A farmer adjusts an irrigation pump in the town of Mishkhab, south of Najaf, Iraq, June 26, 2018 (AP photo by Anmar Khalil).
The many ongoing challenges in Iraq—from political upheaval and COVID-19 to plummeting oil prices and the resurgence of the Islamic State—often overshadow the precarious state of the country’s water resources, even though water shortages are exacerbating many of those very issues. Studies have shown that equitable access to water is vital to supporting post-conflict recovery, sustainable development and lasting peace in Iraq, because water underpins public health, food production, agricultural livelihoods and power generation. But fresh water in Iraq is becoming scarcer, fueling more social tensions. Iraq’s population of 40 million is expected to double by 2050, while the impacts [...]
A protester prays near a poster showing Hisham al-Hashimi, an Iraqi analyst who was shot dead near outside his home in Baghdad in early July, Baghdad, Iraq, July 12, 2020 (AP photo by Khalid Mohammed).
Earlier this month, a prominent researcher and security expert in Iraq, who was close to the new prime minister and to Western governments, was gunned down outside his home in Baghdad. While the identify of his assailants remains unknown, Hisham al-Hashimi had many enemies, given his history of speaking out against the Islamic State and against Iraq’s powerful Shiite militias. In the weeks leading up to his murder, he told friends and relatives that he had received serious threats from both Sunni and Shiite extremists. His associates, as well as Iraqi government officials, have focused in particular on Kataib Hezbollah, [...]
A protester holds an Iraqi flag during anti-government protests in Baghdad, Iraq, May 12, 2020 (AP photo by Hadi Mizban).
BAGHDAD—The Islamic State is stepping up its attacks in Iraq, fulfilling the expectations of many analysts that the extremist group would mount a comeback after the Iraqi government declared victory over it in 2017. While the Islamic State has yet to show the same capabilities it had at its peak in 2013 and 2014, when it gained control of several provinces and population centers—including Mosul, one of Iraq’s largest cities—the tempo of attacks has been increasing for over six months. This coincides with a period of domestic unrest due to widespread anti-government protests. The U.S.-led coalition against the Islamic State [...]
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