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ISIS Tunnels Found Under Iraqi City

Video footage shows extensive network beneath Sinjar

(Newser) - Video newly obtained by the AP sheds light on ISIS strategy under the Iraqi town of Sinjar: Militants from the Islamic State built a network of tunnels, complete with sleeping quarters, electricity, boxes of US-made ammunition, antibiotics, and sandbag fortifications. The video footage of the tunnels was uncovered by Kurdish... More »

Officials: ISIS Working Hard to Get Chemical Weapons

'The macabre imagination of the masterminds is limitless': French PM

(Newser) - French PM Manuel Valls issued a new warning in front of the lower house of France's Parliament Thursday, nearly a week after the Paris terror attacks . "Terrorism hit France not because of what it is doing in Iraq and Syria … but for what it is. We know... More »

Iraq Warned of Attacks Before Paris Assault

Two Iraqi officials say France was given details

(Newser) - Senior Iraqi intelligence officials warned members of the US-led coalition fighting the Islamic State group of imminent assaults by the militant organization just one day before last week's deadly attacks in Paris killed 129 people, the AP has learned. Iraqi intelligence sent a dispatch saying the group's leader,... More »

Obama: No Ground Troops to Fight ISIS' 'Face of Evil'

President says we'll keep calm and carry on with current airstrike strategy

(Newser) - Friday's terror attacks in Paris rocked the world, but President Obama appeared steadfast Monday in his overall strategy to go after the Islamic State. In a presser held after Turkey's G20 summit, Obama said that even though ISIS is "the face of evil" and that Paris' attacks... More »

Kurds Launch Huge Anti-ISIS Offensive

Iraq battle could sever group's main supply line

(Newser) - Kurdish Iraqi fighters, backed by the US-led air campaign, launched an assault Thursday aiming to retake the strategic town of Sinjar, which ISIS overran last year in an onslaught that caused the flight of tens of thousands of Yazidis and first prompted the US to launch airstrikes against the militants.... More »

Freed ISIS Captives Detail the Torture They Endured

They were preparing for their executions when they heard voices

(Newser) - With their executions set to take place within hours, Islamic State prisoners were writing what were to be their last letters to loved ones when Kurdish and US forces changed their fates. As helicopters loomed overhead, Muhammad Hassan Abdullah al-Jibouri, 35, remembers hearing voices speaking Kurdish and English before the... More »

US Considers Increasing Ground Troops in Iraq, Syria

Possibility marks big shift in Obama's plan for the Middle East

(Newser) - Concerned about the lack of progress against the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq, President Obama is considering moving troops to the front lines in both countries, the Washington Post reports. A number of options sent to Obama in a memo last week would have a small number of Special... More »

Hobby Lobby Clan Suspected of Looting Iraq Antiquities

4-year federal probe looks into whether ancient tablets were smuggled into US

(Newser) - The Museum of the Bible being built in DC by the Christian family behind one of the nation's biggest arts-and-crafts retailers is coming along nicely. Maybe too nicely, per law enforcement sources, who tell the Daily Beast that the Green family—the ones whose Hobby Lobby chain claimed a... More »

ISIS Video May Show Raid That Killed US Soldier

Thursday's raid led by US and Iraqi troops freed 70 hostages

(Newser) - ISIS has purportedly released a video showing the aftermath of a raid in northern Iraq by US and Iraqi special forces in which one American soldier was killed . The video, released by the pro-ISIS news agency Aamaq, allegedly shows the rubble of the prison raided in the town of Huwija,... More »

Special Ops Soldier Killed in ISIS Raid Was Father of 4

Joshua Wheeler shot to death in firefight in Iraq

(Newser) - The first American to die in combat operations against ISIS has been identified as Master Sgt. Joshua Wheeler of Roland, Okla. Officials say the 39-year-old Delta Force commando was shot to death in a firefight during a raid that freed at least 70 ISIS captives, including 20 members of the... More »

US Soldier Killed in Raid That Freed ISIS Hostages

US, Kurdish commandos freed 70 from prison in Iraq: reports

(Newser) - An American soldier was killed and 70 hostages held by ISIS were freed in an overnight raid on an Iraq prison by US and Kurdish commandos, a Defense Department spokesman tells CBS News . Iraqi officials—who noted that the raid near the northern town of Hawija included a combination of... More »

Canada to Stop ISIS Strikes

Trudeau tells Obama he's keeping campaign promise

(Newser) - Canada's new leader had some bad news for President Obama in their first conversation since his stunning election win on Monday. Justin Trudeau told Obama that he plans to follow through on his campaign promise and end Canada's role in the airstrike campaign against ISIS in Iraq and... More »

The 5 Worst Places to Die in the World

'The Economist' ranks end-of-life care

(Newser) - There's no avoiding death—but some places are "better" places to die than others. The Economist looked at 80 countries and ranked them for "quality of death," looking at factors including the overall palliative care and healthcare environment, the availability and training of healthcare professionals, the... More »

Scientists Uncover Missing Piece to Ancient Poem

Offers new details of Babylonian Epic of Gilgamesh

(Newser) - When a man arrived at Iraq's Sulaymaniyah Museum offering to sell 80 to 90 clay tablets in 2011, it was Farouk Al-Rawi's job to study them. The professor at SOAS, University of London, found a few fakes in the mix, but spent much of his time examining a... More »

$15M Picasso Sent as $37 Xmas Gift Returns Home

1911 painting was stolen more than 10 years ago from French storage room

(Newser) - A $15 million Pablo Picasso painting is back on display in a Paris museum after a long and unusual journey. La Coiffeuse (The Hairdresser) disappeared from a French storage room more than a decade ago, then turned up in a package from Belgium to New York last year—with a... More »

Why ISIS Members Quit: Boredom, No Luxury Cars

Should defectors be given a helping hand?

(Newser) - ISIS recruits are fleeing the Jihadist group for various reasons—including their use as suicide bombers, the lack of luxury cars, and the sheer boredom of duties that don't involve frontline fighting, according to a new report . Published today by a London-based think tank, the report calls defectors "... More »

Whiz-Kid Cartographer Tracks ISIS From His Bedroom

Thomas van Linge is respected war-zone mapmaker—and he's only 19

(Newser) - Thomas van Linge has become one of the most respected cartographers around when it comes to tracking global conflicts, including the advances of ISIS, Boko Haram, and separatists in Ukraine. His highly detailed, color-coded maps have been picked up by CNN, the New York Times, and the Huffington Post, among... More »

Pentagon May Be Fudging Numbers in ISIS Fight

Its inspector general is looking into allegations

(Newser) - Next time a US policy maker is talking about the progress being made against ISIS, it might be wise to be extra skeptical. The New York Times reports that the Pentagon's inspector general is looking into allegations that intelligence analyses are being goosed to present a picture rosier than... More »

What ISIS Does to Gay Men

Those guilty of sodomy are thrown off buildings, shot, or stoned

(Newser) - Islamic State militants track down gay people through the cellphone and Facebook contacts of their captives, then throw them from rooftops, the UN Security Council heard in a closed-door informal meeting yesterday—the first ever to address violence and discrimination against the LGBT community. "If a victim did not... More »

Franzen: I Wanted to Adopt Iraqi Orphan to Figure Out Youth

Opinionated author says more stuff about women authors, too, in interview

(Newser) - To really get a handle on today's young people, would you a) hook up with your local Big Brothers Big Sisters chapter, b) volunteer at a school, or c) adopt an Iraqi orphan so you can pick his brain for why he's not idealistic or angry enough? If... More »

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