Keyword: baghdad

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  • First Complex Attack by ISIS in Baghdad

    09/20/2014 12:02:41 PM PDT · by mojito · 15 replies
    Sofrep ^ | 9/19/2014 | Peter Nealen
    While there have been plenty of low-level terror bombings in Baghdad in recent months, until Sept 18, the more complex, infantry-based combat had been limited to the north....But in the evening of the 18th, utilizing a combination of VBIEDs, suicide bombers, mortars, and, according to Shafaaq, RPGs, ISIS fighters struck in the Khadhmiya Neighborhood in northern Baghdad. Khadimiyah is a majority-Shi’a neighborhood, actually a Shi’a holy city subsumed by Baghdad. It is the site of a major Shi’a shrine, the Al Khadhimiya Mosque, which is was built over the tombs of two major Shi’a imams. It is also the site...
  • ISIS Carried Out A 'Complex And Penetrating Attack' In The Capital Of Iraq For The First Time

    09/18/2014 9:27:56 PM PDT · by blam · 12 replies
    BI ^ | 9-18-2014 | The Institute for the Study of War
    The Institute for the Study of War September. 18, 2014 On September 18, the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) launched a complex attack likely targeting the Adala Prison in Baghdad’s Kadhmiyah neighborhood in northern Baghdad. According to the Baghdad Operations Command, the attack was intended to break into the prison but was foiled. ISIS also launched another attack in Baghdad’s Iskan neighborhood that likely targeted the offices of the Iraqi Shi’a political group and militia, the Badr Organization.Institute for the Study of War The Attack ISIS’s attack included mortar rounds, Vehicle-Borne Improvised Explosive Devices (VBIEDs), and Suicide Borne...
  • US in first air strike near Baghdad on IS: officials

    09/15/2014 5:24:38 PM PDT · by mandaladon · 29 replies
    Yahoo News ^ | 15 Sep 2014
    Washington (AFP) - The United States bombed the Islamic State near Baghdad, the first time the US has targeted the militants close to the Iraqi capital, US officials said Monday. A US defense official told AFP on condition of anonymity that American warplanes carried out one air strike near Baghdad and another near Mount Sinjar, in the north of Iraq, in the past 24 hours. The United States last month began a campaign of air strikes against IS positions in northern Iraq, but Monday's announcement that US warplanes had targeted the militants near Baghdad marks an escalation in the scope...
  • Breaking: Obama approves sending 350 more troops back into Baghdad

    09/02/2014 7:01:26 PM PDT · by SeekAndFind · 61 replies
    Hotair ^ | 09/02/2014 | Mary Katherine Ham
    These troops are being sent to protect the American embassy and the airport in Baghdad, and allow a contingent of troops already there to exit safely. They will “not serve in a combat role,” according to the White House. U.S. President Barack Obama on Tuesday authorized a request for an additional 350 troops to be sent to Iraq to protect American diplomatic facilities and personnel in Baghdad, according to a statement released by the White House. “The request he approved today will allow some previously deployed military personnel to depart Iraq, while at the same time providing a more...
  • Islamic State Militants Mass North of Baghdad

    08/14/2014 11:09:45 AM PDT · by GonzoII · 55 replies
    Reuters via Newsweek ^ | 8/14/14 at 5:02 PM
    BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Islamic State militants are massing near the Iraqi town of Qara Tappa, 122 km (73 miles) north of Baghdad, security sources and a local official said, in an apparent bid to broaden their front with Kurdish peshmerga fighters. The Sunni militants have made a dramatic push through the north to a position near Arbil, capital of the semi-autonomous Kurdish region. The movement around Qara Tappa suggests they are getting more confident and seeking to grab more territory closer to the capital after stalling in that region. "The Islamic State is massing its militants near Qara Tappa," said...
  • Charles Lister: Sources Say ISIS Battle For Baghdad Has Begun

    08/11/2014 3:54:48 PM PDT · by Oldeconomybuyer · 4 replies
    Townhall ^ | August 11, 2014 | by Katie Pavlich
    Charles Lister, a visiting fellow at the Brookings Institute Doha Center and working in the Middle East is reporting credible sources have declared ISIS' battle for Baghdad has begun. Lister is working to confirm source statements.
  • Coup underway in Iraq Confirmed. Video added

    08/10/2014 11:22:57 PM PDT · by 2ndDivisionVet · 29 replies
    Hot Air ^ | August 10, 2014 | Jazz Shaw
    This was popped up in the headlines, and details are still sketchy, but something potentially big is afoot in Iraq. (And for once, we’re not talking about their being under attack by ISIS.) We were first tipped off on Twitter as well as a quick draw compilation of tweets from inside Iraq provided at Pundit Press. Here are a few, along with Pundit Press’s summary, keeping in mind that this isn’t confirmed yet: Iraq’s parliament just chose a new President who refused to rename Prime Minister Nouri Kamal al-Maliki to a third term. Maliki declared the move unconstitutional and his...
  • Troops surround Baghdad ‘Green Zone’ as embattled Prime Minister Maliki appears to cling to power

    08/10/2014 3:11:57 PM PDT · by tcrlaf · 50 replies
    News.com.au ^ | 8-10-2014 | News.com
    UNCONFIRMED reports suggest troops have sealed off Baghdad’s “Green Zone” in an apparent coup. Controversial Iraqi PM Maliki won a fresh round of elections, but does not hold a clear majority in parliament. He technically remains prime minister until parliament sits and votes. But Mr Maliki has this morning lashed out against his opponents, calling them “ministers for ISIS”. “Today I will file a formal complaint to the federal court against the president,” he said, in a surprise address at midnight Iraq time. Controversial Iraqi PM Maliki won a fresh round of elections, but does not hold a clear majority...
  • U.S. Relocates 'Limited Number' of Staff in Iraq

    08/10/2014 2:01:20 PM PDT · by PghBaldy · 11 replies
    Wall Street Journal ^ | August 10 | Felicia Schwartz
    WASHINGTON—Following a dozen airstrikes from the U.S. military in Northern Iraq this weekend, the U.S. State Department on Sunday relocated "a limited number" of staff from the American embassy in Baghdad and the U.S. consulate in Erbil. The staff from the embassy in Baghdad and the consulate in Erbil will be transferred to the U.S. consulate in Basrah, Iraq and to Amman, Jordan. The State Department also issued a travel warning for Iraq, cautioning U.S. citizens against nonessential travel to the country, citing the security situation. The U.S. embassy's ability to assist U.S. citizens is limited, the State Department said.
  • Through the looking glass Iraq | At the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, war zone meets wonderland

    08/09/2014 5:14:57 PM PDT · by Retain Mike · 8 replies
    World Magazine ^ | August 9, 2014 | Mindy Belz
    To get to the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad you first must present proper identifying credentials to pass Iraqi army checkpoints. Then turn through Assassin’s Gate, into what’s now known as the International Zone, or IZ. Nearing the banks of the Tigris, you turn right onto a boulevard, see the first guard tower marking the embassy compound, then drive—and drive—some minutes fronting its fortress-high walls before you reach an entry gate. The embassy—opened in 2009 at a cost to U.S. taxpayers of over $750 million—is the largest diplomatic compound in the world. At 104 acres (that’s 80 football stadiums) it’s about...
  • ‘When ISIS takes Baghdad…’

    08/05/2014 11:44:55 AM PDT · by SeekAndFind · 21 replies
    Hotair ^ | 08/05/2014 | Noah Rothman
    The headlines out of the Middle East leave the reader with the unmistakable impression that Islamic State militants are on the advance. A combined assault on a variety of positions in Lebanon by ISIS fighters resulted in the fall of a series of border posts and a small city to the Sunni militant group. The fighting in Lebanon worsened on Monday. “It’s another front for ISIS and another sign containment of the Syria crisis has failed, a Middle East analyst told The New York Times. Reports indicate that ISIS has also expanded the front in Iraq’s north and has...
  • Gunmen kill 29 women in attack on Baghdad brothel

    07/16/2014 6:01:50 PM PDT · by BlackVeil · 36 replies
    Telegraph ^ | 14 Jul 2014 | anon
    Religious militias are suspected of carrying out a massacre in a brothel in Baghdad in which 29 women and two men were killed. ... an notorious brothel-keeper known only as "Aws", who used to bribe police and soldiers in the neighbourhood to turn a blind eye to his rackets. The side street where the compound was located was routinely guarded by members of the security forces. Grisly photographs obtained by the AFP news agency showed crouching bodies of five women huddled together in a corner of a bathroom with blood-spattered tiled walls and floor ...
  • Iraqi Kurds take over two northern oil fields

    07/11/2014 9:37:48 PM PDT · by Rabin · 11 replies
    Stars & Stripes.com ^ | July 11, 2014 | Sinan Salaheddin (AP)
    BAGHDAD — Kurdish security forces took over two major oil fields outside the disputed northern city of Kirkuk before dawn Friday and said they would use some of the production for domestic purposes, further widening a split with the central government of Prime Minister Maliki. The president of the Kurdish (prior, no fly) zone has said the areas won't be returned — including the highly disputed, flashpoint city of Kirkuk — and he called for Kurdish lawmakers to prepare to hold an independence referendum in the area, a move strongly opposed by Baghdad, Turkey and the United States. //Snip// http://america.aljazeera.com/articles/2014/7/11/iraq-parliament-dysfunction.html,...
  • Iraqi capital nervously awaits Isis attack

    07/03/2014 8:51:28 PM PDT · by MinorityRepublican · 50 replies
    FT ^ | July 1, 2014 | Borzou Daragahi
  • Iraq chases Baghdad sleeper cells as 'Zero Hour' looms over capital

    07/03/2014 7:33:15 AM PDT · by Oldeconomybuyer · 8 replies
    Reuters ^ | July 3, 2014 | By Ned Parker
    Iraqi insurgents are preparing for an assault on Baghdad, with sleeper cells planted inside the capital to rise up at "Zero Hour" and aid fighters pushing in from the outskirts, according to senior Iraqi and U.S. security officials. Iraqis speak of a "Zero Hour" as the moment a previously-prepared attack plan would start to unfold. A high-level Iraqi security official estimated there were 1,500 sleeper cell members hibernating in western Baghdad and a further 1,000 in areas on the outskirts of the capital. He said their goal was to penetrate the U.S.-made "Green Zone" - a fortified enclave of government...
  • Obama Sending 200 More US Troops to Iraq [Now 300]

    06/30/2014 2:36:26 PM PDT · by sunmars · 56 replies
    <p>President Barack Obama says he's sending about 200 more U.S. troops to Iraq to protect Americans and the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad.</p> <p>The announcement will bring to nearly 800 the total number of U.S. forces in and around Iraq to train local forces, secure the embassy and protect American interests.</p>
  • Pentagon: Armed drones guard US interests in Iraq

    06/27/2014 2:46:45 PM PDT · by don-o · 2 replies
    AP - via Yahoo ^ | June 27, 2014 | PAULINE JELINEK
    WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. has armed drones flying over Baghdad to protect U.S. troops that recently arrived to assess Iraq's deteriorating security, the Pentagon said Friday. The military for more than a week has been flying manned and unmanned aircraft over Iraq, averaging a few dozen sorties daily for reconnaissance.
  • Isis Reaches The Suburbs Of Baghdad

    06/26/2014 6:07:22 PM PDT · by kingattax · 19 replies
    Breitbart ^ | 26 Jun 2014 | by CHRISS W. STREET
    The Islamic State of Syria and Sham (ISIS) and their Sunni tribal allies reached the strategic Mahmudiyah district southwest of Baghdad in large numbers on June 26th. Kurdish officials said that militants had seized the towns of Iskandariyah and Mahmudiyah. The depleted Iraqi Army 17th Division is still fighting in the area, but it lacks air support and armored vehicles. Since Mahmudiyah district controls the key supply routes linking Baghdad with the Shiite majority in the south, more Iraqi Army units will have to be pulled back from fighting in the north. According to reports by Stratfor Global Intelligence, unnamed...
  • As ISIS Advances Toward Baghdad, a Call for Fighting Volunteers is Answered

    06/21/2014 1:09:05 AM PDT · by nickcarraway · 9 replies
    CNN ^ | Sat June 21, 2014 | Anderson Cooper and Chelsea J. Carter
    They answered the call by the thousands, some walking miles in sweltering heat to volunteer to fight an al Qaeda splinter group barreling towards the Iraqi capital. With reports that fighters with the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, the terror group also known as ISIS, was some 40 miles from the gates of Baghdad, the country's top religious and political leaders appealed for able-bodied men of fighting age to volunteer to defend the country. "Mosul, Tal Afar, Falluja, wherever, by God's will we will be ready to defend any location," said 23-year-old Ahmed, who showed up Thursday at a...
  • Iraq crisis: US 'urging Maliki to resign'

    06/19/2014 6:21:16 AM PDT · by Oldeconomybuyer · 22 replies
    Guardian UK ^ | June 19, 2014
    The US is reported to have demanded the resignation of Iraqi prime minister Nouri al-Maliki as a condition for US military intervention. The Wall Street Journal says the US has signalled its desire for unity government in Iraq without Maliki. Maliki's government has rejected calls for the prime minister to quit. His spokesman, Zuhair al-Nahar, said the west should focus instead on providing immediate military help to the Iraqi government.
  • Iraqi PM fires four top security officers for fall of Mosul: statement

    06/17/2014 2:50:28 PM PDT · by Citizen Zed · 2 replies
    Reuters ^ | June 17, 2014
    raq's Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki fired four of his top security officers on Tuesday for abandoning their "professional and military duty" a week after the fall of the northwest city of Mosul to Sunni militants, the government said. Top officers, including Lieutenant General Mehdi Sabah Gharawi, the top commander for Nineveh province where Sunni fighters have gained ground, were fired because they "failed to fulfill their professional and military duties", according to a government statement read out on state television.
  • Former U.S. Ambassador to Iraq Ryan Crocker: John Kerry should be on a plane to Baghdad (VIDEO)

    06/17/2014 12:48:09 PM PDT · by PoloSec · 13 replies
    Pundit Press ^ | June 17 2014 | Dan Butcher
    John Kerry is too busy spreading BS about climate change to worry about the Middle East going up in flames. On Tuesday. former U.S. Ambassador to Iraq Ryan Crocker said that “Secretary Kerry, in my view, should be on a plane right now for Baghdad.” “Diplomacy is what is crucial right now. “We need to work with the Iraqis at the highest level. That would be Secretary Kerry, backed by the president, so that they can demonstrate the national unity, Kurdish, Sunni and Shia, that is going to be essential, if there is going to be any hope of turning...
  • Iraq conflict: PM fires senior officers over rebel advance

    06/17/2014 12:24:34 PM PDT · by Oldeconomybuyer · 7 replies
    BBC News ^ | June 17, 2014
    Iraqi PM Nouri Maliki has fired senior officers for failing to halt a sweeping advance by Sunni Islamist rebels. Four army commanders were dismissed for failing to perform "their national duty", a government statement said on Tuesday. Iraqi forces have been engaged in heavy clashes with the rebels who have seized several key cities in the past week.
  • Analysis: ISIS, allies reviving 'Baghdad belts' battle plan

    06/17/2014 9:22:57 AM PDT · by mojito · 12 replies
    Long War Journal ^ | 6/14/2014 | Bill Roggio
    The lightning advance of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Sham and its allies from Mosul to the outskirts of Samarra, as well as its capture of several towns in eastern Diyala, all over the course of several days, appears to be part of a greater strategy to surround the capital of Baghdad before laying siege to it. This plan, to take over the "belt" region outside of Baghdad and cut off the capital, appears to be the same strategy used by the ISIS' predecessor back in 2006. The 2006 plan, which was drawn up by the Islamic State...
  • Obama announces 275 US troops WILL be sent to Iraq to protect American embassy

    06/17/2014 8:33:08 AM PDT · by yoe · 18 replies
    The Daily Mail ^ | June 1, 2014 | David Martosko & Jamds Nye
    President Obama announced that American troops are being deployed to Iraq. Returning nearly three years after the United States withdrew in 2011 Deployed to protect American personnel and embassy staff in Baghdad This comes as John Kerry says Washington is 'open to discussions' with Tehran about military cooperation He also told Yahoo! News correspondent Katie Couric that drone strikes also 'may well be' an option in the coming days Just a year ago, Obama was weighing ever-tougher sanctions against Iran's mullahs ISIS captured Tal Afar, a key northern town along the highway to Syria, early on Monday, with a population...
  • Obama Sending 275 Troops To Protect U.S. Embassy In Iraq

    06/17/2014 12:23:11 AM PDT · by WhiskeyX · 20 replies
    RFE/RL Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty ^ | June 17, 2014 | RFE/RL Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty
    U.S. President Barack Obama has informed Congress he is deploying up to 275 troops to provide security at the U.S. embassy in Baghdad. The announcement on June 16 comes after Sunni-led militants from an Al-Qaeda splinter group, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), seized large swaths of territory across northern Iraq in recent days and advanced toward Baghdad Obama's announcement is in accordance with the U.S. War Powers Act – a federal law that checks the U.S. president’s power to send troops into foreign military action without consent from Congress. The law requires the president to inform...
  • Text of a Letter from the President to the Speaker of the House of Representatives and...

    06/16/2014 3:56:21 PM PDT · by kristinn · 15 replies
    The White House ^ | Monday, June 16, 2014 | President Barack Hussein Obama II
    The White House Office of the Press Secretary For Immediate Release June 16, 2014 Text of a Letter from the President to the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the President Pro Tempore of the Senate June 16, 2014 Dear Mr. Speaker: (Dear Mr. President:) Starting on June 15, 2014, up to approximately 275 U.S. Armed Forces personnel are deploying to Iraq to provide support and security for U.S. personnel and the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad. This force is deploying for the purpose of protecting U.S. citizens and property, if necessary, and is equipped for combat. This force will...
  • Obama tells Congress U.S. deploying up to 275 troops to Iraq

    06/16/2014 3:46:39 PM PDT · by tcrlaf · 139 replies
    Reuters ^ | 6-16-2014 | Reuters
    President Barack Obama told Congress on Monday the United States was deploying up to 275 military personnel to provide support and security for U.S. personnel and the country's embassy in Baghdad after militants seized control of the north of the country.
  • Obama considers special forces to help in Iraq

    06/16/2014 2:09:05 PM PDT · by kingattax · 73 replies
    Yahoo/AP ^ | 6-16-14 | LARA JAKES and JULIE PACE
    WASHINGTON (AP) — The White House is considering sending a small number of American special forces soldiers to Iraq in an urgent attempt to help the government in Baghdad slow the nation's rampant Sunni insurgency, U.S. officials said Monday. While President Barack Obama has explicitly ruled out putting U.S. troops into direct combat in Iraq, the plan under consideration suggests he would be willing to send Americans into a collapsing security situation for training and other purposes
  • Iraq Travel Warning

    06/16/2014 12:12:20 PM PDT · by Oldeconomybuyer · 9 replies
    US Embassy Baghdad ^ | June 16, 2014 | The Obama Administration
    The Department of State warns U.S. citizens against all but essential travel to Iraq. Travel within Iraq remains dangerous given the security situation. On June 16, the Department of State began relocating some staff members from the Embassy to the Consulates General in Basrah and Erbil and Iraq Support Unit in Amman. The Embassy remains open and is operating. This Travel Warning supersedes the Travel Warning dated June 11, 2014, to update information on security incidents and to remind U.S. citizens of ongoing security concerns in Iraq, including kidnapping and terrorist violence. The ability of the Embassy to respond to...
  • U.S. Navy ship with 550 Marines on board entering Gulf: CNN

    06/16/2014 5:00:10 AM PDT · by sunmars · 107 replies
    The USS Mesa Verde with 550 Marines on board entered the Gulf on Monday to support possible U.S. action to help Iraq's Shi'ite-led government combat a Sunni Islamist insurgency that has overtaken large areas of the country's north, CNN reported. The USS Mesa Verde joins the aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush, which the Pentagon ordered on Saturday to move into the Gulf. President Barack Obama has said he is considering military action, short of putting U.S. troops in Iraq, to aid that government's efforts to stop the insurgency.
  • Iraq; Press Statement, U.S. State Department, Jen Psaki Department Spokesperson, June 15, 2014

    06/16/2014 3:39:15 AM PDT · by WhiskeyX · 3 replies
    U.S. Department of State ^ | June 15, 2014 | Jen Psaki
    Iraq Press Statement Jen Psaki Department Spokesperson Washington, DC June 15, 2014 The United States strongly supports Iraq and its people as they face security challenges from violent extremists. The people of Iraq have repeatedly rejected violent extremism and expressed their desire to build a better society for themselves and for their children. The Embassy of the United States in Baghdad remains open and will continue to engage daily with Iraqis and their elected leaders – supporting them as they strengthen Iraq’s constitutional processes and defend themselves from imminent threats. As a result of ongoing instability and violence in certain...
  • ISIS ADVANCES – BAGHDAD AIRPORT UNDER ASSAULT (Photos)

    06/15/2014 8:07:30 PM PDT · by blueyon · 78 replies
    Gateway Pundit ^ | 6/15/14 | Jim Hoft
    ISIS TERRORISTS BEGIN ASSAULT ON BAGHDAD— Baghdad International Airport under Assault– Here’s a new image reportedly of an explosion at the Baghdad airport. The Battle for Baghdad has begun…
  • Don't forget to remember Democrats who lied about Iraq!

    06/15/2014 5:58:30 PM PDT · by Libloather · 15 replies
    Enter Stage Right ^ | 6/16/14 | John W. Lillpop
    **SNIP** Indeed, when the question of using military force against Iraq was put before the U.S. Congress, 110 Democrats supported the 2002 Joint Resolution, which authorized President Bush to act as he ultimately did. Further, some very outspoken Democrats during that time said these sort of things including President Clinton, Vice President Al Gore, and Senator John F. Kerry. "[W]e urge you, after consulting with Congress, and consistent with the U.S. Constitution and laws, to take necessary actions (including, if appropriate, air and missile strikes on suspect Iraqi sites) to respond effectively to the threat posed by Iraq's refusal to...
  • Iraq Says It's Halted Militant Group's Advance On Baghdad

    06/15/2014 9:35:51 AM PDT · by Oldeconomybuyer · 35 replies
    NPR ^ | June 15, 2014 | by EYDER PERALTA
    The Iraqi government says it has halted a militant group's advance on Baghdad. As The Telegraph reports, the Iraqi army started engaging the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, or ISIS, after it made a rapid advance in which it captured the key city of Mosul. "'Our security forces have regained the initiative,' said Maj Gen al-Moussawi, adding that the Iraqi army had won 'remarkable victories with the help of volunteers'. 'We will not stop at liberating Mosul from ISIS terrorists, but all other parts,' he continued."
  • Facebook, Twitter Down In Iraq: Communications Ministry Blocks Social Media Sites

    06/15/2014 4:26:09 PM PDT · by kristinn · 21 replies
    International Business Times ^ | Friday, June 13, 2014 | Howard Koplowitz
    Social media sites, including Facebook and Twitter, were down in Iraq Friday as the country’s Communications Ministry blocked access to them. The Iraqi Ministry of Communications also notified citizens in a Facebook post Friday night local time that the Internet would be cut off on Sunday “in all parts of Iraq” to maintain optical cable along the Turkish border. It did not address reports that social media was inaccessible. Baghdad-based BBC reporter Richard Galpin said Friday that Facebook, Twitter and YouTube were blocked in the Iraqi capital. A Communications Ministry source confirmed the shutdown to the Kuwait News Agency, but...
  • Breaking news update! Iraqis shut down internet at U.S. Embassy in Baghdad

    06/15/2014 3:51:52 PM PDT · by Star Traveler · 325 replies
    The Examiner ^ | June 14, 2014 | Susy Raybon
    A three word text was released from inside the Embassy about six hours ago: “Too late Alamo.” That message is open to interpretation. Just minutes ago news came from within the United States Embassy in Baghdad that the Iraqis have shut down internet service for those barricaded inside. Limited text messages via private cell phones are still coming through. It is unknown how many of the more than 5,000 U.S. civilians in Baghdad are actually taking refuge inside the embassy compound. NBC war correspondent, Richard Engel reported last night that civilians in and around Baghdad have boarded up residences and...
  • US evacuates Baghdad embassy as brutal ISIS forces advance ... [Breaking!]

    06/15/2014 3:39:08 PM PDT · by Star Traveler · 188 replies
    The Mail Online ^ | Sunday, June 15. 2014 | Michael Zennie and Damien Gayle
    The United States has evacuated most of its personnel from the Embassy in Baghdad and dramatically stepped up security for those who remain as thousands of Islamic fighters bear down on Iraq's capital city. Some 5,500 people work in the massive Embassy complex in the heavily-fortified Green Zone in Baghdad. Many will be airlifted to Amman, Jordan, and others will be sent to consulates in Basra, in the south, and Erbil, in the Kurdish north. Other workers will remain in Baghdad. Some 12,000 fighters from the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS) are marching on Baghdad after quickly...
  • What Went Wrong in Iraq (Barf Alert!!!)

    06/15/2014 2:54:25 PM PDT · by Kaslin · 58 replies
    Townhall.com ^ | June 15, 2014 | Steve Chapman
    When the United States invaded Iraq in March 2003, Americans were told it would be a quick, simple project. When asked how long the war might last, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said airily, "Six days, six weeks, I doubt six months." So what's the complaint today from those who advocated the war most vigorously? We left too soon. Republican Sens. John McCain, Lindsey Graham and Kelly Ayotte put out a statement the other day blaming the recent rout of Iraqi government forces on "President Obama's decision to withdraw all of our troops from Iraq in 2011." That final pullout...
  • N.Y.Times: U.S. to Evacuate Many Staff Members From Baghdad Embassy

    06/15/2014 1:22:33 PM PDT · by kristinn · 17 replies
    The New York Times ^ | Sunday, June 15, 2015 | Tim Arango and Michael R. Gordon
    ERBIL, Iraq — The American Embassy in Baghdad plans to evacuate a substantial number of its personnel this week in the face of a militant advance that rapidly swept from the north toward the capital, the State Department announced on Sunday. The embassy, a beige fortress on the banks of the Tigris River within the heavily-secured Green Zone, where Iraqi government buildings are also located, has the largest staff of any United States Embassy. The exact number of people being evacuated was not clear Sunday. The embassy would remain open, a person familiar with the planning said, and much of...
  • Mosul has fallen, and al Qaeda is on the march towards Baghdad

    06/14/2014 6:49:59 AM PDT · by rktman · 40 replies
    weeklystandard.com ^ | 6/14/2014 | Max Boot
    Mosul, Iraq’s second-largest city, has long been hard for the central government to control because of its combustible mix of Arabs and Kurds. The first time I visited Mosul was in August 2003 when a tenuous calm was maintained by the 101st Airborne Division. Its commander, a then-obscure two-star general named David Petraeus, had on his own initiative opened the Syrian border to trade, struck deals with Syria and Turkey to provide badly needed electricity, restored telephone service, and held elections to elect local leaders. Along the way he also managed to kill Saddam Hussein’s poisonous offspring Uday and Qusay.
  • Report: Hundreds of American Civilians Besieged by Terrorists at Air Force Base in Iraq

    06/14/2014 8:18:02 AM PDT · by blueyon · 58 replies
    ijreview.com ^ | 6/14/14 | By Soopermexican
    As the Al Qaeda aligned ISIS jihadists roll on towards Baghdad, there are reports that at least 200 Americans were trapped and surrounded at the Balad Force Air Base. An anonymous contractor claiming to be among the besieged U.S. citizens posted this call for help on CNN’s “IReport” website yesterday: I am writing from ballad Iraq as a employee of sallyport, ksillc..there are approx 500 US citizens on balad air base north of Baghdad trapped..we are part of a little known F16 iraq support mission here…The company has reportedly for the last 3 days to fly us out, we are...
  • Analyst: Fall Of Baghdad Would Make Current Gas Prices ‘Look Like A Bargain'

    06/14/2014 7:29:57 AM PDT · by MeshugeMikey · 46 replies
    C.B.S. local ^ | June 13, 2014 | Not Attributed
    "any reduction in the flow of Iraqi crude due to the ongoing Islamic insurgency in the northern Iraq cities of Mosul and Tikrit could have worldwide economic consequences, according to oil industry analyst Phill Flynn, who said speculators are watching for the worst-case scenario."
  • Iraq: A Sunni-Shia Holy War To Commence In Baghdad?

    06/13/2014 2:11:48 PM PDT · by kingattax · 51 replies
    Breitbart ^ | 13 Jun 2014 | by JORDAN SCHACHTEL
    Baghdad looks to be the first place where Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) fighters meet serious resistance on their blitzkrieg through Iraq. However, this has not stopped the Al Qaeda splinter group’s forces from announcing their intended goals. In a video publicly released Thursday night, the jihadi fighters were seen shouting, “Towards Baghdad!” ISIL’s Twitter page said the group had executed 1,700 Shia Iraqi soldiers as of late Thursday. The group’s social media page proudly displayed an image of a decapitated head, tweeting, “this is our football” with the hashtag #WorldCup. Iraq’s Grand Ayatollah Ali Al-Sistani, the...
  • Iraqis flock to volunteer to fight insurgents

    06/14/2014 2:17:00 AM PDT · by Olog-hai · 16 replies
    Associated Press ^ | Jun 14, 2014 3:50 AM EDT | Hamza Hendawi
    Hundreds of young Iraqi men flocked to volunteer centers across Baghdad Saturday to join the fight against Islamic militants who have advanced across the country’s north this week. They were responding to a call by Iraq’s most revered Shiite cleric for Iraqis to defend their country against the Sunni Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, which seized Iraq’s second-largest city Mosul and Saddam Hussein’s hometown of Tikrit in a lightning advance. …
  • On The Subject of Last Helicopters

    06/13/2014 12:44:26 PM PDT · by mojito · 30 replies
    PJ Media/Belmont Club ^ | 6/13/2014 | Richard Fernandez
    ...Although precautionary preparations have been made, the US embassy in Baghdad itself has not been evacuated. “The State Department said in January that it had about 5,000 personnel working at the embassy and at consulates in Basra and Irbil, including 2,000 Americans. Embassy personnel are protected by some 200 Marine Corps security guards.” If the embassy is evacuated, it will leave what is perhaps one of the most lavish and expensive diplomatic facility in history in the hands of al-Qaeda. It contains what is probably a huge intelligence facility. “The 104-acre compound — already its biggest and most expensive in...
  • U.S. companies pulling contractors from Iraqi bases as security crumbles

    06/13/2014 12:15:45 PM PDT · by mojito · 13 replies
    WaPo ^ | 6/12/2014 | Dan Lamothe
    The crisis in Iraq has prompted U.S. contractors with personnel there to evacuate them from areas near Baghdad that are increasingly in the line of fire as insurgent fighters capture more territory with the apparent end goal of seizing the Iraqi capital. The individuals are being “temporarily relocated by their companies due to security concerns in the area,” State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said in a statement Thursday evening. The individuals involved include U.S. citizens who are currently working under contract with Iraq’s central government in support of the Pentagon’s foreign weapons sales program. [....] On Thursday, the electronics giant...
  • ISIS butchers leave 'roads lined with decapitated police and soldiers'

    06/13/2014 12:07:15 PM PDT · by tcrlaf · 82 replies
    UK Daily Mail ^ | 6-13-2014 | By Sam Greenhill and Jill Reilly and Kieran Corcoran
    Full Title: ISIS butchers leave 'roads lined with decapitated police and soldiers': Battle for Baghdad looms as thousands answer Iraqi government's call to arms and jihadists bear down on capital The full horror of the jihadists’ savage victories in Iraq emerged yesterday as witnesses told of streets lined with decapitated soldiers and policemen. Blood-soaked bodies and blazing vehicles were left in the wake of the Al Qaeda-inspired ISIS fanatics as they pushed the frontline towards Baghdad. They boasted about their triumphs in a propaganda video depicting appalling scenes including a businessman being dragged from his car and executed at the...
  • 200 U.S. contractors surrounded by jihadists in Iraq

    06/13/2014 10:51:34 AM PDT · by tcrlaf · 185 replies
    World Net Daily ^ | 6-13-2014 | Corsi
    About 200 Americans under contract with the Department of Defense at Balad Air Force Base in Iraq are trapped by the al-Qaida-inspired jihadists who have seized control of two cities and are now threatening Baghdad, according to WND sources. The sources, private contractors who have recently returned to the U.S. from Iraq, said Friday their former colleagues effectively have been abandoned by the U.S. military and are fighting for their lives against an army of jihadists surrounding the base who belong to the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, or ISIS. The U.S. contractors are at Balad to help the...
  • Obama about to speak; Baghdad being evacuated?

    06/13/2014 8:55:00 AM PDT · by pabianice · 116 replies
    Fox News Live | 6/13/14
    Brett Bair on now. Obama about to speak. Bair wonders aloud if Obama is about to evacuate Baghdad, other Iraqi cities.