ISHM: September 14 -20, 2018

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This week’s headlines:

  • Parliament Elects Speakers and Two Deputies, Halbousi Receives Supports from Iraqi Parties and the International Community – After the first attempt on September 3, 2018 to designate a Speaker of Parliament and his two deputies failed, on September 15 the Iraqi Parliament elected Sunni lawmaker Mohammed al-Halbousi as the next Speaker of Parliament. On September 15, U.S. Special Envoy for the Global Coalition to Counter ISIL, Brett McGurk, expressed his support for recently elected speaker Mohammed al-Halbousi. On September 15, the European Union (EU) released a statement congratulating the Iraqi parliament for electing the new Speaker of Parliament and his two deputies. On September 16, the Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General for Iraq, Jan Kubis, celebrated the recent elections for a new Speaker and his two deputies in the Iraqi Parliament. On September 18, Ammar al-Hakim, leader of the National Wisdom Movement, received newly elected Speaker of Parliament, Mohammed al-Halbousi. more…
  • International Partners Announced to Extend Missions in Iraq To Help with Reconstruction, Italy Vows to Continue Training Peshmerga Forces – On September 15, General Colin Kiefer, Commander of the Canadian Mission in Iraq, announced that Canada could extend its military mission in the country. On September 16, the German Minister of Defense, Ursula von der Leyen, released a statement saying that Germany will help Iraq in its reconstruction efforts and in the fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) militants still present in Iraq. On September 17, New Zealand Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern, announced an extension to current deployments of New Zealand Defense Forces in Iraq. On September 19, Italy announced it would continue to support and train the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) Peshmerga forces. The United States made no new announcements about the 5,200 U.S. troops currently based in Iraq, however on August 19, 2018, a U.S. spokesperson with the Combined Joint Task Force-Operation Inherent Resolve (CJTFOIR) announced that U.S. forces would stay in Iraq “as long as needed” and that “there could be a drawdown” based on NATO’s contributions to the ongoing ‘train-and-advise’ mission in Iraq. more…
  • PUK Announces Candidate for Iraq Presidency, Security Forces Accused by PUK of Torturing Citizens in Kirkuk’s Daquq District – As the end of Fuad Masum’s term as President of the Republic of Iraq approaches, on September 19, the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) officially nominated Barham Salih as a candidate for the presidency of Iraq. On September 19, the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) announced it will name its own candidate for the presidency of Iraq. On September 19, the Minister of the Interior Qassim al-Araji announced the beginning of an investigation after the PUK accused the federal security force of torturing citizens in Daquq District, approximately 52 kilometers south of the city of Kirkuk. On September 19, the federal police force denied earlier claims that it used torture in Daquq District. more…
  • Negotiations for the Formation of the New Iraqi Government Continue, Sairoon Alliance Puts New Candidate for Prime Minister Forward – With the election of the Speaker of Parliament and his two Deputies, the Iraqi parliament can now proceed with forming the new government. On September 15, the United Nations (UN) Women Regional Director of Arab States, Mohamed Naciri, urged Iraqi leaders to ensure that women will be able to hold positions of power in the formation of the new government. On September 18, the U.S. Special Envoy for the Global Coalition to Counter ISIL, Brett McGurk, stated that he believed Iraqi lawmakers would be able to finalize the largest political blocs in the next few days. On September 18, President Fuad Masum met with the Chief of the Executive Body of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), Mala Bakhtiar. According to PUKmedia, “during the meeting, they discussed the political situation and speeding up the formation of the new government.” On September 18, Fatah Alliance leader Haidi al-Amiri announced he would withdraw his candidacy for Prime Minister. On September 18, leader of the Sairoon Alliance Muqtada al-Sadr announced he would support Adel Abdul Mahdi as the next Prime Minister of Iraq. more…
  • Following Rumors of a Meeting between McGurk and Soleimani, U.S. and Iran Deny the Claims – On September 15, the Kuwaiti newspaper Al-Jarida reported of an alleged secret meeting between U.S. Special Envoy for the Global Coalition to Counter ISIL, Brett McGurk, and Qasem Soleimani, Major General of the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps. On September 15, the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad released a statement denying that any such meeting took place. On September 17, a similar rejection was made by spokesman for the Iranian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Bahram Qassemi. 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.


Parliament Elects Speakers and Two Deputies, Halbousi Receives Supports from Iraqi Parties and the International Community

On September 15, the Iraqi Parliament elected Sunni lawmaker Mohammed al-Halbousi as the next Speaker of Parliament. On September 3, the Parliament failed to elect a speaker and his two deputies. Hassan al-Kaabi, who is a member of Muqtada al-Sadr’s Sairoon Alliance, was elected as the first deputy. Basheer Haddad of the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) was later elected as the second deputy on September 16. With the election of the Speaker, the Iraqi parliament can start the process of the formation of the new government, which must be completed 90 days after the ratification of election results. Election  results were ratified by the Iraqi Federal Supreme Court on August 20, 2018.

On September 15, U.S. Special Envoy for the Global Coalition to Counter ISIL, Brett McGurk, expressed his support for recently elected speaker Mohammed al-Halbousi. McGurk wrote on Twitter that “we congratulate Mohammed Halbusi on his election to Speaker of Iraq’s parliament. As Governor of Anbar Province, Mr. Halbusi was a valued partner in the fight against #ISIS. We look forward to continuing that close partnership as he serves all the Iraqi people.”

On September 15, the European Union (EU) released a statement congratulating the Iraqi parliament for electing the new Speaker of Parliament and his two deputies. The EU viewed it as “a decisive step toward the formation of the new federal government.” The EU also stated that “we expect political leaders to quickly implement this process and seek national participation and broad national reconciliation.”

On September 16, the newly elected Speaker of the Iraqi Parliament, Mohammed al-Halbousi, released a statement condemning the newly placed economic sanctions against the Islamic Republic of Iran by the U.S..  Halbousi stressed that “Iraq will always be alongside the Iranian people.” He added that several members of parliament shared his views and that they “opposed the exercise of any economic pressure and embargo on Iran.”

On September 16, the Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General for Iraq, Jan Kubis, celebrated the recent elections for a new Speaker and his two deputies in the Iraqi Parliament. He assured that the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) looks forward to working with speaker Mohammed al-Halbousi. Kubis also urged the current political blocs to work diligently to adhere to constitutional timelines in electing the President and Prime Minister of the new government and that any officials elected adhere to pro-reform and non-sectarian ideals to move the country forward. According to Kubis, “Only such a government can regain the confidence of the people, swiftly act to fulfill their demands for improved public services, jobs, economic development and reform, protect the interests of Iraq, and ensure full respect for its sovereignty and independence.”

On September 17, Prime Minister of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) Nechirvan Barzani congratulated recently elected speaker of Parliament Mohammed al-Halbousi. Barzani sent a letter to Halbousi, expressing optimism that the “current differences in the Kurdistan Region and the federal government will be resolved” and that “political stability and the two can “achieve political stability and security in Iraq.”

On September 17, newly elected deputy to Speaker of Parliament Mohammed al-Halbousi Hassan Karim al-Kaabi confirmed Halbousi’s commitment to ensuring the quick formation of a new government. In a statement Kaabi said, “our work in this session is reflected in the restoration of prestige to the legislative branch through the cohesion and interaction of all members of the Council of Representatives.” He further stated the need for cooperation with lawmakers as citizens need for the government to implement reforms, projects, and to fight corruption in all forms.

On September 18, Ammar al-Hakim, leader of the National Wisdom Movement, received newly elected Speaker of Parliament, Mohammed al-Halbousi. Hakim’s office released a statement saying that “Hakim congratulated the success of the House of Representatives in electing Halbousi’s presidency as the first step towards completing the constitutional requirements and the formation of the government.” According to the statement, Hakim stressed “the need to pass important laws and the removal of political rivalries in the House of Representatives,” and highlighted “the importance to giving priority to public interests and passing laws with direct impact on citizens’ interests.” Hakim said that “we must integrate the legislative, executive and judicial powers,” calling for “the need to restore confidence in the House of Representatives and reducing unnecessary privileges.” Hakim also encouraged “the production of the Iraqi decision in accordance with the Iraqi interest, as well as the importance of communication with everyone and the adoption of Iraq as a bridge to connect the adversaries, not the arena for their conflicts.”

On September 18, Kuwaiti Ambassador to Iraq Salem al-Zamanan confirmed the country’s support moving forward to Iraq.  Zamanan met with Iraq’s Speaker of Parliament Mohammed al-Halbousi and congratulated him. Zamanan also stressed “that Kuwait is always keen to be on the side of Iraq and to support him.”

On September 19, Speaker of Iraq’s Parliament Mohammed al-Halbousi announced he had received a phone call from the Speaker of the Kuwaiti National Assembly, Marzouq al-Ghanim. Ghanim called Halbousi to congratulate him and to discuss current relations between the two countries. Halbousi’s office confirmed that “the two sides discussed bilateral relations between the two countries” and that Ghanim “formally invited Halbousi to visit the State of Kuwait.”

On September 19, the Office of the Iraqi Speaker of Parliament Mohammed al-Halbousi stated that Halbousi had a phone call with the United States (U.S.) Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. In the conversation, Pompeo expressed his optimism that the new government will “be a reflection of the will of the new generation” and “their important role in leading the country towards stability.” During the call, Halbousi and Pompeo also discussed the role of the international community in restoring stability and security to Iraq.

On September 19, the U.S.Department of State released a statement confirming a phone discussion between U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and the newly elected Speaker of the Iraqi Parliament Mohammed al-Halbousi.  U.S. Department of State spokeswoman Heather Nauert tweeted, “@SecPompeo spoke today w/ Mohammed Halbusi, Iraq’s new Speaker of the Council of Representatives. The Secretary pledged to continue to stand with Iraqis as they pursue security, prosperity and stability, and emphasized support for Iraq’s territorial integrity and sovereignty.”


International Partners Announced to Extend Missions in Iraq To Help with Reconstruction, Italy Vows to Continue Training Peshmerga Forces

On September 15, General Colin Kiefer, Commander of the Canadian Mission in Iraq, announced that Canada could extend its military mission in the country. Kiefer said that “the government of Iraq will rely on Canada and other international partners to provide security of the defeat of [ISIS].” Kiefer added that “they recognize that they need permanent assistance to provide security and promote the stability and prosperity of Iraq.”

On September 15, the Netherlands announced it would withdraw its F-16 fighter jets from Iraq at the end of 2018. The Netherlands will further shift its operations to supporting and training security forces, as about 50 soldiers will remain in Northern Iraq and 12 Special Forces members will remain in Baghdad.

On September 16, the German Minister of Defense, Ursula von der Leyen, released a statement saying that Germany will help Iraq in its reconstruction efforts and in the fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) militants still present in Iraq. Von der Leyen said that “the fight against [ISIS] left deep wounds and scars in the country. It will take patience … to strengthen Iraq again. This is about a reconstruction of a country in all areas.” She highlighted that Iraq is also in need of economic growth and cooperation, pointing out that Germany has invested EUR 1.4 billion (USD 1.63 billion) in Iraq since 2014. Von der Leyen said that German military forces will serve also as advisers to the Iraqi Ministry of Defense on issues concerning the demining process and defense against nuclear, biological and chemical weapons.

On September 17, New Zealand Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern, announced an extension to current deployments of New Zealand Defense Forces in Iraq. According to the Ardern and Minister of Defense Ron Mark, Iraqi deployments will be extended until June 2019. New Zealand will remain as a non-combatant and will support Iraq by training security forces. According to Winston Peters, the New Zealand Minister of Foreign Affairs, “The Iraqi Security Forces have made some significant gains. However, it’s clear that [ISIS] remains a threat, and further support is required to help the Iraqi Security Forces ensure ISIS cannot reassert itself.”

On September 19, Italy announced it would continue to support and train the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) Peshmerga forces. Commander of the Italian forces in Iraq, Brigadier General Nicola Terzano, met with Masrour Barzani who is the Chancellor of the Kurdistan Region Security Council. In a statement from the Office of the KRG Security Council, “the Italian government will continue its program of training Peshmerga forces in a modern format and a more sophisticated mechanism in line with the current stage of the war against terrorism.”


PUK Announces Candidate for Iraq Presidency, Security Forces Accused by PUK of Torturing Citizens in Kirkuk’s Daquq District

On September 17, former member of the Kurdish Gorran Party (Movement for Change) Sardar Abdullah announced his candidacy for the presidency of Iraq. He announced he will run as an independent without a party.  

On September 19, the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) officially nominated Barham Salih as a candidate for the presidency of Iraq. Saadi Pira, spokesman for the PUK, confirmed that the meeting of the leadership council for the PUK had reached a majority vote for Salih as the nominee.

On September 19, the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) announced it will name its own candidate for the presidency of Iraq. A spokesman for the party stated that the PUK and the PDK were supposed to be united on a nomination and the PDK “heard through the media” that the PUK nominated Barham Salih. An earlier tweet stated the PUK went against an agreement the two parties had reached.  

On September 19, the KDP denied reports that Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani would be their candidate for the presidency of Iraq. Fadel Mirani, secretary for the political bureau of the KDP stated that “Nechirvan Barzani is not a candidate for the presidency of Iraq, we need his services in the province of Kurdistan.”

On September 19, the Minister of the Interior Qassim al-Araji announced the beginning of an investigation after the PUK accused the federal security force of torturing citizens in Daquq District, approximately 52 kilometers south of Kirkuk. The PUK released a statement saying that “some of the [security] forces arrest innocent people and tortured them in the the worst ways” and accused police forces of even breaking people’s hands and feet. Deputies from the PUK called on the federal government to open an investigation and to take immediate actions to end these acts and to hold officials accountable for their actions.

On September 19, the federal police force denied earlier claims that it used torture in Daquq District. Federal Police officials responded to previous allegations by Kurdish deputies and stated the police have followed proper procedures with the extradition of individuals who have been accused of terroristic acts. Officials stated, “The judge ordered the extradition of the accused to the Daquq Center for referral to the judiciary.” Officials also stated that on September 19, members of the PUK were allowed access to meet with 12 people arrested and were given access to legal papers belonging to the defendants.

On September 19, the Iraqi National Dialogue Front (INDF), led by Saleh al-Mutlaq, expressed its support for the candidacy of Barham Salih, which was put forward by the PUK. The INDF affirmed in a statement that “the [Iraqi] National Dialogue Front headed by Saleh al-Mutlaq supports the candidate of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan Barham Salih for the post of President of the Republic.”

On September 20, Shafaaq News reported that the presidential candidate for the PUK, Barham Salih, had met twice with the leader of the Kurdistan Democratic Party (PDK), Massoud Barzani. An anonymous source “assured” a journalist that the meetings took place and that Salih had gained approval from Barzani.


Negotiations for the Formation of the New Iraqi Government Continue, Sairoon Alliance Puts New Candidate for Prime Minister Forward

On September 15, the United Nations (UN) Women Regional Director of Arab States, Mohamed Naciri, urged Iraqi leaders to ensure that women will be able to hold positions of power in the formation of the new government. In a joint statement from UN Women and many Iraqi female leaders, activists urged that the new government will “Ensure representation of women in the Presidency of Parliament, the Prime Ministry, and the Presidency of the Republic.” Naciri’s work has focused on meeting with political blocs and leaders in Iraq to emphasize the importance of ensuring the equal representation of women in decision-making roles.

On September 17, Iraqi Vice President Osama al-Nujaifi received in his Office United States (U.S.) Special Envoy for the Global Coalition to Counter ISIL, Brett McGurk, and the U.S. Ambassador to Iraq, Douglas Silliman. Nujaifi’s office released a statement saying that “the meeting discussed the latest developments in the political situation, concerning the Presidency of the Council of Representative, the Presidency of the Republic and the Prime Minister, as well as the government program , and ways to achieve a government capable of meeting the requirements of the country and advancing it.” Nujaifi stressed “the need to speed up the election of the President of the Republic and the position of Prime Minister, respecting the constitutional deadline,” highlighting the importance of “ensuring national consensus and not to allow the breaking of wills to achieve goals that do not serve the homeland and the citizens.” He said that “Iraq needs a President with experience and competence and is able to preserve the constitution and ensure that it not infringed upon,” adding that “it is necessary to succeed in choosing a moderate and acceptable Prime Minister who is responsible for [keeping] Iraq [from] international conflicts and has the ability to establish wider relations with the international community in the interest of Iraq.”

On September 18, the U.S. Special Envoy for the Global Coalition to Counter ISIL, Brett McGurk, stated that he believed Iraqi lawmakers would be able to finalize the largest political blocs in the next few days. McGurk released a statement in the presence of Mullah Bakhtiar, who is the leader of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) saying that, “we are confident that the Iraqi political forces will be able to form a strong, professional, and national government. The U.S. attaches importance to the decisions that will be issued by the political forces in Iraq and the Kurdistan region.” He further added, “there is no doubt that the parties are committed to the constitutional deadlines.”

On September 18, new Iraqi deputy Hassan Karim al-Kaabi under speaker of Parliament Mohammed al-Halbousi, provided an update on the current situation in Basra Province. Kaabi stated that an estimated 30,000 people have been sickened by water pollution and high salinity. He called on the next parliamentary session to find quick solutions to the issues in the province and blamed the crisis on corruption and the delaying of projects. Speaker of Parliament Mohammed Halbousi also spoke on the crisis stating that “all provinces suffer from the issue of transfer of powers and the delay that is witnessed, which requires more coordination and planning between local governments and the federal government.” He added  that “we have started the budget of 2018 and included allocations for the province of Basra.”

On September 18, President Fuad Masum met with the Chief of the Executive Body of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), Mala Bakhtiar. According to PUKmedia, “during the meeting, they discussed the political situation and speeding up the formation of the new government.”

On September 18, Fatah Alliance leader Haidi al-Amiri announced he would withdraw his candidacy for Prime Minister. The Fatah Alliance came in second place after the Sairoon Alliance received the most seats in the May 12 elections. According to Reuters, “Amiri’s Alliance has been in advanced talks with Shi’ite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr to form a new alliance in recent days.” This could be an important development in the process for forming the next government.

On September 18, Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi questioned the results of the election for the new Speaker of Parliament. Abadi stated, “I call for an investigation into the carrying out of the ballot papers by deputies during the election.”  However, he affirmed that he would work diligently to handover responsibility to the next government. This comes a few days after a news conference on September 13 when Abadi stated “he was unwilling to cling to power.”

On September 18, leader of the Sairoon Alliance Muqtada al-Sadr announced he would support Adel Abdul Mahdi as the next Prime Minister of Iraq. According to Shafaaq News, Sadr favored Madhi over the Fatah Alliance candidate Falih al-Fayyadh. Sadr “insisted that Abdul Mahdi was his personal candidate” and that Sadr saw a clear attempt by Iran to push for Falih al-Fayyadh to become the next Prime Minister.

On September 19, the PUK named Jwan Ihsan as the head of the party’s political bloc in the Council of Representatives.  The announcement came from the Political Bureau of the PUK.

On September 19, Shafaaq News reported that three Iraqi deputies left the National Wisdom Movement and joined the Fatah Alliance, which is led by Hadi al-Amiri. Member of Parliament (MP) Amer al-Fayez stated, “Three deputies of wisdom withdrew and joined the Fatah Alliance,” and added the names of the three deputies: Zahra al-Bajarim, Lubna Rahim, and Hassan al-Massoudi.

On September 19, Hassan al-Massoudi refuted reports that he joined the Fatah Alliance. Massoudi released a statement criticizing the media’s attempt “to influence the current negotiations between the blocs” and “he stressed his attachment to the bloc of wisdom.”

On September 19, Iraqi President Fuad Masum denied reports that he had applied to run for another term in office. According to a statement from the Office of the Presidency, “the latter did not apply to the Council of Representatives to run for the presidency of the Republic.”

On September 19, the Fatah Alliance released a statement saying that it did not officially nominate Adel Abdul Mahdi as candidate for Prime Minister. Fatah Alliance spokesman, Laith al-Athari, told reporters that he has the qualifications, but “there are a lot of names that have been put in the debate.”

On September 19, Alsumaria News reported that Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi and the leader of the Fatah Alliance, Hadi al-Amiri, met to discuss the current “political situation.” An anonymous source revealed the meeting took place, but did not provide further details on the contents of the meeting.

On September 20, the Iraqi Ministry of Foreign Affairs expressed displeasure with a recent tweet posted by  United Kingdom (U.K.) Ambassador to Iraq, Jon Wilks. Wilks tweeted, “I have invited His Excellency the Iranian Ambassador to express our views on the latest developments in Iraq, and we agreed that the next government should make its own contributions and provide jobs to the people.” The Ministry’s spokesman Ahmad Mahjoub stated, “the decision to form the Iraqi government is purely a national Iraqi decision and the tasks assigned to it are a popular mandate through the Iraqi parliament.”

On September 20, the leader of the Kurdish New Generation Movement, Sashwar Abdel Wahid, criticized Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi and called on him to “back down” on recent decisions. According to Wahid, he has made “hasty and ill-advised decisions.” Wahid specifically called out Abadi for his decision to remove Falih al-Fayyadh as National Security Advisor and head of the Iraqi Security Council. He also stated that he hopes “Abadi will back down on his ill-considered decisions, reconsider any step or direction he makes, and put the national interest above personal ambitions.”

On September 20, the Iraqi Turkmen Front (ITF) announced that its delegation traveled to Ankara and met with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The ITF released a statement saying that “a delegation from the Turkmen Front, led by Ershad Salhi, met today in Ankara with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The two sides discussed the formation of the government and the status of Kirkuk, in addition to the reconstruction of the destroyed areas.”

On September 20, Hamdallah Rikabi, MP with the Sairoon Alliance, criticized the intervention of a number of ambassadors in the Iraqi government formation process, and called on the government to prevent any other country from interfering with it. Rikabi said that “unfortunately, we hear and read from time to time statements and messages from the ambassadors of some countries, most recently to the British ambassador in Iraq, and they talk about the Iraqi political reality and the process of forming the next government and thus exceed their diplomatic work and interfere in the internal affairs of Iraq.” Rikabi added that “ we declare our absolute rejection of any interference in the Iraqi issue, we call upon ambassadors of all countries to abide by the controls, determinants, laws and diplomatic norms governing their work, and the Iraqi government to play its role in not allowing any state to interfere in its affairs in order to preserve Iraq’s sovereignty and independence.”

On September 20, Nouri al-Maliki, leader of the State of Law Coalition, said that the Coalition has not yet agreed upon a candidate for the position of Prime Minister. Maliki wrote on Twitter that “the Construction Coalition has not agreed upon a specific candidate for Prime Minister so far. The Coalition will develop a specific mechanism to choose the candidate #al-Maliki.”


Following Rumors of a Meeting between McGurk and Soleimani, U.S. and Iran Deny the Claims

On September 15, the Kuwaiti newspaper Al-Jarida reported of an alleged secret meeting between U.S. Special Envoy for the Global Coalition to Counter ISIL, Brett McGurk, and Qasem Soleimani, Major General of the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps. According to the article, the alleged meeting took place on September 11, 2018, in Iraq. The article states that during the meeting, McGurk and Soleimani discussed possible ways to address the formation of the Iraqi government, and how to deflate the tension between the U.S. and Iran. The article also affirms that the meeting was requested by McGurk.

On September 15, the United States Embassy in Iraq released a statement denying reports of an alleged meeting which took place between U.S. Special Envoy for the Global Coalition to Counter ISIL, Brett McGurk and a military commander of the Islamic Republic of Iran. According to a tweet from the spokesman for the U.S. Embassy in Iraq, Charles Cole, the embassy stated, “The Embassy is aware of false media reports that Special Presidential Envoy Brett McGurk and an Iranian General met to discuss forming a new Iraqi government. The reports are fake news. No such meeting ever happened.”  

On September 17, spokesman for the Iranian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Bahram Qassemi, denied reports that a meeting between Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Major General Qasem Soleimani and U.S. Special Envoy for the Global Coalition to Counter ISIL, Brett McGurk took place. According to Bahram, “this is a false story and there are newspapers that publish such news.”


IED Incidents and Resulting Casualties

DateLocationDeathsInjuries
09/18/2018 Al-Shirqat, 174 kilometers west of Kirkuk 12
09/18/2018 Kirkuk214
09/19/2018 Baghdad00
09/16/2018 Abu Ghraib, 44 kilometers west of Baghdad02
09/14/2018 Nahrawan, 43 kilometers east of Baghdad02
09/19/2018 Kirkuk03
09/18/2018 Sha'ab, 17 kilometers north of Baghdad03
09/19/2018 Anah, 247 kilometers west of Tikrit10
09/16/2018 Al-Dora, 10 kilometers south of Baghdad 01
09/15/2018 Diyala15

 

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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