Iraq

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All the Animals in the Mosul Zoo Perished—Except These 2

Meet Simba the lion and Lula the bear, now headed to a new life in Jordan

(Newser) - Lula and Simba are headed to a new life in Jordan. The bear and lion, respectively, were discovered in February in the war-decimated Montazah al-Morour Zoo in Mosul, Iraq, apparently the only two animal survivors in the facility, the BBC reports. All of the other creatures had starved to death... More »

Jared Kushner Makes Surprise Trip to Iraq

Trump adviser and son-in-law also key figure in this week's meeting with Chinese leader

(Newser) - The influence of President Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner apparently continues to grow: He arrived in Iraq on Monday for a surprise visit. The 36-year-old senior adviser traveled there with Gen. Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and plans to meet with Iraqi leaders and US officials... More »

Mosul Residents Got Exactly the Wrong Advice

They were told to stay in their home before airstrikes came: Amnesty International

(Newser) - An airstrike in Mosul 10 days ago reportedly killed dozens of civilians , and now an Amnesty International investigation says the US-led coalition wasn't careful enough in protecting locals as it fought ISIS in the Iraq city, the Guardian reports. The human rights group says up to 150 civilians were... More »

US Coalition Investigating Reports of Deadly Iraq Airstrike

More than 100 civilians have been reported killed in Mosul neighborhood

(Newser) - The US-led coalition fighting the Islamic State is investigating reports of an airstrike in a western neighborhood in the Iraqi city of Mosul that allegedly left more than 100 civilians dead last week, according to a statement given to the AP . The suspected high toll underscores the difficulties that Iraqi... More »

How ISIS Is Trying to Be Like Japan's Kamikaze Fighters

Military targets are now in terrorists' sights more than civilian ones

(Newser) - Suicide bombing is nothing new in terrorism circles, but for Islamic State extremists, the tactic is getting a revamp. The Sunday Times reports on a new study released Monday out of the International Centre for Counter-terrorism in the Hague that shows a definite shift in how jihadi are using the... More »

New Trump Travel Ban Removes Iraq From List: Report

Sources say move came after Pentagon pressure

(Newser) - President Trump's new immigration order will remove Iraq from the list of countries whose citizens face a temporary US travel ban, US officials say, citing the latest draft in circulation. Trump is expected to sign the executive order in the coming days. Four officials told the AP that the... More »

Iraqi Forces Battle ISIS to Take Back Mosul Airport

Push to retake city's western half has begun

(Newser) - Iraqi federal police pushed their way into the perimeter of Mosul International Airport on Thursday, taking control of the runway amid fierce exchanges of fire with ISIS militants hunkered down in several airport buildings, police officials say. The advance came as part of a major assault that started Sunday to... More »

Ex-Guantanamo Detainee Reportedly Turns ISIS Bomber

Relative says man in ISIS photo is Jamal al-Harith

(Newser) - A man compensated by the UK government following his release from Guantanamo Bay in 2004 has reportedly died in a suicide bombing targeting a military base in Iraq. The Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attack Monday, sharing a photo of the smiling British suicide bomber it identified as Abu... More »

Mattis Breaks From Trump on Key Iraq Issue

Defense secretary assures Iraq we want to help beat ISIS, not take its oil

(Newser) - President Trump has noted more than once he thinks we should've taken Iraq's oil when we had the chance (and suggests that option may still be on the table), but his secretary of defense is pushing a different message—what the New York Times characterizes as comments that... More »

Pentagon's Public Stats on US Airstrikes Are Way Off

Likely by thousands—and it's raising questions on transparency, accuracy

(Newser) - The Pentagon's transparency in its fight against overseas extremists is being questioned after a Military Times investigation revealed perhaps thousands of secret airstrikes in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Syria were never publicly disclosed. The US Air Force has an open-source database tapped by Congress, analysts, and others to figure out... More »

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 »

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