Iraq PM heads to oil-rich Basra after violent protests

Iraqi protesters burn tires and block the road at the entrance to the city of Basra, Iraq July 12, 2018. REUTERS/Essam al-Sudani
Updated 13 July 2018
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Iraq PM heads to oil-rich Basra after violent protests

BASRA: Iraqi Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi went to Basra on Friday hoping to restore calm in the southern city, which has been gripped by protests over unemployment, his office said.
Abadi flew straight into the city from Brussels where he attended a NATO summit to discuss the Daesh group and immediately held talks with officials, a statement said.
Demonstrations have been ongoing over the past several days, with protesters in some cases setting tires ablaze to block roads and trying to storm government installations.
The protests erupted on Sunday and security forces opened fire killing a protester, sparking further anger.
As well as unemployment, protesters are frustrated by rising living costs and a lack of basic services in the city, the capital of Basra province.
There were further protests on Friday morning and calls for a demonstration in the afternoon in front of the local provincial headquarters.
On Thursday Oil Minister Jabbar Al-Luaibi said protesters tried to break into an oil installation in the West Qurna oil field of Basra province.
In a statement released by his office, Luaibi said the demonstrators failed to enter the area but had set fire to a gate and a security post.
Officially, 10.8 percent of Iraqis are jobless, while youth unemployment is twice as high in a country where 60 percent of the population are aged under 24.
Abadi has vowed to rebuild the economy, ravaged by years of conflict, but frustrations have been growing especially in the oil-rich south.
Iraq is the second biggest producer of crude in the OPEC oil cartel, with 153 billion barrels of proven reserves.
 


Iraq court condemns to death ‘deputy of Daesh leader’

Updated 19 September 2018
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Iraq court condemns to death ‘deputy of Daesh leader’

  • An Iraqi courtsentenced to death by hanging one of the most prominent leaders of Daesh
  • Al-Ithawi was extradited from Turkey earlier this year having fled Syria as the group’s self-proclaimed “caliphate” crumbled

BAGHDAD: An Iraqi court on Wednesday sentenced a prominent militant described as a deputy of Daesh group leader Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi to death on terrorism charges.
“The Karkh criminal court in Baghdad sentenced to death by hanging one of the most prominent leaders of Daesh, who served as a deputy of Baghdadi,” judicial spokesman Abdel Sattar Bayraqdar said.
Ismail Alwan Salman Al-Ithawi was extradited from Turkey earlier this year having fled Syria as the group’s self-proclaimed “caliphate” crumbled.
He was tracked and detained through cooperation between Turkish, Iraqi and US intelligence agencies, a senior Iraqi official told AFP in February.
A native of the Iraqi city of Ramadi, Ithawi was accused of holding several positions including Daesh “minister” in charge of religious edicts.
Iraq declared “victory” over Daesh In December after a three-year war against the extremists who once controlled nearly one third of the country as well as swathes of neighboring Syria.
Baghdadi has been pronounced dead on several occasions, but an Iraqi intelligence official said in May that he remained alive in Syrian territory by the Iraqi border.
The Daesh chief called on Muslims to wage “jihad” in a purported new audio recording released last month.