Author: Dana Taib Menmy ــ Iraq

Breaking the Deadlock: Kirkuk Provincial Council Convenes After Eight Months of Impasse After nearly eight months of political deadlock, the Kirkuk Provincial Council (KPC) finally convened its inaugural session on Thursday to address longstanding disputes over leadership in the oil-rich and disputed province. The council, extending its session for a month, aims to reach a consensus on power-sharing and elect a governor, as reported by Iraq’s State News Agency (INA). The intervention of Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammed Shia al-Sudani this week urged council members to come together and break the impasse, signaling hope for progress. Mazher Anwar Al-Asi, a KPC…

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Strengthening Regional Ties: Kuwait, Iraq, and Iran Recently, Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammed Shia Al-Sudani extended invitations to Kuwait’s Emir Sheikh Mishal Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah and Iran’s newly elected President Massoud Pezeshkian to visit Baghdad, aiming to enhance regional relations amidst ongoing security challenges. The gesture signals a proactive approach by Iraq to boost diplomatic ties. During a recent diplomatic mission to Kuwait, Iraqi Interior Minister Abdul Amir Al-Shammari delivered a message from Al-Sudani to the Kuwaiti Emir, inviting him to visit Baghdad. Discussions focused on improving residency arrangements, simplifying visa procedures, and combating drug trafficking through enhanced intelligence cooperation. The…

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The Houthi Group Establishes Office in Baghdad Amidst Regional Tensions Amid ongoing regional tensions over Israel’s war on Gaza, the Yemeni Houthi group, also known as Ansar Allah, has established an office in Baghdad, confirmed by Iraqi officials. The office, inaugurated by prominent Houthi representative Abu Idris Al-Sharafi, aims to serve as a headquarters for movement members in Iraq. While Iraqi security officials remained ambiguous about the nature of the office, they emphasized Iraq’s commitment to prevent the group from engaging in hostile activities against any country from Iraqi territory. This development raises questions about Iraq’s stance on its relations…

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The recent political crisis in Iraq, stemming from the failed election of a new parliament speaker, has prompted Kurdistan Democratic Party President Masoud Barzani to step in as a mediator between Sunni Arab factions. Following the ousting of Mohammed al-Halbusi by Iraq’s top court, Barzani has proposed a compromise candidate to represent all Sunni factions and ease tensions. Despite Barzani’s efforts, challenges remain as Sunni factions fiercely compete for the speaker’s role, seen as crucial for political dominance in Sunni-majority areas. The Taqaddum Party, led by Halbusi, is firm in its stance on securing the parliamentary speaker’s position to uphold…

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The Turkish military incursion into Iraqi Kurdistan has led to the evacuation of nearly 602 villages in Duhok province, as Turkish forces target the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and scorch farmland, causing significant displacement and destruction. The silence from Iraqi and Kurdish authorities has raised concerns over sovereignty and citizen safety. Maj. Gen. Tahseen Al-Khafaji stated that the Turkish operation is political and not under the Iraqi Joint Operations Command, while efforts to contact Iraq’s foreign ministry were unsuccessful. The Kurdistan Democratic Party’s Sakfan Sindi noted a lack of information due to parliament’s break but assured a review post-holiday. Community…

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The leader of the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP), Masoud Barzani, made a historic visit to Baghdad after six years to address unresolved issues between Baghdad and Erbil, supporting Prime Minister Mohammed Shia’ Al-Sudani’s government. The visit was marked by constructive discussions and identical viewpoints between Barzani and key political figures in Iraq, including the president and Iran-backed factions. Barzani aimed to secure timely payments for KRG security forces and public employees, seeking support for his party in the upcoming parliamentary elections in the Kurdistan region. The visit also focused on resolving disputes related to the region’s budget, parliamentary elections, and…

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Amnesty International’s new report sheds light on the failure of the Kurdistan Region of Iraq to hold perpetrators of domestic violence accountable and the obstacles faced by survivors seeking justice and protection. Despite some progress in legislation, survivors struggle to access the necessary support and face daunting challenges. Shelters are described as having prison-like conditions, leading many women and girls to return to abusive environments. The report calls on the Kurdistan Regional Government to enforce domestic violence laws, increase funding for support institutions, and improve shelter conditions. It also highlights the need to eliminate mandatory reconciliation processes and court order…

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A Potential Crisis Unfolds in Iraqi Kurdistan: Recent Events Unveiled Recent events in the Iraqi Kurdistan region have sparked concerns over potential crises as tensions escalate between various parties. An alleged Turkish drone strike in Sulaimaniyah injured two individuals, fueling speculations of further attacks targeting Kurdish activists. The incident coincided with a Turkish ban on flights through Sulaimaniyah International Airport. Moreover, Iraqi and Kurdish authorities accused the PKK of orchestrating a series of devastating fires in bazaars across multiple provinces. Three suspects, allegedly PKK members, were apprehended, shedding light on the group’s alleged disruptive activities. The PKK, in turn, refuted…

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The Iraqi Resistance Coordination Coalition has officially announced the end of the ceasefire with the United States in Iraq, amidst escalating tensions with Israel and Lebanon. The coalition, comprising armed groups allied with Iran, threatened to increase military operations against US interests in the region if Israel initiates a wide war against Lebanon. Recent meetings among the factions have highlighted their readiness to confront any potential conflict, with fighters undergoing training under Iranian supervision in preparation for a full-scale regional war. The focus is not only on military skills but also on ideological mobilization and readiness. Criticism has been directed…

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In an effort to boost Lebanon’s tourism sector, the government has waived visa requirements for Iraqis since last year. Despite growing tensions in the region, Iraqis continue to travel to Lebanon, with Iraqi tourism companies reporting a steady stream of visitors. According to sources, Iraqis are visiting Lebanon daily, either as individuals or part of tourism groups, indicating that everything is normal. In the Kurdistan region, there has been an increase in Iraqi visitors to Lebanon compared to the previous year. As concerns of a potential Israel-Hezbollah conflict rise, multiple countries have advised their nationals to leave Lebanon or avoid…

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