Category Archives: Iraq

US alarmed as Al Qaeda retakes Iraqi city of Fallujah

Al Qaeda fighters in Fallujah after the city was retaken by them.

The United States has expressed alarm after the Islamic State of Iraq and the Sham, an al Qaeda branch in the Middle East, and its tribal allies took control of Fallujah less than one week after launching an offensive in Iraq’s western province of Anbar. Security officials and reports told the BBC that the ISIS fighters “control the south of the city,” while “tribesmen allied with al Qaeda hold the rest of Fallujah.” Reuters reported that “the northern and eastern parts of the city were under the control of tribesmen and militants.” The names of the tribes that are supporting al Qaeda have not been disclosed. During the height of al … Continue reading

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April bloodiest month in Iraq since 2008 – U.N.

April was Iraq’s bloodiest month for almost five years, with 712 people killed in bomb attacks and other violence, the United Nations Iraq mission said on Thursday. Iraq has grown more volatile as the civil war in neighboring Syria strains fragile relations between Sunni and Shi’ite Muslims. Tensions are at their highest since U.S. troops pulled out in December 2011. The number of attacks increased sharply after security forces raided a Sunni protest camp near Kirkuk last week, triggering clashes that quickly spread to other Sunni areas including the western province of Anbar, which borders Syria and Jordan. “The month of April was the deadliest since June 2008. A total … Continue reading

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Iraqi al-Qaeda wing merges with Syrian counterpart

Iraq’s al Qaeda wing has united with a kindred Syrian group in the frontline of a struggle to oust President Bashar al-Assad, sharpening a dilemma for nations that back the revolt, but fear rising Islamist militancy. The leader of the Islamic State of Iraq, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, said his group had funded cells of fighters from Syria’s al-Nusra Front – which is blacklisted by the United States since the early days of the two-year-old uprising. He said in a statement posted on Islamist websites and seen by Reuters on Tuesday that the two groups would operate under the joint title of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant. “It’s … Continue reading

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Secretary of State Kerry questions Iraq’s reliability as a partner

Just days after the 10th anniversary of the U.S. invasion of Iraq, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry confronted Baghdad for continuing to grant Iran access to its airspace and said Iraq’s behavior was raising questions about its reliability as a partner. Speaking to reporters during a previously unannounced trip to Baghdad, Kerry said that he and Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki had engaged in “a very spirited discussion” on the Iranian flights, which U.S. officials believe are ferrying weapons and fighters intended for the embattled Syrian government. Kerry said the plane shipments – along with material being trucked across Iraqi territory from Iran to Syria – were helping President … Continue reading

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Al Qaeda calls on Iraqi Sunni protesters to take up arms

Al Qaeda’s Iraqi wing on Thursday urged Sunni protesters to take up arms against Shi’ite Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, adding fuel to growing sectarian unrest in the world’s fastest-growing oil exporter. Al Qaeda’s local affiliate Islamic State of Iraq said “peace and patience” were useless for dealing with the Shi’ite-led government they see as oppressors of Iraq’s Sunni minority. “You have two options, not three: either kneel before the apostates, though that will be impossible, or to take up arms,” Abu Mohammed al-Adnani, the group’s spokesman said in an audio statement posted on a jihadist website. Thousands of Sunni Muslims have rallied mostly in the western province of Anbar since … Continue reading

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Iraqi President in coma after suffering heart attack

Iraqi President Jalal Talabani is said to be in a coma in hospital after officials and media reported he had suffered a stroke. A statement on his website said President Talabani was in a stable condition and was being treated for blocked arteries. Well-placed Kurdish sources say he remains in a coma. A veteran of the Kurdish guerrilla movement, Mr Talabani, 79, is Iraq’s first president from the ethnic group. He has struggled with his health in recent years and has often been treated abroad. “Bodily functions are normal and the health condition of his excellency the president is stable,” a statement on the presidency’s website said. The presidency said … Continue reading

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