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niqash: briefings from inside and across iraq
نقاش: إحاطات من داخل وعبر العراق
نيقاش: ‎‫پوخته‌یه‌ك له‌ناوخۆو سه‌رانسه‌ی‌ عێراقه‌وه‌‬
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An Iraqi army officer speaks with members of the Al Abbas brigade, which will take part in the battle for Tal Afar. (photo: Iraqi Ministry of Defence)
Next Stop, Tal Afar:

In Northern Iraq, Forces Prepare For Extremists’ Last Stand

Mustafa Habib
Intensive air raids, secret political talks and military forces gathering on the outskirts of the city: Everything points to the battle of Tal Afar – almost the extremists’ last stand in Iraq – starting soon.
Patchwork Of Loyalties:

Anbar’s Tribal Militias Grow Larger, But Powerless And Divided

Kamal al-Ayash
With thousands of members, Anbar’s tribal militias are supposed to protect locals from the Islamic State group. But corruption, infighting and a patchwork of alliances stop them from being effective.
Neighbourhood Tactics:

Smaller Protests in Baghdad Get Bigger Results

Ibrahim Saleh
Smaller demonstrations that don’t go beyond Baghdad’s individual neighbourhoods are proving more successful than the protests with tens of thousands in the central city.
Ruffled Feathers:

Iraqi Kurdish Farmers Call Foul Play By Importers

Salam Handani
In Iraqi Kurdistan, poultry farmers are calling for tariffs on chicken products imported to the region. Otherwise, they say, the local industry won’t survive.
One Thing In Common:

Iraq’s New Electoral Law To Sideline Small Opposition Parties

Mustafa Habib
In Iraq, larger political parties disagree on everything except maintaining the status quo: Parliament just passed a law that will badly affect the smaller parties competing in the next elections.
Cleric Ammar al-Hakim announces the formation of the National Wisdom party.
Friend Or Foe:

Iraq’s Newest Political Party Causes Problems In the Provinces

Ali Nasseri
Seven members of Dhi Qar’s provincial council have defected to a brand new political party. But, local observers say, it’s just more of the same and the new party won’t make any real difference.
Hard work: Sheep farming in Iraqi Kurdistan. (photo: Sarchin Salih) Hard work: Sheep farming in Iraqi Kurdistan. (photo: Sarchin Salih) Hard work: Sheep farming in Iraqi Kurdistan. (photo: Sarchin Salih)
Exploited + Employed:

As Displaced Iraqis Leave, Gap In Kurdistan's Labour Market Grows

Displaced Arabs who fled to Iraqi Kurdistan were a boon for village-dwelling farmers. The farmers, who paid low wages to desperate displaced for three years, are now at a loss.
Symbol Of Unity:

Why An Iraqi Town, In Middle Of The Desert, Has No Cafes

In the small desert area of Busaya, Iraqis of different sects have lived together peacefully for decades. Locals pride themselves on their hospitality and unity.
Interview + KDP Spokesperson:

After Independence, Kurdistan ‘Will be A Good Neighbour To Iraq’

Awara Hamid
Iraqi Kurdistan’s KDP is a major promoter of a referendum on Kurdish independence. Mahmoud Mohammad, a senior KDP member, spoke to NIQASH about the various controversies around it.
Medical Murders:

Crime Wave Targets Baghdad Doctors, Whose Only Choice Is To Emigrate

Mustafa Habib
Over the past few weeks, there has been a rash of attacks on medical professionals in Baghdad. It has caused protests, debate, bad memories and more than a few doctors to consider leaving the country.