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

Band battles Islamic State of Mt. Sinjar in Iraq

Johnathan Krohn writes for USA Today:

Kawa scrambles down the hill at a rapid clip in his ragged, knock-off Adidas Center Court III sneakers. His green kaffiyeh, tied around his head like a bandana, flaps behind him in the wind as he runs through the rocky, desert terrain at the foot of Mount Sinjar. He shrinks into a dot as he runs, hurtling into the distance past the sand dunes, his AK-47 rattling against his back, until he disappears into a cave.

Inside Kawa's cave sits a hodgepodge of men from a variety of backgrounds. Kawa is an Iranian Kurd and member of the armed wing of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) battling the Islamic State to regain territory lost in August, when the militants seized the surrounding area and brutalized the population.

Click here for the entire story

Iraq’s leader requests more aid in fight against IS

Michael R. Gordon reports for the New York Times:

Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi of Iraq appealed for help on Wednesday in training his military and reconstructing towns and cities that Iraq hopes to wrest from the Islamic State’s control.

Mr. Abadi outlined the requests after having arrived here for a meeting of nearly 60 nations on ways to counter the militants from the Islamic State, also known as ISIS or ISIL. American officials said that the cost of the reconstruction had yet to be determined. But it is most likely to be substantial if Iraqi forces succeed in retaking Mosul, Falluja and other populated areas in street fighting that could be prolonged and bloody.

Click here for the entire story

In and out of time in Iraq

Tom Ricks writes in the New Yorker:

I fell out of time in the summer of 2004. I fell back in about seven years later, on September 11, 2011. The first fall was slow, more of a slide than a drop. It began as I moved around Baghdad, in the summer of 2003, with a growing sense of unease. On Memorial Day, while reporting for the Washington Post, I went on a 1st Infantry Division patrol in western Baghdad with another Post reporter, Anthony Shadid. I talked to members of the patrol, while Anthony talked to the Iraqis in the neighborhood. “Everybody likes us,” Spec. Stephen Harris, then twenty-one years old, told me. Anthony heard a different story. “We refuse the occupation,” Mohammed Abdullah, a thirty-four-year-old Iraqi, told him. “They’re walking over my heart. I feel like they’re crushing my heart.” (Anthony, who had been shot in Israel, in 2002, and was kidnapped in Libya, in 2011, died while covering the rebellion in Syria in 2012.)

Click here for the entire story

France conducts ‘major’ raids on ISIS in Iraq

AFP reports :

France said Friday its fighter jets were conducting a “major” raid in Iraq as part of the U.S.-led coalition offensive against the Islamic State group, days after members said the strikes were having effect. “At the moment, a major raid is taking place,” Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian told BFMTV, refusing to detail the targets or the number of jets involved.

He said French planes based in the United Arab Emirates and more recently in Jordan had carried out “120 to 130 missions” since the start of the coalition offensive. These include intelligence gathering missions. Compared to the United States, France has carried out only a handful of strikes on the militants.

Click here for the entire story

Shiite militias win bloody battles in Iraq, show no mercy

Matt Bradley reports for the Wall Street Journal:

In a makeshift barracks about 40 miles south of Baghdad, Ahmed al-Zamili flipped through pictures on his mobile phone: an Islamic State fighter’s corpse hanging from a crude noose, a dead man on the ground clutching an AK-47 and a kneeling, blindfolded man uttering a confession.

Mr. Zamili says the men were captured when his militia of more than 650 Shiite fighters, known as Al Qara’a Regiment, drove Islamic State out of Jurf al-Sakher in late October. After briefly interrogating the enemy soldiers, Mr. Zamili ordered their executions, he says.

Click here for the entire story

AP interview: US troops have immunity in Iraq

Vivian Salama reports for AP:

Washington has an agreement with Baghdad on privileges and immunities for the growing number of troops based in Iraq who are helping in the fight against the Islamic State group, the new U.S. ambassador said Thursday. In an exclusive interview with The Associated Press, Stuart Jones said Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi has given assurances that U.S. troops will receive immunity from prosecution. Under Iraq's former Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, that issue was a major sticking point, ultimately leading to the decision to withdraw all remaining U.S. troops in late 2011.

"That was a different situation and those troops would have had a different role," Jones said. "We have the assurances that we need from the government of Iraq on privileges and immunities," he said. "It's in the basis of our formal written communications between our governments and also based on the strategic framework agreement that is the legal basis of our partnership."

Click here for the entire story

U.S. walks fine, awkward line when addressing Iranian airstrikes in Iraq

Dan Lamothe reports for the Washington Post:

Iranian fighter jets are now said to be bombing the Islamic State militant group in Iraq. It’s an escalation in Tehran’s presence there — and a development that has forced U.S. officials to walk a fine line while addressing it. The latest example came Wednesday, when Secretary of State John F. Kerry was asked if he was aware of any Iranian airstrikes in Iraq, and whether he thought they were helpful in the fight against the militants. He declined to confirm whether any occurred and said Tehran and Washington are not coordinating military actions, a standing talking point for U.S. officials in recent days. But the secretary went a step further, saying Iranian airstrikes wouldn’t necessarily be a bad thing.

Click here for the entire story

ISIS attacks checkpoint at Iraq, Syria border

The New York Daily News reports:

Islamic State militants attacked a checkpoint along the volatile Iraqi-Syria border on Monday, killing at least 15 Iraqi border policemen, officials said. The attack took place in the town of al-Walid on Iraq’s side of the border, according to a senior army official. At least five officers were also wounded in the assault. A government official in Iraq’s Anbar provincial council confirmed the report but further details were not immediately available. Since its blitz earlier this year, the Islamic State group has controlled most of the border crossings between Iraq and Syria. The Sunni militant group has also overrun a large part of Iraq’s Anbar and Ninevah provinces and now controls about one-third of both Iraq and Syria.

Click here for the entire story

Iraq PM sacks officials over ‘ghost soldiers’

Al Jazeera Reports:

The Iraqi prime minister has fired dozens of top officials after the government uncovered an estimated 50,000 "ghost soldiers" on the military payroll. Haider al-Abadi "retired" on Monday at least 24 senior Interior Ministry officials as part of government restructuring, saying that the scheme has drained millions of dollars from the country's coffers. He said he was saddened that the government was paying out salaries to false names "at a time when we don't have enough money". "We have soldiers fighting and being killed, while there are mock names of soldiers receiving salaries," he lamented. There are 800,000 soldiers in the Iraqi army, and more than half a million of them are reservists, leaving less than 300,000 soldiers on active duty. Each soldier earns about $600 a month, so the 50,000 ghost soldiers, which is equivalent to almost four military divisions, could be costing Iraq at least $380m a year.

Click here for the entire story

About 250 Fort Bragg soldiers to deploy to support Iraq operations

Michelle Tan writes for the Army Times:

About 250 paratroopers from the 82nd Airborne Division will deploy in support of Operation Inherent Resolve, officials announced Monday. The soldiers from 1st Battalion, 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne of Fort Bragg, North Carolina, will begin deploying in late December. They will deploy for nine months to the Central Command area of responsibility to conduct security operations. "The 1st Battalion, 505th PIR is a well-led and highly trained unit with extremely talented and adaptable paratroopers," said Col. Curtis Buzzard, the brigade commander, in a statement. "I know they are ready for any contingency and am confident they will accomplish the mission."

Click here for the entire story

Page 20 of 248« First...10...1819202122...304050...Last »