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Iraq

Does Iran Control Iraq?

By Graham E. Fuller – Source: grahamefuller.com– Saudi, Israeli and US neoconservative voices warn us tirelessly that Iran’s imperial sway has now come to dominate the governments of Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, and now Yemen, and still threatens Bahrain. Analytically speaking such views are not just exaggerated, but misleading and dangerous, …

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Iraqi Forces Start Anbar Operation

Agence France Presse– The operation by Iraqi government and allied forces to liberate Anbar and its capital Ramadi from ISIS was launched too soon, Parliament Speaker Salim al-Juburi said Wednesday. “Zero hour was announced but this important battle should have been better prepared, especially because Anbar is a bastion,” he …

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The Shiite Religious Authority of Najaf

By Dr. Haytham Mouzahem — The hawza (seminary) in Najaf, which consists of religious schools where Shiite clerics are trained, was founded by the most prominent Shiite religious scholar, Sheikh Muhammad al-Tusi, in 1028 — even though some tend to believe that the hawza was established in Najaf decades before …

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The Red Lines of U.S. Strategy Towards ISIS

  THE LEVANT EXCLUSIVE – By Dr. Saif Nusrat Al-hermezi* – Translator: Hadi Nehme —     This article evokes an important problematic dilemma regarding the link between ISIS’ protraction in the region and the boundaries the United States has set before the organization. The term “red lines”, frequently mentioned in …

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Second Yazidi mass grave unearthed in Iraq this week

Reuters – IRBIL: A mass grave containing the remains of at least 16 Yazidis was unearthed in northern Iraq Friday as the atrocities committed by ISIS against the religious minority gradually come to light. The grave in the northwestern district of Zumar is the second to be discovered this week. …

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ISIS attacks near Kirkuk, bombs kill 18 in Baghdad

Reuters – Islamic State militants struck at Kurdish forces southwest of the Iraqi city of Kirkuk on Friday morning, while bombs in Baghdad and Samarra killed at least 21 people, security and medical sources said. Police in the northern province of Kirkuk said Islamic State launched mortars and attacked positions …

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Top Iraq Kurd office among six killed in ISIS attack

A member of the Kurdish security forces checks his weapon after previous clashes with Islamic State militants on the outskirts of Kirkuk. (File photo: Reuters) Source: AFP, Kirkuk  -The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) Islamist group killed a senior Kurdish commander and five other fighters on Friday in …

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Iraq forces ‘not ready’ to fight Isis

By Rowena Mason – Source: The Guardian – Islamic State (Isis) will not be pushed out of Iraq for another year or two because the country’s armed forces are not ready or equipped to fight back on the ground yet, the foreign secretary has said. In the runup to a …

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Jihadists launch major attack on Iraq’s Ramadi

THE LEVANT – The Islamic State group launched a major attack on the Iraqi city of Ramadi Friday, attempting to seize one of the last urban pockets under government control in troubled Anbar province. Parts of Ramadi, the provincial capital, and all of Fallujah to its east, fell to anti-government forces …

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Iraqi forces push Daash out of Baiji

THE LEVANT EXCLUSIVE  – By Hussain Choukri – Iraqi forces broke a months-long siege by jihadist fighters of the country’s largest oil refinery Saturday as the top US officer flew in to discuss the expanded war against the Islamic State group. Iraqi forces broke the Islamic State group’s months-long siege …

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Daash’ killing rampage in Iraq

THE LEVANT – Islamic State group militants shot and killed 36 Sunni tribesmen, women and children in public Monday, an Iraqi official and a tribal leader said, pushing the total number of members slain by the extremists in recent days to more than 200. Sheik Naim al-Gaoud, a senior figure …

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Islamic State kills 50 Iraqis

THE LEVANT  – Islamic State group extremists lined up and shot dead at least 50 Iraqi men, women and children from the same tribe on Sunday, officials said, in the latest targeting of the group by militants. The killings, all committed in public, raise the death toll suffered by the …

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Iraq: New Mass grave with 150 bodies

THE LEVANT – Evidence emerges of another massacre by ISIL forces advancing on the Iraqi city of Ramadi A mass grave containing 150 bodies has been discovered in central Iraq, raising fears of a posssible massacre carried out by Isil on their march towards Baghdad. The grave was found on Thursday …

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Iraqi PM in Tehran for crisis talks on IS

THE LEVANT – Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi arrived in Tehran late Monday on his first visit to Iran since taking office after the crisis triggered by the advance of Islamic State militants. Iraqi state television said Abadi, whose country remains beset by IS, arrived shortly before midnight for talks …

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Baghdad car bombs kill 18

THE LEVANT – Car bombs exploded in three crowded areas of the Iraqi capital Friday, killing at least 23 people, the latest in a string of deadly blasts in the city, officials said. One car bomb hit Baladiyat in eastern Baghdad, killing at least 13 people, security and medical officials …

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US says 21 air raids slow IS advance near Kobane

THE LEVANT – US-led aircraft hammered Islamic State jihadists with 21 bombing raids near Kobane on Monday and Tuesday amid signs the strikes had “slowed” the group’s advance on the Syrian border town, the American military said. In one of the heaviest bombardments so far against the Sunni jihadists encircling …

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Dutch gang join fight against Islamic State in Iraq

THE LEVANT – The Dutch public prosecutor said on Tuesday that motorbike gang members who have reportedly joined Kurds battling the Islamic State group in Iraq are not necessarily committing any crime. “Joining a foreign armed force was previously punishable, now it’s no longer forbidden,” public prosecutor spokesman Wim de …

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Iraqi Yazidi woman awarded Anna Politkovskaya prize

THE LEVANT – Iraqi legislator Vian Dakhil on Monday received the Anna Politkovskaya prize for her denunciation of the jihadist group Islamic State over its brutal treatment of Yazidi women. The award – handed out by London-based organisation RAW in WAR to honour women working to help those trapped in …

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Heavy toll in Iraq’s “forgotten” Anbar

THE LEVANT – Nine months of shelling, airstrikes and street battles have taken a heavy toll on Iraq’s “forgotten” province of Anbar, the first to be overrun by militants from the group now calling itself the Islamic State (IS). The cities of Ramadi and Fallujah have been reduced to bombed-out wrecks: hospitals, homes, …

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