Iraq and Kurdistan / by Lewis McKinnon

The Czech government halted a program which intended to accept 153 Christian refugees from Iraq. Russia’s ambassador to the United Nations (UN) said that the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) has received revenues of between $150 million and $200 million per year from the illegal trade of antiques. A member of Qatar’s ruling family was released along with a Pakistani man following a kidnapping last year, the 26 others who were captured alongside them have not been released. Members of the Iraqi Parliament were trapped inside a building following the successful attempt of protestors to get into the building. The Vice President of the United States (US) made an unannounced visit to Baghdad to meet with political leaders. The Iraqi northern offensive, part of a campaign to recapture Mosul, was paused whilst the commander waited for more troops. Janus Global Operations Inc was awarded the contract for the de-mining of Ramadi, and the training of Iraqis to dismantle explosive devices. Two British men and an Irishman were released from Kurdish custody following their attempt to return to their home countries after fighting ISIS in Syria. The Pentagon stated that the US is intending to extend its involvement in the fight against ISIS with more troops, weaponry, and aid. The International Finance Corporation (IFC) granted $375 million to Mass Global Energy Sulimaniya to develop power projects to tackle the energy crisis.