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Tag Archives: Iraq

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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Obama team wanted US out of Iraq, says Panetta

THE LEVANT – Former Pentagon chief Leon Panetta has denounced the White House in a new memoir, accusing President Barack Obama’s top aides of undercutting efforts to secure a deal in 2011 that could have kept US troops in Iraq. Retaining a small US force would have helped contain sectarian …

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Turkish MPs back military action as jihadists advance

THE LEVANT – Turkey’s parliament Thursday authorised military action against the Islamic State jihadist group, whose fighters have battled their way to the doorstep of a key town across the border in Syria. The move allows the deployment of armed forces in Syria and Iraq, as well as the transit …

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Kurdish troops attack Iraq jihadists on three fronts

THE LEVANT – Kurdish troops backed by warplanes battled the Islamic State group on three fronts in northern Iraq Tuesday, clawing back land lost to the jihadists in recent months. The peshmerga struck before dawn against the town of Rabia on the Syrian border, north of the jihadist-controlled second city …

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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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The plight of the Yazidis

THE LEVANT – By Matthew Barber – The plight of thousands of Yazidi women, kidnapped by the Islamic State (IS) during its August 3 attack on Iraq’s Sinjar mountains and in the following weeks, has received some media attention, but most people are unaware of just how far-reaching this disastrous …

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US boots on the ground in Iraq

THE LEVANT – The White House and the US military scrambled to play down a suggestion by the nation’s top officer that deploying ground forces in Iraq to fight Islamic State jihadists was an option. General Martin Dempsey, chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff and President Barack Obama’s …

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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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Kurdish female fighters stand up to ISIL

THE LEVANT – Tekoshin stands on a mountain in north Iraq with a rifle slung over her shoulder and a grenade tucked into her belt, facing jihadists in “a struggle to liberate women”. Women have been fighting alongside men in the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) to wrest Mount Makhmur in …

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How Do Jihadists Get their Finances?

By Dr. Haytham Mouzahem for Islamist Gate – It was not surprising what the New York Times revealed on August 20, 2014 that ISIS had pressed the United States to provide 100 million Euros (about $132 million) as ransom for the release of the American journalist James Foley before killing …

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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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Ali Hussein Kadhim – the story of an escape

THE LEVANT  -An Iraqi soldier says he survived the mass execution of his comrades-in-arms by Islamic State gunmen by falling over when he heard a gunshot and pretending he was dead for hours amid the dozens of blood-soaked bodies around him. The massacre, which took place in June, is gaining …

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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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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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IS expansion: Continuous Risks

The Levant Exclusive – By Dr. Amer Al Sabaileh*     Regional developments have created the pressure towards a solution to the ongoing security crisis created by the Islamic State in Iraq. While there are various aspects and pressure points, the challenges facing those countries bordering Iraq are still increasing. …

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Al Qaeda Yemen gets behind ISIL

THE LEVANT – The most terrifying and brutal branch of Al Qaeda, the Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), vows its solidarity with the ISIS against the American and Iranian conspiracy and their agents of the apostate Gulf rulers. The solidarity was announced after U.S. launched air strikes in Iraq against the …

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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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