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Iraq: Fallujah 'Fully Liberated' From ISIS

City fully under Iraq control after monthlong fight with militants

(Newser) - A senior Iraqi commander declared that the city of Fallujah was "fully liberated" from Islamic State militants on Sunday, after a more than monthlong military operation. Iraqi troops have entered the northwestern al-Julan neighborhood, the last area of Fallujah to remain under ISIS control, the head of the counterterrorism... More »

ISIS Defenses Collapse in Fallujah

Thousands of civilians flee to safety

(Newser) - Iraqi special forces swept into Fallujah on Friday, recapturing most of the city as ISIS' grip crumbled after weeks of fighting. Thousands of trapped residents took advantage of the militants' retreat to flee, some swimming across the Euphrates River to safety, the AP reports. Residents described harrowing escapes even after... More »

To Flee Fallujah, Some Are Using Dangerous 'Boats'

At least 4 have drowned crossing the Euphrates

(Newser) - Two weeks after launching a campaign to reclaim Fallujah from ISIS, which has held the city for two years, Iraqi forces on Sunday secured the southern edge of the city and "elite special forces" were moving toward the city's center on Monday, ABC News reports. "We are... More »

Iraq Launches Final Assault on Fallujah

50K civilians caught between ISIS, Iraqi military

(Newser) - Monday is going to be another bloody day in Fallujah—possibly the bloodiest yet. Before dawn, the Iraqi military launched a final offensive to recapture the city from ISIS, which has held it for more than two years. "With God's blessing we have launched the third phase of... More »

Iraq Launches Offensive Against ISIS' Longest-Held City

Civilians have been ordered to leave Fallujah

(Newser) - Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi announced the beginning of military operations to retake the ISIS-held city of Fallujah in a televised address on Sunday night. Iraqi forces are "approaching a moment of great victory" against ISIS, said al-Abadi, who was surrounded by top military commanders from the Ministry of... More »

Marine Accused of Faking Iraq Kidnap Resurfaces

Wassef Ali Hassoun was charged with desertion twice

(Newser) - A Marine who disappeared from a base in Fallujah a decade ago, turned up in Lebanon weeks later, and then vanished again while facing desertion charges has resurfaced—and the military presumably has a lot of questions to ask him. After Cpl. Wassef Ali Hassoun vanished from the base in... More »

Photos Show Marines Burning Iraqi Corpses: TMZ

Pentagon investigating images thought to be from Fallujah 2004

(Newser) - TMZ is venturing well off the Justin Bieber beat with a potentially serious story about the behavior of Marines during the Iraq war. The site has published eight grisly photos that it says show US troops burning the corpses of Iraqi insurgents in Fallujah in 2004, rifling through pockets,... More »

'Why the Hell Did All My Buddies Die There?'

US vets bitter about rise of al-Qaeda in Fallujah: Washington Post

(Newser) - A decade ago, the city of Fallujah became a not-so-pleasant reference point for Americans following the Iraq war as US forces dug in against insurgents. Today the American troops are gone, an al-Qaeda group has claimed the city as an Islamic state, and fighting between militants and Iraqi forces have... 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 »

Bombings Sweep Iraq on Anniversary of US Invasion

And comes ahead of next week's Arab League summit

(Newser) - Car bombs exploded in cities across Iraq today, including Baghdad, Fallujah, and Kirkuk, in a spate of violence that both marks the ninth anniversary of the US invasion of Iraq, and presages the Arab League's summit in Baghdad next week. The attacks struck eight cities in all, killing at... More »

US Weapons Caused Birth Defects in Fallujah

Study finds link to weapons like depleted uranium

(Newser) - US weapons likely caused a horrifying spike in birth defects among the people of Fallujah, according to doctors and a recent study of hair samples. Evidence has long connected American weapons like white phosphorous and depleted uranium to birth defects in the Iraqi city, which suffered devastating US attacks in... More »

It's Over: Iraq War Ends Today

Leon Panetta shuts down operation in quiet ceremony

(Newser) - Today's the day. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta declared the Iraq War over in a quiet ceremony in Baghdad, saying the conflict was worth the cost because it set Iraq on a path to democracy. After speeches, the flag of United States Force-Iraq was "cased"—furled around a... More »

Judge Ends Blackwater Wrongful Death Lawsuit

Because the plaintiff was out of money

(Newser) - A federal judge has dismissed a wrongful death lawsuit against Blackwater because the plaintiff could no longer afford to pay for the proceedings, the Washington Post reports. The case, which blamed Blackwater for the deaths of four contractors in 2004, has dragged on for six years. Katy Helvenston, mother of... More »

Birth Defects Linked to US Fallujah Fighting

Parents, docs complain of upsurge of problems since attack

(Newser) - Iraqi parents and doctors are attributing an upsurge in birth defect problems in Fallujah to a major US military offensive there. Doctors report seeing as many as three cases of birth defects a day now. The US denies a problem exists. "No studies to date have indicated environmental issues... More »

Iraq War Renamed 'Operation New Dawn'

'Operation Iraqi Freedom' history as most troops head home

(Newser) - The Obama administration has rebranded the Iraq War as it prepares to pull out most American troops. "Operation Iraqi Freedom" will become "Operation New Dawn" as of Sept. 1, when US troop levels are supposed to fall to around 50,000, the Washington Post reports. Defense Secretary Robert... More »

After Nabbing Terrorist, Navy SEALs Face Assault Rap

Iraqi accused in '04 incident got bloody lip from US captors

(Newser) - After capturing one of the most wanted terrorists in Iraq, three of the Navy SEALs involved in the operation now face assault charges for giving Ahmed Hashim Abed a bloody lip, military sources tell Fox News . Abed is said to have masterminded the 2004 murder and public mutilation of four... More »

Iraqi War Zone Sees Big Spike in Birth Defects

Fallujah reports unusually high rate of abnormalities

(Newser) - Doctors in Fallujah are seeing an alarming rise in the number of birth defects and early life cancers. They have no definitive evidence, but suspicion has naturally fallen on toxic materials left behind after years of modern warfare, reports the Guardian . The rate of birth defects—including multiple tumors, nervous... More »

Fallujah Video Game Sparks Vet Family Fury

(Newser) - A realistic video game featuring a historic Fallujah battle involving US forces in Iraq has incensed vets and their families, reports ABC News. Six Days in Fallujah is due out next year, and involves Marine consultants to ensure accuracy of the action. "It's upsetting," said a mom who... More »

2nd Marine Acquitted in Fallujah Killings

(Newser) - A Marine was acquitted today in a court-martial for civilian deaths during the battle for Fallujah, Iraq, in 2004, the San Diego Union-Tribune reports. Sgt. Ryan Weemer acted in self defense and had orders to fire, there was no forensic evidence, and he was manipulated by investigators, his lawyers argued.... More »

Council Gives Iraq Security Deal Final Approval

Two bombings claim lives of Iraqi civilians, US troops

(Newser) - Iraq's presidential council today approved the security pact that lays out a 3-year timeframe for US troops to leave— the final step for the agreement to replace a UN mandate that expires Dec. 31, the AP reports. As the final legal hurdle to the deal was cleared, American soldiers and... More »

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