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DinarThug

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  1. Strikes Continue in Effort to Defeat ISIS in Syria, Iraq From a Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve News Release SOUTHWEST ASIA, Oct. 17, 2017 — U.S. and coalition military forces continued to attack the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, conducting three strikes consisting of three engagements in recent days, Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve officials reported today. Officials reported details of the strikes, noting that assessments of results are based on initial reports. Strike in Syria In Syria, coalition military forces conducted one strike consisting of one engagement Oct. 15 near Dayr Az Zawr, engaging an ISIS tactical unit and destroyed two fighting positions. Strikes in Iraq In Iraq yesterday, coalition military forces conducted two strikes consisting of two engagements against ISIS targets: -- Near Rahwa, a strike engaged an ISIS tactical unit and destroyed an improvised explosive device weapons facility. -- Near Qaim, a strike destroyed a vehicle-borne-IED factory. LINK
  2. OIR Spokesman: ISIS Faces Devastating Defeat on 3rd Anniversary of Operations By Terri Moon CronkDoD News, Defense Media Activity WASHINGTON, Oct. 17, 2017 — The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria is now on the verge of a devastating defeat in Raqqa, Syria, the Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve spokesman said today. Army Capt. Ryan Stanfield, a flight nurse, and Sgt. Jared Belisle, a crew chief, pull German soldiers into an HH-60M Black Hawk helicopter during a coalition medevac and hoist training exercise at Erbil, Iraq, Aug. 20, 2016. DoD photo by Army Sgt. Kalie Jones Speaking to Pentagon reporters via teleconference from Baghdad, Army Col. Ryan S. Dillon called the impending collapse of ISIS in the city it declared the seat of its so-called caliphate “momentous,” noting that today is the third anniversary of coalition operations. Three years ago, the global threat of ISIS was met with a U.S.-led coalition of 69 nations and four international organizations and partner forces on the ground, Dillon said. That coalition has beaten back ISIS on all fronts in Iraq and Syria. Quickly Shrinking Territory “ISIS in Iraq and Syria are all but isolated in their quickly shrinking territory,” he said, citing another hard-fought victory in Mosul, Iraq. Raqqa is now more than 90 percent cleared of ISIS forces, he said. “Over the past 96 hours, we have seen about 1,300 civilians assisted to safety by the [Syrian Democratic Forces], and just about 3,000 civilians rescued in the last week,” he said. And in the last few days, about 350 fighters surrendered to the SDF in Raqqa, with several confirmed foreign fighters taken into custody after SDF screening, Dillon added. Raqqa Clearance Speeds Up Clearance of the remaining portion of Raqqa’s city center has accelerated after the SDF ensured the safety of civilians, he said, adding that the SDF have moved on the national hospital complex and the soccer stadium. The SDF also fully cleared the Naim traffic circle, once a symbol of fear and terror under ISIS, where the enemy organization conducted public executions. “In Raqqa and elsewhere across Syria, our focus remains on reducing risk to the civilians, while continuing to pursue and defeat ISIS terrorists at every opportunity as they retreat into the remaining held areas in the Middle Euphrates River Valley,” Dillon said. Anbar Province Meanwhile, in Iraq, coalition forces remain focused on supporting the Iraqi offensive against ISIS holdouts in Rawa and Qaim in western Anbar province, the spokesman said. In the past week, the coalition has conducted more than 30 strikes against ISIS military targets in the area, including command-and-control facilities, car-bomb factories, weapons caches and a training camp, he added. Back-clearance operations are ongoing in areas recently liberated from ISIS. “In the Tal Afar area, since the beginning of this month, the [Iraqi forces] have found [and] removed large caches of weapons and explosives left behind by ISIS,” Dillon said. “These caches contain a total of 550 improvised explosive devices, 1,800 mortars, 25 landmines, 101 suicide vests, 16 tunnels and 11 factories for making IED’s.” LINK
  3. Raqqa, ISIS ‘Capital,’ Is Captured, U.S.-Backed Forces Say By ANNE BARNARD and HWAIDA SAADOCT. 17, 2017 Members of the Syrian Democratic Forces greeted one another after returning from the frontline in east Raqqa last week. On Tuesday, the American-backed militia group announced that it had taken full control of the city. CreditIvor Prickett for The New York Times BEIRUT, Lebanon — American-backed forces said on Tuesday that they had seized the northern Syrian city of Raqqa from the Islamic State, a major blow to the militant group, which had long used the city as the de facto capital of its self-declared caliphate. Celebrations erupted in Raqqa, where residents had lived under the repressive rule of militants who beheaded people for offenses as minor as smoking. Fighters could be seen cheering and firing celebratory gunfire in the streets, according to residents reached by phone and text message. The United States Central Command stopped short of declaring victory, saying that “more than 90 percent of Raqqa is in S.D.F. control,” a reference to the Syrian Democratic Forces, an American-backed militia group made up of Syrian Kurds and Arabs. Col. Ryan S. Dillon, a spokesman for the United States military in Baghdad, said Tuesday that Raqqa was on the verge of being liberated, but that there were still pockets of the city controlled by the Islamic State. Syrian Democratic Forces officers, however, were emphatic in phone interviews and public statements that they had finally wrested control of the city from the militants after a monthslong campaign. “The military operation is over,” said Talal Salo, a commander reached by phone at the group’s headquarters in Hasaka. Still, a spokesman for the Syrian Democratic Forces, Moustapha Bali, said suicide bombers might still be hiding in the city. In a video teleconference with Pentagon reporters, Colonel Dillon also said that Islamic State fighters had booby-trapped the city with improvised explosive devices and unexploded ordnance that officials say could take years to remove. Whether final or not, the seemingly inevitable defeat in Raqqa of the Islamic State, also known as ISIS or ISIL, carries heavy symbolic weight. At its height in 2014, the group controlled Iraq’s second-largest city, Mosul, as well as Raqqa and large stretches of land on both sides of the border. And it had grand aspirations to increase its territory and cement its rule. The Islamic State leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, who once spent time in a prison run by occupying American troops in Iraq, claimed to be the successor to the caliphs, the Islamic emperors who shaped the region in past centuries. He persuaded tens of thousands of Muslims from around the world, some new to the faith or poorly versed in it, to travel to the region to fight. The group seized the ancient ruins of Palmyra in Syria and those of Hatra in Iraq, destroying important historical monuments in the name of its interpretation of Islam. With the fall of Raqqa, the Islamic State has lost the two most important cities of its self-declared caliphate in three months. It was pushed out of Mosul, Iraq, in July, and now holds only a fraction of the territory it once controlled. Analysts say the group is already preparing for a new phase, morphing back into the kind of underground insurgency it started as, when it took root among disaffected Sunni populations that were willing to tolerate, if not wholeheartedly embrace, its ultraconservative brand of Islam. And while many Arabs quickly soured on the group because of its brutal crackdowns and unfulfilled promises, their underlying political disaffection has not been addressed. Another major concern, now that Islamic State-held territory is reduced, is how countries in Europe, the Middle East and around the world will handle the foreigners who joined the group in places like Syria and might return home and plan attacks there. A victory in Raqqa has come at a heavy cost. Much of the city has been devastated by American-led airstrikes that killed more than 1,000 civilians, according to tallies by local activists and international monitors. In earlier years, many were killed by Russian and Syrian government strikes. About 270,000 residents have been displaced by the fighting, and thousands of homes have been destroyed. LINK
  4. About 400 IS fighters recently surrendered in Raqa: US By AFP PUBLISHED: 17:37 EDT, 17 October 2017 | UPDATED: 17:37 EDT, 17 October 2017 Hundreds of Islamic State jihadists surrendered as the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces finished the push to recapture Raqa About 400 Islamic State members -- including foreign fighters -- have in recent weeks surrendered to US-backed forces in the jihadists' former Syrian stronghold Raqa, a US military official said Tuesday. Colonel Ryan Dillon, a spokesman for the US-led coalition helping train and equip local forces in Syria and Iraq, said the bulk of those jihadists had surrendered over the past week, as operations to seize the city reached their final moments. The fighters had surrendered to the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), a US-backed alliance of Kurdish and Arab fighter. "In the last few days, about 350 fighters surrendered to the SDF in Raqa, with several confirmed foreign fighters taken into custody after SDF screening," Baghdad-based Dillon told reporters in a video call. In recent weeks, an average of about four IS fighters had been surrendering each week, he added. The SDF announced they had fully captured Raqa after more than four months of fighting. "We have seen also that prior to these battles, once the area is isolated and before offensive operations begin, many of the leaders will often high-tail and leave," Dillon said. When asked what the US military footprint would be in Raqa going forward, Dillon said there remained considerable work to do in the city. "We must clear the remnants of all the explosives that have been left in Raqa throughout this battle," he said. A Raqa security force commander and two colleagues were killed Monday as they walked through the city and triggered a bomb, Dillon said. Elsewhere, the anti-IS coalition remains engaged in northern Iraq, particularly in the Anbar region, where allied aircraft have conducted more than 30 strikes in the past week. IS still holds two towns in this area near the Syrian border -- Al-Qaim and Rawa. In the strategic Iraqi city of Tal Afar, seized by Baghdad in August, IS abandoned large weapons caches including 550 homemade bombs, Dillon said LINK
  5. 10-18-2017 Newshound Guru Walkingstick [I am also happy with the announcement that recently came directly from Alak about restrictions being removed...] I can, say this...it was not a message to all, as...a whole... But, a message to particular entities... Delivered, in a calculated time frame...months, after the fact... For, very good reason/s...If, events continue as they have... we will, hear...much more from the CBI Gov...shortly.
  6. Breaking News ? These Are Early Reports And This Is Iraq With Flakey Slanted Secular News Organizations - Like Our LameStream Media ! This Could Get Debunked ... Media leaks: Barzani will resign in a speech today 12 hours ago The Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) announced on Tuesday that regional leader Massoud Barzani will deliver a speech on the situation in the disputed areas, including Kirkuk. According to media leaks, Barzani will resign from office and will transfer all his powers to the Prime Minister. Events in the province of Kirkuk yesterday and the disputed areas resulted in the death and wounding of more than 100 elements of the Peshmerga. https://www.algharbiyanews.com/?p=87150 «Barzani» delivered a letter of resignation .. and call Baghdad for dialogue LINK News of Egypt today - Cairo: «Barzani» delivered a letter of resignation .. And call Baghdad for dialogue LINK Kurdistan parliament speaker calls on Barzani to step down from power LINK
  7. (by don961) Abadi announces the death of the referendum and stresses the security of Kirkuk [expanded] Release date: 2017/10/17 23:44 • 350 times read [Ayna-Baghdad] Announced the Prime Minister Haider Abadi, the death of the referendum on the separation of Kurdistan from Iraq, which took place on 25 September last. "I have informed the Kurdish leaders that the referendum will harm the interests of the citizens of the Kurds first," Abadi said at a weekly press conference on Tuesday. "The referendum is now over and we are calling for dialogue under the constitution." "I will not enter into an internal war that I said earlier and repeat now," he said, adding that "any attack on any citizen in Kirkuk is an attack on us." He pointed out that "the burning of the media is a malicious case," noting that "the Iraqi flag for all Iraqis must be lifted all over Iraq." Abadi warned "any group in Kirkuk and the disputed areas to carry out any act of sabotage," noting that "citizens contacted and demanded to rid them of dictatorship." The prime minister called on the politicians of the region not to reduce the Peshmerga by dividing them into parties and groups, pointing out that "our approach is to draw the borders with peace, contrary to those who want blood." "I am committed to what I announced earlier, the extension of federal authority throughout Iraq," denying "absolutely any agreement to form three provinces in Kurdistan." "Soon we will announce the liberation of all Iraqi territory and the control of the border with Syria," he said. link
  8. Tuesday 17 October 2017 7:54 pm US State Department: There are signs that Iraq is in the right direction BAGHDAD - Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Joseph Bennington confirmed Tuesday that there are signs of hope for the political side of Iraq. "What we are working on is a democratic, prosperous and unified federal Iraq, which is in the interest of our national security," Bennington said in a speech followed by Iraq News. "There are hopeful signs that the political side of Iraq is in the right direction," he said. "Iraqis in all their communities have borne the brunt of the fighting," he said, adding that "the return of displaced people to their homes is the priority now and there are encouraging results." Finishe link
  9. Iraq's electronic portal announces near completion of infrastructure construction and launch of commercial services Tuesday 17 October 2017 Alsumaria News / Baghdad Iraq's e-Gate Company announced on Tuesday the imminent completion of infrastructure construction and the launch of its commercial services. The company said in a statement received by Alsumaria News a copy of that, "the company Gate of Iraq's electronic close to the completion of infrastructure construction and the launch of commercial services." "This will provide Iraqi citizens with electronic payment services according to the highest international standards and means of protection and safety," the statement added. The Iraqi electronic portal for financial services is an Iraqi company registered in Iraq and has a license to conduct electronic payment works from the Central Bank of Iraq No. (4) according to the law of the Central Bank of Iraq No. (56) of 2004, and the company is authorized to implement and facilitate electronic payment work in all Throughout Iraq. The scope of its work includes theissuance of prepaid cards through international payment companies, the acquisition and deployment of payment points and the ATM network, as well as the provision of different services to banks and facilitate the process of payment and collection of bills. link
  10. The House of Representatives organizes a major celebration on the occasion of the twelfth anniversary of the referendum on the constitution from 18 to 30 October 2017 http://ar.parliament.iq/2017/1.....%B3%D8%A8/ Parliament celebrates the referendum on the constitution tomorrow http://alforatnews.com/modules.....yid=152241
  11. Urgent : The referendum is now over and it is the past http://www.alliraqnews.com/mod.....ryid=67196 Abadi: The referendum has become the past http://www.alsumaria.tv/news/2.....6%D9%8A/ar SNIPPET: Abadi announces the death of the referendum and stresses the security of Kirkuk [expanded] Prime Minister Haider Abadi, the death of the referendum on the separation of Kurdistan from Iraq, which took place on 25 September last. "I have informed the Kurdish leaders that the referendum will harm the interests of the citizens of the Kurds first," Abadi said at a weekly press conference on Tuesday, noting that "the referendum is now over and has become the past and call for dialogue under the roof of the Constitution." [ ] http://www.alliraqnews.com/modules/news/article.php?storyid=67200
  12. The CBI Governor Just Gave A Long Speech In Washington DC ! CNN. Broadcasting The CBI Governor's Speech In Washington DC Today - Conducted In English ! The Governor Begins Speaking At The 3 Min 15 Sec Mark - Click On Link To Watch Video ! Additional Comments By Delta To Follow ... CBI GOV IN US: Watch a live briefing from the governor of Iraq's central bank on the challenge of combating Islamic State financial activity. http://www.washingtoninstitute.org/policy-analysis/view/iraqs-role-in-countering-the-islamic-states-finances After the Islamic State took over vast swaths of the country in 2014, the Central Bank of Iraq (CBI) moved quickly to cut off financial institutions in IS-controlled territory, blacklist exchange houses exploited by the terrorist group for cross-border transactions, and otherwise isolate it from the international financial system. As authorities push IS out of its core territory, investigating and disrupting its remaining financial networks in Iraq can help weaken its ability to operate as a terrorist organization and insurgency. To discuss this challenge and the CBI's role in meeting it, The Washington Institute is pleased to host a Policy Forum with Dr. Ali Mohsen Al-Alaq. NOTE: Only the governor's initial prepared remarks will be on the record and livestreamed. The remainder of the event, including the question-and-answer session, will be off the record. Ali Mohsen Al-Alaq, the Governor of the Central Bank of Iraq, is a financial expert, policymaker, and academic with three decades of experience in financial management, accounting, and analysis. Since being appointed as CBI governor in 2014, he has helmed a number of anti-corruption and counterterrorism efforts, including as chief implementer of Iraq's new anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing (AML/CFT) legislation (2015) and as a major contributor to the National Strategy for Combating Corruption (2017). He also heads two national oversight bodies -- the Anti-Corruption Council and the AML/CFT Council -- and is the focal point for cooperation with the Counter-ISIL DELTA FAMILY: GOV OF THE CBI IS SPEAKING ENGLISH IN THE VIDEO AND HE IS SAYING THAT CBI HAS REMOVED ALL EXCHANGE RESTRICTION AND MCP...AT MARK 9:45. WOW THAT'S IS HUGE !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! DELTA FROM IMF: FINAL ARTICLES "The Iraqi government will also remove restrictions on currency exchange. This will be an important part of encouraging investment in the country as it will signal that currency can be freely exchanged without government restrictions" DELTA
  13. CNN. Broadcasting While Hardly Working ! (by walkingstick) Haider al-Abadi Is Succeeding at the World’s Hardest Job The Iraqi prime minister has held his country together amid war and financial crisis. His next battle is to win re-election. BAGHDAD — On a hot July afternoon in Mosul’s city center, a crowd gathered to celebrate the liberation of the city. The sun was starting to set, and children were dancing and waving Iraqi flags as young men posed for selfies and looked across the Tigris River, where vicious fighting was drawing to a close in the Old City. A convoy of armored cars began to drive past them and then suddenly came to a halt. A white SUV with blacked-out windows neared the sidewalk, and in an instant it was surrounded by bodyguards with automatic weapons. The crowd was hushed and looked on with curiosity; some hesitated and motioned to move away while others stood on their toes to get a better look. The last such convoy they had seen was when the so-called Islamic State swept into Mosul three years earlier — but these cars carried the Iraqi flag and not the black banner of the militant group. Then Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi emerged from the crowd of dozens of burly guards, wearing black fatigues and a baseball cap. The crowd surged toward him, his security struggling to hold them back, shouting a chant of welcome as he waved to them. The bodyguards looked around nervously; gunfire and explosions were still echoing across the river, and they had no way of assessing the multiple potential threats they faced. Their frantic faces contrasted with the relaxed appearance of the prime minister. No other Iraqi politician in post-2003 Iraq has been greeted by the people of Mosul the same way as Haider al-Abadi. It was one sign, among a growing number, that Abadi is succeeding in a job that may be the hardest in the world. On Sunday, the Iraqi prime minister ordered the federal armed forces to redeploy to military bases and oil facilities in Kirkuk, which were vacated in June 2014 and subsequently controlled by the Kurdistan Regional Government in the face of the Islamic State onslaught. This was a bold move in response to the controversial referendum held by Erbil calling for residents to approve independence. Despite isolated clashes, the situation ended with the federal government’s restoration of control over Kirkuk, cementing Abadi’s reputation as a decisive and successful leader, in the face of exceedingly difficult odds. Being Iraq’s prime minister involves fighting a war against the Islamic State, preventing the country from being used as a space for proxy wars by regional and international powers, scrambling to keep salaries and pensions paid, stopping corruption from eating away at infrastructure and finances, and fending off an array of politicians jockeying to control parts of the state as personal or party fiefdoms. The fact that Abadi has managed so well since 2014 — even that he has survived this long — has been a pleasant surprise for many Iraqis. Abadi’s challenge now is to leverage this goodwill to win re-election next year, so that he can continue his fight to reform Iraqi politics. He will surely, and justifiably, campaign as the wartime leader who pulled his country back from the brink. This month, the prime minister declared victory in Hawija, the last town in northern Iraq that was still held by the Islamic State. The battlefield successes have led to an improvement in security across the country, with places like Baghdad witnessing the lowest rate of terrorist attacks since 2003. Security in the western province of Anbar has improved enough to allow the reopening of the Baghdad-Amman Highway and the border crossing with Jordan. The Iraqi government’s expectation is that by the end of this year the Islamic State will be defeated and all Iraqi territory will be back under government control. Abadi can also point to the successes of his foreign policy. He has deftly positioned Iraq on the international stage,insisting on the country’s neutrality in the region’s geopolitical feuds. His visit to Saudi Arabia this year was a milestone in Iraqi-Saudi relations: No Iraqi leader had visited for decades, and relations between the two nations had long been hostile, with the Iraqis recently accusing the Saudis of sponsoring al Qaeda terrorism in Iraq. Now, the two sides have reached a modus vivendi: The Saudis accept that Iraq will remain allies with Iran, and the Iraqi side is prepared to open up to its Arab neighbor. Abadi has also managed to limit Iran’s influence in Iraq by ensuring military operations are led by the Iraqi Army and units are trained by the U.S.-led coalition, such as the Counter Terrorism Service, rather than pro-Iran paramilitary groups. He also has kept Iraq out of the war in Syria and has stated repeatedly that Iraq will not join any axis or side in the Middle East. This balancing act has been a difficult one for a prime minister, but Abadi has pulled it off. The prime minister can also take credit for steering Iraq through a major financial crisis brought about by the collapse of oil prices. A mix of spending cuts, increased oil exports, bond sales, and financing from the International Monetary Fund have tamped down inflation and kept the government running even as it fought a costly war. This stability is now encouraging optimism about the future, with oil production expected to continue to break record levels and GDP growth poised to return. The reset in Iraq-Saudi ties looks set to attract sizable foreign investment, and companies from Europe, the United States, China, and South Korea are already increasing their operations in Iraq. This year, Britain began an export finance program worth $13 billion over 10 years, and bodies such as the United Nations and World Bank continue to offer billions of dollars per year in assistance and financing. Abadi’s government is also making major strides in overcoming the country’s ongoing humanitarian crisis. More than 2 million internally displaced people have so far returned home, offering hope to the remaining 2 million IDPs. The recent military victories hold the possibility of reorienting Iraqi politics and preventing groups like the Islamic State from ever reappearing in the future. In the liberated areas, where successive Iraqi governments and American military might struggled with insurgencies, the largely Sunni populations have welcomed the Iraqi security forces. Cities such as Fallujah and Mosul are being rebuilt and resettled with local, national, and international support. More than 1,000 rehabilitation projects in 23 liberated areas are underway as a result of this cooperation. Abadi’s approval ratings in Sunni-majority areas are at historically high levels for a prime minister, and he is perhaps the only politician who is able to visit every Iraqi city and receive a warm welcome.He has seen the emergence of a base of supporters who support his nationalist, anti-sectarian stance and are willing to back an ethnosectarian alliance over the traditional identity-based ones. For all the progress Iraq has made, Abadi faces very serious challenges in the weeks and months ahead. First, as the confrontation over Kirkuk shows, the Kurdistan Regional Government’s referendum on independence has the potential to spark conflict over control of disputed territories. There is a serious threat of intervention by Turkey and Iran, so Abadi must works to defend federal authority over the region, show that the country is not breaking up, and protect Kurdish citizens from conflict. A second looming challenge is that Iraq continues to rely on oil exports for the vast majority of its revenue; another drop in oil prices could damage the nascent economic recovery. Iraq needs to quicken the pace of economic and fiscal reforms to keep up with its growing population and growth in petroleum demand. Third, the Islamic State’s underground cells may be preparing to launch a wave of terrorist attacks — a development that could lead to a deterioration in security and stoke anger at government failures. But perhaps the most important challenge facing Abadi is systemic and endemic corruption which continues to ravage Iraq and reverse any gains that are made. Anyone elected president, prime minister, or speaker in Iraq’s parliamentary system must rely on a myriad of parties for the necessary votes. Each party, in exchange, expects ministerial and senior positions to be allocated to it, and then those in power are expected to support their parties through further appointments, graft, and whatever other means of corruption they can get away with. This erodes trust in government and diverts valuable funds and economic gains into the pockets of the ruling elite and their supporters. Mending these problems would be a formidable task for the strongest governments, but it appears nearly insurmountable given the treacherous state of Iraqi politics. The Iraqi government operates through coalitions made up of enemies and rivals, a recipe that makes progress notoriously slow. There are calls for a technocratic government with Abadi at its head, freeing him to push through reforms, but these are opposed by the major parties. While he retains much popular and international support, Abadi’s rivals have shown that they will stop at nothing to prevent him from succeeding, going so far as to paralyze parliament and physically occupy it. Iraq’s media spaces, both traditional and digital, give platforms to opponents who spin a mix of conspiracy theories, fake news, and inflammatory rhetoric, portraying Iraq’s ills as caused by a weak prime minister. Even those who are nominally his political allies from the ruling bloc in parliament have harassed his government, purged ministers, and reversed reforms in an attempt to weaken his position. Massive demonstrations in the summer of 2015 called on Abadi to challenge vested political interests, and Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani demanded that he strike corruption “with an iron fist” — but such moves have been met with unified opposition from the political class, who wish to maintain the status quo. Iraq’s next local and national elections, which are due to be held in April 2018, could bring about a sea change in the country’s electoral landscape. The results could shock the political system, as voters turn to candidates who took part in the campaign against the Islamic State. Abadi will reap some of the rewards from this mood, but so will leaders of the Popular Mobilization Forces, a paramilitary grouping of mostly Shiite volunteers who are largely credited with halting the onslaught of the Islamic State toward Baghdad and the southern provinces in 2014. Abadi’s greatest advantage in his bid to remain prime minister for another term will be his reputation as a safe pair of hands – and not just with Iraqis. The international community is certainly keen to see the stability he has brought extended for a number of years. As one Western diplomat told me: “We want Abadi to stay on and will do our best to support him.” But he needs international support, most notably to ease Iraq’s financial distress and improve governance. There is already good progress on the economic front, but more can be done with regards to encouraging foreign investment, debt relief, and increasing trade. The international community should also offer more help to Iraqis to develop their institutions and agencies and most importantly combat and prevent corruption. They can also help promote efficient, democratic local governance in Iraq’s provinces, including the Kurdistan region, and ensure Iraq’s resources are properly distributed and accounted for. This will help defuse tensions over Kirkuk and build more trust in negotiations between federal and local government. As recent military victories have shown, Iraq can make enormous progress with the right leadership and with international support. The countries that have helped Iraq make great strides in defeating the Islamic State can now help keep the country, and the region, on a path to stability and reconstruction by supporting Abadi’s re-election bid. If Abadi succeeds, Iraq will have a greater chance of succeeding. And that would be the best way of proving that democracy can work in the Middle East. http://foreignpolicy.com/2017/.....rdest-job/
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