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  1. SG, mylilpony, Sure sounds like they have gathered specific numbers (Census) in the Ministry Of Planning. Lets hope they are preparing to finally get it together so the citizens of KRG will get their fair share of the OIL wealth...
  2. Unsatisfied With Oil Prices, Iraq Calls For New OPEC Meeting By Tsvetana Paraskova - Feb 22, 2017, 1:38 PM CST Iraq thinks that OPEC should hold a new meeting to discuss the cartel’s oil production cuts, given the fact that the current oil prices are still below expected levels, according to Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi. The price of oil is still below the level that is needed to replenish the budget deficit of Iraq, Kazakh agency KazTag reported on Wednesday, quoting Iraqi media that carried al-Abadi’s statements. Iraq - OPEC’s second biggest producer behind Saudi Arabia - has “tried hard to cut down production volume in the cartel and keep the prices, now OPEC needs to conduct a new meeting to reach an agreement”, KazTag quoted al-Abadi as saying. Yesterday, al-Abadi said at a news conference in Baghdad that the country needed oil to reach US$60 per barrel in order to fill in the budget deficit gap. Iraq’s public finances have suffered from low oil prices, as Baghdad relies almost exclusively on oil revenues for budget proceeds. In addition, the country’s fight against Islamic State militants has been further stretching the dwindling financial resources. Iraq has contractual obligations to foreign oil companies, and must deal with the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG), which controls fields in the north, making any production cuts quite complex. In this way, Iraq faces more challenges than other OPEC members in trying to comply with the deal. Related: Biggest Gasoline Glut In 27 Years Could Crash Oil Markets Nevertheless, it’s a bit odd that Iraq – which in January missed its production cut target under the OPEC deal the most – is the one demanding a new meeting on cuts. In the November 30 supply-cut deal, Iraq pledged to reduce its crude oil production by 210,000 bpd to reach and keep for six months a production level of 4.351 million bpd. OPEC’s figures for January show that Iraq pumped – according to secondary sources – 4.476 million bpd last month. Iraq’s self-reported production was even higher – 4.630 million bpd. The secondary-source figure – which OPEC deems valid for cuts and compliance purposes – is still 125,000 bpd above the targeted level. http://oilprice.com/Energy/Oil-Prices/Unsatisfied-With-Oil-Prices-Iraq-Calls-For-New-OPEC-Meeting.html
  3. Troops advance on western Mosul as Mattis holds talks With aerial support from US-led coalition, Iraqi forces launch offensive to drive ISIL from Mosul's western half. 21 Feb 2017 05:54 GMT Iraqi forces advanced into the southern outskirts of Mosul on the second day of a push to drive ISIL from the city's western half, as the visiting US defence secretary met officials to discuss the fight against the armed group. With aerial support from the US-led coalition, Iraqi police and army troops launched the offensive on Sunday, part of a 100-day-old campaign that has already driven the fighters from the eastern half of the city. Iraqi helicopters fired rockets at the village of Abu Sayyaf early on Monday, targeting a hill that overlooks the city's airport. By noon, the forces entered the village and gained control over much of the strategic hill as fighting was still raging. READ MORE: Iraqi forces push into ISIL-held southern Mosul Separately, militarised police in armoured vehicles were moving towards the sprawling Ghazlani military base on the southwestern outskirts of the city. A US-led coalition has been providing close air support throughout the campaign to retake Iraq's second-largest city. US special operations forces are embedded with some Iraqi units and thousands of US troops are in Iraq providing logistical and other support. Meanwhile, US Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis was holding discussions with US and Iraqi officials, a week before he is expected to present a new strategy to President Donald Trump for defeating the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant group. "We're going to make certain that we've got good situational awareness of what we face as we work together and fight alongside each other," Mattis told reporters travelling with him. Trump has repeatedly vowed to eliminate the group but has provided few details about how his approach might differ from that of the Obama administration, which had partnered with Syrian and Iraqi forces to drive ISIL, also known as ISIS, out of several towns and cities. The battle for western Mosul, the group's last major urban bastion in Iraq, is expected to be the most daunting yet. The streets are older and narrower in that sector of the city, which stretches west from the River Tigris, forcing Iraqi soldiers to leave the relative safety of their armoured vehicles. The presence of up to 750,000 civilians also poses a challenge. Two suicide car bombers struck army and paramilitary forces west of Mosul on Monday, killing and wounding a number of troops, two army officers said, without specifying the number of casualties. A third suicide car bomber was blown up before reaching the troops, they said, speaking on condition of anonymity because they were not authorised to brief the media. ISIL claimed responsibility for two attacks in an online statement, saying the attackers were British and Iraqi. Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2017/02/troops-advance-western-mosul-mattis-holds-talks-170221054020345.html
  4. SB Thanks, It is all about the products that we here in the USA & other countries will always want from wherever it may come from. All countries love the money & the market....
  5. Trump administration lifts transgender bathroom guidance Associated Press By MARIA DANILOVA and SADIE GURMAN, Associate © The Associated Press FILE - In this May 17, 2016 file photo, a new sticker is placed on the door at the ceremonial opening of a gender neutral bathroom at Nathan Hale High School in Seattle. A government official says the Trump administration… WASHINGTON — The Trump administration has lifted federal guidelines that said transgender students should be allowed to use public school bathrooms and locker rooms matching their chosen gender identity. The Wednesday decision is a reversal of an Obama-era directive issued in May. It will now be up to states and school districts to interpret whether federal sex discrimination law applies to gender identity. A letter sent to schools nationwide Wednesday by the Justice and Education departments says the earlier directive caused confusion and lawsuits over how it should be applied. The new letter says the guidance is lifted, but anti-bullying safeguards will not be affected. Although the Obama guidance was not legally binding, transgender rights advocates say it was necessary to protect students from discrimination. Opponents argued it was federal overreach. http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics/trump-administration-lifts-transgender-bathroom-guidance/ar-AAndYlk?li=BBnb7Kz&ocid=UE07DHP
  6. Karsten, Yup sounds like a plan so please put this in the "Priority Suggestion Box". Torture them with your method first then use the KB special tool afterwards...
  7. Who is involved in killing of Baghdad demonstrators? February 22 2017 07:15 PM Tahrir The use of violence against those who took part in the demonstrations that started Feb. 11 upon the request of Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr to demand that the electoral commission accused of corruption be overhauled might lead Iraq to a crossroads and a political crisis with dire consequences, Al-Monitor reported on Wednesday. Sadrists believe the government instructed riot police to use violence against the demonstrators, leading to the killing of five protesters and two security officials and the wounding of more than 320 people. While Sadr's followers fired mortar shells at the Green Zone, Sadr condemned the violence perpetrated against the demonstrators as well as the launch of missiles. Sadr warned that if the violence continues against the protesters, Iraq will suffer. On Friday, Sadr called for a mass demonstration in Baghdad's Liberation Square, asking the protesters to organize a silent demonstration and to not violate the law. He asked the security forces to protect the protesters. The escalation of differences and mutual accusations between the Sadrists and the Iraqi government and the widening gap between the two sides led Parliament Speaker Salim al-Jabouri to call Feb. 13 for the formation of an investigative parliamentary committee to look into the targeting of protesters. Jabouri stressed the need to protect “demonstrators and refrain from using violence while dealing with peaceful demonstrations.” Those opposing the reform protests accused the Sadrist leadership of mobilizing the Iraqi street against state institutions through reform slogans. Meanwhile, the Sadrists accused the security members who attacked the demonstrators of being loyal to “political parties that are hostile to both the Sadrists and the Iraqi people.” They also accused leader of the State of Law Coalition Nouri al-Maliki of pushing certain security apparatuses to suppress the demonstrations. Faiq al-Sheikh, a parliament member for the Civil Democratic Alliance, accused Maliki and several Dawa Party leaders of taking advantage of the Election Commission and hindering its overhaul process because the Dawa Party is widely represented in the current commission. Nahla al-Hababi, a member of parliament for the State of Law Coalition, said she was strongly against these accusations. “What happened is a violation on the part of some agitators in the security forces who were trying to protect themselves in any way possible,” she said. “Maliki has nothing to do with the demonstrations, as some people are saying. The demonstrations were chaotic and almost spun out of control, and the security services maintained security and order, which is their main duty.” Asked about the legitimacy of Sadr’s call on July 2, 2016, to change the Election Commission by mobilizing the street, political analyst Abdul Qadir al-Arsan said, “This conflict has nothing to do with any reform process because Sadrists are essential partners in the political process, and they have representatives in the Election Commission, so how can they call for institutional reform in an institution they are represented in?” On Feb. 14, the complexities plaguing the security and political landscape in Iraq as well as the easily penetrable demonstrations led Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi to acknowledge the existence of troublemakers who pushed some demonstrators to cause friction with the security forces. During his weekly press conference, Abadi asked which side benefits when the youth are engaged in political quarrels. He called for “respecting the right to peacefully demonstrate and identifying those who were behind the mischief that affected innocent citizens.” Iraq's current political and security situation is reminiscent of 2006, when political differences and regional interventions produced a sectarian conflict in the country. Member of parliament for the Liberal bloc Abdul Aziz Dalimy said, “The continuation of the reform protests threatens some powerful political forces and prevents them from achieving political ends.” He described what happened to the demonstrators as “a crime of unspeakable cruelty and a violation of the constitution, which guarantees the right to demonstrate and the freedom of expression.” Shorouk al-Abeiji, a parliament member for the Civil Democratic Alliance, expressed over the phone her concern over the government’s failure to take a firm position on the suppression of protesters. She said, “There are armed groups affiliated with known political parties or registered with the Popular Mobilization Units that may be accused of repressing demonstrators.” One PMU leader, however, immediately denied these accusations. Rayan al-Kaldani said The use of violence against those who took part in the demonstrations that started Feb. 11 upon the request of Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr to demand that the electoral commission accused of corruption be overhauled might lead Iraq to a crossroads and a political crisis with dire consequencesthat the PMU are a security force that does not get involved in political differences. Kaldani denied “the existence of PMU factions inside the capital Baghdad," saying, "All of the PMU factions are fighting in the battlefields and defending important areas in the Baghdad belts.” The political dispute between the Sadrists and the government could play a significant role in shaping new alliances prior to the parliamentary elections scheduled to be held in September this year. Amir al-Kanani , an adviser to the president for legal affairs, acknowledged that “differences could play a major role in shaping new political relationships among the current allies within the Shiite groups,” and wondered "what led the government to use excessive force against demonstrators.” Kanani, a former parliamentarian for the Liberal bloc, called on the government and the House of Representatives to “conduct an honest and transparent investigation to identify those who gave the orders to kill protesters and submit the findings of this investigation to the presidency of the republic and human rights organizations." Legal adviser to President Fuad Massum criticized what he called “the phenomenon of multiple decision-making sources in the security services and their lack of a true identity.” He called on the prime minister to “hand over the security dossier in the capital to the Interior Ministry alone and to hold accountable those who violated the law and fired live bullets to avoid the recurrence of such cases.” If the political partners fail to reach an agreement on how to manage the state affairs and build state institutions, another round of violence and verbal and media escalation is bound to take place in the next stage, especially considering that all the partners possess armed units that can collide with each other at any time. http://www.thebaghdadpost.com/en/story/6363/Who-is-involved-in-killing-of-Baghdad-demonstrators
  8. Kurdistan President Masoud Barzani to visit Turkey February 22 2017 06:11 PM Barzani and Erdogan President of the Iraqi Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), Masoud Barzani will visit Turkey over the weekend to discuss Mosul and Bashiqa, according to Daily Sabah. Barzani will meet with Prime Minister Binali Y?ld?r?m and discuss ongoing issues. ?Relations between Turkey and Iraq were strained due to the debate on the presence of Turkish security forces at the Bashiqa camp near Mosul last year. But a thaw took place after diplomatic dialogue and the visit of Prime Minister Binali Y?ld?r?m to Baghdad and Irbil. http://www.thebaghdadpost.com/en/story/6360/Kurdistan-President-Masoud-Barzani-to-visit-Turkey
  9. Former Iraqi Soldier Prosecuted in Germany for War Crimes 23 February 2017 LEEDS — A German court in Berlin started the hearing of a case against a former Iraqi soldier who was charged with war crimes after allegedly taking pictures with and of human heads belonging to two Islamic State (IS) militants. The former soldier who is believed to be 28 years old was identified by the court as Rami K., according to Agence France-Presse. He was photographed back in March 2015 holding the human heads by the hair on them. The pictures were taken near the city of Tikrit, some 160 kilometers (100 miles) north of Baghdad. When the photographs were taken the man was a soldier in the Iraqi army, however since then he has reportedly fled to Germany seeking refuge along thousands of other displaced people. He was arrested in August 2016 and placed under provisional detention on charges of committing war crimes including "humiliating the dead," the prosecutors said. However, the former soldier said that in regards to the crimes committed by him, he was simply following orders and he was not able to refuse as it would have caused him to lose the respect of the unit he was in. http://www.basnews.com/index.php/en/news/world/332158
  10. IS Executing Own Fighters for Abandoning Battlefield: Coalition 23 February 2017 LODZ — The US-led coalition has received reports indicating that Islamic State (IS) is “arresting and executing their fighters who try to abandon the fight”, said spokesperson John Dorrian. Updating Pentagon over the latest military developments against IS in both Iraq and Syria, the Baghdad-based US official said advances into western Mosul continue with the Iraqi Federal Police pushing from the south and the Iraqi Army moving towards the west. “Conditions have been set for ISIS' defeat through a significant effort to reduce their command and control weapons and financial resources,” Dorrian posted on twitter. Concerning the Raqqa operation led by the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) in neighboring Syria, the US official revealed that they have liberated over 800 square kilometers and over 100 villages since February 4th. http://www.basnews.com/index.php/en/news/middle-east/332157
  11. US-led coalition devastates Raqqa with heavy airstrikes By Chris Tomson 22/02/2017 According to a statement released by the Combined Joint Task Force, the anti-ISIS coalition conducted a total of 32 airstrikes on ISIS insurgents yesterday. 23 of the sorties were conducted in Syria while air raids were especially intense over Raqqa. The statement continued to read that 10 strikes engaged seven ISIS tactical units, destroying three fighting positions, three technicals and destroying two bridges. US-led airstrikes were also conducted on Islamic State militants near Deir Ezzor and Palmyra, two cities that have Syrian government forces stationed nearby. No American airstrikes were conducted on ISIS militants at Al-Bab, suggesting some tension between the US and Turkish-backed forces trying to capture the city. Although the US-led air campaign has propelled the Syrian Democratic Forces to seize ISIS-held villages at an astonishing rate, it has also left large sections of Raqqa in tatters as video footage proves from the city suggests. https://www.almasdarnews.com/article/us-led-coalition-devastates-raqqa-heavy-airstrikes/
  12. Iraq's defense, interior ministers arrive in Mosul February 22 2017 11:04 PM Russian diplomat suddenly dies Iraqi Defense Minister Irfan Hayali and Interior Minister Qasim Al-Araji arrived on Wednesday in the right bank of the Mosul city, Defense Ministry official website reported. The ministers held a meeting in which a number of police and army commanders had attended. On Sunday, Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi announced Sunday the launch of a military operation to retake the western bank of Mosul from ISIS terrorist group. “We announce the start of a new phase in the operation, we are coming to Nineveh to liberate the western side of Mosul,” Abadi said in a brief televised address. Iraqi jets have dropped millions of leaflets in western Mosul, calling on residents to get ready to welcome the Iraqi troops as they continue the siege on the militants. The latest operation to free the city from the terrorists began on October 17. After months of fighting, the coalition managed to secure the right bank of the city last month. The densely-populated west bank of Mosul is now the operation's target. http://www.thebaghdadpost.com/en/story/6378/Iraq-s-defense-interior-ministers-arrive-in-Mosul
  13. Mosul offensive now focused on city's airport It is the fourth day of the big push to drive the so-called Islamic State out of the Iraqi city of Mosul. Right now the operation is focused on Mosul's international airport. It is just beyond the town of Abu Saif which was taken by Iraqi forces on Tuesday. The BBC's Middle East correspondent Quentin Sommerville is at Abu Saif. http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-39057336
  14. 36 IS members killed in western, southern Mosul strikes, including mayor by Mohamed Mostafa Feb 22, 2017, 2:49 pm U.S. soldiers from the 2nd Brigade, 82nd Airborne Division gather around an artillery at a military base north of Mosul, Iraq, February 14, 2017. REUTERS/Khalid al Mousily Nineveh (IraqiNews.com) Airstrikes on Islamic State locations in southern and western Mosul left 35 members killed on Wednesday, including a regional mayor, according to military sources. Colonel Khodeir Saleh, from the Federal Police service, told Bas News that 35 Islamic State extremists were killed in an artillery and airstrikes by jets and cannons from the U.S.-led coalition in southern Mosul. He did not name the exact location of the strikes, but added that they coincided with other strikes at the Mosul Airport, a major IS stronghold targeted by Iraqi forces. Meanwhile, al-Hashd al-Shaabi (Popular Mobilization Units) said through its media service that Iraqi fighter jets killed the Islamic State’s so-called “wali” (governor) of the town of Tal Afar, Mostafa Youssef, when they bombarded the village of Ein Tallawi in western Mosul. The Iraqi government declared Sunday it had launched a new, decisive stage of operations against Islamic State in western Mosul, having retaken the eastern region late January after three months of battles. Mosul is IS’s largest urban stronghold in Iraq, and its recapture would be critical in ending the group’s existence in Iraq. On Tuesday, news reports quoted Federal Police chief, Shaker Jawdat, as saying that intense bombardment on the airport had killed dozens of IS fighters and forced the group to withdraw from the facility. The forces had captured the al-Bouseif hills overlooking the airport and invaded the Ghizlani military camp which stretches nearby. http://www.iraqinews.com/iraq-war/36-members-killed-western-southern-mosul-strikes-including-mayor/
  15. ISIS official of aerial resistance killed in Mosul February 22 2017 10:20 PM Breaking An ISIS official of aerial resistance was killed on Wednesday in Mosul. More details will be reported soon. On Sunday, Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi announced Sunday the launch of a military operation to retake the western bank of Mosul from ISIS terrorist group. “We announce the start of a new phase in the operation, we are coming to Nineveh to liberate the western side of Mosul,” Abadi said in a brief televised address. Iraqi jets have dropped millions of leaflets in western Mosul, calling on residents to get ready to welcome the Iraqi troops as they continue the siege on the militants. The latest operation to free the city from the terrorists began on October 17. After months of fighting, the coalition managed to secure the right bank of the city last month. The densely-populated west bank of Mosul is now the operation's target. http://www.thebaghdadpost.com/en/story/6375/ISIS-official-of-aerial-resistance-killed-in-Mosul