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Iraq Briefs

Iraq Stories


Jul 13 2014 Militants Seize Yet Another Iraqi Town

WASHINGTON - Iraqi militants have attacked a town north of Baghdad, seizing local government buildings and killing at least 6 people, including two police officers.
Officials say the assault on Dhuluiya, about 50 miles north of the capital, began early Sunday. Government forces had retaken Dhuluiya last month after it had been overrun by the militants, […]


Jun 22 2014 Sunni Militants Seize More Iraqi Towns

BAGHDAD - Sunni insurgents led by an al-Qaida splinter group have seized two more towns in Iraq’s western Anbar province.
Security officials said Sunday the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, or ISIL, is now in control of Rutba and Anah.
Meanwhile, the United States has begun a new diplomatic bid to unite Iraq’s fractious leaders […]


Jun 16 2014 Iraq Prepares To Defend Baghdad Against Terrorists

BAGHDAD - In a bid to reassure the situation is under control, Iraqi state TV shows video of hundreds of volunteers standing in front of a military recruiting station Sunday. They interviewed military commanders to reinforce the message that popular enthusiasm to fight Sunni militants from the al-Qaida-linked Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant […]


Jun 11 2014 Iraqi Government Looses Control Of Mosul

BAGHDAD - Iraq’s Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari said the government in Baghdad will work with Kurdish authorities in the north to push insurgents out of Mosul, after Islamist militants seized control of the city.
Zebari said Wednesday that Iraq’s leaders must unite to face what he called a “serious, mortal threat” facing the country.
He pledged a […]


Apr 7 2014 US Issues Travel Warning To Iraq

WASHINGTON - The U.S. embassy in Iraq has warned U.S. citizens against “all but essential travel to Iraq.”
The embassy issued the travel warning Sunday, citing “ongoing security concerns in Iraq, including kidnapping and terrorist violence.” The warning said the embassy is “extremely limited” in its ability to respond to situations that U.S. citizen might face […]


Feb 28 2014 Motorcycle Bomb Kills 52 In Baghdad

BAGHDAD - At least 52 people were killed Wednesday as a motorcycle rigged with explosives detonated in Baghdad’s Sadr City and militants targeted mostly Shi’ite neighborhoods around the country.
The motorcycle was parked in a second-hand bike market in the Shi’ite Muslim neighborhood that was filled with people, mostly young men, when it exploded late Thursday […]


Feb 25 2014 Iraq Signs Deal To Purchase Arms From Iran

WASHINGTON - A published report says Iraq has signed a deal to purchase weapons from Iran, breaking a U.N.-imposed embargo on weapons sales by Tehran.
Reuters news agency reported seeing documents that say the $195 million deal would include light and medium arms, various types of ammunition, as well as day and night vision goggles, protection […]


Feb 17 2014 Moqtada Al Sadr Retires From Politics

BAGHDAD - Iraqi radical Shi’ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr has announced his retirement from politics.
In a handwritten note posted on his website Sunday, Sadr announced his “non-intervention in all political affairs.” He said “there is no bloc that represents us from now on.”
Sadr and his militia group, the Mehdi Army, gained prominence after the U.S.-led invasion […]


Feb 14 2014 Sunni Insurgents Seize Iraqi Town

BAGHDAD - Sunni Islamist insurgents took over parts of a town in northern Iraq on Thursday, local officials said, gaining further ground against the Shi’ite-led government in the capital, which has also lost control of another city.
The mayor of Sulaiman Pek said the militants belonged to the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), […]


Feb 7 2014 Deadly Car Bombs Rock Iraqi Capital

BAGHDAD - Seven car bombs exploded across Baghdad on Thursday, killing at least 13 people in apparently coordinated attacks that targeted mainly Shi’ite Muslim districts, security sources said.
No group immediately claimed responsibility for the bombings. But Sunni Islamist militants have been regaining ground in Iraq, particularly in the western province of Anbar where they overran […]


Feb 6 2014 Al-Qaida Violence In Iraq Escalates

WASHINGTON - A U.S. State Department official has highlighted the threat al-Qaida in Iraq poses to the country and its neighbors, as violence in Iraq escalates.
Brett McGurk, the deputy assistant secretary of state for Iraq and Iran, told the House Foreign Affairs Committee that the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant has significantly increased […]


Feb 3 2014 Iraqi Army Prepares Ground Assault To Regain Falluja

BAGHDAD - The Iraqi army intensified its shelling of Falluja on Sunday in preparation for a ground assault to regain control over the city, which has been under the control of militants for a month.
Mostly Sunni Muslim anti-government fighters, among them insurgents linked to al-Qaida, overran Falluja in the Sunni-dominated western province of Anbar on […]


Jan 31 2014 Suicide Bombers Attack Baghdad Ministry

BAGHDAD - Iraqi officials say at least six suicide bombers stormed a government ministry building Thursday, taking hostages and killing a number of people before security forces gained control.
Western news reports quote security officials as saying at least 20 people were killed in the attack on the Ministry of Transportation building.  The Interior Ministry placed […]


Jan 22 2014 Iraq Hangs 26 Convicted Of Terrorism

BAGHDAD - Iraq has hanged 26 people convicted of “terrorism” offenses, the Justice Ministry said on Tuesday, pursuing what a U.N. official criticized as a “conveyor-belt of executions”.
All those executed on Sunday were Iraqi nationals. Among them was Adel al-Mashhadani, a “Sahwa” militia leader in Baghdad who was “famous for sectarian crimes”, Justice Minister Hassan […]


Jan 21 2014 Baghdad Targeted By Deadly Bombings

BAGHDAD - Iraqi authorities say a series of bombings across the capital, killed at least 21 people and wounded scores more on Monday as security forces battled Sunni Muslim militants around the western cities of Fallujah and Ramadi.
The bloodiest attack occurred in the mainly Shi’ite Muslim Abu Dsheer district in southern Baghdad, where a car […]


Jan 20 2014 Iraq Launches Offensive In Ramadi

BAGHDAD - Iraqi tribal militias backed by police special forces and helicopter gunships have launched an offensive to push al-Qaida-linked militants from Ramadi, the capital of western Anbar province.
Iraqi officials said ground forces retook a police station Sunday as they moved into key neighborhoods of the largely Sunni Arab city. They said the fighting was […]


Jan 15 2014 Deadly Bomb Attacks In Iraq Kill 46

BAGHDAD - A series of bomb attacks in Iraq has killed at least 46 people and wounded 65 others.
The deadliest blast Wednesday was a suicide bombing at a funeral in Buhriz, about 60 kilometers north of Baghdad, which killed at least 16 people.
In the capital, at least six car bombs exploded in mainly Shi’ite areas […]


Jan 13 2014 Iraq Suffers Bloody Violence By Sunni Militants

BAGHDAD - Two car bombs exploded in Baghdad on Sunday, killing at least 14 people, police and medics said, while a standoff between the Iraqi army and al-Qaida-linked militants in Falluja continued.
No group claimed responsibility for the bombings, but Sunni Islamist insurgents have stepped up a violent campaign in the past year, engulfing Iraq in […]


Jan 11 2014 Iraq Turns To Russia For Help In Fighting Al-Qaida

BAGHDAD - The Iraqi ambassador to the United States told VOA in an interview with the Persian News Network that his country is going to ask Russia for help in dealing with al-Qaida insurgency.
One week has passed since al-Qaida militants raised their flag over government buildings in Fallujah and declared an independent Islamic state.
The White […]


Jan 10 2014 Obama Criticized On Iraq Withdrawal

WASHINGTON - Violence and escalating sectarian tensions are of increasing concern to President Obama, who according to his spokesman has been spending an increasing amount of time focused on Iraq.
Jay Carney says the president wants military assistance provided as quickly as possible.  That aid includes 100 Hellfire missiles, surveillance drones and Apache helicopters.
But since Prime […]


Jan 6 2014 Iraq Launches Air Strikes On Ramadi

BAGHDAD - Fighting between Iraqi forces and al-Qaida-linked militants who seized control of two western cities has killed at least 34 people and wounded 58.
Iraqi officials say government forces launched an air strike on Ramadi Sunday. But residents say it has been quiet since late Saturday in Fallujah.
Pro-Sunni and pro-al-Qaida militants took over both cities […]


Jan 5 2014 Al Qaida Declares Islamic State In Fallujah

CAIRO - Rebels and Iraqi police in the volatile Anbar province say the Iraqi government has lost control of the city of Fallujah to al-Qaida militants after days of fighting.
The al-Qaida-linked Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), which is active in both countries, pushed police out of the city center after shelling in the […]


Jan 4 2014 Iraq Looses Control Of Fallujah To Al-Qaida

BAGHDAD - Reports Saturday say the Iraqi government has lost control of Fallujah to al-Qaida militants after days of fighting.
A senior security official told the French news agency that Fallujah is under the control of ISIS - a reference to the al-Qaida-linked group, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria.
Witnesses says there are no signs […]


Jan 3 2014 Iraqi Forces Use Fighter Jets Against Al-Qaida

BAGHDAD - There was heavy fighting Thursday between Iraqi forces and al-Qaida-linked militants who have seized control of parts of two major cities.
The government used fighter jets and rockets against militants in Falluja and Ramadi. Casualty numbers are unclear.
Fighters from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant stormed parts of Fallujah and Ramadi on […]


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