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Iraqis Say No to Immunity for Remaining American Troops

Looks like another failed attempt to break the deadlock.The "agreement" the political leaders reached is practically worth nothing. Washington will not like this. The US is not willing to station people overseas without legal protections...I...Show More Summary

Riots erupt in Saudi village

And it is on in Saudi Arabia!Fourteen people, including 11 policemen, were hurt when riots erupted in a Shiite-majority village in eastern Saudi Arabia, state news agency SPA said Tuesday, blaming the unrest on a "foreign country.""A...Show More Summary

Iraq May Approve Energy Law by Year End, Committee Chief Says

An overly wishful, almost out of touch assessment of bill stuck since 2007:“We are studying two drafts, one from within the committee and another one from the government,” Adnan Al Janabi said. “We will come out with a new law from these...Show More Summary

Iraq signs deal to buy 18 F-16 warplanes

The deal is finally's unclear yet though whether it includes the same lame weapons package announced in the original notification. The final price will also be significantly lower than the $3-4 billion estimate. How much exactly? We'll have to wait, but I guess it will be around $1 billion.

Saudi women gain vote for the first time

Congrats to the women of Saudi Arabian who now have the right to vote and run for public office...A huge step forward.

Somali radio gives away assault rifles in Quran contest

You're not gonna believe what this radio station in Somalia did!The "Al-Andalus" radio station offered weapons (and cash) as prizes for winners in a Quran memorization contest this past Ramadan. The first place winner got an AK-47 and the equivalent of $700. Show More Summary

Iraq Calls for Change of Syrian Regime

This is a pretty interesting and welcome about-face.

Bomb blast in Ankara as Turkey, Iran consider joint operations

This escalation will most certainly reflect negatively on the border ares of Iraq's Kurdistan Region. Actually, with a joint Ankara-Tehran operation possibly in the works, it looks like the KRG has some really tough days ahead. It could...Show More Summary

Egypt bars Islamist hard-line political party

Egypt's Political Parties Affairs Committee has made a brave decision, barring the extremist Al-Gamaa Al-Islamiyya from registering as a political party. The way this enfolds will have deep effects on the future of Egypt's politicalShow More Summary

Iraq Crude Oil Output Rises to Highest Level Since 2003

Production in August hit 2.81 million barrels per day. Going neck and neck with Kuwait, who has also been frantically ramping up output this year.With significant revenue growth in the pipeline, the government in Baghdad is already working...Show More Summary

Syrian naphtha tender attracts no bids: traders

Someone in the neighborhood is losing revenue pretty fast! Watcha gonna do Bashar?

Allawi no longer welcome in politics, says Maliki

Prime Minister Nouri Al-Maliki has effectively torpedoed what was left of the power-sharing agreement that led to the formation of his cabinet.In a very short and ominous statement to the press, he stated that Ayad Allawi "is no longer...Show More Summary

Iraq reworks fees to bolster 4th energy auction

The Ministry of Oil will be trying to squeeze even more revenue out of future development contracts by closing one of the "loopholes" found in earlier contracts."If the total production is 1 million barrels per day and the cost recovery...Show More Summary

Oil dispute flare-up

The KRG are saying exports were halted because of "technical difficulties."Could be true, but when this happens days after Maliki-Erbil tension boiled over draft oil law disagreements, and even a threat by the Kurdish parties to boycott federal parliament and cabinet meetings, the technical difficulties story doesn't sound as convincing.

A lighter footprint will not prevent conflict

I'm quite sure that when General Odierno said:"I'm not saying 3-5,000 is the right number," but "there comes a time...when it (US presence) becomes counter-productive...I'm not quite sure what the right number is, but there's a number...Show More Summary

Sadr says will suspend operations against US troops

So Moqtada Sadr, trying to make himself look reasonable, issued a statement Saturday night in which he claims that:"Out of keenness on Iraq's independence and the withdrawal of American forces from the country, I must halt military operations...Show More Summary

Ahmadinejad tells Assad to end to violence?

Something must have been lost in translation, because this couldn't be coming from Ahmadinejad.

Iraq Discovers Oil, Gas Field in Anbar Province, Official Says

Never heard of recent active exploration in this area,which roughly corresponds with the southern edge of "block 2", one of the 12 exploration blocks that will be auctioned off in the upcoming 4th bid round in January. I'd take this one with a grain of salt, for now.

Iraqi Army Receives Last Abrams Shipment

All 140 of them have been delivered. We'll need about 4 times as many only to complete the modernization of tank elements for 4 modern mechanized divisions...still a long way to go before having adequate defense against conventional external threats.

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