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Iraq

  |  1 Jul 2014

Deteriorated Risk Alert

Militants fighting under banner of al-Qaeda splinter group Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) early month seized large swaths of territory during surge of several hundred jihadis through NW; UN estimated over 2,400 killed throughout month. ISIL 9 June seized major northern city of Mosul; PM Maliki’s local allies, including Ninewa Governor Atheel al-Nujaifi, fled to neighbouring Kurdistan. Army, security forces and hundreds of thousands of civilians also fled; others celebrated “liberation” from central govt control; local armed groups joined jihadis, later claimed role in takeover. Several other towns and areas across NW seized: militants 11 June overran Tikrit, 24 June reportedly seized main oil refinery at Baiji after 10-day siege. Kurdish forces 12 June took control of Kirkuk after security forces fled. Govt reportedly lost control of key border crossings with Syria, Jordan mid- to late month. ISIL 29 June announced establishment of Islamic caliphate in territories under its control. Tens of thousands joined Shiite militias after mid-month calls from Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, cleric Moqtada al-Sadr to fight ISIL; large-scale rallies staged across Baghdad. Maliki 13 June said cabinet granted him “unlimited powers” to combat militants; army late month launched operation to retake Tikrit. U.S. deployed aircraft carrier, announced plans to send 300 military advisors to Baghdad, said armed drones deployed to assist advisors; Iran reportedly sent 2,000 ground troops. Scores killed in several bombings targeting Kurdish political party offices 8-9 June. Deadly car bombings continued across Baghdad including at least 60 killed 7 June.

Iraq

  |  1 Jun 2014

Unchanged

Results of 30 April parliamentary elections reported 26 May: PM Maliki’s State of Law list won 92 seats, more than 2 leading rival Shiite groups combined. Electoral commission reported 60% overall participation despite low turnout in govt-controlled parts of Anbar province. Maliki signalled intention to retain premiership in govt comprised of State of Law along with smaller parties, excluding leading Shia and Sunni rivals. Sunni Mouttahidoun group publicly abandoned hope of forming govt without Maliki, shifted focus to organising Sunni and secular groups for negotiations over formation of new govt. Deadly bombings across Baghdad mid-month followed election-day lull: at least 34 killed 13 May, at least 29 killed in bombings and shootings 15 May; at least 35 Shiite pilgrims killed 22 May. At least 74 killed across country 28 May, including dozens in several Baghdad car bombings. Govt forces escalated fight against insurgents in and around Falluja, including indiscriminate shelling with “barrel bombs”; scores killed, thousands fled. Increased tensions between previously allied anti-govt fighters after Falluja military council late-April accused Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) of kidnapping, beating, and disarming its members, trying to assert unilateral dominance; ISIL clashed with other groups, including over sale of gas and other commodities in eastern Anbar.

Iraq

  |  1 May 2014

Unchanged

Security situation continued to deteriorate in run-up to 30 April parliamentary election with Shiite militias operating openly, ongoing fighting between govt forces and Sunni insurgents in Anbar province. Jihadi Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) consolidated presence in Falluja, including staging military parade and organising basic services; early April pushed eastward toward areas closer to Baghdad, including establishing presence in Abu Ghraib city. Govt continued to use Anbar crisis to marginalise Sunni political opposition, secure domestic and international political support. Violence across country left hundreds dead. ISIL suicide bombers 25 April killed 33 at Shiite political rally in Baghdad; militants 28 April killed at least 50 as soldiers and police cast votes, including 30 in suicide bombing of Kurdish political rally. 14 reported killed on election day 30 April; officials reported over 50 attacks on polling stations, voters in north and west. Electoral commission cancelled balloting in parts of Anbar due to ongoing violence. Cabinet approved “national safety” bill enabling PM to declare state of emergency at will; awaiting deliberation in parliament.

Iraq

  |  1 Apr 2014

Unchanged

Amid ongoing fight against insurgents in Anbar province, Anbar Provincial Council accused Iraqi army of not seriously trying to solve crisis. Shia chairman of secular Iraqiya Alliance in parliament Iyad Alawi criticised lack of progress; criticism also from members of Sunni Mouttahidoun electoral list, with one MP calling govt operation “not a war on terrorism, but a war against Anbar and its people”. Local Mouttahidoun officials in Ramadi negotiated with central govt, including over deployment of army and enrolment of recruits in local police force; tribal leader Ahmed Abu Richa 16 March urged uniting army, Ramadi police forces and tribes in joint operation against insurgents controlling neighbouring Falluja. Ahead of April parliamentary elections, Independent High Electoral Commission (IHEC) discussed postponement of poll in Anbar due to ongoing turmoil and high numbers of displaced; UN 27 March said 400,000 displaced since beginning of year. IHEC commissioners resigned 25 March blaming political and judicial “interference” in electoral process; 30 March withdrew resignations following UN appeals, reports parliament ruled to limit judiciary’s powers to impose candidate bans. Widespread violence continued ahead of elections with bombings across Iraq claiming hundreds of lives: at least 45 killed 9 March in single car bombing in southern city Hilla, at least 80 killed 25 March including 41 soldiers.

Iraq

  |  1 Mar 2014

Unchanged

Anbar province remained under siege by army following early-Jan seizure of key areas by Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL): army continued shelling of Falluja and Ramadi suburbs, govt withheld electricity and water; hundreds killed during fighting which also saw militants bring down army helicopter 22 Feb killing all 4 crew. ISIL mid-month seized parts of northern town Suleiman Pek, govt forces 22 Feb retook city and surrounding areas after over a week of fighting which left dozens dead. Ahead of April elections Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr 16 Feb announced retirement from politics, saying no bloc in govt or parliament will represent Sadr Movement which had held 6 cabinet posts, 40 parliament seats; many Sadrists reacted by resigning their posts. Sadr 18 Feb called PM Maliki “tyrant”, “dictator”, govt corrupt. In first assassination of candidate for April election gunmen 7 Feb killed Sadr supporter in W Baghdad. Car bombings across central Iraq continued with multiple deadly attacks; at least 34 killed 5 Feb in central Baghdad, at least 49 killed 18 Feb in attacks in Baghdad and southern Hillah, at least 31 killed in 27 Feb blast in Baghdad.

Iraq

  |  1 Feb 2014

Deteriorated

Month saw security further deteriorate in Anbar province following 30 Dec govt demolition of Sunni protest camp in Ramadi and negotiated withdrawal of govt forces from province: as govt forces withdrew, Islamic militants from Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) 1 Jan seized key areas of Anbar’s main cities, Ramadi and Falluja. Fierce clashes followed between ISIL and govt forces backed by local allies, killing scores including over 100 killed in Ramadi and Falluja 3 Jan; despite local tribes, clerics and former officers regaining control of the city, govt made no distinction between Falluja locals and ISIL militants, announced Falluja in hands of ISIL, calling for national, international support in “war on terror”. UNHCR 24 Jan said 65,000 fled fighting in Falluja, Ramadi in past week alone fearing clashes between army, locals and ISIL militants. Govt forces 29 Jan regained control of areas west of Baghdad after weeks of fighting; militants next day attacked transport ministry building. PM Maliki 16 Jan requested new arms, training from U.S.; U.S. VP Biden 26 Jan said Maliki has U.S. support, Senate signed off on long-stalled sale of Apache helicopters. Bomb attacks across Iraq continued: at least 73 killed 15 Jan, 27 killed 20 Jan in Shia neighbourhoods of Baghdad. Govt estimated 1,013 killed during month, highest number since April 2008. 26 hanged on terrorism charges 21 Jan; UN criticised “conveyer-belt of executions”. Kurdistan Regional Govt 8 Jan announced plans to sell 2mn barrels of oil to Turkey via newly-built pipeline by month’s end; PM Maliki 12 Jan threatened to cut region’s share of federal budget, Oil Minister Luaibi 17 Jan said govt preparing legal action against Kurdistan, Turkey.

Iraq

  |  2 Jan 2014

Unchanged

Daily violence continued with UN reporting over 700 killed including over 661civilians: at least 42 killed, 84 injured in series of bomb attacks 25 Dec; series of bombings in Baghdad Shia neighbourhoods 30-31 Dec killed 23; over 70 killed 16 Dec; at least 18 military personnel killed 21 Dec in ambush by Islamic State of Iraq. UN reported at least 7,818 civilians killed in 2013, marking deadliest year since 2008. Security forces 28 Dec raided home of Sunni lawmaker Ahmed al-Alwani, arrested him on terrorism charges; 7 killed in ensuing gun-battle. At least 10 killed 30 Dec when security forces dismantled Sunni protest camp in Ramadi, al-Anbar province, calling for removal of PM Maliki. 44 MPs resigned 30 Dec over demolishing of camp, arrest of Alwani. U.S. reportedly shipped Hellfire missiles, reconnaissance drones to help govt combat militants. Govt 25 Dec closed border with Syria following start of military operation against al-Qaeda in western desert.

Iraq

  |  1 Dec 2013

Unchanged

Violence across country continued including: at least 34 killed, 61 wounded in series of attacks 25 Nov; 25 killed in car bombing 21 Nov in Sadiya; at least 60 killed in bombings and shootings 20 Nov; over 50 reportedly killed execution-style across Iraq 29 Nov. Shia militia 21 Nov fired mortars across border with Saudi Arabia; Saudi Arabia deployed troops to border. UN envoy Nickolay Mladenov 25 Nov said Syrian conflict fuelling terrorism and sectarian tensions in Iraq; France 25 Nov offered weapons, training to combat violence. Turkish FM visited 10-11 Nov, met Iraqi counterpart and PM Maliki; officials pledged to cooperate further, end tensions between two states. Justice ministry official 26 Nov reported 12 hanged for terror-related charges.

Iraq

  |  1 Nov 2013

Unchanged

Parliament 8 Oct set national parliamentary elections for 30 April 2014; political forces began vying to change election laws in their favour. PM Maliki 29 Oct visited U.S., discussed need for arms to stem Iraq violence, terrorism. Govt figures suggested Oct deadliest month since April 2008 with over 900 killed including: some 35 killed in 10 car explosions in predominantly Shia areas in Baghdad 27 Oct; at least 19 police and 3 civilians killed 22-23 Oct in series of bomb attacks in Anbar; 13 children killed 6 Oct in attack on school in Qabak; string of car and roadside bombings 14 Oct killed at least 44.

Iraq

  |  1 Oct 2013

Unchanged

UNHCR 24 Sept expressed concern over increased sectarian violence; UNSG Ban 30 Sept expressed concern, called for serious political dialogue. Attacks continued with over 660 reported killed including 18 in bombing of Sunni mosque near Samarra 20 Sept; 73 killed 21 Sept in bomb attack on Shiite area of Baghdad; 27 killed 24-25 Sept in clashes between insurgents and security forces; 51 killed 30 Sept in car bombings. Series of bombings in Erbil 29 Sept killed 11, first such attack since 2007. Political leaders early Sept united in opposition to possible U.S. military strike on Syria. Shiite, Kurdish and Sunni leaders increasingly aligned with Iran; Iran FM Mohammed Jawad Zarif visisted Baghdad; Sunni leader Osama al-Nujayfi visited Iran 12 Sept. Kurdistan elections held 21 Sept; Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) won comfortable majority.

Iraq

  |  1 Sep 2013

Deteriorated

Security continued to deteriorate including: at least 46 killed, 80 injured 25 Aug in bombings in Baghdad and Baquba; at least 26 killed 23 Aug in suicide bombing targeting Qahira neighbourhood park in Baghdad. Over 70 killed 28 Aug by coordinated car bombs targeting Shiite areas; PM Maliki linked attacks to Syria conflict, warned against increased terrorism in region, denounced possibility of armed attack against Syria. Govt launched Operation Martyrs’ Revenge on outskirts of Baghdad, reportedly arresting over 670 suspected terrorists early-Aug. Meanwhile, head of pro-govt Sahwa tribal corps “New Sahwa” requested authorisation to arrest suspects without warrants in Sunni-populated areas where group deployed. PM Maliki’s State of Law coalition 15 Aug proposed parliamentary discussion on enacting state of emergency or martial law. FM Hoshyer Zeibari 15 Aug met with U.S. Sec State Kerry, requested U.S. weaponry and intelligence support to “combat terrorism” in Iraq. Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq Ammar al-hakim and religious authority Ali Sistani’s spokesman Abdul Mahdi al-Karbaly early Aug both criticised govt for failing to tackle insecurity.

Iraq

  |  1 Aug 2013

Deteriorated

Violence continued throughout month with at least 800 killed in series of bombings, insurgent operations and sectarian attacks across country; July reported to be deadliest month since April 2008. Interior ministry late month said country facing “open war” with sectarian forces. Al-Qaeda branch Islamic State of Iraq 23 July launched 2 simultaneous raids on Abu Ghraib and Taji prisons, said over 500 inmates freed. Militant groups conducted series of operations in Sunni-populated Salah al-Dine province, northern Iraq: 150 gunmen attacked Sulaiman Bek 24 July. 14 killed 28 July by suicide bomb in Tuz Khormato. 10 co-ordinated car bombs hit Shiite-majority areas of Baghdad 29 July, killing over 50. Shiite militants continued to cross border to join Syrian conflict. Kurdistan regional president Barzani 9 July met PM Maliki in Baghdad, discussed relationship between central and Kurdistan regional govt. UNSC 24 July extended UNAMI mandate to July 2014.

Iraq

  |  1 Jul 2013

Unchanged

PM Maliki and Kurdish President Masoud Barzani met 9 June for first time since Nov 2010, stressed commitment to resolving issues such as resource revenue sharing, security deployments in disputed territories. But Kurdish armed Peshmerga fighters early month advanced into disputed cities Tuz Khormato and Sulaiman Bek; over 1,000 Kurdish soldiers in Iraqi army defected, threatened to join Peshmerga. Kurdish Regional Govt 30 June delayed presidential elections to 2015, extended term of Barzani; Kurdish opposition said move illegal. Meeting between Maliki and Sunni leader Osama al-Nujayfi 1 June yielded no tangible result, and month saw continued widespread violence in both majority Sunni- and Shiite-populated areas including 12 bombings in and near Baghdad 24 June that left 41 dead, over 100 injured; at least 22 killed 27 June in countrywide bombings. Scores killed late June in series of bombings targeting football players. Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, leader of Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant group merging al-Qaeda Iraq’s and Syria branches, mid-June refused AQ leader Ayman al-Zawahiri’s call to dissolve new union. Govt 22 June announced deployment of additional forces in Anbar province along Syrian border, reshuffle of high-ranking army officers.

Iraq

  |  1 Jun 2013

Deteriorated

Ongoing political crisis saw rising violence, with prospects of political breakthrough decreasing as PM Maliki and parliamentary speaker Osama al-Nijaifi continued to trade accusations, branches of govt failed to reach power-sharing agreement. Security continued to deteriorate following govt’s April deadly crackdown on Sunni protests, with sectarian attacks and bombings killing over 1,000 in May, deadliest month in 5 years. Armed forces 25 May launched military operation in west, reportedly to tackle dangers of Syrian conflict spillover. Kurdish ministers 3 May returned to cabinet following almost two-month boycott.

Iraq

  |  1 May 2013

Deteriorated Risk Alert
Standoff between Sunni protesters and govt intensified in last week of April, increasing fears that political crisis could evolve into conflict between govt forces and protesters’ armed factions. Over 50 killed in army raid on Sunni protest camp in Hawija near Kirkuk 23 April; raid followed killing of Iraqi army officer in clashes with protesters 19 April. Hawija incident prompted retaliation against govt forces with clashes in Sulaiman Bek city, Mosul, scores killed across country; also pushed protesters to organise militarily, claiming need to defend against security forces. Tensions increased in Sunni-dominated Anbar province 29 April as 5 members of security forces killed, army gave protesters 24 hours to hand over those responsible. Reports emerged that U.S. Sec State Kerry during late-March visit to Baghdad pressured Iraqi leaders to halt flow of Iranian weapons to Syria, find formula for domestic stability. Kurdistan Regional Govt president Barzani sent delegation to Baghdad 3 April to discuss issues that led to withdrawal of Kurdish ministers/MPs from Baghdad; no agreement reached. Following Kerry’s visit govt stated it was ready to negotiate with representatives of Sunni protesters, but no negotiations took place. Govt made selective concessions to some groups, further dividing protesters; Cabinet 8 April approved amendment to de-Baathification legislation known as Justice and Accountability Law, which could appease protesters affiliated with former regime granting them pensions, access to employment. Security continued to deteriorate in run-up to 20 April provincial elections in majority of governorates (not Anbar, Ninewa and Kirkuk), with frequent attacks on candidates, dozens killed in over 20 attacks March-April. Partial results suggest PM Maliki’s State of Law coalition confirmed its solid power base in south.

Iraq

  |  1 Apr 2013

Deteriorated

Political crisis continued, with signs of increasing sectarianism: parliament 7 March passed 2013 budget law relying exclusively on votes from Shia political blocs; Kurdish MPs boycotted vote in protest at amount allotted to pay oil companies operating in autonomous north. Council of Ministers 20 March announced elections in Anbar and Nineveh provinces, set for 20 April, to be postponed by up to 6 months due to violence, threats to election workers. Hardline security response to ongoing Sunni protests: security forces 8 March fired on stone-throwing Sunni demonstrators in Mosul, killing 2. Finance Minister Rafie al-Issawi resigned his post, as did Agriculture Minister Ezz al-Din al-Dawla, in solidarity with protesters. Series of car bombs and suicide blasts 19 March killed 50, wounded 160 on 10th anniversary of U.S.-led invasion. String of attacks 24 March left at least 5 dead in Mosul; candidate in provincial elections assassinated in Baghdad. 25 killed, 50 injured 14 March in series of attacks on govt buildings in Baghdad; al-Qaeda-linked Islamic State of Iraq (ISI) claimed responsibility. 4 killed in series of attacks near Baghdad 27 March; over 20 reported killed, dozens injured in series of attacks against Shiite mosques in Baghdad 29 March. Armed group 6 March ambushed Syrian soldiers attempting to reenter Syria with the Iraqi army’s help, killing 51 Syrian soldiers and 9 Iraqis; ISI claimed responsibility.

Iraq

  |  1 Mar 2013

Unchanged

Protests against PM al-Maliki continued: tens of thousands of Sunni protesters 1 Feb marched throughout country, thousands of Sunnis protested 22 Feb in Ramadi, Baghdad, Mosul, Fallujah. Suicide bombers 6 Feb killed Iraqi army intelligence officer Awni Ali and 2 bodyguards in Tal Afar, 11 Feb killed at least 8 at military checkpoint in Mosul, 3 Feb killed at least 33 outside police HQ in Kirkuk, 5 Feb killed at least 3 at Taji checkpoint, 4 Feb infiltrated meeting of Sahwa tribal fighters in Taji and killed at least 22. Masked gunmen wearing Iraqi army uniforms 22 Feb shot dead 7 members of govt-backed militia Sahwa near Tuz Khurmato. Car bombs 8 Feb throughout country killed at least 34. Car bombs across Baghdad 17 Feb killed 28; al-Qaeda-linked Islamic State of Iraq claimed responsibility. Car bomb 28 Feb killed several in Baghdad Shia neighbourhood. Gunman 11 Feb killed bodyguard of Kurdish member of Mosul provincial council and 3 others. Dispute between Baghdad govt and autonomous Kurdish region over oil rights delayed attempts to pass draft legislation for budget. Attack 9 Feb on Iranian dissident group Mujahedin-e Khalq (MEK) residents at former U.S. base killed at least 5, wounded over 25. Oil minister Abdul Kareem Luaibi 25 Feb said Turkey rejected possibility of extending oil, gas export pipelines from Kurdistan region through Turkey without Baghdad govt’s approval.

Iraq

  |  1 Feb 2013

Deteriorated

Protests against PM al-Maliki, sparked by arrest of Finance Minister al-Issawi’s bodyguards in Dec, continued despite al-Maliki 31 Dec warning rallies would not be tolerated indefinitely. Banned Baath party leader Izzat Ibrahim al-Douri 5 Jan urged Sunni protesters to continue until al-Maliki is toppled; Sunni and Kurdish ministers 8 Jan boycotted cabinet session to show solidarity with protesters; al-Qaeda-linked Islamic State of Iraq 31 Jan urged Sunni protesters to take up arms against al-Maliki. Speaking on crisis, Shiite religious leader Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani mid-Jan called for “building a civil state based on constitutional institutions” . Troops 7 Jan dispersed hundreds of protesters in Mosul; anti-govt protester 20 Jan self-immolated. Traibil border post with Jordan closed 9 Jan due to protests. Sunni, Kurdish, Shiite lawmakers 26 Jan voted for law blocking al-Maliki from 3rd term; legislation needs president’s approval. Al-Maliki’s supporters rejected law as illegal. Bomb hit FM al-Esawi’s convoy 13 Jan. Around 7,000 marched 8 Jan in support of al-Maliki in Basra, Kerbala. Govt 14 Jan released 335 detainees held under anti-terrorism laws to appease demonstrators; 22 Jan claimed to have freed 888 prisoners over 2 weeks. Al-Qaeda-linked Islamic State of Iraq 21 Jan claimed responsibility for 15 Jan suicide bomb attack killing Sunni lawmaker Efan al-Esawi. Sectarian violence continued with suicide bombings, blasts across country killing at least 124, wounding over 100.

Iraq

  |  30 Dec 2012

Unchanged

Finance Minister Rafie al-Issawi, member of Sunni-backed Iraqiya, 20 Dec said bodyguards, staff snatched illegally, blamed Shiite PM al-Maliki; thousands protested in Anbar province next day demanding Maliki’s resignation. Protests continued following days, tens of thousands late Dec blocked main trade route to Syria, Jordan, demanded fall of regime. Security forces 20 Dec raided house, office of Finance Minister. Ongoing tensions between central Baghdad govt and autonomous Kurdish region: troops in Kurdistan 17 Dec fired on army helicopter north of Kirkuk, reportedly to prevent surveillance of military positions; Kurdistan regional govt president Barzani 10 Dec vowed to protect Kurdish interests during visit to Kirkuk. Plane bringing Turkish Energy Minister Taner Yıldız to energy conference in Kurdistan denied permission to land by Baghdad govt 4 Dec. Setback in prospects for mediation between Baghdad and Kurds as President Talabani suffered stroke 17 Dec, transferred to Germany for treatment. Several killed by car bombs, roadside bombs targeting Shia places of worship in Kirkuk 16 Dec; car bomb near Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) office north of Baghdad killed 2 security recruits. Gunmen opened fire in several northern towns, villages 17 Dec, killing over 20. UNSG Ban arrived in Baghdad 6 Dec for talks with Iraqi leaders.

Iraq

  |  1 Dec 2012

Unchanged

Tensions between Baghdad, autonomous Kurdish region increased late Nov with week-long standoff along contested internal border. Military leaders from both sides 26 Nov agreed to work to defuse tensions; bombs 27 Nov killed 4 ethnic Kurds in Kirkuk. 1 died 16 Nov in clashes between Iraqi forces, troops guarding office of Kurdish political party in Tuz Khurmato. Car bombs 6 Nov killed at least 27 outside army base in Taji, 9 Nov killed over 30 and injured over 100 in Shiite cities outside Baghdad, 14 Nov killed at least 14 across country. PM al-Maliki’s rivals mid Nov began campaigning for introduction of term limits in attempt to block Shiite leader running for 3rd term in 2014. Court 1 Nov again sentenced fugitive VP al-Hashemi to death for alleged involvement in plot to assassinate interior ministry official. 2 Iraqi civilians killed, 3 wounded 6 Nov in Turkish air strike targeting PKK separatist rebels. Suspected Hezbollah operative Ali Musa Daqduq freed 16 Nov following acquittal by Iraqi court of involvement in killing of 5 U.S. soldiers.

Iraq

  |  1 Nov 2012

Unchanged

Arrest warrants issued for Central Bank governor, suspended from post 16 Oct, and other bank officials over currency manipulation allegations. PM al-Maliki 5 Oct requested electoral commission plan for April provincial elections. Shootings and bombings targeting Shia communities throughout country 27-28 Oct left at least 43 dead, 92 injured. 9 killed, 26 wounded 23 Oct in attack on Shiite neighbourhoods in Baghdad. At least 17 killed 20 Oct in Baghdad in bombing near Shia Muslim shrine and shootings targeting govt official; 3 killed same day in attack on Mosul police checkpoint. Govt 2 Oct announced stoppage of Syria-bound Iranian planes in Baghdad for weapons inspections. Govt agreed weapon deals with U.S., Russia, Czech Republic, as part of program to control airspace. Al-Qaeda-linked Islamic State of Iraq 5 Oct claimed responsibility for 30 Sept bomb attacks and 27 Sept Tikrit jailbreak.

Iraq

  |  1 Oct 2012

Unchanged

Court 9 Sept sentenced in absentia VP al-Hashemi to death for masterminding 2 murders; Trade Ministry stopped registering Turkish companies over Turkey’s refusal to extradite al-Hashemi. Govt oil payment dispute with Kurdistan Regional Govt (KRG) ended 13 Sept following KRG pledge to continue exports, Baghdad agreement to pay producing companies working in Kurdistan region; oil payments transferred 30 Sept from Baghdad to KRG. Govt 8 Sept closed border at al-Qaim town after rockets fired from Syria 8 Sept killed 1,18 Sept re-opened border to Syrian refugees, refused entry to young men citing security. FM Hoshiyar Zebari 30 Sept announced plans to conduct random inspections of Iranian planes following allegations planes carrying military supplies to Syrian govt. Asaib Ahl al-Haq militia 13 Sept threatened U.S. interests over controversial anti-Islam film; PM al-Maliki called for non-violent reaction; hundreds protested in Baghdad. 7 Sept blasts in Kirkuk, including at 2 Shiite mosques, killed at least 8, wounded 70. Attacks 9 Sept throughout country killed over 70, wounded over 200. Suicide car bomber 17 Sept killed 7, including MP, in Baghdad; Car bomb attacks throughout country 30 Sept targeting security forces, Shia pilgrims, killed at least 32. Militants 27 Sept attacked Tasfirat prison in Tikrit, 12 guards killed, 90 inmates freed.

Iraq

  |  1 Sep 2012

Unchanged

Kurdistan Regional Govt (KRG) 7 Aug resumed oil exports through Iraq’s national pipeline following 4-month standstill; 8 Aug claimed govt closed Representation Office of KRG in Baghdad Prime Ministry; govt said office can reopen elsewhere in Baghdad. Kurdish Deputy PM Rosh Nuri al-Shawish 30 Aug said Kurdistan ready to restart negotiations with Baghdad on oil law. Govt 3 Aug protested 2 Aug unannounced visit by Turkish FM Ahmet Davutoğlu to Kirkuk, said visit violated sovereignty; Turkey warned Iraqi govt to be “careful” of remarks. Communications Minister Mohammed Allawi resigned 27 Aug citing interference by PM al-Maliki. Sunni cleric Mehdi al-Sumaidaie, who preached Sunni-Shiite reconciliation, critically wounded, 4 bodyguards killed 19 Aug by car bomb, Baghdad. Series of bombings, shootings across country 16 Aug killed over 70. Several explosions 15 Aug killed at least 9 in Baquba, Muqdadiya. At least 9 soldiers, including colonel, killed 28 Aug when insurgents fired rockets at army convoy north of Baghdad. PM al-Maliki’s media advisor 20 Aug rejected reports Iraq breached sanctions on Iran.

Iraq

  |  1 Aug 2012

Unchanged

Kurdistan early-July began exporting crude oil to Turkey; Chevron Corp 19 July announced oil contract with Kurdistan; central govt 15 July called moves illegal, barred Chevron from oil deals with central govt. Kurdish separatists blamed for 20 July bombing of pipeline from Kirkuk to Turkish port Ceyhan. Govt 17 July warned Turkey against violating airspace, threatened to lodge complaint with UNSC. PM Maliki, parliamentary speaker al-Nujaifi 12 July met in first meeting since start of political crisis. 15 Baquba neighborhood officials resigned 27 July in protest against govt’s inability to protect them from al-Qaeda. Bombings killed, wounded many throughout month; al-Qaeda-linked Islamic State of Iraq claimed responsibility for 23 July attack killing over 107, wounding at least 268, as part of new “Destroying the Walls” campaign. National Security Advisor al-Fayadh 31 July announced Iranian dissident group Mujahadin-e Khalq (MEK) must re-locate from Camp Ashraf to former U.S. military base.

Iraq

  |  1 Jul 2012

Unchanged

Political crisis continued: Shiite Cleric Moqtada Sadr 24 June said PM al-Maliki must be removed for govt reforms to take place; al-Maliki proposed early elections unless parties agreed to negotiate end to power-sharing problems. Month saw numerous attacks against Shiites across Baghdad: Islamic State of Iraq claimed responsibility for 4 June attack on Shiite endowment office killing several, 11 June suicide bombing outside Shiite religious office killed some 26, wounded over 190; 10 June bombings killed at least 6, wounded 38 in Kadhimiya; Shiite pilgrims attacked 13 June, at least 93 killed, more than 50 wounded; 2 car bombs 16 June killed at least 32 near Kadhimiya; 2 bombs 22 June targeted market in Husseiniya killing at least 8, injuring more than 50; 27 June bombings targeted tribal sheikh in Mada’in, killed 3 children in Ghazaliya district;  bombs 28 June targeted Washash, police patrol in Aby Dsheer killing 1. Govt building targeted same day in Taji. Suicide bomber 18 June killed at least 15, injured over 40 at funeral in Baquba. Turkish airstrikes began 22 June against PKK bases in Iraqi-Kurdistan (see Turkey).

Iraq

  |  1 Jun 2012

Unchanged

Series of bombings, shootings across country left several dead, dozens injured. Roadside bomb near Baghdad 27 May injured 24 Pakistani pilgrims. Bombings 31 May in Baghdad killed at least 13 people. Trial in absentia of Vice President al-Hashemi opened in Baghdad 15 May; Turkey 9 May refused to extradite al-Hashemi despite 8 May Interpol Red Notice for his arrest. Kurdistan regional govt (KRG) President Barzani 28 May warned of desire for “Arabisation and ethnic cleansing” among some politicians. KRG Oil minister Hawrami 20 May outlined plans to export oil, gas directly to Turkey.

Iraq

  |  1 May 2012

Unchanged

Country-wide bombings 19 April killed 35; Islamic State of Iraq claimed responsibility. 21 April bombings in Baghdad killed 3; Diyala province Governor al-Hiyali’s convoy bombed same day; 2 explosions 26 April in Diyala province killed 10. Electoral commission head al-Haidari briefly detained 15 April on suspicion of corruption. Qatar 3 April refused Iraqi request to hand over VP al-Hashemi; al-Hashemi 19 April warned of Iraq “break up” over sectarian polarisation by PM al-Maliki; 30 April charged with several murders, including those of 6 judges. Kurdistan regional President Barzani 1 April declared suspension of oil exports to Baghdad. New Kurdistan Regional Govt sworn in 6 April, headed by PM Nechirvan Barzani; Turkish PM Erdoğan 19 April criticised PM al-Maliki’s treatment of minority coalition partners; al-Maliki denounced Turkish “illusion of regional hegemony”, “stoking of sectarian tensions”.

Iraq

  |  1 Apr 2012

Unchanged

Sustained violence by suspected al-Qaeda militants ahead of 27-29 March Arab League summit in Baghdad: militants 5 March killed 27 policemen, senior officers in Haditha; suicide attacks 7 March killed at least 12 in Tal Afar (Nineveh); gunmen 12 March attacked Baghdad gold market killing 9; series of coordinated attacks 20 March killed over 50 people in 14 cities, including Baghdad, Kirkuk, Karbala. Tensions between ruling coalition partners continued: Iyad Allawi-led Iraqiya bloc 18 March reiterated threat to withdraw from ruling coalition unless govt implement Erbil power-sharing agreement. Opposition Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq (ISCI) mid-month split from Badr Organisation after Badr refused to withdraw its minister from ruling coalition. Kurdish regional President Barzani 20 March criticised PM Maliki’s “monopolisation of military power”. Higher Judicial Council 17 March announced VP al-Hashimi to be tried in absentia 3 May for allegedly running death-squads. Estimated 1 million supporters of Shiite Cleric Moqtada Sadr staged demonstration in Basra marking 2003 U.S.-led invasion. Militant group loyal to Sadr 17 March released former U.S. soldier abducted in June 2011.

Iraq

  |  1 Mar 2012

Unchanged

Series of bombings, shootings across country 23 Feb left at least 50 dead, hundreds injured; umbrella group including al-Qaeda, Islamic State of Iraq, claimed responsibility. Suicide car bombing 19 Feb killed 19 police officers, cadets outside Baghdad police academy. At least 6 killed 29 Feb by car bombs in Baghdad, Tuz Khurmatu. Activists 11 Feb announced creation of new opposition party Union of Patriotic Figures, vowing to act as a check on govt. Judicial panel 16 Feb said Sunni VP al-Hashemi ran death squads since 2005, responsible for attacks on security officials and Shiite pilgrims; al-Hashemi 20 Feb denounced charges as politically motivated.

Iraq

  |  1 Feb 2012

Unchanged

Iraqiya ministers, MPs 29 Jan ended parliament and council of ministers boycott over Dec arrest warrant for VP Tariq Al-Hashimi. Iraqiya-linked Diyala deputy governor Ghadban al-Khazraji arrested 21 Jan; Iraqiya leader Allawi 18 Jan accused PM Maliki of using security services to torture opposition. UNHCHR Pillay 24 Jan called for immediate moratorium on death penalty following 19 Jan execution of 34 people for terrorism-related offences. 5, 14 Jan bomb attack on Shiite pilgrims in south killed over 100; gunmen disguised as police 15 Jan attacked police compound in Ramadi killing 9. Bomb 1 Feb targeted Iraqi MP Qais al-Shadhr’s convoy in Baghdad, wounding five.

Iraq

  |  2 Jan 2012

Deteriorated

Political situation deteriorated sharply following 18 Dec official withdrawal of last U.S. combat troops, though few hundred military trainers remain under private contracts. Authorities 19 Dec issued arrest warrant for VP Tariq Al-Hashimi, accusing him of involvement in acts of terrorism, specifically assassinations; Hashimi and other senior Sunni leaders fled to Kurdistan region. In response Iraqiya Alliance began boycott of parliament and govt. Maliki 21 Dec threatened to abandon power-sharing agreement, warned Kurds there would be “problems” if they protected Hashimi. Diyala’s Provincial Council 15 Dec voted in favour of forming federal region (4th province to do so); armed protesters occupied much of provincial capital Baquba. Wave of bombings 22 Dec killed at least 72, injured over 200 in Baghdad; al-Qaeda affiliate Islamic State of Iraq 27 Dec claimed responsibility. UN, govt 26 Dec agreed to relocate several thousand Iranian exiles from northeast Camp Ashraf; rocket struck camp 25 Dec, no casualties.



Iraq

  |  1 Dec 2011

Unchanged

U.S military official 15 Nov said troops will remain in Iraq as military trainers after year-end withdrawal; radical Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr 3 Nov said he would resist any U.S. presence beyond year-end, including civilian one. Regular bombings continued across country including 19 people killed, 64 injured 24 Nov in series of bombings in Basra. Governor of Anbar province 7 Nov survived assassination attempt just outside Baghdad. Govt 22 Nov said it would sanction U.S. oil company Exxon Mobil for signing “illegal” exploration deal 13 Nov with Kurdistan regional govt. Iraq abstained from 12 Nov Arab League vote to suspend Syria, and 27 Nov sanctions; FM Zebari denied accusations of Iranian pressure on vote. 16 al-Qaeda members convicted of involvement in massacre of 70 people at 2006 wedding executed.

Iraq

  |  1 Nov 2011

Unchanged

U.S. President Obama 21 Oct announced all U.S. troops will be withdrawn as scheduled at year-end; PM Maliki 22 Oct said talks will continue over U.S. trainers staying after withdrawal. Wave of bombings across Baghdad 10-13 Oct killed scores. Govt and administration of Iraqi Kurdistan condemned 19 Oct Turkish ground operation and air strikes against PKK in northern Iraq. Maliki 29 Oct said 615 detained in anti-Baathist security sweep late month.

Iraq

  |  1 Oct 2011

Unchanged

President Barzani of federal Kurdistan region 6 Sept said Iraq needs U.S. military presence beyond year-end withdrawal for fear of civil war. Radical Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr 11 Sept called on his followers to halt attacks on U.S. troops unless they remain after scheduled withdrawal. FM Zebari 21 Sept said Iraq will need U.S. trainers even after combat troops withdraw, ruled out any renewal of 2008 troop agreement. Thousands of al-Sadr’s followers 16 Sept demonstrated for govt to provide more electricity, jobs. More than 15 killed, 80 wounded 25 Sept in 4 successive explosions in Karbala; no immediate claim of responsibility. Head of leading anti-corruption body Judge al-Uqaili resigned 8 Sept over govt failure to act on corruption.

Iraq

  |  1 Sep 2011

Unchanged

Escalation in violence throughout month; deadliest day of year 15 Aug with some 90 people killed, 300 injured in series of over 40 nationwide attacks. Govt 3 Aug announced readiness to open formal discussions with U.S. on keeping troops beyond scheduled year-end withdrawal; radical Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr 9 Aug called for U.S. troops to leave or risk more attacks. Tensions with Ankara after Turkish airstrikes on PKK bases in Iraqi-Kurdistan (see Turkey). Several rockets fired from Iraq hit border area with Kuwait near site of controversial Kuwaiti mega-port; no claim of responsibility.



Iraq

  |  1 Aug 2011

Unchanged

U.S. Sec Defense Panetta on visit to Iraq 11 July pressed lawmakers to decide on scheduled year-end withdrawal of U.S. troops, accused Iran of arming Iraqi Shiite militias who have stepped up attacks on U.S. troops; Iran rejected “baseless claims”. Political leaders 24 July failed to meet self-imposed deadline on U.S. troop withdrawal. U.S. colonel 24 July said from 1 Aug U.S. troops no longer part of trilateral operation in northern zones. At least 37 killed, 54 wounded 5 July in twin suicide attack in Taji, north of Baghdad; al-Qaeda-linked Islamic State of Iraq claimed responsibility. Security official 24 July said 16 suspected members of al-Qaeda cell arrested during month; group blamed for over 100 killings in Baghdad. 2 Iraqi Kurds killed 25 July by Iranian shelling in northern Kurdish region along Iranian border; FM Zebari 24 July called for end to shelling inside Iraq.

Iraq

  |  1 Jul 2011

Unchanged

Escalation in violence continued, including at least 34 killed 23 June in triple bombing of SW Baghdad neighbourhood.  5 U.S. soldiers killed 6 June in Shiite militia attack on army base in E Baghdad, deadliest attack on U.S. forces in 2 years; 15 American soldiers killed in month. Leon Panetta, nominee for U.S. Defense Sec, 10 June said about 1,000 al-Qaeda insurgents remain in Iraq, predicted Tehran will ask U.S. troops to stay beyond planned end-2011 withdrawal deadline, though decision is contingent upon PM Maliki’s request. Several demonstrators injured 11 June in clashes between pro- and anti-govt protesters in Baghdad’s Tahrir Square; several protest leaders detained, reportedly tortured. Maliki following expiration of 100 day deadline to improve govt performance 23 June said he wanted to shrink govt, promised to fire weak ministers. 

Iraq

  |  1 Jun 2011

Unchanged

Increase in assassinations, bombings throughout month, particularly in northern Kirkuk where 19 May triple bombing killed 27, wounded scores. Al-Qaeda in Iraq claimed responsibility for 5 May suicide bombing that killed 24 policemen in Hilla; indicated attack was revenge for U.S. killing of Osama bin Laden, vowed further revenge attacks (see Pakistan). PM Maliki 11 May said he would extend presence of U.S. troops beyond year-end deadline if majority of political blocs supported decision; thousands of supporters of Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr 26 May rallied in Baghdad against extension. Parliamentary blocs 12 May reached agreement on nomination of 3 vice presidents, one since resigned, but key defence and interior posts remain unfilled. 18 killed 8 May, including 11 senior al-Qaeda militants, in failed jailbreak in Baghdad prison.

Iraq

  |  1 May 2011

Unchanged

At least 125 wounded in clashes 17-18 Apr between protesters and security forces in city of Sulaimaniya, semi-autonomous Kurdistan. Authorities in Kurdish province of Sulaimaniyah 18 Apr announced ban on unauthorised protest; one week earlier federal govt banned street protests in Baghdad. Tens of thousands of supporters of radical Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr in Baghdad 9 Apr protested U.S. military presence; al-Sadr threatened to reconstitute Mahdi army if U.S. did not withdraw by year-end. U.S. senior military official Adm Mike Mullen 22 Apr warned Iraq has only weeks to decide on withdrawal. 34 killed by security forces in 8 Apr raid on Iranian dissident camp in Diyala province; U.S. denounced “unacceptable” military action. Arab League 20 Apr again postponed annual summit originally scheduled for March in Baghdad.

Iraq

  |  1 Apr 2011

Unchanged

Demonstrations continued in semi-autonomous northern Kurdistan against regional govt; 1 police officer killed, 10 wounded 22 March during protest in Halabja town. PM Maliki 3 March demanded immediate withdrawal of Kurdish troops from city of Kirkuk; President Talabani 7 March described Kirkuk as “Jerusalem” of Kurdistan, should be annexed into Kurdish region. Thousands of Shiites in Baghdad and Basra 19 March protested Saudi Arabia’s military intervention in Bahrain; Maliki 25 March called for end of intervention (see Bahrain). U.S. 7 March demanded accountability over crackdown on demonstrators, journalists following Feb surge in anti-govt protests. Sunni-backed Iraqiya leader Ayad Allawi 3 March rejected position intended specifically for him as head of yet-to-be-created National Council for Strategic Policy. At least 56 killed, 98 wounded 29 March after suspected al-Qaeda gunmen took hostages at provincial council HQ in Tikrit.

Iraq

  |  1 Mar 2011

Unchanged

Ongoing nationwide protests over corruption, poor services, food shortages; at least 29 killed so far in clashes with security forces. 25 Feb “Day of Rage” protests largest in month; most violent clashes in Hawija, Mosul in north and Basra in south. PM Maliki made series of announcements to forestall mass protests, including personal 50% pay cut, promise not to seek third term in office, increasing food rations. Maliki 27 Feb gave cabinet 100 days to improve or face “changes”. Provincial governors of Kut, Basra and Babil stepped down in face of protests; Maliki 28 Feb called for early provincial elections to meet people’s demands for change. Shiite religious leader Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani 26 Feb called for political reforms. Parliament 13 Feb approved several more ministers but key posts remain unfilled including defence and interior, both held by Maliki in interim. At least 48 killed, 80 injured 12 Feb by suicide bombing of Shiite pilgrims near city of Samarra.

Iraq

  |  1 Feb 2011

Unchanged

Supreme Court 21 Jan ruling placed independent commissions and Central Bank under authority of Council of Ministers rather than parliament; member of Allawi’s Iraqiya bloc 22 Jan called it “coup against democracy”. Kirkuk province 18 Jan cut off electricity supplies to national grid in dispute over power rationing; reconnected 21 Jan after ministers agreed 50% quota increase. Month saw increase in bombings, highest casualty rate since Sept. Series of attacks targeted Shiite pilgrims including 3 suicide car bombs 20 Jan killing at least 50 near holy city of Karbala. Attacks on security forces, including suicide bombing 18 Jan killed up to 65 police recruits in Tikrit. Muqtada al-Sadr 5 Jan returned from self-imposed exile in Iran; held rally 8 Jan in Najaf, exhorted U.S. troops to leave and called on Maliki govt to respond to people’s demands for services.

Iraq

  |  3 Jan 2011

Improved

Parliament 21 Dec unanimously approved new 42-member govt under incumbent PM Nouri al-Maliki, more than 9 months after election. 29 members of cabinet agreed, including retaining Kurdish FM Hoshiyar Zebari and making prominent Sunni leader Rafie al-Esawi finance minister; remaining 13 positions temporary due to ongoing disputes between coalition partners including defence, interior and national security posts. Parliament 18 Dec lifted ban on 3 Sunni politicians blocked from national elections over alleged Baath party links, one of whom, Saleh Mutlak, appointed deputy prime minister. PM Maliki 28 Dec said all U.S. troops must leave Iraq by end 2011, only way soldiers could remain is negotiation of new Status of Forces Agreement. UNSC 15 Dec ended number of Saddam-era sanctions aimed at, among others, preventing proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, thereby ending oil-for-food program. Insurgent attacks briefly peaked, targeting Shiite pilgrims as millions visited shrines across country for commemoration of Ashura; including series of bombs targeting Iranian pilgrims in Baghdad 4 Dec killing 14, injuring more than 80. 2 killed, 16 injured 30 Dec in series of bombings targeting Christians in Baghdad.

  • “A tricky cocktail”, Economist, 29 Dec 2010.

Iraq

  |  1 Dec 2010

Unchanged

Negotiations to form govt gained momentum with U.S./Iran-facilitated agreement reached early Nov on power-sharing between main parties. Council of Representatives 11 Nov elected Sunni Usama al-Nujayfi as speaker, Kurdish Jalal Talabani as president. Talabani 25 Nov officially reappointed PM Nouri al-Maliki, ordered him to form cabinet within 30 days; power-sharing for ministries still unclear. National Strategy Council to be formed, headed by former PM Iyad Allawi, as part of agreement. Attacks against Christian areas in Baghdad continued days after PM Maliki promised greater protection; 4 killed, 16 wounded in 10 Nov attacks. Ongoing insurgent attacks elsewhere: 10 killed, 35 injured in 8 Nov car bombing in Basra, 5 killed 24 Nov in bomb attack in Mosul, high ranking army officer assassinated 24 Nov in Saidiya district.

Iraq

  |  1 Nov 2010

Unchanged

In ongoing post-election negotiations to form govt, PM Maliki nominated for second term 1 Oct by National Alliance Shiite megabloc including Sadrist movement in deal brokered by Iran. But deadlock continued with Maliki still short of the 163 votes needed for parliamentary majority. Maliki 9 Oct urged concessions from all parties to end impasse. Iraqiya 10 Oct reportedly dropped demand for Allawi as PM, but insisted on equal share of power. Maliki visited Syria to strengthen ties, also Jordan, Iran, Turkey. Iran 18 Oct backed Maliki for second term, Ayatollah Khamenei said Iraq must push out U.S. Allawi 17 Oct said Iran trying to destabilise region. U.S. pushed for broad coalition to marginalise Moqtada al-Sadr, received assurances from Maliki that Sadr’s supporters not to head security forces. Supreme Court 24 Oct ordered parliament to convene, called members’ June decision to delay “illegal”. Wikileaks released some 400,000 classified military documents on Iraq, including reports of prisoner abuse by Iraqi forces. Maliki said release “politically motivated”. UNHCHR 26 Oct urged U.S., Iraq to investigate Wikileaks claims. At least 25 people killed by 29 Oct suicide bomb attack on café in Balad Ruz, north of Baghdad. At least 52 people killed 31 Oct during security forces rescue effort after gunmen seized Baghdad church during service, demanding release of jailed al-Qaeda militants. UNSRSG Ad Melkert’s convoy attacked 19 Oct in Najaf following meeting with Ayatollah al-Sistani.

Iraq

  |  1 Oct 2010

Unchanged

Deadlock over govt formation continued. In early month visit U.S. VP Biden promoted coalition govt between PM Maliki’s State of Law and Allawi’s Iraqiya, with Maliki as PM with reduced powers, but Allawi 24 Sept rejected Maliki as PM. Shiite blocs Iraqi National Alliance and State of Law failed to agree on PM candidate after setting themselves 5-day deadline 21 Sept. FM Zebari 27 Sept urged U.S. to help end impasse on govt formation. Anbar officials 26 Sept said Awakening Council members to be dismissed from police following Interior Ministry order. Ongoing insurgent attacks: over 20 killed 19 Sept in car bombings in Baghdad, claimed by al-Qaeda; 12 killed in attack on Baghdad army base 5 Sept; 2 U.S. soldiers shot dead 7 Sept by Iraqi soldier in north; Sunni cleric beheaded and burned 9 Sept; 9 soldiers died in bombing in north 15 Sept; senior police official killed 28 Sept. At least 4 killed 11 Sept in clashes between security forces and militants in Diyala province; at least 6 killed 15 Sept in Iraqi-U.S. raid in Fallujah, reportedly targeting al-Qaeda leader. 4 prisoners with alleged al-Qaeda links escaped U.S.-guarded prison in Baghdad 8 Sept. Restoration of diplomatic ties with Syria announced 24 Sept.

Iraq

  |  1 Sep 2010

Unchanged

U.S. President Obama announced U.S. combat operations officially ended 31 Aug; U.S. 24 Aug announced drawdown to under 50,000 “advisory and assistance” troops achieved on schedule. At least 50 died 25 Aug in coordinated bombings and gun attacks targeting security forces across country, including 15 killed in bomb at Baghdad police station - claimed 28 Aug by al-Qaeda-linked group. At least 46 killed 17 Aug in suicide bomb at army recruitment centre; 2 judges killed same day in targeted attacks, both claimed by al-Qaeda affiliate. 5 police killed at Baghdad checkpoint 3 Aug; at least 6 killed same day in market bombing in Kut; over 40 died in Basra explosion 7 Aug; at least 8 soldiers killed in bombing in Diyala province 11 Aug. Deadlock in negotiations to form coalition govt continued; Iraqi National Alliance 1 Aug broke negotiations with Maliki’s State of Law. UNSC 5 Aug extended UNAMI mandate by 1 year.

Iraq

  |  1 Aug 2010

Unchanged

Continued stalemate in negotiations to form coalition govt. In 3-5 July visit U.S. VP Biden met PM Maliki, former PM Allawi and President Talabani; urged end to deadlock. Scheduled parliamentary sessions delayed 12 July, postponed indefinitely 27 July. In Damascus visit Shi’ite leader Muqtada al-Sadr 19 July met Iraqiya leader Allawi to discuss formation of coalition govt. Senior Sunni cleric Saadi killed in Anbar province 2 July. Dozens killed, hundreds wounded 6-8 July in Baghdad bombings, at least 20 dead in 26 July attacks near Kerbala, all targeting Shi’ite pilgrims. At least 43 killed 18 July in 2 bombings targeting Awakening Council members in southwest Baghdad and western Iraq, claimed by al-Qaeda 23 July. Other attacks over month included 15 killed in car bomb in Diyala province, 21 July; at least 4 killed in attack on Al-Arabiya TV station, 26 July; reportedly over 20 killed in attacks across country targeting security officials, 29 July. U.S. military 15 July transferred last U.S.-run detention centre to Iraqi authorities; 4 al-Qaeda linked prisoners escaped 20 July. Oil minister Shahristani 13 July criticised Kurdish region for allowing export of oil to Iran without central govt approval. Continued violence between PKK, Turkish military inside Iraq (see Turkey); govt 2 July rejected Turkish call to intervene in PKK conflict.

Iraq

  |  1 Jul 2010

Unchanged

Deadlock over formation of govt continued. 1st session of new parliament met 14 June; adjourned same day to allow discussions between blocs on govt formation to continue. PM Maliki’s State of Law, and Iraqi National Alliance, main Shiite blocs, 10 June announced merger into new bloc 4 seats short of parliamentary majority, but no agreement on candidate for PM. Ayatollah al-Sistani 18 June denied role in Shiite mega-bloc merger, said he would intervene if govt not formed soon. U.S. Asst Sec State Feltman 15-17 June met all main leaders, but still no agreement between former PM Allawi and Maliki, both claiming right to form govt. Faras al-Jubouri, candidate for Allawi’s Iraqiya bloc, assassinated near Mosul 5 June. Up to 26 killed in 13 June coordinated bombings and storming of Iraq central bank; al-Qaeda group 17 June claimed responsibility. 2 senior members of govt-backed Sunni militia among dead following series of bombs across country 22 June. Scores killed in other bombings, gun attacks over month, targeting police, soldiers, politicians, former insurgents. At least 1 reported killed in Iranian air and artillery attacks on Kurdish region May-June; Iraqi-Kurdish security forces claimed Iranian soldiers chasing PJAK Kurdish rebels entered and established position in country 3 June; U.S. military 10 June said no evidence. Increased violence between PKK and Turkish military (see Turkey); Iraqi-Kurdish President Barzani visiting Turkey gave support to Turkish efforts against PKK 3 June; Turkish FM declared wish for greater economic integration between Turkey and Iraqi Kurdistan.

“Sectarian animosity still prevails”, Economist, 17 June 2010.

For latest report, see Crisis Group Middle East Report N°94, Iraq’s Uncertain Future: Elections and Beyond, 25 Feb. 2010.

Iraq

  |  1 Jun 2010

Unchanged

Impasse continued in formation of coalition govt. Supreme Court 1 June ratified results of March parliamentary election; former PM Allawi’s Iraqiya bloc won 91 seats, PM Maliki’s State of Law 89 seats in 325 seat parliament. Presidency council must call new parliament within 15 days. Followed 3-16 May recount of Baghdad votes demanded by Maliki which resulted in no change in total parliamentary seat allocation. 2 biggest Shiite coalitions, State of Law and Iraqi National Alliance, 4 May agreed to become single parliamentary bloc, 4 seats short of parliamentary majority. Appeal court 17 May ruled 9 winning candidates not to be excluded from parliament for alleged Baath ties. Bashar Hamid Agaidi, MP of Iraqiya bloc assassinated in Mosul 24 May. Over 100 reportedly killed, hundreds wounded in 10 May coordinated bombings, shootings in Baghdad, Basra, other towns blamed by govt on al-Qaeda. Scores killed in other bombings during month. U.S. 11 May said troop drawdown on schedule despite bombings, political impasse. Body of kidnapped Kurdish journalist discovered early month outside Mosul; supporters claimed Kurdish security services involved. Iraqi Kurdish President 21 May criticised Turkey’s attacks on Turkish-Kurdish PKK rebels in Northern Iraq (see Turkey). 


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