ISHM: May 4 – 10, 2018

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Key Takeaways:

  • Sporadic Attacks on Candidates in Lead-Up to Elections – Several candidates for Iraqi Parliament were attacked this week while campaigning ahead of the May 12 elections. On May 7, leader of the New Generation list for Erbil Province, Rabun Maarof, suffered head injuries after an unidentified number of attackers confronted him in Erbil. On May 8, Member of Parliament Zaytun al-Dulaimi survived an assassination attempt in Dora, approximately seven kilometers south of Baghdad, when a suicide bomber detonated his explosive belt while the candidate’s convoy was passing by. On May 10, candidate with the PUK, Afin Mohammed Hassan al-Zahawi, was injured when unidentified gunmen opened fire on his convoy in Khanaqin, Diyala Province. Irfan Saadullah, a candidate with the KDP, was also attacked in Khanaqin later that day by an unidentified group, but managed to escape. Earlier in the week, university professor and candidate for Parliament from the National Coalition, Farouq Mahmoud Zarzoor, was found stabbed to death in his home in Lazakah District, 70 kilometers south of Mosul in Ninewa Province. Although ISIS claimed responsibility, Zarzoor’s son confessed to the killing according to a statement from the Supreme Judicial Council. more…
  • Several Candidates Withdraw Before Vote; Integrity Commission Head Resigns – Candidates for Parliament from a variety of coalitions and parties resigned this week in the lead-up to the May 12 elections. Rochen Abdul Salam and Sherko Abed withdrew their bids to represent Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi’s Victory Coalition, Sawsan al-Bayati withdrew her candidacy for the Civilization Coalition in Kirkuk Province, and Ali Ghadir withdrew from the Goodwill Coalition, also in Kirkuk. Most of the resigning candidates did not offer reasons for their withdrawals. Separately, on May 9, Hassan al-Yasiri announced his resignation as head of Iraq’s Integrity Commission, the independent entity within the Iraqi government responsible for preventing and investigating corruption. In a lengthy statement, Yasiri said that the timing of his resignation was not important and that his resignation had been discussed for some time. Yasiri previously offered to resign in 2016, just a year after his appointment to the position by Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi. more…
  • Curfews, Closings Announced Ahead of Election Day – Iraqi security officials began rolling out their plans to protect voters and candidates during the May 12 elections. Major General Jalil al-Rubai, Baghdad Operations Commander, said that “there is an integrated plan to secure all centers and people.” Beginning on May 9, vehicle traffic in Baghdad will be restricted, and a curfew put in place beginning in the evening of May 11 for the city. At noon on May 11, all land and sea crossings, and airports into Iraq will be closed, and roads between provinces in Iraqi Kurdistan will be closed on election day. The Independent High Electoral Commission added that all campagining must end by 7 AM on May 11. more…
  • Accusations of Slow Voter Card Distribution; Voting Underway for Iraqi Forces, Expats – Party leaders and officials in Ninewa and Kirkuk provinces accused local election officials of intentionally slowing the distribution of voter identification cards to would-be voters ahead of elections. Mohammed Mahdi al-Bayat, leader of the Fattah Alliance, said that 17 thousand voters in Kirkuk Province would be unable to vote because of “deliberate negligence” on the part of election officials. Vice President of the Ninewa Provincial Council and Turkmen leader Noureddine Kaplan, accused the Election Commission of disenfranchising thousands of Iraqis displaced to Turkey, noting that the Commission opened 16 voting centers in Ankara, but none in cities like Gaziantep, where a large population of Iraqis live. On May 10, early voting began for members of the Iraqi Security Forces in Iraq and for Iraqi expatriates abroad. Early reports indicate that polling stations opened for these purposes were seeing wide participation amid tight security measures. (Iraqis living in the U.S. interested in voting in May elections, click here for more information.) more…
  • Iraq Continues Airstrikes on ISIS Positions in Syria – On May 6, the Iraqi Air Force conducted airstrikes against ISIS positions south of Dashaisha, Syria. Brigadier General Yahya Rasool, spokesman for the Joint Military Command, said that the “airstrikes conducted by Iraqi F-16 aircraft 400 kilometers from the Iraqi border successfully targeted a gathering of important ISIS members and leaders.” more…
  • Iraq Condemns Trump’s Withdrawal from Iran Nuclear Accord – Iraqi President Fuad Masum and the Iraqi Ministry of Foreign Affairs condemned U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw the United States from the Iranian nuclear agreement. Masum said in a statement that “the agreement marked a major achievement in bolstering the chances of peace and progress for all states of the region and the international community.” The Foreign Ministry added that the withdrawal “goes in the direction of escalation.” Both Masum and the Ministry praised the other signatories to the deal, including European allies and Iran, for remaining committed to the agreement. 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.


Sporadic Attacks on Candidates in Lead-Up to Elections

On May 4, Saad al-Mutlaibi, member of the Baghdad Security Committee, expressed concern about Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) seeking to escalate its attacks in Baghdad as the parliamentary elections approach. He praised the residents of Tarmiyah District and their reaction to ISIS armed attack on civilians the week prior, saying “the people of Tarmiyah and its tribes are the ones who took the initiative to confront the attack carried out by ISIS this time, and now they are supporting security forces in the inspections of the remaining cells, calling for their elimination, and that is a very good indicator.” He called on security services to work to “stop any terrorist operations before they occur,” while denying that “these attacks affect the election process in any form.”

On May 5, the Iraqi Center for Security Information issued a statement denying reports in Al-Quds Al-Arabi concerning an explosion in Ninewa Province. The statement read that “Al-Quds Al-Arabi reported the news of the killing and injuring of a number of Iraqi soldiers in the Al-Ajaj District after a bomb explosion,” adding that “what the newspaper said is a disgrace, and we confirm that the district did not witness any bomb explosion and what was published was a lie.” The statement continued, “we warned the Al-Quds newspaper that if they published lies about security, we would prosecute them legally. We also pointed out the need to be careful when spreading security news and to rely on the Center for Security Information as the first reference for news related to security.”

On May 6, the Center for Security Information issued a statement denying media reports of four people being assassinated, including an army officer. The statement read that “we deny what some media outlets have reported about the assassination of two guards after a shooting at an election center in Adhamiyah, north of Baghdad. There is also no truth to the reports about the assassination of an Iraqi army officer and a [PMU] member in the Al-Shurta 5th District and Habibiya in Baghdad.” The statement also encouraged “relying on official news sources and their authorized channels instead of promoting news that is trying to create a state of terror and chaos at the expense of the Iraqi people,” adding that “the Center reserves the right to sue the malicious media, in coordination with the media and communication authority.”

On May 7, unidentified men assassinated university professor and candidate for Parliament from the National Coalition, Farouq Mahmoud Zarzoor. Zarzoor was stabbed to death in his home in Lazakah District, approximately 70 kilometers south of Mosul.

On May 7, ISIS claimed responsibility for the assassination of Farouq Mahmoud Zarzoor, who was stabbed to death in his home. The militant group made the claim via the application Telegram.

On May 7, Iyad Allawi, leader of the National Coalition, called on an urgent investigation on the assassination of Farouq Mahmoud Zarzoor, a professor and candidate running with the coalition. Allawi said in a statement that “terrorist and extremist gangs continue to add other heinous crimes to their criminal record which is stained with the blood of innocents among our noble people, after they carried out horrifically the assassination of Dr. Farouq al-Zarzour, a candidate in Ninewa Province.” Allawi added that “there is no doubt that this terrible crime comes within a systematic series, and the electoral process and the existing political chaos reached a low level of vulgarity and suspicious campaigns are based on hypocrisy and lies.” Allawi also stressed that “the martyrdom of brother Farouq and the attacks and other assassination attempts, will only increase our determination and our willingness to continue the march of reform.” He also pointed out the need to “conduct an urgent investigation into the circumstances of the crime and those behind it, as well as attempts that targeted other candidates and activists.”

On May 7, the leader of the New Generation list for Erbil Province, Rabun Maarouf, suffered injuries to his head after being attacked by a number of people. Maarouf did not identify his attackers and it is not clear how many people participated in the criminal act.

On May 8, Judge Abdul Settar Birqdar, member of the Supreme Court of Justice, stated that the assassination of Farouq Mahmoud Zarzoor, a candidate running with the National Coalition for the Iraqi parliamentary elections of May 12, was not linked to terrorism. Birqdar said that “Initial investigations into the crime that killed the candidate of the National Alliance Farouq Mahmoud Zarzoor, have revealed that it is not connected to terrorist crimes.” According to a spokesman for the Supreme Judicial Council, “the crime occurred as a result of family differences” and “the victim’s son confessed to killing his father.”

On May 8, the National Coalition, led by Iyad Allawi, announced the assassination attempt on one of its members, Member of Parliament (MP) Zaytun al-Dulaimi, in Dora, approximately 11 kilometers south of Baghdad. A suicide bomber detonated his explosive belt while the candidate’s convoy was passing by, injuring Dulaimi’s son and causing material damage to his convoy. Dulaimi did not suffer any injury. The National Coalition released a statement condemning the attack, adding that the escalation of attacks on its representatives and activists would not deter them from their mission of establishing a state based on justice and equality.

On May 9, MP Zaytun al-Dulaimi, who survived an assassination attempt on May 8, thanked the Iraqi Security Forces for rushing to respond to the attack she was a victim of. Dulaimi said in a statement that she expressed her gratitude towards “the armed forces who rushed as soon as possible to the scene of the incident.” She added that “I assure my family and my people that Zaytun al-Dulaimi remains at their service and communicates with them in all areas, even if it costs my life.”

On May 10, an official security source and eyewitnesses reported that Afin Mohammed Hassan al-Zahawi, candidate with the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) for the Iraqi parliamentary elections of May 12, 2018, was injured during an armed attack in Khanaqin District. The source and witnesses said unidentified gunmen opened fire on the convoy the was carrying Zahawi on the road between Aliawa and Khanaqin, in Khanaqin District of Diyala Province.

On May 10, an anonymous security source affirmed that violent clashes broke out between SWAT forces and some member of Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi’s protection forces, while Abadi was campaigning in Babil, approximately 123 kilometers south of Baghdad. According to the source, the incident left at least four people injured.   

On May 10, Sherko Abdulaziz, a candidate of the Fatah Coalition, and his guards attacked Irfan Saadullah, candidate with the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) in the Khanaqin District, leaving him injured. Saadullah was quoted saying “I was attacked at ten o’clock by Sherko Abdulaziz, a candidate for the list of the Fatah coalition, his guards and a number of militants,” pointing out that “the attack resulted in injuries to the head.” Saadullah said that “there are no reasons for the attack”, and stated that he was attacked by 20 people.


Several Candidates Withdraw Before Vote; Integrity Commission Head Resigns

On May 3, a candidate for the Victory Coalition in Erbil, Rochen Abdul Salam, announced his  withdrawal from the elections scheduled for May 12, for reasons not yet disclosed. Salam was a candidate for Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi’s coalition.

On May 4, Abdul-Mahdi Karbalai, representative of Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Husseini al-Sistani, made a statement the Shia leader’s behalf during the Friday Sermon in Karbala about Sistani’s position on the coming parliamentary election. He said, “With the approach of the parliamentary elections, many citizens are asking about the attitude of the supreme religious authority of this important political event. In this regard, three things should be clarified. First, the religious authority has sought a free and fair periodic election since the fall of the regime […] From this point, the religious authority insisted on the authority of the occupation and the United Nations to expedite the holding of general elections to allow the Iraqis to decide their own future.” Karbalai said that “the second thing” in participating in these elections is the right of every citizen who meets the legal requirements, and there is no need for him to exercise this right unless he is convinced of the requirements of the supreme interest of his people and his country.” The third point is that “the supreme religious authority confirms that it keeps distance from all candidates and from all the electoral lists, in the sense that it does not support any person or entity or list at all, it is all left to the conviction of the voters and the stability of their views after examination and scrutiny. It is necessary not to allow any person or entity to exploit the religious address or any other address that has special status in the Iraqi people for electoral gains.”

On May 4, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi made a statement revealing his support on the address of the supreme religious authority Ali al-Husseini al-Sistani. Abadi said, “We express our full support for the position and directives of the supreme religious authority led by Mr. Ali al-Sistani, which was included in the sermon of Friday. This platform was the starting point for the positions that preserved the unity of Iraq and the interests of its people historically.”

On May 4, former Prime Minister and leader of State of Law Coalition, Nouri al-Maliki, delivered a speech to a tribal conference held in Hindiyah, Karbala Province, clarifying that the Iraqi government is not “broke.” He said at the conference that “There is no right to say that Iraq has a free budget. […] Iraq has many legacies and its balance is positive and sufficient, but needs a solid will and a government capability of providing services to the people.” Maliki also added that there are “eight days before the legitimate responsibility to go to the ballot boxes,” stressing that “We are at the doors of the elections highlighting the slogan of the political majority to form a strong government and achieve the political majority.”

On May 6, candidate Sawsan al-Bayati for the “Civilization” Alliance in Kirkuk Province announced her withdrawal from the participation in the parliamentary elections. Bayati released  a brief statement saying that she “decided to withdraw from the parliamentary elections because of the lack of political program of the coalition in achieving security and stability and services for citizens in Iraq in general.”

On May 6, candidate for the Goodwill Coalition in Kirkuk, Ali Ghadir, announced his withdrawal from the elections. He released  a brief statement saying that he would not disclose the reasons behind his choice. He said “I give my voice to the chairman of the coalition, Khaled al-Obeidi for my personal conviction.”

On May 6, influential Shia cleric Moqtada al-Sadr, called on the Kurds to raise their voices on injustice and corruption as the voices of both the Shia and Sunni. Sadr said in response to a question on a speech to all Iraqi and sectarian groups in the upcoming parliamentary elections, “Elections and the democratic process have been enacted for all sectors, not only for the majority ethnics.” Sadr called on all the Kurds to participate in the election firmly and resolutely.

On May 6, former Prime Minister and leader of State of Law Coalition, Nouri al-Maliki, delivered a speech during  the ceremony to announce the list of State of Law Coalition in Dhi Qar Province, saying that “Today we stand on the threshold of a new phase, which is characterized by providing services and job opportunities for unemployed youth […] the government of the next political majority will lead the revolution of reconstruction and construction and eliminate unemployment.”

On May 6, former Prime Minister and leader of the National Coalition, Ayad Allawi, delivered a speech during an election ceremony for his list in the city of Nasiriyah, Dhi Qar Province. According to a press release issued by his media office, Allawi stressed that “the upcoming elections should enjoy a degree of integrity and transparency because it marks a turning point in the history of the Iraqi people and the political process.” He warned against “distorting the will of the Iraqi voter, manipulating his vote and bribery.”

On May 8, Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General (SRSG) for Iraq Ján Kubiš visited Kirkuk. The visit was part of a tour of provinces across Iraq of senior United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) leadership to assess the election preparations and the general situation, and to explore the needs of these areas in the post-ISIS, post-election period and how the UN can assist. Participants in the meetings stressed the importance of Parliamentary elections, and highlighted the provincial council elections in December 2018, to be held in Kirkuk for the first time since 2005. The interlocutors stressed a key role of UNAMI in facilitating or participating in resolving some of the issues about the voluntary return and the rights of IDPs during the election. Kubiš said “I encourage everyone to go out and vote on the Election Day. Kirkuk is a microcosm of Iraq’s diversity. Its people should be proud of this, proud of their different identities that should be fully respected by each other and by the authorities.”

On May 8, candidate for the Victory Coalition in Dohuk Province, Sherko Abed, announced his withdrawal from the list and his intention to join the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) led by Massoud Barzani. Abed said in a joint press conference with officials of the KDP, “I announced my resignation from the list of Victory,” noting that “this decision was not under pressure or threat.” Abed is a businessman and CEO of the B-Plan Company. The Victory Coalition led by Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi witnessed the withdrawal of two other candidates this week, one in the province of Dohuk and the other in the province of Erbil.

On May 9, Hassan al-Yasiri announced his resignation as President of Iraq’s Integrity Commission, an independent entity within the Iraqi government responsible for preventing and investigating corruption. In a lengthy statement, Yasiri said that the timing of his resignation was not important and had been discussed for some time. His statement also focused on the commission’s successes over the past three years since his appointment by Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi. Yasiri said that the commission “has become the first in its work on the Arab and regional levels, and one of the most advanced institutions of international integrity. It has a distinguished international reputation…” Yasiri previously submitted his resignation to Abadi just after a year in office, in June 2016, but it was rejected by the Prime Minister at the time.


Curfews, Closings Announced Ahead of Election Day

On May 5, the Diyala Provincial Police Command announced the use of what it called the strategy of “integrated detachments” to protect 446 polling stations within the province. The detachments “consist of 10 police elements led by an officer, who is responsible for securing the internal security of the center and the formation of a police force,” said Colonel Ghaleb Al-Atiyah, spokesman for Diyala police.

On May 8, the Baghdad Operations Command announced that its security plan for the parliamentary elections of May 12, 2018, will be implemented starting May 9, 2018. Major General Jalil al-Rubaie, Baghdad Operations Commander, said during a news conference that “there is an integrated plan to secure all centers and people” and that “all areas of Baghdad will be 100 percent secure during the election period.” Rubaie added that all load trucks would be prevented from entering the capital starting May 9, and motorcycles would be forbidden. Rubaie pointed out that the decision to impose a curfew is the responsibility of the Independent High Electoral Commission (IHEC).

On May 9, IHEC announced that the end of any campaigning would start at seven o’clock on Friday morning, indicating that the number of recipients of election cards amounted to more than 76 percent of those eligible.

On May 9, an anonymous security source reported the issuance of an order to close all the border crossings and airports for 24 hours, during the election process of May 12, 2018. The source said that “the committee formed by the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces issued an order to close the border crossings and airports from 12pm on Friday until 12pm on Saturday.”

On May 9, Kurdish Minister of the Interior Karim Sinjari announced that “all roads between the provinces will be closed off during the election process”, adding that “all the preparations were made to protect the electoral centers.” Sinjari also denied “the existence of any pressure on Peshmerga and security forces in the elections,” pointing out that “the Peshmerga forces and security services have full freedom to vote in favor of any political list.”

On May 9, the Iraqi Border Ports Authority declared the closure of all ports of entry and airports to secure the parliamentary elections of May 12, 2018. A brief statement released by the Authority affirmed that the decision will be effective from 12pm on May 11, 2018.

On May 9, a security source said that the curfew in Baghdad would last from 12am Friday night until 12am of Saturday night. The source said “The capital Baghdad will witness a curfew for roaming starting at 12am Friday night until 12am on Saturday night.”


Accusations of Slow Voter Card Distribution; Voting Underway for Iraqi Forces, Expats

On May 5, the spokesman for the Information Office of Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, Saad al-Hadithi, commented on reports saying that there is “pressure” on members of the security forces and staff in the territory of Kurdistan, in order to “compel them to vote in a certain direction.” Hadithi stressed that “these measures are ineligible. They are a serious violation of the laws and that those responsible for them will be subject to legal accountability. The duty of state agencies is to ensure the integrity of the elections and respect for the freedom and anonymity of the voters. We call on citizens to disregard such threats and we will stand with them and support them. Exercise their right to vote freely in accordance with their believes.”

On May 6, the Deputy for Ninewa Province, Ali al-Mutawiti, accused the Erbil Elections Commission of failing to deliver and distributing voter cards to internally displaced persons (IDPs) in the province. One third of the cards were expected to be returned to the center and not delivered to the citizens. Mutawiti said, “There is great suffer for the people of Ninewa province, especially in the Sinjar district. The districts in the areas are in the process of updating the voters’ records or receipt of electoral cards.” Mutawiti criticized the failure of the Electoral Commission in Erbil to fix the problem on time and ensure the participation of the IDPs in the province.

On May 7, the leader of the Fatah Alliance in Kirkuk Province, Mohammed Mahdi al-Bayati, warned that 17,000 voters in the province were prevented from voting in the elections because of what he considered “deliberate negligence.” Bayati said, “There is deliberate negligence in some voter card distribution center, which leads to the deprivation of more than 17,000 voters to vote.” He called on the Independent High Electoral Commission to be aware.

On May 8, a Member of the Kurdistan Regional Parliament with the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP), Nazem Harki, announced that the head of the Kurdistan Regional Government, Nechirvan Barzani set the date of September 30, 2018 as the date for Kurdistan Parliament elections. Elections were originally scheduled for November 1, 2017, but was postponed after the Kurdistan Regional Parliament decided to extend its current session for 8 months.

On May 9, some of the government departments and ministries experienced widespread absences of officials because they are busy campaigning for seats in Parliament. The press described the situation as “paralysis of state institutions” as the officials were preoccupied with intensifying their campaigns. Ministers, who are occupied with their electoral campaigns, left their institutional work, which caused the citizen’s interests to be disrupted, according to the report.

On May 9, the Turkmen Elie Party accused some of the staff of the Electoral Commission Office in Kirkuk of “blocking” the delivery of electoral cards in some areas of the province. The Party said in a statement that “the Independent Electoral Commission does not act impartially or transparently. It is necessary to highlight some of the actions by the Commission of Kirkuk, to show the public the extent of failure in their work.” He added that “some of the staff of the Commission of Kirkuk are slow and deliberately blocking the delivery of electoral cards in certain areas, while the distribution of voters cards is faster in other regions. For example, in one day alone, 2,600 voter cards in the province of Hawija were distributed.” He stressed that “the Kirkuk Commission is still practicing the same approach that it used in previous elections through its commitment to the instructions of the parties controlling it. There are a lot of violations and deliberate failure of integrity in the elections.”

On May 9, spokesman for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), Karim al-Tamimi, said “We have taken precautionary measures on the election day by not using mobile phones inside the polling station.” The elections will involve participation by 320 political parties, coalitions and electoral lists through 7,367 candidates, fewer than the previous 2014 election’s 9,000 candidates.

On May 10, the Independent High Electoral Commission (IHEC) announced the opening of voting centers in the United States (U.S.), marking the start of the election process in the U.S. Safa al-Ghazali, member of the Office of the IHEC in Washington D.C., said that “the voting centers in the United States have been opened to receive Iraqi voters.”

On May 10, Vice President of the Ninewa Provincial Council and Turkmen leader, Noureddine Kaplan, accused the election commission of disenfranchising thousands of would-be Iraqi voters displaced in Turkey, noting that the Commission opened 16 centers in Ankara only and not in the population centers of Iraqis. Kaplan said that “the Independent Electoral Commission has to address the error of only opening 16 centers in Ankara,” and no polling stations in cities like Gaziantep in Turkey, where a large population of Iraqi residents live.

On May 10, Member of Parliament and member of the Education Committee, Riad Ghali said the directorate of the committee called on the IHEC to compensate the damage caused to schools as a result of using them as electoral centers. Ghali called on the directorates to compensate schools for any damage to student materials that results from the use of schools as polling locations.

On May 10, early voting began for members of the Iraqi Security Forces and Iraqi expatriates abroad. Voting for members of the Iraqi Kurdish Peshmerga began in Erbil, Sulaymania, Dohuk, and Halabja. Early reports indicate that polling stations opened for these purposes were witnessing a wide participation of voters amid tight security measures. The ballot box was closed in the afternoon for the 2018 parliamentary elections across Iraq, including the Kurdistan region. Voting for Security Forces throughout Iraq amounted to 794,591, which makes up 86.08% of special voters registered for voting cards. Meanwhile, thousands of Iraqi expatriates continued casting their ballots in approximately 130 polling centers in 21 countries across the world, including Iraqis in Australia, New Zealand, and Lebanon, beginning at seven o’clock local time.


Iraq Continues Airstrikes on ISIS Positions in Syria

On May 6, according to a government source, the Iraqi Air Force carried out an attack against ISIS headquarters in Syrian territory. Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi’s office confirmed that the airstrike targeted ISIS commanders south of the town of Dashaisha, Syria.

On May 6, Brigadier General Yahya Rasool, spokesman for the Joint Military Command, spoke about an airstrike carried out by the Iraqi Air Force on ISIS targets in Syrian territory. Rasool said that “the strike was carried out at 8am this morning by Iraqi F-16 aircrafts on a target in the area of Dashaisha, inside Syrian territory, and about 400 kilometers from the Iraqi border,” adding that “the target was a gathering of important [ISIS] members and leaders. The target was destroyed and the strike was successful.”


Iraq Condemns Trump’s Withdrawal from Iran Nuclear Accord

On May 9, Iraqi President Fuad Masum expressed regret over the decision of United States (U.S.) President Donald Trump to pull the U.S. out of the 2015 agreement reached by Iran and other six nations, to limit Iran’s nuclear ability for more than a decade in exchange for lifting international oil and financial sanctions. Masum said in a statement that the U.S. withdrawal from the agreement “will not serve the possibility of enhancing security and stability in our region and in the world.” He added that “the (nuclear) agreement marked a major achievement in bolstering the chances of peace and progress for all the states of the region and the international community,” praising the decision of the other signatories, including Iran, to stick with the agreement despite the U.S. move. Masum also stressed “Iraq’s opposition to all forms of mass destruction weapons, especially nuclear weapons.”

On May 9, the Iraqi Ministry of Foreign Affairs released a statement concerning U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision to pull the U.S. out of the international nuclear deal with Iran, saying the move was “hasty and rash.” The Ministry said it would follow with “deep concern the dangerous developments” of Trump’s decision. It also praised the nuclear deal as a factor contributing to peace in the Middle East region, adding that the U.S. withdrawal “goes in the direction of escalation which would bring nothing but destruction and war desolation.” In the statement, the Ministry also welcomed the decision of the other signatories of the deal, including Iran, to respect the agreement.


IED Incidents and Resulting Casualties

DateLocationDeathsInjuries
05/08/2018Dibis, 50 kilometers north of Kirkuk01
05/07/2018Taji, 35 kilometers north of Baghdad02
05/06/2018Nasiriyah, 345 kilometers south of Baghdad20
05/06/2018Radwaniyah, 18 kilometers southwest of Baghdad11
05/05/2018Qa'im, 261 kilometers northwest of Ramadi02
05/05/2018Zaidan, 39 kilometers west of Baghdad10
05/05/2018Madain, 43 kilometers south of Baghdad03
05/04/2018Rawa02

 

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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