Iraqi parliament forms committee to assess farmland damage

Fires destroyed thousands of hectares of farmland
Iraqi Council of Representatives (File photo)

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SULAIMANI — Iraqi Parliament has formed a committee to assess damage to the farmers’ crop fields that have been destroyed by fires, as Iraq’s harvests go up in smoke.

NRT Digital Media reporter Omed Mohammed said the parliament held a session on Thursday (June 13) to discuss the farmland fires in northern Iraq.

The committee includes members from the security and defense committee and agriculture committee as well as committees of the regions and provinces.

Iraq's northern farmlands are on fire, but the area's complex patchwork of grievances has made it hard to identify the culprits, according to AFP. Farmers in the country's breadbasket had been hoping for bumper wheat and barley harvests in May and June, following heavy winter rains.

Instead, many saw their hopes turned to ash.

The Iraqi Defense Civil said on Sunday that 272 fires destroyed more than 37,000 dunams of farmland in northern Iraq last month.

The blazes hit four provinces in northern Iraq, all of which had been at least partly controlled by the Islamic State (ISIS) and have remained prey to the jihadists' sleeper cells, AFP reported.

ISIS has continued to carry out hit-and-run attacks despite losing its Iraqi foothold in late 2017 and its last Syrian enclave just a few months ago.

(NRT Digital Media)