Iraqi Kurdistan / by Alistair Galloway

Demonstrations have been taking place since 1 October over the political tensions and economic crisis and left five protestors dead. The regional headquarters of two news networks were forcibly shut down, although one was later allowed to reopen. Four ministers were appointed to replace ousted ministers from the opposition party. A record 220 people left Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) controlled territories in October. Blood tests were released which confirmed that ISIS used mustard gas in the August attack against Kurdish forces. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) stated that it is willing to give the Iraqi government a large loan in 2016 to promote economic stability. The Iraqi Finance Minister stated that 20 per cent of the 2016 budget will be used for defence. The Iraqi government halted the planned sale of bonds due to the high yield demanded by investors. Kuwait delayed the final payment of reparations for the Iraqi occupation of 1990-1991.There were repeated clashes with ISIS, including one in Samarra, one in Khalediya District, and an online video purportedly showing the execution of four Peshmerga soldiers. The joint United States (US)-Kurdish raid is slated to happen again despite President Obama’s assertion that US troops would not engage in the conflict.