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Mar 8, 2015

Iraq calls for air power to protect antiquities

BAGHDAD (Reuters) – Iraq urged a U.S.-led military coalition on Sunday to use air power to protect the country’s antiquities from Islamic State fighters looting and destroying some of the world’s greatest archaeological treasures.

A government minister said the coalition, which has carried out 2,800 air strikes against Islamic State military positions in Iraq and Syria since August, was not doing enough to save Iraq’s priceless heritage.

Mar 6, 2015

Advancing Iraq troops enter strategic town on edge of Tikrit

BAGHDAD (Reuters) – Iraqi government forces and Iran-backed militiamen entered a town on the southern outskirts of Saddam Hussein’s home city Tikrit on Friday, pressing on with the biggest offensive yet against Islamic State militants that seized the north last year.

Military commanders said the army and mostly Shi’ite militia forces had retaken the town of al-Dour on Tikrit’s outskirts, known outside Iraq as the area where executed former dictator Saddam was found hiding in a pit near a farm house in 2003.

Mar 6, 2015

Islamic State militants bulldoze ancient Nimrud city in Iraq

BAGHDAD (Reuters) – Islamic State fighters have looted and bulldozed the ancient Assyrian city of Nimrud, the Iraqi government said, in their latest assault on some of the world’s greatest archaeological and cultural treasures.

A tribal source from the nearby city of Mosul told Reuters the ultra-radical Sunni Islamists, who dismiss Iraq’s pre-Islamic heritage as idolatrous, had pillaged the 3,000-year-old site on the banks of the Tigris river.

Mar 6, 2015

Islamic State militants bulldoze ancient Nimrud city

BAGHDAD (Reuters) – Islamic State fighters have looted and bulldozed the ancient Assyrian city of Nimrud, the Iraqi government said, in their latest assault on some of the world’s greatest archaeological and cultural treasures.

A tribal source from the nearby city of Mosul told Reuters the ultra-radical Sunni Islamists, who dismiss Iraq’s pre-Islamic heritage as idolatrous, had pillaged the 3,000-year-old site on the banks of the Tigris river.

Mar 5, 2015

Islamic State torches oil field near Tikrit as militia advance

BAGHDAD (Reuters) – Islamic State militants have set fire to oil wells northeast of the city of Tikrit, a witness said, to obstruct an assault by Shi’ite militia fighters and Iraqi soldiers trying to drive them from the Sunni Muslim city and surrounding towns.

The witness and a military source said Islamic State fighters ignited the fire at the Ajil oil field to shield themselves from attack by Iraqi military helicopters.

Mar 3, 2015

Iraq says discussing $6 billion bond issue with banks

BAGHDAD (Reuters) – Iraq is discussing a possible bond issue worth nearly $6 billion with Deutsche Bank and Citibank as part of its efforts to cover a huge projected budget deficit this year, Finance Minister Hoshiyar Zebari said.

State revenues have tumbled along with falling oil prices just as Iraq faces a costly military campaign against Islamic State militants in its northern and western provinces, leaving a likely 25 trillion Iraqi dinar ($21.4 billion) shortfall.

Mar 3, 2015

Iraqi forces try to seal off Islamic State around Tikrit

BAGHDAD (Reuters) – Thousands of Iraqi soldiers and Shi’ite militiamen sought to seal off Islamic State fighters in Tikrit and nearby towns on Tuesday, the second day of Iraq’s biggest offensive yet against a stronghold of the radical Sunni Islamist militants.

Iranian military commander Qassem Soleimani, who has helped coordinate Baghdad’s counter-attacks against Islamic State since it seized much of northern Iraq in June, was overseeing at least part of the operation, witnesses told Reuters.

Mar 3, 2015

Iraq battles to rebuild despite war and oil slump

BAGHDAD, March 3 (Reuters) – On a main highway south of
Baghdad, dozens of buildings rise up from the Iraqi plains, the
first blocks of a multi-billion-dollar city emerging from a
landscape more accustomed to conflict and crisis than glitzy new
development.

Bismayah New City, which aims to house half a million people
within four years, dwarfs any construction project Iraq has
attempted in a generation.

Mar 3, 2015

Iraq launches attack to retake Tikrit from Islamic State

BAGHDAD (Reuters) – Iraq’s armed forces, backed by Shi’ite militia, attacked Islamic State strongholds north of Baghdad on Monday as they launched an offensive to retake the city of Tikrit and the surrounding Sunni Muslim province of Salahuddin.

The offensive is the biggest military operation in the province since the Sunni Islamist radicals seized swaths of north Iraq last June and advanced towards the capital Baghdad.

Mar 2, 2015

Iraq army and Shi’ite militias launch attacks north of Baghdad

BAGHDAD (Reuters) – Iraq’s armed forces, backed by Shi’ite militia, attacked Islamic State strongholds north of Baghdad on Monday at the start of a campaign aimed at driving them out of the mainly Sunni Muslim province of Salahuddin.

The offensive is the biggest military operation in the province since the Sunni Islamist radicals seized swaths of north Iraq last June and advanced towards the capital Baghdad.

    • About Dominic

      "I run Reuters news operations in Beirut, Damascus and Amman. I have reported from across the Middle East since 1992, mainly in Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Iraq, Egypt and Dubai. I have also edited political and general news from Europe/MiddleEast/Africa and was parliamentary correspondent in London."
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