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Iraq: Yezidi Fighters Allegedly Execute Civilians

Yezidi fighters in Iraq allegedly forcibly disappeared and killed 52 civilians from the Imteywit tribe in June 2017, Human Rights Watch said today. Relatives of victims told Human Rights Watch that on June 4, 2017, Yezidi forces detained and then apparently executed men, women, and children from eight Imteywit families …

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At least 6 killed during violent protests in Iraqi Kurdistan

At least six people were killed and more than 70 injured Tuesday as anti-government protests erupted for a second straight day, said a provincial health director in Iraq’s semi-autonomous Kurdish region. Five people died during demonstrations over unpaid civil servant salaries and rising tensions with Baghdad in the Kurdish city …

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After Military Victory, Iraq Chases ISIS Intellectually, in the Media

The “Third International Conference Against Fighting ISIS Propaganda” kicked off in Baghdad on Wednesday, less than a week after Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi announced the military defeat of ISIS in Iraq. Over 120 international experts and advisors, representing 42 countries, are taking part in the conference, which would witness ten 10 discussion sessions on …

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U.N. appalled at Iraq’s latest mass hanging: spokeswoman

GENEVA (Reuters) – The United Nations human rights office is “appalled” at the hanging of 38 prisoners in Iraq, a U.N. spokeswoman said on Friday, a day after the executions at a prison in the southern Iraqi city of Nassiriya. “We are deeply shocked and appalled at the mass execution,” …

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CIA chief Pompeo says he warned Iran’s Soleimani over Iraq aggression

U.S. Central Intelligence Agency Director Mike Pompeo said on Saturday he sent a letter to Iranian Major General Qassem Soleimani and Iranian leaders expressing concern regarding Iran’s increasingly threatening behavior in Iraq. Speaking during a panel at the annual Reagan National Defense Forum in Southern California, Pompeo said he sent …

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Truck bomb in northern Iraq kills at least 20

At least 20 people were killed and 40 wounded when a suicide bomber set off a truck bomb near a crowded marketplace in the northern Iraqi town of Tuz Khurmatu, police and medical sources told Reuters on Tuesday. An interior ministry spokesman confirmed that a “violent explosion” took place near …

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Iraqi forces retake last town under Islamic State control

Government forces wrested back the final piece of the Islamic State’s self-declared caliphate in Iraq, the country’s military said Friday, reclaiming the small town of Rawah near the border with Syria. The Islamic State extremist group, which at its peak in 2014 held about a third of Iraq, including large …

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Iraqi Kurds Offer to Freeze Independence Referendum Results

Iraq’s semi-autonomous Kurdistan Regional Government said it’s prepared to freeze the results of last month’s independence referendum that triggered deadly clashes with government troops and hurt oil exports. The KRG also proposed an immediate ceasefire and talks with the central government in Baghdad “on the basis of the constitution.” “As …

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Saudi Arabia to Launch Coordination Council with Iraq

Riyadh- Saudi Arabia and Iraq will be cosigning the establishment of a joint Saudi-Iraqi Coordinating Council in Riyadh next week, sources told Asharq Al-Awsat. The body is said to cover various political, economic, security and cultural fields. Abdul Aziz al-Shammari, charge d’affaires of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques …

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Kirkuk: Iraqi forces capture key sites from Kurds

Iraqi government forces have captured key installations outside the disputed city of Kirkuk from Kurdish fighters. A military statement said units had taken control of the K1 military base, the Baba Gurgur oil and gas field, and a state-owned oil company’s offices. Baghdad said the Peshmerga had withdrawn “without fighting”, …

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Iraqi forces demand Kurdish troops’ withdrawal from Kirkuk area

Iraqi forces have demanded that Kurdish troops withdraw from oil fields and military bases around the contested city of Kirkuk, Kurdish officials and a senior militia leader said Friday, leading to a tense standoff around the city. Kurdish peshmerga soldiers rallied to protect Kirkuk on Thursday night, as Interior Ministry …

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Who Gets to Have a State?

By Graham E. Fuller The past two weeks have seen two referendums vote for national self-determination. The Iraqi Kurds voted for independence but the referendum was rejected by the central government in Baghdad. Then Catalans in Spain voted for their own independent state in a referendum similarly rejected by Madrid. …

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Tillerson says Kurdish independence referendum is illegitimate

The United States on Friday declared illegitimate Monday’s Kurdish referendum on independence, as the Iraqi government imposed a ban on international flights to airports operated by the Kurdistan Regional Government and Iraqi troops prepared to seize the semiautonomous region’s border controls. “The United States does not recognize the . . . unilateral …

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Irbil braces for flight ban following independence vote

Hundreds of passengers waited to board flights out of the Kurdish region at Irbil International Airport on Thursday after Baghdad threatened to ban flights following an independence referendum held by Iraq’s Kurds earlier this week. Most international carriers who fly to and from airports in the Kurdish region announced they …

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The Future of the Kurds

By Graham Fuller Of all the peoples of the Middle East who have suffered through  various wars and manipulations by the US and other foreign powers over the past century, the Kurds are probably the only people whose national cause has actually improved during the more recent geopolitical turmoil. On …

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IS evacuation deal sparks Iraqi outrage

Iraqis on Tuesday denounced a deal allowing Islamic State group fighters to evacuate a Syrian-Lebanese frontier region towards the Iraqi border. Hundreds of jihadists started leaving the area on Monday, heading by bus for Syria’s eastern province of Deir Ezzor, which borders Iraq and is the only Syrian province still …

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Rain hampers Iraqi forces’ push on Mosul Old City

By Patrick Markey for Reuters | MOSUL, IRAQ — Heavy rain slowed Iraqi government forces battling Islamic State on Thursday around Mosul’s Old City, where militants holed up in narrow alleyways and homes resisted with sniper fire, suicide attacks and car bombs. Troops from the federal police and elite Rapid …

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Russia Says Starts Construction Work on Iran’s Bushehr-2 Power Plant

The Levant News – Construction and installation work has formally been started on the site of Bushehr-2 Nuclear Power Plant (NPP) in Iran’s southern port city, Russian nuclear corporation Rosatom announced on Wednesday. Rosatom said that the construction and installation work phase was started on March 14. Representatives of the …

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Iraqi forces see off ISIS attack, seize road out of Mosul

By Isabel Coles and Ahmed Rasheed for Reuters | MOSUL/SULAIMANIYA, IRAQ – Iraqi forces saw off an overnight ISIS counter-attack near Mosul’s main government buildings and took full control on Wednesday of the last major road leading west to the militant-held town of Tal Afar, the military said. Inside the …

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