The Baghdad Post presents to its readers the latest news updates and breaking news today in Iraq.
Sairoon says PM reason behind delay in cabinet formation
Iraq's Sairoon Alliance led by Shia leader Muqtada al-Sadr has held Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi responsible for the delay in completing the government lineup formation, pointing out that the list of candidates for remaining ministries has been ready for over a month.
Sairoon member Badr al-Ziadi said in a Saturday press remarks that the cabinet formation has long been delayed, pointing out that the Prime Minister refrains from submitting the names of candidates, claiming the lack of consensus between political parties and coalitions over some ministries.
“The list of names in Abdul Mahdi’s possession is the same one that was ready before last month, ready to be submitted to the Parliament for voting,” Al-Ziadi added.
It is determined that the Iraqi Parliament will vote on candidates for the remaining ministries.
Arrest warrant against Kirkuk's Ribwar Talabani cancelled
The judicial authorities decided to cancel the arrest warrant issued earlier by the Kirkuk misdemeanor court against acting head of the provincial council Ribwar Talabani.
The Kirkuk misdemeanors court ordered in December the arrest of Talabani over charges including corruption, waste of public money, and raising the flag of Kurdistan in Kirkuk.
Talabani was sentenced to six months in prison in absentia, according to a decision by the Supreme Judicial Council of Iraq, before he could appear before the court, according to reports, and get his arrest warrant cancelled.
Salah Hariri, Hisham Darraji likely to get defense minister post: MP
Iraqi Forces Coalition MP Yahya al-Mohammadi on Friday said that Salah al-Hariri, and Hisham al-Darraji are the most likely to get the defense minister post in Adil Abd al-Mahdi's cabinet.
Abd al-Mahdi will have the first and final decision to pick the right candidate for the post, Darraji said, adding that naming the parliament is waiting to submit the names of the candidates for vote.
Abd al-Mahdi is expected to send the names of candidates for vacant ministries to the parliament during one of the two sessions on Saturday or Monday next week, according to a parliamentary source.
US forces prepare to evacuate contractors from Iraqi base
US forces are preparing to evacuate hundreds of staff working for Lockheed Martin Corp and Sallyport Global from an Iraqi military base where they work as contractors, three Iraqi military sources said on Friday.
Nearly 400 contractors from the two firms were getting ready to leave Balad military base north of Baghdad which hosts US forces over "potential security threats." Their departure was imminent, the sources said.
Any harm to US forces in Iraq to be blamed on Abdul-Mahdi: Nujaifi
Leader of the Qarar (Decision) Alliance Atheel al-Nujaifi said that Washington will blame Prime Minister Adil Abd al-Mahdi for any harms caused to the US forces inside Iraq.
"The US has the strongest sources of economy in the region and the world," Nujaifi said, adding that "messing with its (the US) forces in Iraq will involve Iraq in undesirable consequences."
The Iraqi government is in a state of "severe weakness," Nujaifi said. Concerning the US-Iranian conflict, he said that neither the US nor Iran want Iraq to be unbiased, adding that each of them tries to turn Iraq to its side.
Iraqi, Omani FMs talk developing ties to meet peoples' aspiration
Iraqi Foreign Minister Mohamed al-Hakim arrived in the Sultanate of Oman on Friday, where he met with his Omani counterpart Yusuf bin Alawi.
During the meeting, the two foreign ministers discussed developing joint relations to meet the aspiration of the peoples of the two countries, according to statement by the Iraqi foreign ministry.
The visit comes to sustain communication and consultation between Iraq and Oman on the latest developments in the region to preserve the security and interests of both countries, the statement read.
For his part, the Omani minister expressed appreciation for the role of Iraq in the region and his happiness for the development and progress of the relationship between the two counties, and the efforts exerted to resolve the crises in the region.
Allawi calls for reviewing security plans, filling unoccupied ministries
Leader of the Al-Wataniyah (National) Coalition Ayad Allawi called for an urgent review of security plans, saying that "the words of condemnation stand helpless" in the face of the horrific terrorist act which addressed worshipers in Baghdad's Baladiyat neighborhood.
"I call for an urgent review of the security measures and plans to combat and eradicate terrorism," Allawi said.
He also called for naming the security ministers "for the benefit of the homeland and the citizen," away from the political, partisan, and personal interests.
At least three people were killed and more than 15 others injured Friday in a bomb attack at a Shiite mosque in eastern Baghdad, an Interior Ministry source said, denying initial reports of suicide bombing.
Macron says will visit Iraq in late 2019
French President Emmanuel Macron told local media that he will visit Iraq and the Kurdistan Region in late 2019.
This came during EU Summit in Brussels. “Yes, I planned and will visit there by the end of this year,” Macron told local media.
Macron met with Iraqi Prime Minister Adil Abd al-Mahdi on May 3 and previously in Dec. 2017 met with then-Prime Minister and current President of the Kurdistan Region Nechirvan Barzani in Paris.
Iraq boosts security measures at base where US trainers stay
A top Iraqi air force commander says security measures have been increased at one of the country's largest air bases that houses American trainers, following an attack last week.
The stepped-up Iraqi security measures at Balad air base, just north of the capital, Baghdad, come amid sharply rising tensions in the Middle East between the United States and Iran.
Gen. Falah Fares told The Associated Press on Saturday that the measures include a night-time curfew, boosting security inside and near the base as well as surveillance of nearby areas. He said these measures are being carried out in coordination with the U.S.
Balad air base, home to a squadron of Iraqi F-16 fighter jets, was hit with three mortar shells last week without inflicting casualties.