Iraq

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Iraq Begins Fight to Retake What ISIS Grabbed

New operation begins in Anbar province

(Newser) - Details remain scarce, but Iraq today announced that it has started a military operation aimed at pushing ISIS out of Anbar province, home to the provincial capital of Ramadi—which ISIS seized less than two weeks ago even as coalition airstrikes rained down around them. In high-profile comments Sunday, Defense... More »

Pentagon Boss: Iraqis Had 'No Will to Fight' ISIS

Forces weren't outnumbered, just didn't try hard enough: Ash Carter

(Newser) - Last week's fall of Ramadi to the Islamic State was more a reflection of Iraqi weakness than ISIS' strength, says the US defense secretary. "What apparently happened was that the Iraqi forces just showed no will to fight," Carter tells CNN in an interview today. "... More »

ISIS on Killing Spree in Captured Iraqi City

Fall of Ramadi 'indeed a setback,' White House says

(Newser) - ISIS militants searched door to door for policemen and pro-government fighters and threw bodies in the Euphrates River in a bloody purge yesterday after capturing the strategic city of Ramadi , their biggest victory since overrunning much of northern and western Iraq last year. Some 500 civilians and soldiers have died... More »

Key Iraqi City Falls to ISIS

Iraqi forces flee hold-out neighborhood in Ramadi

(Newser) - ISIS militants have seized a key Iraqi city while coalition airstrikes continued raining down around them, officials say. The militants had already taken most of Ramadi, the capital of Anbar province, placing their flag at the city's government headquarters on Friday—but Iraqi special forces still held out in... More »

Jeb Bush: OK, I Wouldn't Have Invaded Iraq

But he wants a bigger US presence there now

(Newser) - After a week of Iraq headaches for Jeb Bush, he gave what sounds like a final answer yesterday: "Here's the deal: If we're all supposed to answer hypothetical questions, knowing what we know now, what would you have done, I would have not engaged. I would not... More »

Report: Psych Group Helped Bush Justify Torture

APA propped up Bush administration's interrogation program, critics say

(Newser) - The Senate Intelligence Committee's report on CIA prisoner torture caused a massive stir in December, and now that pot is boiling over once more. A report by a group of what the New York Times calls "dissident health professionals and human rights activists" claims that the American Psychological... More »

Iraq: We Killed Saddam's 'King of Clubs'

Izzat Ibrahim al-Douri is dead, officials say

(Newser) - The "king of clubs" is dead, according to a report on Iraqi state TV. Iraqi officials appearing on TV said Izzat Ibrahim al-Douri was killed by Iraqi government forces in a security operation east of Tikrit early today. The government issued a graphic photo it says shows al-Douri's... More »

Pentagon: ISIS Is Losing Serious Ground

In Iraq, anyway; Syria's a different story

(Newser) - Iraqi forces have retaken about a quarter of the territory ISIS seized last year, according to an encouraging Pentagon analysis—some 5,000 to 6,500 square miles in the country's north and center, reports USA Today . "[ISIS] is no longer the dominant force in roughly 25% to... More »

Blackwater Guards Get Hefty Sentences

Nicholas Slatten gets life; 3 others get 30 years each

(Newser) - A federal judge sentenced former Blackwater security guard Nicholas Slatten to life in prison and three others to 30-year terms for their roles in a 2007 shooting that killed 14 Iraqi civilians and wounded 17 others. The carnage in Baghdad's Nisoor Square caused an international uproar over the use... More »

ISIS Again Destroying Ancient Ruins

Video shows militants wrecking ancient city of Nimrud

(Newser) - Islamic State militants hammered, bulldozed, and ultimately blew up parts of the ancient Iraqi Assyrian city of Nimrud, destroying a site dating back to the 13th century BC, an online video purportedly shows. The destruction at Nimrud, located near the militant-held city of Mosul, came amid other attacks on antiquity... More »

Iraq, Afghanistan Deployments Don't Raise Suicide Risk

But further research needed to analyze combat exposure: scientists

(Newser) - Don't blame the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq just yet for the growing number of military suicides. That's the conclusion of a new study published in JAMA Psychiatry that finds the suicide rate of troops deployed there was only a bit higher than that of troops who've... More »

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 »

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