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Showing posts from January 24, 2016

IS militants seize new areas in Iraq's Ramadi

The Islamic State (IS) group on Wednesday captured four areas in Ramadi, capital of Anbar province in western Iraq, while heavy clashes are underway, a provincial security source said.

The IS militants carried out attacks at dawn on the positions of the security forces and allied Shiite and Sunni militias and managed to seize the areas of Soufiyah, Albu Ghanim, Albu Mahal and Albu Souda in eastern Ramadi, some 110 km west of Baghdad, the source told Xinhua on condition of anonymity.

He said the extremist militants in early hours of the day blew up three suicide truck bombs at the police station in Soufiyah district and the blasts were followed by advance of dozens of IS militants who after four hours seized the whole district and spread to nearby areas.

The security forces and Hashid Shaabi, or Popular Mobilization, militiamen withdrew from their positions in Ramadi to the nearby huge airbase of Habbaniyah after the IS attacks during the day, the source said.

The battles in Anbar came aft…

News Analysis: Iraq needs feasible strategy to defeat IS group

by Jamal Hashim

Tough battles against the Islamic State (IS) militants loom in the Sunni heartland of Anbar province, as Iraqi government under growing pressure to reach out to the disenfranchised Sunni community.

Abadi on Monday paid his first official visit to Washington as a prime minister at a pivotal moment after Iraqi forces and allied militias retook control of Tikrit, Saddam Hussein's hometown, with the help of U.S.-led coalition airstrikes.

Observers here see that Abadi is going to ask for more support from the international coalition to fight the IS militant group which seize large parts of the country, but he is also going to face important questions about offensive against the extremist group and theIranian role in training and advising the Shiite militias.

"In my opinion, arming Iraqi forces is not an essential issue to the United States, what is more important for the U.S. is producing common U.S.-Iraqi strategy of about how to fight Daash (IS militant group),"…

Over 100 killed in air strikes, clashes with IS militants in Iraq

Up to 62 Islamic State (IS) militants and 48 security members were killed on Saturday in U.S.-led coalition air strikes, four suicide bomb attacks and clashes with Iraqi security forces, security sources said.

In Iraq's western province of Anbar, three suicide bombers drove their booby-trapped vehicles into bases of Iraqi federal police and detonated them in Kilo 70 area in west of the provincial capital city of Ramadi, some 110 km west of Baghdad, leaving some 43 policemen killed and destroying five police vehicles, a provincial security source told Xinhua on condition of anonymity.

Meanwhile, a suicide bomber rammed his explosive-laden vehicle into a military base and blew it up in Tal Msheheidah area, just east of Ramadi, killing five security members and wounding 11 others, along with destroying two military vehicles, the source said.

Separately, U.S.-led coalition aircraft carried out air strikes on IS positions in the desert area in north of Ramadi, leaving at least 53 IS mili…

U.S. Relies Heavily on Saudi Money to Support Syrian Rebels

By Mark Mazzetti

When President Obama secretly authorized the Central Intelligence Agency to begin arming Syria’s embattled rebels in 2013, the spy agency knew it would have a willing partner to help pay for the covert operation. It was the same partner the C.I.A. has relied on for decades for money and discretion in far-off conflicts: the Kingdom ofSaudi Arabia.

Since then, the C.I.A. and its Saudi counterpart have maintained an unusual arrangement for the rebel-training mission, which the Americans have code-named Timber Sycamore. Under the deal, current and former administration officials said, the Saudis contribute both weapons and large sums of money, and the C.I.A takes the lead in training the rebels on AK-47 assault rifles and tank-destroying missiles.

The support for the Syrian rebels is only the latest chapter in the decadeslong relationship between the spy services of Saudi Arabia and the United States, an alliance that has endured through the Iran-contra scandal, support …

U.S. to Put More 'Boots on the Ground' in Iraq

Defense Secretary Carter announces plans to deploy 101st Airborne Division in latest escalation of war.

By Adam Johnson

In an op-ed in Politico and in an appearance at Davos World Economic Forum Friday morning, Secretary of Defense Ash Carter announced the U.S. will deploy "boots on the ground" in Iraq to help local forces fight the so-called Islamic State. The policy shift is a turnaround from the Obama's White House's previous stance of not deploying combat troops in Iraq and one sure to shape the foreign policy debate in the 2016 election.

Though the U.S. military presence in Iraq has been steadily growing over the past year-and-a-half this marks the first time an express acknowledgment of ground troops has been made by a senior official. The first of such deployments will, according to Sec. Carter, be the 101st Airborne Division

"Soldiers in the storied 101st Airborne Division will soon deploy to Iraq to join the fight against ISIL," Carter wrote in Politic…