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01/06/2019 Iraq (International Christian Concern) – In response to the American assassination of a key Iranian general in Baghdad, Iraq’s parliament has passed a nonbinding resolution which rejects the presence of foreign troops on Iraqi soil. The resolution also establishes political conditions for Iranian proxy attacks against U.S. forces and installations. Meanwhile, Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr issued a statement demanding an even greater response. Iraq is currently in a state of a caretaker government led by Prime Minister Mahdi, whose authority is unclear given his caretaker role.

Iraq’s security situation has greatly deteriorated since the assassination three days ago. Iranian proxy militias had gained an increased prominence through the fight against the Islamic State. They have vowed retaliation in response to the assassination. In response, the U.S.-led coalition has suspended their fight against ISIS to instead protect bases from a potential Iranian counterstrike. ISIS has already taken advantage of this suspension by launching an attack in one of Iraq’s disputed territories.

This downward spiral of Iraq’s security environment is also reflected in Nineveh, also a disputed territory. ISIS had controlled large swaths of Nineveh, and the militias had taken over the territory following ISIS’s defeat. Attacks against U.S. installations in Nineveh were reported over the weekend. The U.S. (as well as several other countries) currently have assets at play in Nineveh as they seek to provide humanitarian assistance to the victims of ISIS. In Nineveh, most of these victims are members of religious minority groups, namely Christians and Yazidis.

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