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Iraq: Last of Our ISIS-Held Towns Has Been Set Free

Rawah is back under Iraqi forces' control, officials say

(Newser) - Iraq's Ministry of Defense says Iraqi forces backed by a US-led coalition have liberated the last Iraqi town held by the Islamic State group, per the AP . The ministry said in a statement Friday morning that Iraqi military units and local tribal fighters entered the western neighborhoods of Rawah... More »

Iraq Begins Fight to Retake What ISIS Grabbed

New operation begins in Anbar province

(Newser) - Details remain scarce, but Iraq today announced that it has started a military operation aimed at pushing ISIS out of Anbar province, home to the provincial capital of Ramadi—which ISIS seized less than two weeks ago even as coalition airstrikes rained down around them. In high-profile comments Sunday, Defense... More »

One by One, ISIS Executes 50 Men, Women, Kids

Continues public executions of Sunni tribe in Iraq's Anbar Province

(Newser) - Islamic State group extremists lined up and publicly shot dead at least 40 Iraqi tribesmen, six women, and four children today, officials said, the latest mass slaying by militants who have killed some 150 members of the tribe in recent days. The killings target the Sunni Al Bu Nimr tribe... More »

US Airstrikes Hit ISIS Near Critical Iraq Dam

Militants were trying to capture Haditha Dam

(Newser) - The US military today launched airstrikes around Haditha Dam in western Iraq, targeting Islamic State insurgents there for the first time in a move to prevent the group from capturing the vital dam. The strikes represented a broadening of the US campaign against the Islamic State militants, moving the military... More »

Iraq Loses Control of Western Border

ISIS miltants seize key border crossings

(Newser) - Islamic State of Iraq and Syria fighters have taken another step toward making their name a reality with the weekend seizure of two key border crossings in western Iraq. Though the news that they took four key towns (Qaim, Rutba, Rawa, and Anah) in two days was reported yesterday, the... More »

60 Killed in Iraq Car Bomb Wave

Militants enter university, take hostages

(Newser) - A series of car bombs exploded across Iraq's capital today, killing scores of people in a day of violence that saw militants storm a university in the country's restive Anbar province and take dozens hostage, authorities said. Reuters puts the number dead at more than 60. The attacks... More »

Iraqi Troops Fight al-Qaeda, Leaving 34 Dead

In Syria, opposition fighters battle rebels linked to extremists

(Newser) - The Iraqi military tried to dislodge al-Qaeda militants in Sunni-dominated Anbar province today, unleashing airstrikes and besieging the regional capital in fighting that killed at least 34 people, officials said. A series of bombs in Shiite neighborhoods of Baghdad, meanwhile, killed at least 20 people. The recent gains by the... More »

Al-Qaeda: 'We Declare Fallujah an Islamic State'

It's another sign that Syrian war is affecting entire region

(Newser) - Battles are raging today in Fallujah and Ramadi, the two biggest cities in Iraq's Anbar province, between government troops and Sunni militants under the banner of the al-Qaeda-linked Syrian rebel faction known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria. After days of fighting—which began when Nouri al-Maliki... More »

Iraq Insurgents Hold Police Hostage

Mayor also held captive following break-in, suicide attack in al-Baghdadi

(Newser) - Insurgents have stormed an Iraqi police station and taken police and officials—including the town’s mayor—hostage. Insurgents poured into the western town’s station disguised as police and opened fire; one insurgent detonated a suicide bomb, officials tell the AP . The officials taken hostage were working in offices... More »

Judge Lets Army Vet Sue Rumsfeld Over Detention

American contractor says defense sec approved his detention, torture in Iraq

(Newser) - An Army vet who says he was imprisoned unjustly and tortured by the US military in Iraq can sue former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld personally for damages, a judge ruled yesterday. The veteran, a private contractor who worked as a Marine translator in the volatile Anbar province, says he was... More »

Wave of Bombings Kills 61 in Iraq

Shiites, Muqtada al-Sadr's office targeted

(Newser) - Bombs exploded throughout Baghdad today, targeting Shiite mosques and neighborhoods, including the office of anti-US cleric Muqtada al-Sadr. A neighborhood in Anbar province was also hit with six roadside bombs. At least 61 people have been killed and nearly 112 wounded, CNN reports. More »

US Marines Exit Iraq; Biden in Baghdad

Hand-off in Ramadi kicks off accelerated troop withdrawals

(Newser) - The US Marine Corps wrapped nearly 7 years in Iraq today, handing over duties to the Army in a ceremony in Ramadi, and signaling the beginning of an accelerated withdrawal of American troops. The last remaining Marines are expected to be followed out by tens of thousands of soldiers in... More »

23 Killed in Twin Iraq Bombings

Suicide attack targets Anwar province governor

(Newser) - At least 23 are dead and 30 are wounded in the Iraqi city of Ramadi in twin bombings today that targeted the governor of Anbar province, the Daily Telegraph reports. A car bomb exploded near a security checkpoint by the governor's offices, and 30 minutes later a suicide bomber on... More »

Taliban Scarier Than Iraq Enemy

(Newser) - Taliban forces in Afghanistan are bolder, better organized, and more tenacious than the deadliest Iraqi insurgents, a war-hardened Marine told the New York Times. “In Iraq, they’d hit you and run,” said Sgt. Jacob Tambunga, who spent three tours fighting in Anbar Province. “But these guys... More »

US Can Turn 70% of Afghan Taliban: Biden

Largest group of insurgents just hired mercenaries, VP says

(Newser) - A majority of the Taliban fighters in Afghanistan are just hired guns whose loyalties could be bought by the US, Joe Biden said today. “Five percent of the Taliban is incorrigible, not susceptible to anything other than being defeated,” the vice president said. “Another 25% or so... More »

4 Insurgents Escape in Iraqi Jail Riot

4 likely al-Qaeda in Iraq members escape

(Newser) - Four prisoners who belong to the insurgent group Al-Qaeda in Iraq broke out of jail during a riot today that killed six police officers and seven prisoners in the western city of Ramadi, police said. Authorities have imposed a curfew on the city, the capital of Anbar province, as they... More »

US Hands Anbar Province to Iraqis

Military cedes control of largest region in Iraq

(Newser) - The American military is finally handing over control of Anbar province, once the center of the Sunni insurgency, to Iraqi forces today. Once one of Iraq's most dangerous regions, Anbar was transformed as Sunni militants allied themselves with the US. The transfer of Anbar, delayed several times, brings the number... More »

Fewer Marines Needed in Iraq's Anbar: General

Not many 'bad guys left' in province with Iraqi forces set to take over

(Newser) - The Marines’ top general says his two combat units in Iraq’s Anbar province could stand to be deployed elsewhere after the US hands over control there to Iraqi forces next week, the AP reports. “There aren't a whole heck of a lot of bad guys there left to... More »

Iraq's First Lady Survives Attack on Motorcade

Road bomb injures 4 guards, capping an especially bloody week

(Newser) - The wife of Iraqi President Jalal Talabani escaped injury after a roadside bomb hit her motorcade in Baghdad this morning. Hiro Ahmed Ibrahim was on her way to a cultural festival when the blast hit, injuring four of the first lady's bodyguards. It is unclear whether the attack was random... More »

US Bombs al-Qaeda Sites in Iraq

Strike was aimed at al-Qaeda safe havens north of Baghdad

(Newser) - US bombers and fighters dropped 40,000 pounds of explosives on al-Qaeda stronghold Arab Jabour, an agricultural area just north of Baghdad. The 10-minute strike flattened 40 targets ahead of ground troops as part of Operation Phantom Phoenix, a new offensive against al-Qaeda, the AP reports. Nine US troops have... More »

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