Monthly Archives: February 2017


TNT:Tishwash:  Senior Chinese diplomat to visit USA top Chinese diplomat will be visiting the United States this week to become Beijing’s first and highest-level official to visit America since President Donald Trump took office.China’s State Councillor Yang Jiechi is expected to meet US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and other senior officials on Monday and Tuesday to discuss “bilateral ties


2-28-2017   Intel Guru Frank26   Another important thing…Dr. Shabibi came out and condemned Maliki…and you will start to see EVEN MORE!  That will help with the monetary reform…help with the lava-flow.  Watch for more on Dr. Shabibi and Maliki.  In the end, Dr. Shabibi will make a speech to you.  Security is coming in many ways.  We (USA) are planting a presence sooo deep!  We told you…

Lukoil to Invest $1.5bn in West Qurna-2 this year

By John Lee.

Lukoil boss Vagit Alekperov (pictured) told reporters on Monday that investment in the West Qurna-2 oil field is estimated at $1.5 billion in 2017.

He said the company has already been compensated for about $6 billion of historical costs, adding that he expects to negotiate a revised contract with Iraq with the aim of getting additional profit.

(Source: Russian Construction)

Iraq plans Offshore Oil and Gas Exploration

By John Lee.

Iraqi oil minister Jabar Ali al-Luaibi [Allibi] has directed the Iraqi Oil Exploration Company (OEC) to start exploring Iraq’s coastal waters for new oil and gas reserves.

Addressing an OEC conference, the Minister also emphasised the need to focus on areas bordering neighbouring countries.

Iraq recently declared an additional 10 billion barrels of oil reserves.

(Source: Ministry of Oil)

Wikipedia “Data Free” in Iraq

Today, Wikimedia community members in Iraq, the Wikimedia Foundation, and Asiacell, one of Iraq’s largest mobile operators, announced a new partnership to provide access to Wikipedia free of mobile data charges to Asiacell’s nearly 12 million subscribers in Iraq. The partnership was announced today at a press event hosted by Ooredoo during Mobile World Congress 2017.

The partnership, developed in large part by Iraqi volunteer editor and Asiacell employee, Sarmad Saeed Yaseen, marks the first Wikipedia Zero program in Iraq. The program, overseen by the nonprofit Wikimedia Foundation, addresses one of the greatest barriers to internet access globally: affordability.

In a recent phone survey in Iraq led by the Wikimedia Foundation, roughly 80% of surveyed participants reported that mobile data costs limited their use of the internet. About 33% of participants also reported rarely or never being able to find online content in their preferred language.

Through the Wikipedia Zero program, mobile data fees are waived for subscribers of participating mobile operators so that they may read and edit Wikipedia without using any of their mobile data.

Sarmad, who is part of a community of local volunteer Wikipedia editors in Iraq, started the partnership to extend access to knowledge in his home country of Iraq. Together, he and his wife, Ravan Jaafar Altaie, have been active editors (or Wikipedians) since 2008.

“I’ve always believed that it is better to light a candle than curse the darkness, so I decided to volunteer in Wikipedia to provide knowledge for free to my people in their own language,” said Sarmad Saeed Yaseen.

“When I was first introduced to Wikipedia Zero, I felt right away that this could be the best thing ever to share free knowledge in my country and encourage the people of Iraq to contribute knowledge and share this with the world on Wikipedia.”

American Corner opened in University of Kurdistan Hewler

The Head of the KRG Department of Foreign Relations, Falah Mustafa, attended the opening ceremony of the American Corner in the University of Kurdistan Hewler (UKH) in Erbil.

The American corner will focus on promoting education in the host community, student exchange programs between the Kurdistan Region and the United States, providing electronic databases and promoting American culture.

The event was also attended by United States Consul General in Erbil Ken Gross, Head of the EU office Clarisse Pásztory, UKH Vice Chancellor and a number of officials and representatives of the United Nations, local and international organizations.

In a speech on the occasion, Minister Mustafa appreciated this step and stressed on the importance of expanding cultural and educational bridges and ties between the Kurdistan Region and the United States. The Head of DFR said:

“This is a meaningful contribution of the United States, which has been a partner and ally to the people of Kurdistan Region”.

(Source: KRG)

Presidents Barzani and Erdogan Meet in Turkey

President Masoud Barzani visited Turkey to be received by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to discuss a series of important issues facing the region.

During the meeting President Barzani and President Erdogan spoke of the ongoing military operation against the terrorists of the Islamic State in the city of Mosul where President Barzani reiterated his position of the importance of planning for the post-liberation of the city.

President Erdogan stated that Turkey will continue to support the Kurdistan Region during these difficult times as the collective effort against the terrorists of the Islamic State continues.

(Source: KRG)


Details of Latest Airstrikes in Syria, Iraq

U.S. and coalition military forces continued to attack the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria on Sunday, Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve officials reported yesterday.

Officials reported details of the latest strikes, noting that assessments of results are based on initial reports.

Strikes in Syria

Coalition military forces conducted 14 strikes consisting of 21 engagements in Syria:

  • Near Dayr Az Zawr, four strikes destroyed five wellheads and an oil manifold.
  • Near Palmyra, two strikes destroyed six pumpjacks.
  • Near Raqqa, eight strikes engaged five ISIS tactical units and an ISIS staging area and destroyed four fighting positions, two ammo caches, a mortar system, a vehicle, a chemical weapons facility and an ISIS headquarters.

Strikes in Iraq

Coalition military forces conducted 10 strikes consisting of 80 engagements in Iraq, coordinated with and in support of Iraq’s government:

  • Near Kirkuk, two strikes engaged two ISIS tactical units, destroyed four ISIS-held buildings and damaged a tunnel.
  • Near Mosul, five strikes engaged four ISIS tactical units and two ISIS staging areas; destroyed eight fighting positions, six mortar systems, five vehicles, three vehicle bombs, two roadblocks, two ISIS-held buildings, two rocket-propelled grenade systems, two vehicle bomb facilities, two weapons caches, a tactical vehicle, a sniper position, a supply cache, a bulldozer and a tunnel entrance; damaged nine supply routes and a front-end loader; and suppressed 18 mortar teams and five ISIS tactical units.
  • Near Rawah, a strike destroyed a weapons cache and a supply cache.
  • Near Sinjar, two strikes engaged an ISIS tactical unit and destroyed eight tactical vehicles and two weapons storage facilities.

Part of Operation Inherent Resolve

These strikes were conducted as part of Operation Inherent Resolve, the operation to destroy ISIS in Iraq and Syria. The destruction of ISIS targets in Iraq and Syria also further limits the group’s ability to project terror and conduct external operations throughout the region and the rest of the world, task force officials said.

The list above contains all strikes conducted by fighter, attack, bomber, rotary-wing or remotely piloted aircraft; rocket-propelled artillery; and some ground-based tactical artillery when fired on planned targets, officials noted.

Ground-based artillery fired in counterfire or in fire support to maneuver roles is not classified as a strike, they added. A strike, as defined by the coalition, refers to one or more kinetic engagements that occur in roughly the same geographic location to produce a single or cumulative effect. For example, task force officials explained, a single aircraft delivering a single weapon against a lone ISIS vehicle is one strike, but so is multiple aircraft delivering dozens of weapons against a group of ISIS-held buildings and weapon systems in a compound, having the cumulative effect of making that facility harder or impossible to use. Strike assessments are based on initial reports and may be refined, officials said.

The task force does not report the number or type of aircraft employed in a strike, the number of munitions dropped in each strike, or the number of individual munition impact points against a target.

(Source: US Dept of Defense)

Will Iraq ban Unveiled Women from Holy Cities?

By Mustafa Saadoun for Al Monitor. Any views expressed here are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News. 

Ibtisam al-Hilali, a member of parliament for the Karbala governorate and member of the State of Law Coalition, led by Nouri al-Maliki, stated Feb. 12 that the governorate’s provincial council intends to pass a bill banning unveiled women from entering the holy city of Karbala.

While banners on the streets of Iraq’s religious cities such as Karbala, Najaf and Khadimiya calling on women to wear the headscarf are a normal sight, this is the first time official figures and parliamentarians try to introduce a bill in this regard.

Karbala is home to the shrines of the third Shiite Imam Hussein bin Ali and his half brother Abbas. The citizens of Karbala are mostly Shiites, and each year the city hosts millions of pilgrims who visit the shrines of the two imams.

A parliamentary source who spoke on condition of anonymity told Al-Monitor, “Many blocs affiliated with Islamic parties are now trying to collect signatures to pass a bill that would ban unveiled women from religious areas. However, this was immediately rejected by parliamentarians, but the blocs are still trying to pursue their efforts to this effect.”

These endeavors might not be welcomed by the Iraqi community, which is governed according to the Iraqi Constitution instead of Sharia. Yet, it appears that some Islamic groups and parties are trying to impose Sharia on the different aspects of civil life. This might suggest the possibility of an imminent conflict between Islamic extremists and civilians seeking to live in a nonreligious state.

Sarwa Abdel Wahed, a parliamentarian for the Movement for Change, told Alqurtas News that some parties are seeking to impose political agendas and settle scores by trying to pass a law banning unveiled women from entering religious cities.


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