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 »

Kurds Vote Overwhelmingly for Independence From Iraq

Baghdad is unmoved

(Newser) - The Kurds clearly want their own nation: Monday's referendum on independence from Iraq was approved by more than 92% of voters, officials said Wednesday. Even with the strong support, however, the non-binding vote is unlikely to lead to formal independence, per the AP . But the vote has escalated long-running... More »

In Iraq, a Controversial Bid for Independence

Baghdad issues warning as Kurds vote on breaking away

(Newser) - Iraqi Kurds cast ballots on Monday in Iraq's Kurdish region and disputed territories on whether to support independence from Baghdad in a historic but nonbinding vote that has raised regional tensions and fears of instability, the AP reports. More than 3 million people are expected to vote across the... 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 »

Attacks in Ivory Coast, Turkey Kill Nearly 50

Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb claims responsibility for one attack

(Newser) - Apparent extremist attacks in the Ivory Coast and Turkey have left nearly 50 people dead. At least six armed men attacked beachgoers outside three hotels Sunday in Grand-Bassam, Ivory Coast, killing at least 14 civilians and two special forces, sending tourists fleeing through the historic Ivory Coast resort town, says... More »

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 »

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 »

What Happened in Turkey Yesterday: Stunning, 'Nuclear'

Liberal pro-Kurdish party will have seats in Parliament for first time

(Newser) - "This is a nuclear explosion" is how an expert on Turkey puts it to the Washington Post . The country's ruling party today finds itself with few options to form a new government after it was stripped of its parliamentary majority and opposition parties ruled out joining it in... 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 »

Fears Mount That Key Border Town Will Fall to ISIS

Turkey's president says as much

(Newser) - The Syrian border city of Kobani continues to grab headlines today, with reports placing ISIS closer than ever to the heart of the city, which remains in Kurdish hands. The Wall Street Journal reports that ISIS yesterday managed to raise two of its black flags in the city's outskirts.... 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 »

US Strikes Iraq With Land-Based Bombers

President Obama updates Congress with a letter

(Newser) - The US has expanded its air campaign in Iraq with attacks aimed at helping Iraqi forces regain control of the strategic Mosul dam. The White House said President Obama notified Congress today that the widened mission would be limited in duration and scope. The administration's letter to Congress said... 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 »

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