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Iraq Security and Humanitarian Monitor: June 2 – 9, 2022

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Key Takeaways:

  • Parliament Approves IQD25 Trillion “Food Security” Bill; Sadr Tells His Lawmakers To Prepare Resignations – On June 8, Iraq’s Parliament voted to approve the “Emergency Support for Food Security and Development” bill during a session that was attended by 273 lawmakers. The passage of the contentious bill, which authorizes more than $17 billion in spending, followed news on Wednesday that Sadr and his rivals in the Coordination Framework were able to reach some sort of compromise on the bill’s terms. On June 9, Muqtada al-Sadr made a televised speech in which he instructed the members of his bloc in Parliament to “write their resignations…in preparation to submit them…in the coming days.” In his brief message, Sadr reaffirmed his opposition to forming a consensus government, insisting that his followers must either form a majority government, or become an opposition power. In other developments, on June 6, the foreign ministers of Egypt and Jordan visited Baghdad for meetings with PM Kadhimi that focused on security cooperation and completing a power grid connection to supply Iraqi with electricity next year. On June 7, the KDP and PUK issued a joint statement in which they said they agreed to “initiate legal preparations” to write a much-delayed constitution for the Kurdistan region. more…

  • KRG Accuses Kataib Hezbollah Of Launching Armed Drone Attack On Erbil; Iraq Builds Security Barrier On The Border With Iran – On June 8, the counter-terrorism service of the Kurdistan region said that an armed drone carrying explosives impacted on the road between Erbil and the Pirmam subdistrict, injuring three civilians and damaging a building and several civilian vehicles. The region’s security council accused the Kataib Hezbollah militia of launching the drone, saying it originated from Altun Kupri between Erbil and Kirkuk. On June 7, Iraq’s Joint Operations Command said that Iraq was building an extensive earthen berm on the border with Iran to improve border security and prevent the smuggling of illegal drugs and other goods across the border. The barrier will be supported by surveillance cameras and security posts, and extend for 100 kilometers along the Howeizah marsh east of Basra. In other developments, between June 4 – 8, the explosions of four IEDs and one remnant of war in Diyala, Salah ad-Din, Ninewa, Erbil, and Basra, wounded eight Iraqis and one member of an Iranian Kurdish dissident group. more…

  • Humanitarian Response Plan Faces Severe Funding Shortage – On June 5, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) reported a serious funding gap affecting the 2022 Humanitarian Response Plan (HRP). OCHA said that donors have provided $62 million in funding through the month of May, which represents just over 15% of the $400 million needed to fully implement the 2022 HRP. In other developments, on June 6, Iraq’s Ministry of Health said the number of confirmed hemorrhagic fever cases recorded in the country increased to 142, and that fatalities from the diseases increased to 24. On June 9, Iraq’s Health Ministry said the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases reached 2,329,313, an increase of 944 from the 2,328,369 reported on June 2. Hospitalizations increased from 1,010 to 1,237, and the daily average for new cases increased to 135/day during the last 7-day period. The number of people who received the COVID-19 vaccine reached 10,740,527 including 11,378 who received their shots on June 9. more…

  • Baghdad Sues Oil Companies In Kurdistan; Iraq To Boost Oil Output In July; Deputy Speaker Zamili Threatens To Ban Turkish, Iranian Goods Over Water Dispute – On June 2, Iraq Oil Report wrote that oil companies operating in the Kurdistan region were summoned “to appear at the Commercial Court in Baghdad on June 5.” The summons are part of a legal effort by the federal Ministry of Oil to take control of Kurdistan’s oil operations and implement the February 15 Federal Supreme Court ruling invalidating the KRG Oil and Gas Law. Meanwhile, the Kurdistan region’s judiciary council issued a statement rejecting the February 15 ruling. It argued that the KRG oil operations were “in accordance with the Iraqi constitution,” since they involved fields that were developed after the 2005 constitutional referendum. On June 3, Iraq’s Oil Ministry said it will increase crude oil production by 71,000 bpd in July in accordance with ased on output ceiling adjustments agreed upon by OPEC+. On June 9, deputy speaker of Parliament Hakim al-Zamili said that Parliament could push legislation to boycott Iranian and Turkish goods if the two neighbors continued to reduce water flow to Iraq from shared rivers. In other developments, on June 8, the Iraqi government extended an exemption from import license requirements for foodstuffs, medicine, and other consumer goods, until October 1, 2022 to mitigate supply chain disruptions and shortages caused by the Russian war in Ukraine. On June 9, Iraq’s Integrity Commission said its investigations uncovered “embezzlement, fraud, and money laundering” that led to the loss of more than IQD 926 billion from two state-owned banks. 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.