A committee in charge of collecting accurate data and information on the conditions of Yezidi Kurdish women, abducted by the Islamic State in Iraq and Al-Sham, ISIS, terrorist organisation, is being set up.
The decision was taken yesterday during the regular meeting of the Kurdistan Regional Government’s Women Rights Monitoring Board, chaired by the KRG Deputy Prime Minister, Qubad Talabani.
The conditions of those abducted Yezidi girls and women who were rescued and their needs were highlighted in the meeting. The impact of the influx of a high number of internally displaced people and refugees, as the result of ISIS terrorists’ attacks, on Kurdistan Region’s social conditions was also discussed, as well as the situation at the refugee camps.
Pakhshan Zangana the Secretary General of the KRG High Council of Women’s Affairs – that includes representatives from the ministries of Interior, Health, Labour and Social Affairs and the Department of Follow Up and Coordination – was decided to head the committee.
Deputy Prime Minister Talabani said the case of abducted Yezidi girls and women is extremely important and urged the relevant bodies to work jointly in order to establish accurate data and information and deal with the case in the best way possible.
KRG Women’s Right Monitoring Board comprises the membership of KRG Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Minister, the Ministers of Interior, Justice, Health, Labor and Social Affairs, Endowment and Religious Affairs, Youth and Culture and KRG High Council of Women Affairs.
The board’s mission is to create a platform for coordination aiming at developing KRG’s policy regarding women issues and strengthening the work and strategies of institutions which deal with women issues in the Kurdistan Region.
(Source: KRG)

Source: Iraq-BusinessNews.com.

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By John Lee.
The Czech Foreign Minister, Lubomír Zaorálek and Deputy Defense Minister, Tomáš Kuchta, is to visit Iraq this week with a delegation of businesspeople to boost business deals, mainly in the defense sector.
Negotiations about the supplies of aviation technology, the pilots’ training and the armoring of helicopters are underway there,” Kuchta told LN.
The Czech Republic has long been trying to sell its redundant L-159 fighter planes, made by*Aero Vodochody, to Iraq.
(Source: Prague Post)

Source: Iraq-BusinessNews.com.

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By John Lee.
Iraq has been ranked 156th out of 189 countries in the World Bank‘s recent Doing Business 2015 report.
Top of the list were Singapore, New Zealand and Hong Kong, with last place going to Eritrea, just behind Libya and the Central African Republic.
Doing Business measures regulations affecting 11 areas of the life of a business. Ten of these areas are included in this year’s ranking on the ease of doing business: starting a business, dealing with construction permits, getting electricity, registering property, getting credit, protecting minority investors, paying taxes, trading across borders, enforcing contracts and resolving insolvency. Doing Business also measures labor market regulation, which is not included in this year’s ranking.
(Source: World Bank)

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By*Omar al-Jaffal for Al-Monitor. Any opinions expressed are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News.
No one in the southern Iraqi province Basra believed that families would flock to Hurriyah (Freedom) Square to see and sit by the new monument after it was greatly ridiculed in newspapers and on social networking sites for its appearance — some described it as a large eggplant surrounded by horses.
People from out of town changed their opinions about the monument once they arrived in Basra and heard the residents’ stories about it.
The plan to build a “Freedom Monument” in Basra was announced together with plans for other statues in Iraq, which were also criticized.
Basra is the second-largest city in Iraq and the only Iraqi city with harbors overlooking the Arabian Gulf. The West Qurna oil field, which produces 360,000 barrels of oil per day, is located in the city. But Basra suffers from unemployment and lack of social services.
Life in Basra has become harder on the residents since militias have emerged in the city. Hurriyah Square, which has so far not been the scene of any fighting, has become a safe haven for young people who object to Sharia rule imposed by Islamic parties that are in control of various parts of the city.
On Sept. 11, the day of the square’s inauguration, Basra Gov. Majid al-Nasrawi, said, “[This is] one of the successful projects in Basra … and [the square is] a breather for its residents.”

Source: Iraq-BusinessNews.com.

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By John Lee.
Defense minister Khalid al-Obeidi [al-Obaidi] (pictured) has warned that army generals who abandoned Mosul to the Islamic State in June are currently under investigation, and if found guilty will be sentenced to death.
According to a report from BasNews, the Minister said most of the army generals and commanders in Mosul before the fall have been removed from their positions, with some forced to retire and others under investigation.
He added that Iraq has lost an estimated $27 billion as a result of the fall of Mosul.
Meanwhile, IBT reports that Islamic State terrorists have kidnapped more than 70 relatives of the Defense Minister, and is holding them at its headquarters in Mosul.
(Source: BasNews, IBT)

Source: Iraq-BusinessNews.com.

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Following Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi’s decision to reshuffle senior security commanders, Deputy Interior Minister Adnan al-Asadi, an ally of former PM Nouri al-Maliki, was removed from his position. Since assuming office, Abadi has been seeking to clear key government positions from Maliki’s influence, which is effectively strengthening the Iranian-backed Badr Organisation and one of its prominent members Mohammed al-Ghaban, Iraq’s current Interior Minister. As the Iraqi government attempts to manage and overturn the ambivalence of their Sunni populations, the death sentence of former Sunni MP Ahmed al-Alwani, pronounced on 23 November, has the potential to inflame tensions in Anbar, where his arrest last year sparked the chain of events which eventually allowed ISIS to seize Fallujah. Despite high levels of violence and a continued freedom of movement in many areas of northern and western governorates, ISIS recorded a series of losses over the reporting period, consolidating a trend which saw the group retreating from Baiji last week. Following these setbacks, ISIS could choose to focus more heavily on Anbar, where insurgents have seized most of the corridor stretching from the Syrian border to Fallujah, and the lack of government supplies present the group with more opportunities.
North
While the most significant incidents continued to be reported in Diyala and Salahuddin, a rare car bomb blast in Erbil disrupted the stability which usually characterises Kurdistan. On 23 November, a force of Kurdish and Iraqi soldiers, supported by Shia fighters, recaptured the towns of Jalawla and Sadia in Diyala, and are now in the process of securing the zone and clearing the areas of IEDs. These gains follow successful operations in Salahuddin which enabled Iraqi forces to retake Baiji last week, in anticipation of a major ground assault on Tikrit. High-impact operations in Nineveh continued to consist of airstrikes targeting ISIS gatherings near Mosul, as insurgents continue to fail at challenging the Peshmerga forces in the province’s north-west. Meanwhile, a rare suicide attack in Erbil left five people dead and dozens of people wounded, after a car bomb aimed at targeting the citadel detonated after guards stopped the vehicle. This incident, which represents the first deadly attack of this kind to occur in Kurdistan since last year, underscores the presence of ISIS’s ‘sleeper’ cells in provinces which are normally spared the violence witnessed in the most restive governorates.
Central
ISIS continues to seek control of Ramadi, while VBIED attacks in Baghdad witnessed a lull. ISIS fighters attacked a government complex in the heart of Ramadi, in a coordinated effort to seize full control of the city. The attack was launched from multiple axes and resulted in fierce clashes with the ISF, who eventually repelled the assault. Clashes are reportedly ongoing to the west of Ramadi. ISIS appears willing to reverse their setbacks in the North by striking gains against the fragile anti-ISIS coalition in Anbar, which currently lacks ammunition and Baghdad’s full support. ISIS is likely to capitalise on this weakness to sustain their assaults on major provincial districts. Meanwhile, the lull in VBIED attacks witnessed in the capital tends to show that ISIS’s most pressing priorities are currently located outside Baghdad. In light of current dynamics, clashes in Anbar and operations conducted further north should continue to absorb most of government resources.
South
Consistently high levels of lawlessness in Basra, which continue to translate in an increase in criminal acts, demonstrate the divisions existing between the various local tribal factions. Most of the disputes resulting in small-arms fire attacks or low-impact IEDs have indeed been opposing competing tribal members, and the continued focus of the ISF in the country’s North will continue to provide an environment conducive to tribal violence and criminality for financial gain, such as kidnappings. The continued involvement of Shia militias in the fight against ISIS guarantees that this violence remains low-impact and predominantly confined to Basra in the short-term, though an absence of government-backed negotiations will inevitably lead to an escalation in the longer term.

Source: Iraq-BusinessNews.com.

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A resolution was introduced to the US Congress that would authorise the US government to supply military equipment, weapons, and training directly to Kurdistan Regional Government Peshmerga Forces.
House Resolution 5747, a bi-partisan resolution, was introduced into the House Foreign Affairs Committee by Chairmen Ed Royce and Ranking Member Eliot Engel. The bill authorises the US administration to directly equip and train KRG peshmerga forces, as well as issue export licenses for US companies exporting military equipment to the Kurdistan Region and accept End Use Certificates approved by the KRG.
Currently, all military equipment provided to the KRG must go through Baghdad, resulting in delays and restricting the flow of the heavy offensive weapons needed to degrade and ultimately destroy the terrorists of the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham, ISIS.
Dr Fuad Hussein, Chief of Staff to President Masoud Barzani, and Minister Falah Mustafa, Head of the Department of Foreign Relations, concluded their four day visit to Washington on Thursday with meetings with senior US administration officials and members of Congress. Throughout the week the delegation had conducted numerous meetings with members of Congress and were pleased to see the bill introduced to the House Foreign Affairs Committee on the last day of their visit to Washington.
Dr Hussein said, ‘We applaud Congress on the introduction of this historic bill, which not only demonstrates American commitment to fighting terrorism, but reaffirms the long-standing alliance between the US and people of the Kurdistan Region.’
On Thursday the delegation met with senior US administration and defence officials. These included advisors and staff of the National Security Council Phil Gordon, Robert Malley, and Andy Kim, Department of Defence Deputy Assistant Secretaries Alyssa Slotkin and Matt Spence, and officials from the Department of State, including Assistant Secretary Puneet Talwar and Deputy Assistant Secretary Brett McGurk, who also serves as a Deputy Special Envoy to the US President on Combating ISIS.

Source: Iraq-BusinessNews.com.

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More than 300 thousand displaced Yezidi Kurds in Kurdistan Region

The Kurdistan Regional Government Prime Minister’s envoy for people who fled ISIS terrorist organization from Sinjar, Dr. Nouri Osman Sinjari, said that since the capture of the town by ISIS, 263,000 have fled to Duhok, 20,000 to Erbil, 20,000 to Slemani, and a few to neighbouring Turkey and Syria. He said many have been rescued from Sinjar Mountain.
In an interview with KRG.org, Dr. Nouri said the “KRG established this special representation office to monitor the situation and assess the needs of displaced people who fled ISIS persecution from Sinjar and its environs and who sought refuge in the Kurdistan Region due to the takeover of their homeland”. With the arrival of winter rains and colder temperatures their needs have greatly increased.
About 10,000 people, mostly Yezidi Kurds, have decided to remain on Sinjar Mountain with Peshmerga and volunteer fighters to defend their homeland. The Prime Minister’s envoy explained, “Those still on the mountain remain by choice because they do not want to leave their homes. Some evacuated earlier but have returned to defend their homeland. Some even came from Europe and have been killed in fighting ISIS terrorists.”
Iraqi and US forces continue to airdrop humanitarian supplies, including food and medicine, and the ill and injured are being evacuated. This action continues in cooperation with the Federal Government of Iraq. He lauded the support of the Iraqi President Dr. Fuad Masoum and Iraqi Army Chief of Staff, Lieutenant General Babakir Zebari.
However, Dr. Nouri Osman Sinjari highlighted insufficient response by the Iraqi government in meeting the emergency needs of the displaced people who fled to the Kurdistan Region. The Region is host to 1.4 million displaced people from center-south Iraq, including 70,000 Christians and 300,000 Yezidis from Nineveh Governorate, and more than 200,000 refugees from Syria.
With the Federal Government of Iraq suspending funding to the Kurdistan Region since January, meeting the emergency needs of this exceptionally high number of displaced people has been particularly difficult.

Source: Iraq-BusinessNews.com.

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By John Lee.
The*Central Bank of Iraq (CBI)*has reported that 16 banks took part in its currency auction on Tuesday.
A total of $193,754,000 was sold**at a price of 1166 Iraqi Dinars (IQD) per dollar.
(Source: Central Bank of Iraq)

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By*Mushreq Abbas for*Al-Monitor.*Any opinions expressed are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the views of*Iraq Business News.
Who represents Iraq’s Sunnis? Iraqis have not answered this incredibly sensitive question. The danger of being unable to clearly answer this question is directly related to the war on the Islamic State (IS), as well as the efforts of the Iraqi government, US troops and the international community to support the fighters tasked with liberating Sunni areas from IS control.
In late October 2014, US Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said his country seeks to expand its training mission in Iraq to include Arab tribes in Anbar province. On Nov. 11, 2014, Iraqi Speaker of Parliament Salim al-Jabouri affirmed that the armament of the tribes is imminent.
Arming the tribes is equivalent to the formation of a national guard consisting of local fighters. The Iraqi parliament has not yet passed this project, despite its being part of a declared government program. Sunni politicians back the idea, even demanding that its implementation be rushed.
Yet, some Shiite politicians, including Vice President Nouri al-Maliki, question the armament of tribes. Paradoxically, when Maliki was prime minister, he announced on Jan. 15, 2014, a few days after the occupation of Fallujah by IS, his intention to arm the tribes of Mosul. Mosul had not yet been overrun by IS.
Ideas like arming tribes, forming a national guard and establishing a Sunni region vary in how they are defined, even within Sunni circles. Officials at the regional and international levels also differ in their positions regarding these ideas.

Source: Iraq-BusinessNews.com.

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