Researcher Shatha Khalil
Malicious foreign parties want to destroy Iraq and its economy, not only sectarian fighting or gangs or militias, terrorism and drugs and finally burning crops.
Hundreds of agricultural fields have been exposed to large fires in the provinces of Diyala, Nineveh and Salah al-Din , they were more than 160 fires, some of them caused by a saboteur who is working for foreign agendas , these fires have been occurred in the Diyala, Salaheddin, Kirkuk and Nineveh governorates where the sectarian outlaw gangs and terrorist gangs of ISIS threaten and blackmail peasant people and then burning their farms and displacing them from their land.
The size of the fire in Diyala province was estimated at about 500 dunum of wheat and barley farms, and the fire of Nineveh governorate , noting the fires burned wide farms estimated at six kilometers long, ie hundreds of hectares of wheat and barley, days before the harvest season in different parts of Iraq.
The Ministry of Commerce issued a statement on the wheat field fires, accusing the terrorist organization of ISIS to stand behind them.
While the deputies and analysts accused the internal and external bodies to stand behind these fires to hit the national economy and prevent the achievement of self-sufficiency.
The deputy of Diyala province, Raad al-Dahlaki, said that “hidden hands seek to destroy Iraqi agriculture in an orderly and systematic manner . The phenomenon of burning of the fields in Diyala, and earlier the destruction of tomato crop in Basra, the death of fish, and other incidents in which those involved were not detected , requires attention “.
al-Dhlaki called on parliament to “include these incidents in its agenda, and to ask the concerned authorities to clarify the picture and explain the reasons and methods of treatment of these dangerous phenomena which is backed by dangerous agendas seeking to destroy the economy of the country.”
These fires are detrimental to the national agricultural economy and food security, especially as Iraqi wheat is experiencing a boom in production and marketing.
The MP Ahmed Jubouri stressed , “The series of burning fields continued by the parties trying to disrupt the economy in the province, and those operations are implemented in a planned manner in advance.”
Faiq al- Sheikh Ali said “Some complain about the burning of a mall in Najaf because of a dispute between thieves on scrap! Ok… Today, thousands of tons of wheat crop are burned in the land of Salahaddin! , and earlier ministries, institutions and departments! Have been burned, the series of fires will continue; why should not confess before the world and say: “We are a nation that enjoy on burning itself, destroying construction and reconstruction?”
The Iraqi Ministry of Commerce called the Ministry of Interior and the Joint Operations Command for “the movement to track down these terrorist groups, protect the security and property of the farmers and secure the fields”, expressing its refusal to “expose them to the extortion of terrorist gangs.”
The ministry stressed that the necessity of “the intervention of the Operations Command in Nineveh and the security forces under its leadership to prevent the recurrence of such criminal incidents that target the security of the Iraqi citizen food and the country”.
Observers have accused the terrorist militias to set fires because of the non-payment of royalties by the peasants. It is certain that the losses are large and the state is unable to stop them. The security forces will only analyze the incidents without doing an action to stop the chain of fires.
And to fight the farmer and fight the national economy of the country, targeting wheat fields coincided with the fires with official statements, in which the Iraqi government informed its citizens that the arrival of wheat production this year to self-sufficiency , this year’s agricultural situation is very good and the possibility of food security of wheat crop in Iraq will reach all provinces of Iraq and we may have to reduce or eliminate the importer. Iraq consumes about five million tons of wheat annually, which imports more than half of it worth hundreds of millions of dollars.
Iraq is one of the largest importers of grain in the Middle East, which means the activity of agriculture in Iraq and achieve self-sufficiency in the production of wheat does not fit to many of the countries that want the economy of Iraq to remain a consumer, this is a clear evidence that fires were done by a deliberate act because it targeted farms in more than one Iraqi province by the hands of mercenaries, and those who have no conscience and to return to the import again . Thus , the suffering of this country is renewed because of the external interventions , and we do not rule out the problems and the Iranian crisis with the United States will cast a shadow over the Iraqi economy . Some activists pointed out that the finger was also directed to the factions backed by Iran in some areas where all fires are spread in favor of Iran.
Observers said that the fires forced Saladin residents, especially their farmers, to abandon it indirectly after eliminating their only source of income coming from agriculture.
Farmers in the eastern parts of Tikrit found a tool to burn wheat fields. The farmers, from the area of al-Alalam area, east of Tikrit, confirmed that unknown persons with experience in the manufacture of explosives placed remote controls, which cause a fire in the middle of the wheat fields to extend to the largest cultivated area.
Forcing farmers to set up night guard groups to secure wheat fields after a series of mysterious fires that destroyed vast areas, while farmers wonder about the absence of the role of the security forces.
And in the context of the destruction of the Iraqi economy, I would like to mention that the Iranian-backed militias working for Iran and the destruction of the Iraqi economy and looting it, have completely eliminated the manifestations of industrial life in the province, after the dismantling and looting of Baiji refinery, Iraq’s largest oil refineries, and the transfer of its equipment to Iran.
They also eliminated the manifestations of religious tourism in it , following the isolation of the shrine of the two Al-Askari imams completely inside the old city in Samarra, and prevented its residents from returning to it, in pursuit of the establishment of the religious province of Samarra and removed it from the province of Salah al-Din.
Translated by : mudhaffar al-kusairi
Economic Studies Unit
Rawabet Center for Research and Strategic Studies