Between 20,000 and 30,000 Islamic State (IS) militants remain in Syria and Iraq despite the group's recent losses, according to a United Nations report. The report says that while many fighters, planners and commanders have been killed, some IS members continue to be fully engaged militarily.
BAGHDAD — The father of the Iraqi spy who spent 16 months undercover inside the Islamic State said Tuesday that his family’s long struggle to receive his son’s pension and death benefits has finally borne some fruit. Iraqis have been abuzz with the story of Capt.
TEL TAL, Syria — The memories of the retired oilman dot the village in Syria where he grew up. The mud chapel he got married in. The concrete church he helped build that would overflow with worshipers on holidays.
Nico Walker is in jail for robbing banks. He can use the pay phone for 15 minutes at a time, and then he has to wait a half-hour. It took a while to do an interview.
BAGHDAD — The Trump administration’s decision to reimpose sanctions on Iran is rebounding on neighboring Iraq, hitting Iraqi investors with dramatic losses at a time when that American ally is already facing unrest because of tough economic conditions.
Federal authorities said Wednesday they had arrested an Iraqi national and longtime member of Al Qaeda and the Islamic State who fled after killing an Iraqi police officer in 2014, eventually settling in Sacramento as a purported refugee.
WHISKY is back on the tables in Mosul, one of Iraq’s biggest cities. Until last year, boozing was punishable with 80 lashes. These days a refurbished hotel with a nightclub on the roof, set in a wood that had sheltered the high command of the so-called Islamic State (IS), is fully booked.
The Kurdish soldiers stood on a berm, next to a gunner’s dugout, in a corner of their position. It was one of several forward positions on a front line that ran along the crest of a mountainside and faced west onto the Tigris River Valley.
If you’re not sure what Odd Things in Odd Places is and why I’m in Iraq by myself, here’s why. On the morning of Saturday, August 2nd, I got in a taxi in Erbil, the regional capital of Kurdish Iraq, and asked the driver to take me to the Khazir refugee camp.
IT IS less than four years since the homicidal zealots of Islamic State (IS) stood on the doorstep of Baghdad, their black flag already fluttering over several other Iraqi cities.
Ask any Iraq War veteran about Jersey, Alaska, Texas, and Colorado and you will be surprised to get stories not about states, but about concrete barriers. Many soldiers deployed to Iraq became experts in concrete during their combat tours.
Fourteen years ago, I found myself an unexpected micro-target of a left-liberal protest demonstration. I had visited London to watch the debate and subsequent vote in the House of Commons over the Iraq war resolution. A huge demonstration against the war snaked down Whitehall toward Parliament.
The forces of Libyan president Muammar Qaddafi had been firing high-explosive ordnance into the city of Misurata for weeks—they'd been shooting tank rounds and they'd been firing rockets. Barrage after barrage. And lots of mortars.
BAGHDAD — Walk into almost any market in Iraq and the shelves are filled with goods from Iran — milk, yogurt, chicken. Turn on the television and channel after channel broadcasts programs sympathetic to Iran. A new building goes up? It is likely that the cement and bricks came from Iran.
When I was 12, Saddam Hussein, vice president of Iraq at the time, carried out a huge purge and officially usurped total power. I was living in Baghdad then, and I developed an intuitive, visceral hatred of the dictator early on. That feeling only intensified and matured as I did.
The foundation of al-Mansur’s ‘Round City’ in 762 was a glorious milestone in the history of urban design. It developed into the cultural centre of the world
It was a few weeks after the rains failed in the winter of 2009 that residents of Shirqat first noticed the strange bearded men.
IT ALMOST feels like old times. Before Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait in 1990, Gulf Arabs partied on the banks of the Shatt al-Arab river in southern Iraq. Many owned villas in the fields around Basra and took Iraqi wives. Now, after a break of three decades, they are back.
The battle for Mosul, a key city for Islamic State, has begun. On one side, a fragile alliance with conflicting political goals, and on the other, a ruthless enemy who might go to extreme lengths to defend the Iraqi metropolis -- incluing chemical weapons. A thundercloud, heavy and dark gray.
No sooner am I settled in an interviewing room in the police station of Kirkuk, Iraq, than the first prisoner I am there to see is brought in, flanked by two policemen and in handcuffs.
Hassan Aboud’s practiced baritone belied the malevolence in his words. That state is the self-proclaimed Islamic State, also known as ISIS or ISIL, the terrorist group that controls territory in Syria and Iraq and has recently projected violence to Ankara, Beirut, Paris and San Bernardino, Calif.
For all the attention paid to ISIS, relatively little is known about its inner workings. But a man claiming to be a member of the so-called Islamic State’s security services has stepped forward to provide that inside view. This series is based on days of interviews with this ISIS spy.
The war on terror, that campaign without end launched 14 years ago by George Bush, is tying itself up in ever more grotesque contortions.
Tony Blair is damned. We have seen establishment whitewashes in the past: from Bloody Sunday to Hillsborough, officialdom has repeatedly conspired to smother truth in the interests of the powerful. But not this time.
AS SOON AS I ARRIVE AT HIS HOME, a well-kept but slightly dated fieldstone Colonial in Chevy Chase, Maryland, he ushers me down a staircase into the basement, past one bookcase packed with white binders and another stacked with board games.
By the time the United States withdrew from its long bloody encounter with Iraq in 2011, it thought it had declawed a once fearsome enemy: the Islamic State, which had many names and incarnations but at the time was neither fearsome nor a state.
IRAQI GOVERNMENT forces last week launched a crucial campaign to retake the western side of Mosul, the Islamic State’s largest remaining urban stronghold. U.S. planes and special forces were providing critical close-up support for a battle that commanders believe could drag on for months.
Legendary TV host was fired for opposing Iraq war.
SANLIURFA, Turkey — When Abu Hamza, a former Syrian rebel, agreed to join the Islamic State, he did so assuming he would become a part of the group’s promised Islamist utopia, which has lured foreign jihadists from around the globe.
IN A series of lightning advances over the past few days, Iraq’s army has seized control of most of western Mosul, the last redoubt of Islamic State (IS) in the country.
Perhaps the tensest moment in Saturday's Republican presidential debate came when Donald Trump finally said something so outrageous that the other candidates onstage and even the debate audience closed ranks against him. Here is what Trump did: He accused George W.
One morning in October 2003, I was shaken out of bed by an explosion. I was in Baghdad, leading a platoon of Army Rangers as part of a special operations task force that was hunting down the famous “deck of cards”—the last of the Ba’ath Regime loyalists, and Saddam himself.
Abu Anis only realised something unusual was happening when he heard the sound of explosions coming from the old city on the western bank of the Tigris as it runs through Mosul.
The nuclear agreement highlights the limits of American power—something the president’s opponents won’t accept. “Mankind faces a crossroads,” declared Woody Allen. “One path leads to despair and utter hopelessness. The other, to total extinction.
SHARIYA CAMP, Iraq — The 16-year-old lies on her side on a mattress on the floor, unable to hold up her head. Her uncle props her up to drink water, but she can barely swallow. Her voice is so weak, he places his ear directly over her mouth to hear her.
With tens of thousands of protesters marching in the streets of Baghdad to demand changes in government, Iraq’s Shiite prime minister, Haider al-Abadi, appeared before Parliament this week hoping to speed the process by introducing a slate of new ministers.
The rumor was he’d killed an Iraqi soldier with his bare hands. Or maybe bashed his head in with a radio. Something to that effect.
On the ground in Mosul, the terror group's stronghold is crumbling. It was nearly midnight when the prisoners were brought in.
NEAR FALLUJA, Iraq — Along the battle line north of Falluja, small units of Shiite fighters are raining mortar shells and rockets down on the city and its Islamic State occupiers.
During Iraq's long summer of 2004, one of the many prisoners who arrived at the American-run facility at Camp Bucca in southern Iraq was a young jihadist who fought under the name Abu Ahmed.
I drove into Mosul in a battered Nissan pickup truck in mid-March. Iraq’s second largest city, once a thriving manufacturing and commercial center, is now a wreckage of destroyed factories, shops, and homes. Huge craters from bombs dropped by the U.S.-led coalition obstructed major intersections.
The V.I.P. terminal of Baghdad International Airport is a clean and quiet place, about a quarter-mile removed from the noise and squalor of the main arrivals-and-departures hall.
From the start of his presidency, Donald Trump’s “war on terror” has entailed the seemingly indiscriminate slaughter of innocent people in the name of killing terrorists.
KARMAH, Iraq — After the Islamic State was finally driven from the central Iraqi city of Karmah last year, Sirhan Sallom returned to his home to find it demolished. Mr. Sallom, 70, has since waited in vain for help.
ABOARD A JOINT STARS SURVEILLANCE PLANE, Over Northern Iraq — Flying at 30,000 feet, the powerful radar aboard this Air Force jet peered deep into Syrian territory, hunting for targets on the ground to strike in the looming offensive to seize Raqqa, the Islamic State’s capital.
WATCH NOW: Embedded with Al-Qaeda in Syria - http://bit.ly/2ynOxnnThe Islamic State, a hardline Sunni jihadist group that formerly had ties to al Qaeda, has conquered large swathes of Iraq and Syria. Previously known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), the group has announced its intentio
America’s front line facing the Islamic State is more than two thousand miles from Brussels, as the crow flies, and then another ninety minutes by country road from the Kurdish capital of Erbil, in northern Iraq. The trip to Camp Swift, in Makhmour, the forward U.S.
Late on the evening of Sept. 20, 2015, Basim Razzo sat in the study of his home on the eastern side of Mosul, his face lit up by a computer screen. His wife, Mayada, was already upstairs in bed, but Basim could lose hours clicking through car reviews on YouTube: the BMW Alpina B7, the Audi Q7.
ERBIL, Iraq — Markets are bustling with shoppers seeking new holiday outfits. Airport flight boards feature packed schedules. And political tempers, which were erupting a few months ago, are tamped back within the bounds of diplomatic niceties.
BAGHDAD — The Islamic State’s latest suicide attack in Baghdad, which killed nearly 330 people, foreshadows a long and bloody insurgency, according to American diplomats and commanders, as the group reverts to its guerrilla roots because its territory is shrinking in Iraq and Syria.
BAGHDAD — Iraqis seeking to withdraw money from banks are told there is not enough cash. Hospitals in Baghdad are falling back to the deprivation of the 1990s sanctions era, resterilizing, over and over, needles and other medical products meant for one-time use.
WASHINGTON — As an alliance of Iraqi and Kurdish forces pushes to retake the city of Mosul from the Islamic State, there should be no doubt about what the group plans to do next. It will fight to the bitter end to defend its most populous and symbolic stronghold.
BAGHDAD — After a day of sleeping, praying and even swimming in the Green Zone, the government citadel historically off limits to ordinary Iraqis, protesters began leaving Sunday evening on orders from the man who had sent them: Moktada al-Sadr, the influential Shiite cleric.
The last few decades have been the most peaceful era in human history. For the first time ever, fewer people die today from human violence than from traffic accidents, obesity or even suicide.
The president of the United States is lying again. He is lying about the reason he fired James Comey, the F.B.I. director.
WASHINGTON — Islamic State fighters used a sandstorm to help seize a critical military advantage in the early hours of the terrorist group’s attack on the provincial Iraqi capital of Ramadi last week, helping to set in motion an assault that forced Iraqi security forces to flee, current and form
FALLUJA, Iraq — In the days leading up to the storming of Falluja by Iraqi forces, Brig. Gen. Hadi Razaij, the leading Sunni police commander in the campaign, sat on a cot in an abandoned house near the front line.
Times journalists are in Iraq’s Sunni heartland to evaluate rebuilding efforts after battles with the Islamic State. FALLUJA, Iraq — Iraqi forces had taken Falluja from the Islamic State months before, and Sabah Rashid was more than ready to return home. But the police warned him not to go.
ABOARD THE U.S.S. NIMITZ, in the Persian Gulf — A few days ago, Capt. Mike Spencer of the Navy rocketed off the flight deck of an aircraft carrier in his F-18 to provide air support for Iraqi troops advancing on the dusty city of Tal Afar, one of the Islamic State’s last strongholds.
When Isis rounded up Yazidi women and girls in Iraq to use as slaves, the captives drew on their collective memory of past oppressions – and a powerful will to survive. By The day before Isis came was a holiday in Sinjar district, northern Iraq.
Clint Eastwood’s film about Navy Seal Chris Kyle has hit a raw nerve in America, with right wingers calling for the rape or death of anyone ungrateful enough to criticise his actions I have to confess: I was suckered by the trailer for American Sniper.
The rise of ISIS is intensely unsettling to the liberal West, and not just because of the capacity the jihadist group has demonstrated to launch a mass-casualty terrorist attack in a major European city. The group’s advance confounds the predominant Western view of the world.
Organised violence – the term war boils down to – has long been a unifier of peoples. Archeological evidence shows that nearly half those who lived during the last part of the Stone Age in Nubia, an area along the southern reaches of the Nile River, died violent deaths.
FLORENCE, Italy — As President François Hollande of France has declared, the country is at war with the Islamic State. France considers the Islamist group, also known as ISIS, to be its greatest enemy today.
BAGHDAD — Iraqi forces, backed by American airstrikes and advised by American officers, have been making strides in Anbar Province, slowly taking back territory from the Islamic State.
For the first two years of the Syrian civil war foreign leaders regularly predicted that Bashar al-Assad’s government would fall any day. In November 2011, King Abdullah of Jordan said that the chances of Assad’s surviving were so slim he ought to step down.
Barack Obama’s repeated insistence that Bashar al-Assad must leave office – and that there are ‘moderate’ rebel groups in Syria capable of defeating him – has in recent years provoked quiet dissent, and even overt opposition, among some of the most senior officers on the Pentagon’s Join
In the first of a 10-part series, Justin Marozzi tells the story of this once-mighty city in Iraq – a microcosm of human history. Besieged by wars and weather, ‘restored’ by Saddam Hussein, what has become of mystical Babylon?
FALLUJAH, Iraq — Pandemonium erupted on the bridge that leads into the central Iraqi city of Fallujah. A woman in a black, all-covering niqab, sitting in a minibus with her six kids, screamed at the uniformed security forces at the checkpoint, trying to strike them through the window.
BAGHDAD — The highway from Baghdad to Amman, Jordan, cuts through the insurgent badlands of the western Iraqi desert, and these days any truck driver risks confrontation with roving bands of gunmen.
For a week now, we’ve been getting nonstop scare stories about Islamic State’s menacing advance on the Syrian Kurdish town of Kobani.
In the orange light of late afternoon, a mile-long Army convoy of 33 heavily loaded trucks crossed a bridge over the Tigris River into the dusty, trash-strewn streets of Al Amarah, Iraq. Sgt. Stuart Redus was at the wheel of a boxy old big-rig, 28th in line, with Staff Sgt.
The Iraq Inquiry, chaired by Sir John Chilcot and composed of five privy councillors, finally published its report on the morning of 6 July, seven years and 21 days after it was established by Gordon Brown with a remit to ‘look at the run-up to the conflict, the conflict itself and the reconstruc
AMIRIYAT FALLUJA, Iraq — One of the Iraqi civilians who risked an escape from the sprawling battle for Falluja made it as far as the Euphrates River.
Alex Horton is a member of the Defense Council at the Truman National Security Project. He served as an infantryman in Iraq with the Army’s 3rd Stryker Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division. I got home from the bar and fell into bed soon after Saturday night bled into Sunday morning.
I spent nights in Iraq lying prone and looking through a 12-power sniper scope. You only see a limited view between the reticles. That’s why it’s necessary to keep both eyes open. This way you have some ability to track targets and establish 360 degrees of awareness.
Unlike presidents Barack Obama, Bill Clinton, and George H.W. Bush, Donald Trump isn’t much of a reader. According to the Washington Post, Trump believes he doesn’t need to read to make highly informed decisions.