Iraqi Prime Minister Visits United States
Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi is in Washington, DC, this week. He will meet with President Obama later today and is scheduled to meet with Christine Lagarde of the International Monetary Fund and Jim Yong Kim of the World Bank on Thursday. He will also meet with U.S. legislators and representatives of other financial institutions ...
Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi is in Washington, DC, this week. He will meet with President Obama later today and is scheduled to meet with Christine Lagarde of the International Monetary Fund and Jim Yong Kim of the World Bank on Thursday. He will also meet with U.S. legislators and representatives of other financial institutions and oil companies. Much of his visit is expected to focus on securing aid for Iraq, which is facing a $22 billion budget deficit this year. Iraqi oil production has decreased over the past year as the conflict with the Islamic State has introduced new costly expenses. Al-Abadi is expected to request humanitarian aid to help fund support for areas recently retaken from the Islamic State, like the city of Tikrit, as well as the credit to continue purchasing weapons.
Al-Abadi is also expected to request an increase in the number of U.S. airstrikes in Iraq. During his time in the United States, he will meet with Iraqi pilots training to fly F-16s, but they are not expected to join the fight until September. Al-Abadi’s visit comes as the Islamic State has renewed its attack on the Bayji oil refinery north of Baghdad. “We are the only country with armed forces on the ground fighting ISIS,” he told reporters on Monday. “We need all the support of the world.”
Blackwater Security Contractors Sentenced to Prison for 2007 Iraq Massacre
Four former Blackwater security contractors were sentenced for the September 2007 deaths of 14 unarmed Iraqi citizens at Nisour Square, Baghdad. One man, who started the massacre by shooting an Iraqi in the head at an intersection, was sentenced to life in prison, while three others received 30-year terms for their roles. A fifth individual pleaded guilty to lesser charges and testified against the other contractors. The 30-year terms are the minimum sentence for violent crimes committed with machine guns, but a federal prosecutor in the case praised the decision, saying that “The United States has shown that regardless of the nationality of the victims, it values justice for all.” At the hearing, the former contractors maintained that their actions were justified, saying they came under attack from insurgents.
- Russian President Vladimir Putin, citing the P5+1 nuclear framework agreement, lifted a five-year ban on delivering S-300 missiles to Iran.
- Saudi Arabia and Turkey are holding high-level talks in Qatar to discuss the possibility of partnering to militarily remove Syrian President Bashar al-Assad from power.
- Armed tribes in Yemen have seized the country’s only natural gas export plant, located in Belhaf, west of Mukalla.
- Palestinian doctors will be allowed to drive to work in Jerusalem starting today, marking the first time since 2000 that cars with Palestinian license plates have been allowed to enter the city; last month, Israeli officials relaxed permitting for individuals over 50 years old, and may increase freedom of movement for businessmen next.
- 140 Americans have arrived in Djibouti, fleeing the violence in Yemen by boat despite reticence by the U.S. government to organize an evacuation.
-J. Dana Stuster
AHMAD AL-RUBAYE/AFP/Getty Images