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Iraq

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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British warplanes take off for Iraq

THE LEVANT – British warplanes flew their first mission over Iraq since parliament authorised strikes against Islamic State jihadists, but returned without bombing on Saturday, the Ministry of Defence in London said. Royal Air Force Tornado GR4 combat jets returned to Britain’s RAF Akrotiri base on Cyprus without dropping any …

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Iraq parliament rejects PM’s security nominees

THE LEVANT – The Iraqi parliament voted down Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi’s nominees for defence and interior minister Tuesday, leaving the key positions unfilled as the country battles to regain ground from militants. Parliament approved Abadi’s partial cabinet on August 8, ushering in his term as premier, but he asked …

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Suicide bombers kill 10 in Iraq town

THE LEVANT – Militants, including two suicide bombers, attacked a town north of Baghdad that has resisted jihadists, killing 18 people on Monday, police and a doctor said. A first suicide bomber blew up a vehicle packed with explosives to breach a barrier in a southern neighbourhood of Dhuluiyah, which …

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Islamic State fighters are using US arms

THE LEVANT – Islamic State fighters appear to be using captured US military issue arms and weapons supplied to moderate rebels in Syria by Saudi Arabia, according to a report published on Monday. The study by the London-based small-arms research organisation Conflict Armament Research documented weapons seized by Kurdish forces …

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Orphans are kidnapped by ISIL in Iraq

THE LEVANT – Takfiri radicals from the ISIL terrorist group have abducted at least 100 Shia and Izadi children at an orphanage near the troubled northern Iraqi city of Mosul. Local residents say the militants kidnapped the children after they captured the city of Talafar in June and Shingal in …

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Iraqi Army Enters the University of Tikrit

THE LEVANT – After a long, hard fought battle outside of the University of Tikrit, the Iraqi Army has finally entered the school, forcing the Islamic State to abandon their positions and retreat north. This marks the first time in two months that the Iraqi Army has been able to enter …

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770 Iraqi are killed by ISIL

THE LEVANT – Militants from the Islamic State group carried out a mass killing of hundreds of Iraqi soldiers captured when the extremists overran a military base north of Baghdad in June, a leading international watchdog said Wednesday. The incident at Camp Speicher, an air base that previously served as a …

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Iraq will be ISIL’s grave says former PM Al Maliki

THE LEVANT – Iraq’s outgoing prime minster pledged Monday to turn his country into “a big grave” for Sunni militants from the Islamic State group and commended security forces who achieved a rare victory over insurgents by ending the siege of a Shiite town. Nouri al-Maliki made the comments during …

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29 ISIL gunmen killed in Diyala

THE LEVANT – Twenty-nine “Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant” (ISIL) gunmen have been killed in on-going battles with the Iraqi army to retake villages and towns on the border with Amerli, Diyala province, the Iraqi Ministry of Defence said Friday. “Since Thursday, the army has killed 29 ISIL …

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ISIL beheads Kurdish fighter

THE LEVANT – The jihadist Islamic State group has posted video of the execution of a captured Kurdish fighter, in a warning to Iraqi Kurdish leaders to end military cooperation with Washington, a monitoring group said. The United States has carried out a wave of air strikes against the jihadists …

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Men are arrested in connection with Diyala massacre

THE LEVANT – Three suspects in the  Musa’ab Bin ‘Umayr Mosque Massacre have been arrested by Iraqi Security Forces in the Diyala Province. The three suspects were members of the Al-Zarkoushi Tribe in Diyala, the same family that was targeted by a roadside bomb prior to the massacre. It is estimated that …

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United States to send more aid to Iraq

THE LEVANT – The Obama administration is considering launching a humanitarian relief operation for Shiite Turkmen in northern Iraq who have been under siege for weeks by Islamic State militants, U.S. defense officials said Wednesday. The mission, if it went forward, would be the second recent U.S. military humanitarian intervention …

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Islamic State starves the disabled

THE LEVANT –  By Leith Fadel – Da’oud and Sa’ad Georges  – a disabled father and son – were found dead outside of the city of Bashiqa in the Mosul District. The two men were kidnapped by Islamic State militants , who proceeded to starve the Georges men; ultimately, leading to …

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Al Abadi turns down Al Maliki’s advice

THE LEVANT  – Prime Minister-designate Haider Al-Abadi rejected a call made by his predecessor Nuri Al-Maliki not to entertain “preconditions” from Iraq’s Sunnis, stressing that he is committed to forming a national unity government that includes all Iraqi political and sectarian factions. In a statement on Thursday, Abadi said: “I am …

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Islamic State secures advances in Iraq

THE LEVANT – Yesterday, the Islamic State captured the imperative neighborhood of Ma’lameen in the city of Ramadi. The Iraqi Armed Forces withdrew from the neighborhood after violent firefights and the lack of manpower to withstand the onslaught from the Islamic State. At least a dozen Iraqi soldiers were killed during …

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The Fallujah Brigade

THE LEVANT – Fallujah has formed its first armed brigade of tribesmen to fight the “Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant” (ISIL) and provide assistance to the Iraqi forces, Fallujah tribal council chief Hameed al-Issawi said Wednesday (August 20th). “The new brigade, called Fallujah Free Men, will carry out operations against ISIL …

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36 ISIL militants killed near Baghdad

THE LEVANT – The Iraqi army has killed 36 “Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant” (ISIL) elements in operations around Baghdad this week, the Ministry of Defense said Wednesday (August 20th). “The army forces earlier this week clashed with three armed groups in Abu Ghraib, al-Yusufiyyah and al-Taji in western, …

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Christian leaders in Iraq plead for help

[embedplusvideo height=”450″ width=”450″ editlink=”http://bit.ly/1veAiWM” standard=”http://www.youtube.com/v/ianoA75PVi8?fs=1″ vars=”ytid=ianoA75PVi8&width=450&height=450&start=&stop=&rs=w&hd=0&autoplay=0&react=1&chapters=&notes=” id=”ep3596″ /] THE LEVANT – Christian leaders in Iraq say their faith will be obliterated in communities as old as the church itself unless international troops and more airstrikes drive the Islamic State from the country. Catholics and Anglicans said yesterday they had lost confidence …

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Military aid reaches Kurdistan Regional Government

THE LEVANT – The Ministry of Peshmerga in Kurdistan Regional Government said that the process of distribution of heavy weapons on the axes of fighting are going on according to the need to them, confirming that they received heavy weapons, including anti military Hummer rockets. The site of the Kurdistan Democratic Party …

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Al Abadi reaffirms his commitment towards religious authority

THE LEVANT – Assigned Prime Minister, Dr. Haider Abadi confirmed his commitment to the directives of the Supreme Religious Authority, which is to ensure the unity of Iraq and the Iraqis. Dr. Abadi stressed in a press statement, the commitment to fight corruption and eradicate it, “that’s what we confirmed …

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