The Government of the Federal Republic of Germany has contributed an additional US$ 94 million (€80 million) to two major UNDP programmes that are helping to stabilize newly liberated areas – the Funding Facility for Stabilization (FFS), which finances fast-track initiatives in areas liberated from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and the Iraq Crisis Response and Resilience Programme (ICRRP), which promotes recovery and resilience-building.

This latest instalment brings Germany’s total contribution to both programmes to $263.2 million, making it the top supporter of UNDP’s work in this area.

UNDP Resident Representative for Iraq, Ms. Lise Grande, said:

Nothing is more important right now in Iraq than stabilizing the areas which have been liberated from ISIL.

“The task is huge. Electricity grids need to be rehabilitated, water systems repaired, rubble removed and schools and hospitals opened. Germany’s support comes at just the right time. Three million Iraqis are still displaced. Helping to improve conditions in their home towns is the first step in giving people confidence in their future.

Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany in Iraq, H.E. Dr. Cyrill Nunn, lauded UNDP’s stabilization programmes in Iraq as one of the most effective and efficient mechanisms in Iraq to lay the ground for the safe return of internally displaced persons, giving hope to those who strive for a normal life again.

I am happy to see Iraqi youth today taking the lead in shaping the future of their country. Germany is committed to support recovery in Iraq, but we firmly believe that it is the people of Iraq who will ultimately determine how successful and sustainable that recovery will be,” stressed Ambassador Nunn on his first visit to Mosul, on 12 December 2017, to review progress of stabilization work in Mosul, especially focusing on health and education projects.

GardaWorld, a global leader in comprehensive security and risk management, has made its weekly security report available to Iraq Business News readers.

Prepared by GardaWorld’s Risk Analysis Team in Iraq, this essential report includes short- and medium-term outlooks on the security situation, reports and commentary on recent significant events, and a detailed overview of developments across the country.

Please click here to download the latest report free of charge.

For more information on how GardaWorld’s services can support your business in Iraq, please contact Daniel Matthews, Senior Director Iraq, at daniel.matthews@garda.com

GardaWorld, a global leader in comprehensive security and risk management, has made its weekly security report available to Iraq Business News readers.

Prepared by GardaWorld’s Risk Analysis Team in Iraq, this essential report includes short- and medium-term outlooks on the security situation, reports and commentary on recent significant events, and a detailed overview of developments across the country.

Please click here to download the latest report free of charge.

For more information on how GardaWorld’s services can support your business in Iraq, please contact Daniel Matthews, Senior Director Iraq, at daniel.matthews@garda.com

As the Iraqi Government celebrated its final victory over ISIL this week, IOM, the UN Migration Agency, released a new study, which shows that 90 per cent of displaced Iraqis are determined to return home. This is similar to the long-term intentions recorded in 2016.

More than 1.3 million internally displaced persons (IDPs) have returned to their places of origin so far in 2017. In total since the start of the crisis in 2014, IOM estimates that more than 2.8 million displaced Iraqis have returned, while more than 2.9 million people remain displaced.

The IOM study, Integrated Location Assessment (ILA) analyzes both displacement and return movements of conflict-affected people across Iraq. Approximately 2.1 million displaced persons and more than 1.6 million returnees, based in 3,583 locations across Iraq, have been covered in the assessment, which was carried out between March and May 2017.

Only in Basrah and Najaf did families report that they consider integrating into the local community, where they are displaced.

According to the findings, Anbar was the single governorate where most returns took place in both 2016 and 2017, followed by Ninewa in 2017.

Among the main findings, this study identifies that residential and infrastructure damage is widespread. Nearly one third of returnees are reported to have returned to houses that have suffered significant damage, and 60 per cent to moderately damaged residences. Regarding infrastructure, most damage appears to affect roads, followed by the public power grid and water networks.

USAID Counselor Thomas H. Staal, a former USAID Iraq Mission Director and now one of the agency’s top officials, returned to Iraq December 5-10 to advance U.S. efforts to help Iraq’s most vulnerable communities following the defeat of ISIS.

While in Baghdad, Staal met with government officials including Dr. Mahdi al-Allaq, Secretary General of the Council of Ministers, to discuss how Iraq can strengthen its support for minority communities.

Staal also met with United Nations representatives who are implementing U.S.-funded stabilization programs in Anbar, Ninewa, and Salah ad Din provinces.  He affirmed the U.S. government’s pledge to provide an additional $150 million to this effort.

With this new infusion of funds, the United States will have provided more than $265 million for stabilization projects and a separate $1.7 billion throughout Iraq for humanitarian assistance to Iraqis who were displaced by the ISIS threat beginning in 2014.

On December 6, Staal traveled to Erbil for a closer look at U.S. assistance to internally displaced persons (IDPs) in the Iraqi Kurdistan Region.  After an initial meeting with the Ministry of Endowments and Religious Affairs, he sat down with NGO leaders and representatives from the Christian, Yezidi, Sabean-Mandean, Kakai, Baha’i, Zoroastrian, and Jewish communities to hear their concerns and needs post-ISIS.

U.S. and coalition military forces continued to attack the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria between Dec. 11-14, conducting 42 strikes consisting of 53 engagements, Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve officials reported today.

Officials reported details of the most recent strikes, noting that assessments of results are based on initial reports.

Strikes in Syria

Yesterday in Syria, coalition military forces conducted 10 strikes consisting of 13 engagements against ISIS targets:

  • Near Abu Kamal, nine strikes engaged six ISIS tactical units and destroyed six ISIS vehicles and a fighting position.
  • Near Tanf, a strike destroyed a weapons cache and two ISIS caves.

On Dec. 13, coalition military forces conducted 14 strikes consisting of 17 engagements against ISIS targets:

  • Near Abu Kamal, nine strikes engaged nine ISIS tactical units and destroyed three ISIS vehicles and an ISIS headquarters.
  • Near Tanf, five strikes engaged three ISIS tactical units and destroyed three ISIS vehicles, four cave entrances and a tactical vehicle.

On Dec. 12,, coalition military forces conducted seven strikes consisting of seven engagements against ISIS targets near Abu Kamal. The strikes engaged seven ISIS tactical units and destroyed two ISIS vehicles and a heavy weapon.

On Dec. 11, coalition military forces conducted six strikes consisting of seven engagements against ISIS targets near Abu Kamal. The strikes engaged five ISiS tactical units and destroyed three ISIS heavy weapons.

Strikes in Iraq

There were no reported strikes in Iraq yesterday.

On Dec. 13 in Iraq, coalition military forces conducted two strikes consisting of two engagements against ISIS targets:

  • Near Rutbah, a strike engaged an ISIS tactical unit and destroyed an ISIS vehicle.
  • Near Tuz, a strike engaged an ISIS tactical unit and destroyed two ISIS tents and a bunker.

On Dec. 12, coalition military forces conducted two strikes consisting of two engagements against ISIS targets:

  • Near Baghdadi, a strike engaged an ISIS tactical unit.
  • Near Rutbah, a strike destroyed two ISIS-held buildings.

On Dec. 11, coalition military forces conducted a strike consisting of five engagements against ISIS targets near Hawija. The strike engaged an ISiS tactical unit and destroyed two ISIS meeting facilities.

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)

By Padraig O’Hannelly.

HRH The Prince of Wales has paid tribute to the work of the AMAR International Charitable Foundation on the occasion of its 25th anniversary.

Addressing the celebration in London’s Lancaster House on Wednesday, Prince Charles said:

Today is an opportunity to honour the work of the remarkable AMAR teams … whose professionalism has delivered extraordinary outcomes in health and education for so many people over these twenty-five years.

“Each and every one of them, whether they work in Iraq or in another part of the Middle East, or in London or Washington, should feel deeply proud of all that AMAR has achieved. So too, should the many businesses and commercial entities – and in particular the Iraq Britain Business Council [IBBC] – whose magnificent support over the years has made all of this work possible.

“If I may, I would also like to pay a special tribute to Baroness Nicholson whose indefatigable leadership and extraordinary professionalism has been so crucially important to this endeavour for so many years.

He continued:

“AMAR has given us all reason to have faith in humanity. It has saved countless lives, created hope from despair and achieved nothing short of miracles.”

AMAR thanked the Prince for his wonderful support of the organisation since its founding, and in particular as its Patron for the past thirteen years.

Please help ensure Iraq’s children have the childhoods they deserve — support AMAR’s work today: https://appeal.amarfoundation.org/

(Sources: AMAR International Charitable Foundation, Clarence House)

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.

Anbar’s western desert is a hiding place for the Islamic State group, locals say. And they fear the extremists will be back as soon as an opportunity presents itself.

Last week the Iraqi government declared victory over the extremist group known as the Islamic State. But, according to locals and military personnel living in the Anbar province, that declaration was premature.

“I have seen no genuine indications that this province is rid of the Islamic State group,” says Ayad al-Nimrawi, a 43-year-old who runs a restaurant in the Kilo area, about 160 kilometres along the road between Baghdad and the Syrian-Jordanian border. “I still see commercial trucks accompanied by security details when they come along here. Even the security forces cannot travel down here alone, they require extra protection.”

“I will only feel that we have won the final victory when I see life returning to this road as it was before the Islamic State came. We used to travel here at night without any fear of armed groups but today this international road is almost completely closed. As soon as dusk falls, this road is a death trap.”

The victory celebrations were not about the complete eradication of the IS group, rather they were meant to be a signal about the end of military operations, suggests Tariq Yusef al-Asal, a police chief and one of the leaders of Anbar’s tribal militias fighting the Islamic State. “We have the right to be proud of the victories achieved by our security forces in the fighting that’s gone on over three years,” he told NIQASH. “We have sovereignty over our land again.”

However, he adds, “it would be stupid to say that Iraq is now completely clean of extremist groups like the Islamic State. There are still sleeper cells and incubators inside and outside our cities.”

“No country – not even European nations – can claim they are completely clean of Islamic State members,” he continued. “Those sleeper cells will keep the organisation alive and sustain it. These groups make good use of any security vacuum in any country to try and achieve their aims.”

By John Lee.

The Institute for the Study of War has issued a new report — Iraqi Security Forces and Popular Mobilization Forces: Orders of Battle — in which it claimes that the liberation Daesh’s urban holdings in Iraq was necessary but not sufficient to secure America’s vital national interests.

It says ISIS has lost neither the will nor the capability to fight, even as it withdraws into desert hideouts and sleeper cell formations in November 2017.

Rather, dispersed ISIS militants have begun an insurgent campaign in northern and western Iraq as some of its foreign fighters have returned to their home countries to serve in ISIS’s external operations network.

The report includes considerable detail on the various players and agencies involved in security in Iraq.

Click here to download the full report.

(Source: Institute for the Study of War)

U.S. and coalition military forces continued to attack the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria over the last three days, conducting 14 strikes consisting of 27 engagements, Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve officials reported yesterday.

Officials reported details of the most recent strikes, noting that assessments of results are based on initial reports.

Strikes in Syria

On Dec. 8 in Syria, coalition military forces conducted two strikes consisting of three engagements against ISIS targets near Abu Kamal. The strikes engaged an ISIS tactical unit and destroyed a tactical vehicle and a fighting position.

On Dec. 9 in Syria, coalition military forces conducted three strikes consisting of five engagements against ISIS targets:

  • Near Abu Kamal, two strikes engaged two ISIS tactical units and destroyed an ISIS vehicle and an ISIS line of communication.
  • Near Shadaddi, a strike engaged an ISIS mortar team.

On Dec. 10 in Syria, coalition military forces conducted eight strikes consisting of 13 engagements against ISIS targets near Abu Kamal. The strikes engaged eight ISIS tactical units and destroyed two fighting positions, a mortar system, a tactical vehicle and an ISIS headquarters.

Strike in Iraq

On Dec. 9 in Iraq, coalition military forces conducted a strike consisting of six engagements against ISIS targets near Tuz. The strike engaged an ISIS tactical unit and destroyed an ISIS truck.

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)