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CrisisWatch Iraq

Unchanged Situation

PM Abadi 19 Feb said U.S.-backed govt forces and allied militias starting campaign to retake western half of Mosul in north from Islamic State (IS). Fighting continued south of Mosul: govt forces 19 Feb said they had seized seventeen villages from IS around Mosul airport (30km south of Mosul), allegedly cutting one of IS’s supply and escape routes, between Mosul and Tal Afar (75km west); govt forces 23 Feb took Mosul airport and Ghazlani military base from IS, 24 Feb pushed into south-eastern districts. Shia Popular Mobilisation Units (PMUs) 19 Feb pushed back IS SW of Tal Afar, seized several villages. IS claimed twin suicide bombings 10 Feb that killed fourteen in Zuhour district, eastern Mosul, retaken from IS over two months previously. Army 27 Feb said security forces had seized al-Jawsaq district in western half of Mosul and fourth bridge across Tigris River. One Kurdish soldier killed 25 Feb in unclaimed bombing of pipeline in Bai Hassan oil field near Kirkuk. IS claimed multiple bombings mid-Feb in Baghdad’s Shia districts: blasts in Bayaa district 14 and 16 Feb killed 58, suicide bomber 15 Feb killed fifteen near Sadr City district. Police 11 Feb crushed protests in Baghdad called by Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr to demand overhaul of election commission, which Sadr supporters believe would favour former PM Maliki in provincial elections scheduled for Sept; five protesters and two policemen reportedly killed. Unclaimed rocket attacks targeting Green Zone in Baghdad later same day caused no casualties. Unclaimed bombing in S Baghdad 27 Feb reportedly killed three civilians.

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Reports & Briefings

In The News

14 Dec 2016
Exxon didn't care [about the political impacts of their decision]. And this was of course music to the Kurds’ ears. The Atlantic

Joost Hiltermann

Program Director, Middle East and North Africa
20 Oct 2016
It is true that Turkey is stepping into a foreign country, but it is also true that some of the Iraqi actors have strong links to regional powers. So how to draw the line between what is Iraqi and non-Iraqi? It's kind of difficult. AFP

Maria Fantappie

Senior Analyst
22 Jul 2016
[In Iraq, the U.S. and other nations are channelling resources into local Sunni coffers, a tactic used during the U.S.-led occupation.] What’s at stake is re-establishing the same sort of political order that actually led to the rise of [the Islamic State]. We have to be careful not to repeat the same mistakes of the past. Mc Clatchy DC

Maria Fantappie

Senior Analyst

Latest Updates

The Perils of a Post-ISIS Iraq

In Kirkuk, the extremist group's defeat risks rekindling old ethnic and religious conflicts — unless cooler heads prevail.

Originally published in Foreign Policy

Also available in العربية

Water Wars? Lessons from the Middle East & North Africa

In a keynote speech for the World Water Week in Stockholm on 28 August 2016, our MENA Program Director Joost Hiltermann assesses the role of water in Middle East conflicts – even, potentially, when used in the cultivation of Yemen’s beloved stimulant, qat.

Iraq: On the Edge of Chaos

The recent storming of Baghdad’s heavily fortified Green Zone by protesters led by Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr brought to the surface a long-standing dilemma.

Also available in العربية

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