Iraq

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Iraq: Last of Our ISIS-Held Towns Has Been Set Free

Rawah is back under Iraqi forces' control, officials say

(Newser) - Iraq's Ministry of Defense says Iraqi forces backed by a US-led coalition have liberated the last Iraqi town held by the Islamic State group, per the AP . The ministry said in a statement Friday morning that Iraqi military units and local tribal fighters entered the western neighborhoods of Rawah... More »

Deadly Quake on Iraq-Iran Border Felt All the Way to Mediterranean

More than 330 are dead

(Newser) - A powerful 7.3 magnitude earthquake that struck the Iraq-Iran border region Sunday night killed more than 330 people in both countries, sent people fleeing their homes into the night, and was felt as far west as the Mediterranean coast, authorities say. Iran's western Kermanshah province bore the brunt... More »

Iraqi Military: Forces Are 'Coming to Liberate You'

Country prepares for a 'final offensive' against ISIS

(Newser) - The Iraqi military says it's preparing a final offensive to push ISIS out of the last scrap of territory it still holds in the country. Joint Operations Command in Baghdad says the air force dropped flyers reading "Your security forces are now coming to liberate you" over ISIS-held... More »

New Iraqi Battle Has Odd Twist for US

It pits one American-trained force (Iraq) against another (Kurds)

(Newser) - Iraqi Kurds voted for independence from Iraq last month, and one tangible result of the vote emerged Monday: Iraqi forces moved in. Baghdad, which considered the referendum illegal, is worried about losing control of the oil-rich Kirkuk region in the north. As a result, state-backed militias seized two oil fields... More »

Kurds Vote Overwhelmingly for Independence From Iraq

Baghdad is unmoved

(Newser) - The Kurds clearly want their own nation: Monday's referendum on independence from Iraq was approved by more than 92% of voters, officials said Wednesday. Even with the strong support, however, the non-binding vote is unlikely to lead to formal independence, per the AP . But the vote has escalated long-running... More »

In Iraq, a Controversial Bid for Independence

Baghdad issues warning as Kurds vote on breaking away

(Newser) - Iraqi Kurds cast ballots on Monday in Iraq's Kurdish region and disputed territories on whether to support independence from Baghdad in a historic but nonbinding vote that has raised regional tensions and fears of instability, the AP reports. More than 3 million people are expected to vote across the... More »

Murder Conviction Overturned in Blackwater Civilian Killings

3 others convicted in 2007 incident ordered to be resentenced

(Newser) - A US appeals court has overturned the conviction of a former Blackwater security guard—and called for the resentencing of three others—who killed 14 unarmed Iraqi civilians in 2007, the Washington Post reports. Nicholas Slatten, Paul Slough, Dustin Heard, and Evan Liberty were convicted in 2014 for opening fire... More »

Report: ISIS Had Ingredients to Make Dirty Bombs

The terrorist group was sitting on two caches of cobalt-60; Washington Post

(Newser) - The Washington Post has a scoop on a terrifying near-miss in Mosul, Iraq. When the Islamic State seized Iraq's second-largest city in June 2014 it came into possession of two caches of cobalt-60, one of the key ingredients for making "dirty bombs," the paper reports. At the... More »

Iraq Declares Victory Over ISIS in Mosul

Largest city under militants' control has fallen to Iraqi troops after heavy fighting

(Newser) - Iraq's state TV says the country's prime minister has arrived in Mosul to declare victory over the Islamic State in the more than eight-month old operation to drive the militants from the city, reports the AP . "The commander in chief of the armed forces [Prime Minister] Haider... More »

Hobby Lobby Has to Return Smuggled Artifacts

Chain will pay $3M over 'regrettable mistakes'

(Newser) - Hobby Lobby President Steve Green has apologized for what he calls "regrettable mistakes"—including buying thousands of artifacts after being warned they could have been looted from Iraq , and then shipping them to the US described only as "samples" or "ceramic tiles." The arts-and-crafts chain... More »

When ISIS Is Beaten in Syria and Iraq, Then What?

Without a clear strategy, it's a 'dangerous situation,' says one analyst

(Newser) - The Islamic State appears to be nearly ousted in the Iraqi city of Mosul, and now US-backed forces have the last 2,500 ISIS holdouts trapped in the group's other stronghold of Raqqa, Syria, reports the New York Times . The militants are cut off from supplies, though the final... More »

Iraq: ISIS Caliphate Is No More

'The fictitious state has fallen'

(Newser) - The Islamic State is a movement without an actual state anymore, says Iraq. "Their fictitious state has fallen," declared a spokesman for Iraq's military after its troops reclaimed the ruins of a landmark mosque in Mosul on Thursday. ISIS fighters had destroyed much of the Grand al-Nuri... More »

Saudi Media Accuses Qatar of Poisoning Iraqi Refugees

Hundreds hit by food poisoning at Iraq camp for the displaced

(Newser) - Food poisoning at a camp for displaced residents of Mosul has made more than 700 people sick, with hundreds hospitalized, Iraqi officials said Tuesday. The incident at the Hassan Sham U2 camp, about 13 miles east of Mosul, has become part of the ongoing dispute between Saudi Arabia and Qatar.... More »

US Bomb Drop Set Off Stash of ISIS Explosives

105 civilians killed in Mosul strike in March: Pentagon report

(Newser) - A US bomb that dropped on a building in the Iraqi city of Mosul set off explosive materials that had already been placed inside by Islamic State fighters, causing the structure to collapse and killing more than 100 civilians, a US military investigation concluded Thursday. The 500-pound bomb dropped by... More »

Pentagon: Blast Kills US Service Member in Iraq

It's 2nd American military fatality since start of Mosul operation

(Newser) - The Pentagon says an explosive device has killed a US service member outside Mosul. The Pentagon on Saturday did not provide any further details, stating further information would be released as appropriate, the AP reports. Saturday's incident marks the second American military fatality since the start of the Mosul... More »

All the Animals in the Mosul Zoo Perished—Except These 2

Meet Simba the lion and Lula the bear, now headed to a new life in Jordan

(Newser) - Lula and Simba are headed to a new life in Jordan. The bear and lion, respectively, were discovered in February in the war-decimated Montazah al-Morour Zoo in Mosul, Iraq, apparently the only two animal survivors in the facility, the BBC reports. All of the other creatures had starved to death... More »

Jared Kushner Makes Surprise Trip to Iraq

Trump adviser and son-in-law also key figure in this week's meeting with Chinese leader

(Newser) - The influence of President Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner apparently continues to grow: He arrived in Iraq on Monday for a surprise visit. The 36-year-old senior adviser traveled there with Gen. Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and plans to meet with Iraqi leaders and US officials... More »

Mosul Residents Got Exactly the Wrong Advice

They were told to stay in their home before airstrikes came: Amnesty International

(Newser) - An airstrike in Mosul 10 days ago reportedly killed dozens of civilians , and now an Amnesty International investigation says the US-led coalition wasn't careful enough in protecting locals as it fought ISIS in the Iraq city, the Guardian reports. The human rights group says up to 150 civilians were... More »

US Coalition Investigating Reports of Deadly Iraq Airstrike

More than 100 civilians have been reported killed in Mosul neighborhood

(Newser) - The US-led coalition fighting the Islamic State is investigating reports of an airstrike in a western neighborhood in the Iraqi city of Mosul that allegedly left more than 100 civilians dead last week, according to a statement given to the AP . The suspected high toll underscores the difficulties that Iraqi... More »

How ISIS Is Trying to Be Like Japan's Kamikaze Fighters

Military targets are now in terrorists' sights more than civilian ones

(Newser) - Suicide bombing is nothing new in terrorism circles, but for Islamic State extremists, the tactic is getting a revamp. The Sunday Times reports on a new study released Monday out of the International Centre for Counter-terrorism in the Hague that shows a definite shift in how jihadi are using the... More »

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