Iraqi Kurdistan 2022 Parliament Extension Unconstitutional, Supreme Court Rules

In this picture taken on May 16, 2023, people walk past the citadel of Erbil, the capital of the autonomous Kurdish region of northern Iraq. (AFP)
In this picture taken on May 16, 2023, people walk past the citadel of Erbil, the capital of the autonomous Kurdish region of northern Iraq. (AFP)
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Iraqi Kurdistan 2022 Parliament Extension Unconstitutional, Supreme Court Rules

In this picture taken on May 16, 2023, people walk past the citadel of Erbil, the capital of the autonomous Kurdish region of northern Iraq. (AFP)
In this picture taken on May 16, 2023, people walk past the citadel of Erbil, the capital of the autonomous Kurdish region of northern Iraq. (AFP)

Iraq's federal supreme court ruled on Tuesday that a one-year extension of the term of the semi-autonomous Kurdistan region parliament in 2022 was unconstitutional and undermined democracy in the country, its top judge Jassim Mohammed said.

All decisions issued by the regional parliament from the date of its term extension on Oct. 9, 2022, were therefore considered null and void, Mohammed said.

Kurdistan, which has enjoyed wide autonomy from Baghdad since the 1990s, has in the past ignored rulings by the federal supreme court, including a Feb. 2022 ruling that deemed its oil and gas law unconstitutional.

With its capital in Erbil, Kudistan is home to more than 5 million people out of Iraq's 43 million population and produces about 450,000 barrels of oil per day, though exports were halted in March.

Baghded-Erbil relations have been fractious for years with disagreements over energy resources and disputed territories.

The ruling could raise tensions amid discussions over a draft federal budget that the Kurdistan Regional Government has said includes changes it opposes.

Ruling Kurdish parties, including the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) and the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), agreed to the 2022 extension after failing to reach consensus on a new electoral law.

They pledged to hold elections in November 2023, but have yet to reach consensus on new regulations.

On May 22, KDP and PUK lawmakers brawled inside the regional parliament's chamber during discussions on electoral regulations, a sign that agreement remained far off.



Israeli Strikes Reportedly Target Hezbollah Ammunition Depot in Lebanon

Lebanese army soldiers check the wreckage of a vehicle after an Israeli airstrike targeted the area near the village of Burj al-Muluk, some 18 kms from the town of Nabatiyeh on July 20, 2024.  (Photo by Rabih DAHER / AFP)
Lebanese army soldiers check the wreckage of a vehicle after an Israeli airstrike targeted the area near the village of Burj al-Muluk, some 18 kms from the town of Nabatiyeh on July 20, 2024. (Photo by Rabih DAHER / AFP)
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Israeli Strikes Reportedly Target Hezbollah Ammunition Depot in Lebanon

Lebanese army soldiers check the wreckage of a vehicle after an Israeli airstrike targeted the area near the village of Burj al-Muluk, some 18 kms from the town of Nabatiyeh on July 20, 2024.  (Photo by Rabih DAHER / AFP)
Lebanese army soldiers check the wreckage of a vehicle after an Israeli airstrike targeted the area near the village of Burj al-Muluk, some 18 kms from the town of Nabatiyeh on July 20, 2024. (Photo by Rabih DAHER / AFP)

Israeli strikes late on Saturday targeted a depot storing ammunition belonging to Hezbollah in southern Lebanon, three security sources told Reuters.

The strikes on the town of Adloun, about 40 km north of Lebanon's border with Israel, set off a string of loud explosions heard by witnesses across the south of Lebanon.

At least four civilians in Adloun were wounded in the strikes, a medical source and a security source told Reuters.

Hezbollah said that its fighters fired dozens of rockets into northern Israel on Saturday, targeting a kibbutz for the first time in nine months in retaliation for an Israeli drone strike earlier in the day that wounded several people including children.
Also Saturday, Hamas said it fired rockets from Lebanon toward an Israeli army post in the northern Israeli village of Shomera in retaliation for the “Zionists massacres” in the Gaza Strip. Hamas has carried out such attacks form Lebanon over the past several months, but they have been rare.
Hezbollah’s attack with dozens of Katyusha rockets on the northern Israeli kibbutz of Dafna came few hours after an Israeli drone strike hit a car in the southern Lebanese village of Burj al-Muluk, and shrapnel from the missile wounded several people who were standing nearby. The state-run National News Agency said that the wounded civilians are Syrian citizens and they included children.

The Israeli military said that about 45 projectiles were detected crossing from Lebanon into northern Israel in three separate barrages. It said that some were intercepted, while others fell in open areas, causing no injuries, but triggering several fires in the Golan Heights.