ENHANCE UNDERSTANDING

ISHM: NOVEMBER 17 – DECEMBER 1, 2022

ISHM LOGO

Key Takeaways:

  • Sudani Visits Regional Capitals; Senior Intelligence Officials Fired, Charged With Corruption; Ruling Coalition To Dismiss Early Election Plans – Between November 21 – 29, PM Sudani traveled to Amman, Kuwait City, and Tehran, for meetings with regional leaders. His meetings in Amman focused on counterterrorism and other bilateral and regional developments. In Kuwait, he discussed strengthening economic and trade partnerships. In Tehran, Sudani told Iran’s Ali Khamenei that Baghdad was “committed to upholding the Iraqi constitution, which forbids making Iraq a launchpad for attacks on its neighbors,” in reference to Iran’s demands for disarming Kurdish opposition groups operating from Iraq. Sudani also told Iran’s President Raisi that economic cooperation with Iran was a priority for Baghdad. Meanwhile, Raisi criticized the presence of U.S. in the region, stressing that their exit “would bring security.” During that period, Sudani also received a phone call from Vladimir Putin, and met with the U.S. ambassador and a Congressional delegation. On November 29, an anti-corruption court placed a travel ban on Raed Johi, a key aide to former PM Kadhimi and former director of Iraq’s National Intelligence Service (INIS). Johi is accused of aiding the escape of another INIS senior officer accused of corruption. On the following day, news reports said four INIS departmental directors had been fired for undisclosed reasons. Earlier in November, INIS warned that its senior officers were being targeted by a malicious smear campaign. The warning came after Kataib Hezbollah had called the prosecution of Kadhimi “and his spy team.” On December 29, a report prepared by the State Administration Coalition, which includes all the major parties in government, recommended holding provincial elections in October 2023 and general elections at the end of the current parliamentary cycle, instead of early elections within one year, as was proposed in Sudani’s government program. more…
  • Iraq Boosts Border Security After New Iranian, Turkish Strikes On Opposition Groups; Several Senior Officers Replaced – On November 23, federal Iraqi and Kurdish leaders agreed to deploy Iraqi border guards along the borders with Iran and Turkey after a new wave of Iranian and Turkish missile and drone strikes targeted Kurdish separatist groups in the Kurdistan region. Recent Turkish warplanes had reportedly killed 32 PKK members in 25 airstrikes on the Qandil mountains, while Iranian missiles and drones struck the positions of Iranian Kurdish opposition groups near Erbil, Sulaymaniyah, and Kirkuk. Both Iran and Turkey reportedly made threats to launch cross-border ground offensives to prevent attacks by Kurdish opposition groups. On November 29, Iraq’s Interior Minister replaced several senior officers in key positions across the ministry, including the ministry’s intelligence chief, the deputy minister for police affairs, the border guard commander, two federal police division commanders, and the director for counternarcotics. Meanwhile, the Defense Ministry replaced the top army commanders in Diyala and Kirkuk. In other developments, on November 19, ISIS militants attacked an Iraqi army outpost near Kirkuk, killing four soldiers. On November 30, the U.S. military confirmed that Syrian rebels had killed ISIS leader Abu al-Hassan al-Qurayshi in Syria’s Deraa province. more…
  • Poverty Forces More Of Mosul’s Children Into Labor; 2022 Humanitarian Response Plan Remains Only Halfway Funded – On November 20, data from a survey conducted by the International Rescue Committee in Mosul pointed to a worrisome increase in child labor rates and unsafe work conditions as families struggle to afford basic necessities. The date indicates that nine in ten caregivers surveyed said they had at least one child involved in labor, and more than eight out of ten working children said they did not feel safe where they worked. On November 22, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) reported a lingering large funding gap affecting the 2022 Humanitarian Response Plan (HRP). OCHA said that donors have provided $203 million in funding through the month of October, just 51% of the $400 million needed to assist nearly a million people with acute humanitarian needs. In other developments, on November 30, Iraq’s Health Ministry decided to stop asking travelers coming to or departing from Iraq to display proof of vaccination. more…
  • Iraq Recovers Fraction Of Stolen Tax Funds; Militias To Control New Public Firm; Rain Allows Expanded Agricultural Plans; Oil Revenue Drops – On November 27, PM Sudani announced the recovery of about $123 million from the $2.5 billion tax funds that were stolen from government accounts. The government also released a key suspect in the case, Noor Zuheir, on bail in exchange for helping authorities recover the rest of the funds. On November 28, the Iraqi government approved IQD100 billion for the formation of “al-Muhandis,” a new public company that will operate under the control of the Popular Mobilization Forces. On November 30, Iraq’s Agriculture Ministry said that good rainfall will allow it to provide water for an additional one million dunams of land next season, raising the total area to be cultivated to 13.5 million dunams. On December 1, Iraq’s Oil Ministry said that oil exports during November averaged 3.329 million bpd and generated $8.231 billion in revenue, about $1 billion less than the previous month, as oil prices dropped by about $6/barrel. In other developments, on November 22, Iraq decided to stop charging 20% tax on cell phone and mobile internet credit sales. 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.


Sudani Visits Regional Capitals; Senior Intelligence Officials Fired, Charged With Corruption; Ruling Coalition To Dismiss Early Election Plans

On November 21, Prime Minister Mohammed al-Sudani visited the Jordanian capital, Amman, to meet with King Abdullah II and other Jordanian officials. A statement by Sudani’s office said the prime minister, who was accompanied by his Foreign Minister and the governor of Anbar province, discussed counterterrorism cooperation, bilateral relations, and regional affairs. After returning to Baghdad, Sudani set off for Kuwait on November 23, where he met with his counterpart, Ahmad al-Nawaf al-Ahmad al-Sabah. A statement by Sudani’s office said the two sides discussed strengthening economic and trade partnerships between Iraq and Kuwait. On the following day, Sudani received a phone call from Russian President Vladimir Putin. According to Sudani’s office, Putin congratulated Sudani on assuming office and expressed Moscow’s interest in building stronger relations with Baghdad. Then on November 25, Sudani met U.S. ambassador Alina Romanowski and a Congressional delegation led by congressman Mark Takano. The meeting focused on the continuing fight against ISIS and other aspects of bilateral relations, especially climate change and the water scarcity crisis facing Iraq. The delegation later traveled to Erbil for meetings with Iraqi Kurdish leaders and the governor of Ninewa. The discussion in Erbil focused on “encouraging cooperation between Naghdad and Erbil, strengthening democratic institutions, and the needs of ethnic and religious minorities,” according to a tweet by the U.S. envoy. Later, Prime Minister Mohammed al-Sudani met with Iran’s ambassador to Baghdad, Mohammed al-Sadiq, on November 26. The Iranian envoy delivered an official invitation from Iranian President Ibrahim Raisi to Sudani to visit Tehran. 

On November 21, Iraq’s Foreign Affairs Ministry issued a statement condemning the “repeated attacks by Iranian and Turkish forces” with missiles and armed drones against the Kurdistan region of Iraq (details below). The ministry said these attacks violate Iraq’s sovereignty and damage relations between neighbors, stressing that Iraq does not want to be a base for attacks on its neighbors, and refuses to be a battlefield for “settling scores among external parties.” Meanwhile, Iran’s ambassador to Baghdad, Mohammed al-Sadiq, defended Tehran’s actions by arguing that authorities in the Kurdistan region of Iraq of “don’t want to get rid of the terrorist groups that live amongst them, and provided them with support.” The Iranian envoy added that his government had asked the Iraqi side (and that Baghdad has agreed) to develop a timetable for disarming the Iranian Kurdish opposition groups that have bases inside Iraq. For its part, the Kurdistan regional government (KRG) denied Iran’s allegation about allowing cross-border weapons smuggling by opposition groups, insisting that the KRG “had not and would not allow any actions that undermine the security of any neighboring state.”

On November 21, news reports said that the Karkh court in Baghdad had issued a warrant for the arrest of former Trade Minister Alaa al-Jubouri. The court document mentions that the former minister is wanted in a case filed with a special investigation office in charge of cases involving the Iraqi National Intelligence Service (INIS), without providing more detail. The on November 24, the Integrity Commission said that the Karkh investigation court in Baghdad summoned former Salah ad-Din lawmaker and former Environment Minister Qutaiba al-Jubori for allegedly demanding kickbacks from a contractor seeking award of a demining contract in Basra. Later, on November 30, the High Commission for Combating Corruption said that an arrest warrant against Haythem al-Jubouri, a former advisor to former Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi and former chairman of the parliamentary finance committee, had been successfully enforced. The former lawmaker, whose financial assets had allegedly increased to IQD16 billion, is suspected of abusing his government position to make unlawful financial gain.      

On November 24, Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) leader Bafel Talabani convened a meeting of the leaders of other Kurdish political parties in Sulaymaniyah to discuss political, economic, and security conditions in the Kurdistan region, and relations with the rest of Iraq. According to a statement by Talabani’s office, the meeting called for the creation of a “supreme regional council” to include all parties in decision making and address issues of national importance. A few weeks earlier, the PUK leadership council had issued a statement that said it wanted to “correct the path of governance” in the Kurdistan region and end the “unilateralism and monopoly of power” exercised by the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP). 

On November 28, Rudaw reported, citing unnamed political sources, that an agreement had been reached to divide the two remaining vacant portfolios in the cabinet of Prime Minister Mohammed al-Sudani between the KDP and the PUK. According to the sources, the Environment Ministry will go to Nizar Amedi of the PUK, while the Ministry of Reconstruction and Housing will go to Bengin Rikani of the KDP. The two portfolios were left undecided when parliament approved the majority of Sudani’s cabinet choices on October 27.

On November 29, Prime Minister Mohammed al-Sudani began a trip to Iran, where he had meetings with Iranian leaders, including President Ibrahim Raisi and Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei. According to a statement by Sudani’s office, the prime minister thanked Khamenei for the support Iran had provided during the war with ISIS, and called for continued cooperation on counterterrorism and fighting drug trafficking. Sudani also told Khamenei that his government is “committed to upholding the Iraqi constitution, which forbids making Iraq a launchpad for attacks on its neighbors.” Sudani reiterated his gratitude and the commitment to supporting Iran’s security during a joint press conference with Raisi. The Iraqi prime minister also said that economic cooperation was a priority for his government, adding that he and Raisi agreed to activate a joint economic committee to commence meetings as soon as possible. In remarks about regional security issues, the Iranian president criticized the presence of “American and foreign forces” in the region, stressing that “the exit of foreign forces would bring security to the region’s countries.” A statement by Sudani’s office said that the prime minister and his delegation also discussed energy relations, regulating pilgrimage travel, and climate change and water shortages during an extended meeting with the Iranian side. 

On November 29, the High Commission for Combating Corruption said that an anti-corruption court had placed a travel ban on Raed Johi, the former director of former Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi’s office and later the director of the Iraqi National Intelligence Service (INIS). The Commission, which was formed on November 13 by orders of Prime Minister Mohammed al-Sudani, said the court also issued orders to summon Johi for questioning, adding that he’s accused of allegedly aiding the escape of Dhia al-Mousawi, another INIS senior officer accused of corruption. On the following day, there were news reports that four departmental directors within the INIS had been fired for undisclosed reasons. According to unnamed security officials, the changes will affect the departments of administration, monitoring, security, and technical affairs. A week before these developments, INIS had issued a statement warning that its senior officers were being targeted by a malicious smear campaign involving fabricated accusations propagated by certain writers and media channels. The statement said INIS was being targeted by those “who are threatened by the service’s effective role in protecting Iraq’s national security,” without naming specific entities or individuals. It’s worth noting that the Kataib Hezbollah militia had issued a statement on November 3 calling for “doubling the efforts” to prosecute former Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi “and his spy team.”  

On November 29, a report prepared by the State Administration Coalition, which includes all the major parties in government, recommended holding provincial elections in October 2023 and general elections at the end of the current parliamentary cycle, instead of early elections within one year, as was proposed in the government program presented by Prime Minister Sudani. A lawmaker from the State of Law Coalition said the proposal to allow this parliament to serve a full term was due to “the sensitive” situation in the country, arguing that the government has already lost a year. The lawmaker, Arif al-Hamami, said the parties within the State Administration Coalition will discuss the recommendations to build consensus on a plan before presenting it to parliament. 

Sources cited in this section include: INA, Iraqi PM office, Rudaw, ISHM archives, social media, Nas News, Shafaq, al-Sumaria, NINA, Iraq’s Foreign Ministry.


Iraq Boosts Border Security After New Iranian, Turkish Strikes On Opposition Groups; Several Senior Officers Replaced

On November 18, security sources in Babylon province said that an improvised explosive device (IED) detonated near a Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF) checkpoint in the Jurf al-Sakhr subdistrict. The explosion wounded two PMF fighters. 

On November 19, Iraqi security officials said that ISIS militants attacked an Iraqi army outpost near the Dibis district, northwest of Kirkuk. The attack, which occurred in the early morning hours, killed four soldiers. The attackers also stole weapons and communications equipment from the outpost before leaving the area.

On November 19, security sources in Diyala said that an IED explosion struck PMF troops while they were conducting a security operation in the Omar Mandan region, northeast of Diyala. The explosion killed the commander of a battalion in the PMF 11th brigade and wounded eight other fighters. 

On November 20, Turkish warplanes launched a new wave of airstrikes against the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in northern Syria and Iraq’s Kurdistan region. According to a report by AP, Iraqi Kurdish officials said 32 PKK members were killed in 25 airstrikes against their positions in the Qandil mountains. This week, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said his government was considering possible ground offensives in northern Syria and Iraq to complement the air attacks, which were a retaliation for the recent bombing in Istanbul.

On November 21, the Security Media Cell reported that Iraqi airstrikes targeted several hideouts used by ISIS militants in the Wadi al-Khasa region of Kirkuk province, destroying the targets and killing six of the militants. 

On November 21, Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) launched new attacks with missiles and suicide explosive drones against the positions of Iranian Kurdish opposition groups inside Iraq’s Kurdistan region. The Monday attacks targeted the Kurdistan Democratic Party of Iran (KDP-I) near Erbil, and a camp housing Iranian Kurdish refugees in the town of Koy Sanjaq, near Sulaymaniyah.The attacks resumed on Tuesday, with reports of missiles striking near a building belonging to the Iranian Kurdistan Freedom group in the town of Altun-Kupri, northwest of Kirkuk. It is unclear how many people were killed or injured in the attacks. IRGC commander Ismael Qaani, who visited Baghdad last week, had reportedly threatened to launch a ground offensive across the border unless the Iraqi military acted to block the movement of Kurdish opposition groups. 

On November 22, security sources in Baghdad said that an unidentified gunman attacked two officers in Iraq’s National Security Service as they were leaving their workplace in east Baghdad. The two officers, a major and a first lieutenant, were both injured in the attack, in which the gunmen used a handgun and three grenades. Security forces have apprehended the attacker, according to the sources. 

On November 22, Iraq’s Ministry of Defense said that a military helicopter (Bell 407) made an emergency landing near the city of Samarra after it encountered a technical problem in its engine. Two officers and one other service member who were aboard the helicopter were taken to the hospital for treatment.  

On November 22, KDP representatives in the Iraqi parliament said the Kurdish party blocs have asked the legislature to help the Kurdistan region acquire air defense systems so it can defend itself against repeated missile and drone attacks from Iran and Turkey. KDP lawmaker Zozan Ali said the Kurdish blocs are demanding real action from the Iraqi government to stop the attacks, not mere statements of condemnation. Ali said the discussions did not produce a resolution with specific measures. Earlier, an advisor to KDP president Masoud Barzani called on the international community and Baghdad to sell Erbil advanced air defense systems to defend against future attacks, saying that missiles are deterred with missiles, not condemnations.”

On November 23, security sources in Basra said that a homemade IED exploded outside a civilian residence in the Zubeir district, southwest of Basra. The explosion damaged parked vehicles in the area but there were no reports of casualties. 

On November 23, security sources in Baghdad said that unidentified gunmen attacked the home of a religious scholar in the Ur neighborhood of east Baghdad with a hand grenade. The attack caused material damage but there were no reports of casualties. 

On November 23, local sources in Maysan province said that unidentified gunmen shot and killed a senior local commander in the Saraya al-Salam militia of Muqtada al-Sadr in a late night attack in Amara. The attack also seriously wounded one of the targeted individual’s associates. 

On November 23, a military spokesman for the Iraqi government said that Iraq has decided to enhance security along the borders with Iran and Turkey by deploying border guard units. The decision was made at a meeting of the ministerial council for national security that was chaired by Prime Minister Sudani and attended by the chief of staff of the Peshmerga forces of the Kurdsitan region. The planned deployment is in response to recurring Iranian and Turkish missile and drone attacks targeting Kurdish separatist groups with bases on the Iraqi side of the border. The government spokesman said the federal government will coordinate with the Peshmerga forces and the government of the Kurdistan region to “unify the national effort to protect Iraq’s borders.” In the following days, Prime Minister Sudani had meetings in Baghdad with PUK leader Bafel Talabani, and KRG President (and KDP VP) Nechirvan Barzani to discuss the implementation of the recent plans for enhancing border security. After the meetings, the KRG presidency said that Baghdad and Erbil will seek “total coordination and cooperation to secure the borders,” adding that “no armed factions will be allowed in the Kurdistan region.”

On November 29, Iraq’s Interior Minister issued orders to replace several senior officers in key positions across the ministry. A ministry statement said the officers being replaced include intelligence chief general Ahmed Abu Ragheef, deputy minister for police affairs lieutenant general Imad Mohammed, border guard commander lieutenant general Hamid al-Husseini, as well as two federal police division commanders, and the director of counternarcotics. Subsequent reports added that the minister appointed major general Mahir Najim to replace Abu Ragheef, major general Adil al-Khalidi as the new deputy for police affairs, and also appointed major general Dhafir Najmi as the new commander of the energy police. The former energy police chief was arrested earlier in a crackdown on an alleged smuggling scheme. According to these reports, brigadier generals Wajdi al-Idani and Nabil al-Jumaili will be the new commanders of the 4th and 1st federal police divisions, respectively, while major general Mohammed Sikar will be the new border guard commander. 

On November 29, security sources in Basra said that a remnant of war exploded in the Khor Abdullah region in the southern parts of Basra. The explosion injured one person who was fishing in the area. 

On November 30, a spokesman for ISIS said the commander of the terrorist group, Abu al-Hassan al-Qurayshi, was killed recently, without offering details about the date or circumstances of the incident. The spokesman added that ISIS has chosen Abu al-Hussein al-Husseini as its new chief. The U.S. military said Qurayshi died in October during fighting with Syrian rebel forces in Syria’s Deraa province.

On December 1, Iraq’s Defense Ministry appointed major general Kamil Salih al-Azzawi as the new chief of the Diyala operations command, replacing major general Ali Fadhil Omran. The ministry also appointed major general Jabbar al-Taie as the new chief of the Kirkuk advanced headquarters, replacing lieutenant general Ali al-Freiji.  

Sources cited in this section include: Shafaq, NINA, INA, Ultra Iraq, Rudaw, AP, Nas News, Iraqi PM office, al-Sumaria, ISHM archives.


Poverty Forces More Of Mosul’s Children Into Labor; 2022 Humanitarian Response Plan Remains Only Halfway Funded

On November 20, data from a survey conducted by the International Rescue Committee (IRC) in Mosul pointed to a worrisome increase in child labor rates and unsafe work conditions as families struggle to afford their basic necessities. According to the IRC, the date indicated that nine in ten caregivers said they had at least one child who was involved in labor. And more than eight out of ten working children said they did not feel safe where they worked. The list of dangers included harassment and lack of proper protective gear. Results from the survey, which covered 211 households across East Mosul, showed that returnee families experienced the highest child labor rates, with 50% reporting having at least one child involved in labor . Among households that are still in displacement and in the host community, the rates were 25% and 20%, respectively. The vast majority of interviewed children said they lacked key civil documents, like birth certificates, which are necessary to receive education and other social services.

On November 22, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) provided an update on the state of implementation and funding for the 2022 Humanitarian Response Plan (HRP), which points to a large gap between requirements and available resources. OCHA said that donors have provided $203 million in funding through the month of October, which represents just 51% of the $400 million needed to fully implement the 2022 HRP. The 2022 HRP had identified a population of 2.5 million who need assistance, of whom 961,000 are considered to be in acute need reaching “extreme or catastrophic levels.” The HRP aims to help 991,000 people from this population. This includes 180,000 IDPs living in camps, 234,000 IDPs staying in places other than camps, and 577,000 returnees “with life-saving and life-sustaining assistance to meet their most critical humanitarian needs.” The update indicates the HRP reached all of that target population. 

On November 25, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) provided new data on the return of Iraqi refugees and asylum seekers to the country since the spring of 2018. The IOM data shows that a total of 44,637 former Iraqi refugees and asylum seekers had returned to the country between May 2018 and September of this year. Although returns were identified in all of Iraq’s 18 provinces, the southern province of Dhi-Qar accounted for nearly half of them (49%), followed by Ninewa with 39%, and Anbar with 5%. The data also shows that more than half of returnees (51%) came from either Turkey (32%) or Syria (19%).

On November 28, the Iraqi Ministry of Health reported that there were 703 new infections with COVID-19, one new fatality, and 20,196 people who received their vaccines during the period between November 21 – 27. Cumulatively, the ministry reported 2,463,724 infections, 25,364 deaths, and 11,314,350 vaccinations. The average number of new cases during the last 7-day reporting period remained stable at 100 per day, same as the previous reporting period. This week, the Health Ministry decided, effective December 1, to no longer require travelers coming to or departing from Iraq to display proof of vaccination.  

Sources cited in this section include: INA, Nas News, ISHM archives, Reliefweb, al-Mirbad.


Iraq Recovers Fraction Of Stolen Tax Funds; Militias To Control New Public Firm; Rain Allows Expanded Agricultural Plans; Oil Revenue Drops

On November 19, Iraq’s Oil Ministry said Prime Minister Mohammed al-Sudani has approved plans to add a new crude oil refining unit at the 20,000 barrels per day (bpd) Diwaniyah refinery in southern Iraq. The new facility will have the capacity to process 70,000 bpd. When completed, it will more than quadruple the refinery’s capacity to 90,000 bpd. The director of Iraq’s Midland Oil Refinery Company said the expansion project will be awarded to a “specialized Iraqi firm,” adding that the work is expected to take up to four years. 

On November 22, the Iraqi government decided to stop charging 20% tax on cell phone and mobile internet credit sales. The decision to stop charging the tax, which was imposed first in 2014 as a means to generate more non-oil revenue for the government after oil prices collapsed, will come into effect starting December 1, 2022.

On November 23, U.S. ambassador to Iraq, Alina Romanowski, said that Iraq’s Planning Ministry and USAID signed a new Development Executive Agreement, under which USAID plans to invest nearly $550 million in projects aimed at supporting better governance, economic growth, climate adaptation, and vulnerable communities.

On November 26, Iraq’s Minister of Industry revealed that there were more than 40,000 unnecessary personnel on the ministry’s payroll, forcing the ministry to borrow hundreds of billions of dinars a year from the Finance Ministry in order to pay wages. The minister, Khalid Battal, compared his ministry to a welfare agency that “pays wages to people who produce nothing.” Speaking from Ninewa, where he was inspecting government factories, Battal added that the ministry was developing plans to merge and restructure some of its enterprises, and “may shut down some industrial facilities that could not be refurbished.” In earlier remarks, Battal had mentioned on November 20 that only one of the 31 industrial companies owned by the ministry could afford to pay for its workers’ wages. According to Battal, that company is the State Enterprise for Fertilizers-South.

On November 27, Prime Minister Mohammed al-Sudani gave a press conference in which he announced the recovery of IQD182 billion ($123 million) from the $2.5 billion tax funds that were stolen from government accounts in an elaborate check fraud scheme. Sudani confirmed that tax officials and other government officials were involved in facilitating the theft, and asserted that no involved parties would be immune from prosecution. Sudani also revealed that the government made a deal with a key suspect in the case, Noor Zuheir, under which the latter would be released on bail in exchange for helping authorities recover the rest of the stolen funds within two weeks. According to Sudani, most of the stolen funds were used by the culprits to purchase properties in different parts of Baghdad. On November 28, NINA reported that the judge at the Karkh investigation court in Baghdad ordered the release of Noor Zuheir on bail in accordance with the agreement outlined by the prime minister. 

On November 28, the Iraqi government approved the formation of a new public company that will operate under the control of the Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF). The new company, “al-Muhandis,” bears the name of PMF commander Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, who was killed in January 2020 alongside Iranian general Qassim Soleimani in a U.S. drone strike in Baghdad.  A government statement said the company will start with IQD100 billion in capital, without specifying the kind of business in which it will engage.  

On November 30, Iraq’s Ministry of Agriculture decided to expand the areas planned for inclusion in the next crop season by one million dunams (a dunam equals 0.247 acres) based on its review of expected water resources. A spokesman for the ministry said that recent heavy rains have improved the outlook for water availability, and prompted the ministry to increase the areas designated for irrigation by surface water from 1.5 million to 2.5 million dunams. The overall agricultural plan for next season also includes seven million dunams of rainfed farmlands, and nearly four million dunams that will depend on well water for irrigation. The spokesman added that farmers will be able to receive free pesticides, and seeds and fertilizers supported by 70% and 50% subsidies, respectively. 

On December 1, Iraq’s Oil Ministry said that crude oil exports during November totaled 99.867 million barrels, for an average of 3.329 million barrels per day (bpd), approximately 53,000 bpd lower than in October. The November exports generated $8.231 billion in revenue, more than $1 billion below the $9.258 billion achieved in October. Iraq sold its crude oil at an average price of approximately $82.41 per barrel, about $6 below previous month’s average of $88.31 per barrel. Shipped exports from fields in southern and central Iraq averaged 3.24 million bpd in November, while exports from the northern fields in Kirkuk, which were exported through the Turkish port of Ceyhan, averaged slightly more than 78,700 bpd. Earlier this week, Iraq’s oil marketing organization (SOMO) said the country aims to raise exports by 250,000 bpd by the second half of 2023, to reach an average of 3.6 million bpd.

Sources cited in this section include: Iraq’s Oil Ministry, INA, ISHM archives, Nas News, Ultra Iraq, Shafaq, NINA, al-Mirbad, al-Sumaria, Rudaw.


IED Incidents and Resulting Casualties

Casualties Due To IEDs from November 17, 2022 - December 1, 2022

DateLocationDeathsInjuries
11/18/22 Jurf al-Sakhr, Babylon province02
11/19/22 Near Qara Tappa, Diyala province18
11/23/22 Al-Zubeir, Basra province00

 

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