Iraq Current Affairs - 2019

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Syrian Democratic Forces defeats Islamic State group

The Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) backed by the US has defeated the Daesh [ISIS] by capturing the final shred of the territory of Baghouz in Syria. The forces have declared the end of the self-declared “caliphate” that once spanned a third of Iraq and Syria.

Even though the U.S.-backed forces have retaken nearly all the small pockets in Syria that were still under ISIS control, it doesn’t mean the end of ISIS. Reports suggest that many ISIS fighters have blended in with the local population and moreover the ISIS’ ideology remains potent and continues to inspire attacks in Europe and Afghanistan. Even though it is unlikely that there is a command structure directing terrorist attacks around the globe there are local groups which identify themselves as ISIS.

Timeline of ISIS

  • The chaos which followed the 2003 U.S.-led invasion of Iraq, an al Qaeda offshoot established there and changed its name in 2006 to Islamic State in Iraq.
  • As the Syrian Crisis began to unfold the group’s leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi sent operatives to Syria for setting up a Syrian subsidiary. Baghdadi follows in 2013 and renamed the group as “The Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant”.
  • The group captured important cities like Fallujah, Tikrit and Mosul in Iraq and Raqqa in Syria. Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi renamed the group as Islamic State (IS) and declares a caliphate at Mosul in 2014.
  • In 2014 United States started building a coalition against ISIS and started air strikes to stop its momentum. It also started to extend support to the Kurdish militia to fight against the ISIS.
  • By 2016 the forces started recovering the territory captured by ISIS and the ISIS started facing catastrophic defeats.

The capture of Baghouz and declaration of elimination of caliphate has come as a final nail in the coffin of ISIS.

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Japan donates $69 million to the United Nations World Food Programme

Japan has donated $69 million to the United Nations World Food Programme to provide vital aid to 28 countries in the Middle East, Africa, and Asia, with the biggest shares of the money being earmarked for Yemen and Iraq.

World Food Programme

World Food Programme is a leading humanitarian organization saving lives and changing lives, delivering food assistance in emergencies and working with communities to improve nutrition and build resilience.

In the 1960 Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Conference, there were calls for setting up a multilateral food aid programme. In line these demands, the World Food Programme was established in 1961 by the FAO and the United Nations General Assembly.

The Food for Work programmes of the World Food Programme promotes environmental and economic stability and agricultural production.

The World Food Programme strives to eradicate hunger and malnutrition, with the ultimate goal to eliminate the need for food aid itself. The objectives of the World Food Programme are:

  • Save lives and protect livelihoods in emergencies.
  • Support food security and nutrition and (re)build livelihoods in fragile settings and following emergencies.
  • Reduce risk and enable people, communities and countries to meet their own food and nutrition needs.
  • Reduce under-nutrition and break the inter-generational cycle of hunger.
  • Zero Hunger in 2030.

World Food Programme also aims to fight micronutrient deficiencies, reduce child mortality, improve maternal health, and combat disease, including HIV and AIDS.

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