Anti-ISIS Coalition Handed Over Taji Base To Iraqi Army

US Gen. Kenneth Ackman, who was present at the handover ceremony, described the handover to the Iraqi army as a “historic event.” Maj. Gen. Tahseen al-Khafaji, the official spokesman for the Iraqi Joint Operations Headquarters, said Australian, New Zealand, and US forces were stationed at the base and said $347 million worth of equipment had been delivered to Iraqi forces.

Could Freelance Gigs Be Better for the Arab Economy than Oil?

The inflation rate in the Middle East is now estimated to be 8.8% in 2020. With Egypt, possibly the fastest growing Arab country, growing at only 2%, most oil producing countries in the region are seeing economic contractions. The combination of Covid-19 hitting the local population and the oil decline has severely affected this region.

Arab oil exporters are forecasting oil supply cuts of about 50% in 2020 and 2021, levels that have been approved by OPEC agreements.  The combination of significant cuts in production, $42 a barrel for oil, and Covid affecting local marketplaces, will have a significantly negative impact on regional economies.

Iraq: Two US, One British Soldier Killed in Rocket Attack on Military Base

Three people were killed and 12 others were injured in an attack on an Iraqi base. According to a statement, five fire service personnel were among the most severely injured, and concerns are being raised about the casualties. The statement added, “allied forces and Iraqi security forces are investigating the attack.” The attack happened around 7:30 PM local time on Wednesday.

Coronavirus: Saudi Arabia Suspends Pilgrims, Iraq Closes Public Spaces

On Thursday, Saudi Arabia suspended the entrance of pilgrims visiting the mosque of the Prophet Muhammad and the holy places of Islam in Mecca and Medina. They also banned tourists from countries affected by the coronavirus that causes Covid- 19. The country’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs has published a list of measures to “prevent and eliminate” the spread of the new coronavirus, said in a statement on Thursday.

US Imposes Additional Sanctions – How Does It Affect Russia’s Weapons Industry?

The United States imposes sanctions on 13 foreign entities and individuals in Russia, China, Iraq, and Turkey under the Iran, North Korea, and Syria Nonproliferation Act (INKSNA).  The announcement was confirmed by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on @twitter.

The Iran, North Korea, and Syria Nonproliferation Act authorizes the United States to impose sanctions against foreign individuals, private entities, and governments that engage in proliferation activities.

Iran Admits “Unintentionally” Shooting Down Ukrainian Plane

Iran’s Armed Forces General Staff admitted on Saturday that, by “human error,” a missile launched by its army shot down the Ukrainian Airlines Boeing 737 plane with 176 people aboard. In a statement, the Iranian government said the aircraft was wrongly identified as a “hostile aircraft,” and hit it at the time the enemy threat was “at the highest level.” Tehran has apologized for the incident.

Trump to Attend Davos Summit, Claims Soleimani Killing was Self Defense

US President Donald Trump plans to attend the World Economic Forum in Switzerland later in January. Last year, the President didn’t attend the meeting because of the record-long federal government shutdown. The annual World Economic Forum Summit, held in the popular ski resort of Davos, attracts high-profile businessmen and politicians, as well as academics and other community leaders.

Iran: Ukrainian Airliner Crashes, IRGC Attacks U.S. Bases

A plane flying from Tehran, the capital of Iran, to Kyiv, Ukraine, crashed at dawn Wednesday, killing all 176 people on board, the local Iranian press reported. The aircraft crashed shortly after taking off from Imam Khomeini International Airport. The model is a Boeing 737-800 of the company Ukraine International Airlines, and had 167 passengers and nine crew members on board.

Stampede at Soleimani Funeral Kills 50, Injures 212

More than 50 people were killed and 212 were injured in a stampede today, during during the funeral procession of Iranian General Qassem Soleimani in Kerman. The semi-official ISNA, citing Kerman relief chief Mohammad Sabéri, said of the 212 people injured in the stampede, “a small number” is in “serious condition.” Abbas Amian, chief of the forensic institute, said the 50 victims were asphyxiated, as reported by the Iranian media.

Trump Threatens Sanctions Over Iraq Resolution

The Iraqi parliament has voted to pass a resolution calling for foreign troops to withdraw from Iraq, including US and German troops. U.S. President Donald Trump also threatened the Iraqi government with sanctions for the first time. The resolution was passed by lawmakers, asking the government to terminate the agreement reached with Washington in 2014. The agreement allowed the United States to deploy 5,200 soldiers in Iraq.

Iran Abandons Nuclear Deal Over Soleimani Slaying

Iran announced, through its national television station Sunday, that it would no longer comply with any restrictions under the 2015 Nuclear Agreement (JCPOA). Although Tehran will continue to cooperate with the United Nations’ nuclear oversight agency, the (IAEA), it will no longer fully comply with the restrictions of the nuclear agreement, with the intervention of France, Germany, and the United Kingdom.

Trump Threatens Iraq with Sanctions if it Kicks Out US Troops

US President Donald Trump threatened Iraq with drastic sanctions on Sunday if the country dares to kick out US troops out of the country in a hostile manner. The Iraqi Parliament has called on the government to send the US-led coalition out of Iraq after Iranian military leader Qassem Soleimani was killed Friday in a US drone attack in Iraq’s capital, Baghdad, by the US. But should Iraq fail to meet the US conditions for a possible retreat, the country will suffer sanctions “like never before,” Trump said.

Iraqi Parliament Approves Resolution to Expel U.S. Troops

The Iraqi parliament approved a resolution Sunday calling on the government to end the presence of foreign troops in the country following the attack by the United States that killed Iranian military leader Qassem Soleimani at Baghdad airport, the capital of Iraq. “The government commits to revoke its request for assistance from the international coalition fighting Islamic State due to the end of military operations in Iraq and the achievement of victory,” the resolution read in part.

Trump: 52 Iranian Targets Selected Should Iran Attack

The United States has selected 52 Iranian targets to be attacked if Iran dares launch an attack on any American or U.S. possessions, President Trump posted in a number of tweets.  “We have … targeted 52 Iranian sites (representing the 52 American hostages taken by Iran many years ago), some at a very high level & important to Iran & the Iranian culture” and “if Iran strikes any Americans, or American assets… Iran itself, WILL BE HIT VERY FAST AND VERY HARD,” Trump tweeted.

Nations Urge Restraint After Soleimani Strike

Many countries have issued statements urging calm and restraint among all parties, since the U.S. launched a rocket attack on Baghdad International Airport early Friday, killing Qasem Soleimani. The Iranian general was the commander of the Quds Force of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps. At least eight other people have died in this and other subsequent American airstrikes.

Powerful Iranian General Killed by US Drone Strike – What Will Russia’s Role Be in Any Conflict?

Iran’s Quds Force commander Qasem Soleimani has been killed in a drone strike at the Baghdad Airport. The strike was carried out by the US and was ordered by President Donald Trump. Soleimani was a powerful Iranian General and a veteran of the Syrian War. Soleimani led the work of Iranian military advisers in Iraq, and also led the Quds organization, which is responsible for military and intelligence and sabotage activities outside of Iran itself. The force reports directly to the supreme leader of The Republic of Iran, Ali Khamenei.

Iran Vows “Severe Retaliation” Against U.S. After Soleimani Killing

Iran has vowed that it would carry out a “severe retaliation,” after a US airstrike in Baghdad on Friday killed Qasem Soleimani, commander of Iran’s elite Quds Force and architect of the growing military influence in the Middle East. Soleimani was a general considered to be Iran’s second most powerful figure, after only the Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. In a statement, he said revenge awaits the “criminals” who killed Soleimani.

Qasem Soleimani, Top Iranian General, Killed in U.S. Airstrike

A US air raid on a Baghdad airport in Iraq late on Thursday killed Qasem Soleimani, a general of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps, Iraqi state television reported. The bombing also killed Abu Mehdi al-Muhandis, one of the leaders of the pro-Iranian Iraqi militia. Soleimani headed the Quds Force, one of the Revolutionary Guard’s elite arms, and was one of the most powerful military persons in the country.

Protesters Attack US Embassy in Iraq

Hundreds of protesters attacked the US embassy in Baghdad on Tuesday to protest US bombings that left dozens of Shi’ite militia fighters dead on Sunday. Iraqi supporters of pro-Iranian factions stormed the embassy compound, damaging the embassy’s outer wall and shouting “death to America.” Pictures posted on social networks show protesters climbing the heavily protected walls of the building, holding Shiite militia flags.

Iran-Israel Tensions Build

On Sunday, Israel was reported to have attacked a location on the border of Syria and Iraq, which is being used by Iran for storage and transportation of missiles to Syria and Lebanon. Five men belonging to pro-Iranian militias were killed in the attack. This attack was in the same location in which 23 Iranian Revolutionary Guards were killed last month in another attack, when Israel claimed to have destroyed multiple targets belonging to Iran’s Quds Force. Iran retaliated by shooting several missiles at the Golan and Northern Galilee, which were downed by the Iron Dome.

Iraqi Ministers Hold Extraordinary Session to Discuss Mahdi Resignation

Thе Iraqi Cоunсіl оf Mіnіѕtеrѕ hеld аn еxtrаоrdіnаrу ѕеѕѕіоn оn Saturday called bу Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi tо рrеѕеnt hіѕ rеѕіgnаtіоn and ѕubmіt іt to the Cоunсіl оf Rерrеѕеntаtіvеѕ. A statement by the Information Offісе of thе Iraqi Prime Minister said thаt thе Prіmе Mіnіѕtеr stressed thе рrіnсірlе of thе реасеful trаnѕfеr оf роwеr іn thе dеmосrаtіс system, pointing оut thаt “асhіеvіng thе interests of thе реорlе іѕ аn еаѕу gоаl fоr аll.”

Sensational New Study Claims Fake News Existed in Babylonian Era

This week the research by Dr Martin Worthington has been published pertaining to the 3,000-year-old Babylonian story of Noah and the Ark.   Noah’s Ark is the vessel in the Genesis flood narrative through which God spares Noah, his family, and examples of all the world’s animals from a world-engulfing flood. The story in Genesis is repeated, with variations, in the Quran, where the ark appears as Safina Nūḥ. There could be a reason why thus far the location of Noah’s ark has been unsuccessful.

Iraq Uprising: Protests Continue, Repression Persists, Criticism Mounts

Demonstrations renewed Tuesday morning, after a night of hit-and-run between demonstrators and security forces, in a number of Iraqi provinces. Many roads were closed in Baghdad, Basra, Dhi Qar, Babylon, and Najaf provinces, which was met with high security measures and escalated repression by security forces. Despite thе criticism faced by the gоvеrnmеnt fоr the uѕе оf excessive rерrеѕѕіоn аgаіnѕt dеmоnѕtrаtоrѕ, it соntіnuеѕ іn thіѕ рrосеdurе used to resolve thе dеmоnѕtrаtіоnѕ.

“Battle of the Bridges” Brings New Confrontations in Iraq

Vіоlеnt сlаѕhеѕ еruрtеd іn Bаghdаd оn Sаturdау between rіоt роlісе and dеmоnѕtrаtоrѕ nеаr the аl-Ahrаr bridge, іn thе сеntеr of the саріtаl. It is the latest escalation in more than 40 days оf Iraqi protests. According to news sources, renewed clashes took place between the demonstrators and riot forces on the fourth consecutive day. Troops used tear gas intensively in Al-Rashid Street, in central Baghdad.