Iraq

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Iraqi Forces Battle for Mosul University

ISIS is showing signs of weakening, commanders say

(Newser) - Iraqi forces have secured less than a quarter of Mosul University as they face stiff resistance from ISIS fighters in the battle for control of the city, according to senior Iraqi commanders overseeing the advance. Convoys of Iraqi Humvees snaked through the sprawling university compound in eastern Mosul, pausing for... More »

Dozens Die in Twin Baghdad Bombings

ISIS attacks as Mosul offensive restarts

(Newser) - A pair of suicide bombings minutes apart hit a central Baghdad market on Saturday, killing 28 people and wounding at least 54, prompting security forces to ban traffic from key streets at the center of the Iraqi capital, police and hospital officials, the AP reports. The twin attacks hit al-Sinak,... More »

Iraq Facing Potential 'Catastrophe of Biblical Proportions'

Mosul Dam breach could pose greater threat than ISIS

(Newser) - As Iraqi forces continue their battle against ISIS in Mosul, there's another problem lurking just 25 miles away from the embattled city: the Mosul Dam, a structure the US Army Corps of Engineers has called the "most dangerous dam in the world," per a piece by Dexter... More »

Iraqi Journalist Kidnapped Hours After Criticizing Gov't Official

8 gunmen reportedly took her from Baghdad home

(Newser) - Armed men posing as members of security forces have kidnapped an Iraqi journalist from her home in Baghdad. Afrah Shawqi al-Qaisi, also identified as Afrah Shawqi Hammudi, was seized around 10pm Monday in the Saidiya neighborhood, say security officials. "Eight armed men burst into her house in Saidiya dressed... More »

ISIS Carries Out Its Deadliest Attack Against Iranians

Suicide truck bomb targeted Shiite pilgrims in Iraq

(Newser) - ISIS carried out its deadliest attack in Iraq in months Thursday night, killing at least 73 people, including dozens of Iranian pilgrims, in an attack on a gas station on a highway south of Baghdad. At least 65 other people were wounded in the attack, which targeted Shiite pilgrims who... More »

Fighting Grows Fiercer in Mosul Neighborhoods

Church rings bells for first time since liberation

(Newser) - Iraqi troops faced stiff resistance Saturday from ISIS militants as they pushed deeper into eastern Mosul, backed by aerial support from the US-led international coalition, a senior military commander says. At dawn, troops moved into the Muharabeen and Ulama neighborhoods after fully liberating the adjacent Tahrir neighborhood on Friday, according... More »

Iraqi Military Finds 100 Decapitated Bodies in Mass Grave

Most were reduced to skeletons

(Newser) - The Iraqi military says it has found about 100 decapitated bodies in a mass grave south of the ISIS-held city of Mosul, the AP reports. The spokesman for the Joint Military Command, Brig. Gen. Yahya Rasool, says the bodies were discovered Monday near the agricultural college in the town of... More »

ISIS Leader Releases Message Amid Battle for Mosul

Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi encourages loyalists to fight to the death

(Newser) - ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi has released a rare message amid a major coalition offensive against Mosul, the last major ISIS stronghold in Iraq. The undated audio recording is al-Baghdadi's first public communication in almost a year, the International Business Times reports. The tape didn't specifically mention the... More »

ISIS Documents Set Out Rules for Sex Slaves, Beards

Fighters advised to 'enjoy' underage girls

(Newser) - As ISIS retreats from villages surrounding Mosul, detailed evidence of the group's harsh rule is emerging. In documents discovered by Reuters in recently abandoned ISIS offices near the Iraqi city, the group sets out strict requirements for beard-growing, the proper way of praying—and the treatment of sex slaves.... More »

Iraqi Forces Reach Last Major Islamic State Stronghold

Losing Mosul would be major defeat for Islamic State

(Newser) - Iraq's special forces fought their way into the outskirts of Mosul on Tuesday, taking its state television building despite resistance by Islamic State group fighters that is only likely to stiffen when combat reaches the inner city, the AP reports. It was the first time Iraqi troops have set... More »

Photographer Caught in Car Bomb Attack Tells His Tale

'My only thought was to get low and find cover'

(Newser) - Bryan Denton was out of the safety of the armored vehicle and away from cover when the suicide car bomb approached, looking "like an armadillo covered in steel plates." "As everyone began to run, and the soldiers opened up on the vehicle, my only thought was to... More »

ISIS 'Massacring Mosul Residents'

UN fears group is killing its 'human shields'

(Newser) - As Iraqi forces close in on Mosul, ISIS appears to be stepping up its atrocities in the city. A senior intelligence source tells CNN that the group rounded up and killed 284 men and boys in southern Mosul on Thursday and Friday. The victims, including children, are believed to be... More »

Inside the Battle for Mosul

ISIS putting up fierce resistance in operation's first week

(Newser) - Iraq and Kurdish forces backed by a US-led coalition have begun what could be a long fight to recapture the city of Mosul from the Islamic State; it's the group's last major stronghold in the country. Related coverage on the fight and why it matters:
  • "Blood stained
... More »

'God Willing, We Will Take This Town Today'

Elite Iraqi forces advance on town of Bartella, which is near Mosul

(Newser) - Iraqi special forces charged into the Mosul battle Thursday with a pre-dawn advance on a nearby town held by ISIS, a key part of a multi-pronged assault on eastern approaches to the besieged city. As they advanced, attack helicopters fired on the militants and heavy gunfire echoed across the plains,... More »

This May Be 2016's Biggest Humanitarian Challenge

Some 1M civilians could flee Mosul, with 700K of them requiring shelter

(Newser) - The military operation to wrest Mosul from ISIS could become the single largest, most complex humanitarian operation in the world in 2016, a UN official said Monday. Lise Grande, the UN humanitarian coordinator for Iraq, said that in the worst case scenario, some 1 million civilians could flee the city,... More »

It Begins: 'Final Battle' for Biggest ISIS City

More than 35K troops launch push to retake Mosul

(Newser) - Iraq has launched what a military spokesman says is no less than a battle for the country's future: An operation to retake Mosul, once the country's second-largest city, from ISIS, which seized it more than two years ago, has begun. The US-led coalition is supporting Iraqi troops and... More »

The Pentagon Is Worried About ISIS' New Weapon

Off-the-shelf drones are being turned into bombs

(Newser) - In a development that some security experts say the Pentagon should have seen coming, ISIS is now using drones to kill people on the battlefield. The Guardian reports that according to French media, two Kurdish peshmerga fighters were killed and two French special forces soldiers were badly injured in Iraq... More »

Iraq Hangs Dozens of ISIS Fighters Over Gruesome Massacre

36 were convicted in slaughter of hundreds of soldiers in 2014

(Newser) - Iraq has executed 36 men convicted of taking part in the Islamic State group's massacre of hundreds of soldiers in 2014, according to Iraqi officials. The men were hanged at the Nasiriyah prison in southern Iraq on Sunday, according to provincial Gov. Yahya al-Nasiri. A Justice Ministry official, who... More »

It Took a Year to Conceive. Fire Killed Her Newborn, 11 More

Fire ripped through maternity ward at a Baghdad hospital Tuesday night

(Newser) - Shaima Hassan stood dazed and trembling in shock after losing her two-day-old son. The 36-year old had spent more than a year visiting hospitals in and outside Iraq trying to conceive. "I waited for ages to have this baby and when I finally had him, it took only a... More »

2 Years of Airstrikes Take Heavy Toll on Iraq

ISIS in retreat, but cities are devastated

(Newser) - Two years ago , just after the fall of Mosul, the US-led coalition launched the first airstrikes on ISIS, ushering in a deeper phase of intervention that dramatically changed the fight against the militant group in Iraq. Since then, more than 9,400 airstrikes have allowed Iraqi forces to claw... More »

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