Latest Iraq news

UN report: More than 25,000 foreigners fight with terrorists

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — A new U.N. report says more than 25,000 foreign fighters from over 100 countries have traveled to join …

  • Canada says cost of anti-ISIS mission to be least C$528 million
    Canada says cost of anti-ISIS mission to be least C$528 million 1 hour 55 minutes ago

    Canada's decision to extend its military mission against Islamic State forces by another year means the total cost of the operation will be at least C$528 million ($419 million), Defense Minister Jason Kenney said on Wednesday. Legislators on Monday approved the Conservative government's decision to extend the life of the six-month mission to April 2016 and also to expand bombing missions against Islamic State positions in Syria as well as Iraq. Canada's government has promised to balance the budget in the 2015/2016 fiscal year despite a slump in revenue caused by falling oil prices. More »

  • IRAQ TIKRIT 2 hours 5 minutes ago

    Map shows details of the Tikrit offensive.; 2c x 4 inches; 96.3 mm x 101 mm; More »

  • Turkey detains nine Britons crossing into Syria 2 hours 35 minutes ago

    Turkish security forces arrested nine British nationals trying to cross illegally into Syria, the Turkish military said in a statement on Wednesday. In London, the Foreign Office said it was aware of the reports of the arrest. Security services estimate some 600 Britons have gone to Syria or Iraq to join militant groups, including the man known as "Jihadi John," who has appeared in several Islamic State beheading videos. Last month, three male British teenagers suspected of planning to join Islamic State militants in Syria were arrested by London police after being deported from Turkey. More »

  • Iraq minister says Tikrit massacre burial sites found
    Iraq minister says Tikrit massacre burial sites found 3 hours ago

    Iraqi forces which retook Tikrit from the Islamic State group found burial sites Wednesday believed to hold victims of a June massacre in which hundreds of army cadets were executed. More »

  • Iraq hails victory over Islamic State extremists in Tikrit
    Iraq hails victory over Islamic State extremists in Tikrit 3 hours ago

    TIKRIT, Iraq (AP) — The government declared victory in Tikrit on Wednesday over extremists of the Islamic State group, and it warned the militants holding other Iraqi provinces that they would be the next to fall. More »

  • Looting in Iraq's Tikrit after city retaken
    Looting in Iraq's Tikrit after city retaken 3 hours ago

    Pro-government militiamen were seen looting shops in the centre of the Iraqi city of Tikrit on Wednesday after its recapture from the Islamic State jihadist group in a month-long battle. More »

  • U.S. reports 14 air strikes against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq 5 hours ago

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States and its allies conducted 14 air strikes against Islamic State militants in Syria and Iraq since Tuesday, according to a U.S. military statement on Wednesday. Seven air raids were conducted in Syria on targets near Kobani and Al Hasakah during a 24-hour period to Wednesday morning, the statement said. In Iraq, Islamic State targets near several cities including Mosul and Kirkuk were hit in seven strikes, it added. (Reporting by the Washington Newsroom; Editing by Eric Beech) More »

  • Iraq claims victory over Islamic State in Tikrit
    Iraq claims victory over Islamic State in Tikrit 6 hours ago

    The Iraqi government claimed victory over Islamic State insurgents in Tikrit on Wednesday after a month-long battle for the city supported by Shi'ite militiamen and U.S.-led air strikes, saying that only small pockets of resistance remained. State television showed Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi, accompanied by leaders of the army and police, the provincial governor and Shi'ite paramilitary leaders, parading through Tikrit and raising an Iraqi flag. The militants captured the city, about 140 km (90 miles) north of Baghdad, last June as they swept through most of Iraq's Sunni Muslim territories, swatting aside a demoralised and disorganised army that has now required an uneasy combination of Iranian and American support to get back on its feet. With explosions and gunfire still audible, and columns of smoke dotting the horizon, Interior Minister Mohammed al-Ghabban told reporters that security forces were fighting to clear the city's last Islamic State holdout, the northern neighbourhood of Qadissiyah. More »

  • Military suicides aren't linked to deployment, study finds 7 hours ago

    By Lisa Rapaport (Reuters Health) - Military suicides may be more likely after members leave the service than during active duty deployment, particularly if their time in uniform is brief, a U.S. study finds. While the U.S. military has traditionally experienced lower suicide rates than the civilian population, suicides among active duty service members have surged in the past decade, almost doubling in the Army and the Marines Corps, Reger said. To understand the link between deployment and suicide, Reger and colleagues analyzed military records for more than 3.9 million service members in active or reserve duty in support of the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan at any point from October 7, 2001 to December 31, 2007. Suicide rates were similar regardless of deployment status. More »

  • A history of the Islamic State group as Iraq retakes Tikrit
    A history of the Islamic State group as Iraq retakes Tikrit 8 hours ago

    CAIRO (AP) — The extremist Islamic State group, which controls a third of both Iraq and Syria in its self-declared caliphate, found itself driven out of the city of Tikrit on Wednesday by an allied Iraqi force backed by U.S.-led airstrikes. More »

  • Tikrit: Sunni bastion on road to Islamic State-held Mosul
    Tikrit: Sunni bastion on road to Islamic State-held Mosul 8 hours ago

    Iraq's Tikrit, the largest city yet to be pried away from the Islamic State group, is a Sunni bastion in a part of the country where distrust of the Shiite-led government in Baghdad runs deep, and securing it likely will prove a challenge for the Iraqi forces and Shiite militias that drove out the extremists. More »

  • Iraq army hunts ISIL fighters after Tikrit breakthrough
    Iraq army hunts ISIL fighters after Tikrit breakthrough 10 hours ago

    Army and allied Shia militias reconquer centre of Tikrit but pockets of ISIL fighters remain, militia leader says. More »

  • Morocco: Militant cell recruiting IS fighters is dismantled 10 hours ago

    RABAT, Morocco (AP) — Morocco's Interior Ministry has announced the dismantling of a cell that recruited young Moroccans to fight with the Islamic State group in Syria and Iraq. More »

  • Isis: Iraq security forces and Shi'ite fighters clearing Tikrit of IS militants …
    Isis: Iraq security forces and Shi'ite fighters clearing Tikrit of IS militants … 11 hours ago

    Iraq's interior minister says security forces are battling the last remaining pockets of Islamic State (Isis) militants in Tikrit, and that he expects them to gain full control of the city "within the coming hours". Mohammed al-Ghabban told reporters in the city on 1 April 2015 that security forces are fighting to clear the last IS stronghold. "Most of Tikrit today is liberated, only small parts remain (outside our control). In this photo essay, we look at the progress made by Iraqi forces and Shi'ite fighters as they combat IS militants and attempt to retake Tikrit. More »

  • Iraqi forces drive Islamic State out of central Tikrit - PM
    Iraqi forces drive Islamic State out of central Tikrit - PM 23 hours ago

    By Mahdi Talat TIKRIT, Iraq (Reuters) - Iraqi troops aided by Shi'ite paramilitaries have driven Islamic State out of central Tikrit, Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi said on Tuesday, but the fight to retake all of Saddam Hussein's hometown continued. Government forces have been in a month-long fight for the city, which became a bastion for the Sunni jihadists who are at war with Baghdad and have been targeted by U.S.-led air strikes. Hundreds of insurgents ready to fight to the death are still holed up in Salahuddin province's capital city and at least three neighbourhoods remain under Islamic State control, along with a palace complex in the city's north. "Our security forces have reached the centre of Tikrit and they have liberated the southern and western sides and they are moving towards the control of the whole city," Abadi said in a statement. More »

  • Lawsuit alleges Iran directed killing of US soldiers in Iraq Tue, Mar 31, 2015

    WASHINGTON (AP) — The families of three American soldiers killed during a brazen attack in Iraq are suing the Iranian government for allegedly orchestrating the raid. More »

  • Syria, Iraq a 'finishing school' for foreign fighters - U.N. report Tue, Mar 31, 2015

    By Michelle Nichols UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - More than 25,000 foreign fighters from some 100 countries are linked to al Qaeda and Islamic State, with Syria and Iraq comprising a "veritable international finishing school for extremists," United Nations experts reported to the U.N. Security Council. The experts, who monitor al Qaeda sanctions violations, said in a report seen by Reuters that along with some 22,000 foreign fighters in Syria and Iraq, there were also 6,500 in Afghanistan and hundreds more in Yemen, Libya, Pakistan and Somalia. More »

  • Iraq hails Tikrit 'liberation' after month-long battle
    Iraq hails Tikrit 'liberation' after month-long battle Tue, Mar 31, 2015

    Iraq said security and allied forces backed by US-led coalition aircraft "liberated" the city of Tikrit on Tuesday, its biggest victory yet in the fight against Islamic State jihadists. More »

  • Iraq premier: Troops in center of Islamic State-held Tikrit
    Iraq premier: Troops in center of Islamic State-held Tikrit Tue, Mar 31, 2015

    TIKRIT, Iraq (AP) — Iraqi forces battled Islamic State militants holed up in downtown Tikrit, going house to house Tuesday in search of snipers and booby traps, and the prime minister said security forces had reached the heart of the city. More »

  • U.S. carries out more air strikes against Islamic State in Iraq and Syria Tue, Mar 31, 2015

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. and allied military forces have carried out eight air strikes against Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria since Monday, according to a U.S. military statement on Tuesday. Bombers, fighters and attack aircraft hit Islamic State targets near several cities, including Mosul and Tikrit in seven strikes during a 24-hour period, it said. One strike in Syria hit targets near the northern border town of Kobani, the statement said. (Reporting by Washington Newsroom; Editing by Sandra Maler) More »

  • Iraq PM Declares Victory In Battle For Tikrit
    Iraq PM Declares Victory In Battle For Tikrit Tue, Mar 31, 2015

    Iraq's prime minister has declared victory in the weeks-long battle to retake the key city of Tikrit from Islamic State. Haider al-Abadi used Twitter to announce what he called "the liberation of Tikrit" and congratulated Iraqi security forces and volunteer Shia fighters on "the historic milestone". Islamic State extremists seized the hometown of former president Saddam Hussein last summer, as part of the group's rapid advance across the north and west of the country. The Iraqi interior ministry claimed at least 40 militants were killed on Tuesday as security forces cleared a government compound, security headquarters and Saddam's presidential palace. More »

  • Illinois Democrat Duckworth to run for U.S. Senate in 2016
    Illinois Democrat Duckworth to run for U.S. Senate in 2016 Tue, Mar 31, 2015

    By Emily Stephenson WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Representative Tammy Duckworth, an Illinois Democrat, will run for the U.S. Senate in 2016, saying in a video posted to her website on Monday that she would "fight my heart out" for constituents. Duckworth, an Iraq war veteran who lost both legs after her helicopter was hit by a rocket-propelled grenade, was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 2012. She previously was an assistant secretary at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. In the video, Duckworth, 47, said she sponsored legislation to keep lawmakers from getting paid if they could not agree on a federal government budget, and she said she returned $10,000 of her own pay and cut her office's budget. More »

  • Iraq forces retake government HQ in Tikrit from IS
    Iraq forces retake government HQ in Tikrit from IS Tue, Mar 31, 2015

    Iraqi forces have retaken the Salaheddin provincial government headquarters in Tikrit from the Islamic State jihadist group, a significant advance in the battle to recapture the city, officials said Tuesday. More »

  • Iraq: Suicide blast hits bus with Iranian pilgrims, kills 10 Tue, Mar 31, 2015

    BAGHDAD (AP) — A suicide bomber targeted a bus carrying Iranian Shiite pilgrims north of Baghdad on Tuesday, killing 10 people, including seven Iranians, according to Iraqi officials. More »

  • Eight Bulgarians charged in swoop against Islamic State supporters Tue, Mar 31, 2015

    Eight Bulgarians have been charged with propagating an extremist religious ideology and incitement to war, prosecutors said on Tuesday, as investigations continued into suspected sympathisers of the Islamic State group. Another two Bulgarians were charged in absentia and European arrest warrants were issued for them, the prosecutors said. In November, a Bulgarian imam and six others were charged with supporting Islamic State, the militant group that has seized parts of Syria and Iraq where it has declared a caliphate. Bulgaria supports the U.S.-led coalition fighting Islamic State but has not taken an active military role. More »

  • Indonesia launches military exercises to guard against security threats Tue, Mar 31, 2015

    Indonesia has launched military exercises in the eastern island of Sulawesi, a haven for radical Islamists, as part of broader efforts to crack down on militants with suspected links to the Islamic State group, officials said on Tuesday. The drills come amid heightened government concerns over a rising number of Indonesians pledging loyalty to Islamic State (IS) and trying to join the group fighting in Iraq and Syria. "IS is a potential security threat ... so we're preparing our forces to respond to that," said military spokesman Major General Mochamad Fuad Basya. He described the exercises as routine and said similar drills would be held elsewhere in Indonesia. More »

  • More Iran oil post-sanctions, aimed at Asia, may hurt Iraq
    More Iran oil post-sanctions, aimed at Asia, may hurt Iraq Tue, Mar 31, 2015

    By Rania El Gamal, Nidhi Verma and Charlie Zhu DUBAI/NEW DELHI/HONG KONG (Reuters) - A possible surge in Iranian oil exports from an end to sanctions will reboot a struggle between top Middle East producers for Asian buyers, with Iraq looking the most vulnerable. The latest twist to the saga of aggressive marketing is the world oil glut and low prices, likely to fall more with added Iranian crude, making Tehran's battle for market share tougher. "That's why it is hard to imagine big volumes just eating into the market share just like that. State oil giant Saudi Aramco has also been slashing its prices for its crude to Asia. More »

  • Canada votes for air strikes on Islamic State in Syria
    Canada votes for air strikes on Islamic State in Syria Tue, Mar 31, 2015

    Canadian lawmakers voted Monday to extend a campaign of airstrikes against the Islamic State group and for the first time strike at them in Syria as well as in Iraq. More »

  • Azerbaijan starts trial of 6 alleged Islamic State militants Mon, Mar 30, 2015

    BAKU, Azerbaijan (AP) — A trial of six Azerbaijani citizens accused of fighting alongside the Islamic State group in Syria and Iraq has begun in Azerbaijan's capital. More »

  • Wartime land mines kill 5 Iranian border guards, shepherd Mon, Mar 30, 2015

    TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Iran's state TV says two land mines left over from the 1980s Iraq-Iran war have killed five Iranian border guards and a female shepherd near the Iraqi border. More »

  • Boko Haram did not disrupt Nigeria election - UN envoy
    Boko Haram did not disrupt Nigeria election - UN envoy Mon, Mar 30, 2015

    By Michelle Nichols UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - Boko Haram militants were unable to disrupt Nigeria's presidential election, a United Nations envoy said on Monday, but the group's allegiance to Islamic State insurgents shows it has an agenda that goes beyond Africa's top oil producer and biggest economy. Boko Haram, which has killed thousands and displaced some 1.5 million people during a six-year campaign to carve out an Islamist emirate, committed itself this month to Islamic State, which controls swaths of territory in Syria and Iraq. "Boko Haram's recent allegiance to the Islamic State (ISIL) ... whether for publicity reasons or to tap into ISIL's support, is of concern as it is gives a clear signal that Boko Haram's agenda goes well beyond Nigeria," Mohammed Ibn Chambas, U.N. envoy for West Africa, told the U.N. Security Council. More »

  • US denies killing Iranians in drone strikes in Iraq
    US denies killing Iranians in drone strikes in Iraq Mon, Mar 30, 2015

    Pentagon rejects claims by Tehran that US killed two Revolutionary Guards in strikes near ISIL-held Tikrit last week. More »

  • Boko Haram did not disrupt Nigeria election - U.N. envoy Mon, Mar 30, 2015

    By Michelle Nichols UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - Boko Haram militants were unable to disrupt Nigeria's presidential election, a United Nations envoy said on Monday, but the group's allegiance to Islamic State insurgents shows it has an agenda that goes beyond Africa's top oil producer and biggest economy. Boko Haram, which has killed thousands and displaced some 1.5 million people during a six-year campaign to carve out an Islamist emirate, committed itself this month to Islamic State, which controls swaths of territory in Syria and Iraq. "Boko Haram's recent allegiance to the Islamic State (ISIL) ... whether for publicity reasons or to tap into ISIL's support, is of concern as it is gives a clear signal that Boko Haram's agenda goes well beyond Nigeria," Mohammed Ibn Chambas, U.N. envoy for West Africa, told the U.N. Security Council. More »

  • Iran says US drone kills 2 advisers in Iraq; US denies claim
    Iran says US drone kills 2 advisers in Iraq; US denies claim Mon, Mar 30, 2015

    BAGHDAD (AP) — Iran's Revolutionary Guard says a U.S. drone strike killed two of its advisers near the Iraqi city of Tikrit, where a major offensive is underway against the Islamic State group, but the U.S. said Monday its coalition conducted no airstrikes in the area during the time of the incident. More »

  • U.N. Secretary General troubled by Iraq abuse claims, refugees
    U.N. Secretary General troubled by Iraq abuse claims, refugees Mon, Mar 30, 2015

    U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said on Monday he was concerned about alleged abuses by Iraqi pro-government forces in their war against Islamic State and called for investigations into any wrongdoing. Speaking alongside Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi, Ban called for the different "volunteer armed groups" -- a broad term referring to Shi'ite paramilitary factions -- to be brought under government control. "I am ... concerned by allegations of summary killings, abductions and destruction of property perpetrated by forces and militias fighting alongside Iraqi armed forces," Ban said after meeting Iraqi officials. "Alleged violations or abuses of human rights must be investigated and perpetrators need to be held to account." Ban said actions committed by Islamic State against Iraq's Shi'ite majority and religious minorities, including massacres of soldiers and executions of civilians, did not justify any similar action by the pro-government fighters. More »