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Friday, August 11, 2017

IQD CHAT, 11 AUGUST

Chat Room News Excerpts & Highlights Late Thurs PM 8-10-17

BobS: TEHRAN,— Iran has warned that a move from Iraq’s Kurdistan Region toward an independent state will result in the closure of the country’s border crossings with the region, Nazim Dabbagh, the representative of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) in Tehran, said on Wednesday.

Iran has been clear in its position in reaction to the plans of holding an independence referendum on Sept. 25 this year, urging the Kurdistan Region to reverse such a decision, Dabbagh told NRT in a statement.

“It is improbable to happen [closure of border crossings by Iran after the referendum],” Dabbagh said. “No time has been scheduled for talks with Iran over the Kurdistan Region’s referendum, though they [Iran] have clearly told the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) their opposition stance.”
 ...
​BobS: Tehran’s backing militarily for the Peshmerga forces in the fight against Islamic State (ISIS) may also come to an end in the outcome of holding the referendum, he added. “Tehran has expressed a willingness to help mend pending issues between Erbil and Baghdad.”

Iran seems to have the same position that Baghdad has towards the referendum on the independence of Kurdistan, he further said. The autonomous northern Kurdistan Region is expected to hold a referendum on September 25 with the aim to establish an independent state.

The decision to hold referendum has concerned Iran. On May 1, the spokesman of the Iranian Foreign Ministry, Bahram Qassemi, said Iran was against a referendum in the Kurdistan Region and stated it considered Kurds an important part of Iraq’s sovereignty.

The Kurdistan Region’s political parties, not including the second biggest party of Change (Gorran) Movement and the Kurdistan Islamic Group (KIG), came to an agreement on June 7 to hold a referendum on the region’s independence on September 25, 2017.

The decision was slammed by Iraq, US, UK, EU, Russia, Germany, Turkey and Iran. Kurds say the expected “yes” outcome would strengthen their hand in talks on self-determination with Baghdad, and would not automatically mean declaring independence.

BobS: MOSUL,— Abu Ghazi stood smoking a cigarette outside what used to be his home in Mosul’s Old City, where only the sound of the footsteps of a few soldiers on patrol and twisted pieces of metal and fabric flapping in the wind disturb the eery silence.

“They should just bulldoze the whole thing and start over,” he said, gazing at the rows of collapsed buildings with their contents strewn across the upturned streets.

“There’s no saving it now, not like this.” Hundreds of yards away on Wednesday Federal Police shot an Islamic State fighter as he emerged firing his gun from an underground tunnel on Makkawi Street.

Similar stories have been reported by aid workers and residents of West Mosul in the past few days. “West Mosul is still a military zone as the search operations are ongoing for suspects, mines and explosive devices,” a military spokesman said. “The area is still not safe for the population to return.”

BobS: However, in nearby Dawrat al Hammameel, with machines whirring in his workshop, Raad Abdelaziz said he has encouraged neighbors to return despite the still very real danger weeks after the government declared victory over the jihadists.

Just this week, his nephew, Ali, saw a militant emerge from under a house and try to injure some civilians before he was caught and handed over to the Federal Police.

But Abdelaziz, whose factory was up and running just two weeks after he returned to Mosul with his family, persists: We want people in the neighborhood to come back to their jobs.” He is already filling orders for water and gas tanks from residents intent on rebuilding. “Life is already coming back gradually,” he said.

FLOCKING OVER THE PONTOON Like Abu Ghazi and Raad Abdelaziz, dozens of those displaced by the fighting have returned to West Mosul, which saw some of the fiercest fighting in nine-month battle to rout the militants from their stronghold in Iraq’s second-largest city.

 At the northern pontoon, one of two remaining access points between East and West Mosul, hundreds walked towards the western half of the city, carrying suitcases, household goods and livestock. Others drove across the makeshift bridge in overflowing coaches. Ziad al Chaichi came back to reopen his tea shop in West Mosul a week ago, having fled his nearby home in March.

BobS: “Everything’s still a mess – we have nothing. No water, no electricity – we need the essentials,” he said in his shop where dainty porcelain tea pots hung from the walls. He was thankful that some people were buying his tea, including Abdelfattah, a neighbor who sat with a group of men outside.

“We want life to return here,” said Abdelfattah, 60, who came back to a partially collapsed home with his family about three weeks ago. “Not for us – the older generation – but for the children… Until then, we’re just sitting here patiently, drinking tea.”

PUNGENT REMINDER Even in death, the militants haunt Mosul’s residents. A handful of their bodies are lying around the Old City, a pungent reminder of the last ten months. “We wish they would just take them away,” said Najm Abdelrazaq. But unlike with civilian bodies, the police and the military refuse to allow it, he said.
BobS: “Why should we dignify them and remove the bodies?” one soldier said, when asked why the bodies were being left to rot in the 47 degree Celsius (116 Fahrenheit) heat. “Let them rot in the streets of Mosul after what they did here.”

Returnees are concerned about the smell and the risk of disease, but they’d rather have the bodies of their neighbors recovered first.

Around the corner from Chaichi’s shop, scrawled across several collapsed houses in blue ink was: “The bodies of families lie here under the rubble.”

BobS: HEWLÊR-Erbil, Iraq’s Kurdistan region,— Baghdad wants Kurdistan Region to withdraw from Iraq’s disputed areas and return to pre-2003 borders between the autonomous region and Iraq, said Massoud Barzani, vowing that the Peshmerga will not retreat from any areas that were taken with the blood of fallen soldiers. “This is their plan.

They say you should go back to the green line,” Barzani said, referring to the line that separated Peshmerga from the army of Saddam Hussein before the US-led invasion of Iraq in 2003. This line “was not the border of Kurdistan,” Barzani told a gathering of Muslim clerics in Erbil on Wednesday.

The pre-2003 borders exclude disputed areas such as Kirkuk, Khanaqin, Tuz Khurmatu, Makhmour, and Zumar from the Kurdistan Region.

BobS: During the war against Islamic State IS, the Kurdish Region has increased its territory by at least 40 percent, bringing many of these disputed areas under its de facto control after the Iraqi army withdrew in the face of advancing IS militants. Barzani said that Erbil has been given only two options when it comes to the disputed, or Kurdistani, areas claimed by both Erbil and Baghdad: retreat or stay.

He said Erbil refuses the first, while the latter may lead to military confrontation. “If you retreat, how can you say that to the faces of the families of the martyrs? If you stay, you will face a war,” Barzani said. Kurdistan has lost more than 1,700 Peshmerga fighters since the beginning of the war against IS.

 Barzani said that the planned independence referendum can work as a peaceful tool to settle outstanding issues between Erbil and Baghdad. He reminded attendees that “the culture” of resorting to military means to resolve the Kurdish issue has not changed in Baghdad after decades of genocide against Kurds at the hands of the Iraqi government.

He used the example of a 2008 incident in Qaratapa, near Khanaqin. At that time, he said, the Iraqi army had asked the Peshmerga to deploy troops to the area to clear it of terrorists. The Peshmerga carried out the task during which they lost 18 soldiers and sustained 46 injuries.

BobS: The agreement between the Iraqi army and the Peshmerga militias was that the Kurdish force would withdraw after the military operation. Barzani said that while the Kurds expected appreciation for their service, instead they received a message from the Iraqi army telling them they had 24 hours to leave the area or face a military confrontation.

“The bell rang for me then,” Barzani said, insisting that Iraq has failed to work as a country with Kurds on an equal footing. In June, Iraqi Kurdistan Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani, Massoud’s nephew, said that from their perspective the times had changed and there no longer was such a word as “disputed territories” in their dictionary.

Nechirvan Barzani refused to call any of the areas disputed, calling on them Kurdistani areas. Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said last month that he would not “deploy tanks” to the Kurdistan Region in response to the referendum this fall, despite the vote being “unconstitutional, illegitimate.”

The Kurdistan Region’s political parties, not including the second biggest party of Change (Gorran) Movement and the Kurdistan Islamic Group (KIG), came to an agreement on June 7 to hold a referendum on the region’s independence on September 25, 2017.

The decision was slammed by Iraq, US, UK, EU, Russia, Germany, Turkey and Iran. Kurds say the expected “yes” outcome would strengthen their hand in talks on self-determination with Baghdad, and would not automatically mean declaring independence.

Sparky: @BobS interesting

Sparky: Didn't know Barzani is nephew of Mossoud
Sparky: That's interesting

chattels: good evening all
RickeyT: @chattels How-d, lots of crawfishing on Chapter 7
chattels: @RickeyT Likely " much ado about nothing ", eh ?
RickeyT: @chattels "it's unclear"

chattels: @RickeyT Chapter Seven can be both benefit and burden for Iraq. I suspect that Abadi is parsing words and that Iraq is enjoying benefits of Chapter Seven status, but crowing that they have exited.

chattels: The dollar is currently settling at 1261 dinars
​http://www.alliraqnews.com/modules/news/article.php?storyid=64705

chattels: [Ayna-Baghdad] Foreign currency markets in Iraq, on Thursday morning, stabilized the dollar exchange rate against the Iraqi dinar. The market price in the Kifah Stock Exchange in Baghdad was 1261 dinars per dollar, or 126 thousand dinars to 100 dollars, the same price yesterday.

The prices of selling and buying dollars in banking companies were: the selling price of one dollar 1265 dinars, or 126 thousand and 500 dinars, for one hundred dollars. And the purchase price of the dollar at 1255 dinars, or 125 thousand and 500 dinars, for one hundred dollars.

RickeyT: @chattels he wasn't bragging about the next step

chattels: International Monetary Fund: Iraq's economy has declined and its reserves have fallen to 45 billion dollars

http://www.alliraqnews.com/modules/news/article.php?storyid=64702

chattels: , The decline in oil prices led to a decline in Iraq's foreign exchange reserves from 54 billion US dollars at the end of 2015 to 45 billion at the end of 2016, saying that "the financial pressure continued as the government deficit increased to 14 percent of GDP in 2016, after 12 percent In 2015 ".

However, the outlook for medium-term growth appears to be positive due to the expected improvement in the security situation and readiness to implement several infrastructure projects, although the risks remain high due to continuing security and political tensions, the IMF said.

RickeyT: @chattels if they do a country bankruptcy, where does that leave us?

chattels: Kuwait has been in contact for a long time with the countries of the world, the World Bank and Iraq itself to prepare to host a conference donors for the reconstruction of liberated areas of Iraq, which may be held in the first quarter of next year.

chattels: @RickeyT So many variables I think to speculate with any sense of confidence. Add to that my general ignorance of bankruptcy and well, .......... I do not know.

chattels: A US military base near Tal Afar

http://www.alliraqnews.com/modules/news/article.php?storyid=64706

chattels: The official said the unit of heavy military vehicles of the Iraqi army Lieutenant Colonel Mahdi al-Khafaji said in a press statement that the establishment of the base came under consultations between US and Iraqi forces, last Friday, in the Zammar area west of Mosul.

According to Khafaji, the technical and engineering teams completed more than 50% of the work of establishing the base. The military base is to be used to oversee the liberation of Tal Afar from the control of the terrorist, according to the source.

chattels: Law: The liberation of Tal Afar does not require the establishment of an American base

http://www.alliraqnews.com/modules/news/article.php?storyid=64711

chattels: announced a coalition of state law, the establishment of a US military base in the area of ​​Zammar west of Mosul and near Tal Afar in preparation for the liberation of the courts of gangs and terrorist.

The coalition spokesman Khalid al-Asadi said in a statement received by the agency all of Iraq [where] a copy of him, "he was afraid of what was reported by the US forces to establish a military base near the district of Tal Afar and the concentration of US special forces."

"Asadi said that" the contribution of any force of the international coalition forces in support of Iraq in its war against the bandits and the upcoming battles to liberate Tal Afar does not require the establishment of military bases. "

chattels: Coalition of State law is Maliki's political faction.

chattels: Coalition of State law is Maliki's political faction.

chattels: News List Political a wish Economic development Sports Reports and investigations Journalism General Stock market Photo album Android Apple Exchange Rates US Dollar Sell 1166 Buy 1164 Euro Euro Sell 1531.541 Buy 1530.775 the value the change % 30 102.18 -0.36 % Source: ISX Baghdad Political Submit

The parliamentary regions of Nina: Formulation of the final amendments to the law of the provinces No. 21 will be decided by a vote within the parliament 09/08/2017 16:24 BAGHDAD / The Iraqi National News Agency / nina /

The Committee for the Affairs of the provinces and regions parliamentary that the drafting of the final amendments to the law of the provinces not organized in the region No. (21) for the year 2008, is still under consultation and research will be decided by a vote within the House of Representatives.

"The law of the provincial councils No. 21 of 2008 included a set of amendments and proposals formulated in the final draft presented last week," the head of the committee, Soran Ismail, said in a statement to the Iraqi National News Agency Nina that "the draft law prepared by the government retracted the transfer Powers, which is rejected by the Committee under Article 122 of the Constitution and worked to ensure the steps of the transfer of powers and the disengagement of departments and transfer to the provinces.

https://www.ninanews.com/News_Details.aspx?hBMky9KYKVDKbViAKeEYmw%253d%253d
​chattels: Formulation of the final amendments to the law of the provinces No. 21 will be decided by a vote within the parliament 09/08/2017 16:24 BAGHDAD / The Iraqi National News Agency / nina /

The Committee for the Affairs of the provinces and regions parliamentary that the drafting of the final amendments to the law of the provinces not organized in the region No. (21) for the year 2008, is still under consultation and research will be decided by a vote within the House of Representatives.

"The law of the provincial councils No. 21 of 2008 included a set of amendments and proposals formulated in the final draft presented last week," the head of the committee, Soran Ismail, said in a statement to the Iraqi National News Agency Nina that "the draft law prepared by the government retracted the transfer Powers, which is rejected by the Committee under Article 122 of the Constitution and worked to ensure the steps of the transfer of powers and the disengagement of departments and transfer to the provinces.

https://www.ninanews.com/News_Details.aspx?hBMky9KYKVDKbViAKeEYmw%253d%253d

chattels: for the year 2008

Cree: Good evening all Hope there is some good news for us.,

Cree: @chattels OK there is too much to read. What is the story on any possible bankruptcy? I see RickeyT said something about it? IS this possible or just talk?

Cree: @chattels I was surprised to read that as the talk earlier today and yesterday seemed so very positive....

tman23: The Committee on Economy and Investment parliamentary, on Thursday, the government's borrowing from the Central Bank of Iraq 32 billion dollars to cover the military needs in the war against "Daash," indicating that high oil prices and reliance on non-oil revenues will pay the government debt to the bank .

The committee member Najeeb Najib said in a press statement that "the financial crisis that has gripped the country, as a result of the collapse of oil prices and drainage on the war against Daash, made the government in a difficult situation and having to borrow funds from the Central Bank," noting that " Of the Central Bank of $ 32 billion to cover state treasury bonds .

She added that "77 billion dollars, is the Iraqi reserve funds, but the consumption brought it down to 45," noting that "the improvement of oil prices and the arrival of the barrel to $ 50, and reduce expenditures, and the adoption of the policy of raising revenue through non-oil products, Reserve funds, which are considered funds belonging to Iraqis .

" The International Monetary Fund, considered in a report released on Wednesday, that Iraq is currently facing a dual economic challenge is to compensate for material losses resulting from the war against Daqash, as well as the decline in production and oil prices, noting that the decline of Iraq's foreign exchange reserves of $ 54 billion At the end of 2015 to 45 billion at the end of 2016.

Cree: @tman23 ao what does this mean?

Cree: @chattels What effect will the vote in September in the kurdistan region have? I think it strengthened their negotiating position. I am sure Iran and Turkey will be against it as will the GOI in Iraq. If they were to secede form Iraq, that could be a positive for the USA, I am guessing.

Cree: @chattels I would say good for the USA as it would allow Trump to negotiate with a strong government that has a strong army and give the USA a stronger foothold in the region the what we have now. Plus with their strong military we would not need or need as many boots on the ground....

Cree: @chattels any thoughts?

tman23: @Cree ...... The GOI borrowed 32 billion from the CBI...... Most likely know who bought the GOI bonds.....LOL

Cree: @tman23 sounds like slight of hand......

tman23: @Cree ... By all terms .......Iraq was bankrupt and still is........

Cree: @tman23 I am no international economist so it did not make sense to me about the growth in Iraq and how some made it sounds like there would be a boon in investments from the private sector....If oil production is down then they must be hurting...

Cree: @tman23 OK the leaders in Iraq are no Trump, but Trump was bankrupt and now is a billionaire (not getting political- it is business). While working in the health field be it practices or hospitals, I would show the health care organizations how to improve operations, collect their A/R (which we call Revenue Cycle) and turn a dog with fleas into a profitable organization.... It can be done,,,,, but in Iraq they do not have the experience to do it. This is real and disappointing...

tman23: @Cree ... I compare Iraq mentality to the owner of the rusted out Chevy Impala with $5000 worth of rims and tires.......

Cree: @tman23 Funny though, if they RV'd, they would have instant value (but that value would be lowered). Too much infighting to really get something done. That was why I thought the Kurdistan approach I mentioned seemed more doable form a business standpoint....

Cree: @tman23 true - but if someone could get the oil flowing, increase production and start to build the reserves.... Heck let the USA back the Kurds and soon this new Kurdistan could buy Iraq..... (not that they would want to).
tman23: @Cree ...... Kurdistan is more stable, safer, and easier to do business with..... They would have been leaps and bounds ahead if it were not for Baghdad......

Cree: @tman23 With Iran and the Turks having a kurdish population, an independent kurdistan would make some very jumpy.....

Cree: @tman23 I totally agree. that is why supporting them makes sense...... but then I am no politician....
Cree: @tman23 OK so sounds like a bummer of a night...... too bad.....

tman23: @Cree ..... I wouldnt say bummer......we are waiting for the end of Sept.......

Cree: @tman23 hey, we are good at waiting. In fact we are great at waiting.... :h5

Cree: @tman23 realistically, if they want to turn the country around and get the oil an dand make it profitable, they should consider subcontracting the management of Iraq and all their businesses to Israel!! (and I am not kidding) For a fee we can do it....

tman23: @Cree .....The only way Iraq turns ir around is for international businesses to open shop......but those businesses would be their for profit and need workers.......Iraqi's are use to vacations and poor work ethics......so then some of the work force would need to be brought in......

BUT even those from India that fled when ISIS came said they would never come back to Iraq......AND that word has spread !!....... It will take time to prove it is safe...

tman23: @Cree ...... US Embassy just put out notice in Baghdad and Basra to Americans...... Stay in your greenzone !!! And have security with you....... But no warnings for Kurdistan..........

Cree: @tman23 There are business that will take more risk but when I started businesses here in the USA, I would not go into the more troubling areas... I do not see major construction or business development with Iraq being so unsafe.....

Cree: @tman23 BUT WAIT, IRAQ could bring in the Israeli army to clean out the terrorists, and then let their Businessmen get the economy going. Iraq might need give Israel X barrels of oil per month forever in exchange for lcleanup and security but it could work.....

Cree: @tman23 I still like my kurdistan scenario better as long as they paid for the Dinar held in the USA!!

Cree: @tman23 Wait another idea. IF Iraqi's are so lazy, Abadi could sell Iraq and the oil and minerals to the USA and we could take their population and put them on wlefare.... That could work....We could even give them food stamps.....

Cree: @tman23 OK I'm done being ridiculous....


chattels: Thursday, August 10, 2017 Post Mosul Liberation Day 29-30 Aug 8-9 2017 http://musingsoniraq.blogspot.com/2017/08/post-mosul-liberation-day-29-30-aug-8-9.html

chattels: The Iraqi Security Forces (ISF) were still concerned about violence in west Mosul. The Old City district was closed off and a curfew imposed on August 8 after reports of Islamic State fighters appearing from tunnels and basements in the area.

According to the Federal Police insurgents were still a threat in the district, while a military spokesman told Reuters that the Old City was a military zone and off limits to civilians.

chattels: The United Nations commented on the differences between the two sides of Mosul. U.N. representative to Iraq Lise Grande remarked that the east was recovering quickly.

Almost all the residents in the east have returned home. There are only about 20,000 still displaced from there. Businesses are open, and life is returning. That compared drastically to the east where large sections were still destroyed, and most people were not back.

That gap is likely to remain for the foreseeable future. The east escaped the heavy fighting, while many parts of the west were levelled. The continued security incidents in the west are also scaring many people from making the trip back.

chattels: Preparations were still underway for the Tal Afar operation. The head of the Tal Afar council Mohammed Abdel Kader said there more than 1,000 IS in the district, 600 of which were foreign fighters.

There were also 400 families in Tal Afar, which he was afraid would be used as human shields. ..................... Tal Afar has to be attacked first. Whenever it starts it will not be a long fight as there are not many IS fighters left.

chattels: Abadi’s Momentary Refuge in Victory KIRK H. SOWELL Abadi is using the narrative of victory in Mosul to distract from dire policy issues that cannot be resolved in the near future. August 10, 2017

http://carnegieendowment.org/sada/72795?mkt_tok=eyJpIjoiTXpneVpHUmpOR0UyTmpRNCIsInQiOiJibFdmSThLYlB3V0JBXC9tSGNZV1RWTmFYUDVuNnQ2QWlteDNtaEJNQ0VzUkNcLzFhcm52OG9iUjBiSHk2UXJTenZcL2F4REpTU0R0WVdubEo0K1FpSlVkUmtneUNjZ3EwVXdJc0hrTmh3WWw1VFwvVUZEQ0tnVk53N1BwOGdFbnpXQWMifQ%3D%3D

chattels: Amid insurmountable challenges, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi is focused on building a political narrative of a victorious and strong Iraq in which its courageous security services defeat a terrorist enemy while achieving national reconciliation.

The Mosul offensive, which began in October 2016, was based largely on political considerations as Abadi’s big reform push from August 2015 was running aground and the economy was facing a downturn due to low oil prices. Its conclusion offers Abadi an opportunity to use rhetorical bluster to get through problems he lacks the power and resources to resolve before next year’s parliamentary elections.

chattels: This effort to create a new narrative is necessary to get Abadi through the last year of his term. Both internal critics—including Iraqis with legitimate complaints and political rivals cynically exploiting problems—and external allies and donors are placing demands he cannot possibly meet before elections. This is driven by the fact that Abadi faces challenges both in terms of security and economic matters for which the state lacks the institutional capability to address.

chattels: On the economic front, there is need for reconstruction in liberated towns after the destruction of the Islamic State and the drawn-out operations against it. The government is touting a new reconstruction fund, but it is asking for foreign donations, as Baghdad does not have a single dinar of its own to rebuild war-ravaged areas.

For example, of the 100.7 trillion dinars ($86 billion) in total spending listed in the 2017 budget law, about 75 percent is operational expenses and the remainder is capital expenditures. To meet operational expenses, the central government needs over $4.7 billion in revenue per month, and with non-oil revenues modest, the bulk of that needs to come from oil revenues.

For June, due to a drop in oil prices, Baghdad brought in short of $4.2 billion. January was the only month this year that brought in enough revenue for capital investment, at $5.0 billion, while other months have been closer to the breakeven point. 
​chattels: Barring new sources of outside aid, the amount available for rebuilding is thus near zero, and has been for some time: cities like Ramadi and Fallujah long since liberated remain largely in ruins.

chattels: The political establishment is already readying for the next national election, likely to be held in April or May of 2018. Abadi has already begun to use Mosul as a rhetorical pivot to argue that this victory came about because his government’s reforms led to a stronger military force and to demand that civilian leaders perform with the same courage as the military leaders he appointed and who liberated Mosul.

Rapid reconstruction is not likely, nor is any substantial response to international criticisms regarding the conduct of the war. Rebuilding the country and fully modernizing the security and judicial branches of state will be the work of many years to come.

chattels: Rebuilding the country and fully modernizing the security and judicial branches of state will be the work of many years to come.

chattels: Rebuilding the country and fully modernizing the security and judicial branches of state will be the work of many years to come.

chattels: Rebuilding the country and fully modernizing the security and judicial branches of state will be the work of many years to come.

chattels: And that's the way it is, Friday, August 10, 2017.

chattels: http://www.cbsnews.com/videos/and-thats-the-way-it-is-walter-cronkites-final-sign-off/

chattels: Walter Cronkite signs off for the final time on the "CBS Evening News." Cronkite manned the anchor desk from April, 16, 1962 until March 6, 1981.

Cree: @Spectra hey what is super good news?
Cree: @chattels why was someone earlier talking about Iraq possibly going bankrupt?

Cree: @chattels actually he said Iraq is bankrupt now?

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