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Iraq Security and Humanitarian Monitor: May 5 – 12, 2022

Publication date
  • Independent MPs Mull Overtures By Sadr And CF; Halbousi Bans Prominent Independent MP From Speaking; Iraq Plans Census In 2023 – On May 9, 45 independent MPs met to discuss two proposals by Muqtada al-Sadr and his rivals in the Coordination Framework (CF) in which both sides sought the independents’ help in forming a government. Reports after the meeting described a divided scene in which 16 independent MPs were in favor of Sadr’s proposal, 13 preferred the CF proposal, while another 23 remained undecided. On May 11, Speaker Halbousi called a vote on a motion to ban MP Basim Khashan from joining any parliamentary committee. The motion, which passed instantly, also bans the Muthanna province MP from presenting any arguments in Parliament for the remainder of the legislative term. The move is reportedly linked to recent remarks by Khashan, in which he accused Halbousi of financial misconduct and constitutional violations. On May 12, Iraq’s Planning Ministry said it set October 2023 as a tentative timeframe for conducting a long-delayed nationwide population census. A ministry spokesman sid a final date could be decided within weeks. In other developments, on May 9, PM Kadhimi met with a delegation from Sinjar district to discuss security and economic conditions following clashes in the district. According to a government statement, Kadhimi gave instructions to “expedite” procedures to establish a reconstruction fund for Sinjar, and to fund jobs for locals in the security forces. On May 11, Parliament resumed its meetings after a nearly six-week break. During the Wednesday session, lawmakers completed the formation of 25 committees to oversee various policy areas. more…

  • Iraq Buys New Artillery From France And U.S.; Iran Shells Targets Near Erbil – On May 8, a senior Iraqi officer said that Baghdad has signed new deals with the U.S. and France to import an unspecified number of new long-range artillery systems for the country’s armed forces. On May 11, Iranian news agencies said the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) shelled the positions of “terrorist groups” in the Sedikan subdistrict of Erbil province. Iraq’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs condemned the shelling, which was reportedly targeting buildings occupied by the dissident Kurdistan Democratic Party of Iran. In other developments, between May 5 – 12, the explosions of six IEDs in Duhok, Ninewa, Diwaniyah, and Salah ad-Din killed a Danish tourist and wounded four Iraqis. Between May 7 – 12, Iraqi troops and airstrikes in Ninewa and Kirkuk killed at least 21 ISIS militants. Another airstrike in Ninewa reportedly killed two local camel herders who were misidentified as ISIS militants. more…

  • Iraq Reports Dozens Of Hemorrhagic Fever Infections; Hundreds Return To Sinjar As Clashes Subside – On May 10, Iraq’s Agriculture Ministry said it formed a joint committee with the Health Ministry to deal with an outbreak of the Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever. This week, Iraq recorded 55 infections among humans and 12 fatalities, with Dhi-Qar province being the most affected. On May 10, Ninewa governor Najm al-Jubouri said that more than 300 families that were displaced by recent clashes in Sinjar have returned to the district. The 300 returning families represent less than half of some 700 families (1,800 by other counts) that left Sinjar during the fighting. In other developments, on May 12, Iraq’s Health Ministry said the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases reached 2,326,162, an increase of just 765 in from the 2,325,397 reported on May 5. Hospitalizations decreased from 1,468 to 1,278, but the daily average for new cases during the last 7-day period increased to 109/day from 79/day during the 7-day period ending May 5. The number of people who received the COVID-19 vaccine reached 10,575,775 including 15,933 who received their shots on May 12. 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.