Kurds

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New Iraqi Battle Has Odd Twist for US

It pits one American-trained force (Iraq) against another (Kurds)

(Newser) - Iraqi Kurds voted for independence from Iraq last month, and one tangible result of the vote emerged Monday: Iraqi forces moved in. Baghdad, which considered the referendum illegal, is worried about losing control of the oil-rich Kirkuk region in the north. As a result, state-backed militias seized two oil fields... More »

12 Years After Honor Killing, Brothers Acquitted—Again

2005 murder of woman over her 'Western lifestyle' rattled Germany

(Newser) - Hatun Surucu was 23 when her life ended at a Berlin bus stop a dozen years ago, three bullets fired into her head. The German-born ethnic Kurd's killer, her youngest brother, Ayhan, was allegedly avenging the family's honor—Hatun Surucu had divorced the husband she'd been forced... More »

US Will Supply Heavier Arms to Syrian Kurds to Fight ISIS

Turkey accuses the US of arming terrorists to fight terrorists

(Newser) - President Trump will provide heavier arms to Syrian Kurds in a move certain to anger Turkey, the New York Times reports. The US will supply YPG with things like anti-tank missiles and heavy machine guns so the Kurdish militia can help take Raqqa, a Syrian city serving as the capital... More »

Reports: British Fighter Killed Himself to Avoid ISIS Capture

20-year-old shot himself during Raqqa offensive, say Kurds

(Newser) - A 20-year-old British man who left his job as a chef to fight ISIS ended up killing himself to avoid capture, family members and Kurdish fighters say. Kurdish sources tell the BBC that Ryan Lock and four other fighters died after they were besieged by ISIS militants during an offensive... More »

A Day of Biden, Turkey, Syria Illustrates Convoluted Region

VP tries to make nice in Ankara

(Newser) - If you needed further proof of just how convoluted the situation in Syria is these days, look no further than Wednesday's visit by Joe Biden to Turkey. The main point of his trip didn't directly involve Syria—he was there to try to ease tensions with Ankara, which... 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 »

Foreign Policy Questions Trip Up Trump

Conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt put Trump on the spot about terrorist groups

(Newser) - Donald Trump may have spent last night on Wikipedia after what the Washington Post describes as "some uncomfortable moments" during an interview with conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt yesterday. Touching upon foreign policy with the presidential candidate who's said he would be "so tough" on ISIS, Hewitt... More »

UN: ISIS Atrocities Loom in Besieged Border Town

World must act now to save Kobani, envoy warns

(Newser) - The world has seen the "massacres, humanitarian tragedies, rapes, horrific violence," and other atrocities that unfold when ISIS seizes a town—and it needs to act now to stop the same happening in the Syrian border city of Kobani , a UN official warns. The UN special envoy for... More »

Hitting ISIS From the Air Isn't Working, Say Kurds

While on the ground, data suggests ISIS is getting ammunition from US, its allies

(Newser) - The start of a new week brings not much in the way of encouraging ISIS news. The latest:
  • The news: Kurdish fighters battling ISIS in northern Syria say the airstrikes aimed at the militants there haven't done much to stop the group's advance on Kobani. Kurds put ISIS'
... 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 »

Thousands of Iraqis Trapped on Mountain by Extremists

Yazidis running out of water, face beheadings by militants if they descend

(Newser) - The Islamic State regards Iraq's Yazidi minority as devil worshippers, so when militants captured the village of Sinjar this weekend, 60-year-old Yazidi farmer Kareem Sido fled to the mountains with thousands of others. What he found there were people dying of thirst in conditions so dire that he risked... More »

Every Iraqi Urged to Pick Up a Weapon

Iraq's top cleric says 'everyone who can' must fight

(Newser) - Iraq's top Shiite cleric issued a statement during Friday prayers today, calling on everyone—Shiite and Sunni alike—to fight back against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, the New York Times reports. It is "the legal and national responsibility of whoever can hold a weapon, to... More »

20K Syrian Refugees Flood Iraq in 4 Days

10K came yesterday alone

(Newser) - Here's some perspective on the 2,000 Syrian refugees the US has agreed to take in : since Thursday, 20,000 Syrian refugees have fled across the border into Iraqi Kurdistan—10,000 of them yesterday alone. The UNHCR doesn't know why the sudden exodus has occurred this weekend... More »

Russia Sends Syria Ships— and 'Ship Killers'

Moves seem designed to ward off international military intervention

(Newser) - Russia is reportedly sending military aid to Syria that seems designed to counter any attempt at military intervention from the US or other Western countries. US officials tell the New York Times that Russia has sent the regime new, radar-equipped anti-ship cruise missiles, weapons that could fend off an international... More »

Kurdish Rebel Leader Declares Ceasefire

From jail, Abdullah Ocalan calls for peace

(Newser) - In what he'd promised would be a "historic" pronouncement, the jailed leader of the Kurdistan Worker's Party (PKK) called for a full ceasefire today, urging the PKK's armed factions to withdraw from Turkey. Massive crowds gathered in Diyarbakir, Turkey's largest predominantly Kurdish city, to hear... More »

Apparent Execution in Paris as 3 Kurd Activists Shot

One victim is top militant Sakine Cansiz

(Newser) - Three Kurdish women were found dead at a Paris pro-Kurdish center early today, and France's interior minister is calling it an execution. The three activists were shot; local media reported they were shot in the head, but police would not confirm that, the AP reports. One of the victims... More »

Turkey Puts 44 Reporters on Trial; 900 to Go

Kurdish journalists face charges of 'terrorism'

(Newser) - Turkey put 44 Kurdish journalists on trial today, accusing them of fomenting armed rebellion against the state—possibly the first of many trials against more than 900 indicted reporters, the Guardian reports. Officials say today's defendants are terrorists, yet some are accused of writing articles about prison abuse, war... More »

Syria Showdown: Regime Descends on Aleppo, Damascus

Syrian forces pulling out of country to retake biggest 2 cities

(Newser) - Heavy shelling was reported today in Aleppo and Damascus, as government forces and rebels both gear up for a major showdown, reports Reuters . The Syrian military is sending convoys of tanks, troop carriers, and other hardware to the vital central cities, leaving rebels in control of much of the countryside.... More »

Biden Tells Iraqis to Mend Fences —Like, Now

VP urges Maliki to strengthen coalition with Kurds, Sunnis

(Newser) - Joe Biden called Iraqi officials today, urging them to calm rising sectarian tensions after a bombing killed at least 63 people there earlier this week, the AP reports. Biden and other US officials have been phoning Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki as well as Sunni and Kurdish leaders all week, asking... More »

Evidence Points to Noah's Ark Hoax

Scientist quit group after 'Kurds staged find'

(Newser) - A purported Noah's Ark discovered by a team of Chinese evangelists in Turkey may be a hoax created with old timber by local Kurds, reveals the Christian Science Monitor . "Proper analysis may show this to be a hoax and negatively reflect how gullible Christians can be," said American... More »

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