Iraq

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UN Finding Fresh ISIS Horrors

More than 200 mass graves found in Iraq containing between 6K and 12K bodies

(Newser) - More than 200 mass graves containing between 6,000 and 12,000 bodies have been found in Iraq from the time of the Islamic State group's three-year reign, UN investigators said Tuesday. The 202 graves verified by investigators dot northern Iraq and are a "legacy of (ISIS')... More »

Nobel Peace Prize Winner Won't Keep Her $500K

Activist Nadia Murad will be donating it to help sex crime survivors

(Newser) - If any Nobel Prize winners strive for the award solely for the money, Nadia Murad isn't among them. The Hill reports the 25-year-old Yazidi human rights activist, who shared this year's Peace Prize with Congolese doctor Denis Mukwege, will be giving her $500,000 portion of the Nobel... More »

Officials Say Ex-ISIS Fighter Entered US as Refugee

Omar Abdulsattar Ameen was arrested, will be extradited to Iraq

(Newser) - An Iraqi man accused of killing for the Islamic State entered the US as a refugee, the AP reports. Omar Abdulsattar Ameen, 45, was arrested in California on Wednesday and will be extradited to Iraq under a treaty with that nation, US officials say. He made his first appearance in... More »

Saddam's Superyacht Gets a New Use

Basrah Breeze will be used as a hotel of sorts, for sailors

(Newser) - Saddam Hussein's swanky superyacht , built for the Iraqi dictator in 1981 but never actually boarded by him, has a new use: It's a sailors' hotel, to be used by the sea pilots who guide shipping in and out of Iraq's port at Basra, many of whom live... More »

Cleric Who Led Militant Forces Wins Iraqi Election

But Muqtada al-Sadr's coalition still needs to negotiate a government

(Newser) - Influential Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr's political coalition has won the most seats in Iraq's national parliamentary elections, according to complete results released by Iraq's electoral commission early Saturday, the AP reports. The announcement came nearly a week after Iraqis cast their votes on May 12 and put... More »

Legendary Ancient City Found by Accident

Mardaman in modern-day Iraq is nearly 5K years old

(Newser) - Archaeologists who've spent five years digging up an ancient city in Iraq's Kurdistan region have finally learned its name—and it's legendary. Mardaman, once the capital of a Mesopotamian province and its own independent kingdom, is believed to have begun as early as 4,800 years ago... More »

One-Time US Nemesis Poised to Call Shots in Iraq

Coalition led by Muqtada al-Sadr leads elections

(Newser) - Widespread disillusionment with Iraq's current political class appears to have helped the political coalition of influential Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr become the early front-runner in national elections marked by record low turnout. Partial returns of the 2018 vote—the first since Iraq declared victory over the Islamic State group—... More »

One Idea Was to Let Dogs Eat All the Bodies in Mosul

Volunteers describe 'thousands' of bodies left buried in rubble

(Newser) - It's been 10 months since Iraq declared victory over ISIS in Mosul, but the bodies are still being collected. Volunteers are slowly combing over what the UN estimates to be 8 million tons of rubble—enough to form three separate piles as big as the Great Pyramid of Giza—... More »

Hobby Lobby's Smuggled Artifacts Headed Back to 'Rightful Owner'

3.8K of the ill-begotten artifacts are heading back overseas on Wednesday

(Newser) - Hobby Lobby's "passion for the Bible" may have made it a bit overzealous when it came to purchasing antiquities from other lands. The arts and crafts retailer obtained thousands of illegally smuggled artifacts from Iraq in 2010—then subsequently agreed to send them back —and now that... More »

'With Full Proof I Can Say These 39 Are Dead'

Indian construction workers kidnapped by ISIS in 2014 found in mass grave

(Newser) - In the days after Mosul fell to ISIS, 40 Indian construction workers who'd been on assignment on the Mosul University campus were kidnapped. Only one, Harjit Masih, managed to survive after what he says were four days in captivity in June 2014. He was shot in the thigh; the... More »

US Military Helicopter Crashes in Iraq

7 service members were on board

(Newser) - A US military helicopter has crashed in western Iraq with seven service members on board, US officials said Thursday. The officials said that so far there is no indication that the Pave Hawk helicopter was shot down. The helicopter is used by the Air Force for combat search and rescue,... More »

Soldier Takes 10 Flights to See Daughter's Birth

Francois Clerfe had to make it from Iraq to California

(Newser) - Nothing, it seems, was going to keep Francois Clerfe from witnessing the birth of his first child. On Dec. 30, Clerfe, a combat engineer in the US army, was at his post in Iraq. Ten flights and thousands of miles later, he was in a California hospital with his wife,... More »

Victory Over Islamic State Declared in Iraq

'Our enemy wanted to kill our civilization, but we have won'

(Newser) - Three years ago, the Islamic State was in control of approximately one-third of Iraq's territory, Reuters reports. On Saturday, Iraq declared victory in its war against the terrorist organization. "Our enemy wanted to kill our civilization, but we have won through our unity and our determination," the... More »

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 »

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