Live: Turkey claims to have ‘neutralized’ PKK intelligence officer in Sulaymaniyah

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Doctors without borders suspends 'critical' medical aid in Mosul, citing bureaucracy

Medical charity Doctors Without Borders suspended "critical" medical operations in two Mosul hospitals Wednesday, attributing the decision to Iraq's bureaucracy that has delayed the delivery of supplies.

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Police brutality condemned after police brutality video circulates

Three officers from the police department in the Grozer sub-district of the Sinjar district face disciplinary action following an incident of excessive force against a 22-year-old Yazidi man.

The NGO-funded news outlet Kirkuk Now reported the incident, which happened outside a residency office.

The victim, who visited the station to secure a national identity card, was assaulted by the officers. A video clip of the brutal encounter has circulated widely on social media, showing the officers hitting the man repeatedly. The footage depicts the three officers beating the man with batons multiple times.

Grozer Head Hassan Khodida denounced the incident. He informed the news outlet, "We've spoken with the police department and expressed our dissatisfaction with such behavior. We've been reassured that the involved officers will face punishment."

Khodida added that while the office is known for its busyness, presumably making the officers' jobs more challenging, such behavior is "completely unacceptable and won't be tolerated."

He emphasized that there is no justification for brutality under any circumstances."
Jotiar Adel, the outgoing KRG spokesperson, attributes the strain of juggling two "challenging" roles as the reason for stepping down from one of them. 
He remains in post as head of the Directorate of Media and Information.

In other news...

Of the many ways to go about implementing such health policies, this is one of them.

Iraqi PM in major security reshuffle

Iraqi PM Al-Sudani has shuffled the top security positions in the country, saying the move is meant to inject "fresh blood" into the nation's security forces and allow other leaders to manage security, according to a government statement. 

The changes are intended to boost the operational efficiency of security institutions, said Yaha Rasul, the armed forces spokesperson. Rasul said the new leadership underwent an extensive vetting process and their performance will be continuously assessed.

Among the major changes:

  • Hamid Al-Shatri has been replaced by Abu Ali al-Basri as head of the National Security Agency. 
  • Muthanna Al-Obaidi will take over from Falah al-Issawi as the second deputy of the National Security Agency. 
  • Waqas Mohammed replaces Majid al-Dulaimi at the Intelligence Agency.
  • Hamid al-Shatri and Majid Al-Dulaimi will move to the National Security Advisory.
  • Muthanna Arzouki Wahib replaces Falah Younis Hassan as the Administrative Deputy of the National Security Agency. 
  • Ahmed Salman Dawood has been named the security deputy of the National Security Agency.
  • Sabah Nouri Amin Al-Naimi was appointed as the director general of the technical department at the agency.
  • Mohammed Atta Abboud Jouda has been moved from Director General of the Department of Provincial Security to Director General of the Department of Baghdad Security at the National Security Agency.
  • Ali Shamran Khazal, formerly the director of the Basra Security Department, will now serve as the Director General of the Provincial Security Department at the National Security Agency.
Security forces in Sulaymaniyah have denied claims by Turkey that a Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) intelligence officer allegedly involved in the 2019 assassination of Turkish diplomat Osman Kose in Erbil was "neutralized" in Sulaymaniyah today, according to reports.

Turkey's state-owned Anadolu Agency reported that Turkish intelligence neutralized Celal Kaya, who they allege plotted Kose's assassination. Turkey uses the term "neutralize" to refer to the killing or arresting of PKK members.

Salam Abdulkhaliq, head of media relations for the Kurdistan Region Security Service (PUK) , said he has no information about such incidents and pledged to investigate the reports, according to the pro-PKK Roj News.

Last month, Huseyin Arasan, a member of the Mesopotamia Workers' Association in Sulaymaniyah, was killed in broad daylight outside his organization. The Kurdistan Communities Union (KCK) blamed "the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) and the Turkish intelligence agency for conspiring in Arasan's assassination," and pledged to retaliate against the assassins.

Ankara has long accused the PUK, which controls security in Sulaymaniyah, of letting PKK members move freely in the city. It has recently increased pressure on the PUK to suppress PKK-related activities in the province, including imposing a flight ban on Sulaymaniyah International Airport.
دەزگای میتى تورک لە میدیاکانى دەوڵەتی تورکەوە هەواڵێکى چەواشەکاریی بڵاوکردووەتەوە و تێیدا ئاماژەى بە شەهیدکردنی بەرپرسێکی پەکەکە کردووە لە سلێمانى، بەڵام ئاسایشی سلێمانی ئەو هەواڵە ڕەتدەکاتەوە و دەڵێت: هیچ شتێکی وا ڕووی نەداوە و لێکۆڵینەوە دەکەین.ئەم
کوردی - RojNews.News

Jotiar Adel will continue leading the KRG's Department of Media and Information

That's according to journalist Layal Shakir.

KRG's new spokesperson has already started tweeting

Peshawa Hawramani has replaced Jotiar Adel as KRG spokesperson. The pair held a press conference together in which Adel passed the torch to Hawramani.

It's unclear what the circumstances behind the switch are.

Hawramani is a former news anchor at Rudaw, the Nechirvan Barzani-linked news service. He was one of the star performers on the KDP's electoral list in 2018 for parliamentary elections, alongside fellow ex-Rudaw reporter Hevidar Ahmed. 

Iraqi FM Fuad Hussein meets British counterpart in London

James Cleverly and Fuad Hussein
James Cleverly and Fuad Hussein  
British Foreign Secretary James Cleverly and Iraqi Foreign Minister Fuad Hussein concluded the Second UK-Iraq Strategic Dialogue on July 4, 2023. The dialogue aimed at further solidifying the cooperation and mutual interests shared by the UK and Iraq, initiated by a strategic partnership signed in Baghdad in June 2021. 

The pair highlighted the importance of economic reforms and trade. They agreed on Iraq's need for non-oil growth, private sector job creation, and improved finance access, with the UK promising support and expert guidance. The ministers also touched upon trade, outlining plans to finalize the UK-Iraq Partnership and Cooperation Agreement this year.

The looming COP28 summit facilitated discussions on climate and environmental issues, leading to an agreement to increase engagement and the UK's commitment to strengthen Iraq's Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC).

Defence and security matters included plans to combat Daesh in Iraq, with the UK agreeing to deepen cybersecurity cooperation with Iraq's newly established Cyber Security Directorate.

Discussions also involved shared challenges in managing migration and tackling organized crime. The ministers reiterated the significance of developing Iraq's health sector, recognizing the UK’s £35m Demographic Transition program supporting Iraq's Family Planning and Sexual Reproductive Health services.

On the human rights front, the focus remained on women and girls, especially survivors of conflict-related sexual violence. Ministers welcomed Iraq's willingness to consider making commitments under the Platform for Action promoting the rights of children born of conflict-related sexual violence.

The dialogue culminated in anticipation of the next meeting scheduled for 2024 in Baghdad, reflecting a commitment to continue enhancing bilateral ties.

Morning briefing

Good morning and welcome to today's live blog.

Here's what we're monitoring today:

  • Turkish intelligence forces claim to have 'neutralized' a PKK intelligence officer who was reportedly involved in the 2019 assassination of a Turkish diplomat in Erbil. 
  • The second UK-Iraq Strategic Dialogue concludes with an agreement on several areas of cooperation.
  • Iran-backed Shia militia in Iraq warns PM Mohammed Shia al-Sudani of a "suitable response" to US 'violations'.
  • The federal electoral commission says it is waiting on a response by the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) on setting a date for the long-delayed parliamentary elections in the region.