Nouri al-Maliki

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Maliki Steps Down in Iraq

He gives up fight to remain prime minister

(Newser) - Nouri al-Maliki finally took the hint: He's giving up his fight to serve a third term as prime minister of Iraq, reports the BBC . State TV says Maliki has agreed to step down in favor of Haider al-Ibadi, even though Maliki had called Ibadi's appointment unconstitutional and raised... More »

US Sends More Troops to Iraq

Maliki in talks to step down as France sends weapons to Kurds

(Newser) - Another 130 Marines and special operations forces have been sent to Iraq to help rescue tens of thousands of Yazidi refugees still trapped on a mountain, but this "is not a combat boots on the ground kind of operation," Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel says. Speaking at California's... More »

Obama Calls for New Iraqi Government

President says he and Joe Biden called al-Maliki's replacement

(Newser) - President Obama welcomed new leadership in Iraq as "a promising step forward" today amid a political and security crisis in Baghdad, saying the only lasting solution is the formation of an inclusive government. Obama did not mention Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki but clearly was addressing the embattled incumbent as... More »

Maliki Out? In Snub, Iraq President Names New PM

Whether Maliki will go along remains unclear

(Newser) - The big question in Iraq today: Will Nouri al-Maliki go quietly? As expected, President Fouad Massoum snubbed the two-term prime minister and said he must step down to make way for someone new. Massoum picked deputy parliament speaker Haider al-Ibadi to be the next PM and gave him 30 days... More »

Iraq's Newest Mess: A Possible 'Coup'

Prime Minister Maliki wants a third term, but president is balking

(Newser) - Tense times in Baghdad: Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki deployed troops at strategic locations in the Iraqi capital amid a power struggle with newly elected President Fouad Massoum. Maliki accuses Massoum of carrying out "a coup against the constitution and the political process" by failing to nominate him for a... More »

Syria Launches Airstrikes in Iraq: Reports

57 civilians reported killed in hits supposedly on Sunni militant targets

(Newser) - Syria may have just fully inserted itself into Iraq's civil war. Syria launched cross-border airstrikes on several parts of Anbar province yesterday, killing at least 57 civilians and wounding more than 120 more, local officials tell CNN . The officials say they used scopes and other equipment to identify the... More »

Iraq Loses Control of Western Border

ISIS miltants seize key border crossings

(Newser) - Islamic State of Iraq and Syria fighters have taken another step toward making their name a reality with the weekend seizure of two key border crossings in western Iraq. Though the news that they took four key towns (Qaim, Rutba, Rawa, and Anah) in two days was reported yesterday, the... More »

Rand Paul: I Won't Send My Son to Iraq

Senator adds that he doesn't blame Obama for the 'mess'

(Newser) - Rand Paul hit the Sunday show circuit today to stake out a position on Iraq that sets him apart from the hawks in his party. "Let's not be involved in the Syrian civil war, and let's not be involved in the Iraq civil war," the senator... More »

Iraq Wants US Airstrikes, but US Wants Maliki Out

Battle for biggest refinery still raging

(Newser) - Did somebody say "regime change?" American lawmakers have stepped up their criticism of Nouri al-Maliki even as his government pleads for US help against the insurgency threatening to rip Iraq apart. Administration officials have made it clear that they want the country to have a new government that doesn'... More »

On to the Oil: ISIS Invades Iraq's Biggest Refinery

Official reports militants occupy 75% of refinery, government denies

(Newser) - The situation at Iraq's largest oil refinery is a murky, smoky one: A refinery official on the scene earlier told Reuters that militants have "managed to break in" and occupy 75% of the Baiji refinery. Though the Iraqi army now says it has beaten them back and killed... More »

Militants Strike Town Just 37 Miles From Baghdad

Meanwhile, Sunnis killed inside the capital

(Newser) - The battle for Iraq is getting uncomfortably close to its capital city. Islamic State of Iraq and Syria militants briefly took over parts of the city of Baquba, which is just 37 miles from Baghdad, the BBC reports. The Iraqi military and allied Shiite militias eventually drove them off—and... More »

ISIS Kills Shiite Volunteers Outside Holy City

Meanwhile, the White House says it may cooperate military with Iran

(Newser) - Militants from the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria killed over two dozen volunteer Shiite fighters today outside the holy city of Samarra—the first such attack since Shiites began signing up against ISIS, the New York Times reports. The volunteers, aiming to reinforce Iraqi defenses in Samarra, were traveling... More »

US Rejected Iraq's Call for Airstrikes

Militants vow to take fight to Baghdad

(Newser) - As the scale of the threat from militants who have now seized several Iraqi cities became clear, Iraq's government asked the US to strike militant positions—only to find Washington, somewhat unsurprisingly, reluctant to become involved in new military action in the country. Requests for both manned and unmanned... 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 »

Maliki's Party Wins Iraq Election

But will need to form a coalition to govern

(Newser) - A coalition led by Iraq's Shiite prime minister has emerged as the biggest winner in parliamentary elections, paving the way for him to try to form the country's next government. The Independent High Electoral Commission today released results of the election, the first since the US military withdrawal... More »

Iraq Holds 1st Elections Since US Pullout

Massive security presence in place as polls open

(Newser) - A key election for a new Iraqi parliament was underway today amid a massive security operation as the country continues to slide deeper into sectarian violence, more than two years after US forces left. Hundreds of thousands of troops and police have fanned out to guard voting centers for the... More »

Iraq Inks Deal to Buy Arms from Iran

Nouri al-Maliki got tired of US foot-dragging: Iraqi lawmakers

(Newser) - Iran has agreed to sell arms and ammunition worth $195 million to Iraq after Washington apparently hesitated to make an arms deal with Baghdad. According to Reuters , signed documents show that Iran will sell mortar launchers, tank ammunition, light and medium arms, and other weapons—as well as night vision... More »

Al-Sadr Exits Politics; What It Means for Iraq

Powerful Shiite cleric cites family's reputation in explanation

(Newser) - One of the most powerful figures in Iraq is leaving politics, and not quietly. On Sunday, Muqtada al-Sadr announced online that he was closing "all offices and libraries in all religious, social, and political fields" in a bid to protect his family's reputation, reports the Christian Science Monitor... More »

Déjà Vu: Iraq Turns to Sunnis to Fight al-Qaeda

US urges Maliki to pass arms to militias

(Newser) - As Iraqi forces struggle to retake Anbar from al-Qaeda affiliated militants, the government is turning to the same tactic the US used to end the Iraq war: Allying itself with local Sunni tribal militias. The US is urging Nouri al-Maliki to pass the guns it's shipping him to the... More »

Senate Doesn't Trust Iraq With Helicopters

Bob Menendez blocks Obama's call for an Apache sale

(Newser) - With Iraq spiraling back into war , the Obama administration has promised to send arms, and it's pressuring Congress to OK the sale of dozens of Boeing AH-64 Apache helicopters. But there's a problem: Several top senators tell the Daily Beast that they just don't trust Nouri al-Maliki'... More »

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