24 October 2020
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The name “Hezbollah” has been associated with two groups: The yellow flags of the Lebanese party and its secretary general Hassan Nasrallah and the more ideological and dangerous militia operating in Iraq. The Kataib Hezbollah militia has been operating in Iraq for over 13 years. Just months ago, it was dealt one of the strongest strikes in wake of a rocket attack that targeted Iraq’s Taji base that claimed the lives of one British and two American soldiers. The response…

Revolution is in the air in Iran and Iraq Wednesday, 20 May 2020 22:15

The coronavirus is not the only airborne problem troubling governments in the Middle East. For the rulers of Iran and Iraq, revolution is in the air. In Iran, the theocratic regime continues to lie about the extent of the contagion, claiming, absurdly, that the death toll is around 6,000, while in fact over 42,000 have died of COVID-19. Such is the appalling situation in Iran, with the collapsing economy and the mullahs' bungled attempts to manage the virus, that 270,000 Afghan…
Tharallah (God’s Revenge) emerged in 2003 as a notorious Basra-based, Tehran-funded death squad, hunting down and gruesomely murdering Sunnis, Baathists, and anyone Iranian agents paid them to kill. British soldiers in December 2003 raided a Tharallah torture chamber. It has regained nationwide notoriety in recent days after opening fire on protesters outside its headquarters. Several hundred demonstrators have been gunned down by paramilitary elements since mass protests erupted in the fall of 2019. Militias are accustomed to routinely getting away…
It was a bold opening gambit from new Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa Al Kadhimi. On the night of May 10, protesters gathered outside the offices of a little known militia organisation in Basra, Thar Allah. When they were met with live fire, it seemed a typically brutal response from Iraq’s numerous Iran-backed militias, whom many hold responsible for killing hundreds of protesters. What happened next surprised observers: Thar Allah’s offices were raided by security forces and their leader, Youssef Al…
Anti-government protests started again in Iraq as hundreds of demonstrators clashed with security forces in Baghdad on Sunday. The protests follow the appointment of Mustafa al-Kadhimi as Prime Minister, bringing an end to months of relative calm. Iraqi protesters continued their nightly demonstrations against the corrupt rulers and puppets of Velayat-e-Faqih (Iran’s clerical regime) in Baghdad's Tahrir Square and in the provinces of Dhi Qar, Diwaniyah, Basra, Babil, Karbala, Wasit, Maysan and other cities. They called for the overthrow of the government.…
Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi has only been in office five days, but already a chief challenge and goal for his fledgling government has become clear: placating Iraq's protest movement. The six-month-old movement is one of a litany of challenges Iraq's new premier faces. The country is being buffetted by an oil price crash, coronavirus and an Islamic State group resurgence, not to mention tensions between the US and Iran. But, now overseeing the closest thing to a stable government the country…
AGHDAD—Five months after its charismatic leader Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis was killed by a U.S. drone strike at the Baghdad airport, the Iran-backed group Kataib Hezbollah’s influence on Iraq may be quietly eroding. Despite an institutional void since widespread protests across Shiite-majority central and southern Iraq forced the previous government to resign late in 2019 and the international coalition’s recent withdrawal from several Iraqi bases, moves are afoot to more fully integrate some Popular Mobilization Units (PMU) factions into government chains…
Erbil — After five months of difficult negotiations, Iraq's parliament approved the intelligence chief Mustafa Al-Kadhimi as the country's new prime minister on Thursday. The long-time spy master, who appears to have U.S. backing, will now lead a government to replace the one forced to resign months ago amid widespread protests. But his biggest challenge may be convincing a fed-up public that he'll act in their interest before he acts in the interest of the U.S. or any other foreign power. "This…
BAGHDAD: Iraq's outgoing premier Adel Abdel Mahdi was seen as an independent who could unite rival factions and revive the economy, but he leaves office amid a fiscal calamity and brewing geopolitical tensions. The 77-year-old formally stepped down last year following anti-government protests that left more than 550 dead, making him the first prime minister to resign since the U.S.-led invasion that toppled Saddam Hussein in 2003. But he stayed on as caretaker PM for five months as Iraq's notoriously…
BAGHDAD--Mustafa al-Kadhimi received the approval of parliament Thursday to serve as Iraq’s sixth prime minister after months of political wrangling and interference by Iran in the process. Despite the approval of 15 ministers in his cabinet, twelve other portfolios, including oil and foreign affairs, are still to be voted. But based on provisions of the Iraqi constitution, Kadhimi can already assume the duties of the office. New prime minister was able to clinch the support of Shia factions which had…
Iraqi politics has entered a crunch week that could see either a new government led by a figure allied with Washington or a deepening of its crisis amid oil price setbacks. Prime Minister-designate Mustafa Al Kadhimi has until May 9 to win a vote of confidence in Parliament after being chosen for the job by President Barham Salih last month. But there has been a deafening silence since he submitted his manifesto to the house last Wednesday. Mr Al Kadhimi's…

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