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Iraq

Islamic State attacks in Iraq, Syria set to double this year: US military

The US Central Command said Wednesday that the Islamic State group is trying "to reconstitute as the number of attacks in Syria and Iraq is on track to double those of the previous year. IS has claimed 153 attacks in both countries in the first six months of 2024, CENTCOM said in a statement. According to a US defence official, who spoke on condition of anonymity as he wasn't allowed to speak publicly on the matter, the group was behind 121 attacks in Syria and Iraq in 2023. The increase in attacks indicates ISIS is attempting to reconstitute following several years of decreased capability, CENTCOM said. The announcement comes just after the 10-year mark since the militant group declared its caliphate in large parts of Iraq and Syria. At its peak, the group ruled an area half the size of the United Kingdom where it attempted to enforce its extreme interpretation of Islam, which included attacks on religious minority groups and harsh punishment of Muslims deemed to be ...

Islamic State attacks in Iraq, Syria set to double this year: US military
Updated On : 17 Jul 2024 | 1:14 PM IST

Reformist Pezeshkian wins Iran's presidential runoff election, beats Jalili

Reformist candidate Masoud Pezeshkian won Iran's runoff presidential election Saturday, besting hard-liner Saeed Jalili by promising to reach out to the West and ease enforcement on the country's mandatory headscarf law after years of sanctions and protests squeezing the Islamic Republic. Pezeshkian promised no radical changes to Iran's Shiite theocracy in his campaign and long has held Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei as the final arbiter of all matters of state in the country. But even Pezeshkian's modest aims will be challenged by an Iranian government still largely held by hard-liners, the ongoing Israel-Hamas war in the Gaza Strip, and Western fears over Tehran enriching uranium to near-weapons-grade levels. A vote count offered by authorities put Pezeshkian as the winner with 16.3 million votes to Jalili's 13.5 million in Friday's election.

Reformist Pezeshkian wins Iran's presidential runoff election, beats Jalili
Updated On : 06 Jul 2024 | 10:00 AM IST

As war in Gaza surges, 'Iran-backed' attacks on US brands rattle Baghdad

A dozen masked men jump out of two SUVs and a white pickup and storm a KFC in Baghdad, smashing everything in sight before fleeing the scene. A few days earlier, similar violence played out at Lee's Famous Recipe Chicken and Chili House all American brands popular in the Iraqi capital. Though no one was seriously hurt, the recent attacks apparently orchestrated by supporters of Iran-backed, anti-American militias in Iraq reflect surging anger against the United States, Israel's top ally, over the war in Gaza. Iraqi governments have for years walked a delicate line between Washington and Tehran, but the eight-month war in Gaza has critically upped the stakes. The conflict erupted after the militant Hamas group stormed into southern Israel on October 7, killing some 1,200 people mostly civilians and taking 250 hostage. Israel's subsequent offensives in Gaza have killed more than 36,000 Palestinians in the territory, according to the Health Ministry there. Days after the war brok

As war in Gaza surges, 'Iran-backed' attacks on US brands rattle Baghdad
Updated On : 07 Jun 2024 | 12:14 PM IST

UN votes to end Iraq's mission established after invasion toppled Saddam

The UN Security Council voted unanimously Friday to end the UN political mission in Iraq established in 2003 following the US-led invasion that toppled Saddam Hussein to coordinate post-conflict humanitarian and reconstruction efforts, and to help restore a representative government in the country. The Iraqi government asked the council in a May 8 letter to wrap up the mission by the end of 2025 and that's what the resolution does: It extends the mandate of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Iraq, known as UNAMI, for a final 19 months until December 31, 2025 when all its work will cease. The US-sponsored resolution asks Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to prepare a transition and liquidation plan in consultation with the Iraqi government by December 31, 2024 so UNAMI can start transferring its tasks and withdrawing staff and assets. The council said it supports Iraq's continuing stabilisation efforts including its ongoing fight against the Islamic State group and al-Qaida ..

UN votes to end Iraq's mission established after invasion toppled Saddam
Updated On : 01 Jun 2024 | 9:52 AM IST

Iraqi govt requests UN to end its political mission in country by 2025

The Iraqi government has requested that the United Nations end a mission set up to promote governance and human rights reforms in the country by the end of 2025, the latest in a series of international bodies operating in the nation that Iraq has sought to wind down. The letter sent Wednesday by Prime Minister Mohammed Shia al-Sudani to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres declared that there is no need for the continuation of the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI). Sudani said Iraq's government has been able to achieve a number of important steps in areas that fall under the body's mandate. rendering it redundant. Typically, the mission is extended annually by the UN Security Council, with the current term expiring at the end of this month. Sudani's letter did not oppose a one-year extension but said the mission should focus on wrapping up its tasks to ensure a permanent closure and transfer of its responsibilities by the end of 2025. Established in 2003 in the w

Iraqi govt requests UN to end its political mission in country by 2025
Updated On : 11 May 2024 | 6:58 AM IST

Turkey carried out new airstrikes against Kurdish militants in north Iraq

Turkiye has carried out a new round of airstrikes targeting Kurdish militants in neighbouring Iraq, the Turkish defence ministry said Monday. Warplanes struck suspected positions of the Kurdistan Workers' Party, or PKK, in the regions of Hakurk, Metina and Gara in Iraq's semi-autonomous Kurdish region, according to the statement. The airstrikes reportedly killed 16 militants, including some commanders, the ministry said. There was no immediate comment from the PKK, a banned separatist group that has waged an insurgency against Turkiye since the 1980s. The ministry said it was determined to rescue Turkiye from this problem. The latest airstrikes came weeks after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan paid his first visit to Iraq in 12 years, seeking greater cooperation from Baghdad in the fight against the militants. Erdogan had previously announced a major operation against the PKK for this summer with the aim of permanently eradicating the threat it poses. The PKK, labelled a ...

Turkey carried out new airstrikes against Kurdish militants in north Iraq
Updated On : 07 May 2024 | 8:14 AM IST

Iraq's law criminalising same-sex marriage will hurt country's economy: US

The law threatens constitutionally protected human rights and fundamental freedoms in Iraq, said US

Iraq's law criminalising same-sex marriage will hurt country's economy: US
Updated On : 28 Apr 2024 | 7:34 AM IST

Kurdish separatists, water issues loom large in Erdogan's visit to Iraq

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan was set to make his first official visit to Iraq in more than a decade on Monday as his country seeks greater cooperation from Baghdad in its fight against a Kurdish militant group that has a foothold in northern Iraq. Other issues also loom large between the two countries, including water supply issues and exports of oil and gas from northern Iraq to Turkiye, which have been halted for more than a year. Erdogan's last visit to Iraq was in 2011, when he was Turkiye's prime minister. Iraqi government spokesperson Bassem al-Awadi said in a statement that Erdogan's visit will be a major starting point in Iraqi-Turkish relations and will include the signing of a deal on a joint approach to security challenges and a strategic agreement on the water file, among other issues. Erdogan has said his country plans to launch a major operation against the Kurdistan Workers' Party, or PKK, a Kurdish separatist movement banned in Turkiye and with operations

Kurdish separatists, water issues loom large in Erdogan's visit to Iraq
Updated On : 22 Apr 2024 | 11:49 AM IST

Bob Graham, two-term former US senator and Florida governor, dies at 87

Former US Sen. and two-term Florida Gov. Bob Graham, who gained national prominence as chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee in the aftermath of the 2001 terrorist attacks and as an early critic of the Iraq war, has died. He was 87. Graham's family announced the death on Tuesday in a statement posted on X by his daughter Gwen Graham. We are deeply saddened to report the passing of a visionary leader, dedicated public servant, and even more importantly, a loving husband, father, grandfather, and great-grandfather, the family said. Graham, who served three terms in the Senate, made an unsuccessful bid for the 2004 Democratic presidential nomination, emphasising his opposition to the Iraq invasion. But his bid was delayed by heart surgery in January 2003, and he was never able to gain enough traction with voters to catch up, bowing out that October. He didn't seek reelection in 2004 and was replaced by Republican Mel Martinez. Graham was a man of many quirks. He perfected the

Bob Graham, two-term former US senator and Florida governor, dies at 87
Updated On : 17 Apr 2024 | 10:37 AM IST

Biden to host Iraqi leader; US military presence in region under question

President Joe Biden is set to host Iraq's leader this week for talks that come as tensions across the Middle East have soared over the war in Gaza and Iran's unprecedented weekend attack on Israel in retaliation for an Israeli military strike against an Iranian facility in Syria. The sharp rise in security fears has raised further questions about the viability of the two-decade American military presence in Iraq, through which portions of Iran's Saturday drone and missile attack on Israel flew or were launched from. A U.S. Patriot battery in Irbil, Iraq, knocked down at least one Iranian ballistic missile, according to American officials. In addition, Iranian proxies have initiated attacks against U.S. interests throughout the region from inside Iraq, making Monday's meeting between Biden and Iraqi Prime Minister Shia al-Sudani all the more critical. The talks will include a discussion of regional stability and future U.S. troop deployments but will also focus on economic, trade and

Biden to host Iraqi leader; US military presence in region under question
Updated On : 15 Apr 2024 | 10:07 AM IST

As talks with Kurds fail, Iraq repairs pipeline to supply oil to Turkey

The reopening of the Kirkuk-Ceyhan pipeline, which has been shut for a decade, would provide a rival route to a pipeline from the Kurdistan region that has been shut for a year

As talks with Kurds fail, Iraq repairs pipeline to supply oil to Turkey
Updated On : 08 Apr 2024 | 3:01 PM IST

Turkish warplanes strike Kurdish militant positions in Iraq, 4 wounded

Turkey carried out a new round of airstrikes targeting Kurdish militants in neighbouring Iraq on Tuesday, Turkey's defence ministry said, hours after a Turkish soldier was killed and four others were wounded in an attack in the region. Turkey often launches strikes against targets in Syria and Iraq it believes to be affiliated with the Kurdistan Workers' Party, or PKK, a banned Kurdish separatist group that has waged an insurgency against Turkey since the 1980s. On Tuesday, the Turkish warplanes struck suspected PKK positions in the Metina, Zap, Hakurk, Gara and Qandil regions in northern Iraq's semi-autonomous Kurdish region, according to a ministry statement. The jets reportedly destroyed 27 PKK targets, including caves, bunkers, and shelters. There was no immediate comment from the PKK. "We have not left the blood of any of our martyrs on the ground," the ministry said, suggesting that the airstrikes were in retaliation to the attack that killed the Turkish soldier and wounded fo

Turkish warplanes strike Kurdish militant positions in Iraq, 4 wounded
Updated On : 20 Mar 2024 | 8:24 AM IST

Iraq to curb crude oil exports to compensate for exceeding OPEC+ quota

OPEC+, whose de facto leader is Saudi Arabia, has highlighted the importance of compliance with the pledged cuts even as oil prices have rallied this year

Iraq to curb crude oil exports to compensate for exceeding OPEC+ quota
Updated On : 18 Mar 2024 | 8:32 PM IST

US troop drawdown talks will go on as long as nothing disturbs talks: Iraq

The Iraqi government met again with the US government on Sunday on how to draw down American troops who have been deployed there for years combating the Islamic State. The two governments had held their first, long-awaited meeting January 27, but those meetings had been put on pause after Iran-backed militants struck a base in Jordan the very next day with a drone that killed three US service members. In the weeks since, the US has launched multiple retaliatory strikes in Iraq and Syria including a strike last week that killed a high-ranking commander of the powerful Kataib Hezbollah militia who the US said is responsible for "directly planning and participating in attacks" on American troops in the region. Both Iraq and the US had agreed last August to enter into talks to transition US forces from their long-standing role in assisting Iraq in combating IS. There are approximately 2,500 troops in the country, and their departure will take into account the security situation on the .

US troop drawdown talks will go on as long as nothing disturbs talks: Iraq
Updated On : 12 Feb 2024 | 8:26 AM IST

Drone strike in Baghdad kills high-ranking militia commander: Officials

A US drone strike hit a car in the Iraqi capital Wednesday night, killing three members of the powerful Kataib Hezbollah militia, including a high-ranking commander, officials said. The strike came on a main thoroughfare in the Mashtal neighborhood in eastern Baghdad. A crowd gathered as emergency response teams picked through the wreckage. A U.S. official familiar with the matter said that a senior Kataib Hezbollah commander was targeted in a U.S. strike on Wednesday in Iraq. The official was not authorized to comment publicly and requested anonymity. Two officials with Iran-backed militias in Iraq said that one of the three killed was Wissam Mohammed Abu Bakr al-Saadi, the commander in charge of Kataib Hezbollah's operations in Syria. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they weren't authorized to speak to journalists. The strike came amid roiling tensions in the region and days after the U.S. military launched an air assault on dozens of sites in Iraq and Syria

Drone strike in Baghdad kills high-ranking militia commander: Officials
Updated On : 08 Feb 2024 | 6:35 AM IST

Russia accuses US of aggression against Iraq and Syria, US vows to continue

Russia accused the United States on Monday of aggression against Iraq and Syria aimed at preserving its global dominance and salvaging the Biden administration's image ahead of US elections. The US retorted that its military response to unjustified attacks by Iranian-backed proxies against American forces is not only legal but will continue. The exchange came at a contentious UN Security Council meeting called by Russia, Syria's closest ally, where both countries also said they did not want an escalation and spillover of the Israel-Hamas war. Many council members expressed fears of a growing Mideast conflict and urged de-escalation and stepped-up peace efforts. Russia's UN Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia accused the US of violating international law and continuing to sow chaos and destruction in the Middle East. He said violence by the United States and its allies has escalated from the Palestinian territories to Lebanon, the Red Sea and Yemen and is nullifying international efforts to

Russia accuses US of aggression against Iraq and Syria, US vows to continue
Updated On : 06 Feb 2024 | 8:32 AM IST

US, UK forces hit dozens of Houthi sites to counter ship attacks

US intends further strikes, Houthis promise 'escalation', more Red Sea assaults

US, UK forces hit dozens of Houthi sites to counter ship attacks
Updated On : 04 Feb 2024 | 11:30 PM IST

Highlights of the day: Ladakh shuts down as thousands march for statehood

Updates: Catch all the latest updates from around the world

Highlights of the day: Ladakh shuts down as thousands march for statehood
Updated On : 03 Feb 2024 | 11:46 PM IST

US President Biden delivers reprisal to Iran with room for de-escalation

The biggest question from Friday night's airstrikes was what the next step would be. On a call with reporters, a spokesman said there would be more in coming days

US President Biden delivers reprisal to Iran with room for de-escalation
Updated On : 03 Feb 2024 | 10:17 AM IST

Iraq condemns US military strikes, calls it 'violation of sovereginty'

Meanwhile, US President Joe Biden in a statement said that the US does not seek confilct in the Middle East but "if you harm an American, we will respond"

Iraq condemns US military strikes, calls it 'violation of sovereginty'
Updated On : 03 Feb 2024 | 8:12 AM IST