ISHM: April 20 – 26, 2018

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Key Takeaways:

  • Election Official Assassinated; Two Officials Kidnapped in Unrelated Incidents – On April 24, Fares Mohammad Sadek, the Director of Management for the Independent High Electoral Commission in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq, was assassinated by four unknown gunmen who opened fire on his car in Erbil. Spokesman for the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan, Saadi Ahmed Bireh, confirmed that Sadek was involved in the planning and execution of the September 2017 referendum on Kurdish independence, but did not indicate whether his death was politically motivated. In separate incidents, Basra police captain Mohammed Faisal was kidnapped in the al-Juniyah district of Basra and the Vice President of the Iraqi National Olympic Committee, Bashar Mustafa, was kidnapped on the road between Baghdad and Karbala. Faisal remains missing though Mustafa was released the following day. Investigations into each of the incidents are ongoing. more…
  • Campaign Coverage: Video Scandal, Fake News, Abadi Visits Kurdistan, and a Sunni President? – A candidate for Parliament with the Victory Coalition, Intidhar Ahmad Jassim, was forced to withdraw her bid after a sexually explicit video circulated on social media that allegedly depicts Jassim, though the woman’s face is not clearly visible. Jassim vehemently denied that she is the woman in the video, but agreed to withdraw her candidacy citing the distraction it caused. Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Iraq, Jan Kubis, denounced defamation in elections – particularly against women – and urged political parties to “stand up against such vulgar acts that only serve to undermine the democratic process.” ▪ Spokesman for the State of Law Coalition, Abbas al-Moussawi, denied allegations that the political bloc spent US$ 153 million on advertising to promote their candidates ahead of May elections. Moussawi said that “the popularity of the State of Law Coalition and its leader Nouri al-Maliki is increasing day after day,” and dismissed media reports on the advertising sum as fake news. ▪ Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi spent several days campaigning in Anbar, Ninewa, Sulaimania, and Erbil Provinces and will visit Kirkuk Province on April 29. While in Erbil, Abadi met with Prime Minister of the Kurdistan Regional Government Nechirvan Barzani. ▪ On April 22, Member of Parliament and Secretary-General for the Islamic Union of Turkmen, Jassem Mohammed Jaafar al-Bayati, suggested that Kurdish parties may be angling for a Kurdish Speaker of Parliament with former KRG Prime Minister Barham Salih as frontrunner, and that the Kurds would cede the Iraqi Presidency to a Sunni candidate. KRG Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani denied those reports, saying that “the presidency of the Republic will remain for the Kurds.” According to a traditional power-sharing arrangement, the Iraqi President is a Kurd, with a Shia Prime Minister, and Sunni Speaker of Parliament. more…
  • Iran-Backed Militias in Syria Target US Troops, Raising Concern Over PMUs in Iraq – Foreign Policy reported that Iran-backed Shia militias in Syria may soon target U.S. troops on the ground. Baqir Brigade, one of the largest Iran-backed and pro-Syrian government Shia militias operating in Syria, announced that it would launch “military and jihadi operations against the U.S. occupier and all those affiliated with it in Syria.” Airstrikes carried out by the U.S., France, and Britain against Syrian government targets on April 7 seem to have invigorated some anti-western sentiment in the region. According to one report, members of the Iran-backed Shia militia Asaib Ahl al-Haq surrounded an American base in Baghdad against orders from Iraqi military leadership. U.S. officials declined to confirm or deny the incident. Later, PMU spokesman Karim Nouri said that the PMUs support Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi and would follow his orders. Nouri added that “if there are Iraqi parties who have fighters in Syria, they have nothing to do with the PMUs nor with the [Iraqi] government.” more…
  • Iraq Conducts Airstrikes on ISIS Positions in Syria – The Iraqi Air Force conducted airstrikes in Syria against ISIS militants on April 19 and 23. Yahya Rasool, Iraqi Army spokesman for the Joint Military Command, said that Iraqi airstrikes across the border in Syria weakened the terrorist organization and said that more airstrikes may be required. The airstrikes were reportedly coordinated with the Syrian Air Force and took place just across the Iraqi border in the area of al-Shaddadi and Lam Khrais. Heather Nauert, spokesperson for the U.S. State Department, said that the U.S. was aware of the strikers. more…
  • Oil Ministry Awards New Contracts; 1991 Gulf War Reparations to Kuwait Resume – The Iraqi Oil Ministry announced that the Basra Oil Company signed two contracts valued at US$ 118 million with the Chinese company Anton and U.S. company KBR for the operation and management of the Majnoon oil field. Shell is withdrawing from Majnoon in order to focus on gas investment operations. The Oil Ministry also announced the awarding of new contracts for development and exploitation of the Khashm al-Ahmar-Anjana and Kalabat-Kemer fields in Diyala Province to Emirati Crescent Petroleum, and of the Khana and al-Huweiza regions of Maysan Province and Sinbad region of Basra Province to the Chinese Jiu Good and UEG companies, respectively. On April 20, Iraq resumed the payment of reparations to the Kuwaiti government for the destruction of Kuwaiti oil field facilities during the 1990-91 Gulf War. The payments had been suspended since October 2014 and are tied to Iraqi oil proceeds. They are scheduled to be completed by the end of 2021. 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.


Election Official Assassinated; Two Officials Kidnapped in Unrelated Incidents

On April 23, unidentified gunmen kidnapped police captain Mohammed Faisal in Basra. The police captain was kidnapped in the al-Juniyah District and surveillance cameras recorded the moment of the kidnapping. An anonymous source reported that the Basra Operations Command and the Basra Provincial police have mobilized all of their forces and have launched searching operations to find the missing police captain.

On April 23, the Baghdad Operations Command announced the reopening of al-Amel Street, in southwest Baghdad. The street had been closed for more than five years.

On April 24, an official source revealed that the Vice President of the Iraqi National Olympic Committee, Bashar Mustafa, was kidnapped by unidentified gunmen on the road between Baghdad and Karbala. The source said that Mustafa was returning from a funeral in Karbala Province when unidentified gunmen took him and other athletes who were with him. The athletes were later allowed to return to Baghdad, while Mustafa remains missing.

On April 24, Fares Mohammad Sadek, Director of Management for the Independent High Electoral Commission in the Kurdistan Region, was assassinated by four unknown gunmen who opened fire on the car Sadek was driving. Spokesman for the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan, Saadi Ahmed Bireh, confirmed that Sadek was involved in the planning and execution of the September 2017 referendum for Kurdish independence, adding that he did not believe Sadek had specific enemies as he was a “person in harmony with everyone.” Police in Erbil are investigating.

On April 25, an anonymous source reported to Al Sumaria TV that Bashar Mustafa, Vice President of the Iraqi National Olympic Committee, was released. The source added that Mustafa does not know who kidnapped and released him. Mustafa was kidnapped on April 24, 2018 by unidentified gunmen on the road between Baghdad and Karbala, while returning from a funeral.

On April 25, the Babil Province Police Command confirmed the release of Bashar Mustafa, Vice President of the Iraqi National Olympic Committee, who was kidnapped on April 24, 2018. According to the statement Mustafa was likely to have been abducted in Musayyib District, northern Babil Province. The statement read that the police had launched a large scale security operation around Musayyib District, which greatly contributed to finding Mustafa.


Campaign Coverage: Video Scandal, Fake News, Abadi Visits Kurdistan, and a Sunni President?

On April 19, candidate for Parliament with the Victory Coalition, Intidhar Ahmad Jassim, was banned from running for office by the Independent High Electoral Commission after a sexually explicit video circulated on social media which allegedly depicts Jassim. Jassim vehemently denied that she is the woman in the video, calling it “fabricated” and “photoshopped,” but agreed to withdraw her candidacy. Accusations of female harassment have been shared across social media. The Iraqi Constitution requires that at least one quarter of the Parliament members be women.

On April 22, Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi arrived in Anbar Province to meet with local officials and tour the security situation. Protections for voters and candidates ahead of May elections was expected to be a primary point on Abadi’s agenda during the visit. Abadi also spent time campaigning for his al-Nasr or Victory coalition in the predominantly Sunni province.

On April 22, spokesman for the State of Law Coalition, Abbas al-Moussawi, denied allegations that the political bloc spent US$ 153 million on advertising to promote their candidates ahead of May elections. Moussawi said that “The popularity of the State of Law Coalition and its leader Nouri al-Maliki is increasing day after day,” and dismissed media reports on the advertising sum as fake news.

On April 22, 33 people were arrested in Ninewa Province for prohibiting candidates for Parliament from hanging campaign material. It was unclear if those arrested were affiliated with any particular organization or party.

On April 22, Speaker of Parliament Salim al-Jabouri announced that he met with Iraqi Vice President Osama al-Najafi and several party and coalition leaders on April 20 to discuss the post-elections process. Party leaders will need to join together following the May 12 elections to create a coalition government and elect a Prime Minister. The coalition with the largest number of seats is not guaranteed the premiership.

On April 22, Al-Hayat newspaper reported that Sunni blocs will seek to retain the speakership of the Iraqi Parliament, and follow other traditional sectarian designations with a Shia Prime Minister and a Kurdish President. Member of Parliament and Secretary-General for the Islamic Union of Turkmen, Jassem Mohammed Jaafar al-Bayati, suggested however, that the Kurdish parties may be angling for a Kurdish Speaker of Parliament with former Kurdistan Regional Government Prime Minister Barham Salih as frontrunner, and to cede the Iraqi Presidency to a Sunni candidate. Kurdistan Regional Government Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani denied those reports, saying that “the presidency of the Republic will remain for the Kurds.” On April 26, Kurdistan Alliance Member of Parliament Mohammed Othman, also denied the reports.

On April 22, the Diyala Operations Command announced the launch of the largest security exercise to protect electoral centers in the province. The commander of Diyala Operations, Lieutenant General Mehzez al-Azzawi said that the exercise started in the morning and it implemented a plan that had been previously discussed with the Independent High Electoral Commission (IHEC), aiming to protect 466 electoral centers. Azzawi said that “the security practice comes as part of the early preparations for the electoral security plan to be implemented next May”, adding that “the leadership will adopt a multi-disciplinary strategy to protect the electoral centers in terms of giving the security services multiple roles to enhance the security of the elections and prevent any violation.”

On April 23, the Independent High Electoral Commission announced that its preparations for May 12 elections will be completed on time, including the distribution of 684 polling stations abroad for Iraqis in the diaspora. The UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Vice President Rizgar Haji Hama, said that the UN body has provided internally displaced persons (IDPs) with access to voting centers. Later that day, head of the Parliamentary Committee on Migration and Displaced Persons, Member of Parliament Raad Dahlaki, expressed concern that 200 to 250 thousand IDPs living in areas of displacement in Diyala Province want to vote in their places of origin, and that UNHCR is not facilitating that process.

On April 23, Member of Parliament for the Kurdistan Democratic Party, Majid Chenkali, suggested that Parliamentary campaigns are inhibiting productivity at the provincial and local council level because candidates for Parliament do not have to resign their positions on provincial and local councils before running for higher office. Chenkali said that “[Parliament] is living in complete paralysis as a result of busy members of the propaganda campaigns for the parliamentary elections, but what is surprising is the paralysis of the local councils [whose] members are part of the same elections.”

On April 23, ISIS spokesperson Abu al-Hasan al-Muhajir, issued a warning to candidates, voters, and supporters that “they are infidels and their rule is death,” for participating in elections. The authenticity of the threat was not immediately available, though ISIS has targeted and intimidated candidates and voters in the past.

On April 24, Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Iraq, Jan Kubis, denounced reports of defamation of female candidates for Parliament on social media and urged political parties to “stand up against such vulgar acts that only serve to undermine the democratic process.” On April 19, one female candidate for Parliament was forced to withdraw her nomination after a fabricated sexually explicit video alleging to be of her was circulated on social media.

On April 24, Baghdad Operations Command arrested several protesters who were caught destroying campaign billboards in the Iraqi capital. Over the past few weeks, protesters have reportedly been defacing or burning the campaign signs which are plastered throughout the city. In Diyala, the Head of the Provincial Council, Ali al-Daini, called on the Electoral Commission to enforce restrictions on campaign materials which he claims are inhibiting public services and destroying public property. Earlier in the week, the Independent High Electoral Commission said that it would impose fines of two million Iraqi dinars (approximately US$ 1,700) per candidate and four million Iraqi dinars (approximately US$ 3,400) per political party if those entities were found responsible for destroying opposing candidate materials. Fines would be doubled for repeat offenses, and the candidate or party removed from the ballot if violations continued.

On April 24, Iraqi Vice President Iyad Allawi hosted Russian Ambassador to Iraq Maxime Maksimov at his official residence in Baghdad. According to a press statement, the two sides agreed that any foreign interference in the upcoming elections would have “serious repercussions.”

On April 25, Member of Parliament for Diyala Province, Raad al-Dahlaki, accused unspecified armed groups in Diyala Province of attempting to intimidate displaced persons living in camps into voting for certain party candidates. Dahlaki said that those living in camps should be able to vote for candidates in their places of origin, and should not have to return to be able to do so.

On April 25, several campaign signs featuring the image of Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi were defaced in Sulaimania, shortly before Abadi arrived there for a campaign rally. The destruction of posters is forbidden by the Independent High Electoral Commission and candidates or parties responsible face fines or the possibility of being taken off the ballot.

On April 25, Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi arrived in Ninewa Province to tour the Mosul Dam facility. After it was held briefly by ISIS in 2014, the Mosul Dam was at high risk of failure, which would have threatened the lives of hundreds of thousands living downstream. Teams of Italian and Iraqi engineers were deployed to the dam, which has been heavily guarded since.

On April 25, Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi arrived in Sulaimania from Mosul to campaign for his Victory Coalition and its nine candidates vying for 18 seats in the province. Abadi was expected to visit Erbil this week to meet with Prime Minister of the Kurdistan Regional Government Nechirvan Barzani.

On April 25, the Prime Minister’s Information Office announced that Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi will visit Kirkuk Province on April 29. The political and security administration of Kirkuk has been a significant point of contention between Abadi and Kurdish leadership since the September 2017 referendum on Kurdish independence. Soon after the referendum, Abadi’s government removed the Kurdish governor of the province and ousted the Iraqi Kurdish Peshmerga.

On April 25, Al-Sumaria Tv published a video report about ISIS threatening to attack voting centers in Iraq during the parliamentary elections scheduled for May 12, 2018. According to informed sources, ISIS declared that voting stations and those in it would be a target, as they would consider anyone participating to the election as an “infidel”. The video report asserted that ISIS still remains a threat to Iraq’s security even after their military defeat, adding that according to some observers, these threats could contain a message for sleeper cells in Iraq, inciting them to take actions and carry out attacks. On the other hand, the video report also noted that Iraqi officials did not show any fear towards these threats, and security in voting centers has been tightened, to secure them and prevent any attack. The report points out how Iraq has been waiting for a credible election process, after suffering through ISIS expansion, and how citizens dream of this election to finally bring the change they have been waiting for.

On April 26, Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi arrived in Erbil, where he was met by Kurdistan Regional Government Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani. Abadi is expected to hold talks with KRG officials, the outcome of which was not immediately available.


Iran-Backed Militias in Syria Target US Troops, Raising Concern Over PMUs in Iraq

On April 16, Foreign Policy reported that, after the defeat of the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) and with anti-Syrian regime rebels losing territory, Iranian-backed Shia militias in Syria may soon target United States (U.S.) troops on the ground. According to the article, this month, the Baqir Brigade, one of the largest Iranian-backed and pro-Syrian government Shia militias operating in Syria, announced on its Facebook page that it would launch attacks against U.S. military troops. The statement released by the Baqi Brigade said that “we in the Baqir Brigade leadership announce the good news of the launch of military and jihadi operations against the U.S. occupier and all those affiliated with it in Syria.” The airstrikes carried out by the U.S., France and the United Kingdom (U.K.) on alleged Syrian chemical sites on April 7, 2018 seem to have invigorated the supporters of the Syrian regime, and armed groups in Syria with direct or suspected connections to Iran have become increasingly vocal about their intention to target U.S. forces there. According to the Lebanese newspaper Al-Diyar, in Iraq, members of the Iranian-backed Shia militia Asaib Ahl al-Haq surrounded an American base in Baghdad against orders from Iraqi military leadership, in reaction to the U.S. attack in Syria. The approach prompted U.S. Army Colonel Ryan Dillon, spokesman for the Combined Joint Task Force-Operation Inherent Resolve (CJTF-OIR), to respond that “coalition forces maintain the right to defend themselves and our Iraqi partners against any threat.” However, U.S. military officials declined to confirm or deny the incident. While some Iranian-backed militias threatened U.S. forces in Iraq, PMU spokesman Karim Nouri stated that the PMUs support Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi in his decisions concerning Syria, saying that “there will not be any individual decisions in the [PMUs] in this regard, because it is up to the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, Haider al-Abadi.” Nouri added that “if there are Iraqi parties who have fighters in Syria, they have nothing to do with the [PMUs] nor with the government.” Nouri also pointed out that “the [PMUs] were and still are ready to defend the Iraqi border from terrorism.”

On April 22, dozens of members of Popular Mobilization Units (PMUs) and their family members demonstrated in front of the Green Zone in Baghdad. The protesters called for PMU members to be included in pension distributions, similar to pensions received by members of the Iraqi Security Forces.

On April 25, U.S. Army Colonel Ryan Dillon, spokesman for CJTF-OIR, spoke about the White Flags, a Kurdish militant group ostensibly affiliated with ISIS and primarily active in the town of Tuz Khurmatu in Kirkuk Province. The group emerged after Iraqi Security Forces supported Iranian-backed Shia PMUs in driving Kurdish forces out of 95% of the disputed areas between Baghdad and Erbil, and reestablished the 2003-constitutionally agreed upon border of the Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI). The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) has denied any affiliation with the White Flags. Dillon said during a news conference that “whether or not they called themselves a different name, this group has [ISIS] elements in it and they are still a target for the coalition and for the Iraqi security forces”, adding that “I know that the Iraqi security forces recognize this group and have aggressively pursued them.” According to Daveed Gartenstein-Ross, a senior fellow at the Washington DC-based think tank Foundation for Defense of Democracies, lot about this group in unclear and analysts have different opinions on whether the group has more of a terrorist inclination as opposed to being a Sunni nationalist movement.


Iraq Conducts Airstrikes on ISIS Positions in Syria

On April 20, Heather Nauert, spokesperson for the United States (U.S.) Department of State, declared that the U.S. was aware of the airstrikes carried out by the Iraqi Air Force carried out on April 19 on Syrian territory, targeting Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) militants. Nauert confirmed during a press conference that Ambassador Brett McGurk, Special Presidential Envoy for the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS at the U.S. Department of State, and Andrew Peek, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Near Eastern Affairs, visited Iraq earlier this week. She said that “McGurk and Peek met in Baghdad with Prime Minister Abadi, the speaker of Parliament, Salim al-Jabouri, and other senior political religious and security officials. In Erbil, the delegation met with Iraqi Kurdistan Regional Government Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani, and Deputy Prime Minister Qubad Talabani.” She also added that “McGurk and Peek also welcomed the nearly US$ 30 billion for Iraq’s long-term reconstruction pledged by 24 partners last month in Kuwait under the sponsorship of the [European Union (EU)] and the World Bank.”

On April 22, Brigadier General Yahya Rasool, Iraqi Army spokesman for the Joint Military Command, released more details concerning the airstrikes carried out by Iraqi Air Force on Syrian territory, on April 19, 2018. Rasool said that the F-16 fighter jets targeted ISIS members who posed a threat to Iraq and that according to accurate intelligence information,  meetings and terrorist activities were taking place in the locations targeted by the Iraqi Air Force. Rasool added that “the airstrikes achieved their goals”, causing the death of 36 ISIS militants, including some of its leaders.

On April 23, the Iraqi Air Force coordinated with the Syrian Air Force to target a meeting of ISIS leaders in Syria. The airstrike was launched after receiving accurate intelligence information about the meeting’s location in a building inside Syrian territory, and it caused the death of Abu Luqman, ISIS governor of Raqqa, Syria. An anonymous source said that Luqman was responsible for transporting and recruiting suicide bombers, and later sending them into Iraq. The source also added that the death of Luqman would make it more difficult for ISIS to support its sleeper cells in Iraq.

On April 25, Yahya Rasool, Iraqi Army spokesman for the Joint Military Command, affirmed that Iraqi airstrikes on ISIS positions in Syria weakened the terrorist organization, but did not eliminate the danger, and said more airstrikes might be required. Rasool said “the airstrikes contributed to reducing [ISIS] danger and activity, but did not completely eliminate it, and elements of the organization are present in the area of al-Shaddadi and the areas of Lam Khrais, in eastern Euphrates in Syria.” As for carrying out more airstrikes in Syrian territory, Rasool said that “it is up to the estimates of military and intelligence leaders.”

On April 25, during the United Nations (UN) – European Union (EU) conference on the future of Syria in Brussels, Iraqi Minister of Foreign Affairs Ibrahim al-Jafaari expressed Iraq’s fear of the  return of terrorism from across the Syrian border. Jafaari said that “we have common concerns with the rest of the countries concerning the return of terrorism,” adding that “Iraq attaches importance to its border with Syria to prevent the infiltration of terrorists.”


Oil Ministry Awards New Contracts; 1991 Gulf War Reparations to Kuwait Resume

On April 20, Iraq resumed the payment of reparations to the Kuwaiti government for the destruction of Kuwaiti oil field facilities during the 1990-91 Gulf War. The payments had been suspended since October 2014 due to security and financial problems as the Iraqi government battled the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham. The US$ 90 million payment brings the total Iraq has paid to Kuwait to US$ 47.9 billion, and a US$ 4.5 billion balance due. The payments are tied to Iraqi oil proceeds and are scheduled to increase from 1.5 percent to 3 percent by the end of 2021.

On April 22, the Ministry of Oil announced that total oil export revenues for March 2018 amounted to US$ 6.4 billion, which does not include exports from Kirkuk oil fields. The average price per barrel stood at US$ 60.11 for March, but topped US$ 70 in April – its highest level since 2014. The Oil Ministry will receive bids from global energy companies bidding on contracts for oil exploration and development on April 26, at 11 new exploratory areas on the borders with Iran and Kuwait, and in the waters of the Gulf.

On April 22, Governor of Kirkuk Province Rakan Saeed al-Jabouri, announced the reopening of two gas production units at the Taza Power Plant with a capacity of 500 megawatts. Electricity infrastructure and reliability is a problem that has plagued Iraq since at least 2003.

On April 23, the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) announced a US$ 50.4 million contribution from the United Arab Emirates to rebuild the 840 year old al-Nouri Mosque, its famed al-Hadba leaning minaret, and other cultural and historic landmarks in Mosul. The al-Nouri mosque was destroyed by ISIS in 2014. Audrey Azoulay, Director-General of UNESCO, said that “This is a historic partnership, the largest and unprecedented cooperation to rebuild cultural heritage in Iraq ever.”

On April 24, the Ministry of Oil announced the start of operations at the Sayba natural gas field in Basra Province, one of the three largest in Iraq. Oil Minister Jabbar Ali al-Allaibi said that the field will add 25 to 100 million cubic meters of dry and liquid gas production per day when at full operation.

On April 26, the Iraqi Oil Ministry announced that the Basra Oil Company has signed two contracts valued at US$ 118 million with the Chinese company Anton and US company KBR for the operation and management of the Majnoon oil field – one of the world’s largest. Shell Oil withdrew from the Majnoon field to focus on gas investment operations in Basra, according to Basra Petroleum Company Director Ihsan Abdul-Jabbar.

On April 26, the Iraqi Oil Ministry announced that the United Arab Emirates company Crescent Petroleum was awarded the contract for the development and exploitation of the Khashm al-Ahmar – Anjana and Kalabat-Kemer oil fields in Diyala Province and another Emirati company was awarded the contract to explore portions of Basra Province. The Chinese companies Jiu Good and UEG were awarded the contract for the Khana and al-Huweiza regions of Maysan Province and Sinbad region of Basra Province, respectively. The Ministry began accepting bids for 11 fields on March 29 and awarded six contracts, with five remaining open opportunities.


IED Incidents and Resulting Casualties

DateLocationDeathsInjuries
04/26/2018Madain, 43 kilometers south of Baghdad 02
04/25/2018Qa'im, 261 kilometers northwest of Ramadi03
04/24/2018Jisr Diyala, 30 kilometers southeast of Baghdad01
04/23/2018Qa'im, 261 kilometers northwest of Ramadi12
04/23/2018Shalamche, 30 kilometers east of Basra10
04/22/2018Abu Sayda, 32 kilometers north of Baquba01
04/21/2018Rashad, 46 kilometers southwest of Kirkuk21
04/21/2018Abu Ghraib, 30 kilometers west of Baghdad30
04/20/2018Muqdadiyah District, northeast of Diyala Province13

 

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 Education for Peace in Iraq Center.


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