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CrisisWatch Iraq

Unchanged Situation

U.S.-backed govt forces and allied militias made gains in campaign to retake Mosul in north from Islamic State (IS), taking control of city’s eastern half. Head of Iraqi Counter-Terrorism Service (CTS) 19 Jan declared city-centre districts under govt control. Security forces 19 Jan pushed IS out of Tal Kyf, 10km NE of Mosul, and 22 Jan seized road linking Mosul to Dohuk, 90km north. PM Abadi 25 Jan said eastern Mosul “fully liberated”. Knights of Mosul anti-IS insurgents in IS-controlled parts of Mosul reportedly passed intelligence to security forces and killed high-ranking IS members during month. IOM 19 Jan said almost 159,000 people had fled Mosul since offensive began 17 Oct. IS claimed multiple bombings in Baghdad’s Shia districts early month: blasts 2-3 Jan killed 59, twin bombings 8 Jan killed twenty at marketplaces in Jamila and Baladiyat districts. IS 1 Jan killed seven policemen near Najaf, 146km south of Baghdad, 2 Jan killed seven policemen in Samara, 125km north of Baghdad, and four soldiers at barracks near Baji, 210km north of Baghdad. Following dispute over Turkey’s participation in Mosul offensive, PM Abadi 8 Jan met Turkish PM in Baghdad to reestablish diplomatic relations and reduce Turkish military presence in north. National security minister 8 Jan discussed cooperation against “terrorism” with Syrian President Assad in Damascus. French President Hollande and Defence Minister Le Drian in Baghdad 2 Jan reaffirmed commitment to fight against IS. Parliament 30 Jan recommended govt should “respond in kind” to U.S. President Trump’s ban on citizens of Iraq and six other Muslim-majority countries entering U.S., govt 30 Jan said it had asked U.S. to reconsider ban on its citizens, PM Abadi 31 Jan said govt would not ban U.S. nationals entry citing U.S. support for fight against IS.

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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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