Tuesday 1 January 2008
December 30, 2007
Iraq On Alert On Anniversary Of Hussein's Execution
Supporters of former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein gathered at the late president's graveside, north of Baghdad, to mark the first anniversary of his execution, with security tight in those areas where he drew his most fervent support. Hussein was hanged on December 30, 2006 after being convicted of the killings of nearly 150 Shi'ites in a 1982 crackdown on the town of Dujail.
December 21, 2007
Iraq: Kirkuk Referendum Delayed By Six Months
Iraq's Kurdish officials reluctantly accepted a UN proposal calling for a six-month extension to implement Article 140 of the Iraqi Constitution in mid-December, despite warnings from Kurdish lawmakers that failure to implement the article would be considered a direct violation of their rights under the constitution.
December 16, 2007
British Troops Return Al-Basrah To Iraqis
The British military today handed over security control of Iraq's southern province of Basra to Iraqi government forces in a major step toward a full and final withdrawal from the country. Basra, 550 kilometers south of Baghdad, was the last province under British military control.
December 14, 2007
Iraq: Kurdistan Region Grapples With Draft Press Law
Kurdistan regional President Mas'ud Barzani (epa) Iraq's Kurdistan regional parliament passed a controversial press law on December 11 that purports to be one of the freest in the region but in fact imposes steep fines on journalists that publish material critical of the government or Kurdish officials.
December 14, 2007
Military Successes In Iraq Could Be Forcing Al-Qaeda To Change Tactics
The security situation in Baghdad and Iraq's vast Al-Anbar Governorate has improved markedly this year as a result of the U.S. military's troop increase and local Sunni tribal leaders' efforts against Al-Qaeda-linked militants. But a fresh wave of violence north of Baghdad could indicate that Al-Qaeda fighters and other militants are changing their tactics.
December 13, 2007
Iraq: Sunnis, Sadrists Attack U.S. Security Pact
Will the agreement see U.S. troops leave, or settle into permanent bases? (AFP) A declaration of principles that U.S. President George W. Bush and Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki signed on November 26 calling for the negotiation of a long-term agreement on future political, economic, and security cooperation could pave the way for U.S. forces to pull out of Iraq by the end of next year.
December 06, 2007
Iraq: Sunni Legislator Among Political Untouchables
Adnan al-Dulaymi has been accused of being involved in sectarian and terrorist violence (file photo) (epa) When U.S. forces detained more than 30 employees of Iraqi legislator Adnan al-Dulaymi last week on charges of terrorism, it briefly appeared that the lawmaker, long accused of supporting terrorism, might face intense scrutiny over suspected wrongdoing. Instead, al-Dulaymi spent one day under house arrest, after which he was moved to the Al-Rashid Hotel in Baghdad's Green Zone, so he could continue to attend parliament sessions.
November 30, 2007
Iraq: Baghdad, Kurds At Odds Over Oil Deals
(RFE/RL) November 30, 2007 (RFE/RL) -- The last few weeks have witnessed bitter exchanges between the Baghdad government and the Kurdistan regional government (KRG) over oil deals signed between the Kurdish administration and several foreign firms. Since the Iraqi Kurds passed their own oil law in August, they have signed 15 exploration contracts with 20 foreign firms.
November 30, 2007
Iraq: Tensions Increase Over Kirkuk Referendum Delay
Both Kurds and non-Kurds have threatened to take violent action in Kirkuk (file photo) (epa) November 30, 2007 (RFE/RL) -- November 15 was supposed to be an important date in Iraqi history. It was the initial date planned for a referendum to decide whether the oil-rich region of Kirkuk will be incorporated into the semi-autonomous Kurdish region.
November 13, 2007
Iraq: Official Says Parliament Improving, But Parties Hold Up Progress
PRAGUE, November 13, 2007 (RFE/RL) -- The deputy speaker of the Iraqi parliament, Khalid al-Attiyah, says he expects the Council of Representatives to vote on key legislation, including the draft oil law, in the near future. Speaking with RFE/RL Iraq analyst Kathleen Ridolfo at RFE/RL headquarters in Prague on November 9, al-Attiyah also commented on political fissures, saying they stand in the way of national reconciliation, and said that there has been a noticeable improvement in the security situation.
November 13, 2007
Iraq: Smuggling, Mismanagement Plaguing Oil Industry
Iraq's oil industry needs investment if it will be able to reach previous levels of production (epa) November 13, 2007 (RFE/RL) -- Even as Iraq's Kurds sign production-sharing contracts with foreign firms, oil production south of the Kurdistan region appears handicapped by a lack of government control and continued smuggling.
November 12, 2007
Iraq: Kurds Push Ahead With Oil Contracts
Iraq's Kurds have been awarding contracts to for oil exploration at an increasing rate in recent weeks (file) (AFP) November 12, 2007 (RFE/RL) -- Iraq's Kurdistan regional government (KRG) continues to award contracts for oil exploration and development to foreign oil companies despite allegations by the central Oil Ministry that the contracts are not valid due to the absence of an oil law. The KRG has ignored the criticism and contends that the contracts are legal.