Iraq gets US sanctions break to keep the lights on | AFP

[Written with my colleague Ammar Karim and published here on November 8, 2018]

Iraq has won an exemption allowing it to buy Iranian electricity despite US sanctions, as the country plagued by chronic power shortages walks a tightrope between rivals Washington and Tehran.

With US measures imposed Monday taking aim at Iran’s banking and energy industries, there were concerns Iraq — which heavily relies on its eastern neighbour for electricity and consumer goods — would be caught in the crossfire.

Continue reading

More than 200 mass graves found in former IS territory in Iraq, UN says | AFP

[Published here November 6, 2018]

More than 200 mass graves containing up to 12,000 victims have been found so far in Iraq that could hold vital evidence of war crimes by the Islamic State group, the UN said Tuesday.

The United Nations in Iraq (UNAMI) and its human rights office said they had documented a total of 202 mass graves in parts of western and northern Iraq held by IS between 2014 and 2017.

Continue reading