Iraq

The month of April has been a tumultuous and deadly one for citizens of the Republic of Iraq as terrorist attacks continue to be a fact of life for many Iraqi citizens. On April 12, bomb blasts hit mosques in Baghdad and in the province of Diyala, killing and wounding many bystanders. As fears grow that Syria’s increasingly sectarian civil war will spark a renewed wave of religious violence in Iraq, the government authorities have heeded Washington’s call to inspect Iranian aircraft flying through Iraqi airspace into Syria, in an effort to block illicit arms shipments to the government of Bashar al-Assad. In the semi-autonomous Iraqi region of Kurdistan, Genel Energy says it has made a significant oil find at Chia Surkh. The company estimates that the oil field may end up holding some 300 million barrels of oil, which would further boost an already prosperous and autonomous zone that Baghdad has little political control over. (April 10, 2013 Yahoo News; April 10, 2013 New York Times, April 12, 2013 BBC News)