QUESTION: Thank you. Hi, Vedant. Thank you for taking my question. I have a question about Iran as well but not the sanctions. Regarding the possible fatalities in Iraqi Kurdistan due to the Iranian missile attacks, do you have any updates – have there – do you know of any Americans having been among those killed? Because we have gotten information on at least one individual, U.S. citizen. And also the second part of my question, yesterday, the Iranian president said that the demonstrations are part of a U.S. plot. Did the Biden administration ask the people to go out on the streets and demonstrate? Thank you.
MR PATEL: Thanks, Guita. First and foremost as it relates to the attacks, I want to reiterate that we condemn Iran’s violations of Iraq’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. And the genesis of your question – we can confirm that a U.S. citizen was killed as a result of a rocket attack in the Iraqi Kurdistan region yesterday, but due to privacy considerations I don’t have any further comments to provide.
And on your piece about the protests – these protests are not at all about the United States. This is about the Iranian Government and its efforts to cut or disrupt access to the internet, its efforts to crack down on peaceful protestors, its efforts to infringe on basic human rights. That’s what these protests are about. It is not about the United States.
The Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) Ground Force has defended the latest ballistic missile and drone strikes against terrorist bases in Iraq’s semi-autonomous Kurdistan region, stating that operations will continue until all anti-Iran separatist and terrorist outfits holed up in the rugged mountainous area lay down their arms and surrender.
“In the wake of an uptick in the seditious acts of separatist and terrorist groups stationed in Iraq’s northern region (of Kurdistan), the proven role and involvement of some terrorist and separatist outfits in the recent riots that have gripped some Iranian towns and cities, the discovery and neutralization a major sabotage plot hatched by Komala terrorist group against Iran's nuclear facilities, and disregard of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) officials for calls demanding the destruction of the terrorists’ bases, the IRGC Ground Force identified their command centers and headquarters, which were also instigating and supporting recent wicked acts, and heavily bombarded them in a decisive and retaliatory response,” it announced in a statement.
Turkish forces have destroyed 16 targets of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) in Iraq, Defence Minister Hulusi Akar said.
The operation destroyed caves, bunkers, shelters and command posts of the PKK, a Kurdish militant political organisation which is outlawed by Ankara, in the Asos Mountain region of Iraq on Tuesday, the Minister told reporters on Thursday.
The targets were hit by airstrikes of the Turkish Air Force, Xinhua news agency quoted local media reports as saying.
Turkey respects the territorial integrity and sovereignty rights of all its neighbours, especially Iraq and Syria, Akar noted.
'Syrians are our brothers, Iraqis are our brothers. There is no problem with that. Our problem is terrorists. We are after terrorists. This struggle will continue until the last terrorist is eliminated,' he said.
BAGHDAD – On the International Day of Awareness of Food Loss and Waste (IDAFLW), the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) call for action to address food loss and adopt sustainable food waste management in Iraq.
IDAFLW aims to raise awareness about food loss, waste issues and possible solutions, to promote global efforts and collective actions toward meeting Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) target 12.3 that aims at halving per capita global food waste at retail and consumer levels and reducing food losses along production and supply chains, including post-harvest losses by 2030.
We call upon the Government of Iraq and the Kurdistan Regional Government to establish develop national targets and strategies in line with SDG 12.3. We also call on the government to encouraging supply chain collaboration with the aim to reduce food waste during production, processing and storage stages as well as support innovative behavioral changes to shift and reduce consumer food waste norms.
To reduce food waste in Iraq, efforts must be made to encourage improved behavioral practices among food providers and consumers, as well as increased investments in intra-regional trade and the modernization of food supply chains.
Globally, while more than 820 million people go to bed hungry each night, FAO estimates that one-third of global food production – estimated at 1.3 billion tons of food – is annually lost or wasted along the supply chain, amounting to a financial loss of about US$ 1 trillion annually. The food produced but never eaten would be enough to feed two billion people[RN1] . That’s more than twice the number of people on the verge of famine across the globe.
Food production has environmental and monetary costs and has become increasingly difficult in the current climatic condition with an ever-increasing population is very difficult. Food waste and food loss drains valuable resources such as water, land, energy, labour and capital especially in the region; one of the world’s most affected by water scarcity.
The impact of food waste on the environment is also massive; it is estimated that food loss contributes 6-8% of all human-caused greenhouse gas emissions, effectively helping accelerate climate change. Most of the discarded food ends up in landfills, and as it decomposes it produces methane, a greenhouse gas that has 80 times the warming power of carbon dioxide.
FAO and WFP renew their commitment to work with both governments to develop and implement “awareness campaigns” and “food banks” to mitigate food waste by collecting unserved food and channeling it to people who need it and complement Iraq’s efforts to end poverty, reduce hunger and improve human health.[RN2]
Since elections only reinforced the toxic political order, its followers refused to vote and instead insisted that protest was the only way to be heard. Iraq’s ruling elite struggled to respond to Thawrat Tishreen. They could no longer convince the electorate that they represented their ethnic, sectarian or other communities, or that they promoted democracy and reform. Nor could they provide economic benefits, namely public sector jobs.
Ideologically and economically bankrupt, Iraq’s elite and the political machinery turned to direct violence to suppress the movement, killing hundreds of protesters and wounding thousands more.
Since then, the system has continued to employ violence to minimize free speech and protest. Someone familiar with this is Ahmed al-Bashir, the prominent Iraqi political satirist. To continue producing his Albasheer Show on television and YouTube, which reaches millions of Iraqis, Bashir lives and works outside Iraq because of threats to his life. ‘In Iraq there is no longer free speech,’ he said at Chatham House’s annual Iraq Initiative conference last year.
Sadr’s attempt to form a majority government after his 2021 electoral victory was his solution to the crisis and a bid to regain some ideological power with his base and the wider, disenfranchised population.
Following its failure and this summer’s violence, the Sadrists seem unwilling to play by the rules of the game and form another consensus government.
In response, Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert, the UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative to Iraq, has struggled to bring together the elite, including Sadr and Nouri al-Maliki, to reach a consensus government to combat the direct violence. Following the clashes in August, the United Nations
Iraq’s political system has proved resistant to both grassroots revolutionary protest and attempts at manipulation by its elite. In their current efforts at stabilization, both Iraqi and international actors are again focusing on a short-term settlement within the elite. Their solution is to limit the direct violence that erupted this summer in the hope that this will lead to change.
But such a settlement will not address the everyday conflict consuming Iraqis. Instead, it will reinforce the status quo and once again ignore the dynamics of structural violence, which will continue to take the larger toll of lives.
On Thursday morning at approximately 11 a.m. Eastern, Twitter locked
the account of United Auto Workers presidential candidate and
rank-and-file worker Will Lehman. The action against Lehman’s account,
which Twitter falsely claimed was implemented in response to violation
of its rules, is a flagrant act of censorship and attack on the
democratic rights of workers.
The lock on Lehman’s account came without warning, Lehman’s campaign told the WSWS, occurring almost immediately after it tweeted a thread reporting on the support for his campaign among John Deere agricultural equipment workers.
The specific tweet in the thread that Twitter claimed violated its rules stated, “Equality is a central concern of workers, as this young worker at Deere Harvester says:”
The tweet included a short video of a young worker at Deere’s Harvester Works expressing his support for Lehman’s campaign.
In the video, a supporter of Lehman asks the worker, “So what do you think about what Will’s calling for, building a rank-and-movement of workers to put an end to the UAW bureaucracy and fight for what workers need?”
The worker replies, “I think Will’s doing a good job in putting into this. We need someone to step up in the union, to give us the chance to have equal rights, just like the salaried side. I think what Will is doing is good for the future of John Deere Harvester, and I’m right behind you Will.”