Don’t forget to mark your calendars: President of the Kurdistan Region Masoud Barzani has set November 1, 2017 for parliamentary and presidential elections to be held in the Region. Barzani officially called the elections, saying the date was set in accordance with the presidential law passed by the Kurdistan legislature in 2005. The Kurdistan Region last held parliamentary elections in 2013. The presidential election has not been held since 2009.
On the other side of the Atlantic, President Trump has decided to end the CIA’s covert program to arm and train moderate Syrian rebels fighting against Syrian president Bashar al-Assad and his government. The program began in 2013 under the Obama administration to put pressure on Assad to step aside. Officials said the phasing out of the secret program reflects Trump’s interest in finding ways to work with Russia, which saw the anti-Assad program as an assault on its interests.
Lastly, could this be the beginning of a new era? The Kurdistan Integrity Commission stated it is investigating 378 corruption cases in the Kurdistan Region. 195 corruption cases are in the Erbil Province, 116 cases in Sulaimani, and 67 cases in Dohuk. No details on the cases were provided but this is part what the government has called a crackdown against corrupted officials.