The Baghdad Post presents to its readers the latest news updates and breaking news today in Iraq.
15 people injured in blast caused by bomb planted by ISIS in Kirkuk
At least 15 people were injured as a bomb blast went off on Saturday night in Kirkuk province, news reports said adding that the bomb had been planted by ISIS insurgents.
The bombing took place in the sub-district of al-Abbasi, in Hawija, killing four civilians were killed and wounding two others, a security source was quoted saying.
The victims were mainly farmers who were going to put off fire set on their farms reportedly by the extremists in the area, the reports said.
Moreover, five farmers and firefighters were killed in the bomb attack while ten others were injured, adding that they were taken to the hospital to receive medical treatment.
ISIS had already claimed responsibility for the recent fire incidents in Iraq.
Salih says Iraq keen on stability of the region
President Barham Salih has expressed his country’s keenness on being a meeting point for neighboring countries and a factor of stability in the region for the sake of establishing balanced relations between all countries, especially neighboring ones.
During a meeting with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohamed Javad Zarif, Salih said Iraq is keen on boosting ties with Arab and Islamic neighbors, a presidential statement said.
The meeting, according to the statement, tackled necessity of preventing war and escalation in addition to appeasement and starting dialogue to establish basis for peace in the region. The officials also highlighted importance of making joint efforts to evade dangers of sanctions and reach political solutions.
Zarif also delivered President Hassan Rouhani’s invitation for Salih to visit Tehran to follow on the joint issues.
Iraqi Oil Min. warns against closing Hormuz Strait
Iraqi oil minister Thamer Ghadhban has said the closure of the Strait would have a “big impact on Iraq and other countries that export oil using Hormuz to the world market”.
Ghadhban added in press remarks that the Iraqi ministry of oil has declared a state of emergency in order to be ready for any further escalations between the U.S. and Iran.
In earlier remarks, al-Ghadban said the temporary withdrawal of employees of oil companies has nothing to do with security in southern Iraqi oil fields or any threats.
He also stressed that in case Iraq did not receive the necessary gas and electricity quantities, the emergency plan will be able to compensate for this shortage.
Al-Ghadban affirmed that the ministry keeps on storing strategic gas, oil and energy to be able to face any potential crises or shortages.
“The first step we have taken is that we have increased the production of gas compared to last year in order to increase the storage of gas and oil being used in gas stations.”
“But we are optimistic that wisdom will prevail and that this [closure] will not happen because it is a great harm to the region and the world as a whole,” he added.
An estimated 18 million barrels of oil pass through the Strait of Hormuz to the Asian markets every day.
To stabilize global supply and support prices, Iraq produces less than five million bpd as part of its adherence to an agreement between OPEC and other large exporters including Russia.
Iran has long used threats to close the strategic waterway to pressure its western opponents.
Revealed: President Salih to visit Saudi Arabia, Turkey soon
The parliament’s foreign relations committee has revealed about an anticipated visit by President Barham Salih to Turkey and Saudi Arabia over the coming few hours.
Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi and Parliament Speaker Mohamed al-Halbousi are expected to pay similar visits.
In remarks, Ribwar Karim, member of the committee, said “Abdul-Mahdi’s visit to Kuwait and Salih’s visit to Jordan were to tackle developments in the region and the tension ongoing between Iran and the United States.”
Karim went on saying that “the visits targeted keeping the war away from the Iraqi country and people, which is on way toward economic stability. And this requires political, security and military stability.”
The talks, according to Karim, “included the economic and trade exchange between Iraq and neighboring countries in case a war was waged.”
In case the tensions ended, Karim said “Iraq will continue its bilateral agreements made with those countries previously.”
Karim also added that each of the prime minister and parliament speaker will pay visits “to keep the war and tensions away from Iraq.”
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