Latest Iraq news

  • Hungary's asylum bill blow to refugee protection - Council of Europe, U … 23 hours ago

    The United Nations and the Council of Europe both criticised Hungary's planned changes to its asylum rules on Friday, saying they would harm asylum-seekers' right to seek safety there and put them at risk. The European human rights watchdog said the legislation would strike a blow to refugee protection in Hungary if adopted in its current form. The right-wing government of Prime Minister Viktor Orban wants to shorten the time frame for screening asylum claims and to reject claims from those migrants who on their journey from Syria, Afghanistan or Iraq have already passed through safe countries without requesting asylum. More »

  • U.S., allies target Islamic State in 24 air strikes in Syria, Iraq 23 hours ago

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States and its allies have conducted 24 air strikes against Islamic State in Iraq and Syria on Thursday, the coalition leading the operations said in a statement on Friday. In Syria, coalition forces targeted Islamic State positions with nine strikes near the cities of Hasakah, Ar Raqqah and Tal Abyad, destroying tactical units, fighting positions, vehicles and structures, it said. In Iraq, 15 strikes struck Islamic State targets near the cities of Al Huwayjah, Bayji, Fallujah, Haditha, Makhmur, Mosul, Rawah, Sinjar and Tal Afar. ... More »

  • U.S. seeing rapid expansion of Sunni outreach at new Anbar base Fri, Jul 3, 2015

    By Phil Stewart WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States is seeing signs that new efforts to draw Sunni tribesmen into Iraq's battle against Islamic State may be taking root at a military base near the fallen capital of Sunni-dominated Anbar province, U.S. officials say. A U.S. defence officials told Reuters the first group of 500 Sunni recruits would soon complete training at the Taqaddum military base near the city of Ramadi, making way for a second group of about 500 Sunnis who have agreed to participate. More »

  • Thatcher government concern on Iraq
    Thatcher government concern on Iraq Fri, Jul 3, 2015

    Margaret Thatcher's government was reluctant to press for an international ban on Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein acquiring chemical weapons amid fears any criticism could rebound on the UK, according to newly released files. More »

  • Senior Islamic State leader killed in U.S.-led coalition strike Fri, Jul 3, 2015

    The U.S. military said on Thursday a coalition airstrike in Syria killed a senior Islamic State leader who helped fundraise, secure arms and transport fighters for the militant group. The June 16 strike killed Tariq bin Tahar al-'Awni al-Harzi, the Pentagon said, identifying him as the brother of another fighter linked to the 2012 attack on a U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya. "His death will impact ISIL's ability to integrate foreign terrorist fighters into the Syrian and Iraqi fight as well as to move people and equipment across the border between Syria and Iraq," said Captain Jeff Davis, a Pentagon spokesman, using an acronym for Islamic State. More »

  • Jim Webb, Iraq war critic in Senate, running for president
    Jim Webb, Iraq war critic in Senate, running for president Thu, Jul 2, 2015

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Jim Webb, a decorated Vietnam veteran and accomplished novelist who became a fierce critic of the Iraq war in the Senate, announced Thursday that he's challenging Hillary Rodham Clinton and other rivals for the Democratic presidential nomination. More »

  • On the management and expansion of savagery Thu, Jul 2, 2015

    In 2004, an Al Qaeda ideologue uploaded a book to the Internet that shifted jihadi thinking across the globe. The book had a powerful and lasting impact, particularly in Iraq, where in 2006 the local Al Qaeda affiliate changed its name to the Islamic State of Iraq and set about winning territory and imposing its harsh version of Islamic law. Recommended: How much do you know about the Islamic State? More »

  • IS Looting Ancient Sites On 'Industrial Scale'
    IS Looting Ancient Sites On 'Industrial Scale' Thu, Jul 2, 2015

    Islamic State jihadists have been looting ancient sites in Syria and Iraq on an industrial scale, according to UNESCO. And some sites in Syria no longer hold any value for archaeologists and historians because they have been so badly ransacked by "cultural cleansing", the UN agency added. Of the estimated 10,000 world-renowned sites in Iraq, about a fifth were controlled by IS and heavily looted and it was not known what was happening to thousands more, claimed UNESCO's boss. More »

  • Islamic State: What Is Its Real Agenda?
    Islamic State: What Is Its Real Agenda? Thu, Jul 2, 2015

    Islamic State has attracted huge international attention with its campaign of terror across the Middle East and beyond - but what is the group really hoping to achieve? In what appears to be an international offensive timed to coincide with Ramadan, IS has staged spectacular and deadly attacks across no less than 11 countries - Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Egypt, Libya, Tunisia, Algeria and Nigeria. More »

  • UK minister: Illogical to attack IS in Iraq but not Syria Thu, Jul 2, 2015

    LONDON (AP) — Britain's defense minister says lawmakers should consider expanding Royal Air Force airstrikes against the Islamic State from Iraq into Syria. More »

  • Islamic State looting Syrian, Iraqi sites on industrial scale -UNESCO Thu, Jul 2, 2015

    By Andrew Osborn LONDON (Reuters) - Islamic State militants are looting ancient sites across Iraq and Syria on an industrial scale and selling on treasures to middlemen to raise cash, Irina Bokova, the head of the U.N. cultural agency UNESCO said on Thursday. One fifth of Iraq's about 10,000 official world-renowned sites have were Islamic State control and heavily looted, and it was unclear what was happening in "thousands more" areas, Bokova told a meeting of experts in London. Some sites in Syria had been ransacked so badly they no longer had any value for historians and archaeologists, and UNESCO was also increasingly worried about Libya, she said. More »

  • Gulf states tighten security for frightened Shi'ites after mosque blast …
    Gulf states tighten security for frightened Shi'ites after mosque blast … Thu, Jul 2, 2015

    By Sami Aboudi and Taghreed Almadani DUBAI (Reuters) - It may have been a prank, albeit a malevolent one, or a genuine threat of violence, when flyers featuring the Islamic State flag were placed near a Shi'ite Muslim mosque in Bahrain this week. The Shi'ite community - a minority in most Gulf Arab states but the majority in Bahrain and some eastern parts of Saudi Arabia - has worked hard, often with local security forces, to step up security and calm communal relations. In Kuwait and in Bahrain, Sunnis and Shi'ites will pray together in main mosques, as a sign of national unity and in a challenge to the militant group, which is expanding, notably in Egypt, Libya and Yemen, from its strongholds in Iraq and Syria. More »

  • Veterans' signs: Be courteous when setting off fireworks Thu, Jul 2, 2015

    NIAGARA FALLS, N.Y. (AP) — Veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are asking their neighbors to be considerate when setting off fireworks this Fourth of July weekend. More »

  • Morocco breaks up militant cell linked to Islamic State Thu, Jul 2, 2015

    Morocco said on Thursday security forces had dismantled an Islamist militant cell affiliated to the Islamic State group, including members with knowledge in handling weapons and explosives. The attack was claimed by Islamic State. It had been in contact with the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and had tried to encourage young volunteers to fight for the group, the statement said. More »

  • Iraq Christians train to recapture homes from IS
    Iraq Christians train to recapture homes from IS Thu, Jul 2, 2015

    With wooden crosses around their necks and others tattooed on their arms, several dozen Iraqi Christians are training to recapture their homes overrun by the Islamic State jihadist group. More »

  • Cameron asks MPs to mull UK air strikes on IS in Syria
    Cameron asks MPs to mull UK air strikes on IS in Syria Thu, Jul 2, 2015

    By Andrew Osborn and William James LONDON (Reuters) - Prime Minister David Cameron asked lawmakers to consider whether Britain should join U.S.-led air strikes against Islamic State militants in Syria, but his spokeswoman said he hadn't yet decided whether to push for a parliamentary vote on the issue. Britain conducts regular attacks in neighbouring Iraq and flies drones over Syria to gather intelligence on the group. More »

  • U.N. refugee agency urges Hungary not to tighten asylum rules Thu, Jul 2, 2015

    The U.N. refugee agency urged Hungary on Thursday not to pass a bill aimed at tightening asylum rules, saying the move would make it impossible for Budapest to give sanctuary to anyone fleeing war-stricken countries. Hungary's right-wing government wants to shorten the time frame for screening asylum claims and to reject claims from those migrants who, on their journey from Syria, Afghanistan or Iraq, have already passed through so-called safe third countries and did not request asylum there. The location of Hungary, a landlocked central European country of 10 million people in the European Union's visa-free Schengen zone has made it an attractive transit route for tens of thousands of migrants entering Europe through the Balkans from the Middle East and Africa. More »

  • Man gets prison time, $1M fine in US military bribery case Wed, Jul 1, 2015

    DAYTON, Ohio (AP) — A man extradited from Iraq in a U.S. military contract bribery case has been sentenced to 2 1/2 years in prison. More »

  • Man gets prison time, $1M fine in military bribery case Wed, Jul 1, 2015

    A man extradited from Iraq in a military contract bribery case has been sentenced in Ohio to 2 1/2 years in prison. Metin Atilan (MEH'-tin AT'-il-ahn) also was fined $1 million and given five years' probation. ... More »

  • Commander who served in Iraq war in line to be Marine chief
    Commander who served in Iraq war in line to be Marine chief Wed, Jul 1, 2015

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Defense Secretary Ash Carter said Wednesday the White House is nominating Lt. Gen. Robert Neller, a commander who served in Iraq's western province during one of the most violent periods of the war, to be commandant of the Marine Corps. More »

  • UK weighs more action against IS in Syria after Tunisia attack
    UK weighs more action against IS in Syria after Tunisia attack Wed, Jul 1, 2015

    By William James and Andrew Osborn LONDON (Reuters) - Britain is considering whether it could and should do more to help defeat Islamic State militants in Syria after a deadly attack in Tunisia last week killed up to 30 of its nationals, a spokeswoman for Prime Minister David Cameron said on Wednesday. As part of a U.S.-led coalition against IS, Britain conducts regular air strikes in neighbouring Iraq and flies drones over Syria to gather intelligence on the militant group. More »

  • Iraq, North Korea failures shadow nuclear talks with Iran Wed, Jul 1, 2015

    By Arshad Mohammed VIENNA (Reuters) - Their inability to detect clandestine atomic programmes in Iraq and North Korea shadows Western officials as they seek to curb Iran's known nuclear activities and keep it from pursuing others in secret. Closing loopholes in the current nonproliferation system is a key aim for the United States and its five big power partners as they negotiate an agreement with Iran to constrain its nuclear programme in return for relief from economic sanctions. Iran and the major powers missed Tuesday's deadline for a final deal and have given themselves until July 7 to reach one. More »

  • Italian police arrest North Africa cell and five suspected Islamic State su … Wed, Jul 1, 2015

    By Ilaria Polleschi MILAN, Italy (Reuters) - Italian police said on Wednesday they had arrested two people in Rome suspected of plotting attacks in Italy and North Africa, and five others in Italy and Albania who were planning to join hardline militant group Islamic State. Like other European countries, Italy has stepped up surveillance of individuals suspected of supporting militants in Syria and Iraq after indications that a number of Italians have travelled to the region to fight. Italy has also been monitoring suspect militants tied to North Africa, and police said they seized two people on Wednesday, with a third person connected to the case already in jail for alleged terror offences committed in Morocco. More »

  • Islamic State less visible in Syrian stronghold - monitor Wed, Jul 1, 2015

    The hardline Islamic State group has installed surveillance cameras in its Syrian stronghold Raqqa city because it does not appear to have enough members to patrol the streets, a group monitoring the war said on Wednesday. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, citing activists on the ground, said Islamic State appeared to have sent members from Raqqa into battle in other parts of Syria, leading to a reduction in patrols of its self-appointed religious police in the northern city. Raqqa is Islamic State's defacto capital for territory that spreads across Syria and Iraq. More »

  • Islamic State targeted in 17 air strikes by U.S.-led coalition - statement Wed, Jul 1, 2015

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States and its allies conducted 17 air strikes against Islamic State forces in Syria and Iraq on Tuesday in the latest round of daily attacks on the militant group, the joint task force overseeing the air strikes said. There were five air strikes using attack, bomber and fighter aircraft in northern Syria, near Hasaka, Kobani and Tal Abyad, the task force said in a statement Wednesday. ... More »

  • Analysis - New oil bull market in sight as Brazil, Iraq cut output targets
    Analysis - New oil bull market in sight as Brazil, Iraq cut output targets Tue, Jun 30, 2015

    By Dmitry Zhdannikov LONDON (Reuters) - Massive downward revisions to oil output in Brazil and Iraq have increased the risks for oil markets of going from the current feast to famine within just a few years, leading to a price spike that would give a new boost to the U.S. shale industry. Brazil and Iraq had been expected to add over 2 million barrels per day to global supply by 2020 and another 2.5 million by 2025, becoming the two biggest contributors to help meet rising global demand, according to the long-term forecast of the International Energy Agency. With Brazil's Petrobras cutting this week its five-year production outlook by 1.4 million bpd in response to low oil prices and the ongoing corruption probe and Iraq renegotiating deals with oil majors to reflect "more realistic" output targets, the current glut in the oil markets is poised to end sooner than expected. More »

  • Insight - In Yemen chaos, Islamic State grows to rival al Qaeda
    Insight - In Yemen chaos, Islamic State grows to rival al Qaeda Tue, Jun 30, 2015

    By Sami Aboudi DUBAI (Reuters) - Al Qaeda's leadership of Islamist militancy in Yemen is being challenged amid the chaos of civil war by its rival Islamic State, which could become a bigger threat to the group than the U.S. drones that periodically kill its commanders. Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) remains the country's top militant network and its several thousand fighters and bomb makers, who have repeatedly tried to bring down Western aircraft, are still seen as a serious threat by Washington. Islamic State, also known as ISIS or ISIL, evolved from the Iraqi branch of al Qaeda and now controls swathes of Iraq and Syria. More »

  • Iraq: Bombs inside, around Baghdad kill at least 8 civilians Tue, Jun 30, 2015

    BAGHDAD (AP) — Iraqi officials say a series of attacks in Baghdad and in two towns near the capital has killed at least eight people. More »

  • Islamic State hit with 18 air strikes by U.S.-led coalition - statement Tue, Jun 30, 2015

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States and its allies staged 18 air strikes on Islamic State targets in Syria and Iraq on Monday in the latest round of daily attacks on the militant Islamic group, a statement from the joint task force said. Seven of the strikes focussed on an area near Al Hasaka, Syria, hitting tactical units, vehicles and a tank, while targets near Ar Raqqa and Dayr Az Zawr also were hit, the Combined Joint Task Force said in a statement released on Tuesday. ... More »

  • OPEC oil output hits three-year high in June on Iraq - Reuters survey
    OPEC oil output hits three-year high in June on Iraq - Reuters survey Tue, Jun 30, 2015

    By Alex Lawler LONDON (Reuters) - OPEC oil supply in June has climbed to a three-year high due to record or near-record output from Iraq and Saudi Arabia, a Reuters survey found, underlining the focus of the group's top exporters on market share. OPEC supply has risen in June to 31.60 million bpd from a revised 31.30 million bpd in May, according to the survey, based on shipping data and information from sources at oil companies, OPEC and consultants. "If sanctions were to be eased, additional oil from Iran would flood onto the already oversupplied oil market," said Carsten Fritsch, analyst at Commerzbank in Frankfurt. More »

  • Halabja gas attack victims welcome Iraqis fleeing ISIL
    Halabja gas attack victims welcome Iraqis fleeing ISIL Tue, Jun 30, 2015

    A woman's centre for Kurdish victims of the Iran-Iraq war has recently become a safe haven for those fleeing ISIL. More »

  • Iraq PM 'retires' army chief as security crisis deepens
    Iraq PM 'retires' army chief as security crisis deepens Tue, Jun 30, 2015

    General Babaker Zebari, who has been in the job for a decade, retires as PM Abbadi acknowledges military's failures. More »

  • Islamic State seen as potent force a year after caliphate declaration - Pen … Mon, Jun 29, 2015

    By David Alexander WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A year after Islamic State declared a caliphate on territory seized in Iraq and Syria, the al Qaeda splinter group faces military pressure from a U.S.-led coalition but remains a potent force holding key cities, the Pentagon said on Monday. Army Colonel Steve Warren, a Defense Department spokesman, said the militant group has lost a quarter of the land it controlled at the height of its expansion and has broken and run on several occasions in northern Syria in the face of an offensive by Kurdish-led forces. More »

  • Iraq PM 'retires' army chief of staff: spokesman
    Iraq PM 'retires' army chief of staff: spokesman Mon, Jun 29, 2015

    Iraqi premier Haider al-Abadi has "retired" the army's chief of staff, the most senior officer removed since jihadists overran large parts of the country last year, his spokesman said Monday. More »

  • UNESCO condemns 'barbaric' IS attacks on heritage sites
    UNESCO condemns 'barbaric' IS attacks on heritage sites Mon, Jun 29, 2015

    The UN cultural organisation Monday condemned the "barbaric assaults" the Islamic State group has launched on World Heritage sites in Iraq and Syria, saying they may amount to war crimes. More »