US embassy in Baghdad

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Obama Sends Hundreds More Troops to Baghdad

Embassy protection force brings troop levels over 1K

(Newser) - The US is adding 350 more troops to help protect the American Embassy in Baghdad and its support facilities in the Iraqi capital, raising the number of US forces in the country to over 1,000, officials say. President Obama approved the additional troops for protection of American personnel following... More »

Drunk CNN Reporter Bit EMTs: $2M Lawsuit

Incident took prompted DOJ, State Department inquiry

(Newser) - CNN reporter Arwa Damon is known for venturing into war zones, but she may now be better known for her sharp teeth. Two EMTs at the US embassy in Baghdad, Tracy Lamar and Charles Simons, say in a $2 million lawsuit filed yesterday that a " seriously intoxicated" Damon bit... More »

US Flew Secret Drone Missions Over Iraq

Embassy evacuation plans stepped up

(Newser) - The US rebuffed Iraq's request for airstrikes as insurgents gained strength, but American drones were already collecting intelligence on the militants. The secret drone program, carried out with the consent of the Iraqi government since last year, failed to predict the rapid advance of militants who have now seized... More »

Iran Is Orchestrating Syria Revenge: US

If US strikes, Iran wants Shiite militias in Iraq to strike back

(Newser) - As Congress debates a strike on Syria, the regime and its allies have been given plenty of time to prepare strikes of their own, American officials warn. The US has intercepted an order from Iran to Iran-supported Shiite militias in Iraq to launch attacks on the US Embassy and other... More »

US Will Halve Vast Iraq Embassy

Officials cite Iraqi obstructionism, mutual suspicion for thwarting mission

(Newser) - The United States' hulking $750 million Baghdad embassy is home to 16,000 staff and carries a $6 billion price tag annually—and it's about to get slashed in half in the wake of US troops' departure, reports the New York Times . It's quite the about-face for the... More »

Mortars Rock Baghdad During Biden's Visit

Vice president unharmed; will meet with Iraqi political leaders

(Newser) - Mortar rounds exploded near the US Embassy in downtown Baghdad today during a surprise visit by Joe Biden, the New York Times reports. The vice president was inside the embassy compound when two mortars struck apartment buildings across the street. Two more rounds landed near the compound but didn’t... More »

Bloated Baghdad Embassy Needs 'Rightsizing': State

(Newser) - An internal State Department assessment has deemed the recently completed US embassy in Baghdad grievously overstaffed, McClatchy Newspapers report. “There is a clear consensus from the top to the bottom of the embassy,” State’s inspector general writes. “The time has come for a significant rightsizing.”... More »

US Inaugurates $700M Embassy in Baghdad

Buildings symbolize desire to 'continue the tradition of friendship'

(Newser) - The United States inaugurated its largest embassy yet in the heart of the Green Zone today, officially opening the fortress-like compound that was intended to stand as a testament to America's commitment to Iraq. Addressing an inauguration ceremony under tight security, Ambassador Ryan Crocker said the $700 million embassy was... More »

US Expands Visa Program for Iraqis Tenfold

5,000 allies, plus families, can come to America annually

(Newser) - The US embassy in Baghdad announced a major expansion of its visa program for Iraqi employees of the American government, raising tenforld the number of work permits it currently offers. The move is the latest step by the Bush administration to answer criticism that it has neglected the Iraqis, particularly... More »

Iraqi Visits: Much Ado but Few Epiphanies

Obama's pledged trip to Baghdad likely won't change his mind

(Newser) - Lawmakers have been flocking to Iraq to assess the situation on the ground, as Barack Obama is about to do, but the visits rarely result in any revelations for them, writes Karen DeYoung in the Washington Post. The itineraries are fairly routine by now—meet the generals, the troops, and... More »

Easter Bombings in Iraq Kill at Least 57

Al-Qaeda bomber kills 13 in Mosul, while rockets hit Green Zone

(Newser) - Despite a yearlong decline in violence in Iraq, a series of attacks on Easter Sunday killed at least 57, reports the AP. In the most severe, a suicide car bomber killed at least 13 Iraqi soldiers and wounded 42 people at a military base in Mosul, an al-Qaeda holdout. A... More »

State Dept.'s Inspector General Quits

Embattled Krongard falls victim to fallout over Blackwater

(Newser) - The State Department’s inspector general will step down next month, ending a tenure marked by controversy and allegations of conflicts of interest, the Washington Post reports. Critics accused Howard Krongard of impeding the Blackwater investigation, a charge he vigorously denied. He recused himself from the probe when it became... More »

Baghdad Safe Again, Says Iraq

Fall in violence trigger optimism from Iraqi government

(Newser) - A sharp drop in violence in Baghdad led Iraqi government officials to express confidence yesterday that the worst is over, reports the Los Angeles Times. While violence remains high, bombings, street fighting, and abductions are down, as are fears of a civil war. US officials urged Iraq's government to take... More »

Ambassador Asks US to Issue Visas to Iraqi Workers

Baghdad envoy speaks up for imperiled locals

(Newser) - Fearing for the safety of locals employed by the American government in Iraq, the US ambassador wants the administration to issue them immigrant visas. Ryan Crocker's unusual request spotlights competing pressures, the Washington Post reports: the danger to Iraqis perceived as aiding the occupiers, the worsening refugee crisis, and Washington's... More »

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