MESOPOTAMIA NEWS TODAYS OPINION: THE FARCE OF THE IRAQI ELECTIONS / THE “UNITY OF IRAQ” MEANS AN IRANIAN DOMINION ONLY

Sectarianism and the Iraqi Election: Two Potential Scenarios – By Harith Hasan Al-Qarawee  – Dr. Harith Hasan Al-Qarawee is a nonresident senior fellow with the Atlantic Council. – May 11, 2018

In 2010, a coalition called al-Iraqiyya, led by a secular Shi’a, Ayad Allawi, and composed of mostly Sunni parties, won a plurality in the Iraqi election. The coalition, however, did not secure the majority necessary to form the government. Instead, a grand Shi’a coalition formed after the election, the National Alliance, gained the majority.

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BP-Kirkuk Deal Could Be Another Step Towards Reintegrating Kurdistan Back Into Iraq’s Federal System

MESOPOTAMIA NEWS : BP & FEDERAL IRAQ & THE KURDS

: 10 May 2018 07:56 AM PDT – MUSINGS ON IRAQ BY JOEL WING
After the Kurdish referendum in October 2017, Prime Minister Haidar Abadi initiated a policy to force the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) back into the federal system. That started with sending federal forces into Kirkuk and the disputed territories. That included the seizure of the Bai Hassan and Avana Dome fields, which were producing around 45% of the KRG’s oil. The Oil Ministry just signed a planning deal with British Petroleum for Kirkuk that includes the Khurmala Dome, which is run by the Kurds. This move could deny Kurdistan another revenue source and force it to move closer to Baghdad.

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MESOPOTAMIA NEWS : KURDISH OIL OWNED BY RUSSIA / VICEROY PUTIN OF KURDISTAN

 

Iraqi Kurdistan’s Nechirvan Barzani meets Russia’s Putin in Moscow

10 May 2018 – HEWLÊR-Erbil, Iraq’s Kurdistan region,— Russian President Vladimir Putin held a brief meeting with the prime minister of Iraq’s semi-autonomous Kurdistan region, Nechirvan Barzani, in Moscow on Wednesday, a Kremlin spokesman is quoted as saying by TASS news agency.On Tuesday, a Kurdistan regional government official said that Barzani would travel to Moscow at the request of Rosneft chief Igor Sechin.Rosneft is a major investor in Iraqi Kurdistan and controls its oil pipelines. The company did not immediately respond to a request for comment.“This was a brief talk,” the Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov told TASS.

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MESOPOTAMIA NEWS TODAYS RELEVANT TWEETS & SHORT CUTS

 Nadia Murad‏Verified account @NadiaMuradBasee 8 hours ago

  1. May 2018 – Yazidi IDP camps in Dohuk area were flooded last night. More than 350,000 Yazidis still live in these camps. They can’t return home because their homeland is not de-mined, their homes are destroyed and they can’t find jobs if they do return. #SaveYazidis

www.mesop.de

MESOPOTAMIA NEWS Fortune Telling: A Bad Result In Iraqi Election Could Endanger Kurdish Regional Election

By Saman Omer –  In northern Iraq, Kurdish politicians are using the federal elections as a rehearsal for regional ones. If they like the results, they’ll hold a local vote. If not, elections in Iraqi Kurdistan may be postponed again.

3.05.2018  |  Sulaymaniyah  – NIQASH  – In Iraqi Kurdistan, election campaigning hasn’t actually had much to do with Iraqi politics. Judging by the types of debates, the campaign promises and candidates’ statements, local politicians are using the federal elections as a sort of test run for upcoming elections in the semi-autonomous, northern region.

Elections for the Iraqi Kurdish parliament, which operates separately from the federal parliament in Baghdad, were supposed to take place last year. However they were postponed and as yet no date has been set. The assumption is that they will take place before the end of this year.

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MESOPOTAMIA NEWS RECOMMENDATION : A VERY GOOD FRUITFUL WEBSITE

The Kurdistan Memory Programme (KMP) is a new national archive of modern Kurdish history.

Since 2008, the KMP’s experienced international team has traveled across Kurdistan, collecting stories from people who have witnessed major events in modern Kurdish history.

Over 1,000 interviews have been captured in high quality film and interactive multimedia. They combine with over 40 years of Kurdish historical footage to create a unique archive that is now available online.

Click here to learn more at the KMP’s website.  https://kurdistanmemoryprogramme.com/

 

MESOPOTAMIA NEWS : KRG SOUTH KURDISTAN & FREE TRADE ZONE WITH IRAN

PM Barzani: Kurdistan, Iran will Improve Their Economic Ties

BasNews 02/05/2018 – 15:06 ERBIL – Trade and economic ties between Erbil and Tehran have made good progress lately as most of the disputes between Kurdistan Region and Iraq have been solved in accordance with the Iraqi Constitution, Kurdish PM Nechrivan Barzani said on Wednesday.During the Economic Confereance of Kurdistan and Iran in Erbil, Barzani also said that additional talks are ongoing with Baghdad to address the rest of the issues.

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MESOP NEWS TODAYS TOP OF THE AGENDA / 1 May 2018

U.S.-Led Coalition Winds Down Combat Operations in Iraq

The coalition fighting the self-proclaimed Islamic State in Iraq closed its Baghdad headquarters on Monday. U.S. Central Command said the move comes in response to the “changing composition and responsibilities of the coalition,” which was formed four years ago.

U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis did not specify changes to U.S. troop levels in the country, which stand at several thousand (WaPo), but said their mission would shift from “enabling combat operations” (Military Times) to developing the self-sufficiency of Iraqi forces. Some opponents of Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, who is seeking reelection on May 12, have called for all U.S. troops to leave. Iraq declared victory over the Islamic State (WSJ) late last year.

ANALYSIS

“Experts say while it’s likely that troop numbers in Iraq will decrease, those resources will likely spread out to assist nearby missions in the region—from the Arabian Peninsula to Afghanistan and missions in Africa,” Todd South writes for the Military Times.

“The last Iraqi parliamentary elections took place in 2014, shortly before ISIS seized one-third of Iraq’s territory. Since then, the ISIS advance and the subsequent war to defeat the extremist group has transformed the fortunes of Iraqi political actors—but no one quite knows by how much,” Nussaibah Younis writes for the Defense Post.

“ISIL was able to succeed because of the breakdown of the state and the weakness of its security sector. Now, ISIL is gone, but state weakness is manifesting itself in a very different way,” Renad Mansour writes for War on the Rocks.

 

PKK Founds Electoral List in Sinjar, Attempting to Participate in Iraqi Elections: Official

MESOPOTAMIA NEWS : UNDER THE PKK UMBRELLA IN SINJAR  / SOUTH KURDISTAN-IRAQ

BasNews – 01/05/2018 – 12:18 – ERBIL – Even though the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) announced a few weeks ago its intention to withdraw from Sinjar, it is still present in the region, attempting to participate in the Iraqi parliamentary election under a new electoral list, said an official.

Qasim Shasho, head of Sinjar Directorate of Security, told BasNews that the armed group seeks to win some seats of the parliament through a new electoral list dubbed “Yezidis Free and Democratic Party”. “PKK has not fully withdrawn from Sinjar, and it continues its political and military activities in the region,” said Shasho.The group announced on March 23rd that it would leave the Kurdish canton, adding that its mission in the area was finished and the Iraqi army would secure the city. www.mesop.de

 

MESOPOTAMIA NEWS : WE COME – AND WE GO ! – US Shuts Down Ground Operations Command in Iraq

By Rebecca Kheel – http://thehill.com – 2018-04-30 15:54 GMT – The headquarters responsible for coordinating U.S. and coalition ground operations in Iraq shut down on Monday, “signifying the end of major combat operations against ISIS” in that country, the U.S.-led coalition said in a statement. The Combined Joint Forces Land Component Command (CJFLCC) was deactivated at a ceremony in Baghdad that included a “Casing of the Colors.”

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