Iraq, Egypt And Jordan Discuss Trilateral Cooperation; Ninewa Standoff Tests PM’s Resolve to Control Militias; PM Appoints Inspectors In Key Institutions – On August 3, the foreign ministers of Egypt and Jordan visited Baghdad and discussed reducing tensions in the Gulf region between Iran and the U.S./Arab states, strengthening trilateral economic cooperation and counter-terrorism cooperation.
On August 5, protesters in the Ninewa plains expressed opposition to orders by PM Abdul-Mahdi to withdraw the PMF from checkpoints in the area.
The developments tested the prime minister’s ability to bring PMF factions under government control.
A negotiated compromise will reportedly involve the PMF manning checkpoints jointly with the Iraqi army and police.
On August 5, the provincial council of Diwaniyah elected Zuheir Ali Sha’lan as the new governor.
On August 5, the Integrity Commission released a report detailing its activities for the first half of 2019, saying it retrieved ~$1.1 billion in stolen state funds.
On August 8, PM Abdul-Mahdi issued instructions to establish public inspector offices in a number of key institutions, including the Central Bank and PMF Committee.
UN Expects ISIS To Ramp Up Attacks; 3rd Phase Of Major Security Op.
Yields Little Results; Police Chiefs Sacked Over Prisoner Escape – On August 5, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres reported to the UN Security Council that ISIS continues to retain significant financial capabilities estimated at $300 million, adding that the current decline in the frequency of ISIS attacks “may be temporary.” On August 5, ISF launched the third phase of Operation “Will of Victory” targeting parts of Diyala and Ninewa provinces.
There were no reports of significant numbers of ISIS militants killed or captured in the operation.
On August 4, the Interior Ministry fired Baghdad’s police chief and two other senior officers after 15 drug trafficking suspects escaped from prison on August 3.
On August 6, an IED exploded targeting a security company vehicle near the BP-operated Rumaila oilfield in Basra.
Nine other IEDs targeted civilians and ISF in Diyala, Anbar and Baghdad.
Murad, UN Urge Baghdad And Erbil To Restore Stability In Sinjar; 706 IDPs Return Home In Anbar And Ninewa; Kuwait Receives Remains of Prisoners Found In Iraq – On August 4, the representative of the UN Secretary-General for Iraq visited Sinjar and urged Baghdad and Erbil to work toward restoring security and stability in the district.
On August 4, Yazidi human rights activist Nadia Murad called on Baghdad and Erbil to end their dispute over the Sinjar.
On August 7, the Ministry of Migration announced that 421 IDPs had returned to their homes in Ninewa and that another 285 IDPs back to their homes in Anbar’s al-Qaim district.
On August 2, Prime Minister Abdul-Mahdi ordered an urgent study into the country’s dysfunctional water treatment plants.
On August 7, the Collection and Documentation of Sinjar Case Board said it had received 4,608 Yazidi testimonies on crimes committed by ISIS.
The organization said it tranferred the findings to Baghdad, but that authorities in Baghdad have yet to take action.
Siemens To Build Sub-Stations To Improve Electricity In Basra; Wheat Production Tops 5 Million Tons; Iraq And Jordan To Link Grids – On August 1, the Iraqi Government and Siemens finalized contracts to build 13 electrical substations and supply 35 transformers to provide more electricity to Basra.
On August 2, the Ministry of Agriculture announced that Iraqi farmers were able to deliver 5 million tons of wheat this harvest season, allowing Iraq to become self sufficient in wheat.
On August 7, Iraq and Jordan signed a deal to build links connectin their electrical grids.
On August 4, Iraq’s State Oil Marketing Organization announced that the country’s crude oil production in July reached 4.62 million barrels per day, its highest output since January 2017.
On August 4, the IMF urged Iraq to reduce subsidies on electricity to “keep debt within sustainable limits”.
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 Updated ISHM Reference Guide.