Author Archive | Bob Tollast

Taif eWallet shakes up Iraqi finance

By Robert Tollast Recently, a friend at Fikra Space, the pioneering Iraqi hackerspace group, emailed me some news that could have far reaching effects in Iraq. On the face of it, it probably seems like a fairly mundane development. Ideal Payments, the electronic payment providers, have partnered with Belgium based Monniz and Iraq’s Taif Money […]

Al-Qaeda Leader Urges New Iraq War

By Simon Kent. Al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri, (pictured) who has been the leader of the organization since the death of Bin Laden in 2011, has issued a short statement urging Iraqi Sunnis to begin an insurgency against the Iraqi government. Predecessors of the self declared Islamic State, “Al-Qaeda in Mesopotamia,” were allied to Al-Qaeda up until around […]

Draft Amnesty Law Passed for Detainees

By Simon Kent. In a potentially huge political development, Iraq’s Council of Representatives (Parliament) have passed draft amnesty law that would see as many as 5000 Shia Sadrist protesters released from prison and potentially thousands more Sunnis who have been detained over the years, allegedly on spurious information, in many cases. For example, at the […]

Qayyarah Oilfields Still Burning

By Simon Kent. Qayyarah’s oilfields are still on fire weeks after the self declared Islamic State set them on fire as part of a scorched earth strategy during their retreat. The terrorists also poured oil from Qayyarah into the Tigris and set it alight in an attempt to burn a makeshift Iraqi Army bridge. Before […]

New Oil Deal Still Under Discussion

By Simon Kent. Kurdish and Iraqi officials are still thrashing out details of a more sustainable and far reaching oil revenue and exports deal, following the resumption of federal oil exports into the Kurdish pipeline from Kirkuk. Last week, 100,000 bpd of Kirkuk crude from Baba Gorgor, Jambour and Khabbaz, three fields in the giant Kirkuk […]

Syria, Iraq Discuss Border Security

By Simon Kent. Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Muallem met with Iraqi PM Haidar al-Abadi to discuss border security, Reuters reports. Currently, all of Iraq’s border on the Syrian side is either held by Kurdish forces or the self declared Islamic State, with Iraqi forces gradually approaching Al Qaim, the last border town held by the […]

Defense Minister Khaled al-Obeidi Removed

By Simon Kent. Iraq’s embattled Defense Minister Khaled al-Obeidi (pictured) a Sunni from Mosul, has been voted out of his position following a no confidence motion in parliament. The vote comes after mounting pressure on the Minister, following accusations that he was responsible for over billing scandals and favored defense contracts for friends and political allies. […]

Iraq’s Tribal Politics

By Omar al Jaffal for Al Monitor. Any opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News. Iraqi parliament Speaker Salim al-Jabouri issued a warning against involving the tribes in political disputes Aug. 14. His warning came a few days after the tribes affiliated with Defense Minister Khaled al-Obeidi […]

ISIS Recruiter of Child Soldiers Shot Dead in Mosul

By Simon Kent. Unconfirmed reports suggest a Saudi Arabian national under the nom de guerre “Abu Wathbah al-Saudi,” has been shot dead in Mosul, the last urban stronghold of the self declared Islamic State. The terrorist’s role was apparently the recruitment of child soldiers. If true, it would only be one in a string of […]

At Qayyarah, Iraqi Troops Just 30 Miles from Mosul

By Simon Kent. Battling through an apocalyptic landscape of black smoke from burning oil, (fighters from the self declared Islamic State hoped this would hinder air strikes) Iraqi soldiers have reached the center of Qayyarah. Snipers held up the advance, before soldiers were able to capture a government compound. Qayyarah is just 60 km south […]

Airstrikes Show Pattern of Low Level Conflict

By Simon Kent. Coalition aircraft conducted 4 air strikes against the self declared Islamic State over the past 24 hrs, with “tactical units” being targeted near Ramadi and Hit in Anbar, a front of the Iraqi government and local anti-IS tribes. Another strike hit a tactical unit near Sinjar, which is close to Kurdish Peshmerga […]

Abadi: Kirkuk Resumption Protects Reservoir

By Simon Kent. Prime Minister Haidar al Abadi (pictured) has remarked that the resumption of pumping oil into the Kurdish export pipeline from Kirkuk–from 70,000 bpd to an expected 150,000 bpd, is due to preserving the reservoir in one of the world’s oldest oilfields. Previously oil was being re-injected by the federal North Oil Company […]