New year will not be ‘easy ride’ for Iraq as it faces ‘multiple storms at once’: UNAMI
ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Iraq will not have an “easy ride” in 2021 as the country continues to face numerous challenges at once, the United Nations Assistance Mission in Iraq (UNAMI) wrote in a statement on Thursday, underling the pressing issue facing Iraq.
“The new year will not be an easy ride,” UNAMI wrote in its end of year message as Iraq, “will undoubtedly continue to face multiple storms at once.”
The challenges the international organization underlined ranged from economic and security to “pressing need for reform,” according to the statement.
In 2020, Iraq faced numerous new challenges in addition to the already existing ones such as intensified Iran-US tensions on its soil, the COVID-19 pandemic, and a crippling economy. The rising strength of armed militias backed by Iran coupled with weakened state security apparatuses further exacerbated the security and political conundrum in the country.
Iraq suffers from an economic agony faced by low crude prices in the global market due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The country is now in a deficit of 50 trillion IQD (around $340 billion) to continue functioning its bloated economy.
The country has faced a new security challenge which is the rise of the Iranian-backed Shia militias that compete with the state’s security institutions. The US Embassy in the capital Baghdad was attacked during the year by rockets, which American officials point the finger of blame to Iranian-sponsored militias in Iraq, whose rocket attacks on the embassy had resulted in civilian and material damages.
However, the so-called Islamic State was defeated territorially in 2017, its hit-and-run assaults are still continuous on both civilian and military targets.
Editing by Karzan Sulaivany