US Intensifies Attack Against IS in Syria


US Intensifies Attack Against IS in Syria

ERBIL – The US military has intensified its attacks on the Islamic State (IS) in the eastern parts of Syria while President Donald Trump has already announced the withdrawal of the US forces from the country.

Earlier in December, Trump stated that he believes the war against the IS has ended and Washington’s mission in Syria was accomplished and therefore the US troops would pull out of the country.

Al-Jazirah cited local sources as saying that the offensives by the US Air Force and artillery fire by the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) were carried out last week in the village of al-Kashmah on the Euphrates River near the border with Iraq.

The report added that the residents and family members of the militant group had fled the village to the south, adding that al-Kashmah has not been controlled yet.

However, the village has become a front line for the fight against the insurgents in the province of Deir ez-Zor.



Grateful for the opportunity to join , , , and the distinguished faculty at later this spring.

Former Presidential Envoy to Defeat ISIS Named Payne Distinguished Lecturer

The Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies at Stanford University is pleased to announce that Brett McGurk has been appointed the next Frank E. and Arthur W. Payne Distinguished Lecturer. He will spend the next two years at Stanford working with FSI’s Center for International Security and Cooperation.

McGurk served as a Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Iraq and Afghanistan under President George W. Bush, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State and Special Presidential Envoy under President Obama, and for the last two years as President Trump’s Special Envoy helping to oversee the Global Campaign to defeat ISIS and leading a Coalition of 75 countries and 4 international organizations, the largest of its kind in history. McGurk resigned from this most recent post in light of policy disagreements related to Syria.

He is the recipient of multiple awards, including the Distinguished Honor award, bestowed by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, and the Distinguished Service Award, bestowed by Secretary of State John Kerry, both the highest Department awards for exceptional service in Washington and overseas assignments.

“Brett McGurk brings nearly two decades of distinguished service and expeditionary diplomacy across Republican and Democratic administrations,” said FSI Director Michael McFaul. “His unique real-world and bipartisan experience, particularly in the Middle East, will be a tremendous asset to our global policy community.”

Condoleezza Rice, Denning Professor in Global Business and the Economy at the Stanford Graduate School of Business, and Senior Fellow by courtesy at FSI, added: “Brett McGurk is the consummate professional diplomat. He has served on the front lines across three administrations, and handled some of the most difficult assignments for me and President Bush in Iraq during the surge. We are thrilled to welcome Brett to Stanford.”

Before joining the Bush administration’s national security team, McGurk served as a law clerk to Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist on the Supreme Court of the United States. He was at the Supreme Court during the attacks of September 11, 2001, an experience that led to his practice of foreign affairs at the highest levels in Washington and on the front lines overseas.

“I am excited to join the Stanford community and work alongside the distinguished faculty at FSI,” McGurk said earlier today. “I hope to translate my experience in Washington and overseas into challenging courses to prepare a new generation of public servants, as well as enhance public understanding of the serious issues our nation confronts, and how we might better address them.”

As an experienced commentator on major news programs, such as Meet the Press, Face the Nation, PBS Newshour, and CBS This Morning, McGurk is well-suited to fulfill the Payne Lecturer’s goal of raising public understanding of global policy issues.

He and his wife, Gina, have an 1-year old daughter, Leia. We look forward to welcoming them to the Stanford community in March.

UNAMI stops publishing statistics of victims in Iraq and reveals the reason [expanded]


Release date: 2019/1/3 19:29 
The United Nations Mission in Iraq (UNAMI) announced the death toll in Iraq for December 2018, the lowest since 2012.
“During the month of December 2018, a total of 32 Iraqi civilians were killed and 32 others were injured in acts of terrorism and violence related to the conflict,” a statement from the al-Furat News agency said. 
“The province of Nineveh was the most affected, where the total civilian casualties 26 people (7 dead and 19 wounded), followed by Baghdad province (17 dead and 3 wounded), and Salahuddin province (3 dead and 3 wounded). 
“These figures include all citizens and others who are considered civilians at the time of death or injury – such as non-combat police, civil defense, personal security teams, the facility protection police and members of the fire department,” he said.
“UNAMI considers these figures to be more than just statistics,” said UN Special Representative to Iraq Jenin Hines Blaschart. “Every civilian death and trust in UNAMI over the years represents a tragedy for a family and suffering to absorb its loss. Every injury or maiming of civilians represents enormous personal and societal suffering. “
UNAMI has been publishing these casualty figures monthly as part of its broader efforts to highlight the needs of civil protection, reduce civilian damage and encourage all parties to the conflict to comply with their obligations under international human rights and humanitarian law, UNAMI’s monitoring in recent months has shown a steady decline in the number of civilian casualties. UNAMI has therefore decided not to publish updates on the number of civilian casualties per month, but only if circumstances so require. ” 
“While this decision was taken in the context of the stability of the security situation and the consequent reduction in harm related to the conflict against civilians, the conditions for a continuing decrease in violence are still very fragile, so UNAMI will continue to monitor the situation,” she said.

Karbouli warns against linking the fate of the Iraqi dinar in other currencies with lower value


03-01-2019 02:42 PM
Al-Hilal Party Chairman Jamal al-Karbouli warned on Thursday that the fate of the Iraqi dinar would be linked to other currencies at a lower value.
“We are wary of linking the fate of the Iraqi dinar to other currencies that are less valuable than it,” Karbouli said in a tweet


Economy Gold prices rise to the highest levels

Gold prices rise to the highest levels
 12 minutes ago

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Gold prices rose to a six-month high on Thursday as buying boosted a safe haven fueled by fears of a global economic slowdown and stock volatility as the dollar’s decline provided further support.

The spot price of gold hit its highest level since June 15 at $ 1292.32 an ounce and fell 0.4 percent at 08:19 GMT to $ 1289.10.

US gold futures rose 0.6 per cent to $ 1291.20 an ounce.

People are more interested in gold as stock markets are under pressure and look to the metal as a safe haven, “said Peter Fong, managing director of Hong Kong’s Wing Fong Precious Metals.

The dollar index fell more than 0.2 percent as the yen, also a favorite asset in times of economic volatility, rallied against the greenback today.

Palladium rose 0.9 per cent in spot transactions to $ 1265.74 an ounce.

Silver rose 0.5 per cent to $ 15.58 an ounce, while platinum rose 0.3 per cent to $ 796.60.

The bourse stops trading next Sunday


Economy News Baghdad

Bourse announced Thursday, not to organize a trading session on Sunday to coincide with an official holiday.

The Stock Exchange said in a statement received by “Economy News”, that “pleased the management of the Iraqi market for securities to congratulate you on the occasion of the brave army holiday, which will be approved on Sunday, 6 January 2019,” noting that “on this occasion decided not to organize trading session for that day “He said.

She confirmed that the meetings would be organized “as of Monday, 7 January 2019.”

Zarif will visit Iraq next week

Editorial Date: 2019/1/3 15:15

The Iranian foreign minister, Mohammad Jawad Zarif, announced that he will visit Iraq and India starting next week with an economic delegation.

“Next week, accompanied by a large economic delegation, I will visit India and a week after my visit to India and I will travel to Iraq,” Zarif told a news briefing Thursday.

“It is possible that a delegation from the private sector will be with me,” Zarif said.

“These visits show that the Iranian private sector is very active in the field of international relations,” the Iranian foreign minister said