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Irak News

US awaits Iraq's okay to deploy Patriots to protect troops

Washington - The United States is awaiting a green light from the Iraqi government to deploy Patriot missile defense systems to protect US troops from Iranian missile attacks, Pentagon chief Mark Esper said Thursday.

Hanukkah candles burn in Iraqi Kurdistan

In the glow of the nine-candled menorah, with kippa skullcaps on their heads and tallit prayer shawls around their shoulders, a small association is working to revive Hanukkah in Iraq.

Iraqi city in turmoil after activist's death

Diwaniyah - Hundreds of anti-government protesters marched Wednesday in southern Iraq to mourn a dead activist after a night during which the headquarters of two pro-Iran militias were set on fire, an AFP correspondent reported.

Paralysis in Iraq as protesters harden position

Baghdad - Iraqi protesters stepped up their demonstrations Tuesday with the authorities in Baghdad increasingly paralysed as they seek a way out of a political impasse.

Iraq deadline to appoint PM looms, protesters unyielding

Baghdad - Iraqi political leaders faced a midnight deadline Thursday to choose a new prime minister to run a country shaken by months of unprecedented street protests that have left hundreds dead.

No consensus yet on new Iraqi PM as deadline looms

Baghdad - Iraqi political parties struggled to reach a consensus on a new prime minister Monday amid unprecedented protests as the deadline for a parliamentary vote loomed.

Iraqi Kurds turn to Zoroastrianism as faith, identity entwine

Darbandikhan - In a ceremony at an ancient, ruined temple in northern Iraq, Faiza Fuad joined a growing number of Kurds who are leaving Islam to embrace the faith of their ancestors -- Zoroastrianism.

Let jihadists return home, French anti-terror magistrate urges

Paris - The refusal of the French government to take back Islamic State fighters from Syria could fuel a new jihadist recruitment drive in France, threatening public safety, a leading anti-terrorism investigator has told AFP.

Iraq begins national mourning for protest dead

Baghdad - Iraq began three days of national mourning Thursday for more than 100 people killed during recent protests, while the government was expected to present a reshuffle to parliament in response to the political crisis.

Iraq warns of 'danger of war' as Iranian FM visits

Baghdad - Iraqi leaders have warned of the risks of war during a visit by Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, whose country is locked in a tense standoff with the United States.

Elite US Navy SEAL facing war crimes charges for killings in Iraq

Los Angeles - Stabbing a teenage prisoner to death, picking off a young girl and an old man with a sniper rifle and firing a heavy machinegun into a residential area: these are some of the charges facing an elite US Navy SEAL on trial for war crimes while deployed i...

Anger, grief sweep Iraq's Mosul as ferry disaster toll hits 100

Mosul - The capsizing of a Tigris River ferry packed with families celebrating Kurdish New Year in Mosul left at least 100 people dead, mostly women and children, the Iraqi interior ministry said on Friday, as grief and anger swept the city.

Iraqi Kurds commemorate Halabja massacre

Halabja - Hundreds of Kurds gathered in the Iraqi town of Halabja on Saturday in a tearful ceremony commemorating Saddam Hussein's poison gas attack there which killed some 5,000 people, mostly women and children.

French guns on Iraq border aim to pin down IS diehards inside Syria

Sulaymaniyah - French howitzer-guns deployed in the Euphrates Valley desert just inside Iraq stand ready to pour fury on Islamic State group diehards in their last holdout across the border in Syria.

Italy's Conte discusses IS 'insurgency' with Iraqi leaders

Baghdad - Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte visited Baghdad on Wednesday, meeting his Iraqi counterpart Adel Abdel Mahdi and President Barham Saleh for talks on the fight against the Islamic State group.

War on jihadists won't end unless West tackles root causes: experts

Washington - Western powers fighting Islamist groups around the globe are condemned to a never-ending battle if they only tackle the symptoms and not the underlying causes of jihadist insurgency, experts say.

Nobel laureate Murad urges Iraq to probe fate of abducted Yazidis

Baghdad - Nobel laureate and former jihadist captive Nadia Murad called on Iraq Wednesday to create a special team to investigate the fate of other members of her Yazidi minority kidnapped by the Islamic State group.

Millions mark Shiite religious festival in Iraq's Karbala

Karbala - Over 13 million Shiite pilgrims crowded Iraq's holy city of Karbala Tuesday to mark the annual Arbaeen commemoration, under tight security less than a year after the country declared victory over the Islamic State group.

'On Her Shoulders' tells of painful burden carried by Nobel winner

Los Angeles - In the soon to be released documentary "On Her Shoulders," Nobel Peace Prize winner Nadia Murad says she didn't want to become known as a "victim of Daesh terrorism.

UN chief hopes for 'swift' formation of Iraqi government

New York - United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said Wednesday he hopes for the "swift" formation of an "inclusive" Iraqi government following the election of the country's president.

Murders of trailblazing Iraqi women spark conspiracy fears

Baghdad - Over the last few weeks, four go-getting Iraqi women have separately met premature deaths -- two falling victim to men firing automatic weapons into their vehicles.

Iraq hosts military chiefs from Iran, Russia and Syria

Baghdad - Senior Iraqi military commanders hosted their Russian, Iranian and Syrian counterparts in Baghdad on Saturday to discuss security cooperation and information-sharing in the Middle East, where the Islamic State group continues to carry out attacks.

Cellist brings sounds of 'peace, coexistence' to ruins of Iraq's Mosul

Mosul - Iraqi cellist and conductor Karim Wasfi has played a concert for "peace and co-existence" amid the ruins of Mosul, almost a year after Iraqi forces ousted the Islamic State group from the capital of its self-declared "caliphate".

Pope to appoint 14 new cardinals

Vatican City - Pope Francis announced Sunday that he will hold a meeting of the Church's top council to appoint 14 new cardinals next month, including from Iraq, Pakistan, Madagascar and Japan.

IS leader travels in east Syria with tight-knit group: Iraqi official

Baghdad - Islamic State group leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is hiding in eastern Syria and moves around with only a small group of followers, including one of his sons, an Iraqi intelligence official said Wednesday.

Iraq journalist who threw shoes at Bush stands for parliament

Baghdad - The Iraqi journalist who grabbed headlines around the world by hurling his shoes at then US president George W. Bush is pitching for a seat in parliament at upcoming elections.

US flags burned as Iraqis protest Syria strikes

Baghdad - Thousands of Iraqis took to the streets in several cities on Sunday to protest against US-led strikes on Syria, following a call by influential Shiite cleric Moqtada Sadr.

Feline pampered: Basra moggies set paw in Iraq's first cat hotel

Basra - Cats in Iraq's southern city of Basra are purring with delight as the country's first feline hotel opens for guests.In a part of the country where many struggle to make ends meet, a prime venue for cat naps may seem like a luxury.

In Mosul, hundreds fear arrest for sharing names with jihadists

Mosul - Since jihadists were pushed out of Mosul, Mohammed has not left his home. Although he never joined the Islamic State (IS) group, he shares a name with one of its fighters and fears arrest.

Iraqi official says wounded IS chief alive in Syria

Baghdad - An Iraqi interior ministry official said the Islamic State group's head Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is alive and being treated at a field hospital in Syria after being wounded in an air strike.
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