Specs raise net long US dollar bets in week: CFTC, Reuters data

Reuters44 minutes ago

Speculators increased bullish bets on the U.S. dollar for the first time in seven weeks, according to Commodity Futures Trading Commission data released on Friday and calculations by Reuters.

By Wassim Bassem for Al Monitor. Any opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News. 

Iraq is working to regulate the activities of private security companies and rein in the chaotic circulation and use of weapons.

On Feb. 21, a group of armed tribesmen shot at an Iraqi comedian’s house in Baghdad after he criticized some tribal values in his TV show, “Walayat al-Battikh.” Another example of the security chaos is the firing of Katyusha rockets into Baghdad’s Green Zone on Feb. 12, following bloody demonstrations in the capital.

Also, the parliament’s Security and Defense Committee said Jan. 27 that some security companies operating in Iraq were out of control.

To address the security chaos and impose the rule of law, the parliament passed a law Jan. 26 to regulate private security companies. Two days later, the parliament also passed a law on weapon ownership.

“Many foreign companies operating in Iraq are either outside the law or regulated by outdated laws that are not suitable for the current situation,” the parliamentary Security and Defense Committee reported.

Committee member Ibtisam al-Hilali told Al-Monitor, “Security firms across the country are not subject to state laws or regulations in many of their operations, meaning they are beyond the control of the official security services.”

She said that the new bill would impose strict conditions on security companies, forcing them to comply with Interior Ministry regulations and systems.

“Previously, their work, along with gun licensing and weapons store regulations, was the portfolio of regional governors, but the new law centralizes all these powers in the hands of the interior minister,” Hilali said. “The large number of security companies in the country require a new law that covers the companies guarding the US Embassy in Baghdad and other embassies.”

According to a report from Amnesty International, Iraqi government forces, paramilitary militias and the armed group Islamic State (IS) committed war crimes, other violations of international humanitarian law and gross human rights abuses in the internal armed conflict.

IS fighters carried out execution-style killings targeting opponents and civilians fleeing IS-held territory, raped and otherwise tortured captives, used civilians as human shields and used child soldiers.

Militias extrajudicially executed, forcibly disappeared and tortured civilians fleeing conflict, and destroyed homes and other civilian property. Thousands remained detained without trial on suspicion of links to IS.

Torture in detention remained rife. Courts sentenced terrorism suspects to death, frequently after unfair trials. Executions continued at a high rate.

The full report can be viewed here.

(Source: Amnesty International)

U.S. and coalition military forces continued to attack the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria on Wednesday, Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve officials reported yesterday.

Officials reported details of yesterday’s strikes, noting that assessments of results are based on initial reports.

Strikes in Syria

Coalition military forces conducted 24 strikes consisting of 32 engagements against ISIS targets in Syria:

  • Near Abu Kamal, three strikes engaged an ISIS tactical unit and destroyed four oil refinement stills and a vehicle.
  • Near Bab, four strikes engaged three ISIS tactical units and destroyed a vehicle-borne bomb.
  • Near Shadaddi, three strikes engaged two ISIS tactical units and destroyed four fighting positions and an ISIS headquarters.
  • Near Raqqa, seven strikes engaged three ISIS tactical units and an ISIS staging area and destroyed three pump jacks, a command-and-control node, a fighting position and a tactical vehicle.
  • Near Tanf, a strike engaged an ISIS tactical unit and destroyed two tactical vehicles.
  • Near Dayr Az Zawr, three strikes destroyed seven oil separation tanks, and oil wellhead, an oil tanker truck and an oil inlet manifold.
  • Near Palmyra, two strikes engaged two ISIS tactical units and destroyed four tactical vehicles.
  • Near Tamakh, a strike engaged an ISIS tactical unit and destroyed a tactical vehicle.

Strikes in Iraq

Coalition military forces conducted 14 strikes consisting of 62 engagements against ISIS targets in Iraq, coordinated with and in support of Iraq’s government:

  • Near Beiji, three strikes engaged three ISIS tactical units; destroyed a tactical vehicle and a heavy machine gun; and suppressed a mortar team.
  • Near Mosul, five strikes engaged four ISIS tactical units; destroyed three mortar systems, two ISIS-held buildings, two vehicle-bomb factories, a supply cache, a fighting position, a front-end loader, an excavator, a dump truck, a generator trailer, a weapons cache and a vehicle; damaged 15 supply routes and three tunnels; and suppressed 17 mortar teams and an artillery team.
  • Near Qayyarah, a strike destroyed a weapons cache.
  • Near Rawah, a strike engaged an ISIS tactical unit and destroyed three ISIS-held building and a vehicle.
  • Near Tal Afar, four strikes engaged an ISIS tactical unit and an ISIS staging area and destroyed two weapons caches, a vehicle-borne bomb, a front-end loader, an improvised-bomb factory and an ISIS-held building.

Part of Operation Inherent Resolve

These strikes were conducted as part of Operation Inherent Resolve, the operation to destroy ISIS in Iraq and Syria. The destruction of ISIS targets in Iraq and Syria also further limits the group’s ability to project terror and conduct external operations throughout the region and the rest of the world, task force officials said.

The list above contains all strikes conducted by fighter, attack, bomber, rotary-wing or remotely piloted aircraft; rocket-propelled artillery; and some ground-based tactical artillery when fired on planned targets, officials noted.

Ground-based artillery fired in counterfire or in fire support to maneuver roles is not classified as a strike, they added. A strike, as defined by the coalition, refers to one or more kinetic engagements that occur in roughly the same geographic location to produce a single or cumulative effect. For example, task force officials explained, a single aircraft delivering a single weapon against a lone ISIS vehicle is one strike, but so is multiple aircraft delivering dozens of weapons against a group of ISIS-held buildings and weapon systems in a compound, having the cumulative effect of making that facility harder or impossible to use. Strike assessments are based on initial reports and may be refined, officials said.

The task force does not report the number or type of aircraft employed in a strike, the number of munitions dropped in each strike, or the number of individual munition impact points against a target.

(Source: US Dept of Defense)

us troops return .. Washington is considering a long-term presence of troops in Iraq

February 24 .2017

chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff , US Army Gen. Joseph Dunford , said that his country is considering a plan long – term military presence in Iraq to help bolster stability after the defeat ahead to organize Daesh.

This came in a speech Dunford at the Brookings Institution in the US capital, Washington, where he said: "We started and NATO dialogue with the Iraqi authorities about the long – term commitment to strengthen and maintain the capabilities of Iraqi security forces," pointing out that it "is not reached any decision yet ".

It is noteworthy that NATO official said last week that the request of the Prime Minister Haider al – Abadi Alliance began training Iraqi forces this month, pointing out that the military presence of NATO in Iraq , has no expiration date.


Ringgit ends higher against US dollar

The Sun Daily6 hours ago

KUALA LUMPUR: The ringgit ended higher against the US dollar today as investors' interest shifted away from the greenback, following the release of the US Federal Reserve's (Fed) meeting minutes yesterday.

Ringgit firmer against US dollarFree Malaysia Today
Ringgit firmer against US dollar in early tradeMalay Mail Online

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