Iraqi Kurdistan / by Alistair Galloway

The North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) delivered counter-Improvised explosive device equipment to Iraq’s Ministry of Interior in accordance with an agreement dating back to July 2015. Tensions between Kurdistan Region’s two main political factions continue to rise with Patriotic Union of Kurdistan forces storming an oil field in Kirkuk leading to a halt in oil production. The spotlight continues to be put on Iraq and Iraqi Kurdistan concerning human rights in the wake of the Mosul offensive and general ongoing battle against Islamic State (IS). Secretary- General of the United Nations Antonio Guterres arrived in Iraq to discuss civilian protection and look closely at camps for IDPs. Dubai cares in conjunction with Unicef will proved Dh 3.8 million in funding to two schools in the Kurdistan Region to support education for refugee and displaced children. Germany also contributed aid to the Kurdistan Regional Government Ministry of Education to be distributed to teachers in different provinces. Talks between Prime Minister of Iraqi Kurdistan and a representative of the Saudi Arabian King Salman Centre for Relief and Humanitarian aid to discuss humanitarian situation in Kurdistan. Despite positive engagement with Turkey and plans to open six new border crossings with the state via Kurdistan, a Kurdistan Worker’s Party (PKK) group operation in Duhok province are accused of planning an attack against Turkey. US President Donald Trump, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, and a representative for Iraqi Kurdistan met in Washington to discuss the global initiative against IS. US Lieutenant General Stephen Townsend stated he hopes for a long term American military presence in Iraqi Kurdistan. Human Rights Watch (HRW) called on the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) to investigate the use of lethal force against protestors in Sinjar. Construction of an extended railway is underway to connect Iran to the Syrian west coast on the Mediterranean Sea via the Kurdistan Region in Northern Iraq. The Governor of the Kirkuk Province Najmaldin Karim issued an order to enforce the use of the Kurdistan language alongside Arabic between the Iraqi federal government in Baghdad and the Erbil- based Kurdistan region as well as ordering official building to raise the Kurdish flag. Despite the large influx of injured military personnel from the Mosul offensive, the Iraqi government has decided to cut the Kurdistan Region’s cut of medical supplies. Due to low economic performance and a decline in oil production, Iraq, a major wheat and rice buyer, informed suppliers it will pay for goods in instalments. Beyond domestic economic troubles, Kurdistan’s continued issues with oil output is giving foreign investors trouble. Authorities are hopeful that a project to construct 20 new dams will address issues of drought in Kurdistan. Japan ended its project of building and equipping police stations across Kurdistan.