ENHANCE UNDERSTANDING

ISHM: OCTOBER 29 – NOVEMBER 5, 2020

ISHM LOGO

Key Takeaways:

  • Saudi Investment Plan Draws Objections; Iraq And Egypt Sign 15 MoUs; Protests Continue After Tahrir Sq Reopening; Barzani Calls For End To PKK “Occupation”; President Signs New Election Law – On October 31, Qais al-Khazali and Nouri al-Maliki’s bloc criticized a prospective Saudi plan to invest in agricultural projects in southern Iraq, claiming the project creates “very serious national security threats.” On October 31, Egypt’s PM arrived in Baghdad for meetings with the Iraqi government during which the two sided signed 15 MoUs on financial and technical cooperation on reconstruction projects concerning transportation, water, healthcare, housing, and other sectors. Government officials suggested that Iraq wants to fund these projects with direct oil deliveries to Cairo. On October 31, Iraqi Security Forces cleared remaining protest tents from Tahrir Square in central Baghdad, reportedly without incident. The following day, new demonstrations began in Baghdad and several provinces to protest violence against protesters and the clearing of Tahrir Square. In Basra and Nasiriyah, protesters also demanded the resignation of local governors. On November 2, KDP leader Masoud Barzani accusing the PKK of challenging the authority of the Kurdistan region by occupying its territory “by force” and inviting Turkish military retaliation through its militant activities. Barzani said the PKK fighters must “leave all the territories they occupied and allow “the legitimate and legal authority of the region to return.” Tensions increased further this week following PKK attacks on KRG Peshmerga in Duhok. On November 3, security forces arrested Raad al-Haris, an advisor to PM Kadhimi and longtime former Deputy Minister of Electricity on corruption and mismanagement charges. On November 5, President Barham Salih ratified the new election law after Parliament voted on the boundaries of electoral districts last week. more…
  • Militia Offers Rewards For Information On Foreigners; PKK Attacks KDP Peshmerga Near Duhok – Between October 29 – November 5, four militants attacks and six bombings killed at least seven Iraqis and wounded another nine in Diyala, Salah ad-Din, Baghdad and Ninewa. On November 1, unknown gunmen killed Abd al-Nasser al-Tarfi, a tribal leader and supporter of Iraq’s protest movement in Maysan province. On October 31, al-Monitor reported that Ashab al-Kahf, a militia group describing themselves as “the intelligence arm of the resistance,” offered financial incentive ranging from $20k to $50k to Iraqi citizens in exchange for information on intelligence officers and investors working in Iraq who are from the UAE, Saudi Arabia, U.S. or UK. On November 4, the PKK targeted a Peshmerga vehicle with a rocket propelled grenade in a rare and significant escalation in the Amadiyah area of Duhok province, killing one Peshmerga fighter and wounding two more. Another PKK attack near Duhok wounded two KRG police officers. more…

  • Iraq Ranks High On Impunity Index For Journalists Murders; Humanitarian Funding Gap At 30%; Iraq Seeks Plan To Help 3.5 Million Living In Informal Settlements; COVID-19 Spread Appears To Slow Down – On October 28, the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) ranked Iraq the third-worst country in their Global Impunity Index, which “spotlights countries where journalists are murdered and their killers go free.” On October 29, the International Organization for Migration said that 2,803 individuals (546 families) returned to Ninewa’s Sinjar and al-Ba’aj districts between October 17 and October 29, bringing the total number of returnees since June 8 to 34,164 (6,405 families). On November 3, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) reported that donors provided $464.6 million of the $662.2 million funding requirement for Iraq’s 2020 Humanitarian Relief Plan and COVID-19 response, representing only 70% of funding required to address the needs of just 44% of Iraq’s total population in need. On November 4, the Ministry of Planning announced the development of a housing development plan in cooperation with the UN Human Settlements Program to address the issue of informal settlements in Iraq, which the Ministry says impacts 3.5 million people across the country. On November 5, the Ministry of Health reported that the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases increased to 489,751. Deaths from confirmed cases of COVID-19 reached 11,175 while the number of patients currently in hospitals dropped to 58,190. To date, 420,206 patients have recovered from the virus and Iraq has tested 2,950,888 samples for COVID-19. The areas most affected this week were Baghdad and the Kurdistan region, which reported 1,0714 and 1,195 new positive cases on November 5, respectively. more…

  • Pipeline Attack Halts KRG Oil Exports For A Week; Iraq’s Oil Exports Rise In October; Government Offers Contradicting Statements On Delayed Salaries – On October 30, the KRG stated an attack on its oil export pipeline through Turkey forced a temporary suspension of its oil exports, which lasted until November 5. On November 1, Iraq’s Oil Ministry said that exports in October increased to an average of 2.876 bpd, 263,000 bpd higher than September’s average. The October exports generated $3.43 billion in revenue, $263 million higher than September’s figures. Iraq sold its crude oil at an average price of $38.48 per barrel, down from September’s average of $40.40. On November 3, Iraq’s State Oil Marketing Organization (SOMO) announced it will introduce a new medium-grade sour crude known as Basra Medium to the market early next year. On November 2, Iraq’s Finance Minister Ali Allawi said the government will pay the delayed October salaries of public sector employees “within days” regardless of whether Parliament passes a proposed borrowing bill designed to address the government’s severe cash shortage. On November 3, PM Kadhimi’s spokesman slightly contradicted Allawi’s remarks, saying Kadhimi directed the Finance Ministry to begin disbursing pensions but suggesting the government was waiting for Parliament to pass the borrowing bill in order to begin paying salaries. Parliament is scheduled to discuss the borrowing bill on November 7. 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.


Saudi Investment Plan Draws Objections; Iraq And Egypt Sign 15 MoUs; Protests Continue After Tahrir Sq Reopening; Barzani Calls For End To PKK “Occupation”; President Signs New Election Law

On October 30, the German Bundestag voted to continue the German Army’s mission in Iraq through January 2022 at a maximum size of 500 troops. The German military has largely served in a non-combat support role in Iraq, training local security forces and providing logistical support for international forces in the fight against ISIS. 

On October 31, Asaib Ahl al-Haq leader, Qais al-Khazali, criticized the prospective Saudi plan announced last week to invest in agricultural projects in Anbar, Basra, Muthanna, and Najaf provinces on the grounds that the project creates “very serious national security threats” to Iraq. Khazali denounced the plan as an attempt by the Saudis to “seize large areas of Iraqi land” under the pretext of investment, and called on Iraqi politicians, academics, and members of civil society to reject the project. The same day, the State of Law Coalition, led by Nouri al-Maliki, criticized the Saudi investment plan and called on the government to block it. The project, State of Law argues, ought to be rejected as it overlooks the national security implications of Saudi investment. Adnan al-Asadi, a member of the Parliamentary Defense and Security Committee and member of the State of Law Coalition, stated that the Saudi project threatens Iraq’s security by improving Saudi food security at Iraq’s expense. A statement on the project from the head of National Approach bloc (Fadheela Party), Ammar To’meh, questioned whether Iraq even needs investment from Saudi Arabia, arguing that other countries may be more technically capable of improving Iraq’s agricultural lands than Saudi Arabia. 

On October 31, Egyptian Prime Minister Mustafa Madbouly arrived in Baghdad at the head of a high-level delegation for a series of bilateral meetings with the Iraqi government. The Iraqi government and the Egyptian delegation signed 15 memoranda of understanding to enhance financial and technical cooperation between Cairo and Baghdad on reconstruction projects concerning transportation, water infrastructure, healthcare, environmental protection, criminal justice, housing, construction, and industry across Iraq. The agreements also include Egyptian advising for Iraq’s Finance Ministry as it implements its proposed economic and financial reforms. In a statement at the launch of the Iraqi-Egyptian economic and commercial forum, Prime Minister Kadhimi stressed the importance of Iraq’s diplomatic and commercial relationship with Egypt for both countrywide and regional stability and noted that Iraq seeks to benefit from Egypt’s prior experience with financial and economic reform. Kadhimi stated that enhanced cooperation with Egypt in the above fields will serve as an important step to create a healthier environment for private sector development in Iraq. On November 3, two unnamed government officials reported that Iraq wishes to fund the Egyptian-led reconstruction projects with direct oil sales to Cairo rather than with hard currency, which the government critically lacks. The officials also reported that the government does not want these oil sales to count against Iraq’s oil export quota allowed under the OPEC+ production cut agreements.

On October 31, a group of Islamic scholars organized a demonstration in front of the offices of the Kurdistan Regional Parliament in Sulaymaniyah to protest French President Macron’s perceived insults against Islam and the Prophet Muhammad. The scholars also condemned  several Kurdish political parties for visiting the French consulate in Erbil to express solidarity with France and President Macron following a spate of Islamist terror attacks in the country and a concurrent boycott of French goods across the Muslim world. The scholars demanded that the Speaker of the KRG Parliament, Hemin Hawrami apologize for participating in the visit.

On October 31, Iraqi Security Forces (ISF) cleared remaining protest tents from Tahrir Square in central Baghdad, just days after it had hosted large anti-government protests, and reopened the square to vehicle traffic. Security forces reportedly cleared the square without incident, though protest organizers withdrew from the square last week due to concerns that “unknown parties” were using the protests as a cover to commit violence against security forces. The following day, new demonstrations began in Baghdad and in several provinces in southern and central Iraq to protest violence against protesters and security forces’ clearing of Tahrir Square. In Nasiriyah and Hilla, hundreds gathered to protest violence against activists and protesters and denounced local authorities. In central Karbala, hundreds gathered to protest Prime Minister Kadhimi’s ineffective policies, especially the delay in salary disbursement [see below]. In Basra, security forces and demonstrators clashed after security forces fired on protesters in an attempt to break up a sit-in in central Navy Square. Protesters in Basra said their demonstrations were inspired in part by frustration with the “retreat” of demonstrators from Tahrir Square. Activists demanded the resignation of Basra governor Asad al-Idani (whom protesters accuse of using excessive violence in breaking up protests in the province). Some activists in Basra are also reviving demands to give Basra a federal region status after tabling the issue earlier this year, arguing that this will force authorities to reconsider the provincial budget to address the needs of Basra’s rapidly growing population. On November 5, Prime Minister Kadhimi arrived in Basra where he met with local security force commanders. During the meeting, Kadhimi condemned the security forces’ use of live ammunition against demonstrators and reiterated his call for security forces to protect human dignity and citizens’ right to protest. On November 4, demonstrators in Nasiriyah, Dhi-Qar province stormed the provincial government building and sealed off its gates. The demonstrators reportedly intend to occupy the building until governor Nazem al-Waeli resigns. 

On November 2, Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) leader Masoud Barzani issued a statement in which he attacked the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) and warned of a “deterioration in the security situation” in northern Iraq . Barzani accused the PKK of challenging the legal authority of the Kurdistan region by occupying territory bordering Turkey “by force” and inviting Turkish military retaliation through its militant activities. Barzani said the PKK fighters must “leave all the territories they occupied and allow “the legitimate and legal authority of the region to return.”  The KDP leader warned that the party’s positions “prohibiting Kurdish-Kurdish infighting” must not be exploited to justify “undermining the safety and stability of our cities and villages and force our people to abandon their homes.” Tensions continued to escalate between the KRG and PKK this week. On November 4, the KRG Council of Ministers issued a statement condemning recent PKK attacks on Peshmerga forces[further details below] as an attack on the region and its institutions and a threat to peace. The Council stated that while it stands against “fraternal fighting,” the PKK “crossed the red line” and that the KRG will do what is necessary to prevent the deterioration of regional security.

On November 3, security forces arrested Raad al-Haris, an advisor to Prime Minister Kadhimi and the longtime former Deputy Minister of Electricity on corruption and mismanagement charges. The Supreme Judicial Council issued an arrest warrant against Haris after the “permanent investigation committee formed by order 29” filed a complaint against him. The warrant accuses Haris of accepting bribes and mismanaging nearly $50 billion in funds meant to improve electricity distribution during his time as deputy Minister of Electricity. If found guilty, Haris potentially faces a five-ten year prison sentence and a fine. Haris’ arrest appears to be part of Prime Minister Kadimi’s recent anti-corruption drive that started with the arrests of two government officials and a prominent businessman in September.

On November 5, President Barham Salih ratified Iraq’s new election law. Parliament completed voting on the boundaries of electoral districts last week, after resolving disputes over the boundaries in the contentious Ninewa and Kirkuk provinces. The new law distributes Iraq’s new 83 electoral districts as follows: 17 districts in Baghdad, 8 in Ninewa, 6 in Basra, 5 each in Dhi-Qar and Sulaymaniyah, 4 each in Babylon, Anbar, Erbil and Diyala, 3 each in Kirkuk, Najaf, Salah ad-Din, Duhok, Diwaniyah, Karbala,Wasit, and Maysan, and 2 in Muthanna.


Militia Offers Rewards For Information On Foreigners; PKK Attacks KDP Peshmerga Near Duhok

On October 29, ISIS militants wounded two Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF) fighters in an attack on villages near Jalawla in northeast Diyala. On October 31, an ISIS sniper killed a fisherman on Lake Hamrin. On November 3, local sources said ISIS burned farms in the Arab Suleiman village, 17km north of Jalawla and targeted residents and Iraqi army troops in the area with sniper fire. There were no reports of casualties.

On October 30, an under vehicle improvised explosive device (UVIED) wounded an intelligence official with the 24th PMF Brigade after it detonated underneath his vehicle near al-Muqdadiyah, in Diyala province. 

On October 30, Turkish airstrikes killed eight Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) fighters in the Gara region of Duhok. The next day, airstrikes killed an additional six PKK fighters in Gara and the Hakurk region.

On October 31, unknown militants targeted a liquor store in Baghdad’s Karrada district with a homemade IED, wounding one civilian and causing damage to a nearby Emirates Airlines office. On November 2, a security source reported that a “sound bomb” exploded targeting a second liquor store in al-Ghadeer, in eastern Baghdad. The explosion caused material damage but no casualties. 

On October 31, al-Monitor reported that Ashab al-Kahf (AK), a group describing themselves as “the intelligence arm of the resistance,” offered financial incentive ranging from $20k to $50k to Iraqi citizens for information on intelligence officers, “economists,” and “investors” from the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, United Kingdom, and United States in a statement on the Ashab al-Kahf Telegram channel. AK said they would give Iraqi translators working for the Coalition “legal permission” to continue working, “security,” and “monthly salary,” in exchange for information. AK also noted they would provide rewards for any information on intelligence officers from Palestine’s Fatah. AK is a small militant faction that previously claimed responsibility for some IED attacks against Iraqi contractors operating logistical convoys for the International Coalition.

On October 31, Ministry of Interior forces conducted two search operations in al-Rashad district, in western Kirkuk province, killing one ISIS militant and wounding another. Federal Police also uncovered 13 ISIS hideouts containing an explosive vest, C4, and four motorcycles.  

On October 31, unknown attackers used a locally-made explosive device to target the home of Najah al-Hassani, the Director of Education for al-Madinah district in northern Basra province.

On November 1, unknown gunmen killed Shaikh Abd al-Nasser al-Tarfi, a leader of the Bani Tai tribe, using small arms fire in Abu Rummaneh, west of al-Amara. Tarfi is described as an ardent supporter of Iraq’s protest movement on social media who had threatened “more than once” to “avenge” fallen protesters. 

On November 2, unknown gunmen driving an unmarked vehicle assassinated the mukhtar of al-Safra village in a drive-by shooting in front of his home in the Zummar subdistrict, 90km northwest of Mosul. 

On November 3, ISIS fighters attacked an Iraqi police unit near the village of al-Mazari’, in the Yathrib subdistrict of Salah ad-Din, killing one Iraqi policeman. 

On November 4, the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) targeted a Peshmerga vehicle with a rocket propelled grenade in the Amadiyah area of Duhok province, killing one Peshmerga fighter and wounding two more. PKK fighters also attacked KRG forces protecting an oil well in Amadiyah, wounding two police officers. The attacks come after KDP leader Masoud Barzani condemned the PKK in the wake of an attack on the Ceyhan oil pipeline between the Kurdistan Region and Turkey. 

On November 5, the simultaneous explosion of two IEDs killed four civilians and wounded five more in Diyala’s al-Abbara district, northeast of Baquba.


Iraq Ranks High On Impunity Index For Journalists Murders; Humanitarian Funding Gap At 30%; Iraq Seeks Plan To Help 3.5 Million Living In Informal Settlements; COVID Spread Appears To Slow Down

On October 28, the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) ranked Iraq the third-worst country in their Global Impunity Index, which “spotlights countries where journalists are murdered and their killers go free.” The Global Impunity Index is calculated using the number of unsolved journalist murders as a percent of each country’s population. Iraq had 21 murders in a population of 39.3 million for a rate of 0.000053%, compared to Somalia (0.000169%) and Syria (0.000129%), the worst and second-worst ranked countries respectively. The index examined murders between September 1, 2010 and August 31, 2020. Between 2013-2017, 17 journalists were killed with complete impunity in Iraq and between 2010 and 2011, four journalists were killed. However, no journalists were killed in either 2012 or 2017-2020. CPJ defines murders as a “deliberate killing of a specific journalist in retaliation for the victim’s work.” The index does not include journalists killed in combat or so-called “dangerous assignments.” The index also does not count “partial impunity,” events where the perpetrators are killed in apprehension or where some but not all perpetrators are convicted. 

On October 29, the International Organization for Migration’s Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM) said that 2,803 individuals (546 families) returned to Ninewa’s Sinjar and al-Ba’aj districts between October 17 and October 29. This raises the total number of returned individuals to 34,164 (6,405 families) since June 8. Between October 17 and October 29, an average of 192 individuals returned daily to Sinjar, and 23 individuals returned daily to al-Ba’aj. During this period, DTM reported that 44% of returnees to Sinjar and al-Ba’aj arrived in al-Shamal (Sinuni) subdistrict, 23% to Qayrawan, 22% to central Sinjar, and 11% to al-Qahtaniyah. Of these, 79% of new arrivals were recorded as returnees and 21% as out-of-camp IDPs. Of the new arrivals, 80% came from Duhok and 19% came from Ninewa. Meanwhile, on October 31, Ninewa Operations Commander Maj. Jabbar al-Taie said that his command is working with Ninewa’s government to provide services and support to returned families. Taie claimed that 5,312 families have returned to his area of responsibility in western Ninewa since June 2020.

On November 1, the Education Ministry issued a series of decisions regarding the new school year, for which a starting date is yet to be decided. The Ministry said that school will be held two to three days a week in person, and that schools must sterilize and clean classrooms and facilities. The Ministry also mandated that a maximum of eight to ten pupils would be allowed in “small rooms” and 15 pupils would be allowed in “large rooms.” Qusay al-Yasiri, chair of Parliament’s Education Committee, said that the Education Ministry, Health Ministry, and Coronavirus Crisis Cell must be in agreement on safety and education measures in order to begin the school year. Yasiri added that the Education Ministry will need to form a committee to determine the curriculum, and which material will be studied in class and in person. Meanwhile, the KRG Health Ministry postponed the start of the academic year in the region until December 1. 

On November 3, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) reported that international donors have provided $464.6 million of the $662.2 million funding requirement for Iraq’s 2020 Humanitarian Relief Plan (HRP) and COVID-19 response, representing 70.2% of funding needs. The COVID-19 response funds represent $264.8 million of the total required funds. Of this amount, $118.7 million has been funded, leaving a gap of $146.1 million. The total funding gap for 2020 stands at $197.6 million, or just under 30% of all needed funds. Even if fully funded by year’s end, the aid would reach only 44% of Iraq’s total population in need. In January, the UN OCHA reported that 4.1 million Iraqis were in urgent need of humanitarian assistance. OCHA’s 2020 Humanitarian Relief Plan (HRP) for Iraq, however, seeks to assist only 1.8 million of those in need.

On November 4, the Ministry of Planning announced the development of a housing development plan in cooperation with the United Nations Human Settlements Program to address the issue of informal settlements in Iraq. The plan will attempt to create “suitable housing” for these residents. According to the ministry, 3.5 million people live in nearly half a million homes comprising 4,000 informal settlements. The Director of the UN Human Settlements Program said that the organization is willing to “provide all possible types of support” to the Ministry of Planning to implement their development plan.

On November 5, the Iraqi Ministry of Health reported that the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Iraq rose to 489,751, representing a weekly increase of 21,996 cases from the 467,755 cases reported on October 29. Of these cases, 58,190 patients are currently in Iraqi hospitals, including 412 in the intensive care unit (ICU). This represents a decrease of 4,364 patients in Iraqi hospitals from last week, and a 48 patient decrease in ICU patients. Ministry data indicated that there were a total of 360 new COVID-related deaths this week, bringing the total from 10,815 to 11,175. The total number of recoveries increased from 394,386 to 420,206. The daily average for new cases decreased slightly from last week, with a daily average of 3,117 new cases, down from an average of 3,656 new cases per day last week. In the past 24 hours, the areas with the highest case counts were Baghdad with 1,071 cases, Duhok with 451 cases, Erbil with 433 cases, Sulaymaniyah with 311 cases, and Kirkuk with 203 cases. To date, Iraq has tested a total of 2,950,888 samples for COVID-19.


Pipeline Attack Halts KRG Oil Exports For A Week; Iraq’s Oil Exports Rise In October; Government Offers Contradicting Statements On Delayed Salaries

On October 30, the KRG said an attack on its oil export pipeline through Turkey forced a temporary suspension of oil exports from the region.  On October 29, press sources affiliated with the PKK said the group issued a statement claiming responsibility for the “sabotage operation” on the Kirkuk-Ceyhan oil pipeline, which reportedly occurred on October 28 in Turkey’s Mardin province, southeastern Turkey. The PKK claimed the section of the pipeline targeted was “completely destroyed.” On November 5, KRG officials reported the damaged segment of the pipeline had been repaired and that oil exports have resumed.

On October 31, an explosion damaged a segment of a natural gas pipeline in the al-Rumaitha district, Muthanna province, killing two children and wounding 28 individuals, including nine members of the 44th Brigade of the PMF. The Oil Ministry issued a statement saying it expected to complete repairs on the 42” damaged pipeline “within hours,” adding that gas flow was rerouted through an alternate pipeline without impact to power plants fed by the Rumaitha pipeline. 

On November 1, the Iraqi Ministry of Oil announced that crude oil exports during October increased to 89.153 million barrels, for an average of 2.876 bpd, which is 263,000 bpd higher than September’s average of 2.613 million bpd. The October exports generated $3.43 billion in revenue, $263 million higher than September’s $3.167 billion. Iraq sold its crude oil at an average price of $38.48 per barrel, down from September’s average of $40.40. Exports from fields in southern and central Iraq reached a total of 86 million in October, while oil from the northern fields in Kirkuk exported through the Turkish port of Ceyhan totaled 2.867 million barrels. Iraq’s oil exports in October are more than 562,000 bpd lower than they were in April (3.438 million bpd), indicating that it has met 52% of its pledge to reduce exports by 1.06 million bpd under April’s OPEC+ deal. This is down from 76% compliance in September. On November 3, Iraq’s State Oil Marketing Organization (SOMO) announced it will introduce a new medium-grade sour crude known as Basra Medium to the market by the beginning of 2021. SOMO stated the introduction of the new medium-grade crude is intended to tighten weight-grade standards of the existing Basra Light and Heavy crudes, creating a wider, more rigidly-defined variety of grades of crude it exports to the market.

On November 2, the Ministry of Planning announced that the total value of Iraq’s imports in 2019 amounted to about $21 billion, a 43% decrease from $37 billion in 2018. Non-oil imports amounted to $18.1 trillion, a 46.8% decrease from 2018’s total of $34.1 billion, while oil-related  imports (refined fuels such as gasoline and diesel Iraq imports to augment production form local refineries) amounted to $2.77 billion, decreasing by 1.4% from 2018’s total of $2.81 billion. The Ministry also reported that China was Iraq’s largest trading partner in 2019.

On November 2, Finance Minister Ali Allawi said the government will pay the delayed October salaries of public sector employees “within days” regardless of whether Parliament passes a proposed borrowing bill designed to address the government’s severe cash shortage. Allawi, however, warned that oil revenues and cash the ministry has on hand are insufficient to cover all salaries, suggesting that salaries may need to be paid in installments. On November 2, a group of public sector employees blocked a highway near the Finance Ministry to protest the delay in salary disbursement. The protest coincided with calls on social media to begin a general strike on Sunday in protest of the salary delay. On November 3, Prime Minister Kadhimi’s spokesman, Ahmed Mulla Tala slightly contradicted Allawi’s remarks on salaries, saying Kadhimi directed the Finance Ministry to begin disbursing pensions but suggesting the government was waiting for Parliament to pass the borrowing bill in order to begin paying employees’ salaries. Talal also reported that the Prime Minister’s Office is in contact with the Parliamentary blocs in an effort to expedite the bill’s passage and said the government was committed to paying delayed salaries. Parliament is scheduled to meet on November 7 to discuss the borrowing bill.

On November 3, a KRG spokesman said a task force that oversees the use of biometric data to verify the identity of people on public payroll announced it had suspended payment of 16,000 salaries after their recipients were determined to be receiving multiple monthly salaries.


IED Incidents and Resulting Casualties

DateLocationDeathsInjuries
10/30/20al-Muqdadiyah, Diyala01
10/31/20Karrada, Baghdad01
10/31/20al-Madinah, Basra00
11/2/20al-Ghadeer, Baghdad00
11/05/20al-Abbara, Diyala45

 

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.


Subscribe to our weekly ISHM and have the latest developments in Iraq sent straight to your inbox every Thursday and follow EPIC on Twitter to receive updates throughout the week.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email