Michael's Feed
Nov 8, 2014

Air strikes target Islamic State leaders in Iraq: TV report

BAGHDAD (Reuters) – U.S.-led air strikes have targeted a gathering of Islamic State leaders in Iraq in a town near the Syrian border, possibly including the group’s top commander Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, Al-Hadath television channel said on Saturday.

Iraqi security officials were not immediately available for comment on the report from the station, part of Saudi-owned al-Arabiya television, but two witnesses told Reuters an air strike targeted a house where senior Islamic State officers were meeting, near the western Iraqi border town of al-Qaim.

Nov 5, 2014

Britain says will send more army trainers to Iraq to help fight Islamic State

BAGHDAD (Reuters) – Britain will boost the number of its army trainers in Iraq in the coming weeks to support the Iraqi armed forces’ battle against Islamic State militants, the British defense secretary said on a visit to Baghdad on Wednesday.

Britain said last month it had deployed a team of trainers to Iraq to help Kurdish peshmerga fighters maintain and use heavy machineguns against the ultra radical militants which have taken over large parts of Iraq and Syria.

Nov 4, 2014

Careless spending on Islamic State campaign harms Iraq: finance minister

BAGHDAD (Reuters) – Iraq’s reckless spending on its battle against Islamic State, including over $1 billion on Shi’ite militias accused of human rights abuses, is undermining efforts to keep the country functioning, the finance minister said.

In an interview with Reuters, Hoshiyar Zebari, a Kurd who is mostly seen as a moderate, accused past and present Iraqi leaders of mismanagement, poor planning and failing to reach out to the only people he says can defeat Islamic State — Sunni tribesmen.

Nov 3, 2014

Life under Islamic State in Iraq’s Falluja: danger, rage and profit

BAGHDAD (Reuters) – After Islamic State seized Falluja in January it persuaded a man making covers for cars to sell suicide vests instead, one of many changes in the Iraqi city as it adapts to life under the ultra-hardline Sunni militants.

Islamic State is notorious for beheading or executing anyone who stands in its way when seizing cities and towns in Iraq and Syria that form its self-proclaimed caliphate, often using suicide bombers to make advances.

Nov 2, 2014

Iraq says 322 tribe members killed, many bodies dumped in well

BAGHDAD (Reuters) – Islamic State militants have killed 322 members of an Iraqi tribe in western Anbar province, including dozens of women and children whose bodies were dumped in a well, the government said in the first official confirmation of the scale of the massacre.

The systematic killings, which one tribal leader said were continuing on Sunday, marked some of the worst bloodshed in Iraq since the Sunni militants swept through the north in June with the aim of establishing medieval caliphate there and in Syria.

Nov 1, 2014

Iraqi Kurds reinforce Kobani; U.S. planes pound Islamic State targets

BEIRUT/ BAGHDAD (Reuters) – Syrian Kurds welcomed the arrival in Kobani of Iraqi Kurdish fighters with their heavy weapons, hoping they might tip the balance in the battle to defend the town against Islamic State, as U.S.-led air strikes continued to bomb the ultra-hardline group in Iraq and Syria.

Air strikes have helped to foil several attempts by the al Qaeda offshoot, notorious for its beheading of hostages, to take over Kobani. But they have done little to stop its advances, in particular in Sunni areas of western Iraq, where it has executed hundreds of tribesmen.

Nov 1, 2014

Iraqi Kurds reinforce Kobani; U.S. planes pound IS targets

BEIRUT/ BAGHDAD (Reuters) – Syrian Kurds welcomed the arrival in Kobani of Iraqi Kurdish fighters with their heavy weapons, hoping they might tip the balance in the battle to defend the town against Islamic State, as U.S.-led air strikes continued to bomb the ultra-hardline group in Iraq and Syria.

Air strikes have helped to foil several attempts by the al Qaeda offshoot, notorious for its beheading of hostages, to take over Kobani. But they have done little to stop its advances, in particular in Sunni areas of western Iraq, where it has executed hundreds of tribesmen.

Oct 31, 2014

Iraqi tribal leaders’ pleas for help ignored before massacre

BAGHDAD (Reuters) – Iraqi tribal leader Sheikh Naeem al-Ga’oud and his men once helped U.S. Marines drive al Qaeda out of their Anbar Province stronghold. He doesn’t even put up a brave face when it comes to his current enemy the militants of Islamic State.

This week the al Qaeda offshoot massacred more than 200 members of his Albu Nimr tribe in retaliation for months of resistance.

Oct 28, 2014

Suicide bomber kills 27 militiamen south of Iraqi capital

BAGHDAD (Reuters) – A suicide bomber killed at least 27 Shi’ite militiamen outside the Iraqi town of Jurf al-Sakhar on Monday after security forces pushed Islamic State militants out of the area over the weekend, army and police sources said.

The attacker, driving a Humvee vehicle packed with explosives and likely stolen from defeated government troops, also wounded 60 Shi’ite Muslim militiamen, who had helped government forces retake the town just south of the capital.

Oct 27, 2014

Suicide bomber kills 27 militiamen in Iraq, all eyes on Kobani

BAGHDAD (Reuters) – A suicide bomber killed at least 27 Shi’ite militiamen on the outskirts of the Iraqi town of Jurf al-Sakhar on Monday after security forces pushed Islamic State militants out of the area over the weekend, army and police sources said.

The attacker, driving a Humvee vehicle packed with explosives and likely stolen from defeated government troops, also wounded 60 Shi’ite militiamen, who had helped government forces retake the town just south of the capital.