By John Lee.

The US-led coalition fighting the so-called Islamic State (IS, ISIS, ISIL, Daesh) has announced the suspension of operations.

In a statement, Operation Inherent Resolve said:

Our first priority is protecting all Coalition personnel committed to the defeat of Daesh. Repeated rocket attacks over the last two months by elements of Kata’ib Hezbollah have caused the death of Iraqi Security Forces personnel and a U.S. civilian.

“As a result we are now fully committed to protecting the Iraqi bases that host Coalition troops. This has limited our capacity to conduct training with partners and to support their operations against Daesh and we have therefore paused these activities, subject to continuous review.

“We remain resolute as partners of the Government of Iraq and the Iraqi people that have welcomed us into their country to help defeat ISIS. We remain ready to return our full attention and efforts back to our shared goal of ensuring the lasting defeat of Daesh.

(Source: Operation Inherent Resolve)

After ISIL, Agricultural Production Struggles to Recover in Parts of Iraq

The Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) occupied large swathes of Iraqi territory between 2014 and 2017.

The consequences of this occupation are still being felt in many rural areas where agricultural production was used as both a source of political propaganda and income, or destroyed as the group was forced out, a new IOM report says.

It is estimated that the group’s brutal three-year occupation reduced Iraq’s agricultural capacity by 40 per cent.

“It is necessary to prioritize the recovery and development of rural areas as part of our reconstruction and stabilization efforts,” said Siobhan Simojoki, Head of IOM Iraq’s Community Stabilization Unit.

“Agriculture should be considered as an essential facet of the stabilization process and focus on this area can help balance out longstanding rural-urban economic inequalities.”

The report, Rural Areas in Ninewa: Legacies of Conflict on Rural Economies and Communities in Sinjar and Ninewa Plains, published on 28 November focuses on agricultural output in Iraq’s third-largest governorate. Ninewa, in north-western Iraq, is also one of the country’s most fertile areas and has historically been the source of much of its grain and produce.

ISIL benefitted from the 2014 harvest completed in the months before taking over Ninewa; the group then profited from sales of the harvest and rain-fed crops, while forcing workers to continue operating agricultural infrastructure.

Finally, as ISIL was being pushed out, fighting, abuse, and revenge destruction caused severe lasting damage to the agricultural sector in the governorate.

ISIL purposely targeted rural areas for strategic purposes, i.e., access to their own steady food supply and the option to sell off agricultural produce for financial gain, but their overuse and, in some cases, deliberate destruction of agricultural land has had long-term consequences on many rural areas.

Almost two years after the military defeat of ISIL in Iraq, livestock are still missing in Ninewa, agricultural lands remain contaminated with explosives, and necessary machinery is lost or destroyed.

To date, many stabilization and post-crisis development efforts have targeted urban areas. Ninewa’s role in Iraq’s agricultural industry suggests that rebuilding agricultural livelihoods is an essential component to achieving successful stabilization in Iraq.

The presence of historically marginalized minorities in Ninewa’s rural areas is also of great importance, given the sensitivities of ethno-religious tensions related to land ownership; Ninewa Governorate is one of the most diverse in Iraq in terms of the number and prevalence of minorities. The new also report considers tensions in rural areas that have been worsened or ignited due to land and water policies, and agricultural decline under ISIL.

The studies conducted for this report were funded by USAID, within the framework of the project Supporting the Return of Displaced Populations in the Ninewa Plains and Western Ninewa.

Click here to download the full report.

(Source: IOM)

By Thanassis Cambanis, for Foreign Affairs. Any opinions expressed are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News.

Neglected Prison Camps Are Incubating a New Extremist Threat.

The death of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi marked the end of one destructive phase of the Islamic State, the extremist group also known as ISIS.

Baghdadi was the self-proclaimed caliph of a Great Britain-sized swath of Iraq and Syria, the last remains of which a U.S.-led coalition removed from his control in March.

The ISIS leader ordered the murder of thousands and terrorized millions during his short reign.

But his targeted assassination has done little to halt a gathering crisis that is at least as serious a threat to Iraq’s stability.

Click here to read the full story.

By Thanassis Cambanis, for Foreign Affairs. Any opinions expressed are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News.

Neglected Prison Camps Are Incubating a New Extremist Threat.

The death of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi marked the end of one destructive phase of the Islamic State, the extremist group also known as ISIS.

Baghdadi was the self-proclaimed caliph of a Great Britain-sized swath of Iraq and Syria, the last remains of which a U.S.-led coalition removed from his control in March.

The ISIS leader ordered the murder of thousands and terrorized millions during his short reign.

But his targeted assassination has done little to halt a gathering crisis that is at least as serious a threat to Iraq’s stability.

Click here to read the full story.

Iraq’s intelligence service provided the US-led coalition with the exact coordinates of Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi’s location, paving the way for the raid that reportedly killed him, an Iraqi intelligence official told Reuters on Sunday.

The agency learned of Baghdadi’s location from documents found at a secret location in Iraq’s western desert after arresting an Iraqi man and woman from within his “inner circle”, the official said.

Baghdadi is believed to have been killed in a US military operation in Syria, sources in Syria, Iraq and Iran said on Sunday ahead of a “major statement” due from US President Donald Trump at the White House.

(Source: Middle East Monitor)

U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Administrator Mark Green announced the first tranche of recipients under USAID’s New Partnerships Initiative (NPI) on Thursday during his remarks at the Accord Network’s Annual Forum.

The organizations will carry out programs that improve global health outcomes in USAID’s partner countries, and assist populations in the Republic of Iraq that are recovering from the genocide perpetrated by the so-called Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

Administrator Green launched the NPI in May 2019 to expand and diversify USAID’s partner base and change the way the Agency does business. By working with new or underutilized partners, the Agency hopes to bring more innovative approaches to U.S. foreign assistance; focus on strengthening capacity and commitment in partner countries by tapping into existing networks of community- and faith-based organizations; and reach new populations.

Administrator Green also announced a new $18 million award to the International Organization for Migration (IOM) to support the return and recovery of displaced religious and ethnic minority communities in the Nineveh Plains and Western Nineveh Province. Long-time USAID partner Samaritan’s Purse will receive $9 million of that total.

New USAID Assistance Through the NPI Direct to Local Iraqi Groups That Are Helping Victims of ISIS Genocide

USAID is awarding small grants through the NPI that total approximately $4 million to six local groups in Northern Iraq to help religious and ethnic minorities targeted by ISIS. The new NPI implementers in Northern Iraq are the following:

Philadelphia Organization for Relief and Development: The award will establish a community center in the town of Qaraqosh to provide services for people with disabilities, training in employment skills, child care, and a community food bank.

Catholic University of Erbil: The award will provide classes in business language and computer software for widows, victims of abuse, and former captives of ISIS.

Top Mountain: The award will support a business incubator and employment program for Iraqi youth, which will promote entrepreneurship, provide business training, and build commercial networks.

Shlama Foundation: The award seeks to improve job opportunities through training engineers on the installation on solar power, provide electricity for families, and install solar-powered pumps for farms and street lighting for villages.

Beth Nahrain: The award will help re-establish a local, women-led organization decimated by ISIS. The organization will also provide small-business vocational training to women in the Nineveh Plains.

Jiyan Foundation for Human Rights: The award will provide trauma-rehabilitation and resilience services to survivors of genocide; legal services and programs in justice/reparations; and activities to promote inter-religious and inter-ethnic dialogue.

The United States remains committed to supporting persecuted religious and ethnic minorities in Northern Iraq. With these new awards, the total assistance the U.S. Government has provided since 2017 in Northern Iraq is now more than $400 million. These programs complement H.R. 390, the Iraq and Syria Genocide Relief and Accountability Act of 2018, which passed with bipartisan support in the U.S. Congress and which President Donald J. Trump signed into law on December 11, 2018. Additional U.S. humanitarian assistance has also benefited the same Iraqi communities.

New Funding for the IOM and Samaritan’s Purse to Help Victims of ISIS Genocide

Administrator Green also announced at the Accord Network that Samaritan’s Purse will receive $9 million as a part of a new $18 million award to the International Organization for Migration (IOM), to support the return and recovery of displaced religious and ethnic minority communities in the Nineveh Plains and Western Nineveh Province in Iraq.

New USAID Assistance in Global Health Through the NPI

Administrator Green also announced two new awards under the Agency’s NPI for global health. These awards, which total $68 million, will leverage the expertise and reach of local and locally established civil society and faith- and community-based organizations to increase the quality, access, and sustainability of health care.

The new NPI implementers for global health are the following:

World Relief: Working with local partners, World Relief will expand and leverage existing community networks in four countries to help strengthen maternal, reproductive, and child health at the local level.

Palladium International: This program will help reach USAID’s goal of increasing access to, and the uptake of, high-quality health care across priority areas, in line with USAID’s Journey to Self-Reliance. The partner will provide sub-awards to local organizations, along with mentoring and technical support to strengthen their capacity. Palladium will be expected to pass sixty-five percent of the total award to new and underutilized sub-awardees.

(Source: USAID)

By John Lee.

Amnesty International has challenged a statement from the US-led Coalition in which it acknowledges at least 1,302 unintended civilian deaths during Operation Inherent Resolve.

The organisation’s Senior Crisis Response Adviser, Donatella Rovera, said:

While all admissions of responsibility by the US-led Coalition for civilian casualties are welcome, the Coalition remains deeply in denial about the devastating scale of the civilian casualties caused by their operations in both Iraq and Syria.

“A comprehensive investigation by Amnesty International in partnership with Airwars, launched last month, revealed that more than 1,600 civilians were killed in the Raqqa offensive alone in 2017 – meaning the acknowledged deaths are just a fraction of the total numbers killed.

“Today’s acknowledgement of further civilian deaths underscores the urgent need for thorough, independent investigations that can uncover the true scale of civilian casualties caused by Coalition strikes, examine whether each attack complied with international humanitarian law and provide full reparation to victims.

“Even in cases where the Coalition has admitted responsibility this has only happened after civilian deaths were investigated and brought to its attention by organizations such as Amnesty International and Airwars. The Coalition has so far failed to carry out investigations on the ground or provide reasons for the civilian casualties. Without a clear examination of what went wrong in each case lessons can never be learned.

The full statement from Operation Inherent Resolve is shown below:

Since the beginning of operations in 2014, the Coalition and partner forces have liberated nearly 110,000 square kilometers (42,471 square miles) from Daesh, eliminating their self-proclaimed territorial caliphate and freeing 7.7 million people from Daesh oppression. The Coalition will continue to work with partner forces to deny Daesh any physical space and influence in the region as well as deny Daesh the resources they need to resurge.

The Coalition continues to employ thorough and deliberate targeting and strike processes to minimize the impact of operations on civilian populations and infrastructure. This process includes thorough review and vetting of each target package prior to a strike and another review after that strike. Regular strike reports make Coalition activities publicly accessible, and monthly publication of civilian casualty reports makes civilian casualty assessments similarly accessible to the public.

As demonstrated, the Coalition is willing to consider new civilian casualty allegations as well as new or  compelling evidence on past allegations to establish accountability based on the best available evidence.

The Coalition conducted 34,502 strikes between August 2014 and the end of April 2019. During this period, based on information available, CJTF-OIR assesses at least 1,302* civilians have been unintentionally killed by Coalition strikes since the beginning of Operation Inherent Resolve. This report includes three credible reports that had not been previously reported in monthly CIVCAS releases.

In the month of April, CJTF-OIR carried over 122 open reports from previous months and received seven new reports. CJTF-OIR completed 18 civilian-casualty allegation assessment reports. Out of the 18 completed casualty allegation reports, three reports were determined to be credible and resulted in five unintentional civilian deaths. The remaining 15 reports were assessed to be non-credible. One hundred and eleven reports are still open, including three that had been previously closed but were reopened due to the availability of new information.

Credible Reports–In the three incidents assessed in April and the three previously unreported incidents, the investigations assessed that the Coalition took all feasible precautions, and the decision to strike complied with the law of armed conflict. Coalition forces work diligently to be precise during the planning and execution of strikes to reduce the risk of harm to civilians.

Apr. 9, 2016, near Mosul, Iraq, via Airwars report. Coalition aircraft conducted an airstrike on a Daesh communication center in Mosul, Iraq. Regrettably, five civilians were unintentionally killed and nine others unintentionally wounded due to their proximity to the strike. (Not previously reported)
Jan. 17, 2017, near Idlib, Syria, via self-report. Coalition aircraft conducted a strike against a Daesh vehicle. Regrettably, three civilians were unintentionally wounded due to their proximity to the strike. (Not previously reported)
Mar. 27, 2017, near Idlib, Syria, via self-report. Coalition aircraft conducted a strike against a Daesh vehicle. Regrettably, three civilians were unintentionally killed and one civilian was injured due to their proximity to the strike. (Not previously reported)
Dec. 24, 2017, near Kharayij, Syria, via self-report. Coalition aircraft conducted strikes on a Daesh weapons storage facility and Daesh terrorists. Regrettably, three civilians were unintentionally killed due to the proximity of the strikes.
Aug. 1, 2018, near Ash Shajlah, Syria, via self-report. Coalition aircraft conducted a strike against a Daesh staging area. Regrettably, two civilians were unintentionally killed due to the proximity of the strike.
Mar. 10, 2019, near Qayyarah-West Airfield, Iraq, via media-report. Regrettably, one civilian was unintentionally injured by Coalition small arms fire.    Non Credible Reports– After a thorough review of the facts and circumstances of each civilian casualty report, CJTF-OIR assessed the following 15 reports as non-credible. At this time there is insufficient information to assess that, more likely than not, a Coalition strike resulted in civilian casualties.
Aug. 20, 2017, near al-Bado neighborhood, Raqqah, Syria, via Airwars report. After a review of all available strike records it was determined that, more likely than not, civilian casualties did not occur as a result of a Coalition strike.
Aug. 20, 2017, near al-Sakhani neighborhood, Raqqah, Syria, via Airwars report. After a review of all available strike records it was determined that, more likely than not, civilian casualties did not occur as a result of a Coalition strike.
Sept. 18, 2017, near al-Kahraba neighborhood, Raqqah, Syria, via Airwars report. After a review of all available strike records it was determined that, more likely than not, civilian casualties did not occur as a result of a Coalition strike.
Feb. 2, 2018, near al-Bahra, Syria, via Airwars report. After a review of all available strike records it was determined that, more likely than not, civilian casualties did not occur as a result of a Coalition strike.
May 31, 2018, near al-Susah, Syria, via Airwars report. After a review of all available strike records it was determined that, more likely than not, civilian casualties did not occur as a result of a Coalition strike.
July 22, 2018, near al-Susah, Syria, via social media report. After a review of all available strike records it was determined that, more likely than not, civilian casualties did not occur as a result of a Coalition strike.
Aug. 23, 2018, near Abu Kamal, Syria, via self-report. After a review of available information it was assessed that no Coalition strikes were conducted in the geographical area that corresponds to the report of civilian casualties.
Oct. 20, 2018, near al-Susah, Syria, via social media report. After a review of all available strike records it was determined that, more likely than not, civilian casualties did not occur as a result of a Coalition strike.
Mar. 11, 2019, near al-Baghouz, Syria, via social media report. The report contains insufficient information of the time, location and details to assess its credibility.
Mar. 13, 2019, near al-Baghouz, Syria, via Airwars report. The report contains insufficient information of the time, location and details to assess its credibility.
Mar. 14, 2019, near al-Baghouz, Syria, via social media report. The report contains insufficient information of the time, location and details to assess its credibility.
Mar. 16, 2019, near al-Baghouz, Syria, via Airwars report. The report contains insufficient information of the time, location and details to assess its credibility.
Mar. 17, 2019, near al-Baghouz, Syria, via social media report. The report contains insufficient information of the time, location and details to assess its credibility.
Mar. 18, 2019, near al-Baghouz, Syria, via Airwars report. The report contains insufficient information of the time, location and details to assess its credibility.
Mar. 24, 2019, near al-Rutba, Syria, via Airwars report. The report contains insufficient information of the time, location and details to assess its credibility.
Open Reports– CJTF-OIR is still assessing 111 reports of civilian casualties:

Nov. 7, 2014, near Al-Tanak Oilfield, Syria, via Syrian Human Rights Network report.
Dec. 28, 2014, near Jarabulus, Syria, via Airwars report.
Aug. 24, 2015, near Mosul, Iraq, via Airwars report.
Oct. 30, 2015, near Qayyarah, Iraq, via media report.
Nov. 7, 2015, near Qayyarah, Iraq, via media report.
Dec. 24, 2015, near Manbij, Syria, via self-report.
June 1, 2016, near Mosul, Iraq, via Airwars report.
Sept. 22, 2016, near Qayyarah, Iraq, via media report.
Oct. 13, 2016, near Qayyarah, Iraq, via media report.
Jan. 3, 2017, near Sarmada, Syria, via social media report (previously closed, but reopened due to new information).
Jan. 6, 2017, near Taftanaz, Idlib, Syria, via Airwars report.
Jan. 11, 2017, near Saraqib, Idlib, Syria, via Airwars report.
Jan. 14, 2017, near Al Mayadin, Syria, via Airwars report.
Jan. 17, 2017, near Baysan neighborhood, Mosul, Iraq, via social media report (previously closed, but reopened due to new information).
Jan. 26, 2017, near Mosul, Iraq, via Airwars report.
Feb. 3, 2017, near Sarmin, Idlib, Syria, via Airwars report.
Feb. 10, 2017, near Hatra, Iraq, via Airwars report.
Mar. 8, 2017, near Al Karamah, Syria via Airwars report.
Mar. 11, 2017, near Al Karamah, Syria, via Airwars report.
Mar. 23, 2017, near al-Yarmouk neighborhood, Mosul, Iraq, via self-report.
Mar. 25, 2017, near Al Mayadin, Syria, via Airwars report.
Mar. 27, 2017, near Sarmada, Idlib, via Airwars report.
Apr. 5, 2017, near al-Shafa neighborhood, Mosul, Iraq, via Airwars report.
Apr. 7, 2017, near Hamra Ghanim, Syria, via Airwars report.
Apr. 11, 2017, near al-Yarmouk neighborhood, Mosul, Iraq, via Airwars report.
Apr. 11, 2017, near al-Sahab neighborhood, Mosul, Iraq, via Airwars report.
Apr. 19, 2017, near al-Thawra neighborhood, Mosul, Iraq, via Airwars report.
Apr. 28, 2017, near al-Tabaqah, Syria, via Airwars report.
May 6, 2017, near Mayadin, Syria, via Airwars report.
May 9, 2017, near Abu Kamal, Syria, via Airwars report.
May 13, 2017, near Between two Bridges, Raqqah, Syria, via Airwars report.
May 28, 2017, near Al Mansoura, Syria, via Airwars report.
June 3, 2017, near Hawi al Hawa, Syria, via Airwars report.
June 3, 2017, near al Jisr al Qadim, Raqqah, Syria, via Airwars report.
June 4, 2017, near Abu al Naital, Syria, via Airwars report.
June 10, 2017 near Euphrates River, Syria via Amnesty International report.
June 12, 2017, near al-Tib al-Hadeeth area, Raqqah, Syria via Airwars report.
June 13, 2017 near Kasrat Sheikh Jum’ah Syria, via Airwars report.
June 17, 2017, near Hawijah al-Swafi, Raqqah, Syria via Airwars report.
June 18, 2017, near al-Firdous neighborhood, Raqqah, Syria, via Airwars report.
June 18, 2017, near al-Meshahda neighborhood, Mosul, Iraq, via Airwars report.
June 21, 2017, near Amn al-Dawlah neighborhood, Raqqah, Syria, via Airwars report.
June 23, 2017, near al-Saa’a neighborhood, Mosul, Iraq via Airwars report.
June 23, 2017, near Abu Kamal, Syria via Airwars report (previously closed, but reopened due to new information).
June 24, 2017, near Adnan al-Maliki school, Raqqah, Syria via Airwars report.
June 26, 2017, near Al Mayadin, Syria via Airwars report.
June 26, 2017, near Euphrates River, Raqqah, Syria, via Airwars report.
June 27, 2017, near Euphrates River, Raqqah, Syria, via Airwars report.
June 30, 2017, near Al Dashaisha, Syria via Airwars report.
July 2, 2017, near Al Soor, Syria via Airwars report.
July 13, 2017, near Raqqah, Syria via Airwars report.
July 23, 2017, near Nazlet Shahata, Syria via Airwars report.
Aug. 5, 2017, near Raqqah, Syria via Airwars report.
Aug. 11, 2017, near Raqqah, Syria, via Airwars report.
Aug. 23, 2017, near Karabla, al Qaiem, Iraq via Airwars report.
Aug. 23, 2017, near Raqqah, Syria via Airwars report.
Sept. 4, 2017, near Raqqah, Syria via Airwars report.
Sept. 5, 2017, near Raqqah, Syria, via media report.
Sept. 17, 2017, near Abu Kamal, Syria, via Airwars report.
Sept. 18, 2017, near al Mrashdah village, Albu Kamal, Syria, via Airwars report.
Sept. 19, 2017, near Raqqah, Syria, via Airwars report.
Oct. 10, 2017, near Deir Ez Zor, Syria via self-report.
Oct. 13, 2017, near Husaybah, al Qaiem, Iraq via Airwars report.
Oct. 17, 2017, near Abu Kamal, Syria via self-report.
Nov. 14, 2017, near al-Hawaij village, Syria, via Airwars report.
Nov. 26, 2017, near Daranj, Syria, via Airwars report.
Nov. 28, 2017, near El Qata, Syria, via self-report.
Dec. 1, 2017, near Granij, Syria, via Airwars report.
Dec. 5, 2017, near al-Jarthi, Syria, via Airwars report.
Dec. 10, 2017, near Abu Hamam, Syria, via Airwars report.
Dec. 22, 2017, near Hajin, Syria, via Airwars report.
Dec. 29, 2017, near al-Bahra, Syria, via Airwars report.
Feb. 6, 2018, near al-Shafaa, Syria, via self-report.
Feb. 28, 2018, near al-Sha’fah village, Syria, via Airwars report.
Mar. 2, 2018, near al-Bajari, Syria, via Airwars report.
May 10, 2018, near al Khatuniyah, Syria, via self-report.
May 27, 2018, near al-Soussa, Syria, via Airwars report.
June 12, 2018, near Hassoun al-Basha village, Syria, via Airwars report.
June 13, 2018, near al-Sousa, Syria, via Airwars report.
June 21, 2018, near al-Sha’fah, Syria, via Airwars report.
July 16, 2018, near Deir Ezzor, Syria, via self-report.
Nov. 12, 2018, near Hajin, via social media report
Nov. 14, 2018, near Abu Kamal and Al Baghouz, via social media report.
Nov. 17, 2018, near Abu al-Hasan, Syria, via Syrian Observatory for Human Rights report.
Nov. 25, 2018, near Al- Sha’fa, Syria, via social media report.
Nov.29, 2018, near Al-Sha’fa, Syria, via social media report.
Nov. 29, 2018, near Al-Kashma, Syria, via social media report.
Dec. 10, 2018, near al-Kashmah, Syria, via social media report.
Dec. 12, 2018, near Hajin, Syria, via self-report.
Dec. 12, 2018, near Abu Kamal, Syria, via self-report.
Dec. 20, 2018, near al-Shafaa, Syria, via social media report.
Jan. 04, 2019, near al-Shafaa, Syria, via self-report.
Jan. 05, 2019, near al-Mrashdah, Syria, via self-report.
Jan. 10, 2019, near al-Shajlah, Syria, via self-report.
Jan. 10, 2019, near al-Susah, Syria, via self-report.
Jan. 18, 2019, near al-Baghouz, Abu Kamal, Syria, via social media report.
Jan. 20, 2019, near al-Shajlah, Syria, via self-report.
Jan. 22, 2019, near al-Shajlah, Syria, via social media report.
Jan. 23, 2019, near al-Baghouz, Syria, via social media report.
Jan. 25, 2019, near al-Baghouz Fawqani, Syria, via self-report.
Jan. 25, 2019, near al-Mrashdah, Syria, via self-report.
Feb. 6, 2019, near al-Busayrah, Syria, via self-report.
Feb. 10, 2019, near Omer Oil fields, Syria, via media report and Airwars report.
Feb. 11, 2019, near al-Baghouz, Syria, via social media report.
Feb. 12, 2019, near al-Baghouz, Syria, via social media report.
Mar. 2, 2019, near al-Baghouz Fawqani, Syria, via self-report.
Mar. 7, 2019, near al-Baghouz camp, Syria, via Airwars report.
Mar. 13, 2019, near al-Baghouz, Syria, via Airwars report.
Mar. 18, 2019, near al-Baghouz Fawqani, Syria, via self-report.
Mar. 20, 2019, near Anbar province, Iraq, via self-report.
Apr. 15, 2019, near al-Sha’afa, Syria, via social media report.

*During a recent internal database audit, the CJTF-OIR CIVCAS Cell discovered an administrative error involving a 2017 allegation – Feb. 22, 2017, near Mosul, Iraq, via self-report: During a strike on ISIS fighters in a moving vehicle, it was assessed that one civilian was unintentionally killed when he entered the target area after the munition was released (Reported Apr. 30, 2017). The Public Affairs release was correct; however, the affected civilian was not recorded in the database correctly.

(Sources: US Dept of Defense, Amnesty International)

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

Thousands of dunams of wheat and barley crops were torched this month in Kirkuk, Ninevah, Salahuddin and Diyala provinces, adding agony to the harsh lives of Iraqi farmers and raising the question of who is really behind the fires?

Click here to read the full story.

Acting US Secretary of Defense Patrick M. Shanahan met Iraqi Council of Representatives Speaker Mohammed al-Halbousi at the Pentagon on Wednesday to reaffirm the strategic security partnership between the U.S. and Iraq and the U.S. commitment to a sovereign, secure, and prosperous Iraq.

The secretary extended his condolences to the speaker for the tragic ferry accident in Mosul that killed more than a hundred civilians last week.

The leaders discussed the enduring value of the U.S.-Iraq security partnership and ways to better partner against the enduring threat ISIS poses to both nations and to the world. U.S. security assistance is specifically designed to empower Iraqi forces to defeat ISIS and prevent its resurgence.

The leaders agreed that the U.S.-Iraq security partnership makes us all safer—Iraqis, Americans, and regional allies alike. They also agreed on the value of the international Coalition to Defeat ISIS and the need for continued Coalition support to Iraq.

(Source: US Dept of Defense)

By Geneive Abdo, for Foreign Policy. Any opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News.

Pro-Iran factions are pushing for the move just as the Islamic State is starting to hit back.

Momentum is building among deputies in the Iraqi parliament to oust U.S. troops entirely from the country—an outcome that would leave Iraq’s political future in the hands of neighboring Iran and leave its citizens more vulnerable to the Islamic State.

Today, the United States fields an estimated 5,200 troops in Iraq. They are there as part of a security agreement with the Iraqi government to advise, assist, and support that country’s troops in the fight against the Islamic State.

But the Iraqi parliament is expected to vote soon on draft laws calling for a full withdrawal. For now, things don’t look good for the troops.

Click here to read the full story.