Reuters – 44 minutes ago
Reuters – 44 minutes ago
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“Many foreign companies operating in Iraq are either outside the law or regulated by outdated laws that are not suitable for the current situation,” the parliamentary Security and Defense Committee reported.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.
(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:
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:
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)
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