Weekly news update 21-27 May

Politics May 27, 2022 3 min read

Sinjar Resistance attacks Turkish military base

Sunday 22 The resistance group Ahrar al Sinjar (freemen of Sinjar) attacked a Turkish military base, and 2 soldiers and one contract worker died. This attack came after a series of attacks against Iraqi sovereignty by the Turkish state that has been using its fighter planes above Iraqi soil under the guise of fighting the Kurdish workers party who is active in the Sinjar region. Often times innocent Iraqi citizens die in these operations. Turkey has been reprimanded several times by the Iraqi government for infringing upon its sovereignty. The Turkish army rarely to never asks permission from the Iraqi government for its operations in Iraq. In general little to no attention is given to this issue since Turkey is an important NATO ally and gives Turkey additional leverage over Iraq.

Iraq's Hamrin lake has almost fully dried out

Iraq's Hamrin lake a key irrigation reservoir for Iraqi farms northeast of Baghdad, has almost fully dried out. Very low rainfall the past few years in Iraq,Iran and Syria has lowered its water to 130 million cubic litre as opposed to the normal 2billion litres. While longterm regional drought is a key factor to this problem, ongoing Iranian dam construction is also part of the reason why the lake is almost dried out. As a short term solution a request by the Iraqi government to temporarily let water flow from the Iranian Sarwan river has been done.

Lake Hamrin, is a lake approximately 50 km north-east of the Baquba, in Iraq's Diyala province. Photo via: Visit Iraq

British geologist loots Iraqi archeological pieces, court decides to delay decision

Monday 23 the court decision over British geologist Jim Fitton who was put into custody for trying to take archeological pieces out of Iraq, has been delayed until further investigation. Initially it seems that Fitton could face a death penalty this seems however unlikely for now.

Escalation in tensions in Iraqi politics

Seven months post elections, Iraqi Parliament remains in a political deadlock. The Sadri attempt to exclude all other Shia parties by forming a government with the KDP and the Sunni parties has failed. The federal court ruled that the Sadri block failed to reach the quorum to form a government. This failure was caused because his political rivals managed to maintain a third of the government that opposes Sadr's attempts.

Al Sadr denounced the federal court and statements were made by the Sadri block in which they hinted at using violence to reach their goals.

It is feared that al Sadr with the help of external actors will activate a contingency plan that will cause the reappearing of a tishreen style color revolution to put his political rivals under pressure.

Iraqi parliament approves bill that criminalizes normalization with the Zionist Entity

Supporters of the Hashed al-Shaabi (Popular Mobilisation) paramilitary forces wave a large Palestinian flag during a demonstration in the capital Baghdad on 20 May 2021, in support of the Palestinians. [AHMAD AL-RUBAYE/AFP via Getty Images]

Iraqi parliament has approved a bill that criminalizes normalization and ties with Israel. Punishment for breaking this law may lead to a death penalty. Even though the bill that was proposed by the Sadri block was passed unanimously, many observers remained skeptical. They pointed out that it is the Sadri block that is forming “the normalization coalition” with the Barzani led KDP. The Kurdistan Regional Government is Israel's main supplier of oil. The oil gets sold without approval from the federal government in Baghdad. Furthermore, it is widely known and acknowledged that Israel uses the KRG as a launching pad for operations in Iraq and the wider region. Other observers noted that the law is ambiguous about religious visits to the zionist state. They claim this clause could be used to foster ties with Israel. Many Arab nations have in the past drafted similar laws while covertly cooperating with the zionist state at every level. The law merely served as a ploy to tranquilize public opinion.

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