Fallujah, according to
. Joe Stork, deputy director of HRW’s Middle East programmes, stated, “Iraqi authorities seem to think that
g an investigation is all that’s required when security forces kill protesters”. HRW maintains that Iraqi forces fired on
protesters after the troops were hit with stones. Nine protesters were killed and another 45 were injured in the incident. Finally, Nadir Dendoune, a French journalist detained
by Iraqi authorities for taking unauthorised pictures in the country’s capital, was released on
14 February, according to
Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL)
.The ongoing dispute between Baghdad and Kurdistan over oil rights has led to delays in finalising the national budget and is
jeopardising major infrastructure projects and payments to regional authorities, according to
. While Iraq’s cabinet approved aUSD 118.6 billion in October 2012, infighting among Shi’ite, Sunni an
d Kurdish members of parliament resulted in the failure to passdraft legislation. The budget, which forecasts a deficit of USD 15.5 billion, includes USD 45.5 billion for much needed investment projects and has apportioned USD 644 million for companies in Kurdistan. Kurdistan, which has its own regional government and
armed forces, contributes its oil to national exports and relies on seventeen per cent of Baghdad’s national budget. This wee
Minister Maliki’s State of Law coalition, Sunni
-backed Iraqiya Bloc, and other political blocs called for Kurds to receive no more thantwelve per cent of the national budget, claiming they are a minority population. Additionally, Exxon Mobil has decided to moveforward with its controversial decision to
develop oil fields in Kurdistan in defiance of Baghdad’s opposition to the move, reports
Middle East Economic Digest
“[i]f Exxon Mobil starts drilling operations, Baghdad will have no option but to try and stopthem”. Baghdad has declared the Exxon deal illegal and maintains that Kurdistan has no authority to sign oil agreements –
a privilegereserved for the central government. Meanwhile, Kurdistan President Massoud Barzani met with the head of Russian oil giantGazprom,Alexei Miller, in Moscow to discuss oil and gas cooperation in the semi-autonomous region, according to
focused on the “potential for cooperation in geological exploration, development and operation of oil and gas fields”.
reports thatBaghdad has consented to a preliminary agreement to build oil and gas pipelines from Iran to Syria. Gas from the project would come
The Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) is considered a terrorist organi
sation by Turkey, the United States, the European Union and NATO.
, are the pro-government Sunni militias that fought against al Qaeda during the US-led war in Iraq.
“Sticky Bombs” are magnetic explosive devices that
stick to metal (often placed on vehicle undercarriages) widely used by the Iraqi insurgency.