Ramadan is almost here and we need your help!

Support a displaced Iraqi family in Baghdad and Najaf this Ramadan by providing a food box for just £35.

It’s simple…you donate, they get a box packed full of essential food and sanitary items lasting two weeks.

No donation is too small. Please donate today!

  • Please visit AMAR’s Ramadan Appeal Donation Page to donate online
  • Call +44 (0)207 799 2217 to donate over the phone
  • In the UK, text AMAR20 £10 TO 70070 to donate by text
  • Send cheques to AMAR Foundation, Hope House, 45 Great Peter St, London, SW1P 3LT, United Kingdom.

Ramadan is almost here and we need your help!

Support a displaced Iraqi family in Baghdad and Najaf this Ramadan by providing a food box for just £35.

It’s simple…you donate, they get a box packed full of essential food and sanitary items lasting two weeks.

No donation is too small. Please donate today!

  • Please visit AMAR’s Ramadan Appeal Donation Page to donate online
  • Call +44 (0)207 799 2217 to donate over the phone
  • In the UK, text AMAR20 £10 TO 70070 to donate by text
  • Send cheques to AMAR Foundation, Hope House, 45 Great Peter St, London, SW1P 3LT, United Kingdom.

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.

A Cruel, Cruel Summer? In Karbala, Iraq, Locals Plan Ahead for Serious Drought

The district of Husseiniya, north-east of the southern Iraqi city of Karbala, used to look more like a forest. This was because of all the orchards and trees in this district and the river that passes through here, also called Husseiniya.

The river has been a constant here – until now. It’s been a very dry winter in this part of Iraq and water levels have fallen considerably.

Now farmers in the area don’t know if the water will be enough to irrigate their crops and they fear this may be one of the worst summers ever, thanks to the drought they’re all predicting.

The Husseiniya Rover is just one example of a water source that’s becoming increasingly muddy and shallow. Others include the Hindiyah and Hunaydiyah rivers.

“We have heard people talking about the decrease in water levels and we have seen it with our own eyes too,” says Sijad Kathim, a 56-year-old local farmer. “We’re really starting to worry that even ordinary people won’t be able to get water anymore.”

Karbala locals fear another drought as bad as that in 2008, which caused many to leave their homes and farms for, literally, greener pastures.

And it seems as though the local authorities are similarly perplexed. Many of the water treatment plants here are not working properly at the moment.

“About 15 of these plants have stopped working because of the decrease in water levels,” says Karbala central’s mayor, Hassan al-Mankousi. “And this has prompted the local government to intervene and dig new holes to keep a number of them running.”

The authorities have been digging what are known as infiltration wells near the rivers in order to increase water flow. However this method, which has been useful in the past, could prove useless if the Euphrates’ levels drop further. The authorities say they are also digging artesian wells that can be connected to household water supplies if necessary.

“This seems to be the only choice left if water levels continue to decrease in such a rapid and frightening way,” local agricultural engineer Fayed Abdul-Razak told NIQASH. “But the amount of water that these wells can produce is unlikely to be able to meet the needs of the more than 1 million people living in this area, let alone the agricultural needs.”

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.

A Cruel, Cruel Summer? In Karbala, Iraq, Locals Plan Ahead for Serious Drought

The district of Husseiniya, north-east of the southern Iraqi city of Karbala, used to look more like a forest. This was because of all the orchards and trees in this district and the river that passes through here, also called Husseiniya.

The river has been a constant here – until now. It’s been a very dry winter in this part of Iraq and water levels have fallen considerably.

Now farmers in the area don’t know if the water will be enough to irrigate their crops and they fear this may be one of the worst summers ever, thanks to the drought they’re all predicting.

The Husseiniya Rover is just one example of a water source that’s becoming increasingly muddy and shallow. Others include the Hindiyah and Hunaydiyah rivers.

“We have heard people talking about the decrease in water levels and we have seen it with our own eyes too,” says Sijad Kathim, a 56-year-old local farmer. “We’re really starting to worry that even ordinary people won’t be able to get water anymore.”

Karbala locals fear another drought as bad as that in 2008, which caused many to leave their homes and farms for, literally, greener pastures.

And it seems as though the local authorities are similarly perplexed. Many of the water treatment plants here are not working properly at the moment.

“About 15 of these plants have stopped working because of the decrease in water levels,” says Karbala central’s mayor, Hassan al-Mankousi. “And this has prompted the local government to intervene and dig new holes to keep a number of them running.”

The authorities have been digging what are known as infiltration wells near the rivers in order to increase water flow. However this method, which has been useful in the past, could prove useless if the Euphrates’ levels drop further. The authorities say they are also digging artesian wells that can be connected to household water supplies if necessary.

“This seems to be the only choice left if water levels continue to decrease in such a rapid and frightening way,” local agricultural engineer Fayed Abdul-Razak told NIQASH. “But the amount of water that these wells can produce is unlikely to be able to meet the needs of the more than 1 million people living in this area, let alone the agricultural needs.”

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

Evidence of the two occupations that Iraq has experienced — the British occupation at the end of 1914 and the US invasion in 2003 — can still be found in the country’s cemeteries and bridges, and the gifts, souvenirs, medals, weapons and military suits kept by Iraqis.

These objects now hold a symbolic value for Iraqis, and they stir up mixed feelings: positive feelings in regard to the exposure to and alliance with developed countries, and negative feelings that only see in these invasions black pages that must be turned.

The British soldiers’ cemetery in Al-Wazireya region in Baghdad dates to 1914. Twenty years ago, it looked like a European cemetery, with its green spaces, plants, trees and graves. People visited it, especially students. But now it is abandoned, and some gravestones are ruined, not to mention that the plants and trees are no longer cared for.

Visitors are rare these days, too. This landmark brings back memories of a pivotal event in the history of Iraq. It can be considered a tangible document on which are written the names of British and Indian soldiers who perished during World War I, including the leader of the British campaign, Lt. Gen. Frederick Stanley Maude, who died in 1917 in Iraq and was buried in this cemetery.

Al-Monitor paused at the grave of British historian and writer Gertrude Bell, who was dubbed “the maker of kings.” She worked as an adviser to British Chief Political Officer Percy Cox in the 1920s, and she died in 1926. The past that historians and political writers dwell on is right here, under these marble stones.

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

Evidence of the two occupations that Iraq has experienced — the British occupation at the end of 1914 and the US invasion in 2003 — can still be found in the country’s cemeteries and bridges, and the gifts, souvenirs, medals, weapons and military suits kept by Iraqis.

These objects now hold a symbolic value for Iraqis, and they stir up mixed feelings: positive feelings in regard to the exposure to and alliance with developed countries, and negative feelings that only see in these invasions black pages that must be turned.

The British soldiers’ cemetery in Al-Wazireya region in Baghdad dates to 1914. Twenty years ago, it looked like a European cemetery, with its green spaces, plants, trees and graves. People visited it, especially students. But now it is abandoned, and some gravestones are ruined, not to mention that the plants and trees are no longer cared for.

Visitors are rare these days, too. This landmark brings back memories of a pivotal event in the history of Iraq. It can be considered a tangible document on which are written the names of British and Indian soldiers who perished during World War I, including the leader of the British campaign, Lt. Gen. Frederick Stanley Maude, who died in 1917 in Iraq and was buried in this cemetery.

Al-Monitor paused at the grave of British historian and writer Gertrude Bell, who was dubbed “the maker of kings.” She worked as an adviser to British Chief Political Officer Percy Cox in the 1920s, and she died in 1926. The past that historians and political writers dwell on is right here, under these marble stones.

If urgently needed funds are not secured by the end of June 2015, more than 84% of health care projects serving populations in need in Iraq will be forced to close.

If this happens, more than 3 million refugees, internally displaced persons and host communities will not have access to the treatment and care that these projects provide.

The World Health Organization (WHO) calls on donors to urgently provide financial support to prevent further avoidable deaths and additional suffering for millions of the most vulnerable people in Iraq.

The closure of these projects means the suspension of critical services, such as trauma care, nutrition supplementation, primary health care, outbreak detection and management, immunization for children and reproductive health care in 10 out of 18 governorates in Iraqi. These governorates are: Missan, Basrah, Sulaymania, Ninwan, Najaf, Kirkuk, Karbala, Erbil, Diala, Dohuk, Baghdad and Anbar.

Deteriorating health situation

The recent escalation of violence in Ramadi has magnified the suffering of civilians, in particular, the sick, older people, children and pregnant women.

Since 15 May 2015, according to the United Nations, an estimated 55 980 people have been displaced and dispersed to over 65 locations inside Anbar, and to different northern, central, and southern parts of the country, bringing the number of people displaced to nearly 190 000. This population is in dire need of urgent humanitarian support, including access to health services.

The Iraq Britain Business Council’s (IBBC) Executive Chairman, Baroness Nicholson of Winterbourne, has been reconfirmed as UK’s official Trade Envoy to Iraq by the newly appointed Minister for Trade and Investment.

Francis Maude said the continuation of the Trade Envoy programme reflected the strong sense he had of the contribution they were making to the UK economy.

He added that the scheme covered important markets that have benefited from the presence of Trade Envoys over the last few years.

Mr Maude pointed out that sustained engagement of a motivated individual with the Prime Minister’s backing could transform British companies’ prospects in markets around the world.

Baroness Nicholson said today that she was absolutely delighted to be continuing in the role.

It is an honour and a privilege for me to be one of the Prime Minister’s trade envoys. Iraq has a vibrant and booming economy, and is a huge supporter of British Industry and Commerce. We must continue to ensure that the UK understands this and makes the best of the enormous opportunities Iraq offers us.

She added: “As the Executive Chairman of the IBBC, I know only too well the regard in which British companies are held by their counterparts and senior politicians in Iraq.  Now we must continue our vital work in encouraging UK business to take its proper place at the head of the queue for investment opportunities over there.

(Source: IBBC)

By John Lee.

The Qatari Foreign Minister, Dr Khalid bin Mohamed Al Attiyah, arrived in Baghdad on Thursday on an official visit.

He is scheduled to meet a number of Iraqi government officials to discuss relations between the two countries, and the latest developments in the region.

He was met on arrival at Baghdad International Airport by Iraqi Foreign Minister Ibrahim Al Jaafari.

(Sources: Peninsular Qatar, QNA)

U.S. and coalition military forces have continued to attack Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant terrorists in Syria and Iraq, Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve officials reported.

Officials reported details of the latest strikes, which took place between 8 a.m. Wednesda and 8 a.m. Thursday, local time, noting that assessments of results are based on initial reports.

Airstrikes in Syria

Attack and fighter aircraft conducted six airstrikes in Syria:

  • Near Hasakah, three airstrikes struck two ISIL tactical units and an ISIL trench system, destroying four ISIL fighting positions.
  • Near Dayr Az Zawr, three airstrikes struck three ISIL crude oil collection points.

Airstrikes in Iraq

Attack, fighter, bomber and remotely piloted aircraft conducted 20 airstrikes in Iraq, approved by the Iraqi Ministry of Defense:

  • Near Baghdadi, an airstrike struck an ISIL tactical unit, destroying an ISIL homemade explosives cache.
  • Near Huwayjah, an airstrike struck an ISIL fighting position.
  • Near Beiji, three airstrikes destroyed five ISIL vehicles, an ISIL building and an ISIL fighting position.
  • Near Fallujah, three airstrikes struck two ISIL tactical units, destroying two ISIL heavy machine guns, two ISIL armored vehicles and an ISIL vehicle bomb.
  • Near Kirkuk, an airstrike struck an ISIL vehicle.
  • Near Makhmur, an airstrike struck an ISIL mortar position.
  • Near Mosul, five airstrikes struck an ISIL tactical unit, an ISIL checkpoint and an ISIL staging area, destroying two ISIL fighting positions, an ISIL vehicle, an ISIL armored vehicle and an ISIL trench system.
  • Near Ramadi, an airstrike destroyed an ISIL vehicle bomb.
  • Near Sinjar, three airstrikes struck three ISIL tactical units, destroying three ISIL heavy machine guns, an ISIL mortar position and an ISIL sniper position.
  • Near Tal Afar, an airstrike struck land features denying ISIL a tactical advantage.

Part of Operation Inherent Resolve

The strikes were conducted as part of Operation Inherent Resolve, the operation to eliminate the ISIL terrorist group and the threat they pose to Iraq, Syria, the region, and the wider international community. The destruction of ISIL targets in Syria and Iraq further limits the terrorist group’s ability to project terror and conduct operations, officials said.

Coalition nations conducting airstrikes in Iraq include the United States, Australia, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Jordan, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom. Coalition nations conducting airstrikes in Syria include the United States, Bahrain, Canada, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

(Source: US Dept of Defense)