Iraq

Iraq’s Muslims celebrate Christmas in solidarity with Christians

BAGHDAD — With every year, Christmas in Baghdad is marked with more festivities than the year before. Is this merely a celebration of joy or a deep expression of solidarity with the threatened Christian minorit Commercial streets such Karada, al-Mansour, Palestine and Zaytouna are adorned with Christmas trees and Santa Claus. Zawraa park in the center of the capital is hosting ...

On the front lines of Canadian assistance in Iraq

The town lies 65 kilometres south of the city where an Iraqi-led operation to root out the Islamic State has now, as of late December, entered its tenth week. An Iraqi commander instructs the convoy to hurry as it snakes its way through narrow streets, and, pointing toward buildings a few kilometres away, warns that snipers might still be lying ...

Islamic State fighters ‘re-enter ancient Palmyra’ in Syria

REPORTED BY KALAHAN DENG Islamic State group fighters have re-entered Palmyra, nine months after losing the ancient Syrian desert city, activists say. IS held Palmyra and its nearby ruins for 10 months before it was recaptured by Syrian government forces in March. But the jihadist group launched an offensive earlier this week. Meanwhile, Russian-backed Syrian government forces are closing in ...

U.S.: ISIS fighters killed in Iraq, Syria reaches 50,000

The official said it was a conservative estimate, but it’s a bit more than what others have stated before. U.S. leaders have expressed reluctance to disclose specific numbers, and note that ISIS has been able to replace fighters rapidly, particularly early on. In August, Lt. Gen. Sean MacFarland said about 45,000 combatants have been taken off the battlefields. The official ...

Don’t Shrink Iraq to Save It

The Islamic State is likely to be forced out of Mosul and Raqqa. Yet many of the conditions that led to its emergence in the first place still remain. Military force is a necessary, but not sufficient, condition for defeating ISIS. However, the proposal that we partition Iraq along sectarian lines will not solve the problem. It is a dangerous ...

United Nations to stop reporting military casualties in Iraq

BAGHDAD, Dec. 4 (UPI) — The United Nations mission in Iraq said it will stop reporting military casualty figures after Iraq’s military complained the numbers were exaggerated. In a press release published Sunday, the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq, or UNAMI, said it “acknowledges that the military figures were largely unverified.” The agency said it will discontinue the reporting ...

In Iraq, family honors a son’s fight for national unity against ISIS

AL-DIWANIYAH, IRAQ — The last moments of the Iraqi special forces officer came in the nondescript outskirts of Mosul, amid tight house-to-house combat against jihadists of the so-called Islamic State. In one scene, a BBC Arabic television crew captures the hulking sergeant-major of Iraq’s Counter-Terrorism Force (ICTF) kicking through the door of a house. In the next, the officer steps ...

How can Australians help people in Syria and Iraq?

Seeing harrowing images from war zones in Syria and Iraq can make people feel at a loss of how to help, but there are ways Australians can lend a hand. There are dozens of organisations already working within and around the war-torn cities of Aleppo and Mosul. We asked workers from Red Cross and World Vision what Australians can do. ...

Iraq’s refugees: Life after IS

BBC Radio 5 live has been reporting from Iraq on the stories of women, children and men who have fled from the forces of the so-called Islamic State. Reporter Nick Garnett reflects on his time there. As Anna Foster, presenter of 5 live Drive, and I sat opposite one another deep into the night editing video and audio, we had ...

Exclusive: Jailed Islamic State suspects recall path to jihad in Iraq leftright 10/10leftright

When Kurdish forces began firing rockets at a suspected Islamic State hideout in northern Iraq, one of those inside, former bakery worker Walid Ismail, said he tried to persuade the others to surrender. Some wanted to hold hand grenades to their throats and pull the pins. In the end, a Tunisian militant among them detonated a suicide bomb, hoping to ...

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