Statement by Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis on the U.S. Military Response to the Syrian Government’s Use of Chemical Weapons



Press Operations

Release No: NR-129-17
April 10, 2017

The U.S. military strike against Shayrat airfield on April 6 was a measured response to the Syrian government’s use of chemical weapons.

The president directed this action to deter future use of chemical weapons and to show the United States will not passively stand by while Assad murders innocent people with chemical weapons, which are prohibited by international law and which were declared destroyed.

The assessment of the Department of Defense is that the strike resulted in the damage or destruction of fuel and ammunition sites, air defense capabilities, and 20 percent of Syria’s operational aircraft. The Syrian government has lost the ability to refuel or rearm aircraft at Shayrat airfield and at this point, use of the runway is of idle military interest.

The Syrian government would be ill-advised ever again to use chemical weapons.



Iraq’s Shiite clerics show no love for Assad


 (photo by Al-Monitor/Hugo Goodridge)

NAJAF, Iraq — When the rebellious Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr called on the Syrian president to step down from power, many were taken by surprise. The prevailing belief is that Shiites all back the Syrian regime and support its rule, and that what is happening in Syria is a sectarian war between Shiites and Sunnis.

It shouldn’t have come as a surprise when Iraqi Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr called on Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to relinquish power, as other Shiite leaders have previously also criticized the Assad regime and Shiite militias for him.

TranslatorMohammad Khalil

On April 8, Sadr called on Assad to relinquish power, saying, “It would be fair for President Bashar al-Assad to resign and step down in love for Syria, to spare it the woes of war and terrorism. The rule would thus be handed over to influential popular parties capable of taking a stand against terrorism and preserving Syria’s sovereignty as soon as possible. This would constitute a historic, heroic decision before it’s too late.”

In fact, Sadr’s stance on the Syrian regime is not new, as other clerics have criticized the Syrian regime for its atrocities against its own people. They have also criticized Shiite militias for backing Assad in the fight against the Syrian opposition.

After the popular uprising against Assad when it broke out in March 2011, Sadr expressed his support in a November statement. Despite accusations that the Sadrist Movement, which is highly influential among Iraqi Shiites, was taking part in the Syrian conflict, he has denied any involvement by members of his party. He has also voiced his disapproval of other Shiite militias going to Syria to fight for Assad.

Sadr has expelled a number of fighters from his armed factions for having fought in Syria. Most recently, Sa’ad Swar, a former leader in Jaish al-Mahdi, announced his defection and formed Jaish al-Mou’mal in 2016 to fight in Syria and Iraq. Iran has used the defections as leverage to persuade more members to leave the Sadrist Movement in an attempt to weaken the party, especially after Sadr had voiced opposition to Iran’s regional policy. Many factions have split from the Sadrist Movement, including Asaib Ahl al-Haq and the former Hezbollah al-Nujaba.

Many prominent Najaf clerics have never supported the Syrian regime, with some even forbidding their followers to fight in Syria. Four prominent Najaf clergymen — Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, Sheikh Ishaq al-Fayyad, Seyed Mohammad Sa’id al-Hakim and Sheikh Bashir al-Najafi — were quoted by Asharq Alawsat as adopting a unified stance in 2013: “Individuals who go to Syria for jihad are disobeying the commands of religious authorities.” In Qom, no prominent clerics have issued fatwas in support of sending Shiite fighters to Syria.

With the Islamic State (IS) nearly defeated in Iraq, there are growing concerns that Shiite militias from the Popular Mobilization Units (PMU) might head to Syria to fight for the Syrian regime. These militias have not only been strengthened by their experience fighting IS, they now have a legal standing under the PMU law passed in November 2016. Shiite PMU factions have long voiced their readiness to take the fight to Syria as soon as possible. The factions calling for going to Syria are directly affiliated with Iran, as is the case with Kataib Hezbollah, Asaib Ahl al-Haq and Saraya al-Khorasani, who maintain a military presence in both Iraq and Syria. These factions constantly reiterate their intention to step up their presence in post-IS Syria. On March 8, Harakat al-Nujaba announced its plan to form a special military force in Syria.

In an attempt to curb these factions’ defiance, Sistani published a fatwa with his affiliated Non News Agency April 9, stating, “We previously issued a fatwa deeming military duty a top priority in order to protect the Iraqi people, their land and holy places. The fatwa shall remain binding as long as its exigency continues, despite some of the advances made by our brave fighters in ousting the terrorists.”

The fatwa forbids the PMU from working outside the framework of the Iraqi government and acting outside of Iraq. The restrictions put Iran-affiliated factions in a difficult position, as they were looking forward to stepping up their presence in Syria independently of the Iraqi government. Recalling the backdrop against which the PMU was established — the fall of Mosul into IS’ hands — Sistani is now pulling the rug of legitimacy from under the feet of Iran-affiliated factions.

It should be noted that many PMU-affiliated Shiite factions have never operated outside Iraq following Sistani’s directives. Among those are Ansar al-Marja’iyya Brigade, Ali al-Akbar Brigade, Imam Ali Division, Al-Qadhimayn Force, Saraya al-Ataba al-Abbasiyya, Saraya al-Ataba al-Alawiyya and Saraya al-Ataba al-Husayniyya.

Sistani has also denied meeting with a Houthi delegation in September 2016, meaning that he did not support Iran’s regional agenda. Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi canceled a conference backed by a number of Shiite parties for supporting the Houthis, originally slated for April 2.

Sistani and Sadr’s positions are intended to support Abadi in curbing Iran-affiliated factions and establishing stability in post-IS Iraq and protect it from regional tensions and the US-Iranian conflict.

Read more:


Government moves to develop the banks and financial institutions


4/12/2017 0:00

Baghdad / Farah pumice is
interested in many of the year the countries oftourism activities and they care because they areaware of the importance and role in moving economic activity, and adopted most countries, whether developed or developing, interest in theculture of tourism awareness and began Petrsakhh at all levels of society in order topromote the reality of tourism and the upgrading of dealing with tourists whether locally or newcomer, and the most prominent example of this is the launch of the United Arab Emirates tourism Arts blog , which consists of ten themes aimed at raising awareness oftourism. On Tuesday concluded the conference and the World Expo on the fourth financial sector and banks , which raised the central bank in order to work on theinfrastructure of the banks and financial institutions to develop and find new mechanisms to attract discreet investments.
The financial and banking conference in Iraq in 2017 for a continuation of the previous conferences organized by Symexco company.
Participated in previous conferences more than 1,000 delegates from all over the world and succeeded in achieving the goals set for him, made him an annual event is sponsored by the Central Bank of Iraq. Implementation of the recommendations and said economic analyst Rahim Al Shammari in this regard, the need to apply therecommendations Tstantjha these conferences, to support the financial and banking sector in the country, and opening wider to the world. Shammari also count these events important tools that contribute to attracting international investment and share with local counterparts, especially that the country is in need of many of the necessary projects that serve the citizen, the most prominent of the reconstruction of the liberated areas of theConception of terrorist gangs, as well as providing and sustaining the necessary services in the community. This important event aims to research and work on the infrastructure of the banks and financial institutions in Iraq to develop through the strengthening ofcooperation between the central bank and the ministries on the one hand, banks andfinancial institutions concerned on the other hand, in addition to banks and international financial institutions as well as investors  international. Participated in the conference, which was held in Beirut, representatives of Iraqi banks, Bank World World Bank and Masssh International Development IFC and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development OCED global banks such as JP Morgan and Citibank, Standard Chartered, and representatives of Lebanese banks and Arab, banks and financial institutions from the countries of the Middle East and North Africa. Themes of theconference and discussed the conference set of themes that developed in the business ,notably the agenda, plans and strategies of the Central Bank of Iraq for the next phase, the financial reforms that government is trying to implement to attract and attract investors, and the future of state – owned banks, and the role of Islamic banks and thestrategy of the new Rivers Bank, as well as the Iraqi financial markets file and its role in supporting the Iraqi economy, and the current situation of the banking sector and opportunities for the participation of foreign companies involved bank loans, in addition to the technological environment and its central role in advancing innovation and risk mitigation. Shammari pointed out that Iraq has a great wealth of skills and contribute to pushing the economy forward, but he saw the need for greater openness in the world by attracting modern technology and its application in the sectors of finance and banks in order to protect public money. The conference also discussed several other important issues , including the sources of funding for large projects and infrastructure, and thedevelopment of the Iraqi market for securities and financing opportunities for the private sector of Iraq. As well as examine the reality of the Iraqi economy and developments expected, investment in the oil ministry projects, and investment in Iraq between reality and ambition, as well as the reconstruction of the affected areas file, and the mechanisms of transition from a totalitarian economy to the market economy in Iraq, in addition to the indebtedness of the administration of Iraq and its relationship with the re – conditioning economy  National .


Head of the IMF mission’s (term) interest peg to the dollar rather than a large reduction of the Iraqi economy


Head of the IMF mission's (term) interest peg to the dollar rather than a large reduction of the Iraqi economy

 Baghdad / Zahraa Al-Jassem

Being talked at length between the economic circles, whether legislative or specialized for what the International Monetary Fund for Iraq loans and its usefulness out of the current financial crisis in the aftermath of the decline in global oil prices, Sometimes some people talk about being open field ahead of us to get the facilities and loans and support for international financial organizations and countries major, in accordance with the international financial umbrella obtained by Iraq , up nearly 20 billion dollars, with what he sees others that borrow from the fund is very important for Iraq but also strengthens its position externally in terms of financial transactions, and sometimes others were skeptical of this argument, pointing out that, loans would not But the burden of borrowed state financial obligations and Tkplha debts for many years, with the facts that can not be overlooked after the repercussions of the occupation of Daesh for a number of Iraqi cities , and his successor from the huge numbers of displaced people and the destruction of the infrastructure of those areas, requiring reconstruction after liberation, not to mention the costs of these the war that no one can yet appreciated.
Meetings and dialogues in- depth continued over the past two years and the current, to complete Iraq for the IMF loan of $ 5.3 billion, an annual interest rate low of one and a half percent, accompanied by requests, policies and procedures recommended by the Fund, concerning its credit readiness with Iraq, including additional cuts expenditures and the fight against corruption, and activating the economic sectors and financial reform, which according to officials, in the interests of the Iraqi economy, to remain the most important opinion of the international Monetary Fund in this regard, as head of the IMF mission in Iraq , Christian coconut answer, some questions x The interview (range), via e – mail.
* What is the future readiness credit program with the International Monetary Fund, if exposed oil prices to asignificant improvement eliminates the deficit?
– Under the current outlook for oil prices, we believe that it should follow the approach of the financial correction that combines ambition and viability, in order to bridge the gap with the end of this decade (2020). If oil prices rose largely no longer with the need for international financial support from the IMF and other donors fund, leaving the decision of the Iraqi government regarding the continued implementation of the standby credit agreement with the Fund.
* Do you put the fund into account, in his program how Iraq will be able to pay its debts accumulated and borrowing for reconstruction if oil prices continue at current rates?
– Yes, if the Iraqi government implemented a fiscal adjustment program provided for by the standby credit agreement, it would be able to repay its debts.
* What are the means available to Iraq to establish an economic partnership with the world to run theeconomy and raise growth and development in which rates and reduce the actual levels of unemployment to decimal one not 40% instead of 24%?
– The Iraqi government should implement the following growth strategy: first, to maintain macroeconomic stability by freezing public spending in nominal terms for a period of two years, plugged up the fiscal deficit gradually and maintain the linking of the Iraqi dinar in US dollars. Second, create fiscal space by increasing non – oil revenues and the reduction of current expenditures, that this space is used to promote human capital and re – physical capital in Iraq. Third, improve the business climate, which leads, while reducing the role of the state in the economy in the context of the current fiscal adjustment, to increase incentives for private sector development, especially with the start of reconstruction work. Finally, reform and restructuring in the financial sector will, to strengthen its capacity to support the private sector in the medium term during the reconstruction.
* Everyone thinks that the economy is in a contraction or a severe recession and the price of nominal dinar exchange rate is not realistic and exceeds the value, compared to the current account deficit of the balance of payments., But it is time to reduce the value of the dinar and the exchange rate against the dollar and bear little thing of inflation in order to rationalize the overall total spending of the state ? What is your guidance in this regard?
– The central bank still maintains a comfortable level of foreign exchange reserves ,
we believe that it is appropriate to maintain the linking of the Iraqi dinar in US dollars. It will not achieve the devaluation of great benefit to the economy and would cause a sharp increase in inflation.
* Iraq ‘s recent decline in cash reserves at the Central Bank to the extent of 49 billion, how do you view this decline, do you have any recommendations to the Iraqi side about it?
– The central bank still retains a comfortable level of total foreign exchange reserves. As is the case in all oil -exporting countries, can not avoid the decline in these reserves when oil prices fall. We recommend the implementation of the agreed financial control under the standby credit agreement to keep this fall within the limits compatible with the linking of the Iraqi dinar in US dollars.
* What is your guidance for Iraq on reconstruction in the liberated areas of the process, and what is youropinion by asking US President Donald Trump, contributing to the reconstruction of those areas in exchange for Iraqi oil?
– We recommend first, to assess reconstruction needs with the help of the World Bank and then raise thenecessary resources to implement them, including Iraq ‘s oil resources and international financial support.
Iraq can assume its debts to conduct the agreed fiscal adjustment
* All afraid in Iraq , the size of the indebtedness of the Iraqi government , both internal and external, how do you view this issue, and what are your recommendations?
– it can carry Iraq ‘s debts if the authorities carried out the agreed financial correction with the IMF under thestandby credit agreement.
The International Monetary Fund, a specialized agency of the Bretton Woods system of the United Nations, was established by an international treaty in 1945 to work on strengthening the integrity of the global economy, and is based in Washington DC, and run by its members who include all countries of the world about their number of 188 countries.
The International Monetary Fund, the central institution of the international monetary system, any system of international payments and currency exchange rates which allows commercial transactions between different countries, and aims to prevent crises in the international system by encouraging different countries to adopt sound economic policies, as members can make use of its resources, to address what they are exposed to balance of payments problems, including the legal objectives of the Fund to facilitate the expansion and balanced growth of international trade, and to stabilize exchange rates and avoid competitive devaluation of currency values, and a correction regulator Achtla S balance of payments experienced by different countries.


of the security official Daesh killed a large number of elements of the organization west of Mosul


The security official Daesh killed a large number of elements of the organization west of Mosul
one hour ago

Twilight News / media reported military cell on Tuesday the killing of “large” number of elements of the organization, including a security official air strikes west of the city of Mosul.

It said the cell in a statement, that according to the Information Intelligence Agency and the Federal Investigation aircraft Air Force carried out several air strikes resulted in the destruction of Walker’s headquarters for security continued to Daesh with the killing of a large number of terrorists, including security Msaolhm in the district of Tal Afar district Mahlbah.

The statement pointed to the destruction of the entire Walker frequented by the so-called official military commander of the western regions of Mosul and Badush many of the terrorists killed in the Hermat area within the right coast connector.

The statement noted the destruction of the security of the leaders of gangs Walker Daesh terrorist with the killing of a large number of them in the province of Nineveh hand Mahlbah.

US Defense Secretary: We consult with the Baghdad government about the post-urging



Jubouri Kubis: the victory of the security forces returned to the country’s political stability


History of edits:: 2017/4/11 21:5518 times readable
[Where – Baghdad]
said House Speaker Salim al – Jubouri, on Tuesday, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General of the United Nations in Iraq , Jan Kubiš, he said that ” the victories achieved by the security forces returned political stability and security of the country.”
He said al – Jubouri , during a meeting with Kubis I followed by all of Iraq [where] that ” the victories achieved by the security forces during the liberation of Mosul and other cities , battles have contributed to the stability of the political and security situation in the country, adding that the international community and the United Nations , the role of an important and influential in supporting parliament ‘s efforts and the government after the completion of Daesh criminal gangs file. ”
During the meeting , the review of the most prominent political and security developments in the country, and the efforts of Parliament to activate the community reconciliation file through the relevant legislation of laws, as the meeting discussed the relief of displaced persons and international efforts to file them back their areas liberated from the control of the terrorist Daesh.
He said the President of the House of Representatives to ” the importance of resolving community reconciliation file and work to achieve justice among all components through the differences and give priority to reset the language of dialogue and turn the page on the past.”
He called al – Jubouri , “With regard to the paper of the United Nations settlement file of the need to intensify meetings and meetings with the concerned authorities of the paper, and to resolve them and cured in line with the sensitivity of the stage that requires extraordinary efforts and handedness by all political parties in the country.”
The price of the “United Nations relief efforts in displaced people and their contribution to the return of displaced families after the rehabilitation of areas affected by the military operations.”
For his part, praised Kubiš the speaker of parliament ‘s efforts to pass laws that would promote stability in the country.

Cabinet held its regular meeting under the chairmanship of Prime Minister Dr. Haider al-Abadi



The cabinet held its regular meeting on Tuesday , April 11, 2017 , headed by Dr. Haider al – Abadi.

There was extensive discussion of the process of processing power to citizens for 24 hours and to stop the waste , where emphasis was placed on: –
A- There are new pricing in the collection of electricity since the first of January 2016. (
b ) has been reduced tariffs for the wages of industrial, commercial and agricultural sectors.
( C ) the tariff that started since the beginning of the year 2016 and taking into account the fairness of the poor and low – income and middle-class.
( D ) collection includes all the provinces , including liberated.

The face of Dr. Abadi , with the support of stability in Mosul , in the light of therecommendations of the Advisory Group and the Civil Crisis Management Cell and the following: –

A re-opening of the Judicial Council departments and departments of real estate registration in Mosul.
( B ) the completion of the construction of new camps in order to respond to any new cases of displacement.
C-secure enough fuel for the displaced in the camps , including camps in theKurdistan region.
D-direct to rehabilitate roads in the liberated areas.
E-tough measures not to enter any armed camps and local police shall maintain the security of the camps under the responsibility of the local administration.

As guidance to speed up the implementation of water projects for the people ofBasra and forwarded for implementation and not to allow any delay as a result ofred tape and give top priority to these projects in order to provide water for thepeople of the province.

The face of the Council of Ministers to support the cadres of the fight against terrorism , a budget of emergency in addition to developing federal police support mechanisms because of its significant impact on the victories achieved and inrecognition of his heroes of the fight against terrorism and the federal police.

Kmassot the Council of Ministers of grades of central appointments in the Ministry of Health through the appointment of doctors and covered by the central appointment of health professions.

The voting was also the first draft amendment to the law of Iraqi nationality No. (26) for the year 2006.

As it approved by the Ministry of Finance to allocate seven billion dinars from theemergency reserve for the year 2017 to the Ministry of Water Resources for thecompletion of civil works for pumping station reinforcement of the Shatt al -Rumaitha – Muthanna, installation and operation of vertical pumps and deliver thepower supply.


The central bank explains standards compliance for banks wishing to enter the currency auction


History of edits:: 2017/4/11 11:22156 times readable
{Baghdad} Euphrates News media said the Iraqi Central Bank, steps degrees of standards compliance for banks wishing to enter the auction sale of foreign currency window.

The Information Office of the Central Bank Director, Acer Jabbar, in a statement the agency {Euphrates News} received a copy of it, that ” the Central Bank of Iraq , the first review of the classification of participation in the sale and purchase of foreign currency window of banks and the importance of the degree obtained by the bank in the standard of compliance {compliance , anti – money laundering, risk}. ”
And between, that ” the subject of compliance is the cornerstone to enter the sale and purchase of foreign currency window based on it should the bank to get a degree appropriate and convincing success for the Central Bank of Iraq , regardless of the other for the rest of the criteria scores and if the required degree and convincing standard of compliance for the central bank did not materialize can not the introduction of the bank window and based upon the subject of compliance must give high importance. ”
Jabbar said that ” the banks that did not make the degree of success in the standard currently compliance, requires taking necessary to reach measures the level of success {more than 50% of the grade standard} During a month of Tarih this uncles, and in the case of failing to get that degree is stopped from entering the window until the correct conditions. ”
He stressed that “the banks need to continue to support and amendment procedures and policies of human own standard of compliance and resources, leading to a high level exceeding {65%} of the standard to ensure acceptance of classification of the bank and the continuity of its participation window in the next review {/2017}”.anthy month of August