Friday, January 22, 2016

People protest corruption in KRG

NRT English: "The global slump in oil prices, fight against the Islamic State (IS) and influx of Syrian refugees and displaced Iraqis have added more pressure on the KRG’s economy without resolution.

As a result, Kurdish officials have repeatedly said the government does not have enough money to pay for basic services and salaries for employees and for Peshmerga on the frontlines in the war against IS.

On Wednesday (Jan. 20), the Wusha newspaper reported that Kurdish authorities seized some $250 million dollars belonging to an oil businesswoman and the wife of the Kurdistan Region’s current Minister of Natural Resources. This report raised suspicion of corruption within the oil revenues within the KRG, although the government denied the seizure of assets. Lawmakers and advocates called for increased transparency in the KRG oil revenues, including monitoring reports requested on a monthly basis."

Sunday, January 17, 2016

This is the Pentagon's new strategy to defeat ISIS

militarytimes: "Meanwhile, Iraqi leaders have begun imposing restrictions on the size and scope of the U.S. military force in their country. Factions within Baghdad’s Shiite-led government are influenced by neighboring Iran and thus oppose expanding the American military mission there. "Iraq is proving to be a lot trickier than we thought," said Michael Knights, a military expert with the the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. "You’ve always got the risk that you can unbalance the government if you do too much. ... We've learned that it can be a lot simpler operating in an environment where you have no sovereign government [like Syria] than to operate in a place where you’ve got one, like in Iraq."

The new battle plan has many potential pitfalls, of course. And there are no clear plans for ousting ISIS militants from their strongholds in Syria west of the Euphrates River, where several rebel factions are fighting to overthrow Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, who has been buoyed by Russian military forces that have established an air base along the Mediterranean coast. For the U.S. and its allies, Russia's presence and activity in the region only further complicates an already convoluted pocket of Syria’s five-year-old civil war.

This campaign will take years to execute, officials say. But it is underway, both operationally and politically. Carter's recent trip to the region, which included stops here in Irbil, Baghdad and Turkey, set things in motion."

'via Blog this'

Thursday, January 14, 2016

How Zionism helped create the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

Mondoweiss: "However, one must go back to the 1920’s to fully appreciate the origins of this informal and indirect alliance between Saudi Arabia and the Zionist entity. "