NEWS

Islamic State 'Execute 500 Yazidis' With Some Victims 'Buried Alive'

10/08/2014 15:15 | Updated 11 August 2014

At least 500 members of the Yazidi Kurdish sect have been "executed" by the Islamic State, formerly ISIS, with some victims "buried alive", according to Iraq’s Human rights minister Mohammed Shia al-Sudani. The persecution of the ancient minority, who live in northern Iraq, has seen hundreds of women taken captive and imprisoned in Mosul; prisoners who, according to an official in Baghdad, are to used or sold as sex slaves.

As with other ethnic minorities in the splintering Iraq, the Yazidi, who have been described as "devil worshippers" by members of the Islamic State, were given the option to convert to Islam or die. Reuters is reporting that al-Sudani had accused the Islamists group of carrying out a “vicious atrocity”, detailing in phone calls to western media that news of the massacre had come from those that had escaped the bloodshed in the town of Sinjar.

Speaking to Reuters, al-Sudani said: "We have striking evidence obtained from Yazidis fleeing Sinjar and some who escaped death, and also crime scene images that show indisputably that the gangs of the Islamic State have executed at least 500 Yazidis after seizing Sinjar," he said, adding: "Some of the victims, including women and children were buried alive in scattered mass graves in and around Sinjar."

alsudani

Mohammed Shia al-Sudani: 'Women and children were buried alive'

US airstrikes have targeted arms held by the Islamic State, with President Obama confirming on Saturday that a second round of bombing by US navy jets had destroyed artillery positions held by the extremist movement. However, news of the massacre in Sinjar is likely to put further pressure on Washington to step up military action against the Islamic State, even though the president has continually insisted that there is no long-term military solution to the problems blighting the disintegrating Iraqi state.

Al-Sudani added: "The terrorist Islamic State has also taken at least 300 Yazidi women as slaves and locked some of them inside a police station in Sinjar and transferred others to the town of Tal Afar. We are afraid they will take them outside the country. In some of the images we have obtained there are lines of dead Yazidis who have been shot in the head while the Islamic State fighters cheer and wave their weapons over the corpses," he added. "This is a vicious atrocity."

SEE ALSO:

The Yazidis on Mount Sinjar

  • Ezidi Press
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  • Ezidi Press

08/16/2014 6:17 PM EDT

US Military: Fighters, Drone Aircraft Strike Militants In N Iraq

08/16/2014 6:07 PM EDT

Kurdish Officials Say 300 Killed In Friday 'Massacre'

Correspondent for Britain's The Sunday Times Hala Jaber reports that Kurdish and Yazidi officials say the death toll from the Islamic State's attack on the Iraq village of Kocho on Friday is higher than previously estimated. A Kurdish official initially said around 80 people lost their lives.

08/16/2014 5:57 PM EDT

British PM: Islamic State Militants Could Target UK

08/16/2014 4:49 PM EDT

NYT Correspondent Recounts Iraq Helicopter Crash

New York Times correspondent Alissa J. Rubin tells her story inside the Iraqi helicopter that crashed on the Sinjar mountains on Tuesday while attempting to rescue stranded Yazidis.

Rubin was wounded in the crash and dictated the article from her hospital bed in Istanbul, the newspaper notes.

Read her moving account on The New York Times here.

08/16/2014 2:23 PM EDT

Iraq Refugees Learn Of Yazidi Massacre

The BBC's Yalda Hakim reports from a refugee camp in Dohuk on how the Yazidi community learned of an alleged massacre by Islamic State militants in Iraq.

Watch the BBC report here.

08/16/2014 1:03 PM EDT

U.S. Provides Air Support To Kurdish Offensive

Kurdish forces, supported by U.S. warplanes, are battling to recaptured Iraq's largest dam from Islamic State militants, Agence France Presse reports.

More from AFP:

Kurdish forces attacked the Islamic State fighters who wrested the Mosul dam from them a week earlier, a general told AFP.

"Kurdish peshmerga, with US air support, have seized control of the eastern side of the dam" complex, Major General Abdelrahman Korini told AFP, saying several jihadists had been killed.

08/16/2014 12:54 PM EDT

The Kurdish Iraqi leader has appealed to Germany for weapons to battle the advancing Islamic State, Reuters reports.

From Reuters:

Germany has shied away from direct involvement in military conflicts for much of the post-war era and a survey conducted for Bild am Sonntag newspaper indicated that almost three quarters of Germans were against shipping weapons to the Kurds.

But Germany's defense minister has said the government was looking into the possibility of delivering military hardware.

Masoud Barzani, the president of Iraqi Kurdistan, said the Kurds needed more than the humanitarian aid that Germany began sending on Friday to support people forced to flee their homes by the Sunni militant group's advance.

"We also expect Germany to deliver weapons and ammunition to our army so that we can fight back against the IS terrorists," Barzani told German magazine Focus. He said they needed German training and what they lacked most were anti-tank weapons.

08/16/2014 11:38 AM EDT

U.S.-Backed Kurds Attempt To Recapture Mosul Dam

08/16/2014 11:14 AM EDT

Airstrikes Target Islamic State After Reports Of Yazidi Massacre

The Associated Press reports:

Airstrikes pounded the area around Iraq's largest dam on Saturday in an effort to drive out militants who captured it earlier this month, as reports emerged of the massacre of some 80 members of the Yazidi religious minority by Islamic extremists.

Residents living near the Mosul Dam told The Associated Press that the area was being targeted by airstrikes, but it was not immediately clear whether the attacks were being carried out by Iraq's air force or the U.S., which last week launched an air campaign aimed at halting the advance of the Islamic State group across the country's north.

The extremist group seized the dam on the Tigris River on Aug. 7. Residents near the dam say the airstrikes killed militants, but that could not immediately be confirmed. The residents spoke on condition of anonymity out of fears for their safety.

08/15/2014 6:31 PM EDT

U.S. May Speed Up Aid To Iraq Despite Billions Already Spent

The United States may accelerate economic and military aid to Iraq now Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has stood down, Reuters reports.

U.S. officials first want assurances that the Iraqi government has moved away from the sectarian policies of al-Maliki's administration, according to the news agency.

Read the full story here.

","short_text":"

ABC News' Jon Williams posted a photo of the UN Security Council Resolution against Islamist militants in Iraq and Syria.

#UN "deplores & c...Read More"},{"id":"145","created":"08/15/2014 4:21 PM EDT","title":"Hezbollah: Islamic State Threatens Lebanon, Jordan And Gulf Countries","tweet_link":"145_hezbollah-islamic-state-threatens-lebanon-jordan-and-gulf-countries","entry_text":"

From Reuters:

The Hezbollah leader described the radical Islamist movement that has seized large areas of Iraq and Syria as a growing \"monster\" that could threaten Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and other Gulf states, according to an interview printed on Friday.

In a separate speech, Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah said Islamic State also posed an existential threat to his own nation, Lebanon, the target of an incursion by Islamist insurgents from Syria this month. He said his heavily armed Shi'ite Muslim group was ready to fight the threat in Lebanon - if required.

","short_text":"

From Reuters:

The Hezbollah leader described the radical Islamist movement that has seized large areas of Ira...Read More"},{"id":"144","created":"08/15/2014 3:35 PM EDT","title":"UN Security Council Blacklists Islamist Militants In Iraq, Syria","tweet_link":"144_un-security-council-blacklists-islamist-militants-in-iraq-syria","entry_text":"

Reuters reports:

The United Nations Security Council took aim at Islamist militants in Iraq and Syria on Friday, blacklisting six people including the Islamic State spokesman and threatening sanctions against those who finance, recruit or supply weapons to the insurgents.

The 15-member council unanimously adopted a resolution that aims to weaken the Islamic State - an al Qaeda splinter group that has seized swaths of territory in Iraq and Syria and declared a caliphate - and al Qaeda's Syrian wing Nusra Front.

Read the full story here.

","short_text":"

Reuters reports:

The United Nations Security Council took aim at Islamist militants in Iraq and Syria on Friday, ...Read More"},{"id":"143","created":"08/15/2014 2:15 PM EDT","title":"Canada to Bring Arms to Kurds in Iraq","tweet_link":"143_canada-to-bring-arms-to-kurds-in-iraq","entry_text":"

The Associated Press reports:

Canada is committing two cargo planes to move military supplies into northern Iraq as part of the international effort to bolster Kurdish forces against Islamic militants.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper said Friday a CC-177 Globemaster and a CC-130J Hercules transport will shuttle arms provided by allies to the Iraqi city of Irbil over the next few days

The flights, crewed by some 30 Canadian Forces personnel, will continue as long as there is equipment and supplies to move.

","short_text":"

The Associated Press reports:

Canada is committing two cargo planes to move military supplies into northern Iraq as part of...Read More"},{"id":"142","created":"08/15/2014 2:02 PM EDT","title":"NYT On How The US Decided Against An Iraq Mountain Rescue","tweet_link":"142_nyt-on-how-the-us-decided-against-an-iraq-mountain-rescue","entry_text":"

The New York Times reports on how the U.S. decided it was not necessary to launch a mountain rescue of Yazidis who had fled the Islamic State, after getting advisors reported back that the situation was not as dire as they thought.

From The New York Times:

The news took the far-flung advisers who were in the videoconference — including Secretary of State John Kerry, who was in Hawaii; Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, on a plane over the Rockies; and the national security adviser, Susan E. Rice, who was with the president on Martha’s Vineyard — by surprise. Just hours before, the White House had sent out a top aide with a statement saying that the United States was considering using American ground troops to rescue the Yazidis.

The article notes that Yazidi and UN officials give a different picture of Yazidis still stranded on the mountaintop.

Read the full story at The New York Times here.

","short_text":"

The New York Times reports on how the U.S. decided it was not necessary to launch a mountain rescue of Yazidis who had fle...Read More"},{"id":"141","created":"08/15/2014 12:31 PM EDT","title":"A 'Regional Wakeup Call' Is Needed To Contain ISIS","tweet_link":"141_a-regional-wakeup-call-is-needed-to-contain-isis","entry_text":"

Amid the relentless advance of Islamic State militants in Syria and Iraq, the whole Middle East region needs to pitch in to solve the crisis, Joyce Karam, Washington Bureau Chief of Al-Hayat Newspaper told HuffPost Live.

In particular, Iran and Saudi Arabia have a shared interest in stability in Iraq and should overcome their differences to halt the Islamic State, formerly known as ISIS, Karam told host Caroline Modarressy-Tehrani.

\"We do need a regional wake-up call to deal with the threat and a Iranian-Saudi rapprochement would do a great deal in promoting this,\" she said.

Read the full story on the Huffington Post here.

","short_text":"

Amid the relentless advance of Islamic State militants in Syria and Iraq, the whole Middle East region needs to pitch in to solve the crisis, Joyce Karam, Washington Bureau Chief of Al-Hayat Newspaper told HuffPost Live.

In particular, Iran and S...Read More"},{"id":"140","created":"08/15/2014 11:27 AM EDT","title":"EU Says Member States May Arm Iraqi Kurds","tweet_link":"140_eu-says-member-states-may-arm-iraqi-kurds","entry_text":"

From Reuters:

The European Union said on Friday that individual EU governments were free to send weapons to Iraqi Kurds battling Islamic militants provided they had the consent of Iraqi national authorities.

EU foreign ministers holding an emergency meeting in Brussels did not reach a united position to all send arms to the Iraqi Kurds but welcomed the decision by some EU governments, such as France, to do so.

The EU said it would also look at how to prevent Islamic State militants, who have overrun some oilfields in Syria and Iraq, benefiting from oil sales. The bloc also called for a swift investigation of human rights abuses in Syria and Iraq, saying some may be crimes against humanity.

","short_text":"

From Reuters:

The European Union said on Friday that individual EU governments were free to send weapons to Iraqi Kurds b...Read More"},{"id":"139","created":"08/15/2014 10:36 AM EDT","title":"PHOTO: Playing Music On The Front Line","tweet_link":"139_photo-playing-music-on-the-front-line","entry_text":"

\"peshmerga\"

An Iraqi Kurdish Peshmerga fighter plays a musical instrument on the front line in Khazer, near the Kurdish checkpoint of Aski kalak, northern Iraq, on August 14, 2014. (SAFIN HAMED/AFP/Getty Images)

","short_text":"


\nAn Iraqi Kurdish Peshmerga fighter plays a musical instrument on the front line in Khazer, near the Kurdish checkpoint of Aski kalak, northern Iraq, on August 14, 2014. (SAFIN HAMED/AFP/Getty Images)

"},{"id":"138","created":"08/15/2014 9:57 AM EDT","title":"Sunni Leaders Open To Joining Iraq Government If Conditions Met","tweet_link":"138_sunni-leaders-open-to-joining-iraq-government-if-conditions-met","entry_text":"

Reuters reports:

Tribal leaders and clerics from Iraq's Sunni heartland who staged a revolt against outgoing prime minister Nuri al-Maliki's Shi'ite-led government would be willing to join the new administration if certain conditions are met, a spokesman for the group told Reuters on Friday.

The spokesman, Taha Mohammed Al-Hamdoon, said Sunni representatives in Anbar and other provinces had drawn up a list of demands to be delivered to the moderate Shi'ite Abadi through Sunni politicians.

He called for government and Shi'ite militia forces to suspend hostilities to allow space for talks.

","short_text":"

Reuters reports:

Tribal leaders and clerics from Iraq's Sunni heartland who staged a revolt against outgoing pr...Read More"},{"id":"137","created":"08/15/2014 9:55 AM EDT","title":"UN Video Of Refugees Who Escaped Sinjar Mountains","tweet_link":"137_un-video-of-refugees-who-escaped-sinjar-mountains","entry_text":"

The United Nations agency for refugees interviews Yazidi refugees who escaped from the Sinjar mountains:

","short_text":"

The United Nations agency for refugees interviews Yazidi refugees who escaped from the Sinjar mountains:

"},{"id":"136","created":"08/15/2014 9:45 AM EDT","title":"Iraq's New Prime Minister, Top Cleric Urge Country To Unite","tweet_link":"136_iraqs-new-prime-minister-top-cleric-urge-country-to-unite","entry_text":"

Reuters reports:

Iraq's most influential cleric, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, threw his weight on Friday behind the new prime minister, calling for national unity to contain sectarian bloodshed and an offensive by Islamic State militants that threatens Baghdad.

Speaking after Nuri al-Maliki finally stepped down as prime minister under heavy pressure from allies at home and abroad, the spiritual leader of Iraq's Shi'ite majority said the handover to Maliki's party colleague Haider al-Abadi offered a rare opportunity to resolve political and security crises.

Iraq has been plunged into its worst violence since the peak of a sectarian civil war in 2006-2007, with Sunni fighters led by the Islamic State overrunning large parts of the west and north, forcing hundreds of thousands to flee for their lives and threatening the ethnic Kurds in their autonomous province.

Sistani told the country's feuding politicians to live up to their \"historic responsibility\" by cooperating with Abadi as he tries to form a new government and overcome divisions among the Shi'ite, Sunni and Kurdish communities that deepened as Maliki pursued what critics saw as a sectarian Shi'ite agenda.

Abadi himself, in comments online, urged his countrymen to unite and cautioned that the road ahead would be tough.

","short_text":"

Reuters reports:

Iraq's most influential cleric, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, threw his weight on Friday behind the new pr...Read More"},{"id":"135","created":"08/14/2014 6:28 PM EDT","title":"Photo Of U.S. Team On Sinjar Mountains","tweet_link":"135_photo-of-us-team-on-sinjar-mountains","entry_text":"

The U.S. government's development agency posted a photo on Twitter of American officials meeting with displaced Yazidis on the Sinjar mountains on Wednesday. USAID said the assessment team consisted of military and humanitarian officials.

A member of the U.S. Mt. Sinjar Assessment Team receives a warm welcome from locals near Sinjar, Iraq, Aug 13 (1/2) pic.twitter.com/OLpPQadSso

— USAID Press Office (@USAIDPress) August 14, 2014

The team consisted of members from the @USAID DART and U.S. military personnel, who assessed current humanitarian assistance efforts. (2/2)

— USAID Press Office (@USAIDPress) August 14, 2014

","short_text":"

The U.S. government's development agency posted a photo on Twitter of American officials meeting with displaced Yazidis on the Sinjar mountains on Wednesday. USAID said the assessment team consisted of military and humanitarian officials.

Read More"},{"id":"134","created":"08/14/2014 5:12 PM EDT","title":"Maliki Says He Refuse To Be The Cause Of Bloodshed","tweet_link":"134_maliki-says-he-refuse-to-be-the-cause-of-bloodshed","entry_text":"

More from the Associated Press on Maliki's announcement he is standing down:

Al-Maliki says his decision is based on his desire to \"safeguard the high interests of the country,\" adding that he will not be the cause of any bloodshed.

\"I will stay a combat soldier to defend Iraq and its people,\" he added in the televised address late Thursday, with al-Abadi standing by his side.

","short_text":"

More from the Associated Press on Maliki's announcement he is standing down:

Al-Maliki says his decision is based on his ...Read More"},{"id":"133","created":"08/14/2014 4:34 PM EDT","title":"Maliki Announces Resignation On State TV","tweet_link":"133_maliki-announces-resignation-on-state-tv","entry_text":"

#BreakingNews: Iraq former-PM Maliki defends his time in office, achievements

— Al Arabiya English (@AlArabiya_Eng) August 14, 2014

#BreakingNews: Iraqi former-PM Maliki: I have chosen from the beginning to distance myself from using force http://t.co/shwh7GJ0Oc

— Al Arabiya English (@AlArabiya_Eng) August 14, 2014

#BreakingNews: Maliki announcing resignation on State TV

— Al Arabiya English (@AlArabiya_Eng) August 14, 2014

","short_text":"

#BreakingNews: Iraq former-PM Maliki defends his time in office, achievements

— Al Arabiya English (@AlArabiya_Eng) Read More"},{"id":"132","created":"08/14/2014 4:12 PM EDT","title":"Maliki Due To Address The Nation","tweet_link":"132_maliki-due-to-address-the-nation","entry_text":"

The Associated Press reports:

Iraqi state television says Iraq's Nouri al-Maliki has given up his post as prime minister to Haider al-Abadi.

The Iraqiya television network said al-Maliki has \"relinquished the post of prime minister.\" It did not elaborate.

The announcement comes ahead of an address al-Maliki is due to make later Thursday evening, according to the government.

","short_text":"

The Associated Press reports:

Iraqi state television says Iraq's Nouri al-Maliki has given up his post as prime minister ...Read More"},{"id":"131","created":"08/14/2014 3:55 PM EDT","title":"State TV: Maliki Gives Up Premiership To Abadi","tweet_link":"131_state-tv-maliki-gives-up-premiership-to-abadi","entry_text":"

BREAKING: Iraqi state TV: Nouri al-Maliki has given up the post of prime minister to Haider al-Abadi.

— The Associated Press (@AP) August 14, 2014

","short_text":"

BREAKING: Iraqi state TV: Nouri al-Maliki has given up the post of prime minister to Haider al-Abadi.

— The Associated Press (@AP) Augu...Read More"},{"id":"130","created":"08/14/2014 3:42 PM EDT","title":"Iraq Officials: Maliki Agrees To Endorse New PM","tweet_link":"130_iraq-officials-maliki-agrees-to-endorse-new-pm","entry_text":"

The Associated Press reports:

BAGHDAD (AP) — The Iraqi government says embattled Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki is to address the nation, as Shiite lawmakers say he has agreed to step aside and support his nominated replacement in the post.

Four senior Shiite lawmakers tell The Associated Press that al-Maliki has agreed to endorse Haider al-Abadi as the next prime minister following a meeting of Dawa party members in Baghdad late Thursday, ending the deadlock that has plunged Baghdad into a political uncertainty.

Hussein al-Maliki and Khalaf Abdul-Samad, lawmakers with al-Maliki and al-Abadi's State of Law parliamentary bloc, say al-Maliki will support al-Abadi's nomination in his speech Thursday night. Two other lawmakers, speaking to AP on condition of anonymity to discuss the closed-door meeting, also say al-Maliki will do so.

The government announced al-Maliki will speak Thursday evening.

","short_text":"

The Associated Press reports:

BAGHDAD (AP) — The Iraqi government says embattled Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki is to a...Read More"},{"id":"129","created":"08/14/2014 3:38 PM EDT","title":"Report: Maliki Agrees To Stand Down As PM","tweet_link":"129_report-maliki-agrees-to-stand-down-as-pm","entry_text":"

#BREAKING Maliki to concede defeat, back Iraq PM-designate, says spokesman

— Agence France-Presse (@AFP) August 14, 2014

","short_text":"

#BREAKING Maliki to concede defeat, back Iraq PM-designate, says spokesman

— Agence France-Presse (@AFP) Read More"},{"id":"128","created":"08/14/2014 2:41 PM EDT","title":"UN Security Council To Vote On Islamic State Resolution Friday","tweet_link":"128_un-security-council-to-vote-on-islamic-state-resolution-friday","entry_text":"

The United Nations Security Council will vote on Friday on a draft resolution aimed to stop the flow of fighters and money to the Islamic State militant group, according to Agence France Presse.

Diplomats told the news agency that all 15 Council members have agreed the draft, proposed by Britain, and it will go to a vote at 1900 GMT on Friday.

","short_text":"

The United Nations Security Council will vote on Friday on a draft resolution aimed to stop the flow of fighters and money to the Islamic State militant group, Read More"},{"id":"127","created":"08/14/2014 2:29 PM EDT","title":"PHOTOS: Displaced Yazidis Sleep Under A Bridge In Iraq","tweet_link":"127_photos-displaced-yazidis-sleep-under-a-bridge-in-iraq","entry_text":"

\"iraq\"

An Iraqi woman from the Yazidi community sleeps under a bridge where she temporarily settles down in Dohuk, Iraq, Thursday, Aug. 14, 2014. (AP Photo/ Khalid Mohammed)

\"iraq

Displaced Iraqis from the Yazidi community settle under a bridge in central Dohuk, Iraq, Thursday, Aug. 14, 2014. (AP Photo/ Khalid Mohammed)

\"iraq

Iraqi Yazidi children eat under a bridge in central Dohuk, Iraq, Thursday, Aug. 14, 2014. (AP Photo/Khalid Mohammed)

","short_text":"


\nAn Iraqi woman from the Yazidi community sleeps under a bridge where she temporarily settles down in Dohuk, Iraq, Thursday, Aug. 14, 2014. (AP Photo/ Khalid Mohammed)


\nDisplaced Iraqis from the Yazidi community settle under a bridge ...Read More"},{"id":"126","created":"08/14/2014 2:20 PM EDT","title":"Germany To Fly Humanitarian Aid To Iraq","tweet_link":"126_germany-to-fly-humanitarian-aid-to-iraq","entry_text":"

From the Associated Press:

Germany's defense minister says her country plans to fly 35 tons of humanitarian aid to northern Iraq and is still considering what military help it could send.

Minister Ursula von der Leyen told the Bild newspaper that Germany plans to send aid such as drinking water, blankets, medicine and food. She said it would be flown to Irbil and handed over to U.N. organizations.

The aid flights are planned for Friday, Bild reported.

","short_text":"

From the Associated Press:

Germany's defense minister says her country plans to fly 35 tons of humanitarian aid to nor...Read More"},{"id":"125","created":"08/14/2014 1:03 PM EDT","title":"Obama: Unlikely Need For More Airdrops In Iraq","tweet_link":"125_obama-unlikely-need-for-more-airdrops-in-iraq","entry_text":"

Addressing the press in Martha's Vineyard, President Obama said it was unlikely there will be a need for more airdrops to stranded refugees in Iraq, the Associated Press reported. Obama said that airstrikes against Islamic State militants will continue.

","short_text":"

Addressing the press in Martha's Vineyard, President Obama said it was unlikely there will be a need for more airdrops to stranded refugees in Iraq, Read More"},{"id":"124","created":"08/14/2014 12:51 PM EDT","title":"WATCH: Obama Delivers Statement ","tweet_link":"124_watch-obama-delivers-statement-","entry_text":"

WATCH LIVE: President Obama delivers a statement on #Ferguson http://t.co/T9M2ZAF2NJ

— Huffington Post (@HuffingtonPost) August 14, 2014

","short_text":"

WATCH LIVE: President Obama delivers a statement on #Ferguson http://t.co/T9M2ZAF2NJ

— Huffington P...Read More"},{"id":"123","created":"08/14/2014 11:10 AM EDT","title":"Kurdish Officials, Refugees Dispute Pentagon Assessment","tweet_link":"123_kurdish-officials-refugees-dispute-pentagon-assessment","entry_text":"

The Washington Post's Liz Sly reports that Kurdish officials and Yazidi refugees dispute the Pentagon's assessment that the vast majority of families trapped on an Iraqi mountaintop have now escaped.

U.S. defense department officials told The New York Times on Wednesday that only a few thousand displaced Yazidis remain on the Sinjar mountains, and they are in a relatively good condition. An evacuation mission is \"far less likely\" because of this assessment, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said.

But Yazidis and Kurdish government officials told the Washington Post that a large number remain stuck on the mountaintop because they are too weak to continue their journey to safety -- mostly the sick, elderly and young children.

Jonathan Rugman, a correspondent for Britain's Channel 4 News who filmed an aid drop to the mountain earlier this week, also questioned how the Pentagon reached this assessment.

\"When I flew over the mountain in an Iraqi military helicopter on Monday, I saw refugees spread out over a very large area, small pockets of people sheltering from the extreme heat wherever they could,\" Rugman wrote on his Channel 4 blog. \"Are the Americans saying that the refugees are not spread out any more but have either been shepherded or moved into a concentrated area where they can be counted?\"

","short_text":"

The Washington Post's Liz Sly ...Read More"},{"id":"122","created":"08/14/2014 10:39 AM EDT","title":"Islamic State Militants Mass Near Town North Of Baghdad","tweet_link":"122_islamic-state-militants-mass-near-town-north-of-baghdad","entry_text":"

Reuters reports:

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.

","short_text":"

Reuters reports:

Islamic State militants are massing near the Iraqi town of Qara Tappa, 122 km (73 miles) north of Baghdad, sec...Read More"},{"id":"121","created":"08/14/2014 10:38 AM EDT","title":"PHOTOS: Yazidis Take Shelter In Syria","tweet_link":"121_photos-yazidis-take-shelter-in-syria","entry_text":"

CNN correspondent Ivan Watson tweeted photos from a refugee camp in Syria sheltering Iraqi Yazidis.

"We have pure hearts,that's why God helped us escape ISIS" says this Yezidi at a Syrian refugee camp "God & the PKK" pic.twitter.com/Umrw4bkzzJ

— Ivan Watson (@IvanCNN) August 14, 2014

The Kurdish Yezidi exodus from Iraq crosses borders. Iraqi kids treated for dehydration at a refugee camp in Syria pic.twitter.com/DneqFGnZBk

— Ivan Watson (@IvanCNN) August 14, 2014

","short_text":"

CNN correspondent Ivan Watson tweeted photos from a refugee camp in Syria sheltering Iraqi Yazidis.

"We have pure hearts,that's why God helped us escape ISIS" says this Yezidi at a Syrian ...Read More"},{"id":"120","created":"08/14/2014 9:47 AM EDT","title":"Governor Of Iraq's Sunni Heartland Seeks U.S. Military Support","tweet_link":"120_governor-of-iraqs-sunni-heartland-seeks-us-military-support","entry_text":"

Reuters reports:

The governor of Iraq's Sunni heartland Anbar Province said he had asked for U.S. support in the battle against Islamic State militants because opponents of the group may not have the stamina for a long fight.

Ahmed Khalaf al-Dulaimi told Reuters his requests, made in several meetings with the Americans, included air support against the militants who control a large part of Anbar and the country's north.

","short_text":"

Reuters reports:

The governor of Iraq's Sunni heartland Anbar Province said he had asked for U.S. support in the battl...Read More"},{"id":"119","created":"08/13/2014 7:50 PM EDT","title":"Defense Department: Yazidi Rescue Mission Less Likely","tweet_link":"119_defense-department-yazidi-rescue-mission-less-likely","entry_text":"

After U.S. special forces assessed the situation of refugees stranded by Islamic State militants on Iraq's Mt. Sinjar, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said that it's far less likely that the U.S. will undertake a rescue mission there on account of fewer refugees remain stranded.

BREAKING: assessment team determined evacuation mission is far less likely. U.S. will continue to provide humanitarian assistance. #Iraq

— U.S. Dept of Defense (@DeptofDefense) August 13, 2014

","short_text":"

After U.S. special forces assessed the situation of refugees stranded by Islamic State militants on Iraq's Mt. Sinjar, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said that it'sRead More"},{"id":"118","created":"08/13/2014 6:18 PM EDT","title":"Pentagon Official: U.S. Special Forces Flown To Mount Sinjar To Assess Yazidi Rescue","tweet_link":"118_pentagon-official-us-special-forces-flown-to-mount-sinjar-to-assess-yazidi-rescue","entry_text":"

The Associated Press reports:

A Pentagon official says a team of U.S. Army Special Forces were flown atop Sinjar Mountain in northern Iraq to get a firsthand look at possible ways to rescue stranded Iraqi civilians suffering from thirst and hunger.

A defense official confirmed that the mission was accomplished Wednesday by fewer than 20 Special Forces troops with no resistance from Islamic fighters in the area. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because the mission had not yet been announced.

The troops flew to and from the mountain aboard Black Hawk helicopters to assess how the civilians, who many number in the thousands, could be safely removed from the mountaintop, where they gathered after being run out of their village homes by Islamic militants.

","short_text":"

The Associated Press reports:

A Pentagon official says a team of U.S. Army Special Forces were flown atop Sinjar Mountain i...Read More"},{"id":"117","created":"08/13/2014 4:57 PM EDT","title":"Britain Deploys SAS Forces To Iraq","tweet_link":"117_britain-deploys-sas-forces-to-iraq","entry_text":"

The Guardian reports that Britain has sent SAS forces to northern Iraq to help assess with a mission to rescue internally displaced Yazidis from Mount Sinjar.

As The Guardian states:

British SAS soldiers have been deployed to northern Iraq to \"gather intelligence\" ahead of a complex rescue operation, led by the US, to airlift up to 30,000 Yazidi refugees from Mount Sinjar.

In the most dramatic sign of Britain's growing involvement in the Iraqi crisis, the SAS soldiers have moved to the region near Mount Sinjar where US special forces are coordinating the rescue effort.

Read the full report here.

","short_text":"

The Guardian reports that Britain has sent SAS forces to northern Iraq to help assess with a m...Read More"},{"id":"116","created":"08/13/2014 4:27 PM EDT","title":"Military: U.S. Drone Strike Destroys Iraqi Militant Vehicle","tweet_link":"116_military-us-drone-strike-destroys-iraqi-militant-vehicle","entry_text":"

CENTCOM: At approximately 12:20 pm ET, US remotely piloted aircraft struck and destroyed an ISIL armed vehicle west of the village of Sinjar

— Zeke Miller (@ZekeJMiller) August 13, 2014

","short_text":"

CENTCOM: At approximately 12:20 pm ET, US remotely piloted aircraft struck and destroyed an ISIL armed vehicle west of the village of Sinjar

— Zeke Miller (@ZekeJMiller) Read More"},{"id":"115","created":"08/13/2014 4:15 PM EDT","title":"ABC, Guardian: U.S. Troops Land To Rescue Yazidis On Mt. Sinjar","tweet_link":"115_abc-guardian-us-troops-land-to-rescue-yazidis-on-mt-sinjar","entry_text":"

A U.S. official said that a team of U.S. Marines and special forces has landed in Iraq's Mt. Sinjar, to organize a rescue of the Yazidi refugees trapped by Islamic State militants laying siege to large areas of Iraq, ABC News reports. ABC's report corroborates that of The Guardian.

US official: Team of US Marines, special forces landed on Iraq's Mt. Sinjar to assess potential civilian evacuation route - @MarthaRaddatz

— ABC News (@ABC) August 13, 2014

More on the operation by U.S. troops from The Guardian here.

","short_text":"

A U.S. official said that a team of U.S. Marines and special forces has landed in Iraq's Mt. Sinjar, to organize a rescue of the Yazidi refugees trapped by Islamic State m...Read More"},{"id":"114","created":"08/13/2014 4:07 PM EDT","title":"Islamic State Commander Claims Killing, Kidnapping Scores Of Yazidis","tweet_link":"114_islamic-state-commander-claims-killing-kidnapping-scores-of-yazidis","entry_text":"

An Islamic State commander claims to that the militant forces in Iraq have killed \"large numbers\" of Yazidi men, and abducted more than 100 women, CNN reports. The attack reportedly happened in the northern Iraqi town of Sinjar, near the mountain range where thousands of Yazidi refugees are trapped by raiding Islamic State militants. Hundreds of the Yazidi minority in Iraq have been killed by the militants in their siege of Iraq.

ISIS kills Yazidi men “in large numbers,” abducts more than 100 women and children, ISIS commander tells CNN. http://t.co/MnuAXjZ7wM

— CNN Breaking News (@cnnbrk) August 13, 2014

","short_text":"

An Islamic State commander claims to that the militant forces in Iraq have killed \"large numbers\" of Yazidi men, and abducted more than 100 women, CNN reports. The attack reportedly happened in the ...Read More"},{"id":"113","created":"08/13/2014 2:30 PM EDT","title":"UN Declares A Level 3 Emergency In Iraq","tweet_link":"113_un-declares-a-level-3-emergency-in-iraq","entry_text":"

The UN has released a statement declaring the humanitarian crisis in Iraq the highest level of concern.

#UN Declares a ‘Level 3 Emergency’ for #Iraq to Ensure More Effective Humanitarian Response - https://t.co/KSTvs32suP

— UNAMI (@UNIraq) August 13, 2014

","short_text":"

The UN has released a statement declaring the humanitarian crisis in Iraq the highest level of concern.

#UN Declares a ‘Level 3 Eme...Read More"},{"id":"112","created":"08/13/2014 2:27 PM EDT","title":"PHOTOS: Displaced Yazidi Families Cross Back Into Iraq","tweet_link":"112_photos-displaced-yazidi-families-cross-back-into-iraq","entry_text":"

\"iraq\"

Displaced Iraqi families from the Yazidi community cross the Iraqi-Syrian border at the Fishkhabur crossing, in northern Iraq, on August 13, 2014. (AHMAD AL-RUBAYE/AFP/Getty Images)

\"iraq\"

A displaced Iraqi from the Yazidi community rests after crossing the Syrian-Iraqi border at the Fishkhabur crossing, in northern Iraq, on August 13, 2014. (AHMAD AL-RUBAYE/AFP/Getty Images)

\"iraq\"

A displaced Iraqi father from the Yazidi community carries his barefoot daughter after crossing the Syrian-Iraqi border at the Fishkhabur crossing, in northern Iraq, on August 13, 2014. (AHMAD AL-RUBAYE/AFP/Getty Images)

","short_text":"


\nDisplaced Iraqi families from the Yazidi community cross the Iraqi-Syrian border at the Fishkhabur crossing, in northern Iraq, on August 13, 2014. (AHMAD AL-RUBAYE/AFP/Getty Images)


\nA displaced Iraqi from the Yazidi community rests ...Read More"},{"id":"111","created":"08/13/2014 1:55 PM EDT","title":"NYT: U.S. Would Consider Using Ground Troops To Rescue Yazidi Refugees","tweet_link":"111_nyt-us-would-consider-using-ground-troops-to-rescue-yazidi-refugees","entry_text":"

President Obama will consider the use of ground troops to rescue stranded Yazidis if military advisers recommend he do so, The New York Times reports.

Deputy National Security Adviser Benjamin J. Rhodes said that while Obama has ruled out ground troops taking a combat role in Iraq, this is different to a possible humanitarian mission to rescue Yazidi refugees in north Iraq. Obama will receive recommendations from military advisers sent to Iraqi in the next several days, Rhodes told reporters on Martha's Vineyard.

Read the full story on The New York Times here.

","short_text":"

President Obama will consider the use of ground troops to rescue stranded Yazidis if military advisers recommend he do so, Read More"},{"id":"110","created":"08/13/2014 12:00 PM EDT","title":"CNN: U.S. Military Advisers Arrive In Iraq","tweet_link":"110_cnn-us-military-advisers-arrive-in-iraq","entry_text":"

Breaking: 4 V-22 Ospreys land in #Erbil carrying 129 addit. US military advisers to assess possible #Yazidis air evacuation

— Jim Sciutto (@jimsciutto) August 13, 2014

","short_text":"

Breaking: 4 V-22 Ospreys land in #Erbil carrying 129 addit. US military advisers to assess possible Read More"},{"id":"109","created":"08/13/2014 11:59 AM EDT","title":"Congress On Board With Obama's Iraq Plans","tweet_link":"109_congress-on-board-with-obamas-iraq-plans","entry_text":"

The Associated Press reports:

Little of the impassioned debate that fractured lawmakers last year over possible military intervention in Syria is happening now as American warplanes strike extremist targets in Iraq.

Almost a week into the Obama administration's emergency action in northern Iraq, the campaign is attracting surprisingly broad bipartisan support. Republicans have issued several I-told-you-so statements and called for stronger action, and dovish Democrats say they're concerned about slipping into a new war. But outright opposition has been muted.

\"The need to move quickly to prevent further loss of life of men, women and children is not in dispute,\" said Rep. Scott Rigell, R-Va., expressing the view on Iraq of many in both parties.

","short_text":"

The Associated Press reports:

Little of the impassioned debate that fractured lawmakers last year over possible military intervent...Read More"},{"id":"108","created":"08/13/2014 11:21 AM EDT","title":"Watch: Pentagon To Hold Briefing On iraq At 11:30 ET","tweet_link":"108_watch-pentagon-to-hold-briefing-on-iraq-at-1130-et","entry_text":"

The Pentagon will hold a briefing on Iraq at 11:30 am ET. Watch it LIVE with Reuters: http://t.co/eeCIOxscxF

— Reuters Live (@ReutersLive) August 13, 2014

","short_text":"

The Pentagon will hold a briefing on Iraq at 11:30 am ET. Watch it LIVE with Reuters: http://t.co/eeCIOxscxF

— Reuters Live (@ReutersLive) Read More"},{"id":"107","created":"08/13/2014 10:09 AM EDT","title":"France To Send Weapons To Kurds In Iraq","tweet_link":"107_france-to-send-weapons-to-kurds-in-iraq","entry_text":"

France announced it will start supplying arms to Kurdish forces fighting Islamic State militants in Iraq, the Associated Press reports.

France said the weapons transfer had been coordinated with the Iraqi government.

More from the Associated Press:

The sudden announcement that arms would begin to flow within hours underlined France's alarm at the urgency of the situation in Iraq, where the Islamic State fighters are threatening the autonomous Kurdish region in northern Iraq.

The shipment of French arms, which the government refused to describe, follows the United States' increased role in fighting back the Islamic State extremists.

Senior American officials say U.S. intelligence agencies are directly arming the Kurds, a shift in Washington's policy of only working through the Baghdad government.

","short_text":"

France announced it will start supplying arms to Kurdish forces fighting Islamic State militants in Iraq, the Associated Press reports.

France sa...Read More"},{"id":"106","created":"08/13/2014 9:53 AM EDT","title":"PHOT: Yazidi Children Wave To Kurdish Forces","tweet_link":"106_phot-yazidi-children-wave-to-kurdish-forces","entry_text":"

\"iraq\"

Iraqi children from the Yazidi community wave to Kurdish Peshmerga forces near Dohuk, the Kurdish region of autonomous Kurdistan in Iraq, after they fled with their families their hometown which was attacked by Sunni militants from the Islamic state (IS), on August 12, 2014 . (AHMAD AL-RUBAYE/AFP/Getty Images)

","short_text":"

Iraqi children from the Yazidi community wave to Kurdish Peshmerga forces near Dohuk, the Kurdish region of autonomous Kurdistan in Iraq, after they fled with their families their hometown which was attacked by Sunni militants from the Islamic s...Read More"},{"id":"105","created":"08/13/2014 9:50 AM EDT","title":"Iran's Supreme Leader Backs Iraq's New Prime Minister","tweet_link":"105_irans-supreme-leader-backs-iraqs-new-prime-minister","entry_text":"

From Reuters:

Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei lent his support to new Iraqi Prime Minister-designate Haider al-Abadi on Wednesday, the clearest sign yet that Tehran was no longer standing by old ally Nuri al-Maliki.

\"I hope the designation of the new prime minister in Iraq will untie the knot and lead to the establishment of a new government and teach a good lesson to those who aim for sedition in Iraq,\" Khamenei said during a meeting, according to a statement on his website.

","short_text":"

From Reuters:

Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei lent his support to new Iraqi Prime Minister-designate Haider al-Abadi ...Read More"},{"id":"104","created":"08/13/2014 9:49 AM EDT","title":"Maliki Vows To Remain Premier 'Until The End'","tweet_link":"104_maliki-vows-to-remain-premier-until-the-end","entry_text":"

Iraq's Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has vowed to remain in power, calling his ouster a \"conspiracy\" in his weekly televised address on Wednesday, the Associated Press reports.

\"Holding on (to the premiership) is an ethical and patriotic duty to defend the rights of voters,\" he said in his address to the nation. \"The insistence on this until the end is to protect the state.\"

","short_text":"

Iraq's Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has vowed to remain in power, calling his ouster a \"conspiracy\" in his weekly televised address on Wednesday, the ...Read More"},{"id":"103","created":"08/12/2014 6:22 PM EDT","title":"Report: U.S. Considering Rescue Of Yazidi Refugees","tweet_link":"103_report-us-considering-rescue-of-yazidi-refugees","entry_text":"

The U.S. is considering an international rescue mission to retrieve the Yazidi refugees still left on northern Iraqi mountains, U.S. officials said on Tuesday. The Wall Street Journal notes that the would for the first time put U.S. troops in \"direct confrontation\" with Sunni fighters. According to the report, officials are still assessing the situation to determine how many refugees remain on the mountains, but there are estimates of several thousand to as many as 35,000.

U.S. is considering an international rescue mission to save trapped Yazidi refugees, officials say. http://t.co/pBs5Rtp2Zy

— WSJ Breaking News (@WSJbreakingnews) August 12, 2014

","short_text":"

The U.S. is considering an international rescue mission to retrieve the Read More"},{"id":"102","created":"08/12/2014 5:48 PM EDT","title":"CNN: U.S. Sending 100 More Military Advisers To Iraq","tweet_link":"102_cnn-us-sending-100-more-military-advisers-to-iraq","entry_text":"

More than 100 additional U.S. military advisers are being sent to Iraq to look at relief options for displaced Yazidis, officials say.

— CNN Breaking News (@cnnbrk) August 12, 2014

","short_text":"

More than 100 additional U.S. military advisers are being sent to Iraq to look at relief options for displaced Yazidis, officials say.

— CNN Breaking News (@cnnbrk) Read More"},{"id":"101","created":"08/12/2014 4:22 PM EDT","title":"Obama Administration May Announce More Troops To Iraq","tweet_link":"101_obama-administration-may-announce-more-troops-to-iraq","entry_text":"

The Obama administration may announce on Tuesday a decision to send more military advisers to Iraq, U.S. officials said, as the United States helps confront radical Islamist militants who threaten Iraqi minorities and the northern Kurdish enclave.

Several U.S. officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, said a decision to send at least 70 extra military personnel to Iraq was likely later in the day, but that internal discussions continued and a final decision had not been made.

Read the full story on the Huffington Post here.

","short_text":"

The Obama administration may announce on Tuesday a decision to send more military advisers to Iraq, U.S. officials said, as the United States helps confront radical Islamist militants who threaten Iraqi minorities and the northern Kurdish enclave.

<...Read More"},{"id":"100","created":"08/12/2014 4:01 PM EDT","title":"Pilot Of Crashed Helicopter Said 'Maybe Its Too Heavy' Before Takeoff","tweet_link":"100_pilot-of-crashed-helicopter-said-maybe-its-too-heavy-before-takeoff","entry_text":"

Channel 4's foreign affairs correspondent Jonathan Rugman shares his encounter with the pilot who died today after his helicopter crashed on an aid mission in Iraq.

The pilot who died spoke to me on board minutes before takeoff. "Maybe it is too heavy," he said through helicopter door. Then he was gone.

— Jonathan Rugman (@jrug) August 12, 2014

","short_text":"

Channel 4's foreign affairs correspondent Jonathan Rugman shares his encounter with the pilot who died today after his helicopter crashed on an aid mission in Iraq.

The pilot who died spo...Read More"},{"id":"99","created":"08/12/2014 3:25 PM EDT","title":"Photographer Describes Helicopter Crash","tweet_link":"99_photographer-describes-helicopter-crash","entry_text":"

Another international journalist, photographer Moises Saman, was on board the helicopter that crashed over north Iraq on Tuesday, but was not badly wounded, TIME magazine reports.

Saman works with the Magnum photo agency and was on assignment for TIME with the helicopter delivering aid to stranded Yazidis, who fled the Islamic State into the Sinjar mountains. New York Times correspondent Alissa J. Rubin and photographer Adam Ferguson were also on the helicopter, and Rubin apparently suffered a concussion.

Saman told TIME the helicopter crashed shortly after taking off with some displaced Yazidis on board, but he was unhurt apart from a minor cut.

","short_text":"

Another international journalist, photographer Moises Saman, was on board the helicopter that crashed over north Iraq on Tuesday, but was not badly wounded, T...Read More"},{"id":"98","created":"08/12/2014 3:11 PM EDT","title":"Britain To Transport Military Supplies To Kurdish Forces","tweet_link":"98_britain-to-transport-military-supplies-to-kurdish-forces","entry_text":"

British Prime Minister David Cameron announced that Britain will transport military supplies from other countries to Kurdish forces in Iraq, Agence France Presse reports.

Britain will also send a \"small number of Chinook helicopters to the region for use if we decide we need further humanitarian relief options,\" according to a statement from Prime Minister David Cameron's office.

","short_text":"

British Prime Minister David Cameron announced that Britain will transport military supplies from other countries to Kurdish forces in Iraq, Read More"},{"id":"97","created":"08/12/2014 2:50 PM EDT","title":"President Obama Talks To Canadian Leader On Iraq","tweet_link":"97_president-obama-talks-to-canadian-leader-on-iraq","entry_text":"

President Obama and Canadian leader Stephen Harper discussed the crisis, agreeing on the need for political stability.

Read the full White House press release here.

","short_text":"

President Obama and Canadian leader Stephen Harper discussed the crisis, agreeing on the need for political stability.

Read the full White House press release Read More"},{"id":"96","created":"08/12/2014 11:48 AM EDT","title":"Reports: Iraqi Helicopter Crashes During Aid Mission To Yazidis","tweet_link":"96_reports-iraqi-helicopter-crashes-during-aid-mission-to-yazidis","entry_text":"

An Iraqi helicopter crashed while delivering aid to Yazidi communities trapped on the Sinjar mountains, according Iraqi officials.

A senior Kurdish official told the New York Times that the pilot was killed and other passengers wounded. A Yazidi member of the Iraqi parliament and the New York Times correspondent Alissa Rubin are said to be among the injured in the crash.

An Iraqi military spokesman told Kurdish news agency Rudaw that the crash was caused by a \"technical error.\"

Helicopter carrying injured from crashed helicopter in #Sinjar arrived Northern iraq @itvnews pic.twitter.com/LeF4STduLq

— lutfi abu-aun (@lutfiabuaun) August 12, 2014

Iraqi #yazidis MP was on the the crashed helicopter , she's injured @itvnews #iraq #sinjar

— lutfi abu-aun (@lutfiabuaun) August 12, 2014

","short_text":"

An Iraqi helicopter crashed while delivering aid to Yazidi communities trapped on the Sinjar mountains, according Iraqi officials.

A senior Kurdish official Read More"},{"id":"95","created":"08/12/2014 11:29 AM EDT","title":"Egypt's Top Religious Authority Condemns Islamic State","tweet_link":"95_egypts-top-religious-authority-condemns-islamic-state","entry_text":"

Reuters reports:

Egypt's top religious authority condemned the armed group Islamic State which has taken over parts of Iraq and Syria, describing it as a corrupt, extremist organization that is damaging Islam.

\"An extremist and bloody group such as this poses a danger to Islam and Muslims, tarnishing its image as well as shedding blood and spreading corruption,\" said Grand Mufti Shawqi Allam, Egypt's most influential Muslim cleric, the state news agency MENA reported on Tuesday.

","short_text":"

Reuters reports:

Egypt's top religious authority condemned the armed group Islamic State which has taken over parts ...Read More"},{"id":"94","created":"08/12/2014 11:09 AM EDT","title":"Iran Voices Support For New Iraqi PM Designate ","tweet_link":"94_iran-voices-support-for-new-iraqi-pm-designate-","entry_text":"

From the Associated Press:

A senior Iranian official offered his congratulations Tuesday to the Iraqi politician nominated to replace incumbent Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, suggesting key Iranian support for a new leader in Baghdad.

As the Iraqi premier fights to keep his job, Ali Shamkhani, secretary of the powerful Supreme National Security Council, was quoted as congratulating the Iraqi people and their leaders for choosing Haider al-Abadi to be the new premier in a report on the official IRNA news agency.

Speaking to a group of Iranian diplomats brought home for an annual meeting, Shamkhani also urged Iraqi political groups to unite in the face of \"foreign threats\" and said Tehran supports Iraq's sovereignty and security. He said Iran \"supports the legal process for choosing the new Iraqi prime minister.\"

Shamkhani is a close ally of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and a representative of supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on the council.

","short_text":"

From the Associated Press:

A senior Iranian official offered his congratulations Tuesday to the Iraqi politician nomi...Read More"},{"id":"93","created":"08/12/2014 10:48 AM EDT","title":"US Drone Attacks Iraqi Militant Position","tweet_link":"93_us-drone-attacks-iraqi-militant-position","entry_text":"

The Associated Press reports:

U.S. military officials say an armed American drone has attacked and destroyed a mortar position of Islamic militants in northern Iraq.

The U.S. Central Command issued a brief statement saying the Tuesday morning attack targeted a mortar position that was firing on members of the Kurdish militia who were defending civilians attempting to evacuate the Sinjar area.

","short_text":"

The Associated Press reports:

U.S. military officials say an armed American drone has attacked and destroyed a...Read More"},{"id":"92","created":"08/12/2014 10:39 AM EDT","title":"Vatican Urges Muslim Leaders To Condemn Islamic State","tweet_link":"92_vatican-urges-muslim-leaders-to-condemn-islamic-state","entry_text":"

Vatican calls on Muslim religious leaders to condemn "unspeakable criminal acts" by Islamic State militants.

— Reuters Top News (@Reuters) August 12, 2014

","short_text":"

Vatican calls on Muslim religious leaders to condemn "unspeakable criminal acts" by Islamic State militants.

— Reuters Top News (@Reuters) Read More"},{"id":"91","created":"08/12/2014 10:37 AM EDT","title":"'Constant Stream Of Humanity On Foot'","tweet_link":"91_constant-stream-of-humanity-on-foot","entry_text":"

CNN correspondent Ivan Watson posted a photo of of Yazidi communities crossing back from Syria into Iraq, having fled there from the advancing Islamic State militants.

","short_text":"

CNN correspondent Ivan Watson posted a photo of of Yazidi communities crossing back from Syria into Iraq, having fled there from the advancing Islamic State militants.

"},{"id":"90","created":"08/12/2014 9:53 AM EDT","title":"Maliki Orders Military To Keep Out Of Politics","tweet_link":"90_maliki-orders-military-to-keep-out-of-politics","entry_text":"

Iraq's prime minister Nouri al-Maliki instructed the country's security forces to keep out of politics amid an impasse over whether he will stand down,the Associated Press reports.

In a statement on his official website, al-Maliki told the army, police and other security forces to focus on defending the country and not intervene in the political situation.

","short_text":"

Iraq's prime minister Nouri al-Maliki instructed the country's security forces to keep out of politics amid an impasse over whether he will stand down,the As...Read More"},{"id":"89","created":"08/12/2014 9:18 AM EDT","title":"Europe Steps Up Aid To Europe","tweet_link":"89_europe-steps-up-aid-to-europe","entry_text":"

From the Associated Press:

Europe stepped up support Tuesday for thousands of people fleeing advancing Islamic militant forces in northern Iraq, pledging more air drops, aid money and non-lethal equipment to ease suffering and bolster fighters battling the Sunni insurgency.

Britain and France dropped water, food and solar lamps to afflicted Yazidis sheltering on Mount Sinjar amid fears of a massive humanitarian catastrophe. Britain fast-tracked some 3 million pounds ($5 million) more to help aid groups in northern Iraq deal with the disaster and deployed Tornado surveillance aircraft to get a better idea of the situation on the mountain.

Germany said it planned to send non-lethal equipment such as vehicles, night-vision gear and bomb detectors. Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen reiterated Germany's reluctance to provide arms, saying it went against the government's principles to send weapons into war zones, but indicated that this position might be revisited.

","short_text":"

From the Associated Press:

Europe stepped up support Tuesday for thousands of people fleeing advancing Islamic mili...Read More"},{"id":"88","created":"08/12/2014 9:12 AM EDT","title":"Kerry: U.S. Ready To Provide Additional Aid To New Govt","tweet_link":"88_kerry-us-ready-to-provide-additional-aid-to-new-govt","entry_text":"

Secretary of State John Kerry on Tuesday urged Iraq's prime minister-designate Haider al-Abadi to speedily form a new government, Reuters reports.

The U.S. \"stands ready to fully support a new and inclusive Iraqi government,\" he said in Sydney. \"Without any question, we are prepared to consider additional political, economic and security options,\" Kerry said.

","short_text":"

Secretary of State John Kerry on Tuesday urged Iraq's prime minister-designate Haider al-Abadi to speedily form a new government, Reuters reports.Read More"},{"id":"87","created":"08/12/2014 7:36 AM EDT","title":"More Yazidis Flee To Syria","tweet_link":"87_more-yazidis-flee-to-syria","entry_text":"

Another 10,000 to 15,000 Yazidi Iraqis fleeing Sinjar have arrived in Syria, according to @Refugees pic.twitter.com/mwa0Bvxoak

— BuzzFeed News (@BuzzFeedNews) August 12, 2014

","short_text":"

Another 10,000 to 15,000 Yazidi Iraqis fleeing Sinjar have arrived in Syria, according to @Refugees pic.twitter.com/mwa0BvxoakRead More"},{"id":"86","created":"08/11/2014 10:49 PM EDT","title":"More Humanitarian Aid Dropped ","tweet_link":"86_more-humanitarian-aid-dropped-","entry_text":"

NSC reports another U.S. military airdrop of food/water at Sinjar mountain tonight. 5,135 gallons of water, 11,088 meals.

— jennifer bendery (@jbendery) August 12, 2014

","short_text":"

NSC reports another U.S. military airdrop of food/water at Sinjar mountain tonight. 5,135 gallons of water, 11,088 meals.

— jennifer bendery (@jbendery) Read More"},{"id":"85","created":"08/11/2014 6:30 PM EDT","title":"U.S. Conducts More Airstrikes On Iraq","tweet_link":"85_us-conducts-more-airstrikes-on-iraq","entry_text":"

The U.S. announced on Monday evening that it hit several ISIS targets in yet another round of airstrikes. The strikes destroyed several ISIS checkpoints and vehicles near Sinjar Mountain.

","short_text":"

The U.S. announced on Monday evening that it hit several ISIS targets in yet another round of airstrikes. The strikes destroyed several ISIS checkpoints and vehicles near Sinjar Mountain.

"},{"id":"84","created":"08/11/2014 5:03 PM EDT","title":"Defense Department: Humanitarian Assistance Continues In Iraq","tweet_link":"84_defense-department-humanitarian-assistance-continues-in-iraq","entry_text":"

The United States Defense Department has issued a press release stating that \"The United States and Britain have flown 14 humanitarian airdrops since Aug. 7 to Yezidi refugees in the Sinjar Mountains in Iraq, a Defense Department official said today.\"

The document also states that U.S. air force and navy aircraft \"have executed 15 targeted airstrikes to protect U.S. citizens and forces in and around Erbil.\"

Read the full statement here.

","short_text":"

The United States Defense Department has issued a press release stating that \"The United States and Britain have flown 14 humanitarian airdrops since Aug. 7 to Yezidi refugees in the Sinjar Mountains in Iraq, a Defense Department official said today.\"<...Read More"},{"id":"83","created":"08/10/2014 10:51 PM EDT","title":"U.S. Military Makes 4th Aid Airdrop In Iraq","tweet_link":"83_us-military-makes-4th-aid-airdrop-in-iraq","entry_text":"

On Sunday night the U.S. military made a fourth drop of humanitarian aid supplies to Iraqis who have fled to Mount Sinjar during the siege of Islamic State militants, the U.S. Central Command announced.

Tonight, our military conducted a 4th airdrop for thousands of Iraqis threatened by #ISIS on Mount Sinjar. @CENTCOM http://t.co/G97slMJE1k

— Brett McGurk (@brett_mcgurk) August 11, 2014

The drop of food and water made by four U.S. aircraft brought the total amount delivered by the U.S. to 74,000 meals and more than 15,000 gallons of fresh drinking water, Central Command said in a statement.

","short_text":"

On Sunday night the U.S. military made a fourth drop of humanitarian aid supplies to Iraqis who have fled to Mount Si...Read More"},{"id":"82","created":"08/10/2014 10:15 PM EDT","title":"Iraq Shi'ite Coalition Near Nominating New Prime Minister","tweet_link":"82_iraq-shiite-coalition-near-nominating-new-prime-minister","entry_text":"

A coalition of Iraq's largest Shi'ite parties announced that it was near nominating a prime minister on Monday, a sign of mounting pressure for Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki to step down. The announcement followed a defiant speech made by Maliki that reportedly prompted special forces loyal to the the prime minister to take position in Baghdad.

More on the Shi'ite coalition's announcement from Reuters.

","short_text":"

A coalition of Iraq's largest Shi'ite parties announced that it was near nominating a prime minister on Monday, a sign of mounting pressu...Read More"},{"id":"81","created":"08/10/2014 8:22 PM EDT","title":"State Department Releases Video Of Humanitarian Aid Airdrop In Iraq","tweet_link":"81_state-department-releases-video-of-humanitarian-aid-airdrop-in-iraq","entry_text":"

The U.S. Central Command released a new video of a humanitarian aid airdrop for Iraqis under siege from Islamic State militants in the area near Sinjar, Iraq. The drop of water and food made on Aug. 9 was conducted by three U.S. aircraft according to Central Command.

Night vision video of the drop was released on Sunday.

","short_text":"

The U.S. Central Command released a new video of a humanitarian aid airdrop for Iraqis under siege from Islamic State militants in the area near Sinjar, Iraq. The drop of water and food made on Aug. 9 was conducted by three U.S. aircraft according to ...Read More"},{"id":"80","created":"08/10/2014 7:42 PM EDT","title":"Islamic State Militants Release Propaganda Video","tweet_link":"80_islamic-state-militants-release-propaganda-video","entry_text":"

The Islamic State militants whose siege of areas of Iraq and targeting of minorities released a video showing fighters brandishing weapons and waving flags over Iraqi landmarks and institution buildings, the Guardian reports.

The video from Reuters also features refugees describing their flight from the militants the damage that has already been incurred by the Islamic State forces.

","short_text":"

The Islamic State militants whose siege of areas of Iraq and targeting of minorities released a video showing fighter...Read More"},{"id":"79","created":"08/10/2014 7:32 PM EDT","title":"Report: Iraqi Tanks Deployed In Baghdad","tweet_link":"79_report-iraqi-tanks-deployed-in-baghdad","entry_text":"

In addition to the police, military and security forces deployed in Baghdad following Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki's fiery Sunday evening address, a police official said that military tanks were also taking up strategic positions near key Iraqi institutions in the city.

CNN reports:

Breaking: Iraqi tanks take positions in several Baghdad neighborhoods surrounding Green Zone, police officials tell @CNN #Iraq

— Jim Sciutto (@jimsciutto) August 10, 2014

","short_text":"

In addition to the police, military and security forces deployed in Baghdad following Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki's fiery Sunday e...Read More"},{"id":"78","created":"08/10/2014 7:18 PM EDT","title":"U.S. Official Gives Iraqi President Masoum Full Support","tweet_link":"78_us-official-gives-iraqi-president-masoum-full-support","entry_text":"

A senior U.S. official with the State Department expressed his support for Iraqi President Fouad Masoum following Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki's Sunday evening speech where he accused Masoum of violating the constitution.

Fully support President of #Iraq Fuad Masum as guarantor of the Constitution and a PM nominee who can build a national consensus.

— Brett McGurk (@brett_mcgurk) August 10, 2014

More from Reuters:

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A senior U.S. official for Iraq said on Sunday he fully supported Iraqi President Fouad Masoum after Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, who the United States has blamed for stoking Iraq's security crisis, accused Masoum of violating the constitution.

\"Fully support President of Iraq Fouad Masoum as guarantor of the Constitution and a (prime minister) nominee who can build a national consensus,\" Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Brett McGurk said on his Twitter feed.

In a tough televised speech likely to deepen political tensions as a Sunni insurgency rages, Maliki indicated that he will not drop his bid for a third term and accused the president of violating the constitution.

","short_text":"

A senior U.S. official with the State Department expressed his support for Iraqi President Fouad Masoum following Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki's Sunday evening speech where he accused Masoum of violating the constitution.

Read More"},{"id":"77","created":"08/10/2014 7:12 PM EDT","title":"Report: Iraqi Troops Surround Presidential Palace","tweet_link":"77_report-iraqi-troops-surround-presidential-palace","entry_text":"

There are conflicting reports over whether forces have surrounded the palace of Iraqi President Fuad Masum in Baghdad following the unrest generated around the time Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki delivered a tough speech on Sunday night.

Troops have since been reported encircling the Presidential palace, though some Kurdish political sources state they have since spoken with the president and he told them there were no troops in his vicinity.

More from the report here.

","short_text":"

There are conflicting reports over whether forces have surrounded the palace of Iraqi President Fuad Masum in Baghdad following the unrest generated around the time Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki delivered a tough speech on Sunday night.

Read More"},{"id":"76","created":"08/10/2014 6:59 PM EDT","title":"Details On Forces Deployed In Baghdad","tweet_link":"76_details-on-forces-deployed-in-baghdad","entry_text":"

Security sources said that shortly before Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki's Sunday evening speech, Iraqi police, military, and special forces were deployed in \"unusually high numbers across strategic locations in Baghdad,\" Al Arabiya reports.

The official cited by the news agency said, \"There is security everywhere in Baghdad, these are very unusual measures that look like those we impose for a state of emergency.\" An official at the interior ministry provided more specifics: \"Several streets have been closed... as well as some key bridges,” said . “It’s all linked to the political situation,\" according to the Al Arabiya report.

The deployment of police, military and special forces was especially high in areas of Baghdad's \"Green Zone,\" home to Iraq's key institutions, a police officer told AFP. The officer added, \"There is security everywhere in Baghdad, these are very unusual measures that look like those we impose for a state of emergency.\"

","short_text":"

Security sources said that shortly before Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki's Sunday evening speech, Read More"},{"id":"75","created":"08/10/2014 6:53 PM EDT","title":"Report: Special Forces Loyal To Iraq's Maliki Deployed In Baghdad","tweet_link":"75_report-special-forces-loyal-to-iraqs-maliki-deployed-in-baghdad","entry_text":"

Following Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki's defiant speech on Sunday night, police said special forces loyal to the controversial premier were deployed in Baghdad, Reuters reports.

","short_text":"

Following Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki's defiant speech on Sunday night, police said Read More"},{"id":"74","created":"08/10/2014 5:28 PM EDT","title":"Iraqi PM al-Maliki Defies Calls To Drop 3rd Term Bid","tweet_link":"74_iraqi-pm-almaliki-defies-calls-to-drop-3rd-term-bid","entry_text":"

In an abruptly delivered Sunday night television address, Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki said he will not drop bid for third term and accused the Iraqi president of violating the constitution, Reuters reports.

Maliki has been defiant towards calls to step aside as premier to allow a less polarizing figure to assume the leadership role. Maliki is widely seen as a sectarian ruler, Reuters reports.

","short_text":"

In an abruptly delivered Sunday night television address, Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki said he will not drop bid for third term and accused ...Read More"},{"id":"73","created":"08/10/2014 4:56 PM EDT","title":"Suicide Bomber Kills 10 Kurdish Fighters","tweet_link":"73_suicide-bomber-kills-10-kurdish-fighters","entry_text":"

Medical sources in Iraq said an attack carried out by a suicide bomber killed 10 Kurdish fighters and wounded 80 in the town of Jalawia on Sunday, Reuters reports. There has been heavy fighting between Kurdish forces and Islamic State militants in the town northeast of Baghdad.

More from Reuters here.

","short_text":"

Medical sources in Iraq said an attack carried out by a suicide bomber killed 10 Kurdish fighters and wounded 80 in the town of Jalawia ...Read More"},{"id":"72","created":"08/10/2014 2:06 PM EDT","title":"State Department: Some U.S. Staff From Consulate In Arbil Moved","tweet_link":"72_state-department-some-us-staff-from-consulate-in-arbil-moved","entry_text":"

From Reuters:

The United States has removed some staff from its consulate in Arbil, the capital of Iraq's semiautonomous Kurdish region that is under threat from Islamist militants, the State Department said on Sunday.

\"The Department of State has relocated a limited number of staff members from the Embassy in Baghdad and the Consulate General in Arbil to the Consulate General in Basra and the Iraq Support Unit in Amman. The Embassy in Baghdad and the Consulate General in Arbil remain open and operating,\" the department said in a travel advisory.

In June, the United States said it had moved some staff from the giant U.S. embassy in Baghdad to Arbil, which previously had been known for better security than the Iraqi capital, to the southern city of Basra and to Amman, Jordan. (Reporting by Missy Ryan; Editing by Will Dunham)

","short_text":"

From Reuters:

The United States has removed some staff from its consulate in Arbil, the capital of Iraq's semiautonomous Kurdish region that is under threat from Islamist militants, the State Department said on Sunday.

\"The De...Read More"},{"id":"71","created":"08/10/2014 11:24 AM EDT","title":"Kurds On The March","tweet_link":"71_kurds-on-the-march","entry_text":"

From Rudaw:

ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – Peshmerga officials said this morning they have retaken the town of Gwer in an all-out assault, after two days of air strikes by US jets on Islamic State (IS/ISIS) positions.

Meanwhile, Kurdish military leaders said that on all fronts in Nineveh province the Islamists were in retreat, while in Kirkuk and northern Diyala their numbers and activities had dropped.

","short_text":"

From Rudaw:

ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – Peshmerga officials said this morning they have retaken the town of Gwer in an all-out assault, after two days o...Read More"},{"id":"70","created":"08/10/2014 10:46 AM EDT","title":"U.S. Strikes Islamic State Targets Near Irbil","tweet_link":"70_us-strikes-islamic-state-targets-near-irbil","entry_text":"

From U.S. Central Command:

U.S. Military Conducts Airstrikes Against ISIL near Irbil

TAMPA, Fla. -- U.S. military forces continued to attack ISIL terrorists in Iraq today, successfully conducting multiple airstrikes from a mix of fighters and remotely piloted vehicles to defend Kurdish forces near Irbil, where U.S. personnel and citizens are located.

At approximately 2:15 a.m. EDT, U.S. aircraft struck and destroyed an ISIL armed truck that was firing on Kurdish forces located in the approaches to Irbil. After the strike, U.S. force monitored the movement of a second ISIL armed truck away from the vicinity of the strike, subsequently striking and destroying it at approximately 2:45 a.m. EDT.

At approximately 3:40 a.m. EDT, U.S aircraft struck and destroyed an ISIL mortar position, destroying it and damaging a nearby ISIL armed truck.

Following that, at approximately 5:45 a.m. EDT, U.S. aircraft struck and destroyed an ISIL armed truck.

U.S. aircraft conducted another strike on an ISIL armed vehicle at approximately 7:25 a.m. EDT, damaging the vehicle.

All aircraft exited the strikes areas safely.

","short_text":"

From U.S. Central Command:

U.S. Military Conducts Airstrikes Against ISIL near Irbil

TAMPA, Fla. -- U.S. military forces continued to attack ISIL terrorists in Iraq today, successfully conducting multiple airstrikes from a mix ...Read More"},{"id":"69","created":"08/10/2014 10:13 AM EDT","title":"Running Out Of Gas?","tweet_link":"69_running-out-of-gas","entry_text":"

Rudaw reports that Islamic State fighters might be running low on fuel:

A Rudaw reporter returning from the frontlines quoted Peshmerga officers as saying that the Islamist armies were suffering from serious fuel shortages, hampering operations that rely mainly on vehicles and mobile units. But on the Jalawla frontline in northern Diyala, Peshmerga commanders said their forces were locked in some of the fiercest fighting of the day since dawn, killing some 25 militants.

","short_text":"

Rudaw reports that Islamic State fighters might be running low on fuel:

A Rudaw reporter returning from the frontlines quote...Read More"},{"id":"68","created":"08/10/2014 9:59 AM EDT","title":"Iraqi Kurdish President Asks World For Weapons","tweet_link":"68_iraqi-kurdish-president-asks-world-for-weapons","entry_text":"

From Reuters:

ARBIL, Iraq, Aug 10 - Iraqi Kurdish President Masoud Barzani asked the international community on Sunday to provide the Kurds with weapons to bolster their battle against Islamic State militants, whose dramatic push through the north has alarmed Baghdad and Western countries.

Speaking at a press conference with French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius, Barzani said: \"We are not fighting a terrorist organization, we are fighting a terrorist state.\" (Reporting by Isabel Coles; Writing by Michael Georgy; Editing by Larry King)

","short_text":"

From Reuters:

ARBIL, Iraq, Aug 10 - Iraqi Kurdish President Masoud Barzani asked the international community on Sunday to provide the Kurds with weapons to bolster their battle against Islamic State militants, whose dramatic push thr...Read More"},{"id":"67","created":"08/09/2014 9:53 PM EDT","title":"U.S. Makes 3rd Aid Airdrop In Iraq","tweet_link":"67_us-makes-3rd-aid-airdrop-in-iraq","entry_text":"

The U.S. military made its third drop of humanitarian aid to the thousands of Yazidi refugees stranded on Mount Sinjar in Iraq, the U.S. Central Command reported on Saturday night.

@CENTCOM - Tonight, the US military conducted a 3rd airdrop of food & water 4 thousands of Iraqis under siege by #ISIS on Mt. Sinjar, #Iraq.

— Brett McGurk (@brett_mcgurk) August 10, 2014

Details of the drop from the Associated Press:

U.S. Central Command said in a statement Saturday night that the latest airdrop involved planes from multiple air bases and included one C-17 and two C-130 cargo planes. Fighter aircraft flew in support of the airdrop.

Officials say the aircraft delivered 72 bundles of supplies, including more than 3,800 gallons of water and more than 16,000 meals.

-- Andrew Hart

","short_text":"

The U.S. military made its third drop of humanitarian aid to the thousands of Yazidi refugees stranded on Mount Sinjar in Iraq, the U.S. ...Read More"},{"id":"66","created":"08/09/2014 8:58 PM EDT","title":"Video: Islamic State Militants Attempt To Shoot Down Aid Helicopter","tweet_link":"66_video-islamic-state-militants-attempt-to-shoot-down-aid-helicopter","entry_text":"

Kurdish television posted video purportedly of Kurdish forces delivering humanitarian aid to Yazidis trapped on Mount Sinjar in Iraq, and in the process came under fire from Islamic State militants, according to The Telegraph. The helicopter returned fire, but it is unclear of the results.

The drama continued as the helicopter touched down to deliver aid. A crowd desperate for help swarmed the helicopter, many climbing aboard and clinging while the vessel was airborne.

Read the report from The Telegraph here.

-- Andrew Hart

","short_text":"

Kurdish television posted video purportedly of Kurdish forces delivering humanitarian aid to Yazidis trapped on Mount Sinjar in Iraq, an...Read More"},{"id":"65","created":"08/09/2014 8:33 PM EDT","title":"Video: Iraqi Airstrikes On Islamic State Targets","tweet_link":"65_video-iraqi-airstrikes-on-islamic-state-targets","entry_text":"

Iraqi ministry of defense video shows an aerial view of airstrikes purportedly targeting suspected Islamic State targets in Iraq. In addition to U.S. airstrikes on militant targets, the Iraqi military has been conducting its own.

The video was posted by the Associated Press.

-- Andrew Hart

","short_text":"

Iraqi ministry of defense video shows an aerial view of airstrikes purportedly targeting suspected Islamic State targets in Iraq. In addition to U.S. ...Read More"},{"id":"64","created":"08/09/2014 8:11 PM EDT","title":"U.S. Intel Officials: Islamic State Likely To Attract More Al Qaeda Defectors","tweet_link":"64_us-intel-officials-islamic-state-likely-to-attract-more-al-qaeda-defectors","entry_text":"

U.S. intelligence agencies say that fighters from Al Qaeda affiliated groups, especially in Yemen and North Africa, are joining the Islamic State group, which is seizing territory in Iraq and Syria, the Washington Post reports. The group's recent military successes are likely to attract even more recruits, officials told the newspaper.

Read the full story on the Washington Post here.

","short_text":"

U.S. intelligence agencies say that fighters from Al Qaeda affiliated groups, especially in Yemen and North Africa, are joining the Islamic State group, which is seizing territory in Iraq and Syria, the Read More"},{"id":"63","created":"08/09/2014 6:50 PM EDT","title":"Third Round Of U.S. Airstrikes In Iraq","tweet_link":"63_third-round-of-us-airstrikes-in-iraq","entry_text":"

From the Associated Press:

The U.S. military says American jet fighters and drones have conducted four more airstrikes on Islamic militants in Iraq, taking out armored carriers and a truck that were firing on civilians.

U.S. Central Command says the strikes were spread out, with three before noon Eastern Daylight Time on Saturday and one about 3 p.m.

The military says indications suggest that the strikes were successful in destroying the armored vehicles.

","short_text":"

From the Associated Press:

The U.S. military says American jet fighters and drones have conducted four more airstrikes on Islamic mi...Read More"},{"id":"62","created":"08/09/2014 6:39 PM EDT","title":"U.S. Forces Carry Out 4 Airstrikes On Iraqi Militants","tweet_link":"62_us-forces-carry-out-4-airstrikes-on-iraqi-militants","entry_text":"

BREAKING: US military: American aircraft conduct 4 airstrikes on Iraqi militants to defend civilians.

— The Associated Press (@AP) August 9, 2014

","short_text":"

BREAKING: US military: American aircraft conduct 4 airstrikes on Iraqi militants to defend civilians.

— The Associated Press (@AP) Augu...Read More"},{"id":"61","created":"08/09/2014 6:38 PM EDT","title":"McCain Says Limited U.S. Strikes on Militants in Iraq Are Not Enough","tweet_link":"61_mccain-says-limited-us-strikes-on-militants-in-iraq-are-not-enough","entry_text":"

Senator John McCain said that President Obama's authorization of airstrikes in Iraq will not be enough to stop the advance of Islamic State militants, in comments to The New York Times on Saturday. \"The stated purpose — stated by the president — is to save American lives, not to stop ISIS, not to change the battlefield, not to stop ISIS from moving equipment farther into Syria to destroy the Free Syrian Army,\" McCain warned.

Read the full story on The New York Times here.

","short_text":"

Senator John McCain said that President Obama's authorization of airstrikes in Iraq will not be enough to stop the advance of Islamic State militants, in Read More"},{"id":"60","created":"08/09/2014 6:32 PM EDT","title":"Fears Remain For Yazidis Still Trapped In Mountains","tweet_link":"60_fears-remain-for-yazidis-still-trapped-in-mountains","entry_text":"

Some members of an Iraqi minority community on the run from ISIS militias have reportedly escaped the mountains where they had been stranded, but thousands more may still be in danger.

Several thousand Yazidis were reported on Saturday to have reached safety in Kurdish-controlled areas of Iraq and Syria.

Yet is not clear how many Yazidis remain stranded amid the continued fighting. The population who fled the Islamic State offensive this week has been estimated at between tens of thousands to 100,000 people.

Brendan McDonald, a UN humanitarian officer in Iraq, told the WorldPost on Saturday that the United Nations has still not been able to access the mountains because of the continued fighting.

Read the full story on the Huffington Post here.

","short_text":"

Some members of an Iraqi minority community on the run from ISIS militias have reportedly escaped the mountains where they had been stranded, but thousands more may still be in danger.

Several thousand Yazidis were reported on Saturday to have re...Read More"},{"id":"59","created":"08/09/2014 1:31 PM EDT","title":"UN Security Council Discusses Resolution To Cripple Islamic State","tweet_link":"59_un-security-council-discusses-resolution-to-cripple-islamic-state","entry_text":"

The UN Security Council is negotiating a draft resolution aiming to cut off the Islamic State militant group's funds and supply of recruits, Reuters reports.

More from Reuters:

The initial draft text, which the 15 council members first discussed on Friday, names Islamic State leaders to be sanctioned with an international asset freeze and travel ban.

The resolution could be voted on later this week, said Britain's U.N. Ambassador Mark Lyall Grant. Britain initially aimed to adopt the resolution by the end of the month, but accelerated its plan after Islamic State fighters surged toward the capital of the Kurdish region in Iraq.

U.N. diplomats, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the council appeared unified in the face of the biggest threat to Iraq, a major oil exporter, since Saddam Hussein was toppled by a U.S.-led invasion in 2003.

The Islamic State group, previously known as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), has long been blacklisted by the U.N. Security Council - subjecting it to an asset freeze and arms embargo - while Nusra Front was added this year.

The draft resolution \"calls upon all Member States to take national measures to suppress the flow of foreign terrorist fighters to ISIL, ANF (Nusra Front) and all other individuals, groups, undertakings and entities associated with al Qaeda.\"

The council resolution would ask U.N. experts - charged with monitoring violations of the council's al Qaeda sanctions regime - to report \"within 90 days on the threat posed by ISIL, its sources of arms and funding, and recommendations for additional action to address the threat.\"

","short_text":"

The UN Security Council is negotiating a draft resolution aiming to cut off the Islamic State militant group's funds and supply of recruits, Reut...Read More"},{"id":"58","created":"08/09/2014 12:26 PM EDT","title":"Thousands Of Iraqi Yazidis Flee To Syria After Kurds Open Safe Passage","tweet_link":"58_thousands-of-iraqi-yazidis-flee-to-syria-after-kurds-open-safe-passage","entry_text":"

Syrian Kurdish officials say thousands of members of a religious minority group have fled across the border from Iraq after coming under attack by Islamic extremists.

Ekrem Hasso and Juan Mohammad told The Associated Press on Saturday that the Yazidis fled after Kurdish fighters were able to open a safe passage into Syria following clashes with the Islamic State group.

Read the full story on the Huffington Post here.

","short_text":"

Syrian Kurdish officials say thousands of members of a religious minority group have fled across the border from Iraq after coming under attack by Islamic extremists.

Ekrem Hasso and Juan Mohammad told The Associated Press on Saturday that the Ya...Read More"}]

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