Iraqi banks ban US Dollar transactions to avoid sanctions

Important Takeaways:

  • The Central Bank of Iraq (CBI) banned eight local banks from making US dollar transactions on 4 February, in an attempt to avoid sanctions and US financial restrictions.
  • A CBI document lists the banned banks as Ahsur International Bank for Investment, Investment Bank of Iraq, Union Bank of Iraq, Kurdistan International Islamic Bank for Investment and Development, Al-Huda Bank, Al-Janoob Islamic Bank for Investment and Finance, Arabia Islamic Bank, and Hammurabi Commercial Bank.
  • “We commend the continued steps taken by the Central Bank of Iraq to protect the Iraqi financial system from abuse, which has led to legitimate Iraqi banks achieving international connectivity through correspondent banking relationships,” a US Treasury Department spokesman said on Sunday.
  • The measures come after Iraqi officials met with the US Treasury Department’s top sanctions official Brian Nelson last week.
  • The Finance Committee in the Iraqi parliament made a statement on 31 January calling for the sale of oil in currencies other than the US dollar, aiming to counter US sanctions on the Iraqi banking system.

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Attacks on US troops increase from Iran-backed rebel groups

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Important Takeaways:

  • Iran-Backed Attacks on U.S. Troops in Middle East Reach Nearly 100
  • The number of attacks as of Thursday was 97 since October 17, the official said. At least 66 troops have been injured in these attacks, including at least 19 who were diagnosed with traumatic brain injuries.
  • Despite the Pentagon conducting five counter strikes — three against weapons storage facilities linked to the attacks and two against perpetrators, the attacks have not stopped.
  • The uptick in attacks against U.S. forces has occurred against the backdrop of the Israeli military offensive against Palestinian terrorist organization Hamas, after it conducted an attack against Israel on October 7, killing more than 1,200.
  • The Pentagon announced Thursday that Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin is heading to the Middle East this week to meet with the leaders of Bahrain, Qatar, and Israel.

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Joe Biden’s brain is living in 2003: Reporter asked about Russian insurrection and Biden’s response ‘He is clearly losing the War in Iraq’

Revelations 6:3-4 “when he opened the second seal, I heard the second living creature say, “Come!” 4 And out came another horse, bright red. Its rider was permitted to take peace from the earth, so that people should slay one another, and he was given a great sword.

Important Takeaways:

  • Speaking outside the White House on Wednesday, reporters asked Biden if the mercenary insurrection last week, reportedly against the Russian defense department, weakened Putin domestically.
  • “It’s hard to tell,” Biden responded.
  • “He is clearly losing the war in Iraq,” Biden said. “He’s losing the war at home and has become a bit of a pariah around the world.”
  • Biden was on his way to Chicago to deliver an address on what his White House is calling “Bidenomics,” amid a struggling economy when he made the gaffe.

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Iraq President of the Supreme Judicial Council issues an arrest warrant for Donald Trump

Revelations 6:3-4 “when he opened the second seal, I heard the second living creature say, “Come!” 4 And out came another horse, bright red. Its rider was permitted to take peace from the earth, so that people should slay one another, and he was given a great sword.

Important Takeaways:

  • Iraq’s High Court Issues Arrest Warrant for Trump Over Killing of Iranian Commander
  • “President of the Supreme Judicial Council, Faiq Zaidan, announced on Thursday the issuance of an arrest warrant for former U.S. President Donald Trump.”
  • The arrest warrant charges Trump with premeditated murder. While the warrant is clearly symbolic, a conviction of this nature carries the death penalty.
  • The court said the investigation into the killings was still ongoing, AP reported.
  • After Iran shot down a U.S. drone in June, John Bolton, Trump’s national security adviser at the time, urged Trump to retaliate by signing off on an operation to kill Soleimani, officials said. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo also wanted Trump to authorize the assassination, officials said.
  • In April 2019, then-National Security Adviser John Bolton “helped prod Trump to designate the entire Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps a foreign terrorist organization,” NBC News stated.
  • “White House officials at the time refused to say whether that meant the United States would target Revolutionary Guard leaders as it does the leadership of other terrorist groups…”

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G20 Meeting Iraq’s Archbishop warns Christians on the edge of extinction in his country

Matthew 5:10 “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven

Important Takeaways:

  • ‘On the Very Edge of Extinction’: Iraqi Archbishop’s Dire Warning About Christian Persecution, Violence
  • The Most Rev. Bashar Warda, the Archbishop of Erbil, told hundreds of religious leaders gathered for the G20 Religion Forum in Bali, Indonesia, he’s fearful for the state of believers in his nation.
  • Christianity in his war-torn country is “on the very edge of extinction.”
  • “The brutal logic of this is that there does eventually reach an end point where there are no minorities left to kill, and no minorities left to persecute,” Warda said. “Such is the bleak future of religious pluralism in Iraq today.”
  • He continued, “I pray that you will find in our story a clear warning to you all.”

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Military on High Alert after Saudi warns of possible Iranian attack in Erbil, Iraq

Revelations 6:3-4 “when he opened the second seal, I heard the second living creature say, “Come!” 4 And out came another horse, bright red. Its rider was permitted to take peace from the earth, so that people should slay one another, and he was given a great sword.

Important Takeaways:

  • US, Saudi Arabia on high alert over intel of impending Iranian attack: report
  • The planned strikes are believed to be targeting Saudi Arabia and Iraq
  • Officials from both countries reportedly told the Journal about the concern over coming attacks. Saudi officials said that in addition to Saudi Arabia, Iran is also looking to strike Erbil, Iraq, where U.S. troops are located. The planned attacks are said to be intended as a distraction from protests taking place in Iran against the Islamic nation’s leadership.
  • Pentagon Press Secretary Air Force Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder said Tuesday during a press briefing that the U.S. remains “concerned” about “the threat situation in the region” and is “in regular contact” with Saudi officials.
  • “We will reserve the right to protect and defend ourselves no matter where our forces are serving, whether in Iraq or elsewhere,” Ryder said, declining to give information about any specific threat.

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More than 1,000 hospitalized with respiratory problems from Sandstorm wave

Luke 21:25,26 NLT “And there will be strange signs in the sun, moon, and stars. And here on earth the nations will be in turmoil, perplexed by the roaring seas and strange tides. People will be terrified at what they see coming upon the earth, for the powers in the heavens will be shaken.”

Important Takeaways:

  • NASA data showed dust reaching more than three miles into the sky
  • The Iraqi government declared a national holiday Monday to keep people in their homes.
  • Experts say the storms this year are particularly intense
  • In Iraq, at least nine significant storms have hit the country since April.

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Iraq passed bill criminalizing relations with Israel, punishable with death sentence

Matt 24:10,11 Then he said to them: “Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be great earthquakes, famines and pestilences in various places, and fearful events and great signs from heaven.

Important Takeaways:

  • The legislation says that violation of the law is punishable with the death sentence or life imprisonment.
  • It was unclear how the law will be implemented as Iraq has not recognized Israel since the country’s formation in 1948
  • The legislation also entails risks for companies working in Iraq and found to be in violation of the bill.

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Netanyahu warns: Don’t be desperate to sign Nuclear Deal with Iran

Revelations 6:3-4 “ when he opened the second seal, I heard the second living creature say, “Come!” 4 And out came another horse, bright red. Its rider was permitted to take peace from the earth, so that people should slay one another, and he was given a great sword.

Important Takeaways:

  • Former Israeli Prime Minister Warns U.S. Not to Renew ‘Downright Dangerous’ Iran Nuclear Deal
  • “The desperate rush to sign this flawed nuclear agreement with Iran is not only absurd, it’s downright dangerous,” Netanyahu said. “Yesterday Iran fired missiles in the vicinity of the American consulate in Iraq. And the U.S. to charge ahead…to sign a nuclear agreement that will give the Ayatollahs a nuclear arsenal.”
  • No Americans were injured in the attack, according to the State Department. The Iran Revolutionary Guard Corps claimed responsibility for the attack, although the organization said it targeted Israeli “strategic centers” in the area.

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Germany jails Islamic State member for life over role in Yazidi genocide

FRANKFURT (Reuters) -A German court on Tuesday jailed a former Islamic State militant for life for involvement in genocide and crimes against humanity against minority Yazidis in Iraq and Syria, including the murder of a five-year-old girl.

It was the first genocide verdict against a member of Islamic State, an offshoot of al Qaeda that seized large swathes of Iraq and Syria in 2014 before being ousted by U.S.-backed counter-offensives, losing its last territorial redoubt in 2019.

In a landmark ruling, the court in Frankfurt found Taha al-Jumailly, 29, an Iraqi national, guilty of involvement in the slaughter of more than 3,000 Yazidis and enslavement of 7,000 women and girls by IS jihadists in 2014-15.

This, the court ruled, included the murder of a five-year-old girl the defendant had enslaved and chained to a window, leaving her to die in scorching heat in 2015 in Iraq.

Al-Jumailly, who entered the court covering his face with a file folder, was arrested in Greece in 2019 and extradited to Germany where relatives of slain Yazidis acted as plaintiffs supporting the prosecution.

“Today’s ruling marks the first ever worldwide confirmation by a court that the crimes of Islamic State against the Yazidi religious group are genocide,” said Meike Olszak of Amnesty International’s branch in Germany.

The defendant’s German wife, identified only as Jennifer W., was used as a prosecution witness at his trial. She was sentenced to 10 years in prison last month for involvement in the enslavement of the Yazidi girl and her mother.

The Yazidis are an ancient religious minority in eastern Syria and northwest Iraq that Islamic State viewed as supposed devil worshippers for their faith that combines Zoroastrian, Christian, Manichean, Jewish and Muslim beliefs.

Islamic State’s depredations also displaced most of the 550,000-strong Yazidi community.

(Writing by Joseph Nasr; Editing by Mark Heinrich)