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Daily updates: UK, Iraq reaffirm ties as President Salih visits London

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The Baghdad Post presents to its readers the latest news updates and breaking news today in Iraq.

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Iraqi PM denies attack drones took off from Iraq



Iraq's prime minister is denying allegations that drones which targeted Saudi oil pipelines last month could have taken off from Iraq, rather than Yemen.

The attack — claimed by Yemen's Iranian-backed Houthi rebels who are at war with Saudi Arabia — was part of a series of incidents that escalated tensions in the Persian Gulf amid a crisis between Washington and Tehran.

Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi has told reporters in Baghdad that American officials contacted the Iraqis recently, alleging the drones may have taken off from Iraq.

He said Iraqi military and intelligence haven't confirmed such claims.

The May 14 attack on a Saudi pipeline forced a brief shutdown but caused no casualties.

Iraq hosts more than 5,000 U.S. troops, and is also home to powerful Iranian-backed militias.




IED targets Iraqi police patrol in Kirkuk



A bomb has targeted an Iraqi federal police patrol unit in the province of Kirkuk, claiming the life of one officer and injuring four others.

Local media reported that the IED was planted in the al-Rashad subdistrict of Kirkuk Province.

Immediately, the area was surrounded by security forces, fire fighters and medics to transfer the wounded personnel to the nearest hospital for treatment.

Residents of rural areas of Kirkuk and surrounding villages have been raising alarm bells in recent months over the presence of ISIS militants.

The group continues to wage an insurgency in areas with weak security and little cooperation between security forces, threatening the livelihoods of civilians.




UK, Iraq reaffirm ties as President Salih visits London

The United Kingdom has reiterated commitment to working with Iraq on security, defense and trade, Foreign Minister Jeremy Hunt said ahead of Iraqi President Barham Salih’s visit to London.

“Our two countries share many mutual interests, including ensuring the lasting defeat of ISIS and de-escalating regional tensions,” Hunt said.

“This is an important time for Iraq as it recovers from years of conflict and strengthens its relationships both regionally and internationally,” Hunt said, adding that the UK will reaffirm its close and historic relations with Iraq this week.

Salih is expected to stay in London for three days.

The Iraqi leader discussed security ties with Prime Minister Theresa May in a meeting after his arrival on Tuesday evening.

May reaffirmed her government’s stance of “supporting the Iraqi government in building a stable and successful nation”, a Downing Street spokesman said.

The ministers “acknowledged the ongoing threat posed by ISIS”, the spokesman said, adding that May stressed the UK’s readiness to provide further support to the Iraqi security forces and Kurdish Peshmerga.

They also agreed on the importance of international co-operation in the de-escalation of current tensions, the spokesman said.

Salih acknowledged the vital role that Britain played in the fight against terrorism in the region by training and equipping Iraqi security forces.




MP Nassif accuses security commander of kidnapping her nephew

MP Alia Nassif sued the inspector-general of the Interior Ministry, accusing him of blackmailing and kidnapping her nephew.

Nassif said in a press conference that inspector-general Jamal al-Asadi is using his position to carry out illegal acts.

Nassif said it would send the case to Prime Minister Adil Abd al-Mahdi, urging everyone to help her to restore her rights.




Work of Justice Ministry to focus on serving citizens: new min.



Newly-appointed Justice Minister Farouk al-Shwani stressed the importance of promoting the role of the ministry as a pillar of the Iraqi state.

In his first remarks since he was passed by the Parliament as the justice minister on Monday, Shwani said that the work of the ministry will contribute to the reconstruction of the homeland and serving citizens in the coming period.

The Iraqi Parliament on Monday finally elected three candidates to key ministerial posts in the government of Adil Abdul-Mahdi.

The parliament elected Najah Hassan al-Shamari as Minister of Defense, Yassin al-Yasiri for the Minister of Interior, and Farouq Amin Shwani as the Minister of Justice.




Nasr Alliance blames gov't for Kurdistan's reluctance to pay oil revenue



Nasr Alliance headed by former Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi on Tuesday said that the federal government is responsible for the "legal breach" of the federal budget law regarding Kurdistan's payment of oil revenues.

"The Iraqi government bears full responsibility for the breach of the law of the federal budget law regarding the reluctance of the authorities of the Kurdistan region to pay [the revenues] of oil imports to the federal authorities,"  a statement by Nasr Alliance read.

"Continuing the violations and the decline and weakness of the government will push Nasr [Alliance] to declare full opposition to the government and to demand the dissolution [of the government] and the formation of a new government that is able to fulfill its national responsibilities," the statement added.




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