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Five Official Languages Endorsed for Kurdish Region in Iraq

By , December 15, 2014 9:48 pm

Five Official Languages Endorsed for Kurdish Region in Iraq

Posted 2014-12-16 04:26 GMT

BEIRUT — Iraqi Kurdistan President Massoud Barzani endorsed Monday new legislation that establishes five official languages for the largely autonomous region.

Tarek Jawhar, media adviser to the Kurdistan parliament, made the announcement in a news conference.

According to the official website of Irbil governorate, the first article of the law designates Kurdish and Arabic as Kurdistan’s official languages, while the second article allows three others — for the Turkmen, Assyrian and Armenian communities — to become official languages in administrative units where these communities form the majority of the population. Kurdistan’s Parliament ratified the law in late October.

Assyrian International News Agency

Assyrians Need Autonomous Region, Says Advisor to Mosul’s Governor

By , December 10, 2014 10:05 pm

Dr. Duraid Tobiya Zoma, advisor to the governor of Mosul.(AINA) — On June 10 ISIS captured Mosul, Iraq’s second largest city. The house of Dr. Duraid Tobiya Zoma was the first house to be occupied by ISIS and was marked with the letter “N” for Nazarene (Christian). Dr. Zoma, who is an advisor to the governor of Mosul and an Assyrian, lived in north Mosul. He fled to the Assyrian town of Tel Kepe in the Nineveh Plain of Mosul when ISIS captured the city. He remained in Tel Kepe until August 4, when ISIS moved into the Nineveh Plain, which forced 200,000 Assyrians to flee their homes. Dr. Zoma fled to Arbel.

Dr. Zoma received a summons from the United States Department of Homeland Security for a meeting with the White House, Department of State, Congress, Pentagon, and the United States Institute for Peace.

The following is an interview with Dr. Zoma.

What is your message to the people of the United States?

Please speed the process of the liberation of Mosul and other Christian cities as well as the cities of other minorities. If they prolong it any longer it will be the worst catastrophe for all Iraqi civilians and a devastating loss of many innocent lives.

If ISIS is allowed to stay in Iraq, we fear the majority of the general public of Iraq will have no choice but to join the occupation by ISIS and will be forced to practice its ideology to destroy humanity as well as continue the displacement of the indigenous Christian people and other innocent civilians. They would do this if they feel there is no hope whatsoever and that would grow ISIS. This can be prevented to avoid a worse disaster for the people of Iraq.

What are you requesting legally?

For the Assyrian Christians to be armed; we have 4,500 volunteers who are ready to help protect Nineveh and their other minority friends. We need to be immediately liberated and we need an emergency international intervention for a substantial solution.

What about the Internally Displaced People?

There are 1.2 million displaced civilians who are scattered in camps, yards, churches, bridges and just about anywhere they have found temporary shelter in Dohuk, Arbel, Sulaymaniyah, Baghdad and Basra. They are in desperate need of food, water, blankets, medications and other basic items necessary for survival.

There are three groups of IDPs. The first group has left Iraq, seeking asylum in other countries. The second group will only go back to their homes if they secure safe passage and their cities are liberated. The third group is demanding their properties back and insisting they want to return to their homes now.

What about humanitarian aid. Who’s actually helping?

America is helping the most and Canada second, with a few others who are providing humanitarian aid.

The central government is delivering minimum aid, giving $ 800 per family for 6 months. 30% of the people have not received any help whatsoever. A large portion of the money was sent to the Kurdish government and many people have received nothing.

The churches are the most helpful for the IDPs and they are helping every hour of the day. The churches offer help such as money to help pay rent for the numerous families that are in one room or hundreds of families in one building.

People are still living in abandoned buildings, unfinished buildings, bridges, yards, streets, under trees and every inhuman place. The caravans have helped immensely; they’re using them for partial shelter, food storage, medical clinics, temporary schooling and other charitable dispensaries.

The majority of people are not receiving the funds the international communities and governments claimed were sent. Also, they have received expired food and clothing inadequate for the extreme upcoming winter.

What did you request from the U.S. government?

I recommended troops on the ground and more air strikes. Individual air strikes are not sufficient to stop ISIS. We are requesting immediate boots on the ground and not just advisers. ISIS is estimated to have 50,000 total in Iraq. Air strikes alone are not sufficient for stopping them. People are dying every day and from simple things such as lack of food and medicine. The Christians are extremely vulnerable.

We requested to have stronger language in the constitution of Iraq on the protection of the indigenous people and minorities and we need the U.S to support this, to demand the protection of the indigenous people and minorities who are the most afflicted. The Assyrians of Iraq, who have lasted for almost 7,000 years, are facing extinction. We have testified the Assyrians are marginalized in the union of Iraq. Iraq is not recognizing the Christians as an important entity in the structure of Iraq nor acknowledging their indigenous rights. The Christians need a personal status law and they need to be treated as equal citizens and not as second class citizens, and should not be persecuted any further.

We are requesting an autonomous region for Assyrians in the Nineveh Plain to protect them as the indigenous people, who are being extremely affected by ISIS.

Assyrian International News Agency

China Delivers Humanitarian Aid To Iraqi Kurdish Region

By , December 10, 2014 10:41 am

China Delivers Humanitarian Aid To Iraqi Kurdish Region

Posted 2014-12-10 06:37 GMT

Two aircraft carrying China’s humanitarian aid supplies arrived in Erbil, capital of Iraqi Kurdish region on Tuesday.

Chinese consul general in Erbil Tan Banglin handed over the cargo worth about 30 million yuan (US$ 4.85 million) to officials of Kurdish regional government at the airport.

Tan said the Chinese government and people deeply sympathise with Iraqi refugees and displaced people affected by the Islamic State (IS) invasion.

“This humanitarian aid is part of China’s support to counter-terrorism efforts in Iraq including the Kurdish region,” he said.

Erbil province vice governor Thahir Osman said the supplies will be distributed to refugees and displaced people.

The Kurdish region has accepted 1.6 million Iraqi displaced people and Syrian refugees.

Assyrian International News Agency

China Delivers Humanitarian Aid To Iraqi Kurdish Region

By , December 10, 2014 10:41 am

China Delivers Humanitarian Aid To Iraqi Kurdish Region

Posted 2014-12-10 06:37 GMT

Two aircraft carrying China’s humanitarian aid supplies arrived in Erbil, capital of Iraqi Kurdish region on Tuesday.

Chinese consul general in Erbil Tan Banglin handed over the cargo worth about 30 million yuan (US$ 4.85 million) to officials of Kurdish regional government at the airport.

Tan said the Chinese government and people deeply sympathise with Iraqi refugees and displaced people affected by the Islamic State (IS) invasion.

“This humanitarian aid is part of China’s support to counter-terrorism efforts in Iraq including the Kurdish region,” he said.

Erbil province vice governor Thahir Osman said the supplies will be distributed to refugees and displaced people.

The Kurdish region has accepted 1.6 million Iraqi displaced people and Syrian refugees.

Assyrian International News Agency

ISIL Launches Offensive Against Kurd Region in North Syria

By , September 17, 2014 8:41 am

ISIL Launches Offensive Against Kurd Region in North Syria

Posted 2014-09-17 02:08 GMT

An offensive by the ISIL terrorists is underway against the Kurdish enclave of Kobane near Syria’s northern border.

The so-called Syrian Observatory for Human Rights told dpa on Tuesday that the Takfiris attacked the enclave, located just south of the country’s border with Turkey in Aleppo province.

Reports said women and children were evacuating villages near the frontlines for safety.

Meanwhile, videos were posted online showing Kurdish fighters engaged in clashes with the Takfiri terrorists in the region.

On Monday, the militants bombed the southern part of Kobane city with heavy artillery.

The militants have reportedly installed 122 mm cannons in the town of Serrin in southern Kobane enclave in an attempt to target Tel Seifi village, where the Kurdish forces are stationed.

According to a 2013 estimate, the city of Kobane, also called Ayn al-Arab, is inhabited by Kurds, Arabs, Turkmen, and Armenians.

The Takfiri terrorists currently control stretches of land in Syria and Iraq.

Syria has been gripped by deadly violence since 2011 with ISIL Takfiri terrorists currently controlling parts of it mostly in the east.

The Western powers and their regional allies — especially Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Turkey — are reportedly supporting the militants operating inside Syria.

More than 191,000 people have been killed in over three years of fighting in the war-ravaged country, says the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), calling the figure a probable “underestimate of the real total number of people killed.”

Assyrian International News Agency

Unemployment Increases in Kurdistan Region

By , September 13, 2014 7:37 am

Unemployment Increases in Kurdistan Region

By John Lee.

BasNews reports that the unemployment rate in Kurdistan has risen from 7 percent at the end of 2013 to 10 percent currently. The number unemployed is nearly 100,ooo, of which 52 percent are men.

The increase has been blamed on the general economic situation in Iraqi Kurdistan, and on the sanctions that Baghdad has put on the region.

The Statistics Director in Sulaimaniyah, Mahmud Osman, believes that the increase in unemployment is mainly due to the lack of job opportunities for university graduates, and the lack of availability of loans to youths.

According to the data of the Ministry of Planning, in the first six months in 2013, the unemployment rate stood at 5.2 percent.

Meanwhile, Iraqi social affairs Minister Naser Ruba’i revealed that 46 percent of Iraqi citizens are jobless.

According to data obtained by BasNews, there are approximately 3000 contractor projects, 70 percent of which have come to a halt due the recent violence in northern Iraq.

“In respect of the current economic crisis and IS attacks, markets and projects have stopped. The government must have a serious plan in order to survive the current situation that Kurdistan is going through”, said Yassin Mahmud, spokesperson for Kurdistan Investment Union.

According to Investment Unions official, 14 billion dollars [16.3 trillion Iraqi dinars] was invested in the region in 2013, but this has fallen to only 3 billion dollars [3.5 trillion Iraqi dinars] in the first 8 months of this year.

(Source: BasNews)

Iraq Business News

Russia to sue Ukraine for $1 billion over damages in Rostov Region

By , September 5, 2014 2:05 pm

Russia to sue Ukraine for $ 1 billion over damages in Rostov Region
By: Ria Novosti on: 05.09.2014 [08:09 ] (125 reads)

Russia to sue Ukraine for $ 1 billion over damages in Rostov Region

© RIA Novosti, Sergey Pivovarov

Tags: Lawsuit, State Duma, Ukraine, Russia

10:26 05/09/2014
MOSCOW, September 5 (RAPSI) – Russia’s State Duma deputies intend to file a lawsuit with international courts for $ 1 billion in damages caused by Ukraine’s shelling of the Rostov Region in Russia, Izvestia newspaper writes on Friday.

Lawmaker Roman Khudyakov (LDPR) has sent a request to Investigative Committee Head Alexander Bastrykin for committee materials on the shelling of the Russian region that led to loss of life, injuries and property damage.

“Our Russian territory has been shelled more than once. People were killed and wounded, and many Russians sustained property damage. The neighboring state must be brought to account for these crimes, and the international community should provide its assessment of its actions. There are grounds to suspect that shooting was deliberate,” the newspaper writes, citing Khudyakov.

The lawmaker plans to use the Investigative Committee materials to prepare an international lawsuit against Kiev jointly with the shelling victims and with government support. Khudyakov believes that $ 1 billion is a reasonable amount, considering the number of victims and the danger to Russians’ lives due to the shelling raids from Ukraine. He said this would be financial compensation for the suffering of Russian citizens.

“The area was shelled several times during the conflict in Ukraine, and people’s property was damaged,” Khudyakov said.

The Russian Foreign Ministry earlier expressed a resolute protest in connection with the shelling of the Russian territory and demanded that these attacks be stopped.

http://rapsinews.com/judicial_news/20140905/272058037.html

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Is Iraq’s Kurdish region outside of ISIS’ calculus?

By , July 20, 2014 11:43 pm

Is Iraq’s Kurdish region outside of ISIS’ calculus?
By: Dina al-Shibee on: 21.07.2014 [05:51 ] (14 reads)

Is Iraq’s Kurdish region outside of ISIS’ calculus?

Dina al-Shibeeb, Al Arabiya News
Sunday, 20 July 2014

Iraqi Kurds have remained unscathed so far from any major assault by the radical Islamic State of Iraq and Syria not only because of their defensive force represented in the Peshmerga but also because of ISIS’ priority of toppling the government of Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, according to analysts.

Initially, some observers believed that the lack of an overt confrontation between ISIS and Kurds in Iraq was due to some understanding between the two sides. In addition, Maliki accused the Kurdistan Regional Government of supporting ISIS.

“The loose alliance of insurgents is united by only one common objective: a desire to take Baghdad and topple Maliki’s regime, which they consider to be an Iranian proxy,” Ali Khedery, who was the longest continuously serving American official in Iraq from 2003 to 2009, told Al Arabiya News.

“They haven’t attacked Kurdistan because they don’t want to open a second front while they battle,” Khedery, who is now chairman and chief executive of the Dubai-based Dragoman Partners, added.

“I believe Maliki accused the Kurds of helping ISIS because he considers the entire Sunni Arab insurgency to be composed of ISIS. In reality, the forces fighting Maliki’s government are 5 to 10% ISIS, 20% Baathist elements, and 70-75% Sunni Arab tribal elements.”

Iraq’s late dictator President Saddam Hussein ruled the country under the socialist Baath Party from 1979 until he was toppled during the U.S. invasion of 2003.

“Since some of the Baathist and tribal leaders like Sheikh Ali Hatem and Ahmed Dabbash now have a base in Arbil KRG’s capital, Maliki believes there is a master conspiracy against him,” Khedery said.

Michael P. Pregent, a former U.S. Army officer who was an embedded advisor with Peshmerga forces in the cities of Mosul and Dahuk, described Maliki’s accusation as “false,” saying that the incumbent prime minister “is upset that the Kurds that they didn’t fight ISIS in Mosul,” which is still held by the militants since a lightning offensive by the radical group in June.

Pregent told Al Arabiya News that “the main reason ISIS isn’t fighting the Kurds in Iraq is because in Iraq the Kurds have a national border that they protect and man with checkpoints with well-armed Peshmerga tanks, artillery, heavy crew served weapons.”

Unlike the rest of Iraq and Syria, where the security situations are characterized by increasing deterioration, The Kurds have excelled at maintaining security to high levels.

The Kurds in Iraq know who comes in and who comes out of their territory,” Pregent, who is now an adjunct lecturer at the National Defense University, College of International Security Affairs in Washington, said.

“They have a very experienced and disciplined Peshmerga militia that will protect Kurdish areas and interests,” he added, highlighting how “Sunnis, Christians, and even Shiites go to Kurdistan to escape violence in Iraq because they know the Kurdish areas are well protected.”

Like Khedery, who pointed to ISIS’s political agenda to topple Maliki’s administration, Pregent believes that the premier’s disenfranchisement of the Sunnis led to a fertile ground for ISIS to operate in.

“ISIS’ success depends on an oppressive Shiite government that marginalizes Sunnis in both Syria and Iraq – ISIS will not gain supporters in Kurdish areas because the Kurds are already protecting their areas from Maliki’s oppressive government,” the former army officer said.
Alliance with Arab tribes

Kirkuk-based strategic analyst Abdulrahman al-Sheikh described how Sunni Arab tribes in Kirkuk are paramount in fending off the ISIS threat from creeping into Kirkuk as they enjoy the respect of both the Peshmerga and radical Islamists.

“There are strong ties between Kurds and the Sunni Arab tribes in Kirkuk, so the fears are less in comparison to the ISIS-held Tikrit,” Sheikh said.

On Wednesday, Iraq state forces, facing heavy opposition, withdrew from the northern city of Tikrit after a renewed effort to take back Saddam’s hometown.

In spite of KRG’s strengths, there were clashes on Thursday between ISIS and Peshmerga forces 20 kilometers south of Kirkuk.

“This was an attempt to provoke the Peshmerga,” said Sheikh, “but respected Arab tribes intervened to end the skirmish.”

While Pregent expects that there will be fighting “in areas not traditionally under Kurdish control,” he said “so far we haven’t seen any incursions into recognized Kurdish areas.”

http://english.alarabiya.net/en/perspective/2014/07/20/Is-Iraq-s-Kurdish-region-outside-of-ISIS-calculus-.html

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Fighting in North Iraq to delay return of region oil exports

By , June 25, 2014 6:44 pm

http://theiraqijournal.com/fighting-in-north-iraq-to-delay-return-of-region-oil-exports/

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Kurdistan Region: Business Workshop in London

By , June 25, 2014 12:49 am

Kurdistan Region: Business Workshop in London

The Kurdistan Regional Government UK Representation has announced that British Expertise will host a workshop on doing business in Kurdistan on 8th July, in advance of its trade mission to Erbil and Dohuk in September.

This special workshop includes case studies from companies that have undertaken or won projects in Kurdistan.

Lyn Edwards, Senior Partner at GMW Architects will discuss his experience of undertaking projects in the market and Prasad Godbole of Pioneer Healthcare will give an overview of the company’s remarkable work on the Kurdistan Children’s Hospital. John Downe of Azure will give an entrepreneur’s view on working in the Kurdistan Region.

Delegates will be joined by, Bayan Sami Abdul Rahman, Kurdistan Regional Government High Representative to the UK, Nawal Karim, Director of Trade and Investment Relations at the KRG UK Representation, and Former British Consul General in Erbil Chris Bowers, who will provide an overview of the current political and economic situation in Kurdistan, and how natural resources will drive future interest and development.

For more information on the event and to register your attendance please click here.

Iraq Business News