25 July 2017
English Arabic
BAGHDAD — While Iraq’s conventional military has been slowly clearing the Islamic State group from inside Mosul’s complex urban terrain, Iraq’s Iran-backed Shiite paramilitary forces have been working their way through less glamorous territory: vast deserts west and south of the city that run along and across Iraq’s border with Syria. The territory, dotted with small villages and dusty roads, is home to key supply lines into neighboring Syria and connecting Iraq’s north to the capital Baghdad. Control of the…
IRBIL, Iraq — The U.S. Army failed to properly keep tracks of hundreds of humvees, tens of thousands of rifles and other pieces of military equipment that were sent to Iraq, according to a government audit from 2016 that was obtained by Amnesty International and released Wednesday. The price of the equipment — meant to equip the Iraqi army, Shiite militias and the Kurdish peshmerga — totaled more than $1 billion. “This audit provides a worrying insight into the U.S. Army’s flawed — and…
Iraq's Interior Ministry said it launched an investigation into allegations of human rights violations perpetrated by its forces fighting the Islamic State group in Mosul. The allegations were first reported by Germany's Der Spiegel magazine last weekend. The report, authored by an Iraqi photographer reportedly embedded with the police unit, claims he witnessed killing, torture and rape of IS suspects. The ministry's spokesman, Brig. Gen Saad Maan, said on Tuesday that the newspaper report identifies the Emergency Response Division —…
Government-allied Troops Hold, Torture Mosul-Area Residents (Erbil) —Iraqi government-allied troops arbitrarily detained at least 100 men in late April 2017, in some cases torturing them during interrogations, Human Rights Watch said today.  Human Rights Watch interviewed three men from al-Hadar, a village 90 kilometers southwest of west Mosul, who were detained by the Popular Mobilization Forces (known as the PMF or Hashd al-Sha'abi) and two local officials who had knowledge of the detention operations in the area. The men said the…
More than 50 people have been killed in a string of suicide car bomb attacks in Iraq's capital, Baghdad, and the southern province of Basra, police have told Al Jazeera. At least 33 people were killed on Friday in two separate blasts at checkpoints on a highway near oilfields in Basra, according to police. The first explosion took place at the Rumeila checkpoint, and the second around one kilometre away at another checkpoint called al-Sadra. Iraq's South Oil Company said…
Iraq's Sunni minority is pushing for a greater say in power once the Islamic State group is defeated, reflecting growing sentiment that the country's government must be more inclusive to prevent extremism from gaining ground once again. But so far, there's little momentum. Many Shiite politicians are wary, and the Sunni leadership is divided and disorganized. On the ground, tensions are further stoked because Shiite militias and Kurdish fighters control some mainly Sunni areas recaptured from IS militants and are…
The battle to dislodge Islamic State from the Old City of Mosul, where hundreds of thousands of Iraqi civilians are trapped, could turn into the worst humanitarian catastrophe in the war against the militants, the United Nations warned on Tuesday. About 400,000 civilians, or a quarter of Mosul's pre-war population, are trapped in the Old City, according to U.N. estimates. As many as half a million are estimated to remain overall in neighborhoods still under IS control in western Mosul.…
A representative of prominent Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr in Baghdad, Ibrahim al-Jabri, said on Friday that former Iraqi Prime Minister “Nouri al-Maliki is behind the current crises that have hit Iraq,” adding: “Maliki handed over several Iraqi provinces to ISIS.” Jabri said “Maliki cannot do anything about the suffering of the Iraqi people because he caused the suffering and the killing of our sons by security forces at the Speicher base.” Camp Speicher, officially known as the Tikrit Air Academy,…
13 April 2017 – Using satellite imagery and local researches, the most recent evaluation confirms that western Mosul has undergone extensive destruction, “far greater than in the east,” according to a senior United Nations aid official in the country. “The level of damage in western Mosul is already far greater than in the east, even before the battle to retake the Old City begins,” said Lise Grande, Humanitarian Coordinator for Iraq, in a news release issued by the UN Office for the…
Iraqi forces are making progress in their offensive to expel Islamic State from Mosul but face a "very complicated" urban battle as the militants hide in mosques, homes and hospitals, a U.S. general told Reuters on Wednesday. Government forces have retaken much of Iraq's second-largest city since January but have been trying since then to dislodge the Sunni Muslim militants from the densely populated Old City in western Mosul, their last Iraqi stronghold. "Iraqi security forces continue to progress as…
Iraqi forces are making progress in their offensive to expel Islamic State from Mosul but face a "very complicated" urban battle as the militants hide in mosques, homes and hospitals, a U.S. general told Reuters on Wednesday. Government forces have retaken much of Iraq's second-largest city since January but have been trying since then to dislodge the Sunni Muslim militants from the densely populated Old City in western Mosul, their last Iraqi stronghold. "Iraqi security forces continue to progress as…

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