Iraq Oil Report's Daily Brief compiles the most important news and analysis about Iraq from around the web.

Iraq troops in ‘final assault’ on Islamic State in Falluja

BBC News reports:

The Iraqi army says it has begun an operation to storm Falluja, a bastion of so-called Islamic State (IS).

It comes a week after the government launched a concerted effort to retake the city, which has been held by the jihadists since 2014.

An estimated 50,000 civilians are trapped inside, with only a few hundred families escaping so far.

Meanwhile IS militants launched a wave of bombings in and around the capital, Baghdad, killing at least 20 people.

Click here for the entire story

U.S.-led coalition troops seen near front line in new Iraq offensive

Isabel Coles writes for Reuters:

Servicemen from the U.S.-led coalition were seen near the front line of a new offensive in northern Iraq launched on Sunday by Kurdish peshmerga forces that aims to retake a handful of villages from Islamic State east of their Mosul stronghold.

A Reuters correspondent saw the soldiers loading armored vehicles outside the village of Hassan Shami, a few miles east of the frontline. They told people present not to take photographs.

They spoke in English but their nationality was not clear. Reuters had earlier reported that they were American but this could not be confirmed officially.

Click here for the entire story

Iraq forces poised for Fallujah assault

AFP reports:

Elite Iraqi troops were poised to assault one of the Islamic State group's most emblematic bastions, Fallujah, as the jihadists counterattacked in Iraq and neighbouring Syria where thousands of civilians have fled the fighting.

Meanwhile, the Syrian opposition's chief negotiator Mohammed Alloush announced his resignation Sunday, citing the failure of UN-brokered peace talks and the continued shelling of rebel-held areas by President Bashar al-Assad's regime.

"The three rounds of talks were unsuccessful because of the stubbornness of the regime and its continued bombardments and aggressions towards the Syrian people," Alloush said in a statement on Twitter.

He also accused the international community of not doing enough to ease the suffering of the Syrian people.

Fighting in Syria and Iraq has prompted a new exodus of thousands of desperate civilians and deep concern for the many more trapped in the battlegrounds.

Click here for the entire story

Escapees from Besieged Fallujah Get Emergency Aid

Lisa Schlein writes for Voice of America:

The United Nations refugee agency was delivering relief supplies Friday to some 800 people who have managed to escape the besieged Iraqi city of Fallujah over the past few days.

The U.N. refugee agency reports conditions in Fallujah are worsening as the Iraqi government continues its military offensive to re-take the city, which was captured by Islamic State militants in January 2014.

While several hundred people have managed to escape the besieged city, the UNHCR says some 50,000 civilians remain trapped inside.  It says IS militants are preventing them from leaving and heavy bombardment by Iraqi forces is increasing the danger.

The agency is appealing to the government to open safe corridors so civilians can safely leave and receive life-saving assistance.  UNHCR spokeswoman Melissa Fleming says people who managed to escape have described harrowing tales of their journey.

Click here for the entire story

Returning home to Iraq’s war-torn city of Ramadi means facing hidden dangers

Nabih Bulos writes for the LA Times:

After more than a year away from the war-ravaged Iraqi city of Ramadi, Osama Ismail felt it was safe enough to return to check on the condition of his abandoned home.

The government, after all, had declared the city "liberated" from Islamic State extremists.

Ismail, a father of four, walked through the house last month surveying the damage, eventually reaching the bedroom he shared with his wife. They had left clothes and other items behind in their rush to leave the city and he was curious to see what remained.

Then, an explosion. Family members said the blast threw the 42-year-old teacher against a wall and killed him instantly.

The house, local officials said, had been booby-trapped with an improvised explosive device by Islamic State fighters.

Click here for the entire story

Dozens of Isis fighters killed in Iraqi forces’ assault on Falluja, US says

AFP reports:

US-led coalition strikes supporting Iraqi forces in the push to recapture Falluja have killed 70 Islamic State militants including the group’s commander in the city, according to the US military.

Maher al-Bilawi, commander of Islamic State fighters in Falluja, was killed on Wednesday, said Colonel Steve Warren, a spokesman for the US-led military campaign against Isis.

Warren said the coalition had carried out 20 strikes in support of the campaign over the past four days.

Meanwhile, a Shia militia leader said the final battle to recapture the Islamic State stronghold near Baghdad will start in “days, not weeks”, as new reports emerged of people starving to death in the besieged Sunni city.

Click here for the entire story

Iraq Honors Policeman Who Stopped Would-Be Suicide Bomber

Karim Kadim writes for AP:

Iraq has honored a police officer who stopped a would-be suicide bomber at a checkpoint in a northern Baghdad neighborhood this week.

Saad Ali Thabit's brave act was caught on a closed-circuit camera on Wednesday in the Kadhimiyah neighborhood and has since gone viral, racking up hundreds of thousands of views on Thursday.

The footage shows Thabit discovering and then disarming the would-be bomber during a routine search at the checkpoint where he was working. It shows other people lined up at the checkpoint quickly running away as the bomber's explosive belt was discovered.

Thabit is seen pinning the attacker against the checkpoint's wall and disarming the explosives. Later Wednesday, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi commended Thabit for his heroism and courage.

Click here for the entire story

Iraqi troops retake key town from ISIS in Falluja offensive

Tim Hume and Mohammed Tawfeeq report for CNN:

Iraqi security forces and supporting militias have retaken the key town of Karma from ISIS, the government's first significant victory in its push to reclaim Falluja, a spokesman for Iraq's Joint Operations Command said Thursday.

The recapture of Karma, about 16 kilometers (10 miles) northeast of Falluja, brings most of the territory east of Falluja under government control.

Iraqi government troops, backed by Shiite militias known as the Popular Mobilization Units and an air campaign by the U.S.-led anti-ISIS coalition, launched an offensive Monday to retake Falluja, about 65 kilometers (40 miles) west of Baghdad.

It remains, along with Mosul, one of the last two Iraqi cities under the Sunni terror group's control.

Click here for the entire story

Report: Over 2,700 Yezidi children lost parents to ISIS

Rudaw reports:

Some 2,700 Yezidi children have lost one or both parents to the Islamic State (ISIS) since 2014 after the militants overran their communities, according to a recent report compiled by the Kurdish Region.

The report says that nearly all of the children currently reside in camps across the region with no or limited professional treatment.

“We have called on the Kurdish government as well as international donors to take the issue of the orphan children seriously and come to their aid,” said Hadi Dobani at the office of the Yezidi Affairs, which was set up by the Kurdish government in the aftermath of ISIS offensive to assist the Yezidi victims.

Click here for the entire story

Iraqi PM Asks Protesters to Stay Home to Aid Fallujah Push

Sinan Salaheddin writes for AP:

Iraq's prime minister appealed on Thursday to Iraqis to postpone the weekly protests due the following day so that security forces can focus on a key military operation aimed at retaking the city of Fallujah from the Islamic State group.

For months, anti-government protesters, mainly followers of influential Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, have been holding protests every Friday outside Baghdad's heavily fortified Green Zone and in other provinces, demanding reform to a political system widely seen as corrupt and ineffectual.

To protect the demonstrators from militant attacks, extra security forces are usually deployed around the Green Zone and other key areas, blocking major roads and paralyzing parts of the capital. In recent weeks, demonstrators knocked down the concrete blast walls surrounding the Green Zone and broke into Iraq's parliament building and government offices, plunging the country into a prolonged political crisis.

"All our security forces are preoccupied with liberating Fallujah and nearby areas, and imposing pressure on them in Baghdad and other provinces to protect the demonstrations will affect this issue (the Fallujah offensive)," Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said during a visit to Fallujah Operation Command.

Click here for the entire story

Page 10 of 491« First...89101112...203040...Last »