The European Commission has adopted a €60.4 million stabilisation package to support Iraq after the liberation of areas held by Da’esh, with the country still facing humanitarian, security, stabilisation and reconciliation challenges.

This new funding comes in addition to EU humanitarian aid in the country and other forms of financial assistance that now total €608.4 million since the beginning of the crisis.

High Representative/Vice-President Federica Mogherini (pictured) said:

“At this important juncture in Iraq history, we stand at the side of the Iraqi people and authorities who have shown courage and resilience in their fight against Da’esh. Today more than ever, the EU is present to assist them in building their post-Da’esh future.

“We are and will continue to be active on the political, humanitarian, security and development sides to help stabilising the liberated areas. This is a pre-condition for reconciliation, for the return of the many internally displaced who are eager to come back and for the longer term stability in Iraq.”

Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development Neven Mimica said:

The liberation of Mosul and other areas previously occupied by Da’esh is a first step towards peace. The EU has been supporting the needs of millions of Iraqis and will not stop there. They can also count on EU assistance for the further stabilisation and development efforts of their country.”

The stabilisation package includes €50.4 million help to restore basic services, repair essential public infrastructure, as well as to reactivate economic activity through grants to small businesses. This will be done through the UNDP Funding Facility for Stabilisation, which is working in newly retaken areas in Anbar, Salah al-Din, Kirkuk, Ninewah and Diyala Governorates. Thanks to more than 1,200 projects, over 2.2 million people have been able to return to their homes.

A further €10 million will continue to facilitate the clearance of lands previously contaminated by explosives, by supporting the United Nations Mine Action Service (UNMAS). This will also help creating the conditions for a safe, voluntary and dignified return of more than 3 million internally displaced persons (IDPs).

In the past year and a half, with the EU playing a key role in coordination, UNMAS has surveyed and cleared more than 1.8 million m² of land in and around Fallujah and around 160 thousand m² in al Anbar Province.

(Source: European Commission)

See .. Iraqi forces heading towards the last bastions of Iraq


The command of the Federal Police, the direction of security forces to areas west of Anbar aimed at freeing them from the control of "Daash."

"The legions of the federal police, anti-terrorist forces and the Iraqi army were launched towards western Anbar," the Al-Alam correspondent was quoted as saying.

"This was done with the aim of participating in the liberation of al-Qaim and Rawah areas," the statement said.

It is noteworthy that most of the areas of the country, which was under the control of "Daash", was completely liberated, leaving only the areas of Rao and Qaim to declare Iraq free of elements of the organization.

Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi met Wednesday with the Joint Operations Command to learn about the latest developments in the liberation of the rest of the territory and the security of the border.

Intensification of aerial bombardment as a prelude to the battle of deduction in Al-Qaim

Receding {Daesh} in the border with Syria ,
Baghdad / morning Nasiriyah / Hazem Mohamed Habib
The Iraqi Air Force intensified its raids on the weapons stores and the hideouts of the leaders of «Da’ash» in the framework of the preliminary bombing to resolve the last battle against the gangs in the cities of Rawa and the pillar adjacent to the Syrian border,

the command was issued by the leadership with the participation of the elite of our forces .. After that received our pieces and the popular crowd hundreds Of the people fleeing from the oppression of the dead towards the city of the wet, mostly women and children.

Successful air strikes The
Ministry of Defense confirmed the increase of concentrated bombing on the dens of al-Qaim in the district of Qaim far west of Al-Anbar in preparation for the liberation process, it explained in a statement that the air force planes carried out by intelligence information successful strikes through the destruction of stores containing large quantities of weapons

and "Adding that the presence of Daash in Iraq is currently limited only in the border with Syria, specifically in the cities of Rawa and Qaim after the liberation of the entire district of the province of Hawija a few days ago.

At the same time, a statement issued by the army’s air force said that the hawks of its helicopters carried out flights on the Akashat road near the Iraqi border with Syria, pointing out that they found two wheels carrying equipment, mortars and machine guns. All terrorists.

On Tuesday, the Air Force destroyed five wheels of a full-fledged and killed a number of terrorists as they were heading from Qaim to the military units stationed in the liberated city of Ana and the outskirts of Rawa.

In preparation for the final decision , a security source in Anbar province revealed that the commander-in-chief of the armed forces, Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, instructed the leadership of the 1st Golden Division and the Federal Police Forces to participate in the liberation of the cities of Rawa and al-Qaim and the surrounding areas.

Along with the rest of the ranks of the military forces entrenched in that cut. The source added that the command of these forces to participate in the last liberation in the far west of Anbar comes within the ongoing preparations to break into the two cities and purge them and the declaration of the province is completely liberated from the remnants of the defeated dude.

This article was originally published by Niqash. Any opinions expressed are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News.

Locals in Anbar celebrated when an important Iraqi-Jordanian border crossing was recently reopened. But the drivers who use it say many areas are still too dangerous to pass through.

When it was announced at the end of August that the Turaibil [Terbil] border crossing between Jordan and Iraq would reopen, there were celebrations. The border point, which facilitates trade between the two countries, was closed in late 2014 because the extremist group known as the Islamic State, or IS, had taken control of the areas in Anbar province leading toward the crossing.

“Opening the Turaibil crossing is urgently needed,” Faleh al-Issawi, the deputy head of Anbar’s provincial council, told NIQASH. “Other provinces are slowly becoming more stable and secure again and we too are working to restore our economy and our commercial facilities. The time has come for Anbar to go back to what it was before.”

Anbar sits between three countries – Syria, Jordan and Saudi Arabia – and between four Iraqi provinces. Traders must cross Anbar and locals know they could be exploiting that business. The re-opening of Turaibil has them hoping they will be able to.

On the Jordanian side of the border, everything was apparently ready for Turaibil to re-open. But the Iraqis haven’t been so fast. Most bridges and rest stops on the way there have been destroyed in recent fighting in the province and some areas that the road passes through are still dangerous.

Al-Issawi explains that they have a plan for this. Trucks will be escorted by security forces once they cross into Iraq, right up until they reach another completely secure area. The truck drivers won’t pass through the cities of Ramadi or Fallujah, both of which had been under control of the IS group, before heading to Baghdad or southern and northern provinces directly.

On October 4, the Popular Mobilization Units (PMU) media outlet claimed that Iraqi forces had fully recaptured the town of Hawija; hours after the Iraqi Joint Operations Command (JOC) said it launched a fresh offensive targeting its centre.

The PMU claimed that the decisive victory came as part of a second stage of operations launched on September 29 to liberate the town and surrounding areas from IS militants, who have been in control of the area since 2014.

The JOC has not officially confirmed the liberation of Hawija town, but if confirmed, it would mean that only western the Anbar’s towns of Rawa and al-Qaim remain under the militant’s control.

The Iraqi army’s War Media Cell did however reported that its forces had regained full control over Makhoul Mountains in Hawija, the area of Al-Harareyat and the western bank of Al-Fatha Bridge. 

PMU media also reported that its forces had liberated three villages west of Riyadh on October 4.  According to a statement, PMU forces liberated the villages of Yassin Taha village west of Hawija district and Aliah and Khalaf Asuad villages, west of Riyadh district.

Separately, Iraqi airstrikes were reported to have targeted an IS headquarters in Rawa in Anbar province, killing a top IS leader Bakr Wagdi al-Rawi, according to unnamed ‘security sources’.

(Source: GardaWorld)

(Picture: US Army near Mosul, March 2017)

With some 8,500 people displaced over the past two weeks amid Iraq’s military operations to retake Anbar province, the United Nations migration agency announced today that it is stepping up provision of life-saving assistance.

“People newly displaced from their homes often arrive dehydrated, suffering from hunger and thirst,” said Dr. Hamed Amro, in a news release while assisting recently internally displaced people (IDPs) in Rutba.

While military operations to retake west Anbar were officially launched on 19 September, many families – often children, women and older people – walk long distances, some for several days, often in intense heat, to reach safe areas.

“Many require psychosocial support and need medical care. Some have chronic illness and exacerbated conditions due to long term lack of care, and others suffer from malnutrition; we have also received a few trauma cases,” Dr. Amro stressed.

From early January through 2 October, IOM’s Emergency Tracking has identified a total of 54,546 displaced individuals from west Anbar, particularly from Ana, Al Ka’im and Ra’ua districts.

An IOM update shows that some 85 per cent of them transited through Kilo 18 screening site and are displaced within Anbar governorate. By district, Falluja hosts 25,300 individuals, Ramadi another 15,100 and Heet 3,100. At the same time, 3,600 sought safety in the Baghdad governorate and 4,400 in the Erbil governorate.

Since January, 32,886 of the total 54,546 IDPs are currently registered in camps, and 21,660 in out-of-camp locations – with 21,132 in private settings and 528 in critical shelter arrangements.

In Anbar, IOM medical staff are providing immediate assistance to nearly 1,000 IDPs per week through four Mobile Medical Teams working in greatest-need locations, including Falluja city, Ameriyat al Fallujah, Heet and Garma. All are identified in cooperation with Anbar Directorate of Health, part of Iraq’s Ministry of Health.

In the past two weeks, IOM has worked closely with Iraq’s Ministry of Migration and Displacement in distributing 795 non-food item kits, including a plastic cool box and rechargeable fan, to families in Al Habanyah – in addition to 500 kits previously distributed to those not living in camps in Heet. Additional distributions are scheduled for the coming week.

“Life in Al-Ka’im city, under the control of ISIL, was extremely difficult,” said Ahmed, who, according to IOM, was displaced with his family of six to Haditha district, Anbar, in a perilous and long journey. “I hired smugglers to help my wife, four children, my mother and myself to escape. They drove us early morning through unpaved roads. Now we are displaced and living in an unfinished building; we have spent all our limited savings and have no money to cover our needs. The supplies we received today will help us get through this difficult time,” Ahmed told IOM staff at an aid distribution.

(Source: United Nations News Centre)

A total of 203 Iraqi civilians were killed and another 389 injured in acts of terrorism, violence and armed conflict in Iraq in September 2017*, according to casualty figures recorded by the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI).

The number of civilians killed in September (not including police) was 196, while the number of injured (not including police) was 381. The fatalities included 10 foreign nationals.

Of those figures, Baghdad was the worst affected Governorate, with 194 civilian casualties (37 killed, 157 injured). Dhi Qar Governorate followed, with 82 killed and 93 injured, and Anbar had 20 killed and 46 injured. The figures for Anbar were obtained by UNAMI from the Health Directorate in the Governorate and were updated until 29 September, inclusive.

The United Nations Special Representative of the Secretary-General (SRSG) for Iraq, Mr. Ján Kubiš, said the continuing suffering of civilians is a stark reminder of the terrorist Daesh’s ability to strike despite defeats on the battlefront.

In a single attack on 14 September, Daesh terrorists managed to kill or injure close to 200 civilians, including foreign pilgrims, at Nasiriya in Dhi Qar Governorate in the south. This only proves that the terrorist Daesh remains a potent force, if not resolutely countered throughout the whole country as a matter of priority, without any distractions that divert attention elsewhere,” Mr. Kubiš said.

Attacks like this serve as a call for all Iraqis to set aside their differences, no matter how significant and how deep-rooted, and to continue working together in fighting Daesh. The terrorist Daesh, on the verge of being wiped out from the soil of Iraq by the combined efforts of all components of the Iraqi security forces, Peshmerga and local and tribal volunteers seeks to exploit and benefit from every opportunity, every dispute and discord to prolong its lease of life here and in the region, to pursue its global terrorist objectives.

“Fighting and defeating Daesh remains a priority and requires that all Iraqis remain united behind their security forces, focusing on the elimination of this enemy that does not differentiate between a region or a sect and which is lurking around with the aim of undermining the country.

*CAVEATS: In general, UNAMI has been hindered in effectively verifying casualties in conflict areas. Figures for casualties from Anbar Governorate are provided by the Health Directorate and are noted below. Casualty figures obtained from the Anbar Health Directorate might not fully reflect the real number of casualties in those areas due to the increased volatility of the situation on the ground and the disruption of services. In some cases, UNAMI could only partially verify certain incidents. UNAMI has also received, without being able to verify, reports of large numbers of casualties along with unknown numbers of persons who have died from secondary effects of violence after having fled their homes due to exposure to the elements, lack of water, food, medicines and health care. For these reasons, the figures reported have to be considered as the absolute minimum.

(Source: United Nations News Centre)

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

Iraqi security forces have moved toward the key Islamic State-held town of Qaim on the Syrian border, meeting with scant resistance. The operation is ongoing, and they will likely clear the remaining IS-held areas in Anbar province, Iraq’s largest, in the near future.

Moving northward from Rutba, the Iraqi army, police and Popular Mobilization Units (PMU) successfully retook part of a key highway and the small phosphate-rich mining town of Akashat on Sept. 16.

A few days later, Iraqi security forces and groups of local tribal fighters being trained by international coalition troops at the nearby Ain al-Asad base — where British, US and Danish military are stationed — began pushing westward toward the towns of Anah, Rawa and Qaim along the Euphrates River on Sept. 19.

Al-Monitor spoke to the officer in charge of Mohammedi, a gateway town to the Badiya and Jazeera area of operations of western Anbar, on Sept. 18.

Lt. Col. Abd Hussein noted that the town, which has fewer sleeper cell attacks than nearby Hit, “is less dangerous and easier to manage than some in the region due to its tribal homogeneity,” since almost all of the inhabitants from the town are from the Albu Mahal tribe.

Many of the members of the tribe who fled IS-held Qaim came to Mohammedi and are being housed with distant relatives. One tribe member, a former bulldozer driver who is close friends with many of the local dignitaries in the town, expressed concern to Al-Monitor about what will happen after his native town along the Syrian border is retaken.

“If Iran gets a direct route through Iraq to Lebanon and Syria that goes through Qaim, this will be a very big problem,” he said.

Operations have begun to liberate western Anbar and Huwayjah, the last two areas in Iraq where the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria hold territory, said Army Col. Ryan Dillon, spokesman for Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve.

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi made the operations announcement to eradicate ISIS, Dillon said, speaking to Pentagon reporters via teleconference out of Baghdad, today.

“Already, the [Iraqi forces] have routed ISIS in Akashat, Rihanna, and just this morning they have cleared 11 villages, completing their first phase of operations in Huwayjah,” the spokesman said. “These operations are evidence, and showcase the [Iraqis’] increased capacity as a battle-tested, formidable fighting force.”

It is clear that ISIS terrorists are overwhelmed and outmatched by the strength of the [Iraqi forces], he said. “[ISIS] is losing ground, and is failing in every battle. Soon, ISIS will have no sanctuary anywhere in Iraq,” Dillon said.

The coordination among the Iraqi army, the federal police, peshmerga forces, local police, counterterrorism service, and popular and tribal mobilization forces has contributed to the victories seen recently against ISIS, the spokesman said. So far, he added, more than 4 million people have been liberated, and about 15,800 square miles have been cleared.

Raqqa Gains

In Syria, the Syrian Democratic Forces continue to eliminate ISIS in the eastern and northeastern regions of that country, Dillon said. In Raqqa, “The SDF have now cleared about 70 percent of the entire city,” he added.

The SDF gained about 84 city blocks in Raqqa from ISIS control in the past week, he said.

“In the past week, the SDF have assisted more than 200 civilians flee the city of Raqqa,” Dillon noted. “The SDF also detained ISIS fighters attempting blend in amongst civilians; one of which was another ISIS emir, or local leader.”

By John Lee.

The United Nations has advertised new positions in Iraq:

(Source: UN)