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ISIS Blows Up Jonah's Tomb

Mosul shrine destroyed as new president elected

(Newser) - Jonah, the prophet who ends up in a whale's belly, is as big a figure in the Koran as he is in the Bible, but that didn't stop ISIS militants yesterday from blowing up a shrine devoted to him in Mosul. Officials tell CNN that the shrine—one... 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 »

60 Die in Iraq Prisoner Convoy Ambush

Militants attacked convoy after jail evacuated

(Newser) - Gunmen attacked a prisoner convoy north of Baghdad today, setting off a gun battle with troops in which 52 prisoners and eight soldiers were killed, officials say. The attack came as Iraq's parliament was set to elect a president, part of a troubled political transition that has seen repeated... More »

It's 'Rougher in Iraq' for Sex Workers

WaPo takes a look at their situation in wake of massacre of alleged prostitutes

(Newser) - "This is the fate of any prostitution" read a sign plastered on the front of a building in Baghdad late Saturday—a building where up to 29 alleged prostitutes were killed in a raid by gunmen that same day, reports the Washington Post . At least six men were also... More »

Rand Paul, Rick Perry Squabble Over Iraq

Senator targets governor's 'new glasses'

(Newser) - We've got a few years yet before 2016, but two potential GOP candidates are already taking shots at each other in dueling foreign policy pieces. Texas Gov. Rick Perry got the party started with a Washington Post op-ed, in which he attacked Sen. Rand Paul for being "curiously... More »

Iraq War Overwhelming World's Largest Graveyard

Rogue gravediggers sneaking bodies into other people's plots: Wall Street Journal

(Newser) - Just how bad is the violence in Iraq? So bad that the world's largest cemetery, a 1,500-acre area that contains 5 million graves, is running out of space, the Wall Street Journal reports. The war has doubled the rate of new arrivals to 200 a day, and some... More »

ISIS Leader Video Is a Fake: Iraq

New Islamic State leader seen flashing fancy watch

(Newser) - Iraq is knocking down claims that a video purporting to show Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is even the elusive ISIS leader at all. "We have analyzed the footage ... and found it is a farce," an Interior Ministry spokesman tells Reuters . He claims al-Baghdadi—who has declared himself Caliph Ibrahim... More »

'Islamic State' Leader: Next We Take Rome

Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi calls on Muslims worldwide to join the fight

(Newser) - A self-proclaimed "caliph" of the Middle East is urging Muslims worldwide to join the fight in Iraq and one day conquer the world, "if Allah wills." Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, leader of the newly named Islamic State (formerly ISIS) that has grabbed swaths of northern Iraq, issued his... More »

Iraq Breaking Apart: Kurds Plan Independence Vote

90 walk out of parliament meeting

(Newser) - With Iraq divided by violence , its Kurdish region is ready to consider forging a nation of its own. Massoud Barzani, the president of the autonomous Kurdistan Region, says he's planning a referendum on independence that could occur in "a matter of months," the BBC reports. Kurdistan has... More »

Obama to Send 200 More US Troops to Iraq

That brings total US forces there to nearly 800

(Newser) - President Barack Obama says he's sending about 200 more US troops to Iraq to protect Americans and the US Embassy in Baghdad. The announcement will bring to nearly 800 the total number of US forces in and around Iraq to train local forces, secure the embassy, and protect American... More »

ISIS Crucifies 8 'Moderate' Militants

Meanwhile, Russia sends jets to Iraq

(Newser) - The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria—or as the group now apparently prefers to be called, just the Islamic State —sent a grisly message to other Islamist militants this weekend in Syria by crucifying eight rebel fighters it deemed too moderate, according to a report from the Syrian... More »

New Airport Security Concern: 'Creative' Bombs

Intelligence indicates terrorists in Syria may be working on them

(Newser) - The US may boost security measures at its own airports—and call for improvements abroad—amid fears of attacks fueled by the crisis in Syria, ABC News reports. Terrorists in the country, according to new US intelligence, may be working on "creative" bombs targeting commercial planes, sources tell ABC.... More »

ISIS: We've Formed a New Islamic State

All Muslims ordered to obey 'Caliph Ibrahim'

(Newser) - The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria has dropped "of Iraq and Syria" from its name because as far as it is concerned, there is no "Iraq" or "Syria"—just an Islamic caliphate stretching from Aleppo to eastern Iraq. The militant group has declared a new... More »

Iraq Launches Push to Reclaim Saddam's Hometown

State media claims success in Tikrit

(Newser) - Iraqi troops backed by helicopter gunships launched an operation today aimed at dislodging Sunni militants from the northern city of Tikrit, Saddam Hussein's hometown and one of two major urban centers militants seized in recent weeks in a dramatic blitz across the country. State media reports said the government... More »

ISIS Executed 160 Captives, Rights Group Confirms

Russia warns of emerging cross-border 'terrorist state'

(Newser) - Iraqi insurgents executed at least 160 captive soldiers earlier this month in the northern city of Tikrit, Human Rights Watch said today, citing an analysis of satellite imagery and grisly photos released by the militants. The rights group says the "number of victims may well be much higher, but... 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 »

ISIS Takes Hold of Iraq's Largest Oil Refinery

Kerry promises 'intense, sustained' US support

(Newser) - After more than a week of fighting, ISIS militants say they are now fully in control of Iraq's main oil refinery. The facility at Baiji, some 155 miles north of Baghdad, supplies around a third of the country's refined fuel and the BBC notes that its capture is... More »

Back to Iraq? It's Up to Congress

Founding Fathers' decision allows for 'vigorous national debate': Rachel Maddow

(Newser) - As the US debates its future in Iraq, all eyes are on President Obama—but where we should be looking is Capitol Hill. Yes, congressional leaders recently said Obama needed no new authorization for further military action in Iraq. "But they're wrong," writes Rachel Maddow in 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 »

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