Iraqi Kurdistan / by Alistair Galloway

The Kurdish Security Council is investigating reports of a chemical weapons attack in the Sinjar area in cooperation with the International Coalition for Operation Inherent Resolve. The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) has conducted a series of attacks in and around Baghdad killing 61 people. Kurdish special forces rescued a Swedish girl on 17 February from the control of ISIS, following a request from the Swedish government. Canada has announced that it is withdrawing the six jets used in bombing campaigns against ISIS in Iraq and Syria. ISIS executed 12 of its own militants on 27 February on charges of desertion of the battlefield following an accusation that they avoided fighting Iraqi security forces. A prominent Shia cleric told more than 100,000 supporters that the Prime Minister must take action to tackle corruption or risk losing power. On 29 February the United States (US) government stated that it was conducting cyber warfare, alongside missions by commandos. Radioactive material, which went missing in November, has been recovered 15 kilometres from the site of origin. An Iraqi court has sentenced 40 members of ISIS to death for the killing of 1,700 Iraqi soldiers. The three Americans captured from Baghdad have been released safely. A United Nations (UN) staffer has been identified as the body found in November becoming the first UN staffer to die in Iraq since 2010. ISIS has manipulated the exchange rate between US dollars and the Iraqi dinar in an attempt to maximise revenue following coalition attacks on oil infrastructure. Kurdish oil exports through the pipeline to the Turkish port of Ceyhan have been halted since 17 February, with the pipeline not being expected to be switched back on until at least 29 February.