NEWS ABOUT: Iraq

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Khorasan Is the Terror Group to Worry About

Officials point to danger at home from al-Qaeda cell

(Newser) - More than a third of the 22 US airstrikes in Syria weren't aimed at ISIS. Instead, they targeted a lesser-known al-Qaeda cell known as the Khorasan Group—an organization that some US officials see as a "more direct threat" to the West than ISIS, the New York Times ... More »

NY Man Was ISIS Recruiter: Federal Indictment

Mufid Elfgeeh also charged with plotting to kill US troops back from Iraq

(Newser) - A man from Rochester, NY, was indicted yesterday on charges of attempting to help three people (two of them FBI informants) travel to Syria to take up arms with ISIS, reports the LA Times . The Justice Department statement further alleges that Mufid Elfgeeh sent $600 to a potential recruit in... More »

US Strike Near Baghdad Marks New Phase in Fight

Strikes on ISIS were in direct support of Iraqi military

(Newser) - An American airstrike in Iraq yesterday was the 162nd since early August—but unlike the previous 161, this one took place near Baghdad and marked what Central Command calls the start of "our expanded efforts beyond protecting our own people and humanitarian missions," the Guardian reports. The strike... More »

How Obama's ISIS Speech Went Over

Mixed reaction to plan to 'degrade and ultimately destroy' terror group

(Newser) - President Obama laid the foundation last night for his strategy to "degrade and ultimately destroy" ISIS, citing possible expanded airstrikes from Iraq into Syria and explaining how these efforts would be different from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. "If you threaten America, you will find no safe... More »

Obama: I Won't Hesitate to Hit ISIS in Syria

President says US-led coalition will go after militants 'wherever they exist'

(Newser) - In a prime-time address tonight, President Obama laid out the US strategy to "degrade" and "destroy" ISIS, and he made clear that he's ready to expand US airstrikes from Iraq into Syria . The president says a US-led coalition will go after militants from the Islamic State "... More »

On Deck at NATO Summit: ISIS, Ukraine

World leaders will also discuss the current mission in Afghanistan

(Newser) - A NATO summit today in Wales originally meant to focus on the ongoing Ukraine crisis will shift gears to include high-level discussions on the American- and British-led push to address ISIS, reports the New York Times . President Obama and British PM David Cameron penned a joint letter in the Times ... More »

Obama Sends Hundreds More Troops to Baghdad

Embassy protection force brings troop levels over 1K

(Newser) - The US is adding 350 more troops to help protect the American Embassy in Baghdad and its support facilities in the Iraqi capital, raising the number of US forces in the country to over 1,000, officials say. President Obama approved the additional troops for protection of American personnel following... More »

Iraq Forces Break 2-Month ISIS Siege

Backed by US airstrikes, aid drops, town of Amerli back in Baghdad's hands

(Newser) - Iraqi security forces and Shiite militiamen have broken a two-month siege imposed by the Islamic State on the northern Shiite Turkmen town of Amerli, according to various officials. Army spokesman Lt. Gen. Qassim al-Moussawi said today that forces "reached" the town; retired general and Amerli resident Khaled al-Amerli confirms... More »

Oil Tanker 'Vanishes' With $100M Cargo

Kurdish ship carries crude that may legally belong to Iraq

(Newser) - The US Coast Guard has lost track of a Kurdish tanker carrying $100 million in disputed oil off the coast of Texas, the Independent reports. Headed for Galveston, the United Kalavyrvta was anchored at least 60 miles off-shore when it vanished from radar screens. The ship's haul fell under... More »

British PM Raises UK Threat Level to 'Severe'

Government thinks attack by extremists is 'highly likely'

(Newser) - David Cameron changed the UK threat level from "substantial" to "severe"—its second-highest level—and outlined measures the British government is taking to combat terrorism at a press conference today in London, reports the BBC . On the heels of the execution of James Foley and other disturbing... More »

US Seeks Allies in ISIS Fight —but Not Assad

Obama may greenlight military action in Syria, expanded airstrikes in Iraq

(Newser) - After OKing airstrikes in Iraq and spy flights over Syria in an attempt to rein in ISIS, President Obama has started rallying international allies to expand efforts against the militant Sunni group—efforts that may include even more airstrikes in Iraq and possible military action in Syria, reports the New ... More »

Islamic State Says It Executed US Journalist

American James Foley is reportedly beheaded

(Newser) - The terror group known as the Islamic State, or ISIS, claims to have beheaded American photojournalist James Foley in retaliation for US airstrikes in Iraq, reports the Washington Post and NBC News . A graphic video purports to show Foley, 40, being executed after reciting a statement in which he refers... More »

US Hit 90 Targets in Mosul Dam Fight: Pentagon

President calls recapture of dam a 'major step forward'

(Newser) - President Obama hailed the recapture of Mosul dam today as a "major step forward" as a barrage of US airstrikes helped Kurdish and Iraqi forces score the biggest victory of its counteroffensive against the Islamic State militants. Obama also urged the badly fractured and largely dysfunctional Iraqi government to... More »

Pope Backs Action in Iraq, Wants UN OK

Pontiff says Islamic State militants must be stopped

(Newser) - Pope Francis, the guy probably least likely on the planet to come out in favor of military action, today did precisely that, telling reporters aboard his plane that he had no problem with the use of force to stop Islamic State militants in Iraq from slaughtering the Yazidi minority. "... More »

Iraq: We've 'Fully Liberated' Critical Dam

US airstrikes backed troops in big blow to Islamic State

(Newser) - In a major victory against the Islamic State, Iraqi and Kurdish forces have retaken control of the Mosul Dam, an Iraqi military spokesman tells the AP . The success comes after two days of US airstrikes aimed at helping recapture the site north of Iraq's second-biggest city. The troops have... More »

'At Least I'm Alive': Inside a Deadly Iraq 'Copter Crash

Helicopter went down trying to save Yazidis

(Newser) - A crashing helicopter full of Yazidi refugees goes down too quickly to describe—so Alissa Rubin, a veteran New York Times reporter, writes more about the others on board during the crash this week . Yazidi member of Parliament Vian Dakhil, who had given a "heart-rending" speech advocating the rescue... More »

Militants Massacre 80 Yazidi Villagers

Women, children are abducted by Islamic State

(Newser) - The Yazidis who managed to escape to the mountains seem to be protected from Islamic State militants, but those who stayed in their villages clearly are not. Reports from the village of Kocho in northern Iraq say that extremists executed about 80 Yazidi men yesterday and took away about 300... More »

Maliki Steps Down in Iraq

He gives up fight to remain prime minister

(Newser) - Nouri al-Maliki finally took the hint: He's giving up his fight to serve a third term as prime minister of Iraq, reports the BBC . State TV says Maliki has agreed to step down in favor of Haider al-Ibadi, even though Maliki had called Ibadi's appointment unconstitutional and raised... More »

US: Airstrikes Worked, Iraqi Rescue Not Needed

Military advisers find 'far fewer' Yazidis on mountain than expected

(Newser) - It looks like the US won't have to launch a mass evacuation of Iraqis trapped on a mountain after all. A small team of American military personnel who spent 24 hours on Mount Sinjar said US airstrikes seem to have done the trick—most of the trapped Yazidis who... More »

US Sends More Troops to Iraq

Maliki in talks to step down as France sends weapons to Kurds

(Newser) - Another 130 Marines and special operations forces have been sent to Iraq to help rescue tens of thousands of Yazidi refugees still trapped on a mountain, but this "is not a combat boots on the ground kind of operation," Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel says. Speaking at California's... More »

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