In Kirkuk, Iraq’s army abandoned several vast military bases overnight, leaving behind their uniforms and vehicles and equipment they purposely destroyed before fleeing. Kurdish forces have seized the area instead, arming themselves to fight in hopes of establishing their own state. Jonathan Rugman of Independent Television News reports on the advance of the ISIL toward Baghdad. Continue reading
As Sunni militants continue their march towards Baghdad, the Obama administration said the U.S. will not send forces on the ground in Iraq, but will assist in other ways. Judy Woodruff talks to Jane Arraf, an Iraq-based journalist, for an update from Irbil, and then turns to James Jeffrey of The Washington Institute and Feisal Istrabadi of Indiana University for political and military challenges. Continue reading
WASHINGTON — The United States is preparing to send new aid to Iraq to help slow a violent insurgent march that is threatening to take over the nation’s north, officials said Wednesday. But the Obama administration offered only tepid support for Iraq’s beleaguered prime minister, and U.S. lawmakers openly questioned whether he should remain in power. Continue reading
In our news wrap Wednesday, a group of Sunni militants broadened their control in Iraq by capturing the city of Tikrit, only 80 miles north of Baghdad. The al-Qaida linked group took over Mosul, Iraq’s second largest city, a day earlier. Also, a bill designed to help people refinance their student loans stalled in the Senate. Republicans said the legislation was too expensive. Continue reading
WASHINGTON — After years of delays, four former guards from the security firm Blackwater Worldwide are facing trial in the killings of 14 Iraqi civilians and the wounding of 18 others in bloodshed that inflamed anti-American sentiment around the globe.
Whether the shootings were self-defense or an unprovoked attack, the carnage of Sept. 16, 2007 was seen by critics of the George W. Bush administration as an illustration of a war gone horribly wrong.
A trial in the nearly 7-year-old case is scheduled to begin with jury selection on Wednesday, barring last-minute legal developments. Prosecutors plan to call dozens of Iraqis to testify in what the Justice Department says is likely to be the largest group of foreign witnesses ever to travel to the U.S. to participate in a criminal trial. Continue reading
Iraqis are preparing to go to the polls in the first national elections since American forces withdrew. However, as the government faces a resurgence of al-Qaida-linked groups, fears intensify that security forces are losing their grip on a key part of the country. Journalist Jane Arraf reports from Baghdad. Continue reading
In our news wrap Friday, three bombs exploded at a stadium in Baghdad during a campaign rally, killing at least 31 people and wounding dozens more. Reporter Jane Arraf talks to Judy Woodruff about the violence from the ground. Also, President Obama, during a visit to South Korea, issued a new warning to North Korea not to carry out a fourth nuclear test amid reports of new activity. Continue reading
In our news wrap Wednesday, car bombings targeted against Christian areas of Baghdad killed at least 37 people. In other parts of the world, the weather put a damper on Christmas celebrations with ice storms knocking out power in parts of Eastern Canada and severe flooding in Britain and France. Continue reading
In our news wrap Thursday, an apparent U.S. drone strike in Pakistan killed three top militants, including a key leader of the Haqqani network, an Afghan group allied with the Taliban. Also, another series of bombings in Iraq killed nearly 50 people. Continue reading
In our news wrap Thursday, bombings in Baghdad that targeted Shiites on a major religious holiday killed at least 41 and wounded more than 100 others. Also, a U.S. counterterrorism official warned that al-Qaida in Iraq is stronger than it has been since 2006 and other affiliates are spreading. Continue reading