23 January 2021
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Large posters and banners of slain Iranian commander Qassem Soleimani were hoisted inside the halls of the Iraqi parliament ahead of preparations to mark the one-year-anniversary of his assassination by US forces, according to a video being shared online. According to parliamentary sources, Iraqi MPs plan to hold a memorial to mark the one-year anniversary of Soleimani’s death alongside Iraqi paramilitary commander Abu Mahdi al-Mohandes who were both killed on Jan. 3, 2020. The sources added that official invitations were sent…
BAGHDAD – A leaked draft of Iraq’s state budget sent Iraqis into a panic on Thursday as it confirmed the government’s intention to devalue the national currency, the Iraqi dinar, and cut salaries to cope with the impact of a severe economic crisis. Discussions about devaluaing the Iraqi dinar, which has been pegged to the dollar for decades, have been going on for weeks as the government worked to finalise the 2021 budget. The draft law, which has to first…
BAGHDAD/ERBIL - The street value of Iraq's currency is dropping, as markets anticipate the likelihood the dinar will soon be devalued in response to a dire economic crisis. Money exchangers in Iraq on Monday were charging 1,300 Iraqi dinars for each U.S. dollar, compared to the Central Bank of Iraq's (CBI) official rate of 1,182 dinars per dollar — the widest spread between market rates and the bank's official "window" rate since December 2016, according to an Iraq Oil Report…
Iraq's foreign exchange reserves decreased 12.5 per cent during the first quarter of 2020 to 68.5 trillion dinars ($57.5 billion) down from 78.25 trillion dinars ($65.75 billion) in the last quarter of 2019, the Iraqi Central Organisation for Statistics (COS) said. COS added in a statement that the country's internal public debt has increased from 38.33 trillion dinars ($32.21 billion) in Q4 of 2019 to 43.45 trillion dinars ($36.51 billion) in Q1 2020. The decline in foreign exchange reserves coincided…
Anti-government protesters in Iraq’s southern Dhi Qar province ended on Sunday a year of popular demonstrations that had swept the city of Nasiriyah. The development took place amid reports that government authorities and groups affiliated to the Sadrist movement, of cleric Moqtada al-Sadr, had threatened prominent activists. The demonstrators had also likely cleared the protests sites in order to “catch their breath” and seriously consider the possibility of fielding candidates in next year’s June parliamentary elections. The candidates would be…
BALAD, Iraq (Reuters) - Last month, Iraqi authorities gave families displaced by the war against Islamic State just 48 hours to pack up and leave the Al-Ishaki camp before it was closed. When the deadline expired, pick-up trucks and military vehicles arrived to take about 200 people back to their hometown. Taama al-Owaisi and others who had lived for years in the camps did not want to leave but they say they were forced to. An uncertain future awaits them…
KURDISH Peshmerga forces threatened to turn against the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) in northern Iraq today as anti-government protests continued across the autonomous region in an uprising against corruption. The warning was issued by Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) affiliated Peshmerga in the town of Chamchamal in Slemani province, who said they would refuse orders to open fire on protesters in what could be a turning point in the widening protests. At least two people have been shot dead in…
Morning mass in Karemlash, an Iraqi village once held by Islamic State jihadists, is usually a sombre affair. But this week, elderly parishioners could rejoice: Pope Francis is coming to Iraq next year. "We're all so happy. We have been waiting for this for so long," said 45-year-old Adiba Henna, smiling in the cold air after a prayer service at St. Adday Chaldean Church, in the Nineveh highlands of northern Iraq. "Every time he visits a country, we think, why…
Iraqi authorities are trying to contain public anger in the north-easterly Kurdistan region as the death toll after a week of violent demonstrations over unpaid salaries and corruption rose to eight. The civil unrest in the semi-autonomous Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI) is being stoked by the coronavirus-related plunge in the oil price, which has hampered the war-battered country’s ability to foot a vast government wage bill. The oil price crash has more than halved oil revenues which support 90…
BAGHDAD: The prime minister of Iraq’s northern Kurdish-run region on Wednesday blamed the federal government in Baghdad for delaying crucial budget transfers as violent protests over salary payments left eight dead in the past week. Also on Wednesday, two explosions targeted an oil field in northern Kirkuk province in what the Oil Ministry called a terrorist attack. No casualties were immediately reported in the blasts. The area is disputed between Baghdad and the Kurdish region, and Daesh militants routinely exploit…
Six protesters were killed after local security forces opened fire to disperse crowds in various parts of Sulaymaniyah province. A security officer also died of his injuries after clashing with protestors. At least 12 other people were wounded. Hundreds of protesters demonstrated in the city of Sulaymaniyah and nearby towns, saying they have not received their monthly pay checks since October. More than 1.25 million people are employed by the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG). In recent days, protesters have also…

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