New KRG President Sworn In, New KRG Prime Minister Elected; Abdul-Mahdi Denies Calls For Resignation; Pope Francis To Visit Iraq In 2020 � On June 10, Pope Francis announced his intent to visit Iraq in 2020, which would be the first papal visit to the country. On June 10, Nechirvan Barzani was sworn in as president of the KRG. PUK Leaders attended the ceremony but tensions continue over PUK demands for the Kirkuk governor post. On June 11, the KRG Parliament elected Masrour Barzani to be the region’s new prime minister. On June 11, Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi rejected reports about calls for his resignation over his inability to complete his Cabinet. On June 11, a source leaked that Abdul-Mahdi intended to appoint Army Chief of Staff Othman al-Ghanmi as acting Minister of Defense, and Deputy Minister of Interior Mowaffaq al-Janabi as acting Minister of Interior. On June 12, President Barham Salih met with the visiting Omani Foreign Minister in Baghdad and welcomed Oman’s decision to reopen its embassy. On June 13, President Salih announced that UNESCO has accepted Iraq’s invitation to transfer the organization’s regional office to Baghdad. On June 12, the U.S. imposed financial sanctions on one Iraqi company and two Iraqi men due to alleged ties to the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC)

Militant Attacks Continue In Baghdad And Northern Provinces; Diyala Wants Security Reinforcements; 70% Of UXO Yet To Be Cleared; Turkish Operations Continue Targeting PKK � On June 6, ISIS gunmen attacked a village in southern Salahuddin province killing two locals and wounding two others. On June 6, an IED exploded northeast of Mosul, injuring four fire fighters. On June 8, three IED attacks struck in Kirkuk province, killing and wounding eight people. On June 8, an IED exploded in the Baghdadi district in Abar province and wounded a police officer. On June 8, Turkey’s Defense Ministry claimed that 43 PKK members of the PKK had been killed, wounded, or captured in operations since May 27. Turkish airstrikes also struck a fuel station and a village in Duhok province. On June 8, an IED detonated in northeastern Diyala province, wounding one citizen. On June 11, another IED exploded in Diyala, killing one farmer. The next day, another bomb exploded in Khanaqin, injuring one civilian. On June 9, the United Nations Mine Action Service (UNMAS) announced that 70 percent of unexploded munitions remain uncleared in Iraq. On June 10, New Zealand’s Prime Minister said his country will withdraw all its forces fromIraq by June 2020. On June 11, Diyala MPs called on Prime Minister Abdul Mahdi to send military reinforcements to the province. On June 11, a grenade attack northeast of Baghdad killed one member of the security forces and injured four. On June 13, a suicide bomber attacked a liquor store in central Baghdad, wounding two civilians.

EU Ministers Discuss International Court In Iraq For European ISIS Fighters; Protesters Demand Better Electricity Provision; Refugees Trickle Back Into Iraq � On June 6, France’s Justice Minister revealed that European justice ministers were discussing establishing an international court in Iraq to oversee cases for European ISIS fighters. On June 7, 13 Yazidi refugees returned to Sinjar from the al-Hol refugee camp in Syria. Thousands of Yazidis remain in makeshift camps on Mount Sinjar, despite water and food shortages due to fear of returning to their villages. On June 8, 12 Iraqi refugees returned from the al-Rukban IDP camp in Syria. On June 9, the mayor of Sinjar announced that plans for the return and settlement of IDPs to northwest Iraq had been delivered to both the federal and local Ninewa governments. On June 10, protestors gathered in the town of al-Hamza in Diwaniyah province to protest frequent electricity shortages. On June 12, the Minister of Electricity said current output allows for 20 hours of power a day, but that the infrastructure is not developed enough to deliver the electricity. On June 12, the WHO gifted ten ambulances to Iraq. On June 12, the Iraqi Red Crescent Society distributed financial grants to the families of victims of the ferry sinking accident and to families impacted by recent flooding near Mosul. On June 12, the Iraqi Minister of Immigration met with German officials to discuss the return of Iraqi refugees living in Germany.

Fires Destroyed 12,800 Acres Last Month; Iraq Pays Down Energy Debt Owed To Iran; Integrity Commission Investigates Power Plant Deal For Signs Of Corruption � On June 9, the Iraqi Civil Defense directorate reported that 236 fires have destroyed over 12,800 acres of farmland during the past month, mostly in Kirkuk, Ninewa, Salahuddin, and Diyala. Despite the losses, more than 2.5 million tons of wheat had been harvested around the country as of June 7. On June 9, the Iranian Energy Ministry announced that Iraq has paid 50 percent of its total debt to Iran from importing Iranian electricity. In July 2018, Iran halted the sale of electricity to Iraq due to these unpaid bills, which led to violent protests in Basra. On June 12, the Iraqi Integrity Commission said it was looking into possible corruption and waste of public funds in a $22 million contract to supply generation turbines to a power station in Maysan province. On June 13, the first deputy governor of Najaf announced that Najaf will soon receive mobile power stations supplied by the federal government.

Source: Education for Peace in Iraq Center