Waleed's Feed
Dec 7, 2011

Birth defects and rubble still scar Iraq’s Falluja

FALLUJA, Iraq (Reuters) – As U.S. forces pull out of Iraq, residents and officials in Falluja say they leave behind bullet-riddled homes, destroyed infrastructure and a worrying increase in birth defects and maladies in a city polluted by weapons and war chemicals.

Amir Hussain and Awfa Abdullah got married in Falluja in 2004 but their lives were turned upside by the birth of their two babies.

Nov 24, 2011

Provincial autonomy risks sectarian rift in Iraq

BAGHDAD (Reuters) – Moves by some of Iraq’s mainly Sunni Muslim provinces toward increased autonomy threaten to heighten sectarian tensions and put pressure on Iraq’s already frail central government as U.S. troops depart at the end of the year.

Just weeks before the last American troops leave, growing appeals for local control mark disenchantment with the Shi’ite Muslim-led government and could widen rifts between the country’s Sunni and Shi’ite communities.

Nov 16, 2011

Did U.S. troops bring democracy? Iraqis have doubts

BAGHDAD (Reuters) – Sitting in a barber shop in Baghdad’s Shi’ite Sadr City slum, three friends agreed after a long and hard argument that U.S. forces brought democracy to Iraq.

But they found it difficult to utter the words without raging about the flip side of what they saw as the U.S. occupation of their country.

Nov 11, 2011

Saddam deputy surfaces in audio recording – TV report

BAGHDAD (Reuters) – A man identified as Izzat Ibrahim al-Douri, Saddam Hussein’s former deputy, criticised a recent arrest campaign against Baathists and denied they had plotted against the Iraqi government.

Syria-based Arrai television aired on Thursday an audio tape of a man it identified as Douri, the head of Saddam’s banned Baath Party and the highest-ranking member of Saddam’s regime still at large. There was no independent confirmation of the speaker’s identity.

Nov 3, 2011

Sadr says to resist any U.S. presence in Iraq

BAGHDAD (Reuters) – Anti-U.S. Shi’ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr said Thursday he would resist any American presence in Iraq, including a civilian one, beyond year-end when all U.S. forces depart nearly nine years after the invasion that toppled Saddam Hussein.

Sadr, whose Mehdi Army militia once battled U.S. and Iraqi troops, has opposed any U.S. military footprint and his bloc is a key part of Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki’s fragile coalition.

Oct 31, 2011

U.S. Gulf buildup would be imprudent: Iran foreign minister

BAGHDAD (Reuters) – Any buildup of U.S. forces in the Gulf after their withdrawal from Iraq would be imprudent, Iran’s foreign minister said on Monday, urging all nations to tread cautiously in a troubled region.

Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi made the comments in Baghdad days after U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton warned Iran not to try to exploit the U.S. withdrawal at the year-end.

Oct 22, 2011

Iraq still seeking U.S. trainers, PM Maliki says

BAGHDAD (Reuters) – Iraq will continue talks with Washington on how U.S. trainers can work with Iraqi forces after a complete withdrawal of American troops at the end of the year, Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki said on Saturday.

U.S. President Barack Obama announced on Friday that all U.S. troops would leave Iraq as scheduled by the end of this year after the two governments failed to reach an agreement over giving American soldiers legal immunity.

Oct 22, 2011

Iraq still seeking U.S. trainers: PM Maliki

BAGHDAD (Reuters) – Iraq will continue talks with Washington on how U.S. trainers can work with Iraqi forces after a complete withdrawal of American troops at the end of the year, Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki said on Saturday.

U.S. President Barack Obama announced on Friday that all U.S. troops would leave Iraq as scheduled by the end of this year after the two governments failed to reach an agreement over giving American soldiers legal immunity.

Oct 21, 2011

Iraqis fret about security after U.S. withdrawal

BAGHDAD (Reuters) – Iraqis fretted about the ability of their armed forces to protect them from violence after U.S. President Barack Obama said on Friday all U.S. troops would withdraw by the end of the year.

Washington and Baghdad failed to agree on the issue of immunity for U.S. forces after months of talks over whether American soldiers would stay on as trainers more than eight years after the U.S.-led invasion that toppled Saddam Hussein.

Sep 30, 2011

Iraq’s Maliki warns over Syrian sectarian turmoil

BAGHDAD (Reuters) – Iraq’s Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki warned of regional fallout should protests in neighboring Syria escalate into sectarian violence or force a change in government along sectarian lines.

His statements underscore fears among Iraqi Shi’ite leaders and their allies in Iran that Syrian unrest could spill over into Iraq or unseat President Bashar al-Assad and bring to power a hardline Sunni Muslim regime next door.