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Iraq

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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Iraq’ second Sunni insurgency

THE LEVANT –  By Kirk H. Sowell – The state of Iraq in 2014 represents a dramatic reversal when compared with four years earlier. National elections in March 2010 took place during a period when the Sunni insurgency, having reached its peak in 2006, was at a low ebb, and …

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Iraq war – Mosul Dam is back under state control

THE LEVANT – Iraqi officials said on Monday that Kurdish and Iraqi forces had succeeded in retaking Mosul Dam from fighters from the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, although it was unclear whether they had seized control of the entire dam and the surrounding complex. Iraqi state television quoted …

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UN Security Council moves against ISIL

THE LEVANT – The UN Security Council on Friday unanimously adopted a resolution aimed at weakening Islamists in Iraq and Syria by cutting off funding and the flow of foreign fighters. The measure represents the most wide-ranging response yet by the top United Nations body to the jihadists in Iraq …

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UNSC goes to vote on Islamic terrorism

THE LEVANT – The UN Security Council is set to vote on Friday on a resolution aimed at weakening Islamists in Iraq and Syria by choking off funding and the flow of foreign fighters. The measure proposed by Britain would be the council’s toughest response yet to the jihadists who …

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Al Maliki welcomes new Prime Minister

THE LEVANT – Iraqis and foreign brokers breathed a sigh of relief Friday after Nuri al-Maliki dropped his bid for a third term as prime minister, a move seen as vital to tackling a spiralling military and humanitarian crisis. A day after Washington claimed its air strikes averted genocide in …

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Turkmen flee before ISIL

THE LEVANT – Shiite Turkmen families from Tal Afar in Northern Iraq have been fleeing south to the Shiite holy city of Najaf to escape so-called Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) terrorist group’s onslaught in the north of the country. After the Takfiri group captured vast swaths of …

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Iraq’s new Prime Minister – Haider Al-Abadi

THE LEVANT EXCLUSIVE – Sources in Iraq have confirmed to The Levant this Monday that Iraq’s president has formally asked Haider Al-Abadi, the Shi’ite coalition’s nominee for prime minister, to form a government. The announcement came following reports that Parliament broke up all sessions until August 19 after lawmakers were …

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