Michael's Feed
Aug 9, 2014

Islamist rebels repairing Mosul dam, Kurds in rush to arms

BAGHDAD (Reuters) – Islamic State insurgents who seized Iraq’s biggest dam in a offensive that has caused international consternation have brought in engineers for repairs, witnesses said on Saturday, as nervous Kurds stocked up on arms to defend their enclave nearby.

The jihadi Islamists have captured wide swathes of northern Iraq since June, executing non-Sunni Muslim captives, displacing tens of thousands of people and drawing the first U.S. air strikes in the region since Washington withdrew troops in 2011.

Aug 7, 2014

Iraq’s Yazidis cling to a mountaintop as Islamic State advances

BAGHDAD, Aug 7 (Reuters) – After fleeing from Islamic State
militants, thousands of ethnic Yazidis stranded on a mountain
were clinging to rumours that Iraqi government planes would drop
food to save them.

The supplies never came. All they could do was pray for
help.

Just a week ago, Yazidis living in their ancient homeland of
Sinjar in northern Iraq felt protected by Kurdish peshmerga
forces. Followers of an ancient religion derived from
Zoroastrianism, the Yazidis are themselves Kurds.

Aug 5, 2014

Iraq’s Yazidis face Islamic State or perilous mountains

BAGHDAD (Reuters) – When the Islamic State made another dramatic push through northern Iraq, many Iraqis fled their towns and villages before the Sunni militants notorious for beheadings arrived.

But the Yazidis of the town of Sinjar were especially terrified. The Islamic State, whose methods seem excessive even to al Qaeda, regards the minority ethnic group as “devil worshippers”, making them prime candidates for the sword.

Aug 5, 2014

Maliki fights for political life as Sunni insurgency rages

BAGHDAD (Reuters) – Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki has no intention of stepping aside despite mounting pressure from Sunnis, Kurds, some fellow Shi’ites and power broker Iran, aides said on Tuesday, although political deadlock is undermining efforts to counter insurgents.

Maliki, seen as an authoritarian figure with a sectarian agenda that has destabilised Iraq, has ruled in a caretaker capacity since an incomplete election in April.

Aug 4, 2014

Tunneling through triangle of death, Islamic State aims at Baghdad from south

BAGHDAD (Reuters) – Using secret tunnels built by Saddam Hussein and rough terrain to outfox Iraqi troops, Islamic State insurgents are getting dangerously close to Baghdad with the support of heavily-armed Sunni tribesmen, Iraqi security and intelligence officials said.

The al Qaeda offshoot, which poses the biggest security threat to Iraq since the fall of Saddam in 2003, has made new bold advances in the north, reaching a major dam and seizing a fifth oilfield and three more towns after routing security forces from the Kurdish autonomous region.

Aug 4, 2014

Insight – Tunnelling through triangle of death, Islamic State aims at Baghdad from south

BAGHDAD (Reuters) – Using secret tunnels built by Saddam Hussein and rough terrain to outfox Iraqi troops, Islamic State insurgents are getting dangerously close to Baghdad with the support of heavily-armed Sunni tribesmen, Iraqi security and intelligence officials said.

The al Qaeda offshoot, which poses the biggest security threat to Iraq since the fall of Saddam in 2003, has made new bold advances in the north, reaching a major dam and seizing a fifth oilfield and three more towns after routing security forces from the Kurdish autonomous region.

Jul 30, 2014

Iraqi militias execute, hang 15 people: police

BAGHDAD (Reuters) – Shi’ite militia forces executed 15 Sunni Muslims and then hung them by electricity poles in a public square in a town northeast of Baghdad on Wednesday, police said.

A police officer at the scene in Baquba, a mixed Sunni and Shi’ite town 65 km (40 miles) from Baghdad, said he believed the action was designed to keep Sunnis from supporting the Islamic State, an al-Qaeda offshoot which seized swathes of land in an advance through northern Iraq last month.

Jul 29, 2014

Islamic State video wages psychological war on Iraqi soldiers

BAGHDAD (Reuters) – Islamic State, the al Qaeda spin-off that seized wide swathes of Iraq almost unopposed last month, has released a video telling Iraqi soldiers who may still have some fight in them that they risk being rounded up en masse and executed.

Iraq’s army unraveled when the Sunni insurgents staged a lightning advance through northern towns and cities, building on territory their comrades captured earlier in the west of the country, a major OPEC oil producer.

Jul 28, 2014

Police find 15 corpses in Baghdad in bloody start to Muslim Eid holiday

BAGHDAD (Reuters) – Iraqi police on Monday found the corpses of 15 people, including three women shot in the head in militia-style killings, a bloody start to the holiday marking the end of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan, security sources said.

Fears have been growing of a relapse to the dark days of sectarian civil war which peaked in 2006-2007 since Sunni militants seized large swathes of the north last month, building on gains by comrades made in the west of Iraq.

Jul 25, 2014
via FaithWorld

Islamic State tells Iraqi women: wear full veil or face harsh punishment

Photo

(Veiled women walk past a billboard that carries a verse from Koran urging women to wear a hijab in the northern province of Raqqa March 31, 2014. REUTERS/Stringer )

Islamic State, the al-Qaeda offshoot that seized large swathes of northern Iraq last month, has warned women in the city of Mosul to wear full-face veils or risk severe punishment.