Saddam’s superyacht ends up as sailors’ hotel

Tuesday, 22 May 2018

The king size bed in Saddam Hussein’s superyacht is made, the silk curtains around it have been drawn back and, in the gold-rimmed bathroom next door, a barber’s chair awaits its occupant. But the Iraqi dictator never boarded the 82-metre (270-foot) “Basrah Breeze” built for him in 1981 - and its amenities will now be enjoyed by the pilots who guide shipping in and out of the port of Basra, the main southern city. In common with other treasures ...

Iraq court sentences Belgian militant to death for ISIS membership

Tuesday, 22 May 2018

An Iraqi court on Tuesday sentenced a Belgian militant, who threatened Europe in propaganda videos, to death by hanging for membership of ISIS, an AFP journalist reported. Tarik Jadaoun -- known by his nom de guerre Abu Hamza al-Beljiki -- earlier pleaded not guilty to a range of terror, insisting he had “got lost” and pleading for mercy. Born in 1988, Jadaoun -- who was captured in ex-ISIS bastion Mosul in August -- appeared before the Baghdad court dressed in a beige prison uniform ...

Awaiting Iraq’s new leader

Monday, 21 May 2018

The cabinet plays a huge role in Iraq. The prime minister is the decision maker and Iraq itself is a strategically important country for the region. Everyone in the region as well as international powers are waiting for the results of the consultations and bargains between the competing powers to know which party will lead the political process and who the next prime minister will be. Sayyid Muqtada al-Sadr, the leader of the Sairoon Alliance, is the luckiest because he won the largest number of ...

Abdulrahman al-Rashed

Iraqi cleric Moqtada al-Sadr meets PM Abadi, hinting at coalition

Sunday, 20 May 2018

A meeting between nationalist cleric Moqtada Sadr and Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi was held a day after the announcement of the Iraqi parliamentary election results to reaffirm close ties between both parties in forming a future government, a source close to Sadr revealed. A statement released by Abadi on Saturday said that the meeting with Sadr came for the sake of working together to speed up the process of forming a new government, and ensure that the government will be strong, ...

After election victory, Sadr tweets to Iraqis ‘we will not let you down’

Saturday, 19 May 2018

Shiite leader Moqtada al-Sadr said in a tweet on Saturday that he would not let Iraqis down after his parliamentary election victory. “Your vote is an honor for us and a responsibility we will shoulder,” Sadr said in a Twitter post. He added: “We will not let you down, and the blame is placed on those who failed Iraq.” The tweet comes following the confirmation of the official results of the Iraqi parliamentary election last night, with a sweeping win of the Sairoon ...

The benefits of Iraqi protest movements

Saturday, 19 May 2018

I once wrote about protest movements that had erupted in Iraq towards the end of July 2015, which had spread to several governorates including the capital Baghdad. Historically and politically, these were comparable to Al-Wathbah uprising in January in 1948 and to the November 1952 Intifada, which are considered the most important protest movements in Iraq’s modern history as they sought to restore freedoms and national sovereignty and independence.Impact of protest movementsI do not think ...

Adnan Hussein

US-Iraq military relations not impacted by election: US general

Friday, 18 May 2018

The US military’s relationship with Iraq’s security forces will not be impacted by the election win of Moqtada Sadr, whose followers fought US troops in past years, a top general said Friday. General Joe Votel, who heads the US military’s Central Command, which oversees forces in the Middle East, told AFP he had confidence in the positive dynamic built up while the Iraqis fought the ISIS group for three years. “They are very focused on continuing to provide protection for ...

UN calls on Iraq to probe election complaints

Thursday, 17 May 2018

The UN on Thursday called for Iraq’s electoral commission to “immediately and fully” investigate complaints by candidates and parties over the conduct of this month’s legislative elections. “The commission has to act expeditiously in order to seriously address all complaints,” the UN’s envoy to Iraq, Jan Kubis, said in a statement. Partial results for the May 12 poll show the Marching Towards Reform alliance of Shiite cleric Moqtada Sadr and communists ...

Iraq: Armed men trap election workers in Kirkuk, block count

Wednesday, 16 May 2018

Iraq’s election commission says armed men have trapped election workers inside their offices and blocked the vote count in the northern city of Kirkuk, an oil hub at the heart of a long-running dispute with the Kurds.Elections commissioner Riad al-Badran told a press conference Wednesday that the affiliation of the armed men was not known. He called on Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi to protect the election team.He says results from 186 ballot boxes remain uncounted from Kirkuk, which has ...

The post-election Iraqi government

Wednesday, 16 May 2018

The recent Iraqi parliamentary elections were not like their antecedents — including the first elections after Saddam’s ouster in 2005. This time, the large blocs formed on sectarian (Shiite-Sunni) and nationalist (Arab-Kurdish) lines dissolved. The newly elected House of Representatives will consist of a larger number of coalitions that will have lesser weight. It’s unlikely that the most important Shiite bloc (the National Iraqi Alliance) will emerge again given its recent ...

Adnan Hussein

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