26 May 2017
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ERBIL, Kurdistan Region, RUDAW — Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr warned Wednesday that militant groups’ interference in political affairs in Iraq would further destabilize the country and expand sectarian tensions. Speaking to Al-Nahar newspaper, the leader of the Sadrist Movement said the escalation of religious conflict between Shiites and Sunnis in Iraq was the result of the “authoritarian rule” of former Iraqi governments. “Former governments are accountable for the escalation of violence in Iraq. The authoritarian treatment of Nouri al-Maliki with other…

UN: 60 Million Refugees Last Year Friday, 19 June 2015 17:01

15 million people have fled Syria and Iraq, says Antonio Guterres GENEVA, BASNEWS – ‘Out of control’ violence has led to the highest-ever increase of refugees in a single year, says the UN. If 2014’s refugees were grouped together as a nation, it would be the world’s 24th largest. Conflicts and violence forced a record 59.5 million people from their homes in 2014, with Syria overtaking Afghanistan to become the world´s largest source of refugees, said the United Nations. Last…
US Defence Secretary says Iraqi training slower than planned WASHINGTON, BASNEWS– United States Defense Secretary Ashton Carter says efforts to train Iraqi forces to fight Islamic State militants have been slowed by a lack of recruits and the US won’t be able to train as many by this autumn as it had initially had predicted. Carter tells a House Armed Services Committee hearing the US had initially envisioned training 24,000 Iraqi security forces at four sites by this fall. But…
The Washington Times - Iraq’s former prime minister is playing a critical, backroom role in undermining the Obama administration’s push for a more inclusive government in Baghdad, U.S. and Iraqi officials say, warning that Shiite hard-liner Nouri al-Maliki is still pulling the strings behind the scenes in a bid to return to power in the years ahead. The White House and State Department have put their weight behind Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, seen as a more moderate Shiite politician compared…
London and Amman, Asharq Al-Awsat—Iraq’s government continues to sideline confessional and ethnic minorities in the country, according to a senior Iraqi official. Speaking to Asharq Al-Awsat on Saturday, the official, who heads a prominent political bloc in the country, said the current government of Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi continued to discriminate against Sunnis and Kurds in the country. “We were expecting things to change under the leadership of Haider Al-Abadi, but unfortunately he is following the same policies of his…
Anbar, Asharq Al-Awsat—Iraq’s Sunni tribal leaders have reacted cautiously to the US President Barack Obama’s decision to deploy additional troops to confront the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS,) with some casting doubt over the effectiveness of the step.The White House on Wednesday authorized deployment of up to 450 troops to assist beleaguered Iraqi forces trying to recapture the city of Ramadi, the provincial capital of Anbar, that fell to the Islamist group last month. US troops will do…
Reuters - Seventeen people were killed in Iraq on Monday in clashes between Islamic State militants and pro-government forces in a town close to the country's biggest refinery, a focal point in efforts to counter the ultra-hardline Sunni group. The refinery beside the town of Baiji has changed hands before, reflecting the Iraqi army's struggle to hold territory it recaptures after months of clashes. Fighting on Monday took place on a road used by Islamic State for supply lines leading from…
The White House formally unveiled plans to send hundreds of new U.S. troops to the country amid criticism over its approach WASHINGTON, The Wall Street Journal —The White House, under pressure to fortify President Barack Obama’s war policy in Iraq, formally unveiled plans to send hundreds of new U.S. troops to the country, but its choice of a relatively conservative military option didn’t quell criticism over its approach. The White House said that in the coming weeks, the Pentagon would…
Reuters - The United States is considering replicating the creation of a new U.S. military hub in Anbar elsewhere in Iraq as the campaign against Islamic State advances, the top U.S. military officer said on Thursday. "It's another one of the options that we're considering," General Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told a small group of reporters before landing in Naples, Italy, acknowledging that might require more troops. Dempsey said examination of such a possibility was…
The Washington Times - A top Iraqi Sunni politician said Monday his nation’s parliament is close to voting on legislation to create a National Guard to formalize the role of Sunni tribal militias in the fight against the Islamic State — an initiative the Obama administration has been pushing for nearly a year. While administration officials touted the National Guard law last fall as the best way to create a “Sunni Awakening 2.0” in Iraq, the initiative has faced resistance…
Usama al-Nujayfi says central government 'politically targeting' Sunni community Baghdad, Anadolu Agency - Sunnis do not trust Iraq’s central government, the country’s deputy president has claimed. Usama al-Nujayfi – a prominent Sunni – made the claim on Tuesday, which coincides with the first anniversary of the fall of the northern province of Mosul to Daesh in 2014. “Sunnis do not trust the government led by the Shia,” Nujayfi said. “Baghdad still continues its policy of politically targeting Sunnis.” Iraq is…

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