The Baghdad Post presents to its readers the latest news updates and breaking news today in Iraq.
Oil Min. says workers at Int’l oil companies face no threats in Iraq
The Iraqi Oil Ministry said on Sunday that workers at
international oil companies face no threats in the country.
Official spokesperson for the ministry, Assem Jihad, said in a press statement that the ministry is keen to provide a safe work environment for foreign oil companies.
He further stressed that workers in international oil companies face no problems or threats.
On Saturday, Exxon Mobil has evacuated all its foreign staff members out of Iraq’s West Qurna 1 oilfield and is flying them out to Dubai.
Production at the oilfield was not affected by the evacuation and work there is under way normally and being undertaken by Iraqi engineers, Iraqi oil officials said.
Staff were evacuated over several phases late on Friday and early on Saturday, either straight to Dubai or to the main camp housing foreign oil company employees in Basra province.
However, Iraq’s South Oil Company chief said on Saturday that there was no indication of danger and stressed that the situation was stable.
The evacuation comes amid rising tensions between the US and Iran.
Over 100 displaced Iraqis return to Anbar
The Iraqi Ministry of Displacement and Migration announced on Sunday that as many as 129 displaced Iraqis have returned to their homes in the Western province of Anbar.
The Iraqi citizens voluntarily returned to their homes in Qaim city, located on the border with Syria.
Following the emergence of ISIS in Iraq in 2014, over six million Iraqis were internally displaced.
Since August 2014, and the expansion of ISIS in Iraq, the number of internally displaced Iraqis has risen from 1.7 to 3 million, peaking at 3.4 million in March 2016 .
Many displaced Iraqis refuse to return to their homes due to security concerns and the lack of basic services in those areas.
Over the past year, despite of being announced defeated in 2017, ISIS has carried out terrorist attacks, kidnappings, and ambushes in the territories it once held.
Two ISIS remnants arrested in Fallujah
Iraq security forces have managed to arrest two ISIS remnants who were plotting for the formation of a terror cell in Al-Fallujah, a city in the Iraqi province of Al Anbar, west of Baghdad.
Forces stormed the neighborhoods of Jbeil and Al-Shuhada, south of Al-Fallujah, after security intel indicated the locations of two ISIS remnants planning to carry out terrorist operations to target security forces and civilians in Fallujah.
A security source told The Baghdad Post in an interview that, with the cooperation of civilians, the two terrorists were apprehended without any armed resistance or shootouts.
Parliament to investigate alleged corruption within Nineveh Provincial Council
The Iraq Parliament formed a special committee for investigations into alleged corruption within the Nineveh Provincial Council on Sunday, an official was quoted as saying.
In remarks, Saido Chato, head of Nineveh Provincial Council, said a few number of the council members were accused of involvement in corruption cases, which will be investigated by the parliament through a special committee.
None of the Kurdish members are suspected to have been involved in the case, he added.
The committee, according to Chato, is conducting the necessary investigation and it waiting for the outcome.
He stressed that anyone found guilty of corruption within the council would be referred to trial.
Iraq oil minister calls Exxon Mobil's evacuation of foreign staff 'unacceptable'
Exxon Mobil’s decision to evacuate its foreign staff from the West Qurna 1 oilfield in southern Iraq on Saturday was “unacceptable and unjustified”, Iraq’s Oil Minister Thamer Ghadhban said on Sunday.
“The withdrawal of multiple employees - despite their small number - temporarily has nothing to do with the security situation or threats in the oilfields in of southern Iraq, but it’s for political reasons,” Ghadhban said in a statement.
Exxon Mobil, which has a long term contract to improve the oilfield on behalf of Iraq’s state South Oil Company, withdrew all foreign staff, around 60 people, Iraqi officials have said.
The evacuation came just days after the United States withdrew non-essential staff from its embassy in Baghdad, out of apparent concern about perceived threats from Iran, which has close ties to Iraqi Shi’ite militia.
Ghadhban said he sent a letter to Exxon Mobil asking for the company to immediately return to work at the southern oilfield, ahead of a meeting with company executives later this week.
Production at the oilfield was not affected by the evacuation and work was continuing normally, overseen by Iraqi engineers, the chief of Iraq’s state-owned South Oil Company which owns the oil field, Ihsan Abdul Jabbar said on Saturday. He added that production remains at 440,000 barrels per day (bpd).
Populist cleric Sadr punishes ‘corrupt’ Sadrist members
Iraqi Shia cleric and political leader, Muqtada al-Sadr, has decided to punish some members of the Sadrist movement who were accused of financial corruption.
Sadrist movement senior member Kazim al-Issawi was ordered to sell his mall and donate its money to families of martyrs.
Al-Issawi also received a travel ban by Sadr as well as a ban on practicing any business or trade plans until further notice.
Moreover, senior Sadrist member Haidar Al-Jabri got his membership frozen for 18 months, as Sadr warned any members from dealing with him until his punishment period is over.
As for Sayyid Awn an-Nabi, another senior Sadrist member, he was ordered to cut all relations with the corrupt and declare repentance, otherwise, his membership will be revoked.
Al-Sadr is an Iraqi Shiite cleric and politician. He is one of the most influential religious and leader of the Sadrist movement.
Explosive barrel dismantled near Police Academy in Nineveh
A bomb squad managed Sunday to dismantle a booby-trapped barrel, near the police academy in Nineveh.
A security source said in press remarks that the barrel contained ammonium nitrate, a chemical compound rendered to use in improvised explosive devices.
The barrel was emplaced near the police academy in Shalalat area, in Nineveh Province, 10 km north of Mosul.
It was dismantled without any human casualties.
Security reports indicate that ISIS is still a threat against stability in Iraq. The terrorist group still has dormant cells, through which it carries out attacks across Iraq like it used to do before 2014.
This article is progressing, stay tuned for more updates.