Recent News from Iraq

  • 02/25/2010: Iraq will rehire 20,000 army officers who served under Saddam Hussein. The officers were removed after the U.S.-led invasion in 2003. The move was later criticized for helping to fuel the insurgency. With elections coming up soon in Iraq, some have said that Iraq’s Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki reinstated the officers in an effort to gain their votes, New York Times.
  • 01/26/2010: Violent bombs rocked Baghdad for the second day in a row. Violence is expected to continue during the lead-up to parliamentary elections in March, CNN.
  • 01/02/2010: The government of Iraq plans to sue 5 Blackwater security guards who were cleared of manslaughter charges after a U.S. court dismissed the case on Friday. The guards were charged with killing 17 in a shootout in 2007, CNN. Eyewitness accounts of the event from 2007, New York Times.
  • 12/11/2009: Oil field contracts are currently being auctioned off in Iraq to international companies. 3 of the world’s largest oil fields are located in Iraq. This is the second auction since 2003 when the United States led an invasion to overthrow the regime of Saddam Hussein, Al Jazeera.
  • 12/08/2009: At least 127 people are dead and more than 400 wounded after  well-coordinated car bomb attacks on 5 targets in Baghdad. The targets include a police station, government ministries, and a market. 4 of explosions went off nearly simultaneously. The attack is assumed to be in response to the announcement that elections are now scheduled for March 2010. Militants in Iraq, many of whom are former supporters of Saddam Hussein and are connected to al Qaeda, aim to show that the government cannot protect the country and to disrupt upcoming elections, BBC News.
  • 12/07/2009: A deadly bomb blast at a middle school in Baghdad, Iraq has killed at least eight people, the majority of which were children. The attack happened in a Shia neighborhood in Sadr City. At least 40 others were wounded, BBC News.
  • 12/06/2009: Iraq’s parliament has missed a deadline that would have approved elections for January 2010. Iraq has two vice presidents who both have veto power and Vice President Tariq al-Hashemi vowed to not approve new election rules unless greater representation for Iraq’s Sunni population was included.  Iraq does not currently have reliable census information. The UN has suggested February 27 as a new target date for an election, Al Jazeera.
  • 11/23/2009: A vote in the Iraqi parliament has paved the way for elections in 2010. The law still must go to the presidential council where it may be vetoed by Sunni Arab Vice-President Tareq al-Hashemi. Elections were originally scheduled for January 2010 but have been held up due to a previous veto by al-Hashemi, Reuters.

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