Middle East Current Events by Avary, Taylor, and Makayla
What's Happening in Afghanistan?
Currently in Iraq...
Iraq is made up of three regions: Sunnis, Shiites, and Kurds. The Sunnis live in western and central Iraq. The Shiites live in central and southern Iraq. The Kurds live in the northern part of Iraq. The Prime Minister of Iraq is Nouri al-Maliki. He is a Shiite who governs a Shiite led government for Iraq.
Thousands of Sunnis gathered in Iraq’s central city of Samarra protesting the laws, arrests and torture of innocent Sunnis by the Shiite led government. This was the fourth Friday in a row of protesting in Sunni parts of Iraq. The organizer of the rally, Sheik Hassan al-Samarie said, “We are fed up with the void promises of the government.” One protester said, “Iraqi laws should be implemented on everybody not only Sunnis.”
Hundreds of inmates were freed by the government in a gesture to calm Sunni protesters. More were promised to be released. The release of detainees has been one of the main demands of the rallies but apparently, the move did little to calm the tensions. Sunnis throughout Iraq will continue to protest because recent concessions by the Shiite-led government fall short of their demands.
In other news, The United States delivered 3 Bell 407 helicopters to Iraq on January 14th. This was the sixth completed delivery. The first one was in 2010. They flew helicopter parts and mechanics to Germany, and then to Iraq. Once they reached Iraq, they reassembled the helicopters, did a test run, and made sure everything was perfected before they signed the helicopters over to the Iraqis. The Foreign Military Sales case is a total package including helicopters and training for the pilots. This helps Iraq perform the operations that the United States no longer provides.
Also happening now, Crude exports account for the lion’s share of government income in Iraq. In 2012, oil revenues brought in $94 billion which was a 13% increase from 2011. "One Sunday in December 2012, at the southern port of Basra, high winds in the Gulf prevented loaded ships from leaving the port. Bad weather cut oil exports from 2.35 million barrels per day (bpd), to 960,000 bpd just one day later,” a shipping source said. Average exports are also predicted to be low for January because of the bad weather.
Oil Fields in Iraq
An oil field in Iraq with extra oil being burnt off.
Map of Iraq
Bordering countries are Iran, Turkey, Syria, Jordan, Kuwait, and Saudi Arabia.
Iraq & U.S.
U.S. troops in Iraq are now leaving.
What's Going on in Iran?
This is a map of Iran
This is a ScanEagle surveillance drone, similar to the one captured by Iran.
This is a nuclear bomb in a factory