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ISHM: July 1 - July 8, 2021

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Key Takeaways:

  • Kadhimi Seeks Stronger Economic Ties With Rome; Iraqis Protest Electricity Shortages; Militias Threaten More Strikes On U.S. Interests – On July 2, PM Kadhimi met with his Italian counterpart and Italian business executives and encouraged them to participate in Iraq’s major infrastructure projects, including the Faw Port. Throughout the week, Iraqis took to the streets in Baghdad and other provinces to protest the worsening electricity shortages. Most provinces experienced near-total power outages as temperatures approached 50C. On July 3, PM Kadhimi convened an emergency meeting to address the electricity shortages and issued several directives to protect the grid from attacks, ensure provinces comply with supply quotas, and provide more fuel for private generators. On July 6, militia leader Abu Alaa al-Walaie threatened new attacks against U.S. interests after an American strike killed four of his militiamen last week. On July 6, IHEC said that the final list of candidates for the upcoming parliamentary elections includes 3,243 candidates. On July 8, Qais al-Khazali said his militia was not behind rocket attacks on the U.S. embassy, adding that his group would use “accurate weapons” should it decide to strike. more…

  • Bombings Batter Iraq’s Power Grid; String Of Rocket And Drone Attacks Target The Green Zone And Military Bases – Between July 2 – 6, six IEDs targeted convoys transporting supplies for the International Coalition, causing material damages. Between July 2 – 8, at least nine attacks with explosives damaged high voltage transmission towers in central and northern Iraq. A few of the attacks also targeted repair crews responding to the incidents. Iraqi military sources said the attacks damaged at least 44 towers as of July 5, contributing to Iraq’s worsening electricity shortages. Between July 2 – 4, two more ISIS attacks killed five civilians, injured two more, and left several civilians missing. Between July 4 – 7, five other IED attacks killed one Iraqi and injured eleven more. On July 6, a rocket struck an equipment yard belonging to Iraq’s North Gas Company near Kirkuk. On July 5, three rockets targeted Ain al-Assad base in Anbar province without causing casualties. On July 7, another attack involving at least 14 rockets targeted Ain al-Assad again, injuring two U.S. service personnel and damaging civilian buildings adjacent to the base. On July 6, explosives-laden drones targeted the American embassy in Baghdad and Erbil International Airport. On July 8, three rockets targeted the Green Zone in Baghdad. One of the rockets landed near the National Security Agency headquarters, and another struck a residential area across the river. more…

  • Authorities Resume Issuing Identification Documents For IDPs; Iraq Reports A New Spike In COVID-19 Infections – On July 5, Iraqi activists launched an online campaign to halt an amendment of Article 57 of Personal Status Law no. 188 (1959), which would impact mothers’ rights to child custody following divorce. On July 6, UNHCR announced that Iraq’s Interior Ministry processed 29,593 applications for civil identity cards and nationality certificates from 12 IDP camps in Duhok, ending a long hiatus due to the pandemic. On July 8, Iraq’s Health Ministry said the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases increased to 1,406,289. Deaths from confirmed COVID-19 cases reached 17,444 while hospitalizations increased to 100,942. To date, 1,287,903 patients have recovered from the virus, and Iraq has tested 12,088,184 samples for COVID-19. The daily average for new cases increased from 6,052/day over the 7-day period ending July 1 to 7,547/day during the last 7-day period. The total number of people who received the COVID-19 vaccine reached 1,001,180, including 37,979 who received their shots on July 08. The 9,189 new infections Iraq reported on Thursday represent a new daily high. more…

  • Lukoil My Exit West Qurna-2; Iraq Awards Refinery Project To Consortium Of UAE And Chinese Companies – On July 3, Iraq’s Oil Minister said that Lukoil informed the Ministry that it plans to sell its interest in Iraq’s West Qurna-2 field to Chinese companies. On July 3, the Oil Ministry confirmed that it has awarded the 100,000 barrels per day Dhi-Qar oil refinery project to a consortium of Eamirati and Chinese companies. On July 4, the KRG authorized provinces and administrative units in the KRI to independently issue investment project licenses. On July 5, Iraq’s Planning Minister and Egypt’s Trade Minister met in Baghdad and agreed on a timeline to establish joint industrial and trade zones to boost trade in materials including textiles, leather, pesticides and pharmaceuticals. On July 6, UNDP launched a U.S.-funded, multi-year program that will work with Iraqi institutions to combat organized and financial crimes. On July 7, Iraq’s Central Bank said it will launch an initiative to encourage homeowners and residential complexes to install solar panels. more…

For more background on most of the institutions, key actors, political parties, and locations mentioned in our takeaways or in the stories that follow, see the ISHM Reference Guide.