The Baghdad Post presents to its readers the latest news updates and breaking news today in Iraq.
Former Baghdad mayor arrested on Syrian-Lebanon
Former Baghdad mayor Naeem Abaob was arrested by the Interpol on the Syrian-Lebanese border on charges of corruption and embezzlement while in office between 2013 and 2015, news reports mentioned.
The arrest took place after an arrest warrant was issued by the Iraqi authorities to apprehend Abaob similar to the arrest of Kirkuk's former governor, Najm Eddine Karim, on similar charges.
Moreover, Abdel Falah al-Sudani, a former trade minister, was also been arrested on charges of corruption. He was sentenced to 21 years in prison weeks after Interpol handed him over to Iraqi authorities.
In January 2019, an Iraqi court sentenced Abaob in absentia to seven years in prison for squandering $12 million when inking a contract with two companies, one local and another Egyptian, to develop a park in the capital.
81 Yazidi families return to IDPs camps in Dahuk
A total of 81 Yazidi families have returned to camps in the Kurdistan Region's Duhok province throughout May, security sources revealed in press remarks.
The families had to move due to a deteriorated situation, including security, unrest, and lack of public services in their areas.
Salim Saeed, public and press secretary of Duhok Humanitarian Affairs Board, said humanitarian organizations have reduced their assistance to the displaced Yazidis.
ISIS launched attacks over Sinjar after they overran a vast area in Iraq in 2014 and abducted over 6,000 Yazidis, including women and children.
Rights groups hail French position on jihadists facing execution in Iraq
An Iraqi court sentenced a seventh French citizen to death for joining the armed group of ISIS on Wednesday. Rights groups have hailed the French government’s pledge to do more to prevent their executions, but some question its real commitment to doing so.
Yassin Sakkam was among 12 French citizens transferred to Iraq in January after being detained following a US-backed offensive against the remains of the ISIS armed group “caliphate” in northeastern Syria.
Sakkam left France in 2014 to fight for the IS and French investigators had been seeking his arrest since 2016. He told the Iraqi court he regretted swearing allegiance to the ISIS and asked to be pardoned.
Iraqi courts are prosecuting thousands of alleged ISIS members, including hundreds of foreigners from France and other Western countries.
Sakkam’s death sentence was the seventh handed to a French national since Sunday.
It came a day after French Foreign Affairs Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said France was “multiplying efforts” to ensure capital punishment would not be applied to its citizens.
France has been adamant however that it would not seek their repatriation, arguing they should face justice in the countries where they were accused of crimes.
“We will not shift: fighters must be judged where they have committed crimes,” said Le Drian.
Crop fires, a weapon of war, ruin Iraqi, Syrian harvests
Crop fires, a weapon of war, ruin Iraqi, Syrian harvests
Many female officials resign from Komal for 'injustice'
A number of female officials of the Kurdistan Islamic Group (Komal) have submitted their resignation from the party over "injustice," according to a statement they issued.
"Today we announce our resignation from all partisan or organizational work in the Islamic Group," the officials said in a statement released Wednesday.
"The reason for the resignation is the lack of justice and integrity by the leadership of the group against the active cadre," the statement added. The resignation of dozens of party members was met by silence from the party leaders.
Pompeo: Not decided to extend waiver for Iraq to import Iran power
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has not made a decision on extending a 90-day US waiver exempting Iraq from sanctions to buy energy from Iran, a State Department spokeswoman said on Wednesday.
The State Department said on March 20 it would allow Iraq to keep purchasing electricity from its neighbor Iran for another 90 days without imposing sanctions, but urged Baghdad to find alternative sources of energy.
"The secretary has not made a decision on this," spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus told reporters.
IMIS launches Free Revolutionaries Front to target US existence in Iraq
A number of Shiite factions with the leadership of the Iranian Militias in Iraq and Syria (IMIS) have formed a new militia called “Free Revolutionaries Front” to reportedly confront U.S. existence in Iraq.
A footage circulated on social media showed a number of armed men calling themselves the “Free Revolutionaries Front” while delivering a statement next to IMIS flags.
“With the help of our people and sacrifices of our youths, the front will be able to kick the United States out of the country,” the statement said.
Observers say that Iran is resorting to a proxy war to initiate skirmishes with the United States through its terrorist arms in several countries such as Hezbollah in Lebanon and the Houthis in Yemen.
That could result in a series of unintended consequences and second-order effects that might lead to substantial domestic bloodshed, the resurgence of ISIS, and a revival of sectarian conflict.
Iran moves long, medium-range missiles south of Iraq
Iran has introduced long and medium-range missiles into Samawah, capital of the Al Muthanna Governorate in, security sources revealed on Thursday.
According to reliable sources, so far, the missiles have reached the Sulhubiyah area towards the Samawah desert.
Al Muthanna is in the south of Iraq, bordering Saudi Arabia.
The missiles shipment is being supervised by a Hezbollah leader named Abdul Hussein al-Zayadi.
Sign that Iran is preparing a more aggressive missile policy in Iraq will exacerbate tensions between Tehran and Washington.
According to three Iranian officials, two Iraqi intelligence sources and two Western intelligence sources, Iran has been transferring short-range ballistic missiles to allies in Iraq.
The missiles have short and long ranges that put Saudi Arabia’s capital Riyadh or the Israeli city of Tel Aviv within striking distance if the weapons were deployed in southern or western Iraq.
Iran is already accused of transferring missiles and technology to Syria and other allies of Tehran, such as Houthi rebels in Yemen and Lebanon’s Hezbollah.