Author: Iraqi Thoughts

PM Abadi, Don’t Abandon Assyrians in the Nineveh Plains

(Locals of Alqosh protest removal of town mayor. August 19, 2017) The Assyrian towns of Alqosh and Tel Keppe located in the Nineveh Plains have been targeted by Masoud Barzani’s Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) by consecutively replacing their democratically elected mayors with KDP’s own surrogates. This is in effort to force the Nineveh Plains to be incorporated within the Kurdistan region’s borders despite Alqosh and Tel Keppe being part of Nineveh province, and, therefore, under the administration of the federal government of Iraq. The series of mayoral changes has sparked several protests by the locals of Alqosh who reject...

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Yazidi PMU Fighters Face Uncertainty in the KRG

Cover Photo: Lalish Battalion, Yazidi PMU  Iraq’s Yazidi community remains deeply traumatized by the genocide carried out against it by the Islamic State beginning in August 2014. As if the mass murder, enslavement of thousands of women, and destruction of their ancestral homeland were not enough, Yazidis also face suspicion and unchecked abuse at the hands of Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) authorities; their self-proclaimed protectors. In December 2016, Human Rights Watch reported on the KRG’s long-running, if unofficial, economic blockade of Sinjar; the ancestral Yazidi homeland and site of the genocide. Ostensibly, the blockade serves the purpose of restricting...

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Homage to Iraq’s Heroes

There is no shortage of analysis and writing that has been done on the Mosul Offensive; a battle that dwarfs any sustained urban combat in recent decades. To be sure, historians and military planners alike will spend years scouring the aftermath to glean what lessons they can from the Iraqi Security Forces’ triumphs and mistakes as well as what they portend for the future of warfare. For this article however, I’ve avoided questions of tactics and strategy or the political implications of the Islamic State’s defeat in Mosul. Instead, I would like to share the human side of the...

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Iraq’s Next Big Challenge: Asserting Control Over its Borders

Brandon Louis Wallace Last month, Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi announced a project for the development of Iraq’s first toll road along Highway 1. While some surely read the headline as a humble infrastructure project, the privatization and development of the highway reveals a larger, highly political confrontation. Connecting Amman to Baghdad, Highway 1 is, for many, a requisite of commercial trade. When Daesh caused the road to seal its borders in 2015, Jordanian exports to Iraq fell from $1.16 Billion in 2014 to $690 million. For others, the road is a case study in corruption and disorder. Recently, PM...

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