In case you missed them, here are this week’s top stories on Iraq:
- Chicago Tribune
When it comes to Iraq, the world’s attention has largely focused on the military campaign to uproot the Islamic State from its strongholds in Anbar province and Mosul. But the most consequential fight for the country’s future may be playing out in Baghdad’s Green Zone, not with bullets and bombs, but amid an unanswered cry for political reform to a deeply dysfunctional and sectarian state.
This is what victory looks like in the Iraqi city of Ramadi: In the once thriving Haji Ziad Square, not a single structure still stands. Turning in every direction yields a picture of devastation. The destruction extends to nearly every part of Ramadi, once home to 1 million people and now virtually empty.
On Saturday, hundreds of supporters of an influential Iraqi Shia cleric busted into the Green Zone, the heavily fortified area in the center of Baghdad that’s home to Iraq’s main government buildings and is normally off-limits to ordinary Iraqis, to demand a major cabinet reshuffle.
- New York Times
With the Islamic State still in control of large parts of the country and oil prices depressed, Iraq is on the verge of a meltdown. But instead of working to solve the country’s problems, Iraq’s political class has been consumed by a power struggle.
Amnesty International said on Tuesday Iraq is holding more than 1,000 detainees, some as young as 15, without charge in “inhumane and degrading conditions” at makeshift holding centres in western Anbar province
It has been 13 years since the fall of Saddam, but many Iraqis are still struggling to get by. Successive governments, detached from the people, have produced little more than staggering levels of corruption and incompetence. Idle officials sit in air-conditioned offices even as the population lacks basic services.
The sprawling U.S. Embassy compound is a fortress within the fortress of the Green Zone, but that’s not the only reason Iraq’s political instability is a problem for America.