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Iraq Hangs Dozens of ISIS Fighters Over Gruesome Massacre

36 were convicted in slaughter of hundreds of soldiers in 2014

(Newser) - Iraq has executed 36 men convicted of taking part in the Islamic State group's massacre of hundreds of soldiers in 2014, according to Iraqi officials. The men were hanged at the Nasiriyah prison in southern Iraq on Sunday, according to provincial Gov. Yahya al-Nasiri. A Justice Ministry official, who...

Teams Start Exhuming Tikrit's Many Mass Graves

ISIS claimed to have killed as many as 1,700 soldiers there in June

(Newser) - In June, ISIS did the barbaric: slaughtered scores of soldiers at a base on the outskirts of Tikrit. With the city newly liberated, Iraqi forensic teams have now begun the grim process of excavating suspected mass graves thought to contain some of the 1,700 soldiers ISIS claims to have...

US Is Helping Iran Free Iraqi City of Tikrit

American airstrikes will assist Iranian-backed militias on the ground

(Newser) - The US isn't exactly trumpeting the news, but it's now helping Iran in the fight to boot the Islamic State out of the Iraqi city of Tikrit. It goes like this: For the last few weeks, Iranian military advisers and Iranian-backed militias have been teaming up with Iraqi...

Battle Destroys Saddam's Tomb
 Battle Destroys 
 Saddam's Tomb 

Battle Destroys Saddam's Tomb

Fight for Tikrit intensifies

(Newser) - The tomb of Iraq's late dictator Saddam Hussein has been virtually leveled in heavy clashes between ISIS militants and Iraqi forces in a fight for control of the city of Tikrit. Fighting intensified to the north and south of Saddam Hussein's hometown yesterday as Iraqi security forces vowed...

Iran Joins Fight for Saddam's Hometown

Revolutionary Guard puts boots on the ground around Tikrit

(Newser) - Saddam Hussein's hometown of Tikrit is once again in focus, as Iran's Revolutionary Guard teams with Iraqi forces to retake it from ISIS, the Wall Street Journal reports. The head of the Revolutionary Guard's overseas arm is reportedly directing activity near the town as artillery, rockets, and...

Iraq Launches Major Anti-ISIS Offensive

Operation aims to recapture Saddam Hussein's hometown

(Newser) - Backed by allied Shiite and Sunni fighters, Iraqi security forces began a large-scale military operation today to recapture Saddam Hussein's hometown from ISIS in a major step in a campaign to reclaim a large swath of territory in northern Iraq controlled by the militants, according to state TV. The...

Iraq Launches Push to Reclaim Saddam's Hometown

State media claims success in Tikrit

(Newser) - Iraqi troops backed by helicopter gunships launched an operation today aimed at dislodging Sunni militants from the northern city of Tikrit, Saddam Hussein's hometown and one of two major urban centers militants seized in recent weeks in a dramatic blitz across the country. State media reports said the government...

ISIS Executed 160 Captives, Rights Group Confirms

Russia warns of emerging cross-border 'terrorist state'

(Newser) - Iraqi insurgents executed at least 160 captive soldiers earlier this month in the northern city of Tikrit, Human Rights Watch said today, citing an analysis of satellite imagery and grisly photos released by the militants. The rights group says the "number of victims may well be much higher, but...

ISIS: We Just Slaughtered 1,700 People

US considering talks with Iran on dire situation

(Newser) - Militants from the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria say they've slaughtered 1,700 Iraqi soldiers in Tikrit, a massacre that, if confirmed, would be by far the largest atrocity in the country in more than a decade. The militants released photos late Saturday showing the soldiers being led...

US Rejected Iraq's Call for Airstrikes

Militants vow to take fight to Baghdad

(Newser) - As the scale of the threat from militants who have now seized several Iraqi cities became clear, Iraq's government asked the US to strike militant positions—only to find Washington, somewhat unsurprisingly, reluctant to become involved in new military action in the country. Requests for both manned and unmanned...

Militants Attack Iraq Prison, Free 90 Inmates

At least 12 guards killed in Tikrit attack

(Newser) - About 90 inmates, including some "hardcore" al-Qaeda members, were freed after militants attacked an Iraqi prison last night, officials say. A car bomb went off outside Tasfirat prison's gates in Tikrit; then gunmen stormed the prison and fought with security guards for hours into the early morning, killing...

Explosions Across Iraq: Kut, Najaf, Kirkut, Tikrit, Diyala Targeted
 56 Killed in Blasts Across Iraq 

56 Killed in Blasts Across Iraq

Dozens wounded; explosions end weeks of relative peace

(Newser) - Bombs struck more than a dozen Iraqi cities this morning, killing 56 and wounding dozens more. The coordinated explosions mark the first major violence in a comparatively peaceful month of Ramadan, the AP notes; the violence comes as as officials debate whether to maintain a US presence in the country...

56 Killed in Iraq Hostage Siege
 56 Killed in Iraq Hostage Siege 

56 Killed in Iraq Hostage Siege

Gunmen in military uniform seize Tikrit government building

(Newser) - Gunmen wearing military uniforms over explosives belts charged into a government building in Saddam Hussein's hometown Tuesday in an attack that left 56 people dead, including 15 hostages who were shot execution-style. The five-hour standoff in Tikrit ended only when the attackers blew themselves up. American troops who were nearby...

Suicide Bomber Decimates Iraqi Police Recruits

At least 50 dead

(Newser) - A suicide bomber posing as a police recruit killed at least 50 people and injured more than 150 more in Iraq today. Many of the dead were police or their prospective recruits, who had gathered at a parade ground in Tikrit, Saddam Hussein’s hometown, the New York Times reports.

US Soldier Held in Iraq Contractor's Shooting Death

Contractor for Houston-based KBR shot to death, died at 8:30am

(Newser) - A US soldier is being held in the shooting death of a civilian contractor in Tikrit, Iraq, reports CNN. Houston-based military contractor KBR said the victim shot to death yesterday at Contingency Operating Base Speicher was an employee.

Iraq Bans School Trips to Saddam's Grave

Group visits banned after schoolgirls filmed singing Saddam's praises

(Newser) - Iraq has banned school groups and all other organized visits to Saddam Hussein's grave after video emerged of a group of schoolgirls singing his praises, the BBC reports. The executed dictator is buried in his home village near Tikrit, and the site is still a place of pilgrimage for loyalists....

Iraq Takes Down Shoe Sculpture

Government rejects monument's 'political motives'

(Newser) - The large, shoe-shaped sculpture made to honor an Iraqi journalist’s gesture of defiance against former President Bush was removed from the garden of a Tikrit orphanage just a day after it was put up, CNN reports. The government requested the removal, and sent police to supervise. “We will...

Iraq Artist With Sole Honors Bush Shoe Hurler

Incident 'source of pride,' says sculptor

(Newser) - A copper sculpture of a shoe with a bush growing from it has been unveiled in Saddam Hussein's hometown of Tikrit to honor the journalist who hurled his shoes at President Bush. TV reporter Muntadar al-Zeidi missed, but his action hit it off with some Iraqis. Artist Laith al-Amari insists...

Iraqis Mark Saddam's Death
Iraqis Mark Saddam's Death

Iraqis Mark Saddam's Death

Heightened security greets first anniversary of Hussein's execution

(Newser) - "There is no life without the sun and no dignity without Saddam," read graffiti in the former Iraqi leader’s hometown of Tikrit today, the first anniversary of his execution. Small groups of mourners came to his tomb to praise Saddam Hussein’s accomplishments, reports Reuters, amid tightened...

Washington Post Reporter Killed in Iraq

Shot taking photos in embattled neighborhood

(Newser) - A Washington Post correspondent in Iraq was killed yesterday reporting from one of the  most volatile neighborhoods in Baghdad. Iraqi Salih Saif Aldin, 32, was shot in the head while taking photographs of burned-out homes. US news organizations rely heavily on Iraqi correspondents willing to  brave the hazards outside the...

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