Iraq

Iraq PM to head new coalition in May vote

BAGHDAD: Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said Sunday he would stand for re-election in May at the head of a new coalition, buoyed by victory over the Islamic State group. Abadi’s newly created “Victory Alliance” will face the “State of Law” bloc of Nuri al-Maliki, his predecessor, key rival and Shiite Dawa party co-member who now holds the post of ...

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Iraq Is Not Iran’s Puppet

BEIRUT, Lebanon — Iraq is, once again, deeply embroiled in crisis. For three years, the central government in Baghdad and the Kurdish region fought together to oust the Islamic State. Now, following the Sept. 25 referendum on independence for the region, they are pointing their guns at each other. The dynamics in Iraq are far from simple, with intra-Kurdish rivalries; ...

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Angela Merkel, North Korea, Iraq: Your Tuesday Briefing

 Germany’s election results reverberated across the country’s political spectrum. Alternative for Germany, the far-right party that is now the third-largest group in Parliament, is already mired in a leadership tussle. Frauke Petry, above, the party’s leader, announced that she would not join its caucus in Parliament, prompting calls for her to quit the party. Chancellor Angela Merkel began talks with the Greens ...

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Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen to visit SAF forces in Iraq

Defence Minister Dr Ng Eng Hen is leading a delegation to visit the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) troops deployed to Iraq in support of the multinational coalition to defeat the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (IS), the Ministry of Defence (Mindef) said in a statement on Tuesday (Sept 26). Dr Ng had previously announced in November 2014 that the ...

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Iran’s border with N. Iraq remains ‘operational’

ERBIL A border, which linked Iran with northern Iraq, remained “operational”, head of Bashmakh border crossing said on Tuesday. “The daily and commercial transitions between Iran and Kurdish Regional Government are quite normal,” Mahmud Ezver, head of Bashmakh border crossing, told Kurdish Regional Government’s official (KRG) website Pukmedia on Tuesday. His remarks came a day after Iran announced that it ...

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U.S. contractors accuse Iraq of tax shake down

American military contractors operating in Iraq are accusing Baghdad of employing strong-arm tactics to make them pay exorbitant income taxes, a practice they’ve warned the Trump administration is hampering the fight against Islamic State extremists. To force payment of the taxes, which the companies say are haphazardly calculated and can total millions of dollars, Iraqi authorities have held up — ...

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Iraq: Kurdish leader Barzani claims win in independence referendum

Iraq’s Kurdish leader, Masoud Barzani, has claimed victory in a referendum on independence – before votes have been tallied – amid threats from Baghdad to take over the region’s borders and a demand from Turkey to “give up or go hungry”. With a result supporting independence expected on Wednesday, Iraqi Kurdistan’s neighbours have stepped up calls for the result to be set ...

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Iraq Says it Has ‘Fully Liberated’ Ninevah Province From ISIS Control

(BAGHDAD) — The northern town of Tal Afar has been “fully liberated” from the Islamic State group (ISIS), Iraq’s prime minister said Thursday, further shrinking the territory controlled by the extremists who overran nearly a third of the country three years ago. The militants have suffered a series of major defeats in recent months, including the loss of Mosul, the ...

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France pledges support to stabilize post-Islamic State Iraq

France will help reconstruction and reconciliation efforts in Iraq as it emerges from the war against Islamic State, French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said on Saturday after talks with Iraqi officials in Baghdad. France is a main partner in the U.S.-led coalition helping Baghdad fight the militants who seized parts of Iraq and Syria in 2014. The coalition provided ...

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Where’s the blockbuster for the ‘Dunkirk in reverse’ in Iraq and Syria?

Right now, a gripping Hollywood blockbuster recalls the heroism of Dunkirk, when trapped Allied troops were rescued during WWII. However, there’s an equally stirring “Dunkirk in reverse” going on before our eyes in Iraq and Syria, and American Catholics are playing a starring role — not only in saving embattled Christians, but giving them hope of better things to come. ...

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