Sunni militants

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ISIS' New Weapon: Water

Insurgents commandeering precious commodity to strengthen position

(Newser) - Even when ISIS militants can't maintain control of Iraq's cities and villages, they have another weapon at their disposal: water. The insurgents are increasingly cutting off water to villagers, extorting local governments, and flooding homes, schools, and farms in an effort to gain the upper hand by usurping... More »

ISIS Sells Women Into Marriage for $1K Each: Report

The Islamic State considers Yazidi women 'spoils of war': report

(Newser) - The Islamic State has "distributed" about 300 Yazidi women to its jihadist fighters as spoils of war, CNN reports. The Islamic State, or ISIS, kidnapped the women when it attacked Yazidi villages and forced tens of thousands to flee earlier this month, according to a British group monitoring the... More »

Journo Thanks 'Big-Hearted' People Who Won His Release

Peter Theo Curtis says he's 'overwhelmed' to learn about efforts

(Newser) - American journalist Peter Theo Curtis, recently back on US soil , said in his first public remarks today that he was overwhelmed by the people who were behind efforts to secure his release from al-Nusra Front. Curtis, who was freed Sunday after 22 months in captivity, wore sandals and a gray... More »

US Seeks Allies in ISIS Fight —but Not Assad

Obama may greenlight military action in Syria, expanded airstrikes in Iraq

(Newser) - After OKing airstrikes in Iraq and spy flights over Syria in an attempt to rein in ISIS, President Obama has started rallying international allies to expand efforts against the militant Sunni group—efforts that may include even more airstrikes in Iraq and possible military action in Syria, reports the New ... More »

UN Official: ISIS Demanding Female Genital Mutilation

Militant Sunni group issues fatwa, official says

(Newser) - A UN official in Iraq shared disturbing news with reporters today: ISIS militants have issued a religious edict declaring that all women in or around Mosul must undergo female genital mutilation, reports Reuters . The fatwa from the Sunni insurgents, who overtook the northern Iraqi city in June, applies to females... More »

Every Iraqi Urged to Pick Up a Weapon

Iraq's top cleric says 'everyone who can' must fight

(Newser) - Iraq's top Shiite cleric issued a statement during Friday prayers today, calling on everyone—Shiite and Sunni alike—to fight back against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, the New York Times reports. It is "the legal and national responsibility of whoever can hold a weapon, to... More »

Iraq Loses Control of Its 2nd-Largest City

Police abandon Mosul to Islamic State of Iraq and Syria

(Newser) - Fighters believed to be with the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria took control of the city of Mosul today, as police and military forces fled their bases, leaving weapons, vehicles, and even their uniforms behind for the taking, the New York Times reports. The militants have seized the provincial... More »

With US Gone, Iraq Explodes

Violence rampant thanks to political crisis

(Newser) - Iraq has experienced a surge in violence since US troops left the country last month, with 327 people dying in explosions or assassinations by the Iraqi Ministry's official count. Bombings have hit Baghdad neighborhoods , Shiite pilgrims , and Sunni police, among other targets. "They are not arbitrary attacks. They... More »

Wave of Bombings Targets Iraq's Shiites, Killing 72

Heightens fears that attacks will increase now that US has withdrawn

(Newser) - A wave of bombings targeting Shiites in Iraq killed 72 people today, deepening sectarian tensions that exploded just after the last American troops left the country in mid-December. The bombings began early in the morning when explosions struck two Shiite neighborhoods in Baghdad, killing at least 27 people. A few... More »

29 Killed in Baghdad Mosque Bombings

(Newser) - Bombs exploded near five Shiite mosques in Baghdad today, killing at least 29 people, according to Iraqi police and hospital officials. The bombings, apparently part of a coordinated attack that targeted worshipers leaving Friday prayers, shattered a period of relative calm in the Iraqi capital. The deaths raised to at... More »

Iran Hangs 3 for Mosque Blast

(Newser) - Iran publicly hanged three men today in connection with the bombing of a Shi’ite mosque last week that killed at least 30, Reuters reports. Responsibility for the blast has reportedly been claimed by the Sunni militant group Jundollah, which Iran says is part of the al Qaeda network and... More »

Gunmen Strike Iran Prez Campaign Office

(Newser) - Gunmen raised political tensions in Iran today by shooting up a campaign office in Zahedan, the town where a mosque bombing left 23 dead yesterday, the Los Angeles Times reports. Tehran officials accused Washington of supporting the gunmen, who injured up to three people in the office of President Mahmoud... More »

Iraq Nabs 'Mother' of Female Terrorists

Accused of recruiting 80 suicide bombers

(Newser) - Iraqi forces have arrested a woman suspected of recruiting more than 80 female suicide bombers, the Times of London reports. Samira Ahmed Jassim, known as “the mother of the believers,” has confessed to sending 28 women on suicide missions. Jassim also admitted to planning the rapes of many... More »

US Hands Anbar Province to Iraqis

Military cedes control of largest region in Iraq

(Newser) - The American military is finally handing over control of Anbar province, once the center of the Sunni insurgency, to Iraqi forces today. Once one of Iraq's most dangerous regions, Anbar was transformed as Sunni militants allied themselves with the US. The transfer of Anbar, delayed several times, brings the number... More »

9 Dead, 100 Wounded in Iran Mosque Blast

Attack scatters meeting of extremist Shiite organization

(Newser) - A bomb killed nine and wounded more than 100 in an Iranian mosque today, scattering members of an extremist Shiite group, the BBC reports. Police and militia have cordoned off the area while medics attend to victims and local media call for blood donations. No one has claimed responsibility for... More »

Sunni Militias Threaten Strike Over Late Pay

Unrest among key US allies could affect joint security efforts

(Newser) - US-allied Sunni militias are threatening to go on strike over late pay. At least two of the 49 Awakening councils that  have been enlisted in the fight against al-Qaeda in Iraq have already done so, reports the Guardian, and the dispute over their $10-a-day payments threatens the partnership that has... More »

Huge Blast Kills 15, Wounds 132 in Northern Iraq

Roadside bomb triggers explosion at arms dump in Mosul

(Newser) - A blast in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul claimed at least 15 lives and left 132 wounded today, Reuters reports. The explosion came after Iraqi troops detonated a roadside bomb near a building used as a munitions dump by militants, a US general said. At least 15 tons of... More »

Bombs Linked to Iraq Sunni Leader

Car bombs found, 40 arrested in raid on compound

(Newser) - A raid on the compound of the leader of Iraq's biggest Sunni political bloc saw his son and dozens of guards arrested, reports the Washington Post.  American and Iraqi soldiers found cars wired with explosives outside the compound; one of the guards had the keys. Adnan al-Dulaimi said the... More »

Kurds Forced From Homes in Mosul

Sunni Arabs, stymied by the political process, resort to violence

(Newser) - Over 1,000 Kurds have been killed in Mosul recently, victims of a Sunni Arab insurgent drive to force them out of the Ninevah province and into Iraqi Kurdistan. And the attacks are working, reports the International Herald Tribune; as many as 70,000 Kurds have abandoned Iraq's third-largest city. More »

Deadly Blast Rocks Holy City

Shiite Holy City Rocked by Blast

(Newser) - A car bomb ripped through one of Iraq's holiest cities today, killing at least 58 Iraqis and wounding over 150 as they made their way to evening prayers. Karbala—the site of two major Shiite shrines—is a hotspot for suicide bombers, who killed 47 in an attack just two... More »

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