The Baghdad Post presents to its readers the latest news updates and breaking news today in Iraq.
Mass grave of ISIS victims found in Iraq’s Mosul
Iraq’s security forces have found a new mass grave containing ISIS victims in Mosul city.
Iraqi forces defeated
ISIS in Mosul in July 2017 after intense battles that reduced the city to
A security source said in press remarks that a mass grave containing remains of 37 people was found in Ayn al-Tamr city in western Mosul.
The source further told the National Iraqi News Agency that most of the bodies are of Iraqi women, who were executed by the hardline Sunni group during its capture of Mosul.
“The bodies were moved to the forensic medicine department in Mosul,” the source added.
Hyundai inks $2.45b plant deal in Iraq
Hyundai Engineering and Construction has clinched a $2.45 billion deal to build a seawater processing facility in Iraq, marking its first overseas contract this year, officials said.
The South Korean builder on Wednesday signed a letter of intent with the state-run Basra Oil Co. for a 49-month project to build a seawater supply plant in the southern state of Basra.
Once completed, the facility will be capable of supplying 5 million barrels of fresh water per day, contributing to increasing crude oil yields and financial expansion in the Middle East state, according to officials.
“The latest deal reflects the Iraq government’s deep trust in Hyundai E&C’s technology for large-scale plant construction, as displayed in the ongoing oil refinery plant project in Karbala,” the company said in a release.
“(Hyundai E&C) will play a key role in building oil refineries, electric facilities and residential buildings in the country.”
Despite wars and tensions in the region, the firm has contributed to a long-term partnership with country, it added.
The Korean builder first set foot in Iraq back in 1977, starting with a sewage construction project and later expanding onto thermal power plants, railways and oil refineries -- in projects worth around $7 billion.
Another farm burnt in Diyala, reasons remain unknown
A wheat farm was reported burnt overnight in Qarartappa in the province of Diyala, adding to the list of fire incidents in the Kurdish-owned agricultural lands across the areas disputed between Erbil and Baghdad.
Local sources said
villagers managed to extinguish the fire before spreading to neighboring famrs.
Investigations are ongoing to know the reasons behind the incidents.
Over the past days, multiple farms were reported burnt for unknown reasons.
Iraq sets new plan to secure Green Zone
Iraqi security authorities have announced on Wednesday a new plan to secure the Green Zone in the Karkh district of central Baghdad.
A rocket was fired into the Iraqi capital’s heavily fortified Green Zone Sunday night, landing less than a mile from the sprawling U.S. Embassy.
The attack came among growing tension across the Arabian Gulf after the White House ordered warships and bombers to the region earlier this month to Iran’s threats.
A security source said in press remarks that the new plan aims at preventing any potential attack over the Green Zone, stressing a boost in communication and coordination between security authorities.
The U.S. also has ordered nonessential staff out of its diplomatic posts in Iraq.
It was the first such attack since September, when three mortar shells landed in an abandoned lot inside the Green Zone.
MP warns Prime Minister of potential discord in Diyala
Diyala MP Karim Al-Jabouri has warned Iraqi Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi of potential discord and strife that would drag Iraq back to square one.
Al-Jabouri said that some individuals and political parties
are interfering in the security affairs of certain areas in Iraq, especially
within Diyala governorate in eastern Iraq.
“What is going on can create confusion and discord among the Iraqi society and further deteriorate the security status,” Al-Jabouri said in press remarks.
“I call upon the Prime Minister to stress keeping politicians away from the Iraqi security file, especially in Diyala, as it is considered one of the most important governorates that has already suffered grave challenges,” he added.
A security source informed, on Tuesday, that two bombs exploded inside the garage of Muqdadiyah Police Chief’s house, in Diyala Province.
Iran closes Soumar border crossing with Iraq
The Iranian Customs Administration closed Soumar border crossing in Western Iran on Tuesday May 21, bringing export of Iranian goods to Iraq to a halt.
A statement issued by the Iranian Customs Administration orders transportation companies "To stop sending export goods to the Soumar border until further notice."
The Iranian Customs Administration has issued the statement reportedly after a huge backlog was built up at the border with Iraq.
However, the statement does not officially announce the reason for the closure of the border.
The backlog could indicate a problem with Iraq allowing Iranian goods to cross the border. In the past Iraq has indicated that it has to comply with U.S. sanctions against Iran, although some trade has continued.
Iran has several border crossings with Iraq and there is no news about commercial traffic at other border points.
Iran has tried hard in the last few months to save its trade with Iraq, which is the second largest export market for Iranian goods.
Concerns about the impact of U.S. sanctions may have resulted in the backlog in the customs and the closure of the border.
MP calls for increasing strategic stock fearing war between Iran, US
MP Salam al-Shamari has called for increasing the strategic stock of food commodities and energy derivatives, fearing consequences of the tension between US and Iran.
In a statement on Wednesday, Shamari said, “the situation in the region is getting complicated in light of the escalating remarks and recent events.”
Shamari went on saying that, “Iraq is at the crossfire of all this escalation. It seeks through its balanced relations to reach along with regional and international parties to resolve the crisis.”
Shamari also urged the government “to draw an emergency plans lest the situation deteriorates even further.”
Moreover, Shamari stressed the importance of “protecting the food stores, mills and silos in light of the recent incidents of burning farms in many provinces.”
Baghdad, Erbil on brink of crisis over oil, salaries
Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi has issued his first warning to the Kurdistan region in case it fails to meet its commitment in delivering oil to the federal government in exchange for salaries and other financial benefits based on the 2019 state budget, a Kurdish figure said.
Jwan Ihsan, head of the PUK bloc in the House of Representatives, has said that Abdul-Mahdi met in Baghdad with heads of the Kurdistan parliamentary blocs.
He further said that Mahdi informed the blocs that should curtail future budget transfers to the region if it fails to meet its obligations under the budget law to send oil to the Iraqi capital.
“The PM promised that the transfers would be made in line with the law,” Ihsan explained.
In related news, head of the oil and energy parliamentary committee Haibat al-Halbousi said that the PM issued his warning after being pressured by committee members.
“We cannot stay silent and wait, particularly that an agreement was reached under the new budget law to exchange oil in return of delivering benefits,” he said.