KFTA – Some “Sunday News” Posted by Clare at KTFA 10-22-2023


Clare:   Washington directs the families of its diplomats and non-essential employees to leave Iraq and not to use Baghdad Airport


The US State Department directed, on Sunday, the departure of the families of its diplomats and non-essential employees from Iraq, warning of “kidnappings.”

In a statement, the US State Department called on its citizens “not to travel to Iraq due to terrorism, kidnapping, armed conflict, civil unrest, and the limited ability of the Iraqi mission to provide support to American citizens.”

The American forces at the Harir and Ain al-Asad bases in Erbil and Anbar were subjected to more than one attack by drones, according to what the armed factions announced.

The department directed the departure of “eligible family members and non-essential U.S. government employees from the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad and the U.S. Consulate General in Erbil due to increased security threats against U.S. government employees and interests.”

She explained, “American citizens in Iraq face significant risks to their safety and security, including the possibility of violence and kidnapping,” noting that “terrorist and insurgent groups regularly attack Iraqi security forces and civilians. Anti-American militias also threaten American citizens and international companies throughout Iraq.” “.

She pointed out that “attacks are occurring using improvised explosive devices, indirect fire, and unmanned aerial vehicles in many areas of the country, including Baghdad and other major cities. In emergency situations, consular services for American citizens in Iraq are limited due to strict restrictions on the movements of US personnel.” American government.

The statement added, “Demonstrations, protests, and strikes occur frequently across the country. These events can develop quickly without prior notice, often leading to disruption of traffic, transportation, and other services, and sometimes turning into violence.”

The US State Department continued, “Do not travel near the northern border of Iraq due to the continuing threat of attacks by terrorist groups, armed conflict, aerial bombardment, and civil unrest. US citizens should especially avoid areas near armed groups in northern Iraq, which have been targeted.” “With air strikes by the armies of neighboring countries.”

She explained, “United States citizens should not travel through Iraq to participate in an armed conflict in Syria, as they would face severe personal risks (kidnapping, injury, or death) and legal risks (arrest, fines, expulsion). The Kurdistan Regional Government of Iraq announced that it will impose prison sentences of up to ten years.” “On individuals who illegally cross the Iraqi-Syrian border. Additionally, fighting on behalf of or supporting designated terrorist organizations is a crime under United States law that can result in prison sentences and large fines in the United States.”

She concluded by saying, “Due to security concerns, US government employees in Baghdad have been instructed not to use Baghdad International Airport.

Due to the risks to civil aviation operating in the Baghdad FIR, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has extended the Special Federal Aviation Regulation (SFAR).” for an additional two years which prohibits certain flights at altitudes below 32,000 feet. For more information, U.S. citizens should consult the FAA’s Prohibitions, Restrictions, and Notices.”   LINK


Clare:  Iraqi Integrity announces the recovery of more than $70 million from a Swiss bank


The head of the Federal Integrity Commission announced, on Saturday, the recovery of more than 70 million dollars from a bank in Switzerland, while it confirmed the recovery of billions of Iraqi dinars from convicts including the advisor to the former Prime Minister, Mustafa Al-Kadhimi, local officials, and a director in the intelligence service of the former regime. 

Haider Hanoun said in a press conference held today, at the Commission’s headquarters in Baghdad, and attended by a Shafaq News Agency correspondent, that the Integrity Commission has achieved achievements, laid foundations for combating corruption, and erased many of the voids that were exploited by corrupt people.

This is not an independent effort of the Commission, but rather in cooperation with the executive authority. Especially the government headed by Prime Minister Muhammad Shiaa Al-Sudani, who set a new variable in Iraq by ensuring that the government, in its form and content, sponsors the issue of combating corruption, and it is sincere in doing so.   LINK

Clare:  Al-Sudani chairs a meeting regarding the unified treasury account and the electronic payment system


Today, Sunday, Prime Minister Muhammad Shiaa Al-Sudani chaired a meeting devoted to discussing the completion of the unified treasury account, and following up on the electronic payment system and electronic card payment points/POS, in the presence of the Minister of Finance, the Governor of the Central Bank, the Head of the Federal Financial Supervision Bureau, and a number of advisors. And the general managers of a number of government banks, according to a statement from Al-Sudani’s office received by Shafaq News Agency.

The statement added: “The meeting witnessed a presentation and follow-up of the implementation of the unified treasury account, the level of progress in implementing and disseminating the electronic card payment system, and a discussion of the challenges facing public and private sector institutions and electronic payment companies.”

The facilities and incentives that can be provided to citizens and employing entities were also reviewed, with the aim of encouragement, along with the overall measures taken, progress rates, and necessary requirements for completion, as His Excellency stressed the necessity of giving priority to the goal of encouraging the government sector, and identifying negligent or lagging entities.

He pointed out that “during the meeting, the report containing a set of recommendations was approved, and it was decided to present it to the Council of Ministers.”

Al-Sudani directed to activate the work and tasks of the Payments Council at the Central Bank, and the importance of submitting a final report on the achievements to be presented to the Council of Ministers meeting.

In terms of completing the unified treasury account, the Prime Minister directed all ministries to implement the fourth paragraph of Cabinet Resolution (3581 of 2023), and the necessity of accelerating the formation of committees and analyzing the non-active bank accounts for each of them, within one month, according to the statement.   LINK


Clare:  The Border Crossings Announce The Completion Of Connecting All Their Ports To The Optical Cable Network


The Border Ports Authority announced today, Sunday, the completion of connecting all its ports to the optical cable network.

A statement from the Authority received by Earth News Agency stated, “The network connection team, headed by the Deputy Chairman of the Ports Authority and under the supervision of the Prime Minister’s Advisor for Ports Affairs, was able to complete the connection of the Kirkuk International Airport port to the optical cable network, which is the last port to be connected to the network.” 

He added, “Connecting the border ports to the optical cable network will provide better performance and more technical advantages in terms of speed in transferring data over a very long distance via optical waves in a secure, impenetrable manner, in addition to the relatively low cost compared to traditional wired cables.” 

He continued, “Connecting the ports to the optical cable network will play a major role in transmitting data electronically, ensuring speedy procedures to prevent tampering and smuggling operations by analyzing sonar images of the goods and monitoring them from the Authority’s headquarters through a specialized operations center equipped with the latest screens and computers and managed by specialized employees with expertise.”

“The news is in analyzing differences in the density of goods and comparing them with those mentioned in customs transactions, as well as monitoring the performance of workers at border crossings with regard to examining goods with M60 sonar wheels.” LINK