In Iraq, the country’s most influential Shiite cleric urged the newly elected governing body to convene quickly and choose a speaker and a president to counter the insurgency. Meanwhile, the Pentagon said it expects Iraq to agree to legal protections for the incoming group of military advisers. Judy Woodruff reports. Continue reading
Sunni militants forced their way into Iraq’s biggest oil refinery as they continued their push south toward Baghdad. But the Iraqi army says it has driven off the Islamist-led insurgents attacking the Baiji complex, and that 40 attackers have been killed — a claim that couldn’t be verified independently. Jonathan Rugman of Independent Television News reports from northern Iraq. Continue reading
In Baghdad, 10 people were killed in a car bombing in a Shiite neighborhood today. In the north, Shia militia appeared to join fight in lieu of security forces. Jonathan Rugman of Independent Television News reports from Iraq on refugees fleeing Mosul and Tal Afar, as well as a video released by the insurgency calling for all Sunnis around the globe to rise up and support ISIL. Continue reading
Security at the U.S. embassy in Baghdad was strengthened and some staff members sent elsewhere as Iraq was shaken with instability, the State Department said Sunday. Continue reading
President Obama said that he will not put U.S. forces on the ground in Iraq, but he is weighing other military options. He also pointed to problems within the Iraqi government and security forces. Judy Woodruff gets views on whether the U.S. should act in Iraq from Zalmay Khalilzad, former U.S. ambassador to Iraq, retired Army Col. Douglas Macgregor and retired Army Col. Peter Mansoor. Continue reading
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