Latest Iraq news

  • IS Suicide Bombers Use Sandstorm To Kill Troops
    IS Suicide Bombers Use Sandstorm To Kill Troops 49 minutes ago

    Suicide bombers from Islamic State used a sandstorm in Iraq to launch an assault on government troops in the western province of Anbar. An Iraqi military spokesman said the killings were a major blow to efforts to dislodge the Islamist fighters from the Sunni heartland. The attacks took place outside the IS-held city of Fallujah on Tuesday night and came hours after Iraq announced the start of a major operation to recapture areas in Anbar under the control of IS. More »

  • Iraq rebrands military campaign against Islamic State over fears of sectari …
    Iraq rebrands military campaign against Islamic State over fears of sectari … 1 hour 47 minutes ago

    A campaign led by Shi'ite paramilitaries to drive Islamic State militants from Iraq's Sunni heartland was rebranded on Wednesday after criticism that the name chosen for the push was overtly sectarian. The move was a response to fears that Iraq's reliance on Shi'ite paramilitaries to defeat Islamic State fighters, instead of the disordered and demoralised national army, could alienate Sunni Iraqis and deepen the region's sectarian divide. The United States said it was "unhelpful" that the militias had dubbed the operation to retake Iraq's western province of Anbar "Labeyk Ya Hussein." The name translates to "At your service, Hussein," in honour of one of the most revered figures in Shi'ite Islam. More »

  • US-Iraq: Blame in vain
    US-Iraq: Blame in vain 3 hours ago

    Behind the bickering and recrimination lies a sinister endgame. More »

  • ISIL suicide attacks target Iraq military convoys
    ISIL suicide attacks target Iraq military convoys 4 hours ago

    Reports of 55 killed after triple blasts hit convoys in Fallujah, as Iraqi offensive is under way to retake Ramadi. More »

  • Iraq army spokesman: Islamic State suicide attacks in Anbar province hit army, … 5 hours ago

    Iraq army spokesman: Islamic State suicide attacks in Anbar province hit army, kill 17 troops. More »

  • Pentagon chief's take on Iraqis undercuts Obama's strategy
    Pentagon chief's take on Iraqis undercuts Obama's strategy 16 hours ago

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Defense Secretary Ash Carter's blunt assessment that Iraqi forces lack the "will to fight" undermines a central premise of President Barack Obama's strategy for defeating the Islamic State: that Iraq's military can effectively handle ground operations so Americans don't have to. More »

  • Yemeni pleads guilty in New York to Al-Qaeda conspiracy
    Yemeni pleads guilty in New York to Al-Qaeda conspiracy 17 hours ago

    A 40-year-old Yemeni, who fought US troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, pleaded guilty in New York Tuesday to conspiring to murder Americans and to supporting Al-Qaeda, prosecutors said. More »

  • Bernie Sanders 2016: Can he raise a liberal army? 17 hours ago

    Self-described “democratic socialist” Bernie Sanders kicks off his campaign for president on Tuesday in his hometown of Burlington, Vt. He’s hoping to attract an army of left-leaning Democrats who aren’t happy about Hillary Clinton’s past coziness with Wall Street and her Senate vote to authorize the Iraq War. “I know what I believe,” said Senator Sanders in a fundraising e-mail issued prior to the event. How many liberals are there in America, and is their number on the increase? More »

  • Iraq Launches Major Fightback On IS In Anbar
    Iraq Launches Major Fightback On IS In Anbar 18 hours ago

    Iraqi troops have launched a major operation to retake control of Anbar province from Islamic State. But the Pentagon confirmed Iraqi forces have now begun "shaping operations" and "security zone interactions" - actions expected to precede major combat in or around Ramadi. Ahmed Al-Assadi, from the Shia militia group Popular Mobilisation Front, said the operation would "not last for a long time" and that Iraqi forces have surrounded Ramadi on three sides. More »

  • Syria says carries out deadly air raid on Islamic State stronghold
    Syria says carries out deadly air raid on Islamic State stronghold 18 hours ago

    By Tom Perry and Sylvia Westall BEIRUT (Reuters) - The Syrian air force hit an Islamic State-controlled air base in Raqqa province on Tuesday, killing more than 140 militants, state media said, striking the jihadist group in its Syrian stronghold a week after it seized Palmyra from the government. The city of Raqqa is seen as the de facto capital of the "caliphate" Islamic State has declared in Syria and Iraq. The group has made notable gains in both countries this month, capturing both Ramadi in Iraq and Palmyra in Syria. More »

  • Iraq forces in Anbar push, stir over operation codename
    Iraq forces in Anbar push, stir over operation codename 19 hours ago

    Iraqi forces launched a broad operation on Tuesday to tighten the noose on jihadists controlling Anbar, but Shiite militias gave it a name that risked raising sectarian tensions. More »

  • Iraq begins operation to oust Islamic State from Anbar
    Iraq begins operation to oust Islamic State from Anbar 19 hours ago

    BAGHDAD (AP) — Iraq vowed Tuesday to retake Anbar province — now mostly held by the Islamic State — by launching a large-scale military operation less than two weeks after suffering a humiliating defeat at the hands of the extremists in the provincial capital of Ramadi. More »

  • Pentagon slams 'unhelpful' Shi'ite code name for Ramadi offensi … 20 hours ago

    By Phil Stewart WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Pentagon on Tuesday said it was "unhelpful" for Iraq's Shi'ite militia to have announced an openly sectarian code name for the operation to retake the Sunni city of Ramadi and added that, in the U.S. view, the full-on offensive had yet to begin. A spokesman for the Shi'ite militias, known as Hashid Shaabi, said the code name for the new operation would be "Labaik ya Hussein", a slogan in honour of a grandson of the Prophet Mohammed killed in the 7th Century battle that led to the schism between Shi'ite and Sunni Muslims. The United States has been vocally advocating for Iraq to tread carefully in employing Shi'ite militias to help Iraqi forces retake the city, which fell to the Islamic State a week ago in Baghdad's biggest military setback in nearly a year. More »

  • Iraq Shi'ite militia take lead in campaign to reverse Islamic State gai …
    Iraq Shi'ite militia take lead in campaign to reverse Islamic State gai … 20 hours ago

    Iraq's Shi'ite paramilitaries said on Tuesday they had taken charge of the campaign to drive Islamic State from the western province of Anbar, giving the operation an openly sectarian codename that could infuriate its Sunni Muslim population. The United States described the codename as "unhelpful" while France, which will host a meeting of nations fighting Islamic State next week, accused the Shi'ite-led government of failing to represent fully the interests of all Iraqis. The Iraqi government is scrambling to reverse the fall of Ramadi, its biggest military setback in nearly a year. More »

  • Obama: US must examine how assets are being used in IS fight
    Obama: US must examine how assets are being used in IS fight 20 hours ago

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Looking to boost Iraqi fighting forces, President Barack Obama said the U.S. and its allies need to examine whether they are deploying military assets effectively against Islamic State militants as Iraq mounts a new offensive to recapture critical territory west of Baghdad. More »

  • Iraq displaced forced back into war zones: aid group
    Iraq displaced forced back into war zones: aid group 20 hours ago

    Restrictions on Iraqi people fleeing the fighting in Anbar province are forcing some of them to return straight into conflict areas, an aid group said Tuesday. More »

  • Does Iraq's military have the 'will to fight?' Its sectarian militias … 20 hours ago

    How badly is the civil war in Iraq spiraling out of control? The recent fall of Ramadi, the capital of Anbar and just 70 miles west of Baghdad, to the so-called Islamic State has clearly jolted the US government. More »

  • Shiite name of Iraqi operation 'not helpful': US
    Shiite name of Iraqi operation 'not helpful': US 21 hours ago

    The Pentagon expressed disappointment on Tuesday over a decision by Iraqi militias to impose an explicitly Shiite name for a military operation in Iraq's Sunni heartland, saying it could aggravate sectarian tensions. More »

  • U.S., coalition forces stage 12 strikes on Islamic State in Iraq - U.S. sta … 21 hours ago

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States and its allies staged 19 air strikes on Islamic State targets in a 24-hour period ending Tuesday, a coalition statement said. Twelve of the strikes were near the Iraqi cities of Bayji, Fallujah, Hit, Mosul, Sinjar and Tal Afar, hitting tactical units, vehicles, heavy machine guns and buildings. Seven air strikes near Al Hasakah, Syria, hit tactical units, an Islamic State headquarters, fighting positions and a natural gas production plant. (Writing by Bill Trott; Editing by Doina Chiacu) More »

  • Coalition fighting Islamic State must be reinforced - France 21 hours ago

    Iraq and Syria risk further division if international efforts to tackle Islamic State militants there are not stepped up quickly, France warned on Tuesday. Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius, speaking ahead of a June 2 meeting in Paris of nations fighting Islamic State, also said Iraq's government had not honoured commitments to its partners to represent the interests of all sectors of its society. More »

  • Iraq's army launches offensive to retake Anbar
    Iraq's army launches offensive to retake Anbar 22 hours ago

    Shia units' involvement in operation to wrest back mainly Sunni province from ISIL raises sectarian tensions. More »

  • Supreme Court sides with KBR in false claims dispute 23 hours ago

    The Supreme Court has ruled in favor of defense contractor KBR Inc. in a whistleblower lawsuit over claims that the company overbilled the government for work in Iraq. The justices ruled unanimously Tuesday ... More »

  • Litany of problems keep Iraqi army weak
    Litany of problems keep Iraqi army weak Tue, May 26, 2015

    Iraq's leadership was indignant after US accusations that its forces lack the will to fight but assessments of the army's ability suggest the rank-and-file have reasons to shy from battle. More »

  • Iraq announces launch of operation to retake western Anbar province from Islamic … Tue, May 26, 2015

    Iraq announces launch of operation to retake western Anbar province from Islamic State. More »

  • Biden tries to smooth over anger sparked by Carter's comment
    Biden tries to smooth over anger sparked by Carter's comment Tue, May 26, 2015

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Vice President Joe Biden is reassuring Iraq's government of U.S. support in the fight against the Islamic State group, telephoning Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi with thanks for "the enormous sacrifice and bravery of Iraqi forces" one day after Defense Secretary Ash Carter questioned the Iraqi military commitment. More »

  • Australia to strip citizenship from dual-national militants Tue, May 26, 2015

    By Matt Siegel SYDNEY (Reuters) - Australia will seek to strip citizenship from dual nationals who fight with militants overseas or who carry out domestic attacks, Prime Minister Tony Abbott said on Tuesday, the latest in a series of tough new policies aimed at combating the threat from Islamist radicalism. Australia is on high alert for attacks by radicalized Muslims or by home-grown militants returning from fighting in the Middle East, having raised its threat level to high and undertaken a series of high-profile raids in major cities. Abbott told reporters that some 100 Australians were fighting in Iraq and Syria backed by about 150 Australia-based "facilitators". More »

  • Islamic State faces battle in Iraq, U.S. reassures Abadi
    Islamic State faces battle in Iraq, U.S. reassures Abadi Mon, May 25, 2015

    BAGHDAD/WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Islamic State poured more fighters into Ramadi as security forces and Shi'ite paramilitaries prepared to try to retake the Iraqi city, while Washington scrambled on Monday to reassure Baghdad after a U.S. official's sharp criticism of Iraqi forces. U.S. Vice President Joe Biden spoke to Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi after Defence Secretary Ash Carter questioned Iraqi troops' will to fight when Ramadi fell. More »

  • Biden reassures Iraqi prime minister of US support
    Biden reassures Iraqi prime minister of US support Mon, May 25, 2015

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Vice President Joe Biden reassured Iraq's government on Monday of U.S. support in the fight against the Islamic State group, telephoning Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi with thanks for "the enormous sacrifice and bravery of Iraqi forces" one day after Defense Secretary Ash Carter questioned the Iraqi military commitment. More »

  • Obama heralds first U.S. Memorial Day without ground war in 14 years
    Obama heralds first U.S. Memorial Day without ground war in 14 years Mon, May 25, 2015

    President Barack Obama heralded the first U.S. Memorial Day in 14 years without a major ground war in an annual ceremony of remembrance on Monday for fallen American forces. In remarks at Arlington National Cemetery near Washington, Obama paid tribute to U.S. military personnel who served in conflicts such as World War Two as well as the more recent wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, which he wound down as commander in chief. "For many of us, this Memorial Day is especially meaningful. More »

  • Biden reassures Iraq prime minister after U.S. defence secretary remarks Mon, May 25, 2015

    By Jeff Mason WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Vice President Joe Biden reassured Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi on Monday of the U.S. commitment to Iraq's fight against Islamic State militants after Defence Secretary Ash Carter questioned Iraqi troops' will to fight. Carter told CNN on Sunday that Iraqi forces showed no will to fight against Islamic State militants during the fall of Ramadi a week ago, and U.S. forces were trying to encourage them to engage more directly. More »

  • Iraq rebuts US criticism of security forces
    Iraq rebuts US criticism of security forces Mon, May 25, 2015

    Iraq on Monday rejected accusations by the US defence chief that its security forces dodged battle in Ramadi and lack the will to fight the Islamic State group. More »

  • Fall of Ramadi: Iran, Iraq say US is the one who 'showed no will to fig … Mon, May 25, 2015

    A former senior US military officer in Iraq argues that Shiite militias are now more capable than the Iraqi Army, because Iran is actually embedding more advisers. That's something, he adds, that the US military is failing to do. More »

  • Canada says Iraqi forces must become much more effective Mon, May 25, 2015

    By David Ljunggren OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canada, one of the nations helping Iraq to fight the Islamic State movement, said on Monday that recent gains by the militants showed the Iraqi army must "massively improve its effectiveness". Defence Minister Jason Kenney also said Canada has no plans to expand its existing training operations in northern Iraq, where around 70 Canadian special forces troops are working with Kurdish peshmerga fighters. Islamic State forces easily took the strategic city of Ramadi earlier this month, prompting U.S. Defense Secretary Ashton Carter to say the Iraqi army had shown no will to fight. More »

  • ISIL fighters set Iraq's Beiji oil refinery ablaze
    ISIL fighters set Iraq's Beiji oil refinery ablaze Mon, May 25, 2015

    Black plumes of smoke billow over Iraq's largest oil refinery as Iraqi forces advance on the sprawling complex. More »

  • U.S., allies conduct 35 air strikes against Islamic State in Syria, Iraq Mon, May 25, 2015

    The United States and its allies carried out 10 air strikes against Islamic State militants in Syria and 25 strikes in Iraq since Sunday, the U.S. military said on Monday. Kurdish fighters, supported by the coalition, were forcing militants to cede territory in northern Syria at an increasing rate, U.S. Brigadier General Thomas Weidley, chief of staff of the coalition effort, said in a statement. Most of the air strikes in Syria were targeted in the area near Al Hasakah, where they destroyed four Islamic State fighting positions, a checkpoint, an excavator and other equipment, according to the statement. More »