Iraq Civil War

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Wave of Bombings Kills 61 in Iraq

Shiites, Muqtada al-Sadr's office targeted

(Newser) - Bombs exploded throughout Baghdad today, targeting Shiite mosques and neighborhoods, including the office of anti-US cleric Muqtada al-Sadr. A neighborhood in Anbar province was also hit with six roadside bombs. At least 61 people have been killed and nearly 112 wounded, CNN reports. More »

Fear Returns to Baghdad

(Newser) - The recent spate of violence in Iraq may pale in comparison to the relentless suicide bombings of 2006, but Baghdad is beginning to hunker down in fear again, the Los Angeles Times reports. Residents are curtailing their public activities, checking in with each other more often to make sure family... More »

Iraq Spurns Baathists Despite US Prodding

(Newser) - Despite entreaties from Washington, Iraq’s majority-Shiite government is hardening its stance against the outlawed Sunni-dominated Baath party, the New York Times reports. Blamed by some for recent bombings of Shiites, Baathists are “filled with hate from head to toe," Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki said this week, after... More »

6 Dead in 4th Day of Baghdad Bombings

Four days of escalating violence leaves dozens dead and wounded

(Newser) - A series of bomb blasts across Baghdad killed six people and injured more than 20 others today, the fourth consecutive day of heightened violence in the Iraqi capital. The deadliest attack came near a checkpoint in central Baghdad, while another targeting a government convoy killed six city workers. A string... More »

Iraqi Christians Flee Murder Campaign

1,000 families run scared after 3 homes bombed in Mosul

(Newser) - Escalating anti-Christian violence has forced almost 1,000 families to flee the Iraqi city of Mosul, AFP reports. They are hiding in surrounding schools and churches after three homes were bombed in the city, a known al-Qaeda stronghold. The violence "is the fiercest campaign against the Christians since 2003,... More »

Leaving Iraq, Petraeus Sees Gains as Fragile

Violence is down, but 'it's not durable yet,' says general

(Newser) - David Petraeus is leaving Iraq after 18 months, and by all measures the country is far safer than when he arrived. The "surge" of 30,000 extra American soldiers was bolstered by major domestic developments, from the Muqtada al-Sadr ceasefire to the rise of Sunni awakening councils. But in... More »

Sadr Threatens to End Truce

Mahdi Army leader, 'worried' for Iraqis' safety, cancels anti-US protest

(Newser) - Iraqi cleric Muqtada al-Sadr today threatened to end the cease-fire he imposed last year on his Mahdi militia, CNN reports, and called off a massive protest set for tomorrow, the fifth anniversary of the end of Saddam Hussein’s rule. Hundreds had converged on Baghdad—despite orders to keep young... More »

Iraqi Lawmakers to Meet as Violence Escalates

Baghdad under curfew as militants in Basra hold their ground

(Newser) - Iraqi lawmakers will hold an emergency session in Baghdad tomorrow to try to find a way to resolve the escalating violence in Basra and the capital, Reuters reports. Baghdad, its Green Zone rocked by steady rocket and mortar fire, is now under a three-day curfew, and the State Department ordered... More »

Bush Praises Iraqi Offensive

President scolds Congress' calls for withdrawal

(Newser) - President Bush praised the government of Iraq today for the offensive launched three days ago against militias in Basra, painting it as a sign of progress toward the goals of the US war, the AP reports. Bush also criticized Congress for calling for troop withdrawals so the military’s attention... More »

Sadrists Resist Crackdown, Demand Maliki's Ouster

Intra-Shiite battle pounds on in Basra

(Newser) - Followers of Muqtada al-Sadr marched in Baghdad today, denouncing Nouri al-Maliki's US-backed government as non-representative, while the onslaught in Basra continued for a third day. Explosions were heard in the city every 10 to 15 minutes and more than 100 are already dead, Reuters reports. Residents of Iraq's second-largest city,... More »

Ahmadinejad Calls on US to Quit Iraq

'No one likes them,' Iranian prez says of coalition forces

(Newser) - As he headed home after his historic visit to Iraq, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad criticized the American occupation, CNN reports. “No one likes them," the provocative Iranian president said of the US-led coalition. "We believe that the forces which crossed oceans and thousands of kilometers to come to this... More »

Al-Qaeda In Iraq Down 75%, Baghdad Says

But Petraeus calls the group country's 'biggest threat'

(Newser) - Al-Qaeda in Iraq is down 75%, one Baghdad official said today—but US Gen. David Petraeus maintained that al-Qaeda is still “the most significant challenge" facing the country. Maj. Gen. Abdul Kareem Khalaf attributed the alleged al-Qaeda cut to beefed Iraq security, armed Sunni fighters, and the recent US... More »

Gates Predicts Steady Iraq Withdrawals

If security gains hold, defense chief predicts 100K troops by Jan '09

(Newser) - Defense Secretary Robert Gates said today the US is on track to have 100,000 troops, or 10 brigades, in Iraq by the end of the Bush administration, the Chicago Tribune reports. Recent security gains in Iraq have allowed Gen. David Petraeus to begin to enact his plan of removing... More »

Rice Pops Up in Iraq to Plead for Peace

Calls for reconciliation on surprise visit

(Newser) - Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice arrived in Iraq for a surprise visit today to plead for increased efforts at reconciliation, Reuters reports. She flew into the ethnically mixed northern city of Kirkuk—which some expect to be the next flashpoint for violence. The city's Kurds, Arabs, and Turkmen are deeply... More »

Iraq Splinters as Surge Quells Violence

Government holds no sway over 'highly decentralized situation'

(Newser) - The US troop surge has stemmed the bloodshed of Iraq's civil war but has failed in its other key objective of rebuilding the fragmented country into a cohesive nation. Ten months into the surge, Iraq has further splintered into sectarian strongholds run by warlords and militias, while the government's bickering... More »

Key Iraqi Police Chief Killed

American ally assassinated in precise string of roadside bombs

(Newser) - Qais al-Mamouri, a major US ally respected for his non-sectarian work as police chief in violent Babil province, was killed today by a roadside bomb, the Christian Science Monitor reports. Five successive explosions ripped through al-Mamouri’s US-issued SUV, killing him and two others. Less than an hour earlier a... More »

US Nabs Sunni Sheik's Assassin

Al-Qaeda operative linked to murder of key American ally

(Newser) - An al-Qaeda operative suspected of murdering a key American ally in Iraq was captured yesterday by the US military. The suspect organized car and suicide bombings targeting tribal leaders in Anbar province, including the blast last that killed Sheik Abdul Sattar Abu Risha, a Sunni leader and major enemy of... More »

Iraq Civilian Deaths Hit 1.2M

New poll is highest-ever estimate of non-military casualties

(Newser) - A UK polling firm has put the Iraqi civilian death toll at an alarming 1.2 million. Though the US claims sectarian violence casualties have halved since June, neither they nor the Iraqi government maintains a tally of civilian losses, the Los Angeles Times reports. But both call the study’... More »

Shiites Force Sunnis From Baghdad

Internally displaced ranks surge as majority seeks ‘Manifest Destiny’

(Newser) - Shiites have been clearing Baghdad of Sunnis at an accelerating rate, and those who remain live under siege. Curbing sectarian cleansing was a key goal of the US troop surge, but the forced migration has only intensified throughout the country, Newsweek reports: The ranks of internally displaced persons have doubled... More »

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