Influential Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr yesterday ordered his brigade to shut down their offices in Kirkuk and withdraw their forces within three days. Saraya al-Salam, or Peace Brigade was sent to Kirkuk by the Baghdad-based cleric during the October 16 assault. The order to withdraw came two days after twin bombings targeted Shia militia offices in Kirkuk, one of them being the Saraya al-Salam headquarters.
Meanwhile, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi has described the Kurdistan Regional Government’s demand to receive 17 percent of the 2018 Iraqi budget as “unjust,” saying Erbil should receive a percentage of the budget that reflects its population compared to the rest of Iraq. The KRG has stated it has about 1.2 million people on its payroll who will cost Baghdad $771 million a month. PM Nechirvan Barzani said on Monday that they are ready to hand over the Region’s oil in return for 17 percent share of the Iraqi budget.
Lastly, the US is set to become isolated in its stance on the Paris climate agreement, after Syria said it was preparing to join the deal. The Paris deal unites the world’s nations in tackling climate change. Syria and Nicaragua were the only nations outside the deal when it was agreed in 2015. Nicaragua signed in October and Syria is preparing to do so as soon as possible.