Iraqi militias

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Déjà Vu: Iraq Turns to Sunnis to Fight al-Qaeda

US urges Maliki to pass arms to militias

(Newser) - As Iraqi forces struggle to retake Anbar from al-Qaeda affiliated militants, the government is turning to the same tactic the US used to end the Iraq war: Allying itself with local Sunni tribal militias. The US is urging Nouri al-Maliki to pass the guns it's shipping him to the... More »

14 Iraqi Youths Killed for Wearing Emo Clothes

Shiite militants promise more will die unless they change

(Newser) - At least 14 youths in Baghdad have been stoned or beaten to death in the past month for the crime of dressing like teenagers, reports Reuters . Specifically, they favored emo-syle black clothes and haircuts, which the nation's interior ministry branded as "Satanism" just before the killings began. Apparently,... More »

A First: No US Deaths in Iraq in August

Iraqi crackdown, US strikes helped

(Newser) - As the US approaches its end-of-year deadline for withdrawing all troops from Iraq, August saw a milestone: It was the first month since the US-led invasion began in March 2003 that saw no American military deaths. The previous record was one soldier death in December 2010, and a military spokesperson... More »

Infamous Iraqi Prison Still Open: Red Cross

Critics blame Maliki, who controls the elite units running the prison

(Newser) - A notorious Baghdad prison run by security forces controlled by Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki continues to operate months after it was supposed to have shut down amid allegations of torture, says the Red Cross, which is demanding access to prisoners. Though the government denies the allegation, the situation at Camp... More »

Gay Iraqis Fear for Their Lives

Human Rights Watch attempts to save persecuted gays from murder

(Newser) - Iraqi society is overwhelmingly  homophobic, but that prejudice took a back seat to more pressing issues while war was raging. Now, as Shia militias find themselves with time on their hands, they appear to have turned to a perceived internal problem, “to make society clean from bad things.”... More »

Iraq Militias Kill Gays With Impunity

Government's unwillingness to protect gays points to a bleak future for all Iraqis

(Newser) - Iraq's militias have switched from slaughtering rivals to killing men they suspect of being homosexuals, and the Iraqi government is turning a blind eye, Rasha Moumneh writes in Foreign Policy. Gay men have been kidnapped, tortured, and murdered in rising numbers since the start of this year, but not a... More »

With Paychecks Scarce, Iraqi Awakening Unravels

(Newser) - The imminent withdrawal of US troops and the lack of funds to keep Sunni Awakening members on the payroll has led to rising violence there, the Wall Street Journal reports. The steep decline in oil revenues has left the Iraqi government broke, and former insurgents hired by the US to... More »

Iraq Cracks Down on US-Allied Sunni Fighters

US commanders fear reversal of hard-fought peace

(Newser) - Iraq's Shiite-dominated government has begun a crackdown on groups of US-backed Sunni fighters, the New York Times reports. The government fears the fighters, part of what is called the Awakening movement, could be waiting to turn their guns on Shiites. In several parts of the country senior members have been... More »

US Death Toll in Iraq Plummets

Iraqi deaths down 75% from this time last year

(Newser) - The monthly US toll in Iraq fell to its lowest point since the war began, with 10 American deaths recorded as July drew to a close today. Iraqis also are dying at dramatically lower numbers in the sixth year of the war. July saw the lowest civilian toll since December... More »

Hezbollah Militants School Iraqi Fighters in Iran: US

Report contradicts Tehran's pledge not to meddle

(Newser) - Hezbollah is helping to train Iraqi militants in Iran, the US claims in a report to Iraq’s government. The information, obtained during US questioning of captured Shiite fighters, suggests Iran is quietly aiding the militia, despite repeated claims it’s not interfering in internal Iraqi matters, the New York ... More »

Iraqi Army Rescues British Journalist

Photographer had been held in Basra for two months

(Newser) - Iraqi troops rescued British photojournalist Richard Butler during a raid in Basra today, the Daily Telegraph reports. Storming a suburban house, soldiers found Butler with a hood over his head, but apparently unharmed. Butler had been working in Basra for CBS when he was abducted—by what were thought to... More »

Iraqi PM: No Elections for Militias

Mahdi Army must disband, Maliki says, or lose political power

(Newser) - Muqtada al-Sadr and his loyalists will be banned from upcoming elections if the Mahdi Army doesn't disband, Nouri al-Maliki said today, in his toughest rhetoric yet against the popular cleric. Sadrists say the Iraqi PM has no constitutional power to make that threat, but even if lawmakers succeed in banning... More »

Iraqi Assault on Basra Was 'Thrown Together'

Americans taken aback by Maliki's hasty, improvised raid

(Newser) - American officials were expecting a gradual, methodical operation when Nouri al-Maliki moved Iraqi troops into Basra to restore order in the city. What they witnessed instead was a rush job: an Iraqi raid that had little forethought and began even before the last of the soldiers had arrived. "He... More »

Iran Played Key Role in al-Sadr Ceasefire

Iraqi lawmakers met cleric in Iran before deal was struck

(Newser) - Iran played a key role in convincing Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr to call a ceasefire in Basra yesterday, CNN reports. Iraqi lawmakers from five Shiite parties traveled to Iran on Friday to meet with al-Sadr, and returned yesterday, right before al-Sadr's injunction to halt violence in Basra, an Iraqi official... More »

Basra Awash in Violence as It Tests Self-Rule

Militia violence doesn't bode well for rest of the nation

(Newser) - Basra is supposed to be a shining example of Iraqi self-rule, but the city remains riven by violence five months after British forces pulled out and left local leaders in control, the New York Times reports. Dozens of Shia militias are competing for power, and murders and kidnappings of prominent... More »

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