MESOPOTAMIA NEWS SOUTH KURDISTAN CORONA FREE !? – Erbil lifts quarantine on residential area after confirming it is coronavirus free
Hiwa Shilani | MESOP NEWS – Officials, security forces during the lift of the quarantine at the residential complex’s main entrance road, April 5, 2020.
ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Health authorities in the Kurdistan Region’s Erbil on Sunday lifted a quarantine on a residential area after confirming it was free of the new coronavirus disease, officially referred to as COVID-19.
“Today, the test results of 100 individuals from the Sebiran compound came in, all of which were negative for the coronavirus,” Kurdistan 24 correspondent Aras Ahmed reported at the site.After a 15-day quarantine expired, the authorities lifted the restrictions placed on Sebiran to contain a potential outbreak.
Ayad Allawi, a senior Iraqi political figure who served as Iraq’s interim Prime Minister from 2004 to 2005, said in a March 12, 2020 interview on Asia TV (Iraq) that conflict in the region is going to escalate, that Iraq is going to lose as a result, and that the U.S. is going to gain. He also said that Iran has been working to prevent Iraq from becoming powerful and from having a strong army and that people shouldn’t listen to Shi’ite groups that say that Iran helped defeat ISIS. He pointed out that almost none of the planes that stopped ISIS had been Islamic or Arab.
Ayad Allawi: “I believe that things will escalate, and Iraq will be the greatest loser.”
Interviewer: “And who stands to gain? And who stands to gain?”
Ayad Allawi: “America. Look, America is going to put its missiles in Iraq whether Iraq likes it or not.”
Interviewer: “By hook or by crook.”
Ayad Allawi: “Yes. The government invited the coalition…”
Interviewer: “It is stubborn – the more it is beaten, the more it increases its influence.”
Ayad Allawi: “The international coalition says that the Iraqi government invited them. I wasn’t the one who invited them…”
Interviewer: “Will these strikes hasten the departure of the American and foreign forces from Iraq, or will the opposite take place?”
Ayad Allawi: “The opposite will take place. They won’t leave. They are going to stay. The American forces will stay.”
Interviewer: “If the resistance forces say…”
Ayad Allawi: “If the Iraqi army was strong and was permitted [to act] without this nonsense…”
Interviewer: “Who is it that prevented us from having a strong army?”
Ayad Allawi: “Iran.”
Ayad Allawi: “Yes.”
Interviewer: “How come?”
Ayad Allawi: “It doesn’t want Iraq to have a strong army. It hates the Iraqi army. It is vengeful against it. Wasn’t it the Iraqi army that broke Iran in the eight-year war?”
Interviewer: “So Iran doesn’t want Iraq to have a strong army?”
Ayad Allawi: “Of course not.”
Interviewer: “But it supported Iraq in its war against ISIS.”
Ayad Allawi: “Who did?”
Ayad Allawi: “Really?”
Interviewer: “All the Shi’ite political forces say that Iran gave us unlimited support in the war against ISIS.”
Ayad Allawi: “With what? Planes?”
Interviewer: “With weapons.”
Ayad Allawi: “Why are we buying this talk? The air force that ISIS was foreign. It was neither Islamic nor Arab – with the exception of Jordan, which was a part of the effort. What [the Shi’ite groups] are saying is not true. Iran does not want Iraq to be strong… I have spoken with militia leaders from the PMU. They told me: ‘We are Iraq’s ideological army.'”
Interviewer: “This is how they described it.”
Ayad Allawi: “Right.”
Interviewer: “‘Iraq’s ideological army.'”
Ayad Allawi: “Yes.”
RUDAW – 4. April 2020 – Yasmine Mosimann – ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – Coalition forces officially handed over control of Al-Taqaddum Air Base to the Iraqi military during a ceremony on Saturday.Brig. Gen. Yahya Rasoul, spokesman for the Iraqi Ministry of Defense, tweeted news of the coalition departure.
Five-hundred coalition personnel are withdrawing from the Anbar base, which has hosted US marines and troops from Italy, Canada, and Spain since the intervention against the Islamic State (ISIS) began in 2015.
Friday, April 3, 2020 By: Katherine Lawlor and Brandon Wallace
Assyrians ‘Afraid to Return’ to Northern Iraq
By Madoc Cairns HE TABLET UK – d 2020-04-02 21:22 GMT – Although Islamic State has been defeated in northern Iraq, the “Islamist mindset” that persists in the region has made Christian refugees from the region “afraid to return”, according to one of Iraq’s most senior Catholic Bishops.
Chaldean Catholic Archbishop Najeeb Michaeel Moussa of Mosul and Akra told Catholic charity Aid to the Church in Need that although Christians in Iraq remain active and hopeful about the future, the ancient Christian presence in the region, already much diminished by years of war and persecution, is threatened by a resurgence of Islamic extremism.Archbishop Moussa explained that among Christians, the greatest fear, and one which prevents Christians from returning to their former homes in Mosul, “is that of seeing the renewed growth of Islamic fundamentalism”.
Im Nordirak benutzt die Kurdische Regionalregierung den Corona-Ausbruch dazu, sich als Wohltäter hinzustellen, während sie seit Jahren grundlegende Dienste einspart. 3 April 2020 – Von Dastan Jasim
Seit dem 14. März wurde eine Ausgangssperre in der gesamten Region Irakisch-Kurdistan verhängt. Sofern man nicht Einkäufe im Supermarkt oder in der Apotheke erledigen muss, darf man nicht auf die Straße. Vor dieser Ausgangssperre wurden bereits inländische Reisebeschränkungen sowie Grenzschließungen verhängt.
Die Region Irakisch-Kurdistan hat die Lage also früh ernst genommen, was angesichts der drastischen Eskalation der Krise im benachbarten Iran verständlich ist. Zudem hat man das eigene Gesundheitssystem im Blick: Insgesamt gibt es für den Ernstfall in der gesamten Region, die ca. acht Millionen Einwohner hat, nur 200 Intensivbetten. Bei einem sich exponentiell verbreitenden Virus wäre eine späte Reaktion fatal gewesen.
by Michael Knights – PolicyWatch 3292 March 30, 2020
Unless Washington intervenes with cost-effective, forceful measures, Iraqi Kurdistan could be the first Middle Eastern economy to implode under the pressure of coronavirus and low oil prices.
For the second time in six years, the Kurdistan Region of Iraq, the most pro-American part of the country, is in danger of economically collapsing due to a deadly combination of low oil prices, pandemic, incomplete economic reforms, and a lack of sovereign reserves. In the latter half of 2014, the halving of oil prices from $110 per barrel to $60 brought the KRI to its knees, forcing a partial withholding of civil servant salaries for four years until the region’s finances and global prices had sufficiently recovered.
MESOPOTAMIA NEWS INVESTIGATION : Rights groups call for KRG investigation into attack on Sulaimani-based journalist
17 hours ago – 28 March 2020 – Karwan Faidhi Dri RUDAW
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region — Journalist advocacy groups have called on Kurdistan Region authorities to conduct a swift investigation into a recent attack on a Kurdish-Iranian journalist and activist in Sulaimani province.
Adnan Rashidi, who contributes to some Kurdish outlets in the Region and is a member of the Kurdistan Human Rights Association (KHRA), was attacked by three to five people at his home in Penjwen on March 11.His wife and daughter were held hostage during the ordeal, Rashidi told the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ).
MESOPOTAMIA NEWS IRAQ / KURDISTAN REPORT : US withdraws ‘non-emergency’ staff from Iraq and Kurdistan diplomatic missions
yesterday at 03:07 RUDAW – By Lawk Ghafuri
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – The United States has decided to withdraw non-emergency staff from its Baghdad embassy, Erbil consulate, and Baghdad Diplomatic Support Center in response to the coronavirus pandemic and the deteriorating security situation.
The US State Department suspended normal visa services at its consulate in Erbil and embassy in Baghdad on March 14. It has now ordered non-emergency government employees to leave Iraq and return to US.
“Due to a combination of security conditions and restricted travel options as a result of the global COVID-19 pandemic, the State Department has ordered the departure of designated US Government employees at the US Embassy in Baghdad, the Baghdad Diplomatic Support Center, and the US Consulate General in Erbil,” read a statement released by the embassy on Thursday.“Visa services at both posts remain suspended,” the statement added.
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