By Michael Knights and Alex Almeida, for the Combating Terrorism Center. Any opinions expressed are those of the author(s), and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News.

Remaining and Expanding: The Recovery of Islamic State Operations in Iraq in 2019-2020

The Islamic State has recovered from its territorial defeats since 2017 to mount a strong and sustained resurgence as an insurgent force inside Iraq.

A new analysis of attack metrics from the past 18 months paints a picture of an Islamic State insurgency that has regained its balance, spread out across many more areas, and reclaimed significant tactical proficiency.

Now operating at the same levels it achieved in 2012, a number of factors suggest that the Islamic State could further ramp up its rural insurgency in 2020 and 2021.

An input of experienced cadres from Syria, a downturn in Iraqi and coalition effectiveness, and now the disruption of a combined COVID and economic crisis will likely all feed into an escalating campaign of attrition against the Iraqi state, military, and tribes.

Full report here.

(Source: Combating Terrorism Center)

By Michael Knights and Alex Almeida, for the Combating Terrorism Center. Any opinions expressed are those of the author(s), and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News.

Remaining and Expanding: The Recovery of Islamic State Operations in Iraq in 2019-2020

The Islamic State has recovered from its territorial defeats since 2017 to mount a strong and sustained resurgence as an insurgent force inside Iraq.

A new analysis of attack metrics from the past 18 months paints a picture of an Islamic State insurgency that has regained its balance, spread out across many more areas, and reclaimed significant tactical proficiency.

Now operating at the same levels it achieved in 2012, a number of factors suggest that the Islamic State could further ramp up its rural insurgency in 2020 and 2021.

An input of experienced cadres from Syria, a downturn in Iraqi and coalition effectiveness, and now the disruption of a combined COVID and economic crisis will likely all feed into an escalating campaign of attrition against the Iraqi state, military, and tribes.

Full report here.

(Source: Combating Terrorism Center)

By Al-Monitor staff. Any opinions expressed are those of the author(s), and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News.

Iraq registers Dramatic Jump in COVID-19 Cases

Iraq registered more than 400 positive COVID-19 tests today, its highest ever total in a single day.

The Iraqi Health Ministry reported 416 infections today. The number included a whopping 265 in the capital, Baghdad. There were other cases in the south, the Kurdistan Region and throughout the country, according to the ministry.

The figure was the highest ever in a single day in Iraq, according to the Iraqi Kurdish news outlet Rudaw.

Click here to read the full story.

By Al-Monitor staff. Any opinions expressed are those of the author(s), and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News.

Iraq registers Dramatic Jump in COVID-19 Cases

Iraq registered more than 400 positive COVID-19 tests today, its highest ever total in a single day.

The Iraqi Health Ministry reported 416 infections today. The number included a whopping 265 in the capital, Baghdad. There were other cases in the south, the Kurdistan Region and throughout the country, according to the ministry.

The figure was the highest ever in a single day in Iraq, according to the Iraqi Kurdish news outlet Rudaw.

Click here to read the full story.

The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) welcomes a donation of US$522,500 from the Government of Switzerland to support the food needs of nearly 24,000 refugees and internally displaced people for one month.

The funds, coming through the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, will be used to provide cash assistance to 13,400 Iraqis displaced by the conflict and 10,400 Syrian refugees.

“During the ongoing pandemic, refugees and displaced persons remain among the most vulnerable in Iraq,” said the Ambassador of Switzerland to Iraq Lukas Gasser.

“Switzerland continues its long-term partnership with WFP, working together to support displaced Iraqis and Syrian refugee families, to get through this difficult time of heightened need – especially as many affected people remain unable to work.”

Due to increased needs caused by COVID-19, WFP has scaled up its assistance in Iraq reaching a total of 76,000 refugees and 280,000 IDPs.

“WFP expresses its continued gratitude for the steadfast support of the people and Government of Switzerland particularly during this difficult time,” said WFP Representative in Iraq Abdirahman Meygag.

“Many IDPs and refugee families had begun to achieve some self-sufficiency in securing their food needs before the pandemic. Now many have lost their jobs, among the worst affected are day labourers and seasonal workers.”

In ongoing efforts to mitigate COVID-19, WFP is pioneering cashless payments in camps, so that people can purchase food in a “contactless” manner. This both reduces the need for banknotes, and helps avoid the need for people to leave the camp and move around more than necessary.

Meanwhile, WFP and its partners continue awareness sessions on precautionary measures, and will begin emergency livelihoods projects as soon as it is safe, to help affected people to work again and secure their food needs.

(Source: UN)

By Hamdi Malik for Foreign Affairs. Any opinions expressed are those of the author(s), and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News.

Mustafa al-Kadhimi (pictured), Iraq’s new prime minister as of May 12, has already announced a bold intention.

In a short government manifesto he submitted to the Iraqi Parliament, Kadhimi emphasized his plans to “impose the state’s prestige” by bringing armed groups under government control.

To observers of post-Saddam Hussein Iraq, the manifesto’s meaning is clear: the damage to the state’s “prestige” has, after all, come mainly from pro-Iranian militant groups who answer to the commanders of the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), rather than to Iraq’s commander in chief.

Click here to read the full story.

By John Lee.

Iraq’s national lockdown in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has reportedly given a boost to local businesses.

According to a report from AFP, local businesses no longer have to compete with imports from countries such as Turkey, Iran, China, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Kuwait.

It quotes the owner of an ice-cream factory in Basra as saying:

“The coronavirus crisis has allowed us to prove ourselves on the Iraqi market.”

More here.

(Source: AFP)