Iraq

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Army: Sorry for How We Dealt With Chemical Weapons Reports

Military promises to provide medical care, support to troops wounded in Iraq

(Newser) - An October New York Times article revealed disturbing details about secret chemical weapons recovered in Iraq and the American troops injured by them. Now, according to a follow-up by C.J. Chivers for the Times , the Army is apologizing to wounded veterans and promising not only prompt and thorough medical... More »

US Is Helping Iran Free Iraqi City of Tikrit

American airstrikes will assist Iranian-backed militias on the ground

(Newser) - The US isn't exactly trumpeting the news, but it's now helping Iran in the fight to boot the Islamic State out of the Iraqi city of Tikrit. It goes like this: For the last few weeks, Iranian military advisers and Iranian-backed militias have been teaming up with Iraqi... More »

Battle Destroys Saddam's Tomb

Fight for Tikrit intensifies

(Newser) - The tomb of Iraq's late dictator Saddam Hussein has been virtually leveled in heavy clashes between ISIS militants and Iraqi forces in a fight for control of the city of Tikrit. Fighting intensified to the north and south of Saddam Hussein's hometown yesterday as Iraqi security forces vowed... More »

New Mission in Iraq, Syria: Save Ancient Treasures From ISIS

Precious antiquities being destroyed by militants

(Newser) - ISIS militants have trashed museum pieces in Mosul with sledgehammers, bulldozed the ancient Assyrian city of Nimrud, and yesterday destroyed the Hatra ruins in Iraq, reports the BBC . But while the New York Times catalogs everything that antiquities ministers and workers are doing to stave off the annihilation of some... More »

ISIS Bulldozes Ancient Site

Militants set about destroying city of Nimrud, near Mosul

(Newser) - ISIS continues to take a sledgehammer to history: Iraqi officials say militants from the Islamic State have begun bulldozing the ancient Assyrian city of Nimrud, reports AP . The city sprang up on the Tigris River in the 13th century BC and is "considered one of the most important archaeological... More »

Iran Joins Fight for Saddam's Hometown

Revolutionary Guard puts boots on the ground around Tikrit

(Newser) - Saddam Hussein's hometown of Tikrit is once again in focus, as Iran's Revolutionary Guard teams with Iraqi forces to retake it from ISIS, the Wall Street Journal reports. The head of the Revolutionary Guard's overseas arm is reportedly directing activity near the town as artillery, rockets, and... More »

Iraq Launches Major Anti-ISIS Offensive

Operation aims to recapture Saddam Hussein's hometown

(Newser) - Backed by allied Shiite and Sunni fighters, Iraqi security forces began a large-scale military operation today to recapture Saddam Hussein's hometown from ISIS in a major step in a campaign to reclaim a large swath of territory in northern Iraq controlled by the militants, according to state TV. The... More »

ISIS Torches Mosul's Ancient Books

Hundreds more Christians kidnapped in Syria

(Newser) - There are more ways than one to be barbaric, ISIS has demonstrated in Mosul. The militants, who seized the Iraqi city in June last year, have trashed its libraries and, by one estimate, have burned or otherwise destroyed more than 100,000 volumes, some of them rare and ancient, the... More »

What's Driving British Teen Girls to Join ISIS?

Aqsa Mahmood went from 'Harry Potter' fan to radical 'poster girl'

(Newser) - Three missing London teenagers appear to have traveled to Syria to join ISIS, despite their parents' impassioned pleas—and one catalyst in the decision may have been a like-minded young woman from Scotland. Aqsa Mahmood, who at 20 is just a few years older than the trio, was once a... More »

Iraqi Diplomat: ISIS May Be Harvesting Organs

Reports raise fears group is selling body parts to fund itself

(Newser) - On the heels of a report that ISIS burned 45 to death comes yet another claim of brutality. The Iraqi ambassador to the UN is calling for an investigation of reports that the terrorist group has been harvesting organs to fund itself, the AP reports. Ambassador Mohamed Alhakim referred to... More »

ISIS Reportedly Burns 45 to Death

Another report says militants plan to use Libya as path to attacks in Europe

(Newser) - Another grisly, if unconfirmed, report about the Islamic State: The BBC reports that militants with the group burned to death 45 people in the Iraqi town of al-Baghdadi. At least some of the victims were members of Iraq's security forces, the police chief tells the news agency. ISIS took... More »

CIA Bought Chemical Arms From Secret Iraqi Seller: Report

Agency reportedly studied, destroyed weapons to keep them from militants

(Newser) - Just months after a New York Times exposé in which US troops alleged serious injuries from chemical weapons in Iraq, a new story has emerged about US efforts to acquire these arms—and the secret source from which they were culled. The CIA, with military help, reportedly purchased at least... More »

Iraq Army Fends Off ISIS Fighters in Iraqi Uniforms

US forces were far from attack on airbase

(Newser) - Some 20 to 25 ISIS fighters clad in Iraq Army uniforms descended on an Iraqi base yesterday, but Iraqi forces were able to defeat them, ABC News reports. An ISIS group wearing suicide vests were first to attack the base; CBS News reports that eight suicide bombers made their way... More »

Assad: Syria's in the Loop on Anti-ISIS Airstrikes

But there's no dialogue with the US, Syrian president says

(Newser) - Bashar al-Assad says his government is receiving messages from the US-led coalition about airstrikes against ISIS taking place in his country. In a BBC interview today, the Syrian president admits that there hasn't been direct cooperation, and the messages are coming from third parties—including Iraq—not the US... More »

After a Decade, Baghdad Curfew Gets Lifted

But violence continues, with bombs killing at least 40 today

(Newser) - Baghdad's decade-old nightly curfew ended after midnight local time, hours after bombs exploded in and around the Iraqi capital, killing at least 40 people in a stark warning of the dangers still ahead in this country under attack by ISIS. The deadliest of today's bombings happened in the... More »

Dysentery? Floating Body? Williams' Claims Under Fire

Now NBC anchor's Hurricane Katrina stories are under the microscope

(Newser) - Brian Williams has been apologizing for falsely recalling being on a helicopter that came under fire in Iraq. Now, more controversy regarding the NBC anchor's memory issues: The New Orleans Advocate says claims he made while covering Hurricane Katrina in 2005—including an account of contracting dysentery and watching... More »

Baghdad's Only Cinema Yanks American Sniper

Despite sellout crowds, some audiences fume over portrayal of Iraqis

(Newser) - Baghdad's only cinema has stopped showing American Sniper. The movie was bringing in money, says the theater's owner—many screenings were in fact sold out, GlobalPost notes—but its portrayal of Iraqis was met with anger, including from the government, the Washington Post reports. "The film makes... More »

Angelina Jolie: We Must Help Syria, Iraq Refugees

We're not doing nearly enough, actress writes

(Newser) - The suffering in the Middle East is the worst since Angelina Jolie first started visiting refugee camps in Iraq in 2007, she writes in a New York Times column today. She tells stories of "displaced Iraqis and Syrian refugees are desperately seeking shelter from the fighting that has convulsed... More »

Kerry: We've Killed Half of ISIS' Leaders

Thousands of militants killed, he says after coalition meeting

(Newser) - The US and its allies sought to put a good face on the coalition's deliberate campaign to roll back ISIS yesterday, boasting of having killed thousands of militants while acknowledging that ousting the group from key cities remains a distant aspiration. Speaking to reporters in London alongside the British... More »

'They Did Bad Things:' ISIS Releases 200 Yazidis

Mostly elderly, in poor health, showing signs of abuse

(Newser) - The Islamic State group released about 200 Yazidis held for five months in Iraq, mostly elderly, infirm captives who likely slowed the extremists down, Kurdish military officials said today. Almost all of the freed prisoners are in poor health and bore signs of abuse and neglect. Three were young children.... More »

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