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Comtech wins $9m Contract with Iraqi Navy

Comtech Telecommunications Corp. (Nasdaq: CMTL) announced on Monday that during its first quarter of fiscal 2019, its Orlando, Florida-based subsidiary, Comtech Systems, Inc., which is part of Comtech’s Government Solutions segment, has received a $9.1 million sole-sourced contract from The Program Executive Office (PEO) Command, Control, Communications, Computers and Intelligence (C4I), International C4I Integration Program Office (PMW 740), to supply equipment and services in support of an existing C4I Surveillance and Reconnaissance Maritime Surveillance System owned by the Iraqi Navy.

Comtech will be supplying thermal imaging radar in conjunction with Comtech’s advanced digital troposcatter communications systems and backhaul microwave terminals. The communications network will provide radar and sensor data to an existing Command and Control facility.

In commenting on this important award, Fred Kornberg, President and Chief Executive Officer of Comtech Telecommunications Corp., stated:

“I am excited to be able to announce this important contract with a new foreign government end customer. While the sales cycles for opportunities of this type are long, this win is further evidence that demand for troposcatter equipment around the world is growing. We look forward to working with the U.S. FMS and Iraqi Navy on this and future opportunities.”

Comtech Systems, Inc. (www.comtechsystems.com) specializes in system design, integration, supply and commissioning of turnkey communication systems including over-the-horizon microwave, line-of-sight microwave and satellite.

Comtech Telecommunications Corp. designs, develops, produces and markets innovative products, systems and services for advanced communications solutions. The Company sells products to a diverse customer base in the global commercial and government communications markets.

Certain information in this press release contains statements that are forward-looking in nature and involve certain significant risks and uncertainties. Actual results could differ materially from such forward-looking information. The Company’s Securities and Exchange Commission filings identify many such risks and uncertainties. Any forward-looking information in this press release is qualified in its entirety by the risks and uncertainties described in such Securities and Exchange Commission filings.

(Source: Comtech)

Iraq seeks Sanctions Waiver on Iran Energy Trade

Iraq is negotiating with the U.S. for exemptions from the impending snap-back of sanctions against Iran, arguing that it could not cut consumption of Iranian electricity and natural gas immediately without suffering serious economic harm and social instability.

An Iraqi delegation was in Washington last week seeking a waiver for its cross-border trade, meeting with senior officials in the State Department, Treasury Department, and National Security Council, according to multiple officials familiar with the talks.

More details here from Iraq Oil Report (subscription required)

(Source: Iraq Oil Report)

Video: Sanctions Prevent Iranians marking Ashoura in Iraq

From Al Jazeera. Any opinions expressed are those of the authors, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News.

US sanctions have made it too expensive for Iranian Shia Muslims to travel to Iraq to mark Ashoura.

Ashoura is a day of remembrance, commemorating the death of Imam Hussein, a grandson of the Prophet Mohammed.

Al Jazeera’s Rob Matheson reports from Baghdad:

Coalition Effort Aims at Stability in Iraq, Syria

The coalition continues to help forces in both Iraq and Syria establish security and stability in areas that have known nothing but oppression since the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria reared its head five years ago, the spokesman for Operation Inherent Resolve said on Tuesday.

Speaking to Pentagon reporters from Baghdad, Army Col. Sean Ryan noted that Iraqi forces are working together across the country to rid the nation of the last remnants of the terrorist group.

“The various security elements — to include the [Iraqi forces], the peshmerga, counterterrorism services and the federal police — are all working together to continue securing their country,” he said.

In Ninevah province, Iraqi forces continue to find and disarm improvised explosive devices and continue to root out ISIS holdouts. In the mountains of Kirkuk, the Iraqi federal police and the Kurdish peshmerga work together to secure remote villages.

Out west, in Anbar province, border security forces continue to prevent ISIS fighters from streaming into the country, the colonel said.

“For its part, the coalition is … enabling the [Iraqi] efforts to secure Iraq by advising strategic leaders, training thousands of Iraqi service members and divesting equipment they need to effectively secure their country,” he said.

Coalition members also continue to train Iraqi forces. Since the effort started in 2015, coalition forces have trained more than 175,000 Iraqis in basic soldier skills and specialized fields such as intelligence, law enforcement, medical support and aviation.

Syria

In Syria, the picture is more complex and dangerous. Ground operations for Phase 3 of Operation Roundup have begun, and Syrian partner forces continue clearance of the Middle Euphrates River Valley, Ryan said. “Hajin and the surrounding villages are the last remaining territory acquired by ISIS in the coalition’s area of responsibility, and the victory by the Syrian Democratic Forces there will mean that ISIS no longer holds territory,” he added.

ISIS fighters are trying desperately to hang onto the territory, and hard fighting lies ahead, the colonel told reporters. “Despite this, we are confident that the SDF will prevail,” he said.

In Tanf earlier this month, Marines conducted training to reinforce partner forces, he said. “The coalition has supported the SDF through air support, as well as training and equipment,” Ryan said. “Additionally, in liberated areas, the coalition trained internal security forces to maintain the peace and security in liberated cities, provide basic law enforcement support, as well as specialized services such as counter-[improvised explosive devices] and engineering.”

Ryan noted changes in Iraq as Army Lt. Gen. Paul J. LaCamera assumed command of Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve from Army Lt. Gen. Paul E. Funk II.

Ryan said the military stabilization efforts are going well, but are not enough. “Security creates the space for rebuilding,” he explained. “Residents only gain hope for the future when their children can go to school free from harm, women go buy basic necessities in local shops, and when they can go to their jobs that allow them to support their families. Ultimately, the military cannot fight its way to stability.”

The cost of reconstruction is high, with estimates of rebuilding Mosul — Iraq’s second-largest city — pegged at $100 billion. “We call on all nations to help those who have sacrificed tremendously fighting this global threat,” Ryan said.

(Source: US Dept of Defense)

Coalition Strikes Continue Against ISIS Targets

Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve and its partners continue to pursue the lasting defeat of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria in designated parts of Syria and Iraq, Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve officials reported on Monday.

Operation Roundup, which began May 1 to accelerate the defeat of ISIS in the middle Euphrates River valley and Iraq-Syria border region, has continued to gain ground and remove terrorists from the battlefield through offensive operations coupled with precision coalition strike support.

Between Sept. 10-16, coalition military forces conducted 66 strikes, consisting of 102 engagements, in Iraq and Syria

Strikes in Syria

On Sept. 16, coalition military forces conducted six strikes consisting of 13 engagements against ISIS targets near Abu Kamal. The strikes engaged four ISIS tactical units and destroyed an ISIS command-and-control center, an ISIS vehicle bomb facility, a fighting position and an ISIS trench system and suppressed an ISIS mortar.

On Sept. 15, coalition military forces conducted seven strikes consisting of 10 engagements against ISIS targets near Abu Kamal. The strikes engaged four ISIS tactical units and destroyed an ISIS explosive hazard, an ISIS fighting position, an ISIS mortar tube, an ISIS weapons cache and an ISIS heavy machine gun and damaged five ISIS improvised explosive device belts.

On Sept. 14, coalition military forces conducted 14 strikes consisting of 23 engagements against ISIS targets near Abu Kamal. The strikes engaged six ISIS tactical units and destroyed an ISIS vehicle, three ISIS supply routes, an ISIS mortar tube, two ISIS defensive fighting structures, three ISIS fighting positions and an ISIS staging area and suppressed one mortar team.

On Sept. 13, coalition military forces conducted 12 strikes consisting of 15 engagements against ISIS targets near Abu Kamal. The strikes engaged three ISIS tactical units and destroyed nine ISIS supply routes, four ISIS fighting positions, an ISIS compound, an ISIS sentry location, an ISIS staging area and an ISIS counter battery fire, damaged an ISIS compound and suppressed two ISIS mortar firing points.

On Sept. 12, coalition military forces conducted 14 strikes consisting of 26 engagements against ISIS targets near Abu Kamal. The strikes engaged 11 ISIS tactical units and destroyed seven ISIS supply routes and an ISIS command-and-control center.

On Sept. 11, coalition military forces conducted 10 strikes consisting of 11 engagements against ISIS targets near Abu Kamal. The strikes engaged seven ISIS tactical units and destroyed an ISIS heavy weapon, an ISIS technical vehicle and an ISIS engineering equipment and suppressed an ISIS mortar team.

On Sept. 10, coalition military forces conducted a strike consisting of one engagement against ISIS targets near Abu Kamal. The strike engaged an ISIS tactical unit and destroyed an ISIS crew-served weapon.

Strikes in Iraq

On Sept. 16, coalition military forces conducted a strike consisting of two engagements against ISIS targets near Asad. The strike destroyed an ISIS bunker and an ISIS vehicle shelter.

On Sept. 15, coalition military forces conducted a strike consisting of one engagement against ISIS targets near Kisik. The strike destroyed two ISIS tunnels.

There were no reported strikes conducted in Iraq on Sept. 10-14.

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 ground-based tactical artillery, officials noted.

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)

Minister to Brief Parliament on Duty-Free Contracts

In May of this year, we reported claims that Iraq’s anti-corruption bodies were investigating the contract to operate the duty-free shops at Baghdad and Basra airports, following reports of corruption from Al-Ahad TV.

According to a new report from Al-Ahad TV, and to documents recently received by Iraq Business News (see below), the Iraqi Parliament has recently written to the Minister of Transport asking him to appear in parliament to answer questions in relation to a varitety of matters, including apparent irregularities in the extention of the contracts with Iraq Duty Free, which is owned by Financial Links.

The report alleges that the provision of 5 busses, 200 passenger trollies and other items to the Iraqi Civil Aviation Authority (ICAA) amounts to bribery and corruption, contrary to Iraqi Law.

The Parliamentary Anti-Corruption Bureau has also written to the Inspector General for the Ministry of Transport asking him to investigate the contract.

Iraq Duty Free denies any wrongdoing.

We’ll report more details as the story unfolds.

Additional information:

New report from Al-Ahad TV (in Arabic):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OeoCezS5QNc

Original article:

http://www.iraq-businessnews.com/2018/05/15/were-duty-free-contracts-illegally-granted/

 

 

New Commander for Operation Inherent Resolve

Army Lt. Gen. Paul J. LaCamera, commanding general of the XVIII Airborne Corps, assumed command of Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve from Army Lt. Gen. Paul E. Funk II, the III Armored Corps commanding general, today during a ceremony in Baghdad.

Iraqi security forces partners and distinguished guests joined an audience including U.S. and coalition soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines and law enforcement officials for the transfer of authority ceremony at the coalition headquarters.

Army Gen. Joseph L. Votel, commanding general for U.S. Central Command, presided over the ceremony. Votel said that he is confident the XVIII Airborne Corps team from Fort Bragg, North Carolina, is ready to continue the fight for the lasting defeat of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria and set conditions for follow-on operations to increase regional stability.

“Lt. Gen. Funk’s team has made tremendous progress,” Votel said. “[From] increasing the capabilities of the ISF, collapsing pockets of ISIS fighters throughout the region, [and] helping to clear Hawijah, Anbar and the Euphrates River valley throughout the past year.”

Votel further remarked on Funk’s leadership with the largest military coalition in history.

Coalition’s Commitment to Defeat ISIS

“CJTF-OIR’s success is a testament to your leadership,” Votel said. “Working by, with, and through brave Iraqi and Syrian partners, the coalition has remained committed to pursuing the lasting defeat of ISIS.”

The XVIII Airborne Corps previously led the CJTF-OIR coalition from Aug. 2016 to Sept. 2017.

Outgoing commanding general Funk took the opportunity to reflect on his command of CJTF-OIR.

“There are two words to describe what has changed in the last four years since the formation of this coalition — honor and hope. Working by, with, and through our Iraqi partners, our efforts helped the Iraqi security forces transform into a confident, professional organization and restore honor to their nation,” Funk said. “In northeast Syria, hope has replaced fear and oppression. While there is still a tough fight ahead, we are confident that XVIII Corps will lead the coalition to secure the lasting defeat of ISIS.”

LaCamera shared his vision for the CJTF-OIR mission ahead.

“As we look to the future,” he said, “we must and will be aggressive and resolute in everything we do to ensure ISIS and its ideology are completely eradicated.”

Since its establishment in June 2014, CJTF-OIR a global coalition consisting of 73 nations and five international organizations, has built and enhanced the capacities of partner forces and significantly degraded the ability of ISIS to recruit, train, plan, resource, inspire and execute attacks worldwide. The coalition’s collective accomplishments include training and equipping more than 170,000 Iraqi security forces and thousands of internal security forces in northeastern Syria; recapturing 99% of the territory previously held by ISIS in Iraq and Syria; and liberating nearly eight million Iraqis and Syrians from ISIS’s brutal rule.

(Source: US Dept of Defense)

 

SOSi Wins $5m Contract at US Embassy

SOS International LLC (SOSi) has announced its award of a $5 million base plus four-year contract by the U.S. Army to provide human resources, accounting, and technical security assistance services to the Office of Security Cooperation at the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad.

U.S. security assistance supports the development of a modern, accountable, fiscally sustainable, and professional Iraqi military capable of defending Iraq and its borders. U.S. security assistance programs also promote civilian oversight of the military, adherence to the rule of law, and the respect for human rights, while simultaneously increasing the Iraqi military’s capability to respond to threats and conduct counter-terrorism operations.

The U.S. Embassy Baghdad maintains the Office of Security Cooperation to further these goals and facilitate Iraq’s role as a responsible security partner, contributing to the peace and security of the region.

Frank Helmick (pictured), SOSi Senior Vice President of Mission Solutions Group, said:

“SOSi has been supporting U.S. liberalization and stabilization efforts in Iraq since 2003. We look forward to our continued relationship with the Office of Security Cooperation and State Department.”

(Source: SOSi)

Coalition Strikes Target ISIS Terrorists

The coalition and its partners continued to strike Islamic State of Iraq and Syria targets in designated parts of Syria and Iraq between Sept. 3-9, conducting 16 strikes consisting of 22 engagements, Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve officials reported on Monday.

Operation Roundup, which began May 1 to accelerate the defeat of ISIS in the Middle Euphrates River Valley and Iraq-Syria border region, has continued to gain ground and remove terrorists from the battlefield through offensive operations coupled with precision coalition strike support, officials said.

Strikes in Syria

On Sept. 9 near Abu Kamal, coalition military forces conducted three strikes against ISIS targets, destroying an ISIS staging area and an ISIS command-and-control center.

On Sept. 8 near Abu Kamal, coalition military forces conducted a strike consisting of an engagement against ISIS targets, destroying an ISIS weapons cache.

On Sept. 7 near Abu Kamal, coalition military forces conducted two strikes against ISIS targets, destroying an ISIS front-end loader and an ISIS mortar system.

On Sept. 6 near Abu Kamal, coalition military forces conducted one strike against ISIS targets, destroying an ISIS vehicle.

On Sept. 5 near Abu Kamal, coalition military forces conducted one strike against ISIS targets, destroying an ISIS logistics hub.

On Sept. 4 near Abu Kamal, coalition military forces conducted two strikes against ISIS targets, destroying an ISIS supply route and an ISIS logistics hub.

On Sept. 3 near Abu Kamal, coalition military forces conducted two strikes against ISIS targets, destroying two pieces of ISIS engineering equipment.

On Sept. 2 near Abu Kamal, coalition military forces conducted three strikes against ISIS targets, destroying an ISIS supply route, an ISIS vehicle and an ISIS-held building.

Strikes in Iraq

There were no reported strikes conducted in Iraq between Sept. 5-9.

On Sept. 4, coalition military forces conducted two strikes consisting of five engagements against ISIS targets:

  • Near Makhmur, a strike destroyed two ISIS-held buildings and damaged two ISIS-held buildings.
  • Near Kirkuk, a strike damaged three ISIS-held buildings.

On Sept. 3, coalition military forces conducted two strikes consisting of two engagements against ISIS targets:

  • Near Rawah, a strike engaged an ISIS tactical unit.
  • Near Baghdadi, a strike destroyed an ISIS cave.

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 ground-based tactical artillery, officials noted.

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)

Coalition Strikes Target ISIS Terrorists

The coalition and its partners continued to strike Islamic State of Iraq and Syria targets in designated parts of Syria and Iraq between Sept. 3-9, conducting 16 strikes consisting of 22 engagements, Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve officials reported on Monday.

Operation Roundup, which began May 1 to accelerate the defeat of ISIS in the Middle Euphrates River Valley and Iraq-Syria border region, has continued to gain ground and remove terrorists from the battlefield through offensive operations coupled with precision coalition strike support, officials said.

Strikes in Syria

On Sept. 9 near Abu Kamal, coalition military forces conducted three strikes against ISIS targets, destroying an ISIS staging area and an ISIS command-and-control center.

On Sept. 8 near Abu Kamal, coalition military forces conducted a strike consisting of an engagement against ISIS targets, destroying an ISIS weapons cache.

On Sept. 7 near Abu Kamal, coalition military forces conducted two strikes against ISIS targets, destroying an ISIS front-end loader and an ISIS mortar system.

On Sept. 6 near Abu Kamal, coalition military forces conducted one strike against ISIS targets, destroying an ISIS vehicle.

On Sept. 5 near Abu Kamal, coalition military forces conducted one strike against ISIS targets, destroying an ISIS logistics hub.

On Sept. 4 near Abu Kamal, coalition military forces conducted two strikes against ISIS targets, destroying an ISIS supply route and an ISIS logistics hub.

On Sept. 3 near Abu Kamal, coalition military forces conducted two strikes against ISIS targets, destroying two pieces of ISIS engineering equipment.

On Sept. 2 near Abu Kamal, coalition military forces conducted three strikes against ISIS targets, destroying an ISIS supply route, an ISIS vehicle and an ISIS-held building.

Strikes in Iraq

There were no reported strikes conducted in Iraq between Sept. 5-9.

On Sept. 4, coalition military forces conducted two strikes consisting of five engagements against ISIS targets:

  • Near Makhmur, a strike destroyed two ISIS-held buildings and damaged two ISIS-held buildings.
  • Near Kirkuk, a strike damaged three ISIS-held buildings.

On Sept. 3, coalition military forces conducted two strikes consisting of two engagements against ISIS targets:

  • Near Rawah, a strike engaged an ISIS tactical unit.
  • Near Baghdadi, a strike destroyed an ISIS cave.

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 ground-based tactical artillery, officials noted.

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)