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Kerry: ISIS Is Committing Genocide

Says US will support efforts to 'analyze the evidence of atrocities'

(Newser) - John Kerry says the Islamic State is committing genocide against Christians, Yazidis, and Shiite groups in Iraq and Syria. The secretary of state announced his findings from the White House on Thursday, citing evidence from a number of sources. "Daesh is genocidal by self-proclamation, by ideology, and by its... More »

10 Killed as Gunmen Bomb, Storm Iraq Mall

Hostages reportedly being held in Baghdad's Jawhara Mall

(Newser) - Gunmen set off a car bomb at the entrance to a mall in mainly Shiite eastern Baghdad on Monday, killing at least 10 people and wounding 25 as the attackers raced inside and took hostages, Iraqi officials said. That number is likely to fluctuate as the story develops: Al Jazeera... More »

After Execution, Iran Warns Saudis of 'Divine Revenge'

Embassy stormed, unrest deepens after Shiite cleric killed with 46 others

(Newser) - Iran's top leader on Sunday warned Saudi Arabia of "divine revenge" over the execution of an opposition Shiite cleric while Riyadh accused Tehran of supporting terrorism, escalating a war of words hours after protesters stormed the Saudi Embassy in Tehran. The execution of Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr on Saturday... More »

Iraq Breaking Apart: Kurds Plan Independence Vote

90 walk out of parliament meeting

(Newser) - With Iraq divided by violence , its Kurdish region is ready to consider forging a nation of its own. Massoud Barzani, the president of the autonomous Kurdistan Region, says he's planning a referendum on independence that could occur in "a matter of months," the BBC reports. Kurdistan has... 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 »

Maliki's Party Wins Iraq Election

But will need to form a coalition to govern

(Newser) - A coalition led by Iraq's Shiite prime minister has emerged as the biggest winner in parliamentary elections, paving the way for him to try to form the country's next government. The Independent High Electoral Commission today released results of the election, the first since the US military withdrawal... More »

Iraq Inks Deal to Buy Arms from Iran

Nouri al-Maliki got tired of US foot-dragging: Iraqi lawmakers

(Newser) - Iran has agreed to sell arms and ammunition worth $195 million to Iraq after Washington apparently hesitated to make an arms deal with Baghdad. According to Reuters , signed documents show that Iran will sell mortar launchers, tank ammunition, light and medium arms, and other weapons—as well as night vision... More »

Villagers 'Massacred' by Syrian Rebels: Report

Shiite clerics hung from gates of town, activist claims

(Newser) - Rebels attacked a village in eastern Syria yesterday, leaving at least 60 people dead—most of them pro-government Shiite fighters, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which says the rebels numbered into the thousands. A government official describes the attack on Hatla as "a massacre against villagers... 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 »

Bomb at Packed Market Kills 60 in Pakistan

It exploded as women and children were shopping for evening meal

(Newser) - A Pakistani official says the death toll in the evening bombing at a vegetable market in the city of Quetta has jumped to 60. Quetta police gave the updated figure a few hours after a bomb ripped through the crowded market—as dozens of women and children were shopping for... More »

Iraq Market Bombings Kill 31

Dozens injured in two Shiite areas

(Newser) - Four car bombs struck two outdoor markets in predominantly Shiite areas of Iraq today, killing at least 31 people and wounding dozens at a time of mounting discontent among minority Sunnis. The bombings in Baghdad and a town south of the capital were the latest attacks by suspected Sunni insurgents... More »

Suicide Bomber Kills 21 at Pakistan Mosque

More than 30 wounded in likely sectarian violence

(Newser) - A suicide bomber detonated his explosives outside a Shiite mosque in northwestern Pakistan as worshippers were leaving Friday prayers, killing at least 21 people and wounding 36 in the latest apparent sectarian attack in the country, police said. Shiite Muslims in Pakistan have increasingly been targeted by radical Sunnis who... More »

Bombs Across Iraq Kill 63 Pilgrims

Attacks target Shiite pilgrims headed to Baghdad site

(Newser) - A series of coordinated car bombs went off in at least five Iraqi cities today, killing 63 people in one of the deadliest attacks since US forces left the country. The blasts appeared to be the third attack this week targeting Shiite pilgrims en route to the Baghdad neighborhood of... More »

Islamist Website: Kill This Rapper, and We'll Pay $100K

But Shahin Najafi denies 'O Naqi' is insulting to Islam

(Newser) - Most rappers hope their songs will be a hit—not make them the target of one. That's the situation facing Shahin Najafi, an Iranian rapper living in Germany who's accused of having "grossly insulted" an important Shi'ite Muslim religious figure in one of his songs. He... More »

Iraq's 'King of Clubs' Appears Online

Former deputy to Saddam Hussein rails against Shiites, Iran

(Newser) - He was the king of clubs. Izzat Ibrahim al-Douri, the highest-ranking member of Saddam Hussein's government still at large, appears to have turned up in an online video posted yesterday, railing against Iraq's government, reports the AP . In the hour-long video, which appears on a website linked to... More »

Another Iraq Suicide Blast Kills 53 Shiites in Basra

Victims were marking a holy day

(Newser) - Iraq's Sunni-Shiite tensions worsened yet again today when a suicide bomber killed at least 53 Shiite pilgrims marking a holy day, reports Reuters . The bomber, dressed as a police officer, struck at a checkpoint in Basra. No claims of responsibility yet, but it bears the hallmarks of Sunni-dominated al-Qaeda,... More »

Wave of Bombings Targets Iraq's Shiites, Killing 72

Heightens fears that attacks will increase now that US has withdrawn

(Newser) - A wave of bombings targeting Shiites in Iraq killed 72 people today, deepening sectarian tensions that exploded just after the last American troops left the country in mid-December. The bombings began early in the morning when explosions struck two Shiite neighborhoods in Baghdad, killing at least 27 people. A few... More »

Despite Maliki Crackdown, US Still Selling Arms to Iraq

Iraqi PM hasn't followed through on his end of agreement

(Newser) - The US is charging ahead with an $11 billion arms deal with Iraq, and has even delivered some of the promised fighter jets, tanks, and weapons—even though Nouri al-Maliki has blatantly failed to follow through on an agreement intended to ensure he would not marginalize his Sunni rivals. Indeed,... More »

VP: Maliki Pushing Iraq Toward Sectarian War

Tariq al-Hashemi accuses Shiite PM of eliminating rivals

(Newser) - Sunni VP Tariq al-Hashemi today openly accused Nouri al-Maliki of trying to eliminate his political rivals and run Iraq like a "one-man-show," a move that Hashemi says is pushing the country toward sectarian war. The comments came during an interview with the AP, which notes that the escalating... More »

Iraqi VP: I'm No Terrorist

Tariq al-Hashemi says Maliki forced his guards to confess

(Newser) - Iraqi Vice President Tariq al-Hashemi vigorously denied the terrorism charges leveled against him yesterday , saying that Shiite-led security personnel had forced false confessions out of his personal guards. "I swear by God I didn’t do this disobedience against Iraqi blood, and I would never do this," he... More »

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