office; Political Leaders Condemn Extra Judicial Killings In Salah Ad-Din; Kadhimi Tours European Capitals; Former Ninewa Governor Arrested
On October 17, supporters of the Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF) attacked and burned the office of the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) in central Baghdad. Security forces failed to deter the attackers, who proceeded to destroy the building’s contents but did not cause casualties. Rudaw reported that a group calling itself “Rab’ Allah” was responsible for the attack, having threatened to attack the building the previous day. The incident followed remarks by former Iraqi Foreign Minister and KDP member Hoshyar Zebari, in which he criticized the PMF and described the “cleaning of the Green Zone” of the “mass militia presence” as an “essential task” for Prime Minister Kadhimi. Additional anti-KDP protests took place the same day in Kirkuk, Basra, and Hilla to denounce Zeybari’s remarks. Senior KDP figure and Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) President Nechirvan Barzani condemned the attack on the KDP office as “an act of sabotage…on peaceful coexistence” that “undermines societal and political peace” in Iraq. Furthermore, KDP leader Masoud Barzani said he expects the federal government to investigate the attack and prosecute its perpetrators. Muqtada al-Sadr, leader of the Sadrist Movement, issued a statement that day decrying the attackers as “performing acts of terror” that endanger civil peace within Iraq. UNAMI condemned the day’s attack and urged all parties to opt for dialogue to resolve disputes. That evening, Kadhimi convened an emergency meeting of the Ministerial Council for National Security to discuss the attack and open an investigation and assess the security forces’ handling of the incident. The Council condemned the attack and said it would direct security forces to “pursue those involved,” adding that 15 individuals were arrested in connection with the incident. On October 20, the chairman of the PMF commission Falih al-Fayyadh called the attack “regrettable,” adding that he felt ashamed to see the PMF flag replace that of the Kurdistan Region above the burning building.
On October 17, a group calling itself “Ahbab Allah” destroyed liquor stores in Karrada, central Baghdad. Analysts point that Ahbab Allah and Rab Allah (the group that claimed responsibility for the attack on the KDP Baghdad office) are two of several new groups that powerful pro-Iran militias have formed to act on their behalf, threaten their opponents, and promote their agendas with a degree of deniability in the face of social and political pressure. Other new groups thought to be front groups for the militias include “Al-Zelm Al-Khashnah” and “Abu Jeddaha.” Analysts have also identified these groups as responsible for several violent incidents in recent months, including the burning of the Dijla TV headquarters in Baghdad in August and the violent dispersal of Arbaeen pilgrims in Karbala earlier this month.
On October 17, the Ministerial Council for National Security opened an investigation into local security forces’ failure to prevent the executions of eight young men in al-Farhatiyah, in Salah ad-Din province [see below]. The Council condemned the executions as intolerable security breaches, promising urgent measures to determine responsibility. On October 18, Parliament Speaker Mohammad al-Halbousi formed a fact-finding committee comprising members of Parliament’s Security and Defense Committee and Salah ad-Din representatives to investigate the executions. Prime Minister Kadhimi travelled with his top security aides to Salah ad-Din and met with local security officials to discuss the ongoing investigation into the executions. Kadhimi also visited the victims’ families. Kadhimi and told them that “the martyrs…are our sons. Their blood will not go in vain,” pledging to reinforce security forces in the area. The High Commission for Human Rights in Iraq expressed concern over the executions and called on the government to bring its perpetrators to justice. The Governor of Salah ad-Din province, Ammar Jabr blamed the 42nd PMF Brigade (a unit of Asaib Ahl al-Haq in the al-Balad area) and a local Commando Regiment for allowing the executions to occur, arguing it was impossible for the perpetrators “who numbered 20 people” to move freely and carry out the executions without the consent of security forces in the area. The governor later said it was “necessary to remove rogue groups attached to the [PMF] from the province” to ensure the provincial government keeps the “final word” on security matters. On October 20, Jawad al-Talibawi, a Asaib Ahl al-Haq official told the victims’ families that the group will fully cooperate with the ongoing investigations into the executions, and that if the investigations reveal that members of the group are complicit, they will be brought to justice. Meanwhile, the chairman of the PMF commission, Falih al-Fayyadh said that AAH leader Qais al-Khazali “pledged to cooperate with the investigations,” which Fayyadh described as “extra judicial killings,” and pledged the PMF’s cooperation with the investigations.
On October 18, Prime Minister Kadhimi and a high-level delegation arrived in France on their first stop in a tour of Europe that includes meetings in Paris, Berlin, and London. The following day, Kadhimi met with French Prime Minister Jean Castex to discuss cross-sector bilateral cooperation. During the meeting, the Iraqi Ministers of Agriculture, Transportation, and Higher Education signed three memoranda of intent with their French counterparts to deepen cooperation in several areas. Kadhimi also met with French President Macron to discuss enhancing bilateral cooperation on economic, cultural, and counter-terrorism issues. On October 20, Kadhimi met with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin to discuss joint security cooperation and acquiring German technical advisory for Iraq’s economic reform program. Kadhimi also met with the executives of several German companies to develop partnerships to obtain technical support for Iraq’s election and economic reform program, combat corruption, and assist in developing Iraq’s private sector. On October 22, Kadhimi met with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson in London to discuss mutual political and regional security concerns. Kadhimi and Johnson agreed to deepen cooperation on counter-terrorism issues and agreed to enhance political and economic cooperation in light of Iraq’s economic crisis. Kadhimi later met with British Defense Minister Ben Wallace to discuss joint anti-ISIS operations and enhanced British training for the Iraqi Armed Forces. Kadhimi also met British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab, and expressed his government’s plans to create a suitable legal and political environment for foreign, private-sector investment in Iraq.
On October 19, the U.S. State Department condemned the executions of civilians “by Iran-backed militias” in Salah ad-Din and stated that the “Government of Iraq needs to immediately exert control over the Iran-backed militias who are lawlessly attacking religious and ethnic minorities.” These groups, the Department stated, prevent the international community from helping Iraq and are leading the country toward sectarian violence and instability.
On October 19, the Integrity Commission, an independent body tasked with investigating major corruption cases, announced it had obtained a warrant for the arrest of former governor of Ninewa province Nawfal al-Agoub on embezzlement charges. Federal police forces arrested Agoub later that day. Agoub was dismissed from office last year after a ferry accident in Mosul killed more than 150 people. Agoub is charged with embezzling IQD76 billion ($64 million) from funds intended to reconstruct Mosul’s health and transportation infrastructure.
On October 20, dozens of residents from the villages of eastern Muqdadiyah blocked a segment of the Khanaqin-Baquba highway to protest a lack of government services in the area. Protestors say the highway will remain closed until they are able to meet with representatives of the government to formally report their grievances. The highway was reopened later that day.
On October 20, several unidentified attackers firebombed the Iraqi Turkmen Front’s office in Kirkuk City, destroying a security fence and causing extensive damage to the building. The Turkmen Front called the incident a “terrorist act by sick souls” and called on security forces to perform their duty to protect public property and political party offices.
On October 21, the Parliamentary Legal Committee announced that lawmakers will meet next week to discuss the borrowing bill, the districting provisions of the Elections Law, and amendments to the Supreme Federal Court Law.
Militia Involvement Suspected In Kidnapping/Execution Incident In Salah Ad-Din; ISF Targets ISIS Militants In Kanous Island
On October 15, the Deputy Commander of Joint Operations Command, Abdul Amir al-Shammari and National Security Advisor Qassim al-Araji met with representatives of the residents of Sinjar to discuss the recently signed agreement between federal and KRG authorities to “restore stability and normalize conditions” in the district. The JOC said that the meeting discussed the residents’ demands and reviewed “the implementation of the agreement,” including reconstruction, cooperation with security forces, and supporting the families of the victims of ISIS.
On October 15, an IED wounded two civilians in Hamam al-Alil district, south of Mosul. The following day, another IED wounded one civilian near Sarnaj village in the Makhmour district, southeast of Mosul. On October 20 a third IED killed four civilians from the same family and wounded another between Sarnaj and Rashidiya in the same area.
On October 16, ISIS militants attacked a popular mobilization forces (PMF) checkpoint manned by elements of Asaib Ahl al-Haq (AAH) in Sayed Gharib, southwest of Balad in Salah ad-Din province. The attack killed one AAH member and wounded another. The following day, another attack by ISIS militants wounded four PMF fighters in al-Rafi’at, 3mi northwest of Sayed Gharib.
On October 16, an IED exploded on a farm in the Umm al-Hunta village near Jalawla in Diyala province, wounding one farmer. Subsequently, gunmen fired mortar rounds targeting the area, to which Iraqi security responded with artillery fire directed at the mortar sites. To the southwest, another IED exploded near a farm in al-Abbara subdistrict near Baquba, killing a boy. On October 22, the Minister of Interior’s intelligence agency ambushed and killed two ISIS militants suspected of planting recent IEDs targeting civilians on farms.
On October 16, the Counter-Terrorism Service killed an ISIS militant wearing an explosive vest in southern Kirkuk province.
On October 17, unknown militants executed eight young men with small arms in al-Farhatiya, Balad, Salah ad-Din. Iraq security source said that four more individuals were also missing after the attack. The next day, an officer with the 41st PMF Brigade, an Asaib Ahl al-Haq unit, blamed ISIS for the executions, saying the ISIS militants retreated to Farhatiya after killing a PMF fighter at a checkpoint on October 16 [see above] and kidnapped a group of people, including tribal mobilization fighters to punish the locals for collaborating with security forces. On October 21, Prime Minister Kadhimi’s military spokesperson Gen. Yahya Rasool said there were indications that ISIS carried out the massacre to “create a schism between locals and security forces in the area.”. Rasool added that an investigation was underway and that Kadhimi ordered the Iraqi Army to send reinforcements to al-Farhatiya.
On October 17, unknown gunmen killed three civilians travelling by car in the Shawan district in northern Kirkuk. The car was subsequently burned. The next day, a security source said ISIS militants attacked the home of Sheikh Burhan al-Assi in al-Rashid, west of Kirkuk, burning the building as well as vehicles and farming equipment. Assi was previously the head of the “Arab group” within the Kirkuk province council.
On October 17, an unexploded IED wounded a Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF) fighter in Jurf al-Sakhr district, Babylon.
On October 18, an IED exploded against an Iraqi Security Forces (ISF) vehicle in al-Fatha, south of Kirkuk City. The explosion wounded the commander of a Federal Police unit (1st regiment, 2nd brigade) and a member of his security detail.
On October 18, ISIS fighters attacked a Tribal Mobilization Forces checkpoint and killed two tribal fighters in Nimrud subdistrict, 40km southeast of Mosul.
On October 19, unknown gunmen attempted to assassinate Salim Tahmir, a Member of Parliament representing the Hikma Movement from Babylon. The gunmen attacked Tahmir’s home in the Awfi area west of Hilla, Babylon, killing his nephew. Tahmir was unharmed.
On October 21, Prime Minister Kadhimi’s military spokesperson, Gen. Yahya Rasool said Iraqi security forces were conducting a four-day operation that started on October 19 to clear Kanous Island of ISIS fighters. Rasoul said Iraqi Army engineers deployed pontoon bridges to allow the ISF to cross the Tigris into the Island, located near Shirqat, in northern Salah ad-Din, as they set out to conduct their operations with the support of Iraqi Army Aviation. I The Iraqi Army utilized pontoon bridges to bring heavy bulldozers onto the island to clear the island of dense foliage. The operation found no ISIS fighters, but uncovered explosives and other supplies. An ISF source said that the ISIS fighters likely fled the island ahead of the Army advance. On October 17, Iraqi Army Aviation executed a series of airstrikes, killing an unspecified number of militants on Kanous Island.
On October 21, an IED killed one Iraqi Army soldier and wounded two more near the village of Tamour, south of Kirkuk.
On October 21, ISIS militants killed three civilians and wounded two more after erecting a fake checkpoint in Khanaqin district, Diyala. The ISIS militants shot at a vehicle carrying six people, killing three men and releasing three women. The fighters also shot at a second vehicle, wounding two more civilians.
Survey Shows Widespread Pollution In Basra Waterways; Iraq Plans To Close 36 IDP Camps Within Months; COVID-19 Spikes In The KRI While Nationwide Cases Approach 450,000
On October 15, REACH Iraq released a new assessment of water pollution in Basra’s canals. Through the use of satellite imagery, the study detected incidents of canal pollution with trash in 4,719 locations, vegetation in 3,029 locations, and algae in 180 locations. REACH added in its report that subsequent on-the-ground research is needed to better determine the economic and health impacts of the observed pollutants.
On October 18, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) provided an update on humanitarian access restrictions experienced by aid organizations in Iraq in September. Aid organizations said there were more than 36 incidents of access restrictions, about 50% fewer than the organizations said they encountered during the month of July. Due to access and administrative restrictions, more than 129 humanitarian staff were delayed or denied access to areas in need. Of these incidents, 62% occurred in Anbar and Ninewa provinces. In addition, 72% of the incidents were the result of administrative restrictions on the work and movement of aid organizations, a decrease from 95% in August. These restrictions negatively impacted the delivery of humanitarian aid and assistance to more than 287,700 people, the majority of whom are concentrated in Ninewa and Anbar. This represents an increase of more than 57,000 people since August. OCHA noted that in a “rapid survey to determine the impact of” national-level “access authorization letters for non-government organisations,” 88% of 55 humanitarian organizations surveyed said “the lack of access letters had had a significant impact on their operations.”
On October 20, a Federal Police unit discovered a mass grave for ISIS victims during a search and clear operation targeting villages in Kirkuk province. According to the police, the mass grave contains the bodies of fifty people whom ISIS executed during its occupation of the area.
On October 21, the Minister of Displacement and Migration, Evan Jabro, announced that the last internally displaced persons (IDP) camp in Karbala closed with the return of its 560 residents to their home districts in Tal Afar and Mosul. Earlier this week, the minister announced that the government closed the Shams and Ahl IDP camps in Abu Ghraib, west of Baghdad, with the return of their 860 residents to their home districts in Ramadi, Qaim, Haditha, Ana, Amriya, and Fallujah, in Anbar province. Shams previously hosted 105 households and Ahl held 67. The Ministry added that the IDPs were returning to homes in Anbar province. The minister said that a total of 36 camps will be closed in three stages, starting with five camps in Baghdad, Karbala, and Anbar between October 21 and December 31. A second stage of 15 camp closures would occur between January 1, 2021 and March 1, 2021. The ministry will later close 16 camps in the Kurdistan Region, said Jabro, without providing a timeline.
On October 22, the Iraqi Ministry of Health reported that the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Iraq rose to 442,164, representing a weekly increase of 25,362 cases from the 416,802 cases reported on October 15. Of these cases, 59,873 patients are currently in Iraqi hospitals, including 446 in the intensive care unit (ICU). This represents an increase of 3,909 patients in Iraqi hospitals from last week, and a 28 patient decrease in ICU patients. Ministry data indicated that there were a total of 379 new COVID-related deaths this week, bringing the total from 10,086 to 10,465. The total number of recoveries increased from 350,752 to 371,826. The daily average for new cases rose from last week, with a daily average of 3,623 new cases, up from an average of 3,177 new cases per day last week. In the past 24 hours, the areas with the highest case counts were Baghdad with 1,068 cases, Dohuk with 463 cases, Erbil with 424 cases, Sulaymaniyah with 421 cases, and Ninewa with 209 cases. To date, Iraq has tested a total of 2,705,941 samples for COVID-19. The KRG Health Ministry said that the region had a record 1,300 positive cases on October 22 and over 1,000 positive cases on the previous three days.
Iraq Targets 2023 To ENd Flaring; Baghdad Says Erbil Not Complying With Agreed Oil Production Cuts; Parliament To Discuss Borrwing Bill Next Week Amid Opposition
On October 16, a military source in Diyala reported that the Iraqi Army and other branches of the security forces launched several large-scale operations to prevent smuggling through the Khanaqin district, which borders Iran. The source said the operation will target dirt roads smugglers use to move various goods, including drugs and scrap metal, and bypass formal border crossings at Mendili and Munthiriya to avoid paying customs fees.
On October 18, Iraq’s Planning Ministry and the UN Development Program (UNDP) signed a memorandum of understanding to enhance support for private sector development by surveying developmental and operational challenges micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) face. The survey, financed by the US Agency for International Development (USAID), will target MSMEs in Baghdad, Ninewa, and Basra provinces to understand how to support private sector development amid the challenges created by the COVID-19 pandemic.
On October 19, the Governor of the Central Bank of Iraq, Mustafa Ghalib met his French counterpart in Paris to discuss obtaining France’s support for Iraq’s banking sector. Ghalib said the French side expressed its willingness to work with Iraq to enhance financial oversight and curb money laundering and terrorism financing.
On October 19, the Ministry of Oil announced it plans to eliminate gas flaring by 2023 by investing in new natural gas capture and distribution infrastructure countrywide. This is a slightly longer timeframe than what the ministry’s South Gas Company provided last September, when it said Iraq sought to end gas flaring by 2022. The Ministry said it will seek to increase its associated gas extraction volume by 1.2 billion cubic feet/day to 2.7 billion cubic feet/day within two years by completing natural gas processing facilities in Maysan, Dhi-Qar, and Basra. The ministry, according to Hamid Younis, its deputy for distribution, expects to add 200 million cubic feet/day from a processing plant in Nasiriyah and 300 cubic feet/day from another plant at Maysan’s Halfaya field, by the end of 2020. Additionally, two plants at Basra’s Irtawi field would add 300 million and 400 million cubic feet/day by the end of 2023, respectively. The Ministry announced additional plans to develop non-associated gas production at the Akkaz field in Anbar and Mansouriyah field in Diyala, for which the ministry said last week there will be a development bid round. Iraq currently flares over half of the natural gas that comes out of its oil fields due to a lack of gas recapture infrastructure which prevents much of it from being used to generate electricity. Gas flaring also degrades air, water, and soil quality in nearby communities while releasing tons of carbon dioxide each year.
On October 20, Iraqi Oil Minister Ihsan Abdul-Jabbar said that the Kurdistan region was not adhering to its share of the agreed-upon OPEC+ production cuts. Iraq and the Kurdistan region agreed to a mutual 23% production cut in April, but production continued to exceed the agreed-upon limit. In September, Iraq exported 2.613 million bpd from fields under the control of the federal government, down from 3.367 million bpd exported in March, but there is no publicly available data about production and export volumes from fields under KRG control. Under OPEC+ production cuts, which seek to reduce member states’ production by 9.7 million barrels per day (bpd) in light of price collapse brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, Iraq agreed to reduce production by 1.06 million bpd for the remainder of 2020. Commenting on oil prices, the minister noted that while reduced revenues delayed oil development projects, he expects oil prices to “become more attractive for oil projects in Iraq in the second quarter of next year,” and that development will allow Iraq’s production capacity to reach 7 million bpd over the next five to six years. The minister also said he expects the Iraq National Oil Company, which the government is reconstituting, to be operational by Q1 2022.
On October 21, the Parliamentary Finance Committee said the legislature will conduct a first reading of the borrowing bill submitted by the Finance Ministry next week to gauge legislative support. On October 18, Committee member Ahmed al-Saffar said the Finance Ministry views the draft borrowing bill as a “mini-budget” to cover government expenditures for the remainder of 2020, including salaries, against a monthly deficit of some IQD10 trillion. Another committee member, Ahmed Rasheed indicated that several representatives within the Committee and outside of it are inclined to oppose the bill. Jamal Kojar, another Finance Committee member claimed the government was trying to borrow “astronomical figures” that he said were several times higher than the actual deficit, which he argued did not exceed IQD3.5 trillion/month, for total of IQD14 trillion for the last four motnhs of 2020. The new borrowing bill prepared by the cabinet reached Parliament on October 11. It is designed to allow the government to borrow from domestic and foreign lenders to plug a growing budget deficit that amounts to IQD41 trillion ($34 billion) for the final four months of 2020.
IED Incidents and Resulting Casualties
|10/15/20||Hamam al-Alil, Ninewa||0||2|
|10/16/20||Sarnaj, Makhmour, Ninewa||0||1|
|10/17/20||Jurf al-Nasr, Babylon||0||1|
|10/20/20||Between Sarnaj and Rashidiya, Makhmour, Ninewa||4||1|
|10/21/20||Tamour, South of Kirkuk||1||2|
Please note: some geographic locations represented are approximations and this map may not represent all incidents.
Derived from firsthand accounts and Iraq-based Arabic and Kurdish news sources, the Iraq Security and Humanitarian Monitor is a free publication of the Enabling Peace in Iraq Center.
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