Country flag

Country profile for Iraq

Provided Courtesy of Security Exchange 24

Risk Rating

Red (High Risk)
Red (High Risk) InTouch advice:

Most parts of the country are dangerous.

Do not travel unless absolutely necessary.

Unselected
Amber (Moderate Risk) InTouch advice:

Some parts of the country are dangerous.

Travel with caution.

Unselected
Green (Low Risk) InTouch advice:

Most parts of the country are safe.

Travel freely.

General Information

  • Capital: Baghdad
  • Major Languages: Arabic, Kurdish
  • Currency: Iraqi Dinar
  • Timezone: GMT +3:00

Country Map

Map of Iraq

In June, 2014 the Iraqi army capitulated to the Islamic State (IS), despite having a significant numerical advantage over the militant group (an estimated 30,000 soldiers against 800 IS fighters). This allowed IS to seize large swathes of territory in northern and western Iraq in just a matter of weeks, including the key cities of Mosul, Tikrit and several sections of Ramadi. Following these successes, IS declared an Islamic Caliphate across Iraq and Syria, with the group’s leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi announced as caliph. IS had emerged in Iraq out of the remains of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi’s al-Qaeda in Iraq (AQI). The group, which had always maintained a difficult relationship with al-Qaeda’s leader Ayman al-Zawahiri during the AQI years, became completely independent in the spring of 2013.

The Iraqi government eventually responded to the threat of IS and has started to regain lost territory. They have relied heavily on the state-sponsored Popular Mobilization Forces (al-Hashd al-Watani), an umbrella group of largely Shia militias, some of which receive direct support from Iran. At the same time US-led airstrikes against IS, which began in August, 2014, have had some success in weakening militant positions. Iran have also carried out a series of airstrikes in Iraq, although these are operationally independent from the international coalition. By February, 2016 IS had lost around 40 percent of its territory - including the key city of Ramadi - and since then the Iraq-led forces have also recaptured the city of Fallujah.  A major offensive on Mosul began in late-2016, with Iraqi forces capturing the eastern districts of the city by the end of January 2017.  All Western governments strongly advise against all travel to Anbar, Ninewah, Salah-al-Din, Diyala and Tam’mim provinces due to the ongoing conflict. There are also frequent bombings across the capital, Baghdad and its surrounding districts. IS have responded to the loss of territory by increasing the frequency and scale of attacks in Baghdad.  In July, 2016 a suicide truck bomb exploded in the mainly Shia district of Karrada district, killing more than 300 people.

Much of the current violence in Iraq has its roots in the centuries old tension between Shia and Sunni Muslims, which has prevailed in the region since the Prophet Muhammad died in 632 and the two sects split over who should lead the Muslim community. The killing of Husayn ibn Ali (the prophet’s grandson and a Shia martyr) by the Sunni Umayyad army in the Battle of Karbala in 680 marked the violent schism between the two sects. Following the US-led invasion into Iraq in 2003, and the removal of Saddam Hussein's regime, sectarian and political violence in Iraq increased significantly. In 2006-07 tens of thousands of people were killed in intercommunal violence between Sunni and Shia militias, including the Mahdi Army and the Badr Organisation. Much of the latest wave of violence was sparked when Iraqi troops raided a Sunni protest camp in the town of al-Hawijah in April, 2013, killing at least 49 people. Sunni militant groups, including IS, responded to the raid by increasing the frequency and intensity of attacks on Shias and on the Iraqi security forces.

The northern federal region of Kurdistan is more stable than the rest of Iraq; however, the ongoing conflict is threatening its stability. The Kurdish Peshmerga military forces are currently fighting IS along the 1,000km front-line between the two territories and there is an increased threat of attacks in Erbil, the region’s capital. In April, 2015 a car bomb exploded outside the US consulate in the city, killing three people. The security forces have since dismantled several terrorist cells which were planning similar attacks in Erbil, while at least 500 Iraqi Kurds have left to join IS in Syria and northern Iraq. Thousands of internally displaced people have fled fighting in north-western Iraq to Kurdistan and there are several large refugee camps outside Erbil. There have also been airstrikes along the Iraq-Turkey border since a ceasefire between the Turkish government and the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) collapsed in July, 2015.

The threat of kidnapping in Iraq remains extremely high. IS have been responsible for several high-profile killings of foreign hostages, and although the majority of the victims were captured in Syria the threat remains the same across the territory in which the group operates. IS have also captured thousands of Iraqis – including several thousand Yazidi women and children captured in and around Sinjar in the northern Nineveh Province. Baghdad has also reported a rise in kidnappings, with around a dozen abductions a week. Military chiefs said the combination of sectarian and economically-motivated attacks had increased due to the conflict with IS, which has drawn resources away from the capital. Ransom demands in Baghdad are typically between $20-50k and corrupt members of the security forces and militia groups have been implicated in a number of cases.

Incidents of civil unrest are common in Iraq, and always have the potential to turn violent. Due to the recent US-led conflict in the country many protests include anti-Western sentiments. The Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr has led mass protests around Baghdad's Green Zone in 2016, several of which have led to deadly clashes with Iraq's security forces.  Large gatherings are also often targeted in bomb attacks by extremist groups. Visitors should avoid all large scale public gatherings and monitor local media for political developments. Curfews are often enforced during periods of widespread unrest.


News articles

By EFE

IS Kill Iraqi journalist accused of apostasy

The Islamic State (IS) terrorist outfit executed Iraqi journalist Feras Yasin on charges of apostasy and showing no remorse, according to the Iraqi Journalists Syndicate.

By Middle East Online

Outspoken Iraqi journalist murdered

An Iraqi journalist critical of Haider al-Abadi’s government was found dead at his home in Baghdad in the western Qadisiya district with a single bullet wound to the chest.

By Sebastian Meyer

Your story: Reporting Iraq and Syria

If I told you that reporting from Syria and Iraq is dangerous, I’d probably be telling you something you already know.

By INSI

Islamic State group kills Iraqi journalist

BAGHDAD (AP) The governor of Iraq's Salahuddin province says a journalist from a local television network has been killed by the Islamic State group.

By INSI

Journalist 'pays ultimate price'

The International News Safety Institute is shocked and saddened by the murder of the American journalist Steven Sotloff by Islamic State militants.

By AP

Turkish journalist killed in Iraq during clashes

A journalists' rights group says a Turkish journalist has been killed in Iraq during clashes between Islamic militants and Kurdish Peshmerga forces and has demanded an investigation into the circumstances of her death.

By INSI

Safety advice for journalists in Iraq

With the situation deteriorating in Iraq, INSI experts have put together a safety briefing for journalists covering the conflict.

By INSI

IN BRIEF: Iraq at 16/06/14

Foreign journalists have been banned from entering al Anbar province unless they have specific approval from the relevant authorities including the Iraqi Ministry of Defence and the Anbar Operations Command Centre.

By CPJ

Iraqi TV cameraman killed in north

At least one journalist was killed and another injured Sunday [15 June] in an attack in northern Diyala province, the Iraqi Journalists Syndicate and Iraqi news outlets reported.

View all articles for Iraq

Alerts for Iraq

IS governor killed in airstrikes, Nineveh

An Islamic State (IS) governor has been killed in airstrikes in the Nineveh Governorate. The airstrikes targeted an IS building in the al-Shefaa district of Nineveh. The suspect has been identified as Abu Luqman al-Aafri - the IS governor of Aleppo Wilayat. 

Airstrike kills four IS miltiants in al-Mutaibaija

The coalition forces have conducted an airstrike - killing at least four Islamic State (IS) militants in the al-Mutaibaija area near the Samarra. The IS militants were targeted in their vehicle as they were transporting weapons through the area on Wednesday 26 April.

Turkey hits Kurdish targets in Iraq and Syria

Turkish jets have carried out airstrikes against Kurdish militants in Iraq and Syria.  The state-run Anadolu news agency said 24 people were killed in the raids, which targeted the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) in Iraq and their counterparts in Syria, the Popular Protection Units (YPG).  "The operations will continue with the same determination until the last terrorist has been neutralised," said the Turkish military in a statement.  The US, which is supporting the YPG in Syria, expressed "deep concern" at the Turkish strikes, while the Iraqi government also condemned them.

Three Iraqi police officers killed in Mosul

Three Iraqi police officers were killed in an attack south of Mosul on Sunday.  A group of 10 assailants, including four suicide bombers, attempted to enter a Federal Police base in Al-Areej but were repelled by the Iraqi security forces.  The Islamic State (IS) claimed responsibility for the attack via its Amaq news agency.

Off-duty police killed in Anbar ambush

At least 10 off-duty police officers have been killed and 20 others wounded in an ambush in Iraq's Anbar province.  Suspected Islamic State (IS) militants targeted the police near the town of Rutba late on Sunday.  An official from Anbar province told Rudaw that three other officers were also abducted during the attack.

Kidnapped Qataris released in Iraq

Twenty-six members of a Qatari hunting party have been released in Iraq, more than a year after they were kidnapped.  The group, reported to include members of the Qatari royal family, were abducted near the Saudi border in December 2015.  "The interior ministry has received the Qatari hunters, all 26 of them," the minister's adviser, Wahab al-Taee, said. "They will be handed over to the Qatari envoy."

Five IS militants killed in western Mosul

Five Islamic State (IS) militants have been killed by Iraqi Federal Police in western Mosul.  Police said a commando force launched an assault near the Hadbaa Minaret, close to the Grand Nuri Mosque in Mosul's Old City.  The advance of Iraq's security forces in the Old City has slowed in recent weeks due to the dense civilian population, which Islamic State (IS) have been using as cover.

Iraqi capture more Mosul districts; IS shoots down helicopter

Iraqi Counter-Terrorism Forces (CTF) have made further gains in western Mosul, capturing al-Maghreb from the Islamic State (IS).  Major General Abdel Amir Yarallah, commander of the operation, made the announcement at a press conference.  However, the government also announced that IS has shot down an army helicopter over the city, killing the two crew members on board.

IS kill 31 in Tikrit attack

At least 31 people have been killed and more than 40 others wounded in an attack by Islamic State (IS) militants in Tikrit.  An estimated 10 gunmen disguised as police officers entered the city in a stolen police vehicle before carrying out multiple attacks, targeting a checkpoint and the house of a police colonel.  Two assailants detonated suicide vests when they were confronted by police, while a number of civilians were killed in the assault.

Three IS leaders killed in Mosul airstrike

Three Islamic State (IS) leaders have been killed in an airstrike carried out by the Iraqi forces in Mosul. The air raid targeted IS militants alleged to have organised the use of child soldiers in suicide bombings. The use of children in suicide bombings is particularly frowned upon as the child is often a victim of war, abducted and forced to carry out an involuntary act of terrorism which will most likely lead to their death.

IS shelling kills 32 civilians near Mosul

At least 32 civilians have been killed in shelling carried out by militants of the Islamic State (IS) in areas of eastern and northern Mosul. Shelling allegedly targeted the al-Barud, al-Sukkar, Baladiyat, Muthanna, and Rifaq districts. The IS forces are thought to have used improvised mortars to bombard the civilian areas. The incident occurred on Monday and has been confirmed by security officials.

Suicide truck bomb kills 17 near Baghdad

A suicide truck bomb has killed 17 people and wounded 60 others at a checkpoint south of Baghdad.  An oil tanker packed with explosives detonated at the Yousifiya neighbourhood late on Wednesday.  There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack, although the Islamic State (IS) are suspected of being behind it.

Iraqi forces continue push to al-Nuri mosque

Iraqi security forces are continuing to push through Mosul's Old City as they attempt to recapture the al-Nuri mosque.  Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the leader of the Islamic State (IS), declared a caliphate at the mosque when the group seized the northern city in the summer of 2014.  Elsewhere a US-led coalition airstrike killed three senior IS leaders in the al-Tenk neighborhood on Tuesday.

Forty-one militants killed in transnational counter-terror operations

At least 41 Kurdish Workers' Party (PKK) militants have been killed in Turkish counter-terror operations. Thirty-three PKK militants have been killed in counter-terror operations targeting militants in the Tunceli province of Turkey. A further eight PKK militants have been killed in air operations conducted in northern Iraq - likely in the Qandil mountains. 

IS forces targeted in 30 airstrikes

The Islamic State (IS) forces in Iraq and Syria have been targeted in 30 new airstrikes conducted by the US-led Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve (CJTF-OIR). The CJTF-OIR carried out 18 airstrikes in Syria near Abu Kamal, Dayr Az Zawr, Raqqa, and Tabqah. Another 12 airstrikes targeted IS positions near Beiji, Kirkurk, Mosul, Qaim, Rawah, and Tal Afar in Iraq. No casualty figures have been reported.

Four civilians killed in Mosul mortar attacks

At least four civilians have been killed and dozens of others have been wounded in a mortar attack in Mosul. The attacks targeted a civilian market in central Mosul. Two rounds of mortars were fired upon the area, hitting five civilian businesses and shops near the market. It's believed the Islamic State (IS) forces were responsible for the attacks.

Twelve killed in checkpoint clashes, Tikrit

At least 12 people have been killed in clashes between the Iraqi government security forces and militants in a district of Tikrit city, Saladin province. The security forces managed to repel the attack and suspect the militant group were loyalists of the Islamic State (IS). Three government soldiers and nine IS militants have been killed in the clashes. 

Airstrikes kill 200 in Mosul

Airstrikes have killed more than 200 people in the besieged northern city of Mosul, according to the Kurdish newspaper Rudaw.  More than 130 bodies were located in one residential area, many of them believed to be civilians.  Islamic State (IS) militants are increasingly using human shields as they try to hang on to the last few remaining districts in the west of the city, as Iraqi armed forces supported by US airstrikes continue to advance.  Bruno Geddo, UNHCR representative in Iraq, claims 400,000 civilians are trapped in the Old City, many without food or basic supplies.

Twin bombing hits Baghdad

At least one person has been killed and six others wounded in a twin bomb attack in Iraq's capital, Baghdad.  The first device wounded one person in al-Shaab, while the second blast at a market in Abu Gharib killed one and wounded five others on Wednesday.  There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attacks.

IS capture police in west Mosul

Militants from the Islamic State (IS) have captured a police colonel and eight other officers in western Mosul.  The officers were stranded in the Bab Jadid district in the early hours of Monday when they were abducted.  According to the Iraqi Interior Ministry, the group had run out of ammunition during heavy fighting as the security forces continue their push through Mosul's Old City towards the al-Nuri mosque.

Car bomb kills 23 in Baghdad

At least 23 people have been killed and 45 others wounded in a car bombing in the Iraqi capital, Baghdad.  The device exploded in the south-western Amil neighbourhood on Monday evening.  There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack, although the Islamic State (IS) are suspected of being behind it.

IS leader killed in Mosul operation

The Iraqi armed forces have killed a senior Islamic State (IS) leader during operations in Mosul, according to security sources.  Abu Abdul Rahman al-Ansary, the commander of the Old City, was killed by the federal police in the Bab al-Tob district.  Troops have also arrested 10 IS members, including the group's oil and finance ministers.

Iraqi forces make further gains in Mosul

On Monday Iraqi troops took control of the Naft, Aghawat, and New Mosul districts from Islamic State (IS) militants.  “After a heavy confrontation, the Counter-Terrorism Forces (ICTF) re-controlled Naft neighborhood and a wide segment of New Mosul district on the western side of the city from IS,” Maan Saad, commander of the force said in a press conference.  Rapid Response units have also advanced to within 100m of the Iron Bridge, which connects the Old City with eastern Mosul, with heavy fighting reported on Tuesday morning.

Twin suicide blast hit Tikrit wedding

At least 26 people have been killed in a twin suicide bomb attack at a wedding party near Tikrit.  Two blasts exploded in the village of Hajjaj, 20km north of Tikrit, before security forces clashed with suspected Islamic State (IS) gunmen in the area.  There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack.

IS chief Baghdadi flees Mosul

The leader of the Islamic State (IS), Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, has reportedly fled the besieged northern city of Mosul.  Iraqi and US officials claim the self-appointed "caliph" has moved to a remote desert area, leaving operational commanders to continue fighting Iraqi forces in western districts of the city.  Both Iraqi and US military officials claim that the fall of the city is inevitable, despite heavy fighting continuing around the Old City.

Iraqi forces capture government office in Mosul

Iraqi forces have recaptured the main government office and several other key sites in the northern city of Mosul.  Troops launched a major offensive overnight on Monday, ahead of a further advance on the old city and the Grand Nouri mosque, where Islamic State (IS) leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi declared a caliphate in July 2014.  Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi arrived in Mosul on Tuesday for a tour of military deployments.  In a speech, al-Abadi said the defeat of IS in Mosul was "inevitable".

Islamic State kidnaps fleeing civilians

The Islamic State (IS) has kidnapped around 25 civilians who were fleeing the group in Kirkuk.  Pro-government militias said the jihadist group captured people in the al-Zab region and accused them of “abandoning the land of the caliphate”.  Other civilians captured in similar circumstances have been executed by the group.

Army discovers underground IS base near Mosul

The Iraqi army has discovered an underground Islamic State (IS) training base south of Mosul.  Iraqi commanders said there is evidence of IS using the Tadmour base to train foreign fighters and children for suicide bombings.  It was discovered by the elite Rapid Response force on Wednesday.

Two UK medics killed fighting for IS

Two British medics have been killed while fighting for Islamic State (IS) in the northern city of Mosul.  Ahmed Sami Kheder and Hisham Fadlallah died as they fled the advancing Iraqi army at the weekend.  As many as 22 British doctors, pharmacists and dentists from the same institution - the University of Medical Sciences and Technology (UMST) in Khartoum - are believed to have travelled to Syria and Iraq to join IS.  At least a third of them have been killed during the conflict.

Army control key Mosul-Tal Afar road

The Iraqi army has seized control of the key strategic road linking west Mosul to Tal Afar.  "We effectively control the road, it is in our sight," a general told Reuters. Government forces are now closing in on the city's north-western entrance, blocking the escape route for both Islamic State (IS) militants and trapped residents.  On Wednesday morning the armed forces also captured the Wadi al-Hajar district from IS and discovered two prisons containing 40 people.

Iraqi military seize key Mosul bridge

The Iraqi military has seized a key strategic bridge in the northern city of Mosul.  The Federal Police Rapid Response Force captured the Fourth Bridge in the Jawsaq district on Tuesday.  The Iraqi army says it is also getting closer to the main government complex in western Mosul. Meanwhile, the commander of Iraq's federal police has claimed that the Islamic State (IS) leadership increasingly cut off from each other and fighting in isolated groups.

Kurdish journalist killed near Mosul

A Kurdish journalist from the Rudaw media group has been killed near Mosul.  Shifa Gardi, 30, died and her cameraman Yunis Mustafa was wounded after a roadside bomb exploded in the village of Al Athba as they reported on the military operation against Islamic State (IS) in western Mosul.  Falah Mustafa, the head of Department of Foreign Relations of Kurdistan Regional Government, described Gardi as a "role model to young women" in Kurdistan.

IS attack kills 15 Iraqi border guards near Trebil

At least 15 Iraqi border guards have been killed in an Islamic State (IS) attack on security forces near Iraq-Jordan border in Trebil, Al Anbar Governorate. The IS assault was a coordinated attack on the 2nd border guard regiment, consisting of a suicide car bombing as IS gunmen simultaneously stormed the area from several directions. The incident and death toll have been confirmed by local officials, who also stated that two of the soldiers killed were officers. It remains unknown if the IS forces suffered any casualties.

Turkish airstrikes kill 27 PKK militants

At least 27 militants of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) have been killed in Turkish-led airstrikes in the Erbil province in the last 24 hours. The airstrikes targeted PKK positions in the town of Warte, in the Qandil Mountains area along the Iran-Iraq border - where the PKK have a stronghold and are thought to have based their operational headquarters.

Iraqi forces advance on Mosul airport

Iraqi security forces are carrying out an offensive against Mosul airport as part of the ongoing operation to retake the city from Islamic State (IS).  Special forces have targeted the Ghazlani base next to the airport, while military police are leading the assault on the runway and terminal buildings.  "We can confirm that the Mosul airport militarily has fallen and it's a matter of short time to fully control it," Counter-Terrorism Service (CTS) spokesman Sabah al-Numan said.  The operation is being supported by US-led coalition airstrikes.

Car bomb kills seven in Baghdad

At least seven people have been killed and 30 others wounded in a car bomb attack in western Baghdad.  The booby-trapped device detonated in the Amal-Shaabi area of Ameriyah district on Tuesday.  No group has claimed responsibility for the blast, although Islamic State (IS) has been increasing the number of attacks in the capital in response to the military operation against them in the northern city of Mosul.

Government launches fresh offensive on west Mosul

The Iraqi security forces have launched a fresh offensive against the Islamic State (IS) jihadist group in west Mosul.  "We announce the start of a new phase in the operation. We are coming to Nineveh to liberate the western side of Mosul," Haider al-Abadi, Iraq's prime minister said in a televised address.  On Sunday troops seized 17 villages outside the city and are advancing towards Mosul airport, although the route is littered with IEDs planted by IS.  Members of the Kurdish Counter-Terrorism forces also said they killed several senior IS leaders in a "special operation" in Mosul on Sunday.

Car bomb kills 45 in Baghdad

At least 45 people have been killed and 50 others wounded in the Bayaa district of Baghdad.  The blast, which struck on Thursday afternoon, comes a day after a truck bombing killed at least 15 people in the mainly Shia district of Sadr City.  According to reports, the Islamic State (IS) militant group has claimed responsibility for the latest attack.

Senior IS militant killed in Mosul

The head of the Islamic State (IS) military police in Mosul has been killed in a coalition airstrike.  “The name of this terrorist is Haqi Ismail Aued Haider, known as Abu Ahmed. He was in charge of IS military police in Nineveh. One of his aides was also killed in the operation,” said the Kurdish counter-terror forces in a statement.

Suicide truck bomb kills 15 in Sadr City

At least 15 people have been killed and around 50 others wounded in a suicide truck bomb attack in the Sadr City suburb of Baghdad.  The device exploded on a crowded street near car garages on Wednesday.  The security forces have cordoned off the area and ambulances are transporting the wounded to nearby hospitals.  There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack.

Algerian journalist shot by IS sniper near Tal Afar

An Algerian journalist has been shot and wounded by a suspected Islamic State (IS) sniper near Tal Afar, north-west of Mosul.  Samira Mouaki, a journalist with Echourouk, was shot in the head on Sunday afternoon and was transferred to a hospital in Baghdad, where she is in a coma.  Ms Mouaki was in Tal Afar covering the conflict between the Hashd al-Shaabi, also known as the Popular Mobilization Units (PMU), and IS.

Car bomb kills four in Baghdad

At least four people have been killed and 14 others wounded in a car bomb attack in Iraq's capital, Baghdad.  The blast hit an industrial area of Bayaa, a southern district of the city, on Tuesday morning.  There has not been any immediate claim of responsibility for the attack.

IS rockets wound seven civilians in Haditha

Islamic State (IS) forces have wounded seven civilians in rocket attacks conducted in the Haditha district. Militants stationed in IS positions in the desert area of the district allegedly targeted civilian neighbourhoods in the al-Haqlaniyah area with several Katyusha rockets. Several women and children have been identified among those wounded in the attacks. IS forces have targeted the civilian area of the Haditha district several times since 2014.

US airstrikes target IS in Iraq and Syria

US-led coalition airstrikes have been conducted in Iraq and Syria within the last 24 hours. On Sunday 12 February, 14 airstrikes were conducted on IS positions in the Abu Kamal, al-Bab, Dayr Az Zawr, and Ar Raqqah areas of Syria. Six more airstrikes were carried out on the same day, targeting IS forces in Mosul and Erbil in Iraq. In total, 4 IS tactical units. 4 IS-held building, 32 vehicles (tanks, trucks, and watercraft), various supply routes and several weapons and supply caches were destroyed. No casualties have been confirmed.

IS counterattack launched near Tal Afar

Islamic State (IS) forces have launched a counterattack against the Popular Mobilisation Uni (PMU) near Tal Afar in Nineveh. A Turkish military official has confirmed that the IS forces have been conducting a series of offensive operations in the area since Sunday 12 February. Vehicular Borne Improvised Explosive Devices (VBIEDs) have been used to target access roads. Ten VBIEDs targeted the road between Raqqa and Syria in an attempt to reopen the road to IS forces. Military and IS casualties are suspected, however no figures have been confirmed as the clashes continue.

Cleric demands electoral reform in Baghdad

Shia cleric Moqtada al-Sadr has led a protest to demand electoral reform ahead of provincial elections in September.  Wednesday's rally in Baghdad was the latest in a series of demonstrations by al-Sadr against the government. In 2016 he led mass protests in the city's Tahrir Square and the Green Zone and further events are planned.  "Next week we will hold a huge march to reaffirm these demands," Ibrahim al-Jaberi, a Baghdad official in Sadr's movement, said.

IS militants killed in airstrikes near Tal Afar

At least 21 Islamic State (IS) militants were killed in Iraqi army airstrikes near the northern town of Tal Afar on Wednesday, according to Col. Adel al-Jubouri from the Iraqi Joint Operations Command.  Jets targeted IS positions in Umm al-Zanabir, also destroying several 4WD vehicles.  Five IS militants were also reportedly killed in the Rashidya district north of Mosul, while four others died when jets bombed a boat off the western bank of the Tigris River in central Mosul.  The army also claims to have shot down three IS drones in the al-Zohour, al-Masaref and al-Sukkar districts.

IS militants kill four Iraqi troops in Anbar

Islamic State (IS) militants have killed four Iraqi soldiers in an attack in Anbar province. An Improvised explosive device (IED) hit an army patrol in the al-Sakkar area, between Rutba district and the city of Ramadi.  Two soldiers were also wounded in the blast.

US Embassy warns of Baghdad threat

The US embasy in Iraq has warned of "credible threats of possible attacks on hotels frequented by Westerners" in Baghdad.  The embassy said it has limited the movements of its personnel, and reminded US citizens to have a "heightened sense of security awareness" in the capital.  The specific nature of the threat was not included in the warning, although the Islamic State (IS) have carried out multiple attacks in Baghdad in recent months.

IS executes five civilians in Mosul

The Islamic State (IS) has executed five civilians in western Mosul for attempting to flee the city.  “Daesh [IS] has threatened anyone trying to flee the city with death,” said the First Lieutenant Nayef al-Zubeidi from the Iraqi army.  An estimated 750,000 people still remain in western Mosul, which remains under the control of IS.

Five killed, 18 wounded in bomb attacks

Five people have been killed and 18 others have been wounded in recent bomb attacks throughout Iraq. Three separate explosions occurred, targeting the at-Taymiyyah district, the al-Haswa district in western Baghdad, and the al-Obeidi district in eastern Baghdad. Two civilians were killed and seven others were wounded in at-Taymiyyah. Two more civilians were killed and four were wounded when a bus exploded near al-Haswa. Another civilian was killed and seven others were wounded by another explosive device in al-Obeidi. No group has claimed responsibility for the bomb attacks, however local authorities have blamed the Islamic State (IS) militants.

Nine militants killed in shelling, Anbar

Nine Islamic State (IS) militants have been killed by shelling in the Anbar province. The artillery troops of the Iraqi armed forces launched an offensive operation, targeting the IS forces in the Rutba region of the province. The offensive has been confirmed by Iraqi security officials, who also stated that several IS vehicles were destroyed in the operations. No civilian or military casualties were reported.

One killed, five wounded in bomb explosion, al-Madaen

One person has been killed and five others have been wounded in a bomb explosion in the al-Madaen area. The blast occurred in a fish market, and is believed to have been remotely detonated in an attack designed to target civilians. All casualties have been confirmed to be civilians. The area has been cordoned off by the security services.

Senior IS leader killed in airstrike

A senior leader of the Islamic State (IS) has been killed and two other IS militants have been wounded in an airstrike carried out in the Mutaibija area near the Diyala-Salahuddin border. It has not been confirmed which military forces carried out the airstrike, however it is likely that the raid was conducted either by foreign forces or by the Iraqi forces - who are backed by the US-led coalition forces in their war against the IS forces.

Two killed in Baghdad blasts

Two people have been killed and six others wounded in three bombings in Baghdad.  An Iraqi electricity ministry employee died when a device exploded under his vehicle in the western Abu Gharib district.  A roadside bomb killed a civilian and wounded four others in the Jisr Diyala region, east of the capital.  A third blast was also reported at a market in the al-Shaab district, wounding two civilians.

Hashd al-Shaabi kill IS fighters west of Mosul

The Shia paramilitary group - Hashd al-Shaabi - claim to have killed around 40 Islamic State (IS) militants in clashes in south-western Mosul.  The fighting was reported in the Khubairat area of the city, while fighting has also been ongoing in Shuraykhan, 20km south of Tal Kaif.  Last week the Iraqi armed forces seized all of eastern Mosul from IS as part of an operation which started in October 2016.

IS executioner killed in Mosul

A prominent Islamic State (IS) executioner has been killed in the northern city of Mosul.  Abu Sayyaf was shot dead by a group of unknown assailants in the Dawassah district on Sunday evening.  "Abu Sayyaf was one of the scariest executioners in Nineveh... He was a reflection of the brutality of this terrorist group," Muhammad Yawar, an Iraqi journalist, told ARA News.

Shia militia shells Peshmerga in Sinjar

The Shia Hashd al-Shaabi militia has shelled Peshmerga positions in Sinjar, northern Iraq.  “We have formed a quick investigative committee to determine the circumstances of what happened and to prevent repeating such mistakes which do not help the course of the battles [against ISIS] and continue the series of victories,” Ahmad Asadi, the spokesperson for Hashd al-Shaabi said in a statement. Halgurd Hikmat, media officer of the Peshmerga ministry, said “it is not the first time such things have happened.”

IS executes judge and four commanders for fleeing Mosul

The Islamic State (IS) has executed a judge and four senior commanders after they were accused of fleeing a battle with Iraqi troops in Mosul.  The five men were lined up and killed by firing squad in the town of Badush, western Mosul.  Earlier this week the Iraqi government said the army was now fully in control of eastern Mosul following a major offensive.

Civilians killed by IS rockets in Mosul

At least 14 civilians have been killed and 13 others wounded in rocket fire from Islamic State (IS) militants in eastern Mosul. A colonel in the Counter-Terrorism Forces said five Katyusha rockets hit the al-Zerai and Mohandessin districts on Tuesday.  On Monday Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi and the defence ministry said eastern Mosul had been fully recaptured from IS and the operation was moving to the west of the city.

Car bomb explodes in central Ramadi

A car packed with explosives has exploded in central Ramadi in Anbar province.  No casualties were reported following the blast, while security forces have cordoned off the area.

CTS announce liberation of eastern Mosul

The head of Iraq's Counter-Terrorism Service (CTS) said they have fully retaken eastern Mosul from the Islamic State (IS) group.  Staff General Talib al-Sheghati made the announcement in the town of Bartalla, adding that the army is preparing operations to retake the west of the city.  "Sheghati is the head of CTS and he was talking about areas under CTS control. There are some neighbourhoods that are still being liberated [Arabiyah and Rashidiyah] and that could take a few days," said Brigadier General Yahya Rasool.

Car bombs kills 15 in eastern Mosul

At least 14 civilians and a soldier have been killed in a twin car bombing in the Tal Yabes district of eastern Mosul.  A dozen people were also wounded in the blasts, which struck on Tuesday morning.  Meanwhile, Iraqi forces have recaptured the Nabi Yunus shrine, which was bombed by the Islamic State (IS) militant group when they recaptured the city in 2014.  Iraq’s Counter-Terrorism Service (CTS) said 90 percent of eastern Mosul is now controlled by Iraqi forces.

Triple bombings kill 21 in Iraq

At least 21 people have been killed and more than 40 others wounded in a triple bomb attack in Iraq.  A car bomb killed nine people and wounded 20 others at a checkpoint in the town of Khalis.  Two blasts were also reported in the capital, Baghdad - one in the centre of the city and another at a restaurant on Saadon street.  No group claimed responsibility for the attack; however, suspicion will fall on the Islamic State (IS) jihadist group.

IS using drones to target Iraqi troops in Mosul

The Islamic State (IS) is using commercial drones to drop small bombs on Iraqi security forces, according to a US commander.  Colonel Brett Sylvia said: "They are small drones with small munitions that they've been dropping."  Sylvia said US troops were assisting their Iraqi counterparts to shoot down the drones, which have a short range.  Meanwhile, Iraqi forces made further gains in the south-eastern districts of Sumer and Sahiroun on Thursday.

Iraqi forces reach Tigris river in Mosul operation

Iraqi troops have reached the eastern bank of the Tigris river in the northern city of Mosul.  The river divides the city in two, with much of the eastern now back under government control, while the west of the city is largely in the hands of Islamic State (IS).  On Sunday troops repelled an IS attack in the northern district of al-Habda, killing 10 militants.

Twenty dead in Baghdad bombings

At least 20 people have been killed and dozens more wounded in two bombings in the Iraqi capital, Baghdad.  The first blast - a suicide car bomb - hit the largely Shia district of Jamila on Sunday, killing 13 people.  A suicide bomber later killed seven people at a market in the Shia district of Baladiyat.  The Islamic State (IS) jihadist group claimed the Jamila blast, saying it had targeted "a gathering of Shias".

IS kill four soldiers near Tikrit

The Islamic State (IS) jihadist group has killed four soldiers and wounded 12 others in an attack near the city of Tikrit.  A car bomb was followed by a suicide bomb attack at an army outpost in al-Dour late on Thursday.  Gunmen also targeted a police station in the area before fleeing.

Car bomb kills six in Baghdad

At least six people have been killed and 15 others wounded in a car bombing in Baghdad.  The device exploded in the largely Shia district of al-Obeidi in the east of the city.  The Islamic State (IS) claimed responsibility for the attack via its Amaq news agency. 

Thousands of civilians flee as Mosul fighting intensifies

More than 13,000 people have fled from the besieged northern city of Mosul over the last five days as fighting continues to rage between Iraqi forces and the Islamic State (IS) jihadist group.  An army unit entered the eastern Mithaq district on Wednesday, while a counter-terrorism unit captured the al-Karama industrial area of the city on Tuesday.  “Rapid Intervention Forces managed, at noon today, to liberate al-Mithaq neighbourhood in the eastern side of the city of Mosul,” a statement by the Ministry of Defence said. “Rapid Intervention Forces inflicted heavy human and material losses on the Islamic State, as well as raising Iraqi flag over the buildings of the neighbourhood."

Scores killed in Baghdad bombings

At least 60 people have been killed in a series of bombings across the Iraqi capital, Baghdad.  Almost 40 people died and 60 others were wounded in a suicide car bomb in the city's largely Shia Sadr City district.  A number of smaller blasts across the capital killed 20 people on Monday.  The Islamic State (IS) claimed responsibility for the Sadr City attack via its Amaq news website.

Twin bomb attack kills 28 in Baghdad

At least 28 people have been killed and more than 50 others wounded in a twin bomb attack in Iraq's capital, Baghdad.  Two suicide bombers targeted a market in the Al-Sinak area of the city on Saturday morning.  The Islamic State (IS) claimed responsibility for the attacks via its Amaq news agency.

Second phase of military operation underway in Mosul

The Iraqi armed forces have started the second phase of its military operation to retake the northern city of Mosul from the Islamic State (IS) jihadist group.  Heavy clashes were reported in the south-eastern Palestine district, while troops also pushed into eastern areas of the city.  On Thursday the Counter-Terrorism Service (CTS) entered the Karama district and were less than three kilometres from the River Tigris.

More than 30 killed in Mosul attacks

At least 34 people have been killed in attacks across the northern city of Mosul.   A triple car bombing carried out by suspected Islamic State (IS) militants killed 23 people - 15 civilians and eight police officers - at a market in Gogjali to the east of the city.  In a separate incident mortar fire killed 11 people in the city.  “According to initial reports, four aid workers and at least seven civilians queuing for emergency assistance in eastern Mosul city have been killed by indiscriminate mortar fire,” UN humanitarian coordinator in Iraq Lise Grand said in a statement. 

Bomb targets Iranian Kurdish party near Erbil

Seven people have been killed and 15 others wounded in a bomb attack on the offices of an Iranian Kurdish party near Erbil.  The device exploded outside of the Iranian Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP-I) offices in Koy Sanjaq.  The party has accused Tehran of being behind the attack.  "We cannot at this moment identify the perpetrators of these bloody attacks, but such actions that are carried out against the KDP-I leave little doubt about the Islamic Republic of Iran's involvement as a terrorist regime in the region," a senior party official told Rudaw.

IS launch counter-attacks against Iraqi troops in Mosul

Islamic State (IS) militants have carried out counter-attacks against the Iraqi army in southern Mosul and the Shia Hashd al-Shaabi militia to the west of the city.  “The Hashd al-Shaabi forces repelled an ISIS attack around Tal Afar airport, killing 10 militants and destroying three military vehicles,” a Shia official told Rudaw.  Militants also targeted Iraqi troops in the village of Azba.  On Thursday Human Rights Watch (HRW) said IS are deliberately killing civilians who refuse to join them in the city, with at least 20 killed in the city since late-November.

Turkish army targets PKK in northern Iraq

The Turkish military said 29 Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) militants have been killed in airstrikes across the border in northern Iraq.  The Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) said the militants were "neutralised" in the northern Zap region.  The operation comes days after the military carried out 12 strikes on PKK targets in the same area.

Iraqi airstrikes target IS west of Mosul

The Iraqi armed forces have carried out a series of airstrikes on Islamic State (IS) militants west of Mosul.  The defence ministry said 70 IS fighters, including 20 senior leaders, were killed during the strikes on Tal Abta on Wednesday.  On Thursday the Iraqi Counter Terrorism Service said government forces and their allies were now in control of 40 out of 56 districts in the east of the city.

Shia militias capture territory in western Mosul

The Hashd al-Shaabi Shia milita says it has captured a key strategic town and two villages in western Mosul.  A Shia official in Kirkuk told Rudaw that “following the start of the fifth phase of liberating Mosul’s western areas, the Hashd al-Shaabi forces managed to bring the town of Ashwah and the villages of Hwetla and Hussein Jomaa under control.” Last month the group captured the main Islamic State (IS) supply route from Tal Afar to neighbouring Syria.

Civilians killed by Mosul mortar fire

At least 15 civilians have been killed by mortar fire in the northern city of Mosul.  Shells hit residential areas of al-Nour and Tamim in eastern Mosul on Sunday.  “Fifteen bodies were transferred to the field hospital in Gogjali areas on Mosul outskirts,” a medic told the Anadolu Agency.  Iraqi military sources said on Sunday that al-Nour was now fully under their control.

Car bombs kill eight in Fallujah

At least eight people have been killed in two car bombings in the city of Fallujah.  A suicide bomber targeted a security checkpoint in the west of the city, before a car bomb exploded near a central cafe.  The Islamic State (IS) militant group claimed responsibility for the attack via its Amaq news agency.

Iraqi troops capture northern Mosul districts

The Iraqi army has captured three northern districts in the city of Mosul from Islamic State (IS) militants.  Security sources said Nawafel, Simyak and Abbassiya were seized on Friday, bring the total number of recaptured districts to 24 since operations began in mid-October.  IS militants are reported to have carried out four car bomb attacks in the eastern district of al-Nur and the north-eastern district of al-Muthana.

Airstrikes kill 60 in northern Iraq

At least 60 people have been killed in airstrikes on the northern town of al-Qaim. Many of the dead are reported to be civilians after suspected Iraqi jets missed a mosque used by Islamic State (IS) and hit a residential area. Local medics said 12 women and 19 children died in Wednesday's strikes in the town, which is close to the Syrian border. The Iraqi government has not issued a statement on the reports.

Five civilians killed, 21 wounded in bombings, Baghdad

Five civilians have been killed and 21 more have been wounded in multiple bombings carried out by Islamic militants across Baghdad. In total, eight locations were bombed throughout the capital: the Kasra-Wa-Atash district, Saba' Qosour, the Ur neighbourhood, the Ziona district, the Cairo neighbourhood, the New Baghdad neighbourhood, Zafarania and the Mashtal neighbourhood. The Islamic State (IS) loyalist Daesh group are thought to be responsible for the attacks. Civilians have been advised to avoid areas dominated by fighting between IS militants and the Iraqi forces.

Man killed in shooting, Kirkuk

One man has been killed in an unprovoked shooting by unidentified gunmen in the Urooba area of Kirkuk. Mohammed Sabt Shahata, manager of the local Baba Gurgur Radio station, had previously been a news anchor on television for the Baba Gurgur network. It is suspected the gunmen targeted the station manager because he was well-known in the local community. The gunmen have managed to escape, with investigations and search operations underway. It remains unknown if the gunmen are affiliated with a militant group.

Iraqi Army commences fierce anti-terror operations, Mosul

The Iraqi security forces have commenced intense anti-terror operations in the Barid neighbourhood of Mosul. Fighting between the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and the Iraqi Army has escalated to fierce proportions as the ISIS militant have allegedly strengthened defences. Poor weather conditions have limited the army's visibility and ability to bomb ISIS targets - which the militants have exploited by launching aggressive counter-attacks. Dozens of militant deaths have been reported since fighting began, but no precise figure has been confirmed by officials. No civilian or military casualties have been reported so far. Civilians have been advised to vacate the area, however many local residents have refused to relocate - thus remaining at risk.

US-led airstrikes against the Islamic State

The US and coalition forces have conducted 21 airstrikes against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS). Eleven airstrikes have been conducted in Syria, targeting two tactical units, two fighting positions and various ISIS assets in: Abu Kamal, Ayn Isa, Dayr Az Zawr, Manjib, Raqqah and Shaddadi. Ten more airstrikes have been conducted in Iraq, targeting seven tactical positions, 31 supply routes and various ISIS assets in: Asad, Bashir, Beiji, Mosul, Qayyarah and Tal Afar. No civilian casualties have been reported and travellers have been advised to avoid targeted areas where possible.

Iraqi forces shell west Mosul

Iraqi military forces have started shelling areas of west Mosul as operations to retake the northern city from Islamic State (IS) continue.  "About 10 mortar bombs fell on the neighbourhood, coming from the south, as the Iraqi forces approached...during the past 24 hours," a resident in the Mosul al-Jadida neighbourhood told Reuters.  Sources in the city have also reported that IS has withdrawn from Mosul University - which it had been using as a logistics base - and had transferred equipment west of the Tigris River.

Four dead in Darbandikhan clashes

Four suspected Islamic State (IS) militants have been killed in clashes with Kurdish security forces (Asayish) in Darbandikhan.  "After the militants were surrounded by Asayish and volunteer fighters, two of the IS fighters were forced to blow up their suicide vests in Baba Amra village,” said Nasih Mala Hassan, the mayor of Darbandikhan.  Two other militants were killed in the nearby village of Pungala.

Death toll rises during battle for Mosul

According to the UN mission in Iraq, 1,959 members of the Iraqi security forces were killed and 450 others wounded in Iraq in November.  During the same period around 1,000 civilians were killed and more than 900 others wounded.   Jan Kubis, the top UN envoy in Iraq, said the majority of the casualties have occurred during fighting for the northern city of Mosul, large parts of which remain under Islamic State (IS) control.

Bomb explodes in Baghdad cattle market

One person has been killed and four others wounded in a bombing at a cattle market west of the capital, Baghdad.  The improvised explosive device (IED) exploded in Abu Ghraib, around 25km west of the city.  An explosion was also reported the northern al-Shaab district, killing one person, while several others were wounded in car bombings in the al-Sadr city and Bab al-Sheikh areas of Baghdad.

Civilians suffer as Mosul battles intensify

Humanitarian groups are warning that civilians in Mosul are struggling to feed themselves after Popular Mobilisation fighters cut the supply route to Mosul from the west, resulting in soaring retail prices in the city.  Meanwhile, water supplies to 650,000 residents have been cut off after a pipeline was hit during fighting between the Iraqi army and Islamic State (IS) on Tuesday.  "There is a big shortage of drinking water," Hussam al-Abar, a member of Mosul's Nineveh provincial council, told Reuters. "We are facing a humanitarian catastrophe."  Earlier in the day Iraqi forces attacked Islamic State (IS) positions in the villages of  Shayala Abali and Shayala Ayma, around 90km south of Mosul.  According to reports, two soldiers were killed and 20 others wounded in the assault.

IS targets Iraqi police in Samarra

Eight Iraqi police officers have been killed in an attack by Islamic State (IS) militants in Samarra, 125km north of Baghdad.  Gunmen stormed a checkpoint near the Malwiya (Sprial) Minaret ancient site late on Monday, leading to clashes which also left three assailants dead.  A curfew was briefly imposed by security forces but has since been lifted.

Scores killed in al-Hilla truck bombing

At least 70 Shia pilgrims have been killed in a truck bombing near al-Hilla, 100km south of Baghdad.  The blast hit buses carrying people from the Arbaeen pilgrimage in the Shia holy city of Karbala on Wednesday afternoon.  The Islamic State (IS) claimed responsibility for the blast, claiming the death toll was above 80.  A number of the victims are reported to be Iranian and Bahraini nationals.

Paramilitary force seizes key Mosul supply road

An Iraqi paramilitary force has seized a key supply road west of Mosul, effectively trapping the Islamic State (IS) militants left in the city.  The Popular Mobilisation (Hashed al-Shaabi) said they captured the road linking Tal Afar to Sinjar on Wednesday.  Meanwhile US-led coalition airstrikes took out a bridge on the Tigris River in Mosul, reducing the number of supply routes in and out of the city.

Islamic State minister killed in airstrikes, Mosul

The Iraqi Armed Forces have announced the death of an Islamic State (IS) minister in the recent airstrikes over Mosul. The IS media minister has been reported dead after the US joint forces conducted a series of airstrikes over Iraq and Syria. The reports have not been confirmed yet.

Dozens of joint forces airstrikes conducted

Twenty-four airstrikes have been conducted by the joint forces, against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS). The Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve has confirmed that US and coalition forces conducted 13 airstrikes in Syria and 11 airstrikes in Iraq. In Syria, Abu Kamal, Raqqah, Ayn Isa, and Manbij have been strategically targeted. In Iraq, Kisik, Mosul, Qaim, and Bayji have been struck. No casualties have been reported. The strikes were conducted as part of Operation Inherent Resolve: the mission to eliminate the ISIS threat from Iraq and Syria.

Mosul bridge 'disabled' by airstrikes

The Iraqi military has claimed the joint forces airstrikes 'disabled' a main bridge in Mosul. The claim has not been confirmed as of yet, but if true, the bridge will be the fourth bridge to be disabled in Mosul - leaving just one bridge over the Tigris river. The Iraqi forces will be forced to build temporary military supply lines over the river. Iraqi military officials claim the airstrikes have been targeted at disrupting supply lines within the city.

Suicide car bomb kills 40 near Baghdad

At least 40 people have been killed and dozens more wounded in a suicide car bomb attack near the Iraqi capital, Baghdad.  The blast - which has been claimed by the Islamic State (IS) jihadist group - targeted local Sunni officials at a wedding in the town of Ameriyat Fallujah.  Young men from the town have joined a tribal militia fighting against IS, including in the recently liberated city of Fallujah, around 35km north.

Twin bomb blast hits Fallujah

At least 10 people were killed and 30 others wounded in a twin bomb attack in the western city of Fallujah on Monday.  The Islamic State (IS) jihadist group claimed responsibility for the blast, which targeted a security checkpoint and a police headquarters in the city, around 50km west of the capital, Baghdad.  Local officials put the death toll signficiantly higher, claiming 30 died and 30 others were wounded.

Iraqi forces recapture Nimrud from IS

Iraqi troops have recaptured the ancient city of Nimrud from the Islamic State (IS) jihadist group, two years after the group seized it.  "Troops from the Ninth Armoured Division liberated Nimrud town completely and raised the Iraqi flag above its buildings after inflicting loss of life and equipment on the so-called Islamic State," said the military in a statement.  The city, which was built by the Assyrians almost 3,000 years ago, is located 30km south of Mosul where Iraqi and Peshmerga forces are combining for a major offensive against IS.

Six suicide bombers kill civilians in Ain al-Tamer

Six suicide bombers have attacked the town of Ain al-Tamer, killing at least eight civilians and wounding five others.  The assailants - who were reportedly disguised as Shia pilgrims - tried to enter the centre of the town when they were confronted by the Iraqi security forces.  The Islamic State (IS) jihadist group claimed responsibility for the attack.

Military operation in Mosul hit by IS resistance

The Iraqi army says its operation to retake the northern city of Mosul had slowed after Islamic State (IS) militants launched a series of counter-attacks.  "We're an armored brigade, and fighting without being able to use tanks and with soldiers unused to urban warfare is putting troops in a tough situation," a military officer told the Reuters news agency.  He added that IS fighters were able to blend into the civilian popualtion, making it difficult to identify suicide bombers and IS gunmen.  The Iraqi army forces have stopped at Hamam al-Alil to the south while Peshmerga fighters continue to push into the city from the east.

Iraqi police accused of killing civilians in Mosul

Amnesty International says it has received reports that men dressed in Iraqi federal police uniforms have executed civilians in villages south of Mosul.  “Men in Federal Police uniform have carried out multiple unlawful killings, apprehending and then deliberately killing in cold blood residents in villages south of Mosul. In some cases the residents were tortured before they were shot dead execution-style,” said Lynn Maalouf, Deputy Director for Research at Amnesty International’s Beirut Regional Office.  The Iraqi federal police has issued a statement denying the claims.

Mass grave found as Iraqi troops advance on Mosul

Iraqi troops have discovered a mass grave containing around 100 bodies during the advance on the northern city of Mosul, which is held by the Islamic State (IS) militant group.  The military said the site was located near the town of Hamam al-Alil, and it remains unclear who the victims were or how long ago they were killed.  Meanwhile Iraqi special forces have pushed into the central al-Zahra district of the city and have been engaged in heavy fighting with IS militants.

Kurdish forces clash with IS in Bashiqa

Kurdish Peshmerga forces have clashed with Islamic State (IS) militants in the town of Bashiqa, 13km north-east of Mosul.  An estimated 100-200 IS fighters remain in the town, while most civilians are believed to have fled in anticipation of the fighting.  Artillery fire and airstrikes have targeted IS positions while ground troops are moving in to clear the town. Meanwhile a senior IS leader has been killed by the Iraqi army south of Mosul.  "Abu Hamza al-Ansari was killed in clashes with the army’s 15th division in southern Mosul,” said the Iraq War Media Office.

Suicide blasts kill 21 across Iraq

At least 21 people have been killed an dozens more wounded in suicide car bomb attacks in Tikrit and Samarra.  The first blast targeted vehicles at the southern entrance to Tikrit, killing 13 people, before a blast targeting Shia pilgrims killed eight in Samarra.  The Islamic State (IS) claimed responsibility for Sunday's bombings, both of which used ambulances.

IS leader calls on militants to hold ground in Mosul

The leader of the Islamic State (IS) jihadist group - Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi - has called on his fighters to hold their ground in the northern city of Mosul.  In a rare audio message, Baghdadi told the estimated 5,000 IS fighters that "holding your ground in honour is a thousand times better than retreating in disgrace."  Around 50,000 members of an Iraqi coalition - supported by US airstrikes - are taking part in the operation to recapture the city, which fell to IS in 2014.

Japanese reporter detained in Iraq

A Japanese journalist has been detained by local authorities while covering the large-scale assault on the northern city of Mosul.  The Japanese Foreign Ministry confirmed that 47-year-old Kosuke Tsuneoka was being held by Kurdish Peshmerga fighters.  "We will send our requests to local authorities for the appropriate treatment of Mr. Tsuneoka. They have already begun their investigations into the case and we are waiting for specific information at this time," he added.  The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) has not yet officially responded to the Japanese government.

Shia fighters killed by IS near Tal Afar

At least 15 members of the Shia-led Hashed al-Shaabi militia have been killed and 30 others wounded by Islamic State (IS) militants near the northern town of Tal Afar.  The Shia fighters were clearing villages around the town as part of the large-scale operation to recapture nearby Mosul from IS when they died.  They were killed by booby-trapped explosives left by IS when they abandoned the sites.  Recently Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan warned that it would intervene if Shia fighters "terrorises" Tal Afar, which has a large Turkmen population.

Kurdish forces foil terror plot in Sulaimani

Security forces in the Kurdish city of Sulaimani claim to have foiled a "major" terrorist attack by Islamic State (IS) militants.  The Asayish Directorate in Sulaymaniyah Province said:  "Asayish of Sulaymaniyah, Garmian and Gharbeya arrested a number of IS terrorist cells in Sulaymaniyah, Halbja and Garmian,” noting that, “These terrorist cells were planning to launch several attacks and capture a number of governmental organizations in Sulaymaniyah.”  More than 40 suspected IS militants were arrested in the raids, while explosive devices were also seized.

US-led coalition airstrikes destroy Islamic State targets

On 31 October, officials of the Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve stated that US and coalition forces have carried out nine new airstrikes against Islamic State (IS) targets across the country. The airstrikes were conducted near Kisik, Beiji, Rawah, Mosul, Tal Afar and Sultan Abdallah. They destroyed four IS tactical units, six fighting positions, two vehicles, one vehicle-borne bomb, one vehicle-borne bomb factory, three tunnel entrances, one checkpoint, three IS-occupied buildings, three mortar systems, one artillery system, one forklift, one excavator and one oil tanker. An undisclosed number of IS militants were also killed in the strikes. 

Iraqi troops enter eastern outskirts of Mosul

On 1 November, Iraqi troops reportedly entered the eastern Gogjali neighbourhood of Mosul. The battle began at dawn with Iraqi forces firing artillery, tank shells and machine guns at Islamic State (IS) positions in the neighbourhood. Elite Counter-Terrorism Service troops also seized control of the state television building in Kukjali.  IS militants retaliated with guided antitank missiles and gunfire in an attempt to block the advance. The attack was supported by airstrikes carried out by the US-led coalition. 

Thousands flee Mosul as battle intensifies

Around 150,000 Iraqis are reported to be fleeing the northern city of Mosul as the Iraqi forces continue their operation to retake the city from Islamic State (IS) militants.  The UN refugee agency said they were expecting to receive the civilians in the coming days, with more than 10,000 already forced to flee or evacuated by the Iraqi army.  The UN's public health agency has also said that 90 Iraqi medics have been trained in "mass casualty management" in preparation for chemical weapons attacks by IS fighters.

Security forces stalled by Islamic State militants in southern Mosul

On 26 October, Iraqi security forces were stalled on the front lines of Mosul as Islamic State (IS) militants upped their resistance and defences of the city. Heavy resistance forced army units to postpone their advance on the eastern front and wait for allied troops to secure gaps through which IS fighters have launched attacks. Iraqi troops were also halted on the southern front, with coalition officials stating that IS defences are becoming stronger as security forces advance closer to Mosul.

Security forces capture two senior Islamic State commanders in Baqubah

On 25 October, Iraqi security forces arrested two senior Islamic State (IS) commanders in the al-Tahrir area of central Baqubah. The Iraqi Interior Ministry stated that the two IS commanders had fled from Mosul.

US-led coalition airstrikes destroy Islamic State targets

On 25 October, officials from the Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve stated that US and coalition forces had carried out eight new airstrikes against Islamic State (IS) targets across the country. The strikes were carried out near Rutbah, Mosul, Sinjar and Sultan Abdallah. They destroyed three IS tactical units, 21 vehicles, one vehicle bomb, two rocket positions, two rocket systems, six rocket rails, 22 fighting positions, eight tunnels. eight mortar systems, one mortar cache, three heavy machine guns, two light machine guns, two command-and-control centres, one communications tower, one IS-held building and four staging areas. An undisclosed number of IS militants were also killed in the strikes. 

Peshmerga forces capture Abu Jarboa and Derk villages, northeast Mosul

On 26 October, Peshmerga forces captured the village of Abu Jarboa, which is located between Bashiqa and Mosul, about 16km northeast of Mosul. The Peshmerga also captured the village of Derk, 12km northeast of Mosul.

Peshmerga forces target town east of Mosul

Kurdish Peshmerga forces have targeted the town of Bashiqa as allied forces intensify the operation to retake Mosul from Islamic State (IS).  The Peshmerga were also assistated by Turkey, with Prime Minister Binali Yildirim announcing on Monday that its troops fired at IS positions.  "The Peshmerga have mobilised to cleanse the Bashiqa region from Daesh [IS]. They asked for help from our soldiers at the Bashiqa base. So we are helping the tanks with our artillery there," Yildirim said. Iraq's PM had rejected Turkey's offer of support on Saturday.

Peshmerga sent to reinforce Kirkuk following attacks by Islamic State

On 21 October, Peshmerga elements from the 16th Brigade were sent from Slemani city to Kirkuk to assist in defeating Islamic State (IS) elements that attacked earlier in the day. The Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) have also stated that the People's Defence Forces (HPG) have also been deployed.

US soldier killed by IED in northern Iraq

On 20 October, a US service member died from wounds they sustained when an improvised explosive device (IED) detonated. The vehicle hit the IED 18:00 local time near Mosul. The unidentified service member was airlifted to hospital in Irbil where they died from their wounds. A US defence official has stated that no other casualties were known to have occurred in the incident.

Turkish military kills eighteen PKK militants

On 21 October, the Turkish military stated that they had killed 18 Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) militants in operations in southeast Turkey and northern Iraq. 12 PKK fighters were killed on 20 October in Cukurca district, Hakkari province, and six were killed in airstrikes in the Avashin Basyan region of northern Iraq. The Turkish military also claimed to have fired on Islamic State (IS) and Kurdish YPG militia targets in northern Syria. The Syrian military called the strikes an act of "blatant aggression" and stated that they will shoot down any Turkish jets entering Syrian airspace. 


Thirteen killed and twelve injured in Islamic State attacks in Kirkuk and Debis power station

On 21 October, at least 13 people were killed and 12 others wounded in multiple Islamic State (IS) attacks in Kirkuk and al-Debis power station. At least eight people were killed in Kirkuk when IS suicide bombers attacked the police station, a Kurdish security building known as Asayah, a mosque and a residential home. The attack was repelled by local security forces, with six militants reported to have been killed. Two suicide bombers carried out a separate attack at the al-Debis power station, 35km northeast of Kirkuk. They were engaged by security guards, leaving at least five people dead and four others wounded.

Islamic State destroys Iraqi army tank in Abbas

On 19 October, Islamic State (IS) militants launched an attack using a katyusha missile in Abbas village, southeast of Mosul, destroying an Iraqi army tank. Intense clashes are reported to still be ongoing as Iraqi security forces attempt to gain control of a system of tunnels where IS fighters are embedded and resisting. There are reportedly a significant number of foreign fighters in the village and the entire village is believed to be mined. Local sources state that there seems to be a lack of air support for Iraqi forces in the area at the present time. 

Peshmerga capture Tiz Khirap from Islamic State

On 20 October, Peshmerga forces laid siege to the village of Fadhilya to tighten their control on the area and push back Islamic State (IS) forces. They have also recaptured the village of Tiz Khirap, southeast of Bashiqa, from IS forces.

Islamic State suicide bomber targets Kurdish journalists and Peshmerga on Mosul frontlines

On 20 October, an Islamic State (IS) suicide car bomber attacked a group of Kurdish journalists and Peshmerga fighters on the Neawaran offensive line in Qaim village. Two journalists and an undisclosed number of Peshmerga soldiers were wounded in the attack and have been taken to hospitals in Shekhan and Duhok. 

Peshmerga capture two villages and encircle a third

On 20 October, the General Command of Peshmerga Forces of Kurdistan Region announced that Peshmerga units are conducting three major operations on the north and northeastern fronts of Mosul. They have recaptured the villages of Barima and Nawaran and have reportedly encircled the village of Batnay. Peshmerga forces are also reported to be involved in operations attacking from Badush in the west, Tel Skuf in the north and Basiqa in the east. The Islamic State (IS) has reportedly sent 1200 fighters to reinforce the right bank of Mosul.

Turkish Airlines suspends flights to Suleymaniyah, Basra and Najaf

On 18 October, Turkish Airlines temporarily suspended all flights to Suleymaniyah, Basra and Najaf due to the ongoing operation to retake Mosul from Islamic State (IS) forces.

Mosul Provincial Council building blown up

On 19 October, the Provincial Council building in Mosul was blown up by Islamic State (IS) militants. They reportedly filled the building with barrels of TNT explosive before detonating them. No more information has been released on the explosion.

Heavy fighting in Abbasiyah village

On 19 October, heavy fighting between Iraqi Security Forces and Islamic State (IS) militants was reported in Abbasiyah village. The clashes come on the third day of the operation to retake Mosul from IS forces. 

Airstrike kills 42 Islamic State militants near Qayyarah

On 17 October, a coalition airstrike reportedly killed 42 Islamic State (IS) fighters in Makuk village, near Qayyarah, as they were holding a meeting. The Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve stated that an airstrike had destroyed an IS tactical unit, two IS-occupied buildings and two mortar systems near Qayyarah. However, they did not verify the number of casualties of the attack. 

Senior IS commander and deputy killed near Mosul

On 17 October, the anti-terror general directorate of the Kurdistan Regional Security Council stated that a coalition airstrike killed a senior Islamic State (IS) commander and his deputy on the Aski frontline, northwest of Mosul. Ya'arb, a senior commander in the Mosul branch of IS, and his deputy, Abu Ibrahim, were killed in a targeted strike in Tel Kaif town. Iraqi Federal Police have also stated that Iraqi forces killed six IS militants 6km south of Mosul. IS have reportedly received reinforcements from Raqqah and have summoned all militants to fight on the Mosul frontline as a combined force of Iraqi military, Kurdish fighters and Shia militias attempt to recapture the city. They have allegedly killed many of their own fighters on charges of desertion.

US-led coalition airstrikes destroy Islamic State targets

On 16 October, officials from the Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve stated that US and coalition forces had carried out six new airstrikes against Islamic State (IS) targets across the country. The strikes were conducted near Haditha, Mosul, Qayyarah and Sultan Abdallah. They destroyed two IS tactical units, one tunnel system, seven rocket systems, 11 rocket rails, two vehicles, two weapons caches, one mortar system, one IS-occupied building, one command-and-control centre, one artillery system, one remotely piloted aircraft and one weapons factory. An undisclosed number of IS militants were killed in the strikes. 

Security forces recapture five villages near Mosul

On 17 October, the Iraqi Defence Ministry stated that security forces had recaptured five villages on the Gwer front, outside of Mosul, from Islamic State (IS) militants. The villages of Adla, Abas Rajab, Jadida, Ibrahim Khalil and Kan Harami, were all liberated from IS control as part of a combined offensive to retake Mosul.

Four Peshmerga killed in Mosul battles

On 17 October, four Peshmerga fighters were killed in battles against Islamic State (IS) militants in their effort to retake Mosul. The son of Kosrat Ali, a senior Patriotic Union of Kurdistan member, was also wounded in the fighting. The Peshmerga have stated that they have completed all of their objectives for the first day of operations in Mosul and have captured all the cities and towns they were allocated. 

Senior Islamic State commander killed in southern Mosul

On 17 October, Iraqi media sources reported that Ahmed Khtab Omer, a senior Islamic State (IS) commander, was killed by Iraqi security forces between al-Qayarrah and Hammam al-Ali, just south of Mosul. His death comes as part of a combined offensive to liberate Mosul from IS. 

Iraqi forces begin assault on IS-held city of Mosul

Iraqi government forces have launched an operation to recapture the key northern city of Mosul from Islamic State (IS) militants.  Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said "the victory bell has rung" in a televised address on Monday morning, while artillery fire has started targeting IS positions around the city.  Iraqi government troops are being supported by Kurdish Peshmerga and allied Sunni and Shia militias, while the US-led coalition is carrying out airstrikes on IS fighters.

Suicide bomb kills 40 in Baghdad

At least 40 people have been killed and more than 30 others wounded in a suicide bomb attack in Iraq's capital, Baghdad.  The blast targeted the mainly Shia Shaab neighbourhood in the north of the city on Saturday.  The Islamic State (IS) group claimed responsibility for the attack via its Amaq news agency, and comes on the eve of the government assault on Mosul.

US-led coalition airstrikes destroy Islamic State targets

On 13 October, officials from the Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve stated that US and coalition forces had carried out ten new airstrikes against Islamic State (IS) targets across the country. The strikes occurred near Hawija, Mosul, Kisik, Beiji, Rutbah, Basir, Qayyarah and Sultan Abdallah. They destroyed four IS tactical units, ten vehicles, one vehicle bomb, two fighting positions, one boat, one staging area, two IS-held buildings, seven tunnels, one storage cache, three ammunition caches, three supply caches, two mortar systems, one mortar position, five homemade explosive caches, one artillery system, two rocket systems and one heavy machine gun. An undisclosed number of IS militants were killed in the strikes. 

Islamic State plants explosives across Mosul ahead of offensive

On 12 October, US and Iraqi officials stated that Islamic State (IS) militants have planted explosives across Mosul in preparation for an assault by Iraqi forces later this month. They have also reportedly rigged the city's five bridges in anticipation. Militants have also recruited children as spies, dug tunnels, and are believed to be shaving their beards in order to blend in with the local population. US officials have stated that militants are using tunnels to transport equipment and personnel. 

US-led coalition airstrikes destroy Islamic State targets

On 12 October, officials from the Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve stated that US and coalition forces had carried out seven airstrikes against Islamic State (IS) targets. The strikes were conducted near Fallujah, Mosul and Qayyarah. They destroyed two tactical units, two mortar systems, one IS-held building, one weapons cache one supply cache, one staging area, one tunnel and two command-and-control nodes. An undisclosed number of IS militants were killed in the strikes. 

US-led coalition airstrikes destroy Islamic State targets

On 11 October, officials from the Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve stated that US and coalition forces had carried out nine airstrikes against Islamic State (IS) targets across the country. The airstrikes were carried out near Beiji, Haditha, Kisik Mosul and Sinjar. They destroyed five tactical units, nine fighting positions, two bunkers, five tunnels, one staging area, six headquarter locations, two media centres, three IS-held buildings, three weapon caches, one weapon facility, one vehicle bomb facility, three vehicles, one machine gun, one command-and-control node, one anti-air artillery system and one heavy machine gun. An undisclosed number of IS militants were also killed in the strikes. 

Islamic State drone kills two Peshmerga and injures two French soldiers

On 11 October, French media reported that a booby-trapped drone launched by Islamic State (IS) militants near Dohuk, north of Mosul, had killed two Kurdish Peshmerga fighters and wounded two French military advisers earlier this month. The drone was intercepted mid-flight on 2 October and crashed to the ground. It exploded when Peshmerga fighters tried to lift it. The two French soldiers were evacuated to France for emergency medical treatment and one of them is said to be in a critical condition. Other French soldiers were reportedly lightly wounded in the blast. It is not yet clear whether the drone was remotely detonated or carrying a timed bomb. 

Security forces recapture two villages in Anbar province

On 9 October, two villages on Hit Island in Anbar province were recaptured from Islamic State (IS) militants by the Iraqi Security Forces. Al-Mahboubiya and Al-Safakiya villages had been under IS control since mid-2014. During the clearance operations, 37 explosive devices and 23 containers of C4 plastic explosive were discovered. 

Islamic State builds six lines of defence around Mosul

On 9 October, local media sources reported that the Islamic State (IS) has started to build six defensive lines in Mosul in preparation to defend against an assault by Iraqi Security Forces and their allies. Two defensive lines have been built on the left coast and four have been built on the right. Each defensive line is reportedly reinforced with booby-trapped vehicles, mines, improvised explosive devices (IEDs), suicide bombers and gunmen. 

US-led coalition airstrikes destroy Islamic State targets

On 8 October, officials from the Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve stated that US and coalition forces carried out 13 airstrikes in Iraq in the previous 24 hours. The strikes were carried out in Hit, Mosul, Qayyarah and Sultan Abdullah. The airstrikes destroyed five tactical units, one fighting position, 12 IS-held buildings, four vehicles, one checkpoint, two command and control nodes, one vehicle-borne improvised explosive device (VBIED) facility, one mortar position, ten rocket rails, five rocket systems, ten T-wall retainers, three tunnels and two bunkers. The strikes also killed an undisclosed number of IS militants. 

Four wounded in IED strike in Kirkuk

On 9 October, four internally displaced persons (IDPs) were wounded when an improvised explosive device (IED) exploded in Mara village, west of Kirkuk. The wounded, all women or children, were part of a group attempting to reach a safe area. All four were taken to hospital for treatment. 

Islamic State attacks Turkish troops in Bashiqa

On 9 October, Islamic State (IS) militants used an unmanned drone and artillery, reportedly left by Iraqi forces when they were forced out of the area in 2014, to attack Turkish troops in Bashiqa military camp. Turkish forces responded by shooting down the drone with a stinger missile and targeting IS positions with heavy howitzer artillery. 

Islamic State recaptures Sharqat in Salahuddin province

On 9 October, Islamic State (IS) militants recaptured Sharqat district in Salahuddin province. IS reportedly attacked from two directions and infiltrated from the left coast of the city. They have recaptured the district centre, mayor's office and entertainment areas. Ongoing clashes in the area are being reported, with three members of the Iraqi security forces killed and two more wounded. The Iraqi forces have started to reinforce their troops to regain control of the situation and counter the IS advance. 

Triple bomb attacks kill 10 in Baghdad

At least 10 people have been killed and 37 others wounded in a triple bomb attack in Iraq's capital, Baghdad.  The blasts targeted Shia pilgrims marking the holy month of Muharram on Sunday.  The Islamic State (IS) claimed responsibility for the attacks.

Airstrike kills pro-government fighters near Qayyarah

On 5 October, at least 20 pro-government Sunni tribal fighters were killed in an air strike after being mistaken for Islamic State (IS) fighters. The friendly fire incident occurred after the fighters, from the Tribal Mobilisation in Nineveh (TMN) militia, repelled an attack near Qayyarah, approximately 60km south of Mosul. It is not yet known whether the airstrike was carried out by Iraqi or US-led coalition jets. 

Rising diplomatic tensions between Turkey and Iraq

Turkey's Foreign Ministry has summoned Iraq's ambassador to Ankara over the Iraqi parliament's decision to remove the Bashiqa camp, 30km northeast of Mosul, where Turkish troops train Iraqi forces. The Iraqi parliament also branded the Turkish forces "occupiers." On the same day, the Iraqi Foreign Ministry summoned the Turkish ambassador to Baghdad. Baghdad complained about the deployment of Turkish troops to the camp, calling it a violation of Iraqi sovereignty and insisting the Turkish forces be withdrawn. Turkey said that the 150 soldiers and up to 25 tanks were stationed in Bashiqa to protect Turkish servicemen training Iraqi volunteers to fight the Islamic State (IS).

Sixteen Islamic State militants killed outside Kirkuk by faulty suicide vest

On 29 September, 16 Islamic State (IS) militants, including senior leaders, were killed when faulty suicide vest detonated during a meeting in the village of al-Mahaws, just outside of Kirkuk. The militants had gathered to prepare for attacks on Iraqi Security Forces in the Hamrin Mountains, al-Zawiya area and Ajil area in Salahuddin province when the faulty device exploded. A number of the militants were also wearing explosive devices during the meeting. 

Residents flee Hawija ahead of expected battle

On 3 October, more than 700 residents fled towards Peshmerga front lines in Kirkuk from the Islamic State (IS) controlled city of Hawija. The majority of the refugees were women and children, and they fled in anticipation of upcoming battles between IS and Peshmerga forces. Hawija is approximately 70km from Kirkuk. 

US-led coalition airstrikes destroy Islamic State targets

On 3 October, US officials of the Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve stated that US and coalition forces had carried out 14 airstrikes on Islamic State (IS) targets in the country. The strikes took place near Beiji, Hit, Kisik, Ramadi, Mosul, Rawah, Sultan Abdallah and Tal Afar. They destroyed one heavy machine gun, one light machine gun, five tactical units, two weapons caches, six vehicles, one mortar system and mortar firing position, two headquarters buildings, four tunnel entrances, ten IS-occupied buildings, one front-end loader, one staging area, one supply cache, one fuel truck, one vehicle storage area, four repeater tower generators and one sniper position. The strikes also killed an undisclosed number of militants. 

Nine killed and 14 wounded in two suicide bomb attacks in Baghdad

At least nine people have been killed and a further 14 wounded in two suicide bomb attacks in Baghdad. A suicide bomber detonated his explosive device in the Saba al-Boor area, killing three people and wounding seven. A few hours later, a second suicide bomber detonated in the A'mil neighbourhood of Baghdad, killing at least six people and wounding another seven. 

Eighteen Islamic State commanders killed by coalition airstrikes in the last month

On 29 September, Colonel John Dorrian, a spokesman for the US military, announced that coalition airstrikes in Iraq have killed 18 Islamic State (IS) commanders and leaders in the last month. 13 of those targeted were killed in the Mosul area. The US military estimates that there are between 3000 and 4500 IS militants left in Mosul. 

France begins air operations over Iraq

France has begun air operations over Iraq from the Charles de Gaulle aircraft carrier. The planes are reported to be preparing to take part in an attack on Mosul. No more details about their mission have been released. The fighters are reportedly armed with four 250kg laser-guided bombs each, and the French Air Force will carry out a sortie every three minutes, on average. 

US-led coalition airstrikes destroy Islamic State targets

On 29 September, officials of the Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve stated that US and coalition forces carried out ten airstrikes against Islamic State (IS) forces near Qaim, Beiji, Haditha, Kisik, Mosul and Ramadi. The strikes destroyed two fighting positions, five tactical units, two mortar positions, two vehicles, one bomb-manufacturing facility, one front-end loader, one weapons cache and one trench system. 

US-led coalition airstrikes destroy Islamic State targets

On 28 September, officials of the Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve stated that United States and coalition forces carried out 12 airstrikes against Islamic State (IS) in Iraq. Strikes were conducted near Qaim, Mosul, Qayyarah, Ramadi, Kisik and Sultan Abdallah. The strikes reportedly destroyed two tactical units, three mortar systems, one bomb-making facility, one anti-air artillery system, one tunnel and one excavator. 

Eight killed in two separate suicide attacks in Baghdad

Following an earlier suicide attack in the al-Jadida area of Baghdad, two further suicide attacks have occurred, killing eight people and wounding at least 22. Six people were killed and 22 injured when a suicide bomber detonated his device at an outdoor market in Bayaa, western Baghdad, and a roadside bomb hit a group of cattle herders in al-Radhwaniya, killing two. The Islamic State (IS) has claimed the initial blast in al-Jadida, but has not yet confirmed the other two attacks. 

Turkish airstrikes destroy PKK targets in northern Iraq

At approximately 21:00 local time on 26 September, Turkish airstrikes hit a number of PKK targets in northern Iraq, killing an undisclosed number of militants. An ammunition depot and several shelters in the Kandil mountains were hit. 

Ten killed in suicide bomb in Baghdad

At least ten civilians have been killed and a further 28 wounded after a suicide bomber blew himself up in the al-Jadida district of Baghdad. The explosion also damaged a number of shops and vehicles in the Shia district. The attacker reportedly detonated close to a group of construction workers on a commercial street. No group has claimed responsibility for the attack, but it bears strong similarities to previous Islamic State (IS) attacks.

Eleven soldiers killed in triple suicide attack in Salahuddin province

On 24 September, a triple suicide attack against a security checkpoint near the town of al-Salam in the north of Salahuddin province killed at least 11 security personnel. Three militants reportedly rammed their explosives-laden vehicles into the checkpoint early Saturday morning whilst another group of militants simultaneously attacked a checkpoint at the eastern edge of the province on foot. Four policemen were killed in that attack with another two wounded. The total toll for the attacks was 11 security personnel killed and 34 others wounded. At least one militant was killed, not including the suicide bombers. No one has claimed responsibility for the attacks, but they bare all the characteristics of an Islamic State (IS) attack. 

Iraqi forces recapture Mashak village

On 25 September, the Governor of Salahuddin, Ahmed al-Jabouri, announced that the Iraqi security forces had recaptured the village of Mashak, in the Baiji district, from Islamic State militants. They were fighting alongside the Popular Mobilisation Force to liberate the village, north of Tikrit. Following the recapture of the village, the Iraqi national flag was raised over the police station.

US-led coalition airstrikes destroy Islamic State targets

On 25 September, officials from the Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve stated that US and coalition forces had carried out 14 airstrikes against Islamic State (IS) positions near Hawija, Kisik, Mosul, Ramadi and Sultan Abdullah. They reportedly destroyed six tactical units, four fighting positions, two watercraft, eight vehicles, one vehicle-borne improvised explosive device (VBIED), two tunnels, two anti-aircraft artillery systems (AAA), one heavy machine gun, three headquarters buildings, one weapons cache and one mortar system.

Iraqi forces capture centre of Shirqat

On 22 September, Iraqi forces, supported by US-led coalition airstrikes, recaptured the centre of Shirqat from Islamic State (IS) militants. 12 nearby villages were also recaptured. The operation to liberate and secure Shirqat was launched on 20 September and is a strategically important stepping stone towards the liberation of Mosul.  

Finance minister sacked over corruption allegations

On 21 September, Iraq's parliament sacked Finance Minister Hoshiyar Zebari over allegations of corruption. Zebari reportedly lost a no-confidence vote 158 to 77 following questioning over corruption and misuse of public funds last month. His sacking risks further destabilising Iraq's economy as it struggles with a massive budget deficit. Zebari has recently chaired high-level negotiations for a loan with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and international leaders for a Eurobond. Many believe that his removal will "shake confidence" between the IMF and Iraqi government. 

Turkey kills four PKK militants in northern Iraq

On 20 September, Turkish artillery hit a Kurdish militant target in northern Iraq, killing four rebels and wounding one other. Unmanned aerial vehicles reportedly carried out a Battle Damage Assessment (BDA). The shelling also destroyed a weapons depot in an area across from Turkey's Sirnak province. 

Military operation launched to recapture Shirqat, south of Mosul

On 20 September, the Iraqi Prime Minister, Haider Al-Abadi, announced that joint forces had launched a military offensive to recapture the town of Shirqat, 100km south of Mosul, which remains under Islamic State (IS) occupation. Offensives have also been launched to liberate two other areas in Anbar Province, western Iraq. Shirqat is one of only two IS strongholds left south of Mosul.

Nine killed and several injured in car bomb attack in Baghdad

A car bomb attack killed at least nine people near a hospital in Baghdad's Karrada district. According to police and medical sources, 20 other people were injured in the attack. Responsibility for the attack has been claimed by the Islamic State (IS) group. Despite successful operations carried out by the US-led coalition in northern and western Iraq, IS has been pushing its operations into the capital, where a bomb attack killed 324 people in July.

Scores PKK militants killed in Turkish airstrike in Gara

Air strikes carried out by the Turkish armed forces killed 30 militants of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) on Monday. According to Turkish security sources, the offensive took place in the Gara region, northern Iraq and led to the destruction of two PKK strongholds. In a separate operation, the same source announced that a dozen Kurdish targets were hit in Metina and Hakurk regions. Since the collapse of the ceasefire between the government and the PKK in 2015, Turkish military attacks on PKK militants have intensified in northern Iraq and south-eastern Turkey.

Ten soldiers killed and several wounded in bomb attack in Nineveh

At least ten soldiers and eight civilians have been killed in a bomb attack in Nineveh province, northern Iraq. Security sources told the DPA news agency, that the explosive was planted by the Islamic State (IS) group inside a house in al-Awasajah, Qayyarah district. The attack came the armed forces intensified their efforts to capture the towns around Mosul, which has been under high terrorist influence since June 2014.

Four dead in explosion at Baghdad weapon storage facility

An explosion at a weapon storage facility in eastern Baghdad, believed to have been caused by a fire, has killed at least four people and wounded a dozen others. The explosion set off rockets stored in the facility, which hit neighbouring districts, causing the fatalities and injuries. The rockets damaged houses, shops and cars in eight different locations. The storage facility belongs to one of the Shia paramilitary groups that forms part of the Popular Mobilisation Force (PMF). The PMF is a coalition of militias that are fighting against the Islamic State terror group in Iraq. 

More than a dozen civilians executed by IS in Kirkuk

Over 13 people were killed on Tuesday by the Islamic State (IS) in Kirkuk province, northern Iraq. According to a local security source, the civilians were executed after being accused by the terrorist group of facilitating the escape of their relatives from Hawija to Salahuddin province. Kirkut still maintains a strong IS presence, where last month five people were killed in attacks at two energy facilities in the Bai Hassan oil field.

Two killed and four wounded in IED explosion in Sharqat

An improvised explosive device (IED) has killed two people and wounded four more in western Sharqat. The device exploded as vehicles carrying a number of internally displaced persons (IDPs) were travelling from al-Baj to Baiji district. Security forces responded to the explosion and transported the wounded to hospital. The bodies of the two killed were taken to the forensic department. 

Parliament vote against confidence motion over defense minister

On 25 August, the Iraqi Defense Minister, Khaled al-Obeidi, received a no-confidence vote from parliament. According to Sadiq al-Rikabi and Mohammed Saadoun, members of the influential State of Law bloc, al-Obeidi garnered 142 votes, enough to guarantee the simple parliamentary majority. The voting was triggered by al-Obeidi's accusation of government officials, especially the parliament speaker Salim al-Jabouri, and other businessmen of involvement in a corruption scandal in early August.

British man killed defusing Islamic State bomb in Ramadi

A British citizen working for Janus Global Operations has been killed in Iraq whilst trying to defuse a bomb left behind by the Islamic State. Another worker has been wounded whilst clearing ordnance in Ramadi. Iraqi forces, backed by coalition airstrikes, retook the city in December, but mine-clearing operations have to be completed before any residents can return. Janus began work in April after being awarded the contract to clear thousands of bombs, IEDs and booby-traps left behind by the Islamic State when they were pushed out of the city. 

Iraq hangs 36 men over 2014 massacre

The Iraqi government has hanged 36 men convicted of involvement in a massacre of hundreds of military recruits in 2014.  As many as 1,700 recruits were kidnapped and executed near the city of Tikrit in an incident known as the "Speicher" massacre.  The Islamic State (IS) group carried out the attack.  "The executions of 36 convicted over the Speicher crime were carried out this morning in Nasiriyah prison," said a spokesman for the governor's office in Dhiqar.

Airstrikes kill several IS members near Ramadi

At least 10 suspected terrorists have been killed during an airstrike near Ramadi, central Iraq. The commander of Anbar Operations, Maj. Gen. Ismail Mahlawi, announced that the operation took place in Zawiyat Albu Bali, Khalidya Island, where a terrorist stronghold was destroyed. He also said in a statement that two additional Islamic State (IS) vehicles were targeted by security forces during the bombing.

IS militants attack energy facilities near Kirkuk

Islamic State (IS) militants attacked two energy facilities near Kirkuk on Sunday, killing at least five people and wounding several others.  Four assailants took members of the Iraqi North Oil Company hostage during an assault on the Bai Hassan oil field.  One militant blew himself up before the others were killed by the security forces, while a local Iraqi police commander also died in the exchange of fire.  Earlier militants attacked the AB2 gas compressor station north-west of Kirkuk, killing four employees.

Two killed and several injured in suicide attack in Baghdad

At least two people were killed and eight others injured in a bomb attack in northern Baghdad on Wednesday. An assailant wearing an explosive vest blew himself up at a police checkpoint in the al-Shuala area of the city. Police told the Xinhua news agency that the number of deaths could rise as the emergency services rushed to the scene to evacuate the wounded to local hospitals. The incident comes days after 17 people were killed in a car bomb attack in Khalis, also a predominantly Shia town.

Car bomb kills 17 near Baghdad

At least 17 people have been killed and dozens more wounded in a car bomb attack north of the capital, Baghdad.  The device exploded at the entrance to the largely Shia town of Khalis, around 80km from the capital, on Monday morning.  The attack comes a day after a suicide bombing claimed by the Islamic State (IS) killed 20 people in Baghdad's Kadhimiyah neighbourhood.

Suicide bomb kills 20 in Baghdad

A suicide bomb attack has killed at least 20 people and wounded more than 30 others in Iraq's capital, Baghdad.  The blast hit the entrance of the mainly Shia district of Kadhimiyah in the north-west of the city on Sunday.  The Islamic State (IS) claimed responsibility for the attack via its Amaq news agency, claiming to have targeted Iraqi soldiers at a checkpoint.  Earlier this month around 300 people died in another IS-claimed bombing in the Karada district.

France intensify airstrikes against IS in Mosul

France's Minister of Defence, Jean-Yves Le Drian, has announced that French warplanes have carried out several airstrikes against the Islamic State (IS) in Mosul, northern Iraq. The airstrikes. executed on Monday and Tuesday, targeted IS strongholds in Tal Afar. The offensive is part of the international coalition's efforts to destroy IS positions in Iraq and Syria. The announcement comes ahead of the two-day meeting in Washington to discuss the coalition's strategy against IS targets in Raqqa and Mosul.

Scores killed in US-led coalition airstrikes near Ramadi

Around 30 Islamic State (IS) militants are reported to have been killed in airstrikes carried out by the US-led coalition in Anbar province. The bombardment also destroyed five booby-trapped IS vehicles in an area located west of Ramadi. The commander of al-Jazeera and al-Badiya Operation Major General Qassim al-Mohamadi in a press statement said, “At noon today the international coalition aircraft carried out air strikes on gatherings of ISIS at Heet, al-Dolab and north of Haditha Dam west of Ramadi. In the bombing 29 ISIS fighters were and five booby-trapped vehicles of the ISIS were also destroyed.”

Thousands join Shia-led protests in Baghdad

Thousands of protesters have headed towards Baghdad's Tahrir Square to demand an end to sectarianism and corruption in Iraq. The demonstration was led by the influential Shia cleric, Muqtada al-Sadr, despite warnings issued by security forces who said unauthorized rallies were a terrorist threat. Sadr and his followers have organised several protests in Baghdad in recent months to call for political and economic reforms, including the formation of a government of technocrats.  In April and May protesters stormed Baghdad's heavily-fortified Green Zone government district, hampering parliament for weeks and causing several deaths.

Army retakes six villages around Mosul

Six villages located on the outskirts of Mosul have been recaptured by Iraqi forces from the Islamic State (IS). The two-day offensive, backed by coalition air strikes, resulted in the seizure of villages surrounding the main road between Qayara and Shargat. Mosul has been under IS control since 2014 as result of the northern Iraq offensive, which targeted several government positions in the region.

Eight killed in Baghdad suicide bombing

At least eight people have been killed in a suicide blast on the outskirts of Baghdad. Security and medical sources stated that 11 others were injured on the Wednesday's suicide car bombing, which has been claimed by the Islamic State (IS) group. The attack comes one day after over 11 people were killed and dozens injured in a suicide bombing at a market Rashidya.

Suicide bomb targets Shia district of Baghdad

At least 11 people have been killed and dozens wounded in a suicide bomb attack in a largely Shia district of the capital, Baghdad.  The device exploded at a market in Rashidiyah town, to the north of the city, on Tuesday morning.  No group claimed immediate responsibility for the attack, which comes just over a week after a truck bombing killed more than 300 people in the city.

US to send 560 more troops to Iraq

US Defence Secretary Ash Carter has announced that 560 additional troops will be sent to Iraq to help establish an airbase recently captured by the Iraqi army.  The Qayara air base, located around 65km from Mosul, will be used as a staging ground for an assault on the northern city, which is still held by the Islamic State (IS).  "With the retaking of Qayara West airfield, the Iraqi security forces have once again demonstrated a serious will to fight," Carter said in a speech in Baghdad.  The extra troops will increase Iraq's military presence in Iraq to 4,600.

Security chief sacked over Baghdad bombings

Iraq's Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi sacked the Chief of Security in Baghdad after Sunday's deadly bombing in the city. The head of the interior ministry’s intelligence for Baghdad and the official responsible for the capital at the national security adviser's office have also been relieved of their duties. The announcement comes two days after Interior Minister Mohamed al-Gabban resigned due to a wave of public condemnation against the government for failing to provide security in the capital.  The attack, which claimed nearly 300 lives, was the deadliest since the 2003 US-led invasion.

Dozens killed in fresh suicide attack in Balad

At least 35 people have been killed in a suicide attack in Balad, eastern Iraq. At least one explosion was reported before several insurgents raided the mausoleum of Sayid Mohammed bin Ali al-Hadi, a Shia holy site. The incident happened during the Eid al-Fitr prayers on Thursday night, which marks the end of the holy month of Ramadan. According to police and medical sources, around 60 people were also injured in the blast. The attack comes days after 290 people were killed and several hundreds injured in a truck bombing in Baghdad's largely Shia Karrada district.

Interior Minister resigns over Baghdad bombings

Iraq's Interior Minister Mohammed al-Ghabban resigned on Tuesday following the deadly bomb attacks in Baghdad on Saturday. Ghabban told the media that the Iraqi government "has failed in having the different array of security forces work under a unified plan in Baghdad", after he previously called on the government to hand the responsibility for all security to the Interior Ministry. Currently internal security in Iraq is divided between the army, federal and local police. His post will be held by his deputy until Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi appoints a permanent successor.

Scores killed by security forces near Makhul

Iraqi security sources announced that at least 72 Islamic State (IS) militants have been killed in clashes Salahaddin province, north of the capital Baghdad. According to security sources, the fighting erupted as insurgent forces tried to attack Iraqi soldiers using booby-trapped vehicles near Makhul. The incident comes days after a deadly suicide attack claimed by IS killed at least 165 people and injured hundreds more in Baghdad.

Car bomb kills scores in Baghdad

At least 165 people have been killed and more than 220 others wounded in a car bomb attack in Iraq's capital, Baghdad.  The device exploded in Karada, a largely Shia district, early on Sunday morning as families broke the Ramadan fast.  The Islamic State (IS) claimed responsibility for the attack, which comes a week after the group were forced out of Fallujah by Iraqi-army led forces.  A second device also went off in the mainly Shia neighbourhood of al-Shaab, killing five people.  Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, who was met by angry crowds when he visited the scene, has vowed to improve security in the capital.

Two senior IS leaders killed in airstrikes

Two senior leaders from the Islamic State (IS) militant group have been killed in US-led airstrikes near the northern city of Mosul.  Pentagon spokesman Peter Cook identified the two as Basim Muhammad Ahmad Sultan al-Bajari, a key figure in the group's capture of Mosul in 2014, and Hatim Talib al-Hamduni, a senior military commander in the city. "Their deaths, along with strikes against other ISIL leaders in the past month, have critically degraded ISIL's leadership experience in Mosul and removed two of their most senior military members in northern Iraq," Mr Cook said

Local authorities impose curfew in Amiriyah Fallujah

Local authorities have announced the imposition of a curfew in Amiriyah Fallujah in Anbar province. A statement released by the local council said: “The security forces imposed a curfew in all areas of Amiriyah Fallujah until further notice, after it was known that 40 Islamic State (IS) members have sneaked into the liberated areas of Amiriyah.” The town is located 30km south of Fallujah, which was recently recaptured by Iraqi security forces and its allies from IS.

Scores killed in airstrikes around Fallujah

Nearly 250 Islamic State (IS) militants have been killed in successive airstrikes on Wednesday. The strikes were launched by the US-led coalition around the city of Fallujah, where at least 40 rebel vehicles were also destroyed. The offensive comes amid efforts to completely free Fallujah from IS control. Two weeks ago Iraqi special forces recaptured the city, which had been under IS control since 2014.

Several IS militants killed near Mosul

An air landing operation has led to the death of 15 Islamic State (IS) militants in Qayyarah, Mosul. Eight IS members were also arrested as elite security forces raided one of the group's main headquarters in the northern Iraqi town on Tuesday. The offensive comes as part of the wider operation to recapture the city of Mosul, which IS have held since June, 2014, and comes just days after IS were driven out of Fallujah.

Twelve dead in Abu Ghraib mosque bombing

At least 12 people have been killed and 32 others wounded in a suicide bomb attack at a mosque in the town of Abu Ghraib, around 25km west of Baghdad.  Worshippers were gathered at the mosque for morning prayers when the assailant detonated a vest packed with explosives on Tuesday.  There has not been any immediate claim of responsibility for the attack.

Five wounded in grenade attack in Erbil

Five people were wounded when unknown assailants threw a grenade at the offices of the Rudaw Media Network in Erbil on Saturday.  Three guards, a driver and a press officer were taken to hospital following the attack.  “The United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) deplores the grenade attack that targeted the offices of Rudaw Media Network in Erbil," said UNAMI in a statement.  The Kurdistan Journalists Syndicate have also condemned the "futile attack".

Suicide bomber hits checkpoint in Swaib area

A suicide bomber targeted a military checkpoint in Swaib, southern Iraq, on Tuesday. The attack killed four Iraqi soldiers and wounded five others. Brigadier General Saad Maan stated that the insurgent blew his explosive vest while being searched by security forces. The incident comes weeks after a twin bomb attack killed over 22 people in Baghdad's al-Jadeeda and Taji areas. 

Iraqi army retakes centre of Fallujah

Iraq's elite Counter Terrorism Force troops have recaptured the main government compound in the city of Fallujah from Islamic State (IS) militants.  Lt Gen Abdul Wahhab al-Saadi said the city council building had been "liberated" on Friday, while other areas to the east and south of the city were now under the military's control.  The army said troops met with little resistance during the operation to retake Fallujah, which fell to IS in 2014.


Iraqi army retakes key village south of Mosul

The village of Nasr, south of Mosul, was recaptured from the Islamic State (IS) by Iraqi forces on Tuesday. The national army, backed by the US-led coalition, took control of the village almost three months after it fell to IS fighters. A senior army commander, Brigadier General Badr Ahmed al-Luhaibi, was killed during the operation. The offensive comes as part of the wider effort to recapture the city of Mosul, which IS have held since June, 2014.

Islamic State (IS) attack army barracks near Fallujah

At least 50 people were killed on Saturday when Islamic State (IS) militants attacked a military barracks east of Fallujah.  Members of the Iraqi army and allied Shia militias died in the assault, while at least 12 IS fighters also died.  Thousands of civilians remain trapped in the city, although a safe exit route, known as al-Salam junction. has been setup to the south-west of the city.  Around 4,000 people have used the route to flee the city over the past 34 hours, according to the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC).

Twin bombings kill 22 in Baghdad

At least 22 people have been killed and more than 70 others wounded in a twin bomb attack in Iraq's capital, Baghdad.  A car bomb exploded in the al-Jadeeda in the east of the city, killing at least 15 people, while a suicide car bomb killed seven soldiers at a checkpoint in the northern Taji district.  The Islamic State (IS) group claimed responsibility for the attack in al-Jadeeda, which come amid a wave of bombings in the capital.

Fifteen dead in multiple Baghdad bombings

At least 15 people have been killed in a series of bomb attacks in and around Iraq's capital, Baghdad.  Eight people died and 15 others were wounded when a suicide bomber detonated a device in Tarmiyah, around 50km north of Baghdad.  Three blasts were also reported in markets and at a restaurant in the capital.  The latest attacks come as the Iraqi army leads an operation to drive the Islamic State (IS) militant group out of the city of Fallujah, which is just 50km west of Baghdad.

Iraqi army retakes southern part of Fallujah

An operation carried out by the Iraqi army and backed by US airstrikes recaptured the southern part of Fallujah on Tuesday.   The Iraqi forces repelled several counter attacks by the Islamic State (IS) militant group in the Nuaimiya area of the city, destroying several car bombs before they reached their targets.  Officials confirmed casualties among the Iraqi forces but refused to give specific details.  Rights groups continue to warn about the risk to civilians trapped inside the city, with Jan Egeland, Secretary General of the Norwegian Refugee Council warning: "A human catastrophe is unfolding in Fallujah."

Wave of bombings kill 24 in Baghdad

At least 24 people have been killed and dozens more wounded in a wave of bombings in Iraq's capital, Baghdad. A suicide car bomber killed eight civilians and three soldiers in the mainly Shaab district in the north of the city.  A second car bombing hit the town of Tarmiyah, 50km north of Baghdad, leaving seven civilians and three police officers dead.  Three people were also killed in Sadr City when a bomb planted on a motorcycle exploded.  The Islamic State (IS) claimed responsibility for the attacks, which come as the Iraqi army is carrying out operations to recapture the city of Fallujah from the militant group.

IS commander killed in Fallujah airstrikes

The Islamic State (IS) commander in the city of Fallujah, Maher Al-Bilawi, has been killed in airstrikes, according to the US military.  More than 20 strikes have been carried out in recent days in preparation for a major ground offensive led by the Iraqi army. Abdelwahab al-Saadi, the Iraqi army commander in charge of the operation, said on Sunday that troops would enter the city in the next few hours "to liberate it from Daesh [IS]." Around 50,000 civilians are reported to be trapped in the city, while the UN said there are increasing reports of men and boys being executed for refusing to fight for IS.

Security forces recapture Karma

The Iraqi army, backed by local Shia militias, have recaptured the town of Karma, near Fallujah, in central Iraq. The operation comes as part of the offensive carried out by the Iraqi armed forces and the US-led coalition to recapture Fallujah from the Islamic State (IS). According to an official statement issued on Thursday, the eastern part of the town was cleared, while fierce battles continue to the west. The United Nations has raised concerns over the estimated 50,000 civilians trapped in Fallujah.

Iraqi army begin assault on Fallujah

The Iraqi army has started its assault on the rebel held city of Fallujah after urging local residents to leave.  "Zero hour for the liberation of Falluja has arrived. The moment of great victory has drawn near," said Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi.  The city fell to the Islamic State (IS) in 2014 and is one of the group's last strongholds following a series of victories of the Iraqi security forces.  Thousands of soldiers, police and members of the Shia militia - Hashid Shaabi - have surrounded the city ahead of the operation.

Funerals held in Baghdad for Green Zone dead

Funerals have taken place in Iraq's capital, Baghdad, for the four anti-government protesters killed in the city's Green Zone on Friday.  More than 90 others were wounded when Iraq's security forces fired live and rubber rounds at the mainly Shia demonstrators, who were protesting at the government's failure to approve anti-corruption reforms.  There have been several mass protests at the site in recent weeks led by prominent Shia cleric Moqtada al-Sadr. "Using live bullets against peaceful protesters is completely unjustified and stark evidence that a supposedly legitimate government has turned into an oppressive government," said Jaafar al-Moussawi, deputy leader of al-Sadr's political group.

Three soldiers injured by explosion in Baghdad

Three Iraqi soldiers have been injured in an explosion during an inspection at a booby-trapped house. According to a police source, the incident took place in al-Refai, south of Baghdad, on Thursday. The incident comes days after 74 people were killed in multiple attacks across the Iraqi capital.

Peshmerga forces supress IS attack near Mosul

Peshmerga forces say they have suppressed an attack led by Islamic State (IS) militants in Kesk, west of Mosul. According to security sources 10 IS fighters were killed during clashes with the Peshmerga, with assistance from coalition forces. The operation comes almost two weeks after 150 IS insurgents were killed in Tel Skof during a counter-offensive by Peshmerga soldiers.

Government troops retake Rutba from IS

Iraq's army has retaken the remote western town of Rutba from the Islamic State (IS) militant group.  Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said troops backed by local tribesmen and US coalition airstrikes had entered the centre of the town and raised the Iraqi flag.  The capture is the latest victory for the Iraqi government against IS in the western Anbar province.

Multiple bomb attacks kill 74 in Baghdad

At least 74 people have been killed and more than 100 others wounded in a multiple bomb attack in the Iraqi capital, Baghdad.  A suicide bomb exploded at a market in the northern al-Shaab district, killing 38 people, before a car bomb hit the southern al-Rasheed district, killing six.  The Islamic State (IS) claimed responsibility for the first blast in al-Shaab, describing it as a "martyrdom operation". Later a car bombing in a market and a suicide bomb attack at a restaurant killed 30 people in the largely Shia Sadr City district in eastern Baghdad.

IS militants attack gas plant near Baghdad

Islamic State (IS) militants have attacked the Taji gas plant, around 20km north of Iraq's capital, Baghdad.  At least 14 people were killed and 20 others wounded in the attack, which began when three car bombs exploded at the entrance of the plant before six suicide bombers stormed the facility. “Three gas storage units were burnt during the attack and civil defense forces managed to extinguish the fire,” Saad Maan, spokesman of the Baghdad Operations Command, said in a statement.

Football supporters shot dead in Samarra

At least 16 people were killed and 30 others wounded in an attack on a group of football supporters near Samarra on Friday.  Members of a Real Madrid supporters club had gathered at a bar in the town of Balad when Islamic State (IS) gunmen stormed the building and opened fire.  The president of the local club told AS: "They don't like football, they think it's anti-Muslim. They just carry out attacks like this. This is a terrible tragedy".

Australian security contractor killed in Baghdad

An Australian security contractor has been shot dead outside the Australian embassy in Iraq's capital, Baghdad.  The unnamed 34-year-old worked for the Unity Resources Group, which provides private security for Australian diplomats.  “The government extends its condolences to the family of the Australian man over this tragic incident,” a Department of Foreign Affairs statement said. “All appropriate assistance is being provided to his family.

Seventeen soldiers killed in Ramadi suicide bombing

At least 17 Iraqi soldiers were killed on Thursday in a bomb attack near Ramadi, western Iraq. A senior officer told Reuters that a suicide truck bomb went off in Jarayshi, killing members of an army regiment. He added that the attack, carried out by Islamic State (IS) insurgents, also led to the army unit being surrounded and the supply route between Ramadi and Thirthar being cut off. The situation was resolved after US-led coalition airstrikes pushed the militants back to a residential area.

Two killed by mortar attack in Diyali

Two civilians were killed and three others injured on Wednesday by mortar blasts in Diyali province, central Iraq. The attack happened near Bahraz, south of Baqubah, when according to security sources five mortars fell near a residential area. The incident came after scores of people were killed in Baghdad in a triple car bomb attack, which was claimed by the Islamic State (IS) group.

Twin bombings hit Baghdad

At least 22 people have been killed in a twin bomb attack in the capital, Baghdad, hours after a car bomb killed 64 people in the Sadr City district.  Fifteen people died and 33 others were wounded when a car bomb went off in the largely Shia district of Kadhimiya in the north-west of the city on Wednesday afternoon.  Another blast also hit a Sunni district in the west of Baghdad, killing seven people and wounding 20 others.  The Islamic State (IS) claimed responsibility for the earlier Sadr City attack and will be suspected of being behind the subsequent incidents.

Car bomb kills scores in Baghdad

At least 64 people have been killed and more than 80 others wounded in a car bombing in Iraq's capital, Baghdad.  The blast targeted Shia militiamen in the northern district of Sadr City during the Wednesday morning rush hour.  The Islamic State (IS) have claimed responsibility for the attack, which is the deadliest in the city since a twin bombing killed 70 people in February.

Multiple attacks in Baghdad kill 15

At least 15 people have been killed and scores more wounded in multiple attacks in and around Iraq's capital, Baghdad.  Three police officers and two civilians died in a suicide bomb attack in the western district of Abu Ghraib.  Elsewhere ten deaths were reported in three other bombings across the city, including a blast in Madain that killed three people and wounded 10 others.  There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attacks.

Over 150 IS members killed near Mosul

An offensive led by Peshmerga forces killed over 150 Islamic State (IS) militants near the Christian town of Tel Skof, near Mosul. According to local sources the Peshmerga forces are now in control of the area after they repelled a counter-offensive by IS.  The incident comes three days after 10 Peshmerga fighters were killed and one American Navy SEAL shot dead during clashes in the area between coalition forces and the IS.

Two killed by bomb blast in Baghdad market

Two people have been killed and nine others wounded in a bombing outside a popular market in Sabaa al-Bour in northern Baghdad. The victims have been taken to the local hospital, while the authorities have isolated the area. The attack comes just over a week after a twin car bombing killed nine people and wounded 39 others in the nearby districts of al-Husseiniya and Arab al-Jabour.

Four civilians killed by bomb blast in Kirkuk

A bomb blast hit six civilians while they were fleeing from al-Hawija towards the district of al-Dabs in Kirkuk province, north-eastern Iraq. Four people have been killed and two others were wounded in the blast. According to local sources, Islamic State (IS) militants have been booby-trapping the roads to deter civilians from escaping the areas under their control.

Senior IS recruiter killed in Mosul

A US airstrike killed a top Islamic State (IS) recruiter in Mosul, northern Iraq, last Friday. The Australian government confirmed that a strike by a US fighter plane killed Neil Prakash, known as 'Abu Kaled al-Cambodi'. Prakash was a member of IS since 2013 and had been linked with plots in Australia and had made several propaganda video and magazine appearances. He was also linked with the recruitment of Australian citizens to fight in IS fronts in Iraq and Syria. 

Twin car bombs kill 32 in southern Iraq

A twin car bombing has killed at least 32 people and wounded 75 others in the southern city of Samawa.  The first blast exploded near a bus station at noon on Sunday, with the second device going off around five minutes later.  The Islamic State (IS) have claimed responsibility for the attacks.

Shia protesters storm Iraqi parliament

Hundreds of Shia protesters have stormed Iraq's parliament, sparking a state of emergency in the capital, Baghdad. Supporters of leading Shia cleric Moqtada Sadr broke through barricades after MPs failed to approve new ministers.  Security forces were present but did not try to prevent the demonstrators from entering the parliament building. There have been weeks of unrest in the capital, with regular anti-government protests and clashes inside the parliament chamber.

Kurdish and Shia forces to withdraw from northern Iraq

Senior leaders of Kurdish and Shia forces agreed on Wednesday to withdraw from northern Iraq. After recent clashes in Tuz Khurmato, home to Kurds, Shia Turkmen and Sunni Arabs, the group leaders agreed to pass control to the local police. According to Kurdish official Kareem Shkur, the militias will withdraw from the region to allow the local law enforcement to achieve a sustainable balance between the various ethnic and sectarian groups.

Thousands join anti-government protest in Baghdad

Tens of thousands of people gathered in Baghdad's Green Zone on Tuesday to protest at the ongoing political crisis in the country.  The demonstrations were led by prominent Shia cleric Moqtada al-Sadr, who has been calling on Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi to appoint technocrats to his new cabinet, rather than party-affiliated politicians.  "I want the prime minister to continue his reform plan with no fear of political pressure," al-Sadr said.

Car bomb kills 12 in Baghdad

At least 12 people have been killed and dozens more wounded in a car bombing in the Iraqi capital, Baghdad.  The device exploded near a cinema in the largely Shia New Baghdad neighbourhood in the east of the city.  No group immediately claimed responsibility for the attack, which came two days after a twin car bombing killed 12 people in the city.

Kurds clash with Shia paramilitary forces in northern Iraq

At least 12 people have been killed and 26 others wounded in clashes between Kurdish and Shia paramilitary forces in northern Iraq.  The fighting was sparked by a bombing near a political party headquarters in Tuz Khurmatu early on Sunday morning.  The fighting cut off the main road between Iraq's capital, Baghdad, and the northern city of Kirkuk.  A ceasefire was agreed on Sunday evening and the two sides are due to meet in Kirkuk on Tuesday.

Twin car bomb attacks kill nine in Baghdad

At least nine people have been killed and 39 others wounded in a twin car bomb attack in Baghdad.  The first blast hit a security checkpoint in the northern al-Husseiniya district before a second targeted an army convoy in Arab al-Jabour. There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attacks.

Civilians killed by mines near Ramadi

Dozens of Iraqi civilians have been killed by mines planted by Islamic State (IS) militants near Ramadi.  Thousands of displaced residents have been returning to the city from refugee camps in the east, ignoring warnings that the route is not safe.  The UN said 49 people have been killed and around 80 others wounded since February. "The UN is deeply worried about the safety of returning families and the widespread infestation of many neighbourhoods with unexploded devices and booby traps,” Lise Grande, UN humanitarian coordinator in Iraq, told the Reuters news agency.

Shia mosque hit by twin suicide blast

At least nine people have been killed and 25 others wounded in a twin suicide bomb attack at a Shia mosque in Radwaniya, south-west of Baghdad.  The bombers detonated the explosives as worshippers were leaving the mosque after Friday prayers.  There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack.

Turkish forces kill 32 IS militants near Mosul

Turkish security forces killed 32 suspected Islamic State (IS) militants near the northern Iraqi city of Mosul on Tuesday. The clashes happened near the Bashiqa military camp as IS insurgents launched an anti-tank missile against the Turkish forces.  Ten militants died when the Turks returned fire, destroying a building, while a further 22 were killed as they tried to flee.  The Turkish forces were deployed to the Bashiqa camp to train local Iraqi troops.

Nearly 60 IS militants killed near Kirkuk

A regiment of the paramilitary group al-Hashed al-Sha’bi announced on Thursday that around 60 Islamic State (IS) members have been killed in recent clashes. The general supervisor of the Abbas Combat Regiment, Maitham al-Zaidi, said that the operation also managed to destroy several warehouses of weapons and ammunition in Al-Rashad, located between Kirkuk and Tikrit in northern Iraq. The al-Hashed al-Sha’bi is a paramilitary group that includes Shias, Sunnis, Yazidis, Christians, Turkmens and some Kurds.

US-led joint security forces liberate central area of Heet

The central Iraqi town of Heet has been freed by joint security forces after intense fighting with Islamic State (IS) insurgents. An announcement by the Head of Heet District Council, Mohammed Mohannad al-Hiti, stated that 33 IS fighters have been killed during the operation. The neighbourhoods of al-Jamiya and al-Thaniya were among the places liberated from IS control. The US-led joint security forces has been carrying out operations in the town - located west of Ramadi - in order to secure the region from IS influence.

Turkish security forces launch airstrikes against the PKK

Turkish warplanes bombed several Kurdish militant positions in northern Iraq on Thursday. According to security officials, the strikes managed to destroy caves and shelters used by the rebels. The Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) positions have been targeted by F-16 and F-4 jets in the Zap area, where the PKK has several bases. The Turkish government has been carrying out various offensives in the south-east of the country, close to the Iraqi border, while the PKK have been carrying out attacks against the security forces.

Qatari royal freed by kidnappers in Iraq

A member of Qatar's royal family and their Pakistani companion have been freed by kidnappers in Iraq.  The pair were abducted along with 26 other Qataris while on a hunting trip near the Saudi border in December.  “One man is Pakistani, the second is an al-Thani from the royal family,” a foreign ministry official told Reuters. “Negotiations are continuing for the release of the others.”

Multiple bomb attacks kill 60 across Iraq

At least 60 people have been killed and more than 83 others wounded in a series of bomb attacks across Iraq.  The Islamic State (IS) claimed responsibility for the blasts, which involved as many as 10 suicide bombers and largely targeted the security forces and Shia militias.  More than 25 soldiers died when a car bomb exploded in the city of al-Baghdadi, close to the Ain al-Asad airbase.  Elsewhere five people died in the city of Basra, while another five were killed in the town of Mashahdeh.  Attacks were also reported in Baghdad, Fallujah, Nassiriyah and in the Anbar and Salahuddin  provinces.

Bomb kills Iraqi soldiers near Heet

At least eight Iraqi soldiers were killed in a suicide car bomb attack near the western town of Heet on Thursday.  The troops were travelling to the town when suspected Islamic State (IS) militants carried out the attack.  Militants have retreated to Heet, west of Ramadi, in recent weeks as government forces continue their anti-IS offensive.  Hours after the blast US-trained elite units said they were 1km from the centre of Heet after capturing areas to the south and west of the town.

Three dead in Baghdad suicide blast

At least three people have been killed and 27 others wounded in a suicide bomb attack in central Baghdad.  The blast hit a crowd of workers in the Tayaran Square, close to where supporters of Shia cleric Moqtada al-Sadr were holding a sit-in.  The Islamic State (IS) militant group claimed responsibility for the attack.

Suicide bomber kills 41 at Baghdad football stadium

At least 41 people were killed and more than 100 others wounded in a suicide bomb attack at a football stadium near Baghdad on Friday.  The Islamic State (IS) claimed responsibility for the attack in the city of Iskanderiyah, 45km from the capital.  The assailant detonated his vest among the crowd during a trophy ceremony.

IS suicide bomber targets Iraqi forces in Anbar

Almost 30 Iraqi army and allied Sunni fighters have been killed in a suicide bomb attack in Anbar province.  The Islamic State (IS) militant group said one of its British fighters - Abu Musa al-Britani - targeted a military convoy en route to Kubaysah, north-west of Ramadi.  There has not yet been any official confirmation of the attack.

US soldier killed in rocket fire near Mosul

A US soldier was killed and several others wounded in 'indirect fire' near the northern city of Mosul on Saturday.  The troops were stationed at the Makhmour base, located between Mosul and Kirkuk, when they were hit.  The death “reminds us of the risks our men and women in uniform face every day,” the Pentagon said in a statement.

CJTF airstrikes target multiple IS sites across Iraq

An US-led coalition bombed Islamic State (IS) sites in Syria and Iraq with a consecutive series of airstrikes on Wednesday. The airstrikes targeted eight cities, including Fallujah, Bagdadi and Kirkuk. The attack destroyed weapons factories, propaganda sites and assembly areas. The CJTF has been established to target IS sites in Syria and Iraq in order to degrade and defeat the terrorist group settled in the region.

IS target Iraqi soldiers near Ramadi

At least 22 Iraqi soldiers have been killed and 16 others wounded in an attack by the Islamic State (IS) militant group near the city of Ramadi.  Seven soldiers are also missing following the overnight assault on a military barracks in the villages of Qutainiyah and Zuqaiyah.  Meanwhile an Iraqi military spokesman said large numbers of IS fighters had withdrawn from the nearby town of Hit and fled towards they Syrian border post of al-Qaim.

Mass anti-government rally held in Baghdad

Tens of thousands of people joined a rally in the Iraqi capital, Baghdad, on Friday following a call from Shia cleric Moqtada al-Sadr.  The demonstrators gathered in the city's Tahrir Square to call on Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi to form a new cabinet. "I don't think Abadi can do the reforms he promised," said Ammar Salman, a 37-year-old taxi driver.  "The political blocs won't let him."  It is the third consecutive Friday that Sadr's supporters have held mass rallies in the capital.

IS chemical attack against Kurdish-held town near Kirkuk

An attack by the Islamic State (IS) militant group in the north-western town of Tuz Khurmatu injured around 40 people on Tuesday. According to the Iraqi security forces, the town was attacked with mortars and katyusha shells including chemical gas. The surrounding area has been under IS control since 2014, while the US has been carrying out airstrikes against IS chemical weapons facilities. 

Suicide blasts kill 60 near Hilla

At least 60 people have been killed and dozens more wounded in a suicide bomb attack south of the capital, Baghdad.  The assailant targeted a security checkpoint near Hilla in Babil governorate at around noon on Sunday.  The Islamic State (IS) claimed responsibility for the attack in an online statement: "A martyr's operation with a truck bomb hit the Babylon Ruins checkpoint at the entrance of the city of Hilla, killing and wounding dozens."

US-led coalition launches airstrikes against IS

The US-led coalition carried out 29 airstrikes against Islamic State (IS) positions in Syria and Iraq on Wednesday. A statement released by the Combined Joint Task Force - Operation Inherent Resolve (CJTF-OIR) reported that in both Syria and Iraq a large number of logistical features were destroyed, including weaponry, communications equipment and a supply cache.  The CJTF-OIR is supporting the Iraqi security forces' operations against IS, and to date have conducted over 10,000 strikes in Syria and Iraq.

Suicide bomb attacks target Iraqi military

Dozens of people have been killed in multiple suicide bomb attacks across Iraq.  An Iraqi army general and nine other soldiers were killed when four militants blew themselves up at a base in Haditha.  On Tuesday two bombers killed 25 soldiers in the village of Jumailah in northern Fallujah.  A Shia funeral was targeted in another bombing in Miqdadiyah in Diyala province, killing 38 people and wounding scores more.

Islamic State carries out multiple attacks across Iraq

Dozens of people have been killed in multiple attacks across Iraq by the Islamic State (IS) militant group.  At least 24 people died in a twin suicide bomb attack at a market in the Sadr City district of the capital, Baghdad.  A further 18 police officers were killed in an assault near the town of Fallujah, while IS militants also attacked police in Abu Ghraid, west of Baghdad, kidnapping a number of officers.  There have also been reports of a suicide car bomb attack against police to the south-east of Fallujah.

Fifteen dead in double mosque bombing

At least 15 people have been killed in a double suicide bomb attack at a Shia mosque in the capital, Baghdad.  "Two suicide bombers wearing explosive belts blew themselves up in front of the Rasul al-Azam (mosque) in the Shuala district" said police officials.  The Islamic State (IS) claimed responsibility for the attacks, which come on the eve of protests organised by Shia cleric Moqtada al-Sadr

Local tribesman clash with IS militants near Fallujah

Local Iraqi tribesmen have clashed with Islamic State (IS) fighters near the city of Fallujah.  "Clashes took place between sons of the Al-Mahamda and Al-Juraisat tribes against the Al-Hisba group," Issa Sayir, the exiled official responsible for the Fallujah area, told AFP.  Ten IS militants and five tribesmen are reported to have been killed in the fighting.

Several IS fighers killed in Baiji

Fifteen fighters from the Islamic State (IS) militant group were killed on Tuesday after an attack in northern Iraq. Federal Police Captain Raed Jawdat said: "The Second artillery brigade bombed IS headquarters in al-Fatha area north of Baiji, killing 15 members belonging to IS."  Jawdat also said that dozens of families had been liberated from IS in the west of Ramadi.

Deadly bomb blast hits southern Baghdad

At least 10 people have been either killed or wounded in a bomb attack in a southern district of the capital, Baghdad.  The blast happened at a market in the Yusufiya area of the city on Tuesday afternoon.  Security forces cordoned off the area while the wounded were transferred to a nearby hospital.

Suicide car bombers hit Iraqi forces near Ramadi

An Islamic State (IS) car bomb attack killed 27 Iraqi soldiers and wounded 16 others near Ramadi on Wednesday.  The incident happened in the village of Al-Awasil, around 35km from Ramadi, and came a day after Iraqi troops entered the last IS stronghold in the city.  IS militants still control Fallujah and the northern city of Mosul.

Protests over unpaid salaries in Sulaimaniyah

Large protests have been held across Iraqi Kurdistan over the new austerity measures introduced by the government. Civil servants and members of the influential Peshmerga - the paramilitary brigade of Iraq's Kurdistan region - led the rallies against the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) in the city of Sulaimaniyah.  The central Iraqi government in Baghdad cut the KRG's funding when the Kurds decided to export oil through a pipeline they built to Turkey.

Suicide bomb kills 18 soliders near Ramadi

At least 18 Iraqi soldiers have been killed in a suicide bomb attack near the northern city of Ramadi.  Three car bombers targeted the 39th brigade of the 10th army division in the town of Al-Bu Dhiaab, north of the provincial capital, on Tuesday morning.  Two of the vehicles were destroyed but a third managed to reach the army headquarters and detonate.  The Islamic State (IS) is suspected of carrying out the attack.

Dozens killed in Islamic State (IS) attacks near Ramadi

At least 55 Iraqi soldiers and pro-government militia fighters have been killed in two attacks by the Islamic State (IS) near the western city of Ramadi.  Several suicide car bombers targeted the 10th Iraqi army division to the north of the city on Tuesday, killing 30.  Later multiple suicide car bombers attacked an army barracks outside al-Baghdadi city, west of Ramadi.  The Iraqi army retook Ramadi from IS fighters at the end of December following months of heavy fighting.

Americans kidnapped in Baghdad

The US Embassy in Baghdad has confirmed that "several" Americans are missing after local media reported that three people had been kidnapped in the city. "We are working with the full cooperation of the Iraqi authorities to locate and recover the individuals," said an official from the US State Department.  The trio are believed to have been kidnapped along with their translator by members of an Iraqi militia.

Ten killed in Shia reprisal attacks

At least 10 people have been killed and several Sunni mosques firebombed in suspected reprisal attacks in Iraq's Diyala province.  Shia militia members have been accused of targeting nine mosques in the town of Muqdadiya.  The attacks came a day after a series of bombings by the Islamic State (IS) militant group targeted Shias in Diyala and the Iraqi capital, Baghdad, leaving more than 50 people dead.

Gunmen kill two Iraqi journalists in Diyala province

Gunmen have shot dead two Iraqi television journalists in the Diyala province, according to their employer Sharqiya.  "Armed militias assassinated correspondent Saif Tallal and his cameraman Hassan al-Anbaki near Baquba," a Sharqiya news presenter said on the air. The reporters were returning from a trip with Staff Lieutenant General Mizher al-Azzawi, who is responsible for security in the province.

Islamic State (IS) carries out deadly assault on Baghdad centre

Militants from the Islamic State (IS) group carried out an assault on a Baghdad shopping centre, killing at least 18 people and wounding almost 50 others.  Gunmen and suicide bombers targeted the al-Jawhara centre in the largely Shia district of New Baghdad on Monday, while two people also died in a separate blast in the south of the city.  Elsewhere a twin suicide bomb attack killed 19 people and wounded 23 others at a cafe in Moqadamiya in Diyala province.

Islamic State assault repelled by Turkish army

Turkish troops have repelled an assault by Islamic State  (IS) militants on the Bashiqa camp in Nineveh province. Local sources claim that 17 militants were killed in the attack.

Islamic State launches assault on Haditha

Islamic State (IS) militants have launched a major offensive against the city of Haditha, with hundreds reportedly killed during three days of intense fighting. Dozens of Iraqi security forces and tribal fighters opposing IS have reportedly been killed and wounded, with at least 250 IS militants reportedly killed.

Islamic State loses 40 percent of its territory in Iraq'

The Islamic State (IS) has reportedly lost 40 percent of the territory it previously controlled in Iraq. Colonel Steve Warren, a spokesman for the US-led coalition engaging IS militants, told reporters that the group was "on the defensive", and had "not gained one inch in Iraq since May". 

Security forces killed in clashes with IS in Anbar

At least 25 members of the Iraqi security forces have been killed in clashes with Islamic State (IS) militants in Anbar province. "We have given 25 martyrs in 72 hours," a tribal commander, Sheikh Abdallah Atallah, told the AFP.  More than 50 other soldiers were wounded in the attack, which Sheikh Atallah said came from three directions in the Haditha region.

Three Sunni mosques attacked in Iraq

Three Sunni mosques have been attacked across Iraq in apparent retaliation for the execution of a prominent Shia cleric in Saudi Arabia.  The mosques were bombed and partially destroyed in and around the Hilla region, south of Baghdad, late on Sunday.  Saudi Arabia executed 37 "terrorists", including cleric Nimr al-Nimr, on Saturday.

Iraqi army launches major assault on Ramadi

Iraq's armed forces launched a major offensive on the northern city of Ramadi on Tuesday morning.  Troops backed by Shia militias and US-led coalition air support have pushed to the centre of the city in an attempt to retake the city from Islamic State (IS) militants.  Earlier in the day 14 soldiers died in a suicide car bomb attack in the village of Bu Dhiyab, north of Ramadi. 

Gunmen kidnap 26 Qatari hunters in southern Iraq

Unknown gunmen have kidnapped 26 Qatari hunters in a remote area of southern Iraq. "An armed group driving dozens of pickup trucks kidnapped at least 26 Qatari hunters from their camp in the area of Busaya in Samawa desert near Saudi borders," Samawa governor Falih al-Zayady said. A wide-scale search operation has been launched by the Iraqi security forces, while there has not been any immediate comment from the authorities in Qatar.

Dozens killed in Anbar suicide blasts

At least 65 people have been killed in multiple suicide bomb attacks in Iraq's Anbar province.  More than 10 separate bombers detonated devices across the province early on Tuesday, including four car bomb attacks in Tall Shahida.  The bombings followed US-led coalition airstrikes against Islamic State (IS) militants in the provincial capital, Ramadi.

Iraqi soldiers killed in assault on Ramadi

At least 27 Iraqi soldiers have been killed in a twin suicide bomb attack near the city of Ramadi.  The military is currently trying to recapture the city from the Islamic State (IS) militant group, and fierce fighting has been reported in the area in recent days.  Civilians in the city told the Reuters news agency that they are increasingly being used as human shields by IS fighters. “Daesh [IS] fighters are becoming more hostile and suspicious. They prevent us from leaving houses. Everyone who goes out against orders is caught and investigated,” said Abu Ahmed. “We feel we’re living inside a sealed casket.”

Suicide bomb kills 11 at Shia mosque in Baghdad

At least 11 people have been killed and 20 others wounded in a suicide bomb attack at a Shia mosque in the capital, Baghdad.  The assailant detonated an explosive vest at the entrance of the Ahlu al-Baiyt mosque in the al-Obeidi district of the city on Wednesday.  The Islamic State (IS) have claimed responsibility for the attack in a statement posted online.

Dozens killed in multiple attacks

At least 26 people have been killed and dozens more wounded in a series of attacks across Iraq.  A car bomb targeting Shia pilgrims has killed at least nine people and wounded 21 others in the Amiriya district of west Baghdad. In Fallujah five people died when the Iraqi army shelled residential areas of the city, while a suicide car bomb has killed at least 13 soldiers in the north of the city.

Twin bomb blast kills 10 at Baghdad mosque

At least 10 people have been killed and 28 others wounded in a suicide and roadside bomb attack at a Shia mosque in the Iraqi capital, Baghdad.  The roadside device exploded outside a mosque in the southern district of Nahiyet al-Rasheed as worshippers were leaving Friday prayers, before a suicide bomber detonated his vest inside the building.  No group immediately claimed responsibility for the attacks.

Suicide bomb kills 19 at Baghdad funeral

At least 19 people have been killed and 33 others wounded in a suicide bomb attack at a funeral in the Iraqi capital, Baghdad.  The bomber detonated the device inside the Al-Ashara al-Mubashareen mosque in the Amil area of the city on Friday.  The service was for a member of the Popular Mobilisation Forces, a largely Shia paramilitary force which is fighting the Islamic State (IS).

Kurdish forces recapture Sinjar from IS

Kurdish fighters have recaptured the western border town of Sinjar from Islamic State (IS) militants.  Gunfire was reported in the town on Friday but the 7,500-strong Kurdish force entered the town largely unopposed. "We have seized many of their weapons and we have also bodies of the dead militants. Peshmerga are now in full control of the town" said a Kurdish fighter.

Kurdish troops launch offensive on Sinjar

Kurdish forces have launched a major offensive to retake the key strategic town of Sinjar from Islamic State (IS) militants.  Around 7,500 Peshmerga fighters are advancing on the mountain town from three positions, while aircraft from the US-led coalition are also supporting the operation.  IS captured the town in August, 2014, causing tens of thousands of Yazidis to flee into the nearby mountains.

Thirteen killed in Baghdad bombings

At least 13 people were killed and more than 16 others wounded in a series of bomb attacks in and around Iraq's capital, Baghdad, over the weekend.  Nine people died in three separate blasts on Saturday, including an attack in Tarmiya which killed five members of the security forces.  On Sunday a suicide bomb killed four people in a crowded marketplace in the Qiyara neighbourhood, which is in the largely Shia Sadr district.  No group has taken responsibility for the attacks.

Twenty-six dead in Camp Liberty attacks

At least 26 people have been killed in an attack on a former military base in Iraq's capital, Baghdad.  The People's Mujahedin Organistation of Iran (PMOI) said 23 of its members and three police officer died when Camp Liberty came under intense rocket fire.  The Shia militia Mukhtar Army claimed responsibility for the attack on the PMOI, who have been in exile since the Islamic revolution in Iran in 1979.

Four killed in Iraq violence

At least four people were killed and several others wounded in a series of attacks across Iraq on Tuesday.  Two civilians died in separate roadside bombings in the capital, Baghdad, while two Shia militia fighters were killed in a suicide bomb attack in the northern city of Samarra.  Elsewhere two police officers were wounded in a mortar attack at Camp Speicher, the former US base near the city of Tikrit.

Bomb targets Shia mourners in Salahuddin

At least three people have been killed and another 36 others wounded in a bombing in northern Iraq.  The blast in the town of Tuz Khurma in Salahuddin province appeared to target Shia mourners, who were marking the martyrdom of Imam Hussein.  The Islamic State (IS) militant group claimed responsibility for the attack.

US soldier killed as 70 hostages freed from IS

An American soldier has been killed in a joint US-Iraqi military operation which freed 70 Kurdish hostages held by the Islamic State (IS).  The Pentagon said the raid was carried out due to the "imminent execution" of the hostages near the town of Hawija in northern Iraq.  Kurdish special forces were assisted by US counterparts on the ground and American helicopters.  Five IS fighters were captured and an unknown number of others killed in the operation on Thursday morning.

IS confirms second-in-command killed in US airstrike

The Islamic State (IS) has confirmed that the group's second-in-command, Abu Mutaz al-Quarashi, was killed in a US airstrike.  The former colonel in Saddam Hussein's intelligence division died when US jets hit a compound in Mosul on 18 August.  "America is rejoicing over the killing of Abu Mutaz al-Qurashi and considers this a great victory," Abu Mohamed al-Adnani, the Islamic State's spokesman said.

Five killed in Iraqi Kurdistan unrest

Five people have been killed in several days of unrest in Iraq's Kurdistan region.  On Friday protesters set fire to the offices of the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) in the city of Qaladize, leaving two people dead and 18 others wounded.  Three other people are reported to have been killed by gunfire during the unrest, which is linked to political divisions between the KDP and their rivals Gorran and the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK).

Car bombs kill 63 across in Iraq

At least 63 people have been killed in a series of car bomb attacks across Iraq.  More than 40 people died in a bombing in the Shia-majority town of Khalis in Diyala province.  Other attacks were reported in the town of al-Zubair, where 10 people died, and in the capital, Baghdad.  No group took immediate responsibility for the attacks, although suspicion has quickly fallen on the Islamic State (IS).

Islamic State (IS) militants execute Sunni tribesmen

Islamic State (IS) militants have executed 70 members of a Sunni tribe in Iraq's western province of Anbar.  Sheikh Naim al-Ka'ud, head of the al-Bu Nimr tribe, said that the victims had been abducted on Sunday north-east of Ramadi.  Their bodies were found on Monday with bullet wounds.

Twin suicide blast kills 24 in Baghdad

At least 24 people have been killed and 60 others wounded in two suicide bomb attacks in the Iraqi capital, Baghdad.  The blasts occurred in the mainly Shia districts of Kadhimiya and Hurriya in the north of the city on Saturday afternoon.  The Islamic State (IS) claimed responsibilty for the attack.

Turkish construction workers released in Iraq

A group of 16 construction workers have been released a month after they were kidnapped in the Iraqi capital, Baghdad.  Turkey's Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said the workers had been released in Basra and were now in the Turkish embassy in Baghdad. "Thankfully, they are in good health and are preparing to return [home] in the shortest possible time," Mr Davutoglu said on Wednesday.

Deadly cholera outbreak hits western Baghdad

At least six people have died in a cholera outbreak in Abu Ghraib, 25km west of Baghdad.  More than 70 other cases have been recorded in the area, leading to Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi ordering water tests and the installation of purification stations in the area.

Bomb attacks kill 14, wound 55 in Baghdad

Multiple bombs in Baghdad killed at least 14 people and wounded at least 55 others on Thursday. The attacks hit the Wathba Square in central Baghdad, and Tayran Square. There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attacks, but bomb attacks in the capital are often carried out by Islamic State militants.

Six cases of Cholera reported in Baghdad

Six cases of cholera were been reported in Baghdad on Tuesday. Three cases were confirmed in the Abu Ghraib region (west Baghdad), and three in Mahmudiyah (south Baghdad). The governor of Baghdad has urged for the creation of a specialised crisis team to follow up on the implications of a cholera outbreak. The infected people are reportedly in a stable condition and under control, and the authorities have called on the public to follow health measures to avoid getting infected. The governor believes that the outbreak of the disease is a result of the contamination of water in the Abu Ghraib region, where the governorate needs $1 million (1.2 billion Iraqi dinar) to finish the current water project. 

Turkish ground troops deploy into Iraq

Turkish ground forces crossed into northern Iraq for a "short-term" operation in pursuit of Kurdish rebel. The troops crossed the border as part of a "hot pursuit" of PKK rebels who were involved in a roadside bomb attack that killed 16 soldiers on Sunday. "This is a short-term measure intended to prevent the terrorists' escape," a government official has said. Unnamed military sources have said that two battalions of Turkish special forces crossed the border. 

Deputy Justice Minister kidnapped in Baghdad

The Deputy Justice Minister of Iraq was kidnapped from his vehicle on Tuesday by black-clad gunmen in the northern Baghdad district of Banook, three security sources have said. The sources added that another ministry official and two guards were also abducted. 

Turkey bombs PKK in northern Iraq after Hakkari bomb attack

Turkish warplanes have bombed Kurdish PKK bases in northern Iraq in retaliation for a deadly bomb attack on Turkish troops in south-east Turkey on Sunday. Dozens of jets were involved in the air strikes in the early hours of Tuesday morning. Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu pledged to "wipe out" rebel strongholds in response to the Hakkari attack. At least 35 PKK rebels were killed in the air raids, carried out by F4 and F16 jets on Tuesday.

Turkish construction workers kidnapped in Baghdad

A group of construction workers, including 17 Turkish nationals, have been kidnapped from the Iraqi capital, Baghdad.  They were employed by the Turkish company, Nurol Insaat, to build a sports stadium in the north-eastern Sadr City district.  In a statement the company said gunmen in military uniforms stormed the site at around 03:00 local time on Wednesday.

Peshmerga forces kill 15 IS militants in eastern Mosul

Peshmerga forces have reportedly foiled an attack on Baashiqa Mount, in eastern Mosul, by Islamic State (IS) militants. Ghias Surja, the media official of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan, announced that "the clashes resulted in killing 15 militants and injuring many others, as well as the destruction of a number of their vehicles."

IS executes Shia militia fighters

Islamic State (IS) militants have strung up and burnt four Iraqi Shia fighters alive, according to online footage. The victims, identified as fighters from the pro-government Popular Mobilisation forces in southern Iraq, were allegedly murdered in revenge for the alleged burning of four men by pro-government forces. The video was not dated and did not give a specific location for where the killings took place, but it did carry a tag indicating it was produced by the IS media unit in Anbar province. 

Six killed in bomb explosion in Baghdad

On August 28, six people were killed and ten injured when a car bomb exploded in the car park of a police station in Baghdad. The victims were three policemen and three members of the bomb disposal team attempting to defuse it. 

Senior Iraqi commander killed by suicide bomb

Two senior Iraqi commanders have been killed and ten others injured in a suicide car bomb attack north of Ramadi. Brigadier Abderahman Muqtada Abu al-Ris, deputy Anbar Commander, and Brigadier Safin Abdelmajid, commander of the 10th division, were killed in the attack on Thursday, along with three others. Reports state that the military had intercepted an explosives-laden vehicle, but the resulting explosion led to the deaths. Separately, three people were killed in a suicide car bomb targeting a police checkpoint in the town of Bajwa, 15km north-west of Kirkuk. There was no immediate claim of responsibility for either of the attacks.

Islamic State deputy killed in air strike, US says

A deputy leader of the Islamic State (IS) militant group, Fadhil Ahmad al-Hayali, has been killed in a US military air strike in northern Iraq. Hayali, who also goes by the name Hajji Mutazz, is described by the US as being the second in command of the group. They said he was killed in an attack on his car in Mosul on Tuesday, and that his death would damage IS operations. A second IS member who co-ordinated media, known as Abu Abdullah, was killed in the same air strike as Hayali.

Iraqi troops killed in clashes with IS in Anbar

At least 18 members of the Iraqi security forces have been killed and 30 others wounded in clashes with Islamic State (IS) militants near Ramadi in Anbar province.  The troops died when three car bombs exploded in Al Toui, destroying seven military vehicles.  The latest fighting comes as government troops - backed by the mainly Shia militia group Popular Mobilisation Forces - attempt to recapture the province from IS militants.

IS attack on Baiji leaves at least 14 dead

Fourteen members of the security forces and fighters of the Popular Mobilisation Forces (PMU) - an Iraqi state-sponsored umbrella organisation composed of some 40, almost all Shia, militias - were killed as they halted an attack by Islamic State (IS) militants on the military units stationed in the oil-rich city of Baiji, northern Salahuddin province. An officer in the Iraqi police has said that IS failed to detonate nine car bombs driven by suicide bombers as security forces and fighters from the PMU managed to stop and detonate them. The officer added that one car bomb driven by a suicide bomber managed to detonate on target, killing two PMU fighters and wounding 12 others.

Over 125 IS militants killed in western Iraq

At least 25 Islamic State (IS) militants were killed in al-Anbar and Salahuddin provinces in western Iraq, local media has reported. Meanwhile, Iraqi forces have repulsed an IS attack on the western parts of al-Anbar province.

Islamic State attacks in and around Iraqi refinery town

Islamic State (IS) militants attacked the outskirts of the refinery town of Baiji overnight with car bombs and ground troops. They clashed with the army and Shia militias in the town's western districts. Baiji Mayor Mahmoud al-Jabouri said IS fighters used 12 car bombs and more than 200 fighters in the offensive. "The attack started at 02.00 local time (23.00GMT)," he said. "They came from the direction of Camp Speicher", a former US base outside of Tikrit. Jabouri said "tens" of security forces and militia fighters were killed or wounded in the violence. 

Kurdish forces attacked with chemical weapons in Iraq

Kurdish forces in northern Iraq who are fighting against Islamic State (IS) militants were attacked with chemical weapons a few days ago, the German Defense Ministry said Thursday. "There was a chemical weapons attack" southwest of Irbil. Some Kurdish fighters suffered respiratory problems. German military trainers were unhurt. The chemical agent had been delivered via mortar or artillery shells. "American and Iraqi specialists from Baghdad are on their way to find out what happened.... German soldiers were not affected or in danger. The protection of our soldiers in northern Iraq is already at the highest level."

More than 50 people killed by truck bomb in Baghdad market

More than 50 people have been killed in Iraq after a truck bomb struck Jameela market in Sadr City. Police and hospital officials have reported that at least 58 people were killed and 89 injured. Sadr City is a predominantly Shia area. No group has claimed responsibility for the attack.

Ten IS leaders killed in Fallujah

The Iraqi joint forces killed at least ten Islamic State (IS) commanders in fierce clashes with terrorists that lasted over six hours in parts of Fallujah. The dead IS leaders, most of them Libyan nationals, had escaped to the al-Karama region of Fallujah city during the Iraqi army's operations last month. The region has been besieged by the Iraqi forces and heavy clashes are underway in the area. In a similar development, Iraqi troops killed at least 18 IS militants with a missile strike on their positions in Fallujah on Sunday. 

Senior IS commander and his aide killed in Al-Karmah

Iraqi security forces killed a senior Islamic State (IS) commander and his aide in a military operation in the town of Al-Karmah, Anbar province, on Wednesday. Commander of the 3rd Battalion of the 30th Brigade of the Iraqi army, Colonel Mahmoud Morzi al-Jumaili, said that the security force killed the terrorist, Mouaz Ahmed, and his aide, in al-Rashad district of Al-Karmah, and destroyed their vehicle. 

Scores killed in car bomb attacks in eastern Iraq

At least 42 people have been killed and many more injured in two bomb attacks in Baquba, eastern Iraq. A car bomb exploded in a marketplace near the city, killing at least 35 and injuring more than 70. A second car bomb at a checkpoint east of the city reportedly killed at least seven and wounded approximately 25. There was no immediate claim of responsibility, but they bear all the hallmarks of previous ISIS attacks.

IS executes 300 Election Commission members in Mosul

Islamic State (IS) has executed 300 members of the office of the elections in Mosul, including women. A spokesman for al-Hashed al-Shaabi, Mahmud al-Surja, has said that "the process of the executions was by firing squad in the Ghazlani camp on Friday afternoon." 

IS executes 19 girls for refusing to have sex with fighters

Islamic State (IS) has reportedly executed 19 young women for refusing to have sex with its fighters. A Kurdish Democratic Party spokesperson has been quoted as saying that the girls were executed for refusing to "participate in the practice of sexual jihad." The 19 women had been abducted and held hostage by IS in their stronghold of Mosul, Iraq. It is not known if the women belonged to the Yazidi or Christian minority groups.

Ten killed in blast at Shia neighbourhoods in Baghdad

At least ten people were killed and 22 others wounded in two car bomb attacks that targeted predominantly Shia neighbourhoods in Baghdad. Six civilians were killed when a car packed with explosives was detonated in the northeastern district of Sadr City. Twelve others were wounded. Later in the day, a car bomb exploded in the northern al-Husseiniya district, killing four people and wounding 11. No group has claimed responsibility for the attacks.

Anbar clashes kill 17 Iraqi troops

Clashes between government forces and Islamic State militants in the western province of Anbar have left 17 troops dead. A confrontation between government forces and militants east of IS-held Ramadi resulted in the death of six soldiers, four Sunni tribal fighters and two policemen. Nine other troops were wounded. Another five soldiers were killed when IS militants attacked troops in an area near Habbaniyah military base, where dozens of American advisers are stationed. Nine soldiers were wounded. 

Iraqi North Oil Company official assassinated in Kirkuk

Unknown gunmen have assassinated the chief of pipeline maintenance for the North Oil Company (NOC) and his driver in Kirkuk province. "Saad Ali Hussein, the chief of NOC pipeline maintenance, and his driver, Salih Jaduw Zedanm, were gunned down in Kirkuk," Brigadier General Sarhad Qadir, the chief of Kirkuk suburban police, has said. "Hussein and his driver were killed in Payij town in Kirkuk. The victims were in their white Dodge Durango vehicle. The police have commenced investigations in the case in order to find the killers."

Iraqi forces attack Islamic State base in Ramadi

Iraqi forces have launched an attack on the Islamic State-controlled University of Anbar complex in Ramadi. This was part of an operation to drive Islamic State (IS) militants out of Anbar Province, and was supported by US air strikes. Government forces are attempting to separate the university from the rest of the city to cut supply routes for retreating militants.

Wave of bombings kill 37 across Baghdad

At least 37 people have been killed in a series of suicide and car bombings across the Iraqi capital, Baghdad.  The deadliest blast was reported in the mainly Shia district of Shurta in the south-west of the city, where a car bomb killed 20 people.  There were also attacks in the al-Bayaa and al-Shaab districts.

Twin suicide blast kills 22 in Fallujah

At least 22 people have been killed and 24 others wounded in a twin suicide car bomb attack in the city of Fallujah.  The victims of the blasts are reported to be Iraqi soldiers and members of the Popular Mobilisation Forces.  The Islamic State (IS) jihadist group carried out the attack in al-Karmah town using an army Humvee and armoured army vehicle confiscated from the Iraqi army.

Car bomb kills 120 in Diyala province

At least 120 people have been killed and more than 150 others wounded after a car bomb exploded at a busy market in Diyala province.  The device exploded in the mainly Shia town of Khan Bani Saad as residents were celebrating the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.  The Islamic State (IS) jihadist group claimed responsibility for the attack.

Iraqi troops launch major Anbar offensive

Iraqi troops supported by various Shia and Sunni tribal militias have launched an major offensive to recapture Anbar province from Islamic State (IS). "At 5 o'clock this morning operations to liberate Anbar were launched," said a joint military command statement read out on state television.  The commander of the Badr Organisation, the largest Shia militia, said a full assault on Fallujah would start after Eid, which marks the end of the holy month of Ramadan.

Wave of bombings kill 35 in Baghdad

At least 35 people have been killed and 70 others wounded in a wave of bombings across Iraq's capital, Baghdad.  The deadliest blast hit the northern suburb of Shaab, where a man detonated a suicide vest in a busy market, killing at least 10 people.  Other blasts were reported in the Khazimiyah, Banook, al-Aman and al-Askan districts.

Warplane accidentally bombs Baghdad

An Iraqi warplane dropped a bomb over a residential area of Baghdad following a technical issue. A bomb became stuck during its return to base and fell on three houses in Baghdad Jadida. At least twelve casualties were reported.

Car bomb kills 10 in Baghdad

At least 10 people have been killed in a car bomb attack in the Iraqi capital, Baghdad.  At least 10 people died and a further 20 were wounded when the device exploded at a market in the Qahira district on Sunday night.  No group claimed immediate responsibility for the attack.

Bombings kill 20 across Baghdad

At least 20 people have been killed in a series of bombings in and around the Iraqi capital, Baghdad.  Ten people died and 24 others were wounded when a bomb exploded outside a restaurant in Palestine Street in the east of the city.  Other deadly blasts were reported in Youssifiyah and Amiriyat al-Fallujah.

Eleven killed in Baghdad bombings

At least 11 people have been killed and dozens more wounded after several bombs exploded in Iraq's capital, Baghdad.  The first device exploded in the south-eastern district of Basmaiya of the city, killing four people and wounding 11 others.  Later a second blast killed three people in a commercial area of Baiyaa district, while two other bombs exploded in public markets in the city.

Dozens killed as airstrikes target IS in Hawijah

At least 70 people are reported to have been killed in airstrikes targeting Islamic State (IS) militants in Hawijah in Kirkuk Governorate.  It has not been confirmed who carried out the strikes, although the US military said coalition forces have conducted 18 operations in Iraq since Tuesday morning.  The US Deputy Secretary of State, Anthony Blinken, also claimed that more than 10,000 IS fighters have been killed in the last nine months.

Suicide car bomb kills 38 in Anbar province

At least 38 Iraqi soldiers have been killed and 25 others wounded in a suicide car bomb attack in Anbar province.  Islamic State (IS) militants targeted the soldiers with a Humvee packed with explosives at a military base in al-Seddiqiya, north of the city of Fallujah, on Monday.

Islamic State (IS) militants target army HQ in Fallujah

Islamic State (IS) militants have attacked an Iraqi army headquarters near Fallujah, killing at least 20 soldiers.  Militants detonated eight car bombs at the army base during the assault on Sunday, which followed several days of shelling by Iraqi forces against IS positions in the city.

Twin car bomb blast kills 10 in Baghdad

At least 10 people have been killed and around 30 others wounded in a twin car bomb attack in central Baghdad.  The two coordinated blasts hit the Babylon and Cristal hotels, both popular with NGO workers and foreign journalists, at around 21:00 local time.  Gunfire was also reported at the scene.

Military convoys targeted in suicide attacks

At least 55 people have been killed in a series of suicide bomb attacks on military convoys near the city of Fallujah.  Islamic State (IS) militants targeted army vehicles travelling to take part in an operation to retake the city of Ramadi in Anbar province. Brig. Gen Saad Maan Ibrahim said the militants used a sandstorm as cover to launch the deadly attacks on Tuesday night, although he put the death toll at 17.

Iraqi army launches offensive to retake Anbar province

Iraqi security forces have launched an offensive to retake Anbar province from the Islamic State (IS).  The forces are made up of government soldiers and fighters from the Popular Mobilisation (al-Hashid al-Shaabi), a group of Shia militias.  A Shia unit spokesman told the AFP news agency that troops had surrounded the provincial capital, Ramadi, from three sides.

Shia militias ordered to retake Ramadi from IS

Iraq's government has ordered Iran-backed Shia militias to deploy to the city of Ramadi, which was captured by the Islamic State (IS) on Sunday.  Around 500 people are estimated to have been killed in several days of fighting in the city, while thousands more have fled.  The Shia militias, known as the Popular Mobilisation Forces, were responsible for driving IS out of Diyala and Salahuddin.

IS militants launch assault on troops in Ramadi

Islamic State (IS) militants have launched a wide-scale assault on the Iraqi security forces in the western city of Ramadi.  The group have seized the main government building in the city following a coordinated attack involving at least six suicide car bombs, while some 50 police officers are reported to have been taken hostage.  They are also in control of the police headquarters and the Ramadi Great Mosque after heavy fighting.

Four killed in Shia pilgrimage violence

At least four people have been killed after violence erupted during a Shia pilgrimage in the Iraqi capital, Baghdad.  Mobs set fire to buildings in the Sunni district of Adhamiyah as the pilgrims headed to the shrine of Imam Musa Kadhim in the north-west of the city. "Some elements infiltrated in the midst of the pilgrims heading to the shrine of Imam Musa Kadhim attacked a Sunni Waqf (endowment) building," a police colonel told AFP.

Islamic State (IS) deputy leader killed in US-led airstrike

The Islamic State's (IS) deputy leader has been killed in a US-led coalition airstrike in north-western Iraq.  Iraq's ministry of defence said Abu Alaa al-Afri died in a targeted attack in the rebel-held town of Tal Afar. The US-led coalition said on Wednesday the strike on Tal Afar had destroyed a "militant fighting position and a heavy machine gun."

Twin bombing kills 12 in Baghdad

At least 12 people have been killed and 25 others wounded in two bombings in the Iraqi capital, Baghdad.  The first device exploded in the central Bab al-Sharji in Tuesday evening, killing 10 and wounded 18.  A second blast hit Palestine Street in the east of the city, killing two and wounding seven.  The bombings appeared to target Shia pilgrims visiting the shrine of Imam Kadhim.

Dozens killed in Diyala prison break

At least 50 inmates and 12 police officers have been killed during a riot and subsequent prison break in the eastern province of Diyala.  More than 50 inmate manage to escape following the unrest at the al-Khalis prison on Saturday.  The Islamic State (IS) militant group claimed responsibility for the break, with some of the inmates reported to be IS members.

Bomb kills seven in central Baghdad

At least seven people have been killed and dozens wounded after a car bomb exploded in the central Karrada district of Baghdad. "A car parked near Kahramana square exploded. It was targeting Shia pilgrims," a police colonel told the AFP news agency.  No group claimed responsibility for the blast; although Islamic State (IS) militants carried out two similar attacks in the area last week.

Car bombings kills 20 in Baghdad

At least 20 people have been killed in a series of car bombings across Iraq's capital, Baghdad.  The deadliest blast was reported in the Mansour district in the west of the city, killing 10 people and wounding 27 others. “The blast targeted a busy commercial street at the peak of rush of shoppers," said one police captain who attended the blast scene. "Dozens of parked vehicles were set on fire and black smoke is covering the area”.

Wave of bombings leave 22 dead across Iraq

At least 22 people have been killed in a series of bombings across Iraq.  Several blasts were reported in the capital, Baghdad, including a car bomb in Khilani Square which killed seven and wounded 25 others.  A bomb also exploded at the Iraq-Jordan border crossing, leaving four security personnel dead.

Islamic State (IS) leader seriously wounded

The leader of the Islamic State (IS) has been seriously wounded in western Iraq, according to the Guardian newspaper.  Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is no longer in operational control of the militant group after he was wounded in an airstrike in Nineveh on 18 March.  Several officials told the newspaper that IS leaders believed that al-Baghdadi would not survive his injuries and made plans for his successor.

Thousands displaced in Ramadi fighting

The United Nations (UN) said that more than 4,000 families have fled the western city of Ramadi in recent days as fighting between security forces and Islamic State (IS) militants continues.  In total more than 90,000 people have left the area since fighting began last year.  On Friday the Shia militia Hezbollah Brigades deployed forces to Ramadi to join the fight against IS.

Car bombs kill 30 across Iraq

At least 30 people have been killed in a series of car bomb attack across Iraq.  Multiple blasts were reported in the capital, Baghdad, on Friday afternoon, leaving at least 27 dead,  Earlier a car bomb struck the US consulate in Erbil, the capital of Kurdistan, killing three people.  The Islamic State (IS) claimed responsibility for the Erbil attack.

Former Saddam deputy killed in Iraq

Izzat al-Douri, the former deputy to Saddam Hussein, has been killed by Iraqi security forces during fighting in Salahuddin province.  Douri led the Naqshbandi Order insurgent group, which were a major component of the Sunni coalition which included the Islamic State (IS).  Iraqi officials said he was killed along with nine bodyguards during the operation in the Talal Hamreen mountains, near Tikrit.

Islamic State (IS) advances on Ramadi

The Islamic State (IS) militant group has advanced on the western city of Ramadi following clashes with security forces.  Iraqi police were attacked in the early hours of Wednesday in Albu Ghanim, around 5km north east of the city.  IS fighters are also reported to be targeting the main highway that goes through the centre of Ramadi to cut off supplies ahead of a major offensive.  An intelligence official told the AP news agency that the situation was "critical".

Triple bomb attack kills 11 in Baghdad

At least 11 people have been killed and 28 others wounded after two car bombs and a booby-trapped device exploded in Iraq's capital, Baghdad.  Five people died when a car bomb went off near the Yarmuk hospital in the west of the city, before a second car bomb hit a residential area of Mahmudiyah, killing four.  A booby-trap device also exploded in a market in northern Baghdad, killing two people and wounding 5 others.

Twin car bomb attack kills 11 in Baghdad

At least 11 people have been killed and 20 others wounded in a twin car bombing in the capital, Baghdad.  According to local police officials two cars packed with explosives went off in the largely Shia district of Husseniyah on Monday.

US-led air strikes hit IS positions in Tikrit

US-led coalition planes have carried out air strikes against Islamic State (IS) militants in Tikrit.  The operation was carried out following a request from Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi after a ground offensive against the militants stalled. "These strikes are intended to destroy [IS] strongholds with precision," said US Lt-Gen James Terry.

Government forces continue Tikrit advance

Iraqi government forces have continued the advance on the northern city of Tikrit, recapturing large amounts of territory from Islamic State (IS) militants.  Army and allied militia fighters captured large parts of the northern Qadisiya district, while the Tikrit Military Hospital is also back under government control.  Elsewhere IS militants killed at least 10 people and wounded 30 others in a series of car bombs in the western city of Ramadi on Wednesday.

Heavy fighting reported around Tikrit

Heavy fighting has been reported around the northern city of Tikrit on the second day of an operation by the Iraqi army to retake the city from Islamic State militants.  Clashes have taken place in several suburbs on the southern and western edges of the city, although a full assault on the centre of the city has yet to begin.  Security officials said an IS leader has been killed in south Tikrit while others have fled into the nearby Hamreen mountains.

Security forces launch offensive against IS in Tikrit

Iraq has launched a major military operation to recapture the town of Tikrit from Islamic State (IS) militants.  Thousands of troops, supported by Shia militia fighters and Sunni tribesmen, started attacking the town on Monday morning. Prime Minister Haider al-Abbadi said "today, God willing, we start an important military campaign to liberate the citizens of Salahuddin province which includes Samarra, Dhuluiya, Balad, Dujail, al-Alam, al-Door, and Tikrit and other areas in the province from IS."

Multiple bombings kill 15 in Baghdad

At least 15 people have been killed and dozens more wounded after a series of bomb exploded in and around Iraq's capital, Baghdad.  Three people died in a blast in the north-western Shula neighborhood, while three others died when a bomb exploded in a commercial area of Youssifiyah.  Other deadly bombings were reported in the surrounding towns of Mishada, Madain and Latifiyah.  No group claimed immediate responsibility for the attacks.

Baghdad hit by series of deadly bombings

At least 47 people have been killed and more than 100 others wounded in a series of bombings across Iraq's capital, Baghdad, since Saturday.  The first blast was reported at a restaurant in the largely Shia neighbourhood of Jididah on Saturday, while later in the day another bomb exploded in the al-Shurjah market.  During Monday's rush hour a suicide bomber detonated a device in Adan Square in the Kadhimiyah area, killing 18 people.

Baghdad's 10-year curfew to be lifted

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abbadi has ordered a decade-old curfew in the capital, Baghdad, beginning on Saturday.  Brigadier General Saad Maan, the spokesman for the Baghdad Operation Brigade, made the announcement on state TV.  Under its current incarnation the curfew has lasted between midnight and 05:00; however following a security briefing the PM has called for the change of policy.

Twin Baghdad bombings kill 18

At least 18 people have been killed and more than 40 others wounded in a twin bomb attack in Iraq's capital, Baghdad.  Officials said the first blast was reported in the central Bab al-Sharqi area of the city, with the second device exploding two minutes later as people rushed to help the victims of the first bombing.  Meanwhile police in Samarra, around 125km north of Baghdad, said two suicide bombers targeted a security checkpoint in the centre of the city, killing three people and wounding five others.

Islamic State militants killed in Anbar air strikes

At least 36 Islamic State (IS) militants have been killed in clashes and air strikes across Anbar province.  Meanwhile 16 Peshmerga soldiers were killed on Thursday trying to repel an IS assault on the Mosul Dam in Nineveh province.  Fighting was also reported between IS militants and a Shia militia in the provincial capital Ramadi.

Suicide bomb attacks hit checkpoints in Samarra

Five suicide bomb attacks have targeted security checkpoints in the central Iraqi city of Samarra, killing three people and wounding 41 others.  The blasts were followed by rocket and mortar fire before security forces engaged militants in a firefight which lasted for several hours.  Iraqi soldiers and allied Shia militias have spent several months defending the city from Islamic States (IS) militants.

Twin suicide blast kills 30 in Anbar province

At least 30 members of the Iraqi security forces have been killed in a twin suicide bomb attack in the country's western Anbar province.  Security sources said that the Islamic State (IS) carried out the attack, which targeted an army checkpoint and a mosque in the towns of Haditha and al-Jubba.

Islamic State kidnaps dozens in Kirkuk

The Islamic State (IS) have kidnapped around 170 people from two villages in the northern Kirkuk province.  A number of former government officials and members of the police force were among those abducted during the raid. “They are particularly targeting those who are former members of the police, awakening council, or Iraqi army,” said Sarhad Qadir, the chief of suburban police in Kirkuk.

Suicide bomber targets Shia pilgrims north of capital

At least 17 people have been killed and 35 others wounded after a suicide bomber targeted Shia pilgrims north of the capital, Baghdad.  The assailant targeted a tent serving refreshments to pilgrims in the Taji area as they made their way to Samarra to commemorate the death of Hassan al-Askari.

Iraqi soldiers killed in suicide attack in Ramadi

At least 14 Iraqi soldiers have been killed and 10 others wounded in a suicide bomb attack in the southern city of Ramadi.  The assailants stole a military vehicle and detinated at a base on the Mustawdah Commercial Street.  The incident occurred as Islamic State (IS) militants seized control of 15 villages in the western province of Anbar.

Car bombs kill 37 across Iraq

At least 37 people have been killed in a series of car bombs across the capital, Baghdad, and in the northern city of Kirkuk.  Three blasts were reported in the Shia neighbourhoods of Shaab and Sadr City, while a bomb exploded outside a cafe in Kirkuk killing 16 people. 

Army hold off Islamic State (IS) assault in Ramadi

The Iraqi army has held off an assault by the Islamic State (IS) militant group on the government headquarters in Ramadi.  Security forces, backed by tribesmen, defended the complex on Thursday - leaving four troops dead and 21 others wounded.  More than 10 airstrikes were also carried out against IS positions in the area.

Bus bombing kills seven in Sadr City

At least seven people have been killed and 15 others wounded after a bomb exploded on a minibus in the Sadr City suburb of Baghdad.  The blast also damaged a number of cars in the largely Shia area of the city.  On Wednesday a twin bomb attack killed 10 people in Baghdad.

Deadly car bombing kills seven in Yusufiyah

At least seven people have been killed after a car bomb exploded in a market in the town of Youssifiyah, 20km south of the capital Baghdad.  The attack took place outside a bus terminal on Sunday morning.  No group has claimed responsibility for the bombing.

Suicide car bomb kills five in Irbil

At least five people have been killed in a suicide car bomb attack in the Kurdish capital, Irbil.  The blast occurred outside the city's governorate building and was accompanied by gunfire.  Irbil has been regarded as a safe base for foreign nationals and this is the first deadly attack in the city for more than a year.

Triple bomb attack leaves 17 dead in Baghdad

At least 17 people have been killed and more than 40 others wounded in three separate bomb attacks in the Iraqi capital, Baghdad.  The largest blast was reported in the southern Youssifiyah district where a suicide car bomb targeted an army checkpoint, killing six soldiers.  A car bomb in the Mansour district also left six people dead, while a second device exploded as police officers responded to the first blast, killing another five people. 

US deploy ground troops in Anbar province

A group of 50 US troops have been deployed in Iraqi's Anbar province as part of the military operation against the Islamic State (IS) militant group.  The Pentagon said the soldiers were sent to the al-Asad air base to prepare for a larger contingent of advisers and trainers.  The deployment comes as the US and its allies continue to carry out airstrikes on IS targets in Iraq and neighbouring Syria.

Twin car bomb blast kills 19 in Baghdad

At least 19 people were killed in a twin car bomb attack in Shia areas of Baghdad on Monday.  The first blast was reported in the al-Illam area in the south-west of the city, before a second car bomb exploded in Sadr City in the north-east.  Both attacks appeared to target Shia Muslims ahead of the festival of Ashura, which marks the death of the revered Shia martyr Imam Husayn ibn Ali.

Islamic State (IS) massacres Sunni tribesmen

Islamic State (IS) militants have been killed around 320 Sunni tribesmen, women and children in a series of massacres in Anbar province.  On Sunday 50 people from the al-Bunimr tribe were shot dead near Ras al-Maa as punishment for resisting the IS insurgency against the Iraqi government.  The country's ministry of human rights said 65 members of the tribe had also been kidnapped during the attack.

Car bombs kill 38 across Iraq

At least 38 people were killed and dozens more wounded in two car bomb attacks in Iraq on Monday.  The deadliest blast was reported near the Sunni town of Jurf al-Skhar, where a suicide bomber rammed an explosive-packed car into a security checkpoint.  A second bombing was reported in the Karrada district of the capital, Baghdad, where 15 people died.

Baghdad restaurant bombings kill 21

At least 21 people have been killed after a series of car bombs targeting restaurants exploded in Iraq's capital, Baghdad.  Twelve people died in the northern Talibiya district when two bombs exploded, while further blasts in the centre and south of the city. 

Multiple bombings kill 16 in Karbala

At least 16 people have been killed and 40 others wounded after five car bombs exploded in the Shia shrine city of Karbala.  The blasts were reported in commercial areas of the city, and come hours after Shia mourners were targeted in a suicide bombing in central Baghdad.  Karbala is the site of the martyrdom of Hussein ibn Ali in 680 and is one of the holiest sites for Shia Muslims.

Suicide bomber targets Shia funeral in Baghdad

A suicide bomber has killed at least 18 people in an attack at a Shia funeral in the capital, Baghdad.  The assailant detonated the device among a crowd of mourners at a mosque in the Harthiyah area of the city.  Elsewhere a roadside bomb exploded near a security patrol in the Tarmiyah area, north of the capital, on Sunday killing at least four people and wounding eight others.

Multiple blasts target Shia areas of Baghdad

At least 40 people have been killed and almost 100 others wounded after four car bombs exploded in largely Shia areas of the capital, Baghdad.  The deadliest attack was reported in the northern Dolaie suburb where at least 14 people died.  The bombings occurred shortly after Iraq's Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi declared that Baghdad was "safe and the vicious terrorists can't and will not reach it".

Two Iraqi journalists killed by Islamic State

Two Iraqi journalists have been killed by Islamic State (IS) fighters in the last week.  According to the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) Muhannad Akidi was shot dead by IS fighters at the Alghazlani camp, south of Mosul, on Monday evening, two months after he was kidnapped by the group.  On Friday a cameraman for Sama Salah Aldeen TV, Mohammed al-Azzawi, was beheaded in the city of Samarra.

Islamic State seize Heet as army retreats

Islamic State militants have seized the town of Heet in Anbar province after the Iraqi army retreated.  Hundreds of troops were withdrawn to help protect the Asad airbase, leaving Heet to the rebel fighters. In the past few weeks an estimated 180,000 people had fled the city.

Anbar police chief killed in day of violence

The chief of police in Anbar province has been killed in a roadside bombing, while in the eastern province of Diyala a triple car bomb attack has targeted Kurdish forces.  Major General Ahmed Saddah died on Sunday morning when a device exploded near the provincial capital, Ramadi.  In Diyala at least 29 soldiers were killed and more than 80 others wounded in three separate suicide attacks.  The Islamic State are reported to have been behind both attacks.

Car bombs target Shia areas of Baghdad

At least 43 people were killed and more than 40 others wounded on Saturday when three car bombs exploded in largely Shia areas of the capital, Baghdad.  One blast occurred at a security checkpoint in the northern Kadhimya area of the city, while two attacks were reported in the north-western Shula neighbourhood.  Another suicide bombing took place in a market in al-Mashahda to the east of Baghdad, killing seven people.

Heavy fighting reported in Anbar province

Heavy fighting has been reported in Anbar province between Islamic State (IS) fighters and pro-government Sunni militias.  On Thursday IS fighters said they had seized the town of Heet; however, the Sunni militias denied the claim and said both sides were still fighting for control of it.  Seven police officers and four soldiers were reportedly killed in an IS attack on the police headquarters in the town.

France launches airstrikes on Islamic State in Iraq

France has carried out its first airstrikes against Islamic State militants in north-eastern Iraq.  The office of French President Francois Hollande said fighter jets had "entirely destroyed" a logistics depot, and that "other operations will follow in the coming days." A spokesman for the Iraqi military said four French air strikes had hit the town of Zumar, killing dozens of militants.

Fallujah hospital hit by government shelling

A hospital in the city of Fallujah, largely controlled by the Islamic State militant group, has been hit by government shelling.  The incident came after Iraq's new prime minister, Haider al-Abadi, ordered an end to air strikes on civilian populations to comply with conditions set out by Sunni Muslim tribal leaders. "I have ordered the Iraqi Air Force to halt shelling of civilian areas even in those towns controlled by ISIS," Abadi said on his official Twitter account on Saturday.

New government approved in Iraq

A new government has been approved in Iraq, a move which paves the way for increased US military support in the fight against Islamic State militants.  US Secretary of State John Kerry said Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi's cabinet - which includes ministers from the Shia majority, Sunnis and Kurds - had the "potential to unite all of Iraq's diverse communities".  Abadi has pledged to "work with all communities in Iraq" and "to address the aspirations and legitimate grievances of the Iraqi people".

US airstrikes target Islamic State near key dam

The US has launched a series of airstrikes against Islamic State militants near the strategic Haditha dam. "At the request of the Iraqi government and in keeping with our mission to protect US personnel and facilities, US military planes have begun striking ISIL terrorists near the Haditha dam", said a US official.  Iraqi government forces have also been taking part in the offensive, with troops reclaiming the northern entrance of Berwana, around 15km from Haditha.

Airstrikes target senior IS members in Iraq

Iraqi warplanes have targeted senior members of the Islamic State (IS) militant group near the northern city of Mosul.  The defence ministry said that a senior aide to IS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was killed in the strike in Nineveh province, while two other senior members of the group are also reported to have died.  Meanwhile IS fighters are reported to have kidnapped 50 men from a the village of Tal Ali, around 240km north of Baghdad.

Twin bombing kills 20 in Baghdad

At least 20 people have been killed after two bombs exploded in Iraq's capital, Baghdad, on Thursday.  The first blast was reported in the mainly Shia district of Kadhimiyah where a car bomb was detonated along a crowded street, killing 11 people and wounding more than 40 others.  Later nine people died when a suicide car bomber targeted a police checkpoint in the centre of the city.

Suicide bomb attack kills 11 in Baghdad

At least 11 people have been killed and 25 others wounded in a suicide bomb attack close to Iraq's capital, Baghdad.  The assailant approached a security checkpoint at the northern entrance to the town of Yusufiyah and detonated a car bomb.

Suicide bombing kills nine in Baghdad

At least nine people have been killed and more than 20 others wounded in a suicide bombing at a Shia mosque in the capital, Baghdad.  The attacker detonated the device inside the mosque during noon prayers in a south-eastern area of New Baghdad.

Dozens killed in Sunni mosque attack in Diyala

At least 68 people have been killed in an attack by Shia militiamen on a Sunni mosque in the Diyala province of Iraq.  Officials said that a suicide bomber detonated his device during Friday prayers at the Musab bin Omair mosque before gunmen opened fire on fleeing worshippers.

US journalist beheaded by Islamic State militants

The Islamic State (IS) militant group has released a video which appears to show the beheading of the kidnapped US journalist James Foley.  The video was posted on social media on Tuesday, with the group claiming that the act was revenge for recent US airstrikes against its fighters.  Mr Foley had been abducted by unknown gunmen in Syria at the end of 2012.

Maliki quits as PM to ease crisis

Iraq's Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has resigned from office in a move aimed at ended the political crisis in the country.  The deputy speaker of parliament, Haider al-Abadi, has been asked to form a government by the country's president. "I announce before you today, to ease the movement of the political process and the formation of the new government, the withdrawal of my candidacy in favour of brother Doctor Haider al-Abadi," said Mr Maliki in a televised press conference. 

Islamic State militants seize more town in northern Iraq

The Islamic State militant group have seized more towns across northern Iraq from Kurdish Peshmerga forces.  Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has ordered the air force to support the Kurdish forces, who are battling to hold on to the country's largest dam.  The UN said that thousands of people had fled from the towns of Sinjar and Zumar over the weekend, with one official warning that "a human tragedy is unfolding".

Militants target prison convoy outside Baghdad

At least 51 prisoners and nine police officers have been killed after militants attacked a convoy of vehicles outside the capital, Baghdad.  The convoy was transferring the prisoners from the town of Taji to Baghdad when they were targeted with a combination of roadside and suicide bombs.

Suicide bomb attack kills 21 in Baghdad

A suicide bomb attack has killed at least 21 people and wounded 35 others in the Iraqi capital, Baghdad.  Police said the assailant drove an explosive-packed car into a police checkpoint in the Khazimiyah district of the city.  The area is home to the Shia Musa al-Khadim shrine, and many of those killed were believed to have been making their way to it as part of the lead up to the Eid festival.

Car bombs kill 27 across Baghdad

At least 27 people have been killed in a series of bombings across the Iraqi capital, Baghdad.  Five separate blasts were reported in the city on Saturday, with the deadliest attack occurring in the Shia neighbourhood of Abu Dashir where a suicide car bomb killed at least nine people.

Gunmen kill 31 in Baghdad brothel attack

At least 31 people have been killed, many of them women, after gunmen attacked a suspected brothel in the capital, Baghdad.  The assault took place in the Zayouna neighbourhood in the east of the city late on Saturday.  No group has claimed responsibility for the attack.

Shias clash with security forces in the holy city of Karbala

At least 25 people have been killed during clashes in the Shia holy city of Karbala on Wednesday.  Security forces loyal to Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki fought with supporters of the outspoken Shia cleric Mahmud al Hassani al-Sarakhi.  The unrest was sparked when the troops blocked the Shia group from marching on the Imam Hussein shrine.

ISIL declares new Islamic caliphate

The Sunni militant group ISIL have declared a new Islamic caliphate in the territory it controls in Iraq and Syria.  The group declared its leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, as the caliph and leader for Muslims everywhere. "The legality of all emirates, groups, states and organisations becomes null by the expansion of the caliph's authority and the arrival of its troops to their areas," said the group's spokesman.  The announcement came amid ongoing clashes between the group's fighters and government forces, with heavy fighting reported across the northern city of Tikrit over the weekend.

Security forces launch assault on Tikrit

The Iraqi army has launched an assault on the northern town of Tikrit, which was captured by Sunni militants earlier this month.  Heavy fighting was first reported around the university campus, with at least one military helicopter shot down by suspected Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) fighters.  Earlier today the charity Human Rights Watch (HRW) said it had evidence that around 190 captured army recruits had been executed by ISIL when they seized the town on 11 June.

Suicide bomb attack kills 19 in Baghdad

At least 19 people were killed and more than 40 others wounded in a suicide bomb attack in a Shia area of Iraq's capital, Baghdad.  The assailant detonated a suicide vest at a busy market in the Kadhimiyah area in the north of the city.

PM rejects calls for unity government in Iraq

Iraq's Prmie Minsiter Nouri al-Maliki has rejected calls for a national unity government to curb the threat from Sunni militants in the country.  Mr Maliki said a salvation government would represent a "coup against the constitution and an attempt to end the democratic experience".  In his weekly televised address he instead called for "all political forces to reconcile" as militants led by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) continue to seize large areas of the country.

ISIL militants capture more Iraqi towns

Sunni militants from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) have captured several more towns in the west of the country.  Fighters have seized Rutba, 150km from the Jordanian border, along with Qaim, Raqah and Anah in Anbar province.  The militants are believed to be heading towards the key dam city of Haditha, which is situated on the Euphrates River.

ISIL militant battle army over Baiji refinery

Militants from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) have attacked the country's main Baiji oil refinery, with heavy fighting reported throughout Wednesday morning.  The Iraq's army claims to have repelled the attack, with the chief military spokesman Lieutenant General Qassim al-Moussawi saying that 30 militants were killed in the fighting.  The army have also said that they have reclaimed parts of Tal Afar near the Syrian border, which fell to ISIL on Monday.  

ISIL militants march on Baghdad

Militants from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) are continuing their march on the capital, Baghdad.  Parts of Baquba, around 60km from Baghdad, are reported to be under the control of ISIL following overnight clashes, although security forces managed to prevent the entire city falling to the militants.  Meanwhile the US is deploying around 300 troops to protect staff at its embassy in Baghdad and the country's largest oil refinery, Baiji, has been shutdown and its foreign staff evacuated.

Suicide bombing kills nine in Baghdad

At least nine people have been killed and more than 20 others wounded in a suicide bomb attack in central Baghdad.  Police said the assailant detonated a suicide vest near Tahir Square, while another blast killed in the mainly Shia district of Sadr City killed three people.

ISIL militants execute Iraqi soldiers

Photographs have been released apparently showing around 170 captured Iraqi soldiers being killed by militants from the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).  The images, which have not been independently verified, were posted on Twitter over the weekend.  Meanwhile ISIL fighters have seized the north-western city of Tal Afar in the Ninawa Governorate despite Iraq's security forces intensifying their counter-offensive.

Cleric calls on Shias to take arms against ISIL

Iraq's most senior Shia cleric, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, has called on Iraqis to take arms against the Sunni militant group ISIL.  Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) have seized several key towns in the north and east of the country this week, including Iraq's second city of Mosul. "Citizens who are able to bear arms and fight terrorists, defending their country and their people and their holy places, should volunteer and join the security forces to achieve this holy purpose," said a representative for al-Sistani during Friday prayers in Karbala. 

Kurdish forces in control of Kirkuk after army flees

A Kurdish military spokesman said their troops have taken full control of the northern oil-rich city of Kirkuk.  The announcement came a day after the Iraqi army fled the city following an assault by Sunni militants from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), who today announced that they are advancing on the capital, Baghdad.  Iraqi Kurds have long wanted to incorporate Kirkuk province into their autonomous region, a move strongly opposed by the central government.

Tikrit falls to ISIL militants

Militants from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) have attacked the city of Tikrit, a day after they seized control of Mosul in northern Iraq.  One police colonel told the AFP news agency that all of the city is now under the control of ISIL fighters, with the group reportedly setting up checkpoints around the city.  Fighting has also been reported further south in Samarra and in the oil-refinery town of Baiji.

500,000 flee Mosul after city falls to ISIL

Around 500,000 people have fled Iraq's second city of Mosul after militants from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) seized control of the city yesterday. After declaring a state of emergency, Iraq's Prime Minister Nourial-Maliki said "we will not allow Mosul to be under the banner of terrorism, We call on all internationalorganisations to support Iraq and its stance in fighting terrorism. The entire world will suffer if terrorism spreads."

ISIL militants seize control of Mosul

Gunmen from the militant group Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) have seized several key buildings in the northern city of Mosul, government officials say.  Overnight hundreds of militants stormed the country's second largest city in Nineveh province, freeing hundreds of prisoners and forcing security forces and government officials to flee.  It has also been reported the ISIL fighters have kidnapped 28 Turkish lorry drivers in the area.  Iraq's Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has asked parliament to declare a state of emergency.

Twin blasts hit Kurdish party HQ

At least 18 people have been killed and 50 others wounded after two bombs exploded at the headquarters of a Kurdish political party in north-eastern Iraq.  A suicide attack and a car bombing  hit the offices of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) party in the town of Jalawla in Diyala province.  The militant group Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) claimed responsibility for the attack.

Gunmen storm Ramadi university

Gunmen stormed a university in the city of Ramadi on Saturday morning, taking dozens of students and academic staff hostage, before security forces reclaimed control of the campus.  The assailants were reported to be members of the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).

Wave of bombings kill 60 across Baghdad

At least 60 people were killed and more than 100 others wounded in a wave of bombings across Iraq's capital, Baghdad, on Saturday.  The deadliest attack took place in the Shia district of Bayaa where a car bomb killed 23 people, most of them young men playing billiards.

Twin car bomb blast kills 13 near Mosul

At least 13 people have been killed in a twin car bomb attack near the northern city of Mosul.  Local police said the blasts occurred within minutes of each other in the village of Tahrawa, which is inhabited by families from the Shabak ethnic group.  More than 40 people were reportedly wounded in the attack.

Heavy fighting reported in Fallujah

At least 18 people have been killed and more than 40 others wounded in shelling in the besieged city of Fallujah.  According to a local doctor the rocket fire hit a market, municipal offices, and areas of the city's hospital.  Government forces have been battling to retake the city from Islamic militants, including the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), since January.

Suicide bomber kills 19 at Shia mosque in Baghdad

At least 19 people have been killed and dozens more wounded in a suicide bomb attack at a Shia mosque in the capital, Baghdad.  The victims were preparing for midday prayers at the Abu al-Timan Husseiniyah mosque in the Shorja district when the bomber struck at the building's entrance.  Elsewhere in Iraq roadside bombs have killed two people in the Sadr City and Dura districts, while in the northern city of Mosul a series of bombings and shootings have killed at least six.

Shia pilgrims targeted in Baghdad bombings

At least 28 Shia Muslim pilgrims have been killed in a triple bombing in Iraq's capital, Baghdad.  Suicide bombers targeted pilgrims in the Mansur and Urr districts, while a car bomb detonated in Baab al-Sharji in the centre of the city.  Shia pilgrims are frequently targeted by Sunni militants, with today's attacks coming despite heightened security across Baghdad.

Deadly car bombings hit Baghdad

At least 25 people have been killed and 80 others wounded after a series of car bombs exploded across Iraq's capital, Baghdad.  A total of eight blast were reported across the city during the morning rush hour, most of them in predominantly Shia areas.  The attacks came as people were celebrating the birthday of Imam Ali, the Prophet Muhammad's cousin and son-in-law.

Militants launch deadly attack on barracks near Mosul

Militants have killed at least 20 Iraqi soldiers in an attack on an army barracks in the north of the country.  Gunmen launched the assault on Saturday night in the village of Ayn al-Jahish, outside the city of Mosul.  A medical worker told the AP news agency that some of the victims had been shot at close range and some were found with their hands tied behind their backs, indicating that they had been executed.

Security increased as voting begins in Iraq

Iraq has increased security across the country as polls opened for the first parliamentary elections since US troops withdrew in 2011.  Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki closed Iraq's airspace and deployed hundreds of thousands of troops at polling stations in an attempt to protect voters.  After voting in central Baghdad Mr Maliki said "terrorists were challenging us and now we challenge them. I call upon all Iraqis to cast their votes in a brave manner."

Twin blasts kill 15 in Saadiyah

Fifteen people have been killed and 20 others wounded after two bombs exploded at a market in the town of Saadiyah.  The attack comes a day after a suicide bomb killed 30 people at a political rally in the nearby town of Khanaqin, with Iraq due to vote in parliamentary elections on Wednesday.

Suicide bomb kills 30 at Kurdish political rally

At least 30 people have been killed and 60 others wounded after a suicide bomb exploded at a political rally in north-eastern Iraq.  The blast appeared to target Kurdish Peshmerga forces in the town of Khanaquin in Diyala province.  The blast comes two days before the country heads to the polls in the first nationwide elections since US troops withdrew in 2011.

Iraqi army helicopters target 'jihadist convoy' in Syria

Iraqi military helicopters have targeted a self-declared jihadist convoy inside eastern Syria, killing at least eight people.  The convoy of fuel tankers was reportedly heading to supply ISIS fighters in Iraq's Anbar province.  Brigadier General Saad Maan said there was no coordination with the Syrian regime over the strike near the city of al-Bukamal, which is the first time Iraq has carried out an attack across the border.

Shia election rally hit by deadly blasts

At least 37 people have been killed after a series of bombs exploded at an election rally for a Shia political group in Baghdad.  Around 10,000 people had gathered at the Industrial Stadium in the east of the city for the Asaib Ahl al-Haq group, who were announcing their candidates for the country's parliamentary elections.  The Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) claimed responsibility for the attack.

Multiple attacks leave 33 dead across Iraq

At least 33 people have been killed and almost 80 others wounded in a series of attacks across Iraq.  A suicide bomber drove his car into a police checkpoint in the town of Suwayra, killing 12 people and wounding 19 others, while a car bomb killed five people at an army checkpoint in the town of Madaen.  At least 14 people were killed in three separate bombings in Baghdad on Monday night, while other deadly attacks were reported in Mishahda and Latifiyah.

Day of violence leaves 36 dead across Iraq

At least 36 people have been killed and 53 others wounded in a series of attacks across Iraq.  Five people were killed when suicide bombers targeted the entrance of a government compound in Ramadi, while in nearby Fallujah at least 16 civilians were killed by mortar fire.  Elsewhere two car bombs killed 15 people in the Sadr and Ubaidy ares of the capital, Baghdad.

Suicide bombs kill 16 in northern Iraq

At least 16 people have been killed in two separate suicide bomb attacks in northern Iraq on Sunday.  A car packed with explosives went off near a joint army and police patrol in Mosul, killing five security personnel and five civilians.  Earlier a suicide car bomber drove a vehicle into a security checkpoint in the northern town of Dibis, killing six people and wounding 15 others.

Deputy PM survives assassination attempt

Iraq's Deputy Prime Minister Saleh al-Mutlaq has survived an assassination attempt in the capital, Baghdad.  Mr Mutlaq was travelling in a convoy in the western suburb of Abu Ghraib when they were attacked by militants dressed as soldiers, triggering a shootout with guards.

Ramadi clashes leave 50 dead

At least 52 "terrorists" have been killed in heavy fighting between militants and Iraqi security forces in the central city of Ramadi.  A spokesman for Iraq's Counter-Terrorism service, Sabah Noori, said that some of the deceased were foreign fighters.  The clashes began on Thursday and continued well into Friday morning near a government complex in the city.

Deadly attacks kill 11 across Iraq

Police in Iraq have found the bodies of six men who had been abducted in the early hours of Sunday morning from the town of Latifiyah, 30km south of Baghdad.  The victims were discovered in a remote area near the capital with gunshot wounds to the head.  Elsewhere a suicide bomber targeted police in the northern city of Tikrit, killing three officers and wounding 13 others.

Wave of attacks leave 80 dead across Iraq

At least 80 people, including 41 soldiers, were killed in a series of attacks across Iraq on Tuesday.  Militants ambushed an army convoy near Taji, killing 22 soldiers and wounding 15 others, while a suicide bomber also targeted troops inside the city, killing five.  Other attacks were reported across the capital, Baghdad, and in the predominantly Sunni town of Tarmiyah.

Suicide bomber kills 45 in Hilla attack

At least 45 people have been killed and more than 150 others wounded in a suicide car bomb attack in the southern Iraqi city of Hilla.  The assailant detonated the device at a checkpoint at the northern entrance of the largely Shia city during the morning rush hour.  More than 50 cars were set ablaze and many of the victims were trapped inside their vehicles.

Baghdad hit by wave of bombings

At least 14 people have been killed and more than 60 others wounded after nine bombs exploded across mostly Shia areas of Baghdad.  The deadliest attack was reported in the Karrada district in the centre of the city where a car bomb killed three people and wounded 10 more.  Other blasts were reported in the Shaab, Zafaraniyah, Shuala districts of the city.

Gunmen storm government complex in Samarra

Gunmen in military uniforms have stormed the city council and court house buildings in the northern city of Iraq.  The militants seized the compound for four hours until the Iraqi army battled to regain control of it, with four police officers and three civilians killed in the fighting.  A further 47 people were wounded during the raid.

Motorbike bomb kills 31 in Baghdad

At least 31 people have been killed and more than 50 others wounded after a bomb planted on a motorbike exploded in the Iraqi capital Baghdad.  The blast was reported in a busy motorbike market in the Shia suburb of Sadr City.

Latest violence leaves 17 dead across Iraq

At least 17 people have been killed in the latest wave of violence to hit Iraq.  The deadliest attack was reported on a highway between Baghdad and Mosul where a bomb exploded, killing three police officers and four detainees.  Seven people died in a series of shootings across the northern city of Mosul, while bombings were reported in the Baghdad suburbs of Sadr City and Siniyah, killing at least two.

Mortar fire kills 22 in Mussayab

At least 22 people have been killed and dozens more wounded after several mortar shells were fired into the largely Shia town of Mussayab, around 60km south of Baghdad.  Five shells hit a bust market and a parking lot in the centre of the town during the evening rush hour.  Police said the rounds had been fired from the nearby Sunni town of Jurf al-Sakr.

Wave of bombings kill 49 across Iraq

At least 49 people have been killed and dozens more wounded after a series of bombs exploded in largely Shia districts of the Iraqi capital, Baghdad, and in the southern city of Hilla.  A total of seven car bombs were reported in and around Hilla, killing at least 35 people, while a bomb planted in a minibus exploded in the northern Baghdad suburb of Ur, leaving 11 dead.  Other blasts were reported in the suburbs of Bayaa, Ilam, Amil and Shurta.

Bombings kill five in Baghdad market

At least five people have been killed and 15 others wounded after a series of bombs exploded in a market in the capital, Baghdad.  A local police officer said that two devices which had been planted in clothing stalls in the al-Arabi exploded simultaneously on Thursday morning.

Insurgents attack military camp near Mosul

At least 15 Iraqi soldiers have been killed after insurgents attacked a military camp near the northern city of Mosul.  The troops, who were guarding an oil pipeline in the village of Ayn al-Jahish, were ambushed in the early hours of Tuesday morning by suspected members of the Sunni group the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIS).

Militants killed by their own car bomb in central Iraq

At least 21 militants have been killed in central Iraq after they accidentally detonated a car bomb.  The head of a Sunni pro-government militia told the AFP that the militants were filming a propaganda video in the rural Jilam area, south of the city of Samarra, when the device exploded.  Police arrested a further 22 suspected insurgents and found multiple car bombs and several explosive belts at the scene.

Seven car bombs hit Baghdad

At least seven people have been killed after a series of car bombs exploded in the Iraqi capital, Baghdad.  The blasts, which targeted mostly Shia areas of the city, come a day after 25 people were killed in multiple bombings in the city's heavily fortified green zone.

Multiple bombings hit Iraqi capital's Green Zone

A series of bombs have exploded across Baghdad's heavily fortified Green Zone, killing at least 25 people and wounding more than 40 others.  Two car bombs exploded simultaneously near the foreign ministry building, leaving at least seven people dead.  This was followed by a blast at a nearby restaurant which killed five, while another car bombing occurred in Khilani Square in the city's commercial centre.

Baghdad car bombings leave 23 dead

At least 23 people have been killed in a series of car bombings in and around the Iraqi capital, Baghdad.  Two blasts were reported in the town of Mahmoudiyam, 30km south of Baghdad, killing nine people and wounding almost 30 others.  In the capital itself deadly explosions were reported in the Hurriyah, Baladiyat and Sadr City neighbourhoods.  Police also discovered four bodies with gunshot wounds in the south-western district of Amil.

Militants storm Iraqi ministry building

At least 12 people have been killed after a group of six suicide bombers attacked a ministry of transportation building in north-east Baghdad.  The militants took a number of hostages, killing at least four of them, before the Iraqi security forces regained control of the site.  No group has claimed responsibility for the assault.

Attacks kill 19 across Baghdad

At least 19 people have been killed in a series of car bomb and gun attacks in mostly Shia areas of Baghdad.  Two explosions were reported in the southern Shula district, leaving seven people dead, while other attacks were reported in New Baghdad, Talibiya and in the Christian area of Camp Sareh.

Bomb blasts kill 26 in Baghdad

At least 26 people have been killed and almost 70 others wounded after a series of bombs exploded across the Iraqi capital, Baghdad.  Seven separate blasts were reported on Monday morning, five in mostly Shia districts of the city and two in predominantly Sunni areas.

Army launches major offensive in Ramadi

Iraqi security forces have launched a major assault against rebel fighters in the restive city of Ramadi.  A combination of police, pro-government militiamen and special forces SWAT teams are trying to regain control of several key neighbourhoods in the city, which are currently being held militants from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).

Bombings kill 58 across central Iraq

At least 58 people have been killed and almost 100 others wounded in a series of bomb attacks across central Iraq.  Eighteen people died when a suicide bomber targeted a funeral in the village of Buhriz near Baquba, while in Baghdad seven car bombings were reported in mostly Shia districts of the city.

Car bomb kills nine at Baghdad bus station

A car bomb has killed at least nine people and wounded 16 others at a bus station in central Baghdad.  The device exploded on Sunday morning at the Allawi al-Hillah terminal.  Another car bombing on Sunday killed five people outside a supermarket in the town of Tuz Khurmatu around 175km from the capital.

Army launches assault on Fallujah

The Iraqi army has launched a major assault on the city of Fallujah after it was captured by Islamic militants last week.  Thousands of residents have fled the city following the raid by fighters from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), who also captured several parts of Ramadi.  On Sunday army airstrikes and fighting left more than 34 people dead and 58 others wounded around Ramadi, the provincial capital of Anbar province.

Sunni militants seize control of Fallujah

Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has promised to end the unrest in Anbar province after Sunni militants seized the city of Fallujah.  The police chief of Anbar said that Fallujah was now completely controlled by fighters from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and by local Sunni tribesmen.

Security forces battle militants in Ramadi and Fallujah

Iraqi security forces have been battling a group of militants who carried out a coordinated raid on the predominantly Sunni cities of Ramadi and Fallujah.  Thousands of local tribesmen took control of local government building in the two cities on Wednesday, forcing the army to withdraw.  The unrest was sparked when police broke up a Sunni protest camp in Ramadi on Monday, killing at least 13 people.

Ten killed as police storm protest camp

At least 10 people have been killed after fighting erupted when Iraqi police broke up a Sunni Muslim protest camp in the western province of Anbar.  Earlier it was announced that an agreement had been reached with local Sunni leaders to close the camp in Ramadi; however gunfire erupted when police began the operation to dismantle the camp.  A group of 40 MPs from a Sunni political alliance have offered their resignations over the incident.

Five journalists killed in Tikrit attacks

Five journalists have been killed after unknown militants stormed an Iraqi television station in Tikrit on Monday.  Two of the attackers detonated suicide bomb vests outside the offices of the Salaheddin television station before two others entered the building.

Senior military officers killed in Anbar attacks

At least 18 troops, including five senior officers, have been killed in an attack in the western province of Anbar.  The soldier's convoy was ambushed by suspected members of the jihadist Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIS) while they were on operations in the Huran valley.

Suicide bombers target Shia pilgrims across Iraq

At least 36 people have been killed and dozens more wounded in a series of suicide bomb attacks targeting Shia pilgrims.  More than 20 people died, including a prominent Iraqi journalist, when a bomber detonated his device inside a tent in the Dora area of south Baghdad.    Hundreds of thousands of Shia Muslims are heading to the city of Karbala for Arbeen, or the 40th day, which commemorates the death of the Prophet Mohammed's grandson, Imam Hessein.

Deadly attacks leave 65 dead across Iraq

At least 65 people have been killed and around 100 others wounded in a series of deadly attacks across Iraq.  Four militants wearing explosive vests attacked a police station in the town of Baiji, killing eight police officers and wounding several others.  A wave of car bombings were also reported in largely Shia districts of the capital Baghdad and in the northern city of Tikrit.

Oil pipeline workers shot dead in Iraq

At least 18 oil pipeline workers, including 15 Iranian nationals, have been shot dead at an installation in Diyala province.  Five Iranians and two Iraqis were also wounded in the attack, which occurred near the town of Muqdadiyah.

Iraqi guard killed during prison break in Baghdad

A guard has been killed during a prison break at the al-Adela facility in northern Baghdad.  At least 22 prisoners escaped during the jailbreak, 13 of which were later recaptured following a widespread manhunt.

Car bomb kills 12 in central Iraq

At least 12 people have been killed after a car bomb exploded outside a cafe in the central Sunni town of Buhriz.  Three other bombings have also been reported in and around the capital Baghdad today, killing a further eight people.

Deadly bombings kill 28 across Baghdad

At least 28 people have been killed and almost 100 others wounded after a series of car bombs exploded across the capital, Baghdad.  The deadliest attack was reported in the mostly Shia district of Bayaa in the south of the city where seven people died when a bomb detonated inside a car mechanic's shop.  Other bombings were reported in the Shia areas of Hessainiya, Amel, Ghadir, Sadr City and in the central Sunni neighbourhood of Radhwaniya.

Magazine editor shot dead in Kurdistan

A magazine editor has been shot dead by gunmen outside his home in the autonomous region of Kurdistan.  Kawa Ahmed Germyani, editor of the Rayal magazine, had been investigating political corruption in the region and had previously received death threats over his work.

Security forces end siege at Kirkuk shopping mall

Iraqi security forces have retaken a shopping mall from a group of militants following a 10-hour operation.  The gunmen stormed the Jawahir Mall in Kirkuk on Wednesday afternoon, taking several shoppers hostage before moving them to the roof of the five-storey building.  The militants had earlier carried out a suicide bomb attack on the city's police headquarters, killing at least five people and wounding more than 70 others.

Latest attacks leave 19 dead across Iraq

At least 19 people have been killed in the latest series of attacks to hit Iraq.  Nine people died in a combined suicide and mortar bomb attack at a government compound in the Sunni town of Tarmiya, while a series of car bombings and shootings left 10 others dead in Baghdad, Abu Ghraib, Fallujah and Mosul.  The country has seen a significant upsurge in violence this year, with more than 6,200 people dead and thousands more wounded.

Suicide bomber kills 12 at Baquba funeral

At least 12 people have been killed and 25 others wounded after a suicide bomber attacked a funeral in the city of Baquba.  The funeral was being held for Mudher al-Shallal al-Araki, a Sunni fighter killed in a roadside bombing near his home on Friday.

Wave of violence leaves 33 dead across Iraq

At least 33 people have been killed and dozens more wounded in a series of shootings and bombings across Iraq.  Police in the capital, Baghdad, found the bodies of 13 men in the Jabour and Shula neighbourhoods, all of which had suffered gunshots to the head.  Elsewhere five members of the same family were shot dead in their home in the Hurriyah neighbourhood, while mortar fire killed two in the Albu Eitha neighbourhood.  Other attacks were reported in the city of Ramadi and the towns of Habbaniyah and Khanaqin.

Car bombing kills 25 in Diyala province

At least 25 people have been killed after a car bomb exploded in the north-eastern town of Sadiya in Diyala province.  The device exploded in a busy food market in a neighbourhood populated largely by Faylis, or Shia Kurds.

Shia areas of Baghdad hit by deadly bomb blasts

At least 28 people have been killed after a series of bombs exploded in mostly Shia areas of the capital, Baghdad.  The first blast was reported at a market in the central Sadria neighbourhood, leaving five people dead and 15 others wounded.  Other attacks occurred in the Shaab, Tobchi, Karrada, Azamiyah and Amil neighbourhoods of the city.

Bombings target Shia pilgrims across Iraq

At least 41 people have been killed in a series of bombings targeting Shia Muslims across Iraq.  Around 32 people died when a suicide bomber detonated his device among a procession of pilgrims near the city of Sa'diyah in Diyala province.  Elsewhere a twin blast in the town of Hafriyah in Wasit province killed a further nine people.

Twin suicide blast kills 19 at Tarmiya army base

At least 19 people have been killed in a twin suicide blast at a military base in the central town of Tarmiya.  Troops opened fire on the first bomber before he detonated his explosives outside an external gate, with a second attacker striking inside the compound shortly afterwards.

Suicide blast kills seven police in al-Salam

At least seven police officers have been killed and 14 others wounded in a suicide bomb attack in the northern town of al-Salam.  Police said the bomber rammed an explosive-laden truck into the police headquarters in the town, which is some 75km north-east of Baghdad.

Seven killed in northern Iraq violence

At least seven people have been killed in three separate attacks across northern Iraq.  A car bomb was followed by two subsequent suicide bombs at a police station in the Sunni town of Sharqat, while another car bomb exploded outside a police academy in Tikrit.  Elsewhere gunmen shot dead three civil servants and wounded another in the city of Mosul.

Triple bombings leave 20 dead across Iraq

Three separate bombings have killed at least 20 people and wounded some 46 others across Iraq.  Two suicide bombers dressed in army uniforms killed 11 security personnel in the town of Tarmiyah, 40km north of Baghdad.  Elsewhere suicide blasts were also reported in the northern cities of Mosul and Tikrit.

Coordinated bombings kill 51 across Baghdad

A series of coordinates bombings have killed at least 51 people in largely Shia areas of Baghdad.  Several deadly blasts were reported throughout the capital, where more than 120 people were also wounded.  Elsewhere a suicide bomber killed 14 Iraqi soldiers who were queuing outside a bank in the northern city of Mosul.

Militants target checkpoints across Anbar province

At least 25 members of the security forces and three civilians were killed when militants attacks a series of police and military checkpoints across the western Anbar province.  Four attacks were reported near the town of Rutba, including a suicide car bombing which claimed five lives.

Baghdad cafe bombing kills 37

At least 37 people have been killed and 42 others wounded after a suicide car bomb exploded at busy cafe in the Iraqi capital, Baghdad.  Police said that a car packed with explosives was driven into the cafe in the largely Shia area of Amil.

Six killed in Samarra suicide blast

At least six people have been killed in a suicide bomb attack in the northern city of Samarra.  The bomber appears to have targeted the house of a senior police officer, Nasser Dawood, who reportedly survived the blast.

Baghdad car bombing kills 12

At least 12 people have been killed and 16 others wounded in a car bomb attack near an ice cream shop in the Iraqi capital, Baghdad.  The device exploded in the eastern suburb of Mashtal in Nissan district

Mosque bombing kills 12 in Kirkuk

At least 12 people have been killed after a bomb exploded outside a Sunni mosque in the northern city of Kirkuk.  The device exploded as worshippers were leaving the al-Qodus mosque following prayers as part of the Eid al-Adha religious holiday.

Series of bombings kill 34 across Iraq

At least 34 people have been killed after a series of bombs exploded across mainly Shia areas of Iraq.  Four car bombs left 15 people dead in Kut Province, while other attacks were reported in Baghdad, Diwaniyah, Basra, Samawah and Samarra.

Coordinated bombings kill 37 across Baghdad

At least 37 people have been killed in the latest series of coordinated bombings to hit the Iraqi capital, Baghdad.  A total of six blasts were reported across the city; five in mainly Shia neighbourhoods and one in the Sunni suburb of Doura.

Twin suicide blast kills 29

At least 29 people have been killed in separate suicide bomb attacks in Iraq.  At least 14 children and their head teacher died when a suicide bomber drove a truck packed with explosives into a school playground in the northern village of Tel Afar, while another suicide bomber detonated his device among a group of Shia pilgrims in Baghdad.

Rush hour bombings kill 42 across Baghdad

At least 42 people have been killed and more than 75 others wounded after a series of car bombings hit the Iraqi capital Baghdad during the morning rush hour.  Police have said the dozen or so explosions hit mainly Shia areas of the city, including Sadr City, Habibiya and Kazimiyah.

Mosque bombing kills 46 in Mussayab

At least 46 people have been killed and 50 others wounded after a suicide bomber targeted mourners at a mosque in Mussayab.  The victims were attending the funeral of a man killed by militants on Saturday.

Six killed in Kurdish capital blasts

At least six people have been killed after a series of bombs exploded in Erbil, capital of the autonomous province of Kurdistan.  Four car bombings were reported near the headquarters of the Iraqi Kurdish security services, the first significant attacks to hit the region since 2007.

Wave of bombings kill 22 in Baghdad

At least 22  people have been killed and dozens more wounded after a series of bombs exploded in mainly Sunni areas of Baghdad.  The deadliest blast occurred in the northern district of Saba'a al-Bour where at least 15 people were killed, while a further seven people died in a bombing at a crowded market in the southern district of Dora.

Militants target government buildings in northern Iraq

At least 14 people have been killed after militants attacked local government buildings in northern Iraq.  Seven civilians, three Iraqi soldiers and four militants died during the violence in the town on Hawijah, west of Kirkuk.

Funeral bombing leaves 72 dead in Baghdad

At least 72 people have been killed and some 120 others wounded after two suicide bombers targeted a Shia funeral in the Sadr City neighbourhood of Baghdad.  The first attacker detonated his explosive-laden car outside a tent where mourners had gathered before a second on foot blew himself up nearby.

Mosque bombing leaves 16 dead in Samarra

At least 16 people have been killed after two bombs exploded inside a Sunni mosque in the city of Samarra.  The devices went off around midday as worshippers were arriving for Friday prayers.

Wave of bombings leaves 46 dead across Iraq

At least 46 people have died and more than 100 others wounded in the latest wave of bombings to hit Iraq.  A total of 17 separate explosions were reported across the country, the deadliest of which was in the largely Shia city of Hilla where 15 people died in a twin car bomb attack.  Other blasts occurred in Karbala, Basra, Kut, Nasiriya, Iskandariya and across the capital Baghdad.

Suicide bomber targets Shabak funeral near Mosul

A suicide bomb attack has left at least 36 people dead and 48 others wounded at a funeral near the northern city of Mosul.  The funeral was being held for a member of the minority Shabak community, who follow a distinct religion which combines elements of Islam and Christianity.

Twin blast kills 30 at Baquba mosque

At least 30 people have been killed after two roadside bombs exploded outside a mosque in the city of Baquba.  The blasts occurred as worshippers left the al-Salam mosque following Friday prayers.  

Baghdad car bombing kills 35

At least 35 people have been killed and some 55 others wounded after a car bomb exploded outside a Shia mosque in the capital, Baghdad.  The attack took place in the Kasra district of the city as worshippers were leaving the mosque following evening prayers.

Series of attacks leaves 18 dead across Diyala

At least 18 people have been killed in a series of separate attacks across the eastern province of Diyala.  Five people died when a car bomb exploded outside a cafe near the provincial capital Baquba, while three others were killed by a roadside bomb in the Bawiya suburb.  Gunmen also shot dead six people at a house in the town of Yusufiyah as they were preparing for the funeral of a Sunni Arab man. 

Gunmen kill 16 in attack on Shia family

At least 16 people have been killed after gunmen attacked a Shia family living just south of the capital Baghdad.  Local officials said that gunmen bombed two adjacent houses in the town of Latifiya after shooting dead the family members.

Baghdad car bombings leave 50 dead

At least 50 people have been killed after a series of car bombs exploded in largely Shia areas of Baghdad.  A total of eight blasts were reported across the city, many of them targeting cafes and public areas of the city.  No group has taken responsibility for the latest attacks; however, they have been attributed to the Sunni militants behind many of the recent similar sectarian killings.

Dozens killed after violence at Iranian dissident camp

A UN investigation team said that at least 52 bodies have been identified at an Iranian dissident camp in Iraq's Diyala province.  The exiled People's Mujahedin of Iran (PMOI) accused the Iraqi of army of carrying out the attack, a claim which the Iraqi government has strongly disputed.

Market bombing kills 16 in Samarra

At least 16 people have been killed after a car bomb exploded at a busy food market in the city of Samarra.  A further 26 people were wounded in the blast, which occurred at the Mraydi fruit and vegetable market in the Jiberia neighbourhood of the city.

Coordinated Baghdad bombings kill at least 65

At least 71 people have been killed and more than 200 others wounded after a series of coordinated bombings were reported in Shia areas of Baghdad.  The blasts appeared to be targeting people as they made their way to work in the morning rush hour.  The deadliest attack occurred in the northern neighbourhood of Kazimiyah, where two bombs exploded in a car park before a suicide bomber detonated their device as people rushed to the scene.

Latest wave of bombings leaves 47 dead across Iraq

At least 47 people have been killed and dozens more wounded in the latest series of bombings to hit Iraq.  Multiple blasts were reported in the capital, Baghdad, and the city of Baquba where a car bomb exploded near a housing complex, killing 11.  Attacks were also reported in northern towns of Qiyara, Balad and the city of Mosul.

Thousands of refugees flood into Iraqi Kurdistan

Tens of thousands of refugees are streaming over the border into Kurdistan in northern Iraq to escape the continuing conflict in Syria.  Jumbe Omari Jumbe from the International Organization for Migration (IOM) said the refugees, mostly Syrian Kurds, feared that attacks against them will increase.

Balad cafe blast kill 16

At least 16 people have been killed in a suicide bomb attack at a cafe in the central town of Balad, located 80km north of the capital Baghdad.  A further 35 people were wounded in the blast, which comes after a weekend of violence claimed more than 100 lives across the country. 

Weekend of violence leaves 100 dead across Iraq

Almost 100 people have been killed in a series of shootings and bombings across Iraq as the violence which has plagued the country in recent months continued.  On Saturday at least 91 people died and over 300 wounded when militants carried out a total of 17 attacks in Baghdad and other Iraqi cities during Eid al-Fitr celebrations.  Further attacks on Sunday in Buhriz, Balad and Mahaweel left at least seven people. 

Baghdad car bombings leave 50 dead

At least 50 people have been killed and more than 100 others wounded by a series of car bombings around the Iraqi capital Baghdad.  As with most of the recent bombings in Iraq the perpetrators appeared to be targeting Shia Muslim areas of the cities.

Mosque bombings kills nine in Baghdad

At least seven people have been killed after in suicide bomb attack at a Shia mosque in the Iraqi capital Baghdad.  The incident follows a bombing at a Sunni mosque on Tuesday evening which left two people dead. 

Wave of car bombings kills 48 across Iraq

At least 48 people have been killed and more than 100 others wounded in a series of car bombing across Iraq.  According to local police 12 separate car bombs exploded in mostly Shia areas of Baghdad during the morning rush hour, while other blasts were reported in Mahmudiya, Kut and Basra.

Muqdadiya bombing leaves 15 dead

At least 15 people have been killed after a bomb exploded in a cafe in the town of Muqdadiyah, 90km north of Baghdad.  Elsewhere four people died when a bomb exploded at a garden wedding in the Baghdad suburb of al-Amiriya.

Police officers killed in Shurra shooting

At least nine police officers have been killed in an attack in the town of Shurra, 60km south of Mosul.  Militants used mortars and automatic weapons to target a federal police checkpoint before detonating a roadside bomb as emergency personnel responded to the scene.

Shia drivers killed at fake roadblock

Militants have killed 14 Shia truck drivers after setting up a fake roadblock on a main highway outside Sulaiman Pek.  According to the local mayor the militants checked the drivers' ID cards before executing them.

Baghdad bombings leave 30 dead

At least 30 people have been killed in a series of car bombings across the Iraqi capital Baghdad over the weekend.  The blasts were reported on Saturday evening in the commercial districts of Karrada, Baiyaa, Shurta, Tobchi and Zafaraniya.

Suicide bombing kills 25 in Mosul

At least 25 people, many of them soldiers, have been killed in a suicide car bomb attack in the northern city of Mosul.  The bomber appeared to be targeting a military convoy in the eastern district of Kokchali.

Gunmen carry out deadly raids on two Iraq prisons

At least 41 people have been killed after militants carried out coordinated attacks on two prisons in Iraq.  The gunmen targeted the Abu Ghraib facility, west of Baghdad, and the Taji prison to the north of the city.  It is unclear how many prisoners escaped during the raids, with jihadists claiming that thousands were freed.

Mosque bombing kills 20 in Diyala province

At least 20 people have been killed and dozens more wounded in a bombing at a Sunni mosque in the eastern province of Diyala.  The blast occurred at the Abu Bakr al-Sadiq mosque in the town of Wajihiya as local residents attended Friday prayers.

Mosul bombing leaves seven dead

At least seven people have been killed and 21 others wounded in a bombing at a tea house in the northern city of Mosul.  The blast occurred after sunset in the Bab Laqash neighbourhood of the city.

Wave of attacks leave 30 dead across Iraq

At least 30 people have been killed and dozens more wounded in the latest wave of attacks across Iraq.  A car bomb killed 11 people at a funeral in the city of Muqdadiya, while 14 members if the Iraq security forces were shot dead in the north-western province of Anbar.  Other attacks were reported in Fallujah, Ramadi, Tikrit and Kirkuk.

Baghdad mosque bombing kills 15

At least 15 people were killed on Friday when a suicide bomber targeted a Shia mosque in the Iraqi capital Baghdad.  A further 30 people were wounded in the blast, which occurred during evening prayers.

Latest bomb attacks kill 17 across Iraq

At least 17 people were killed on Wednesday across Iraq in the latest wave of bombings to hit Iraq.  Seven civilians died in the Nahrawan suburb of Baghdad when a roadside bomb exploded on a busy street, while other blasts were reported in the Zafaraniyah suburb and in the northern city of Mosul.

Suicide bomb attack kills 22 in Muqdadiyah

At least 22 people have been killed in a suicide bomb attack at a Shia mosque in the town of Muqdadiyah.  The blast occurred on Monday evening during the funeral for a police officer killed in a recent roadside bombing.

Wave of bombings kill more than 40

At least 46 people have been killed in a series of bombings in mostly Shia areas of Iraq.  A total of five car bombs were reported in the capital, Baghdad, while other incidents were reported in the northern cities of Kirkuk and Mosul.

Children killed in football pitch blast

At least 12 people have been killed, most of them children under 16, after a bomb exploded at a football pitch in south-east Baghdad.  The blast, which occurred in the Nahrawan area of the city, is the latest in a series of attacks targeting people playing and watching sports. 

Baghdad cafe bombs leave 18 dead

At least 18 people have been killed in a series of bombs exploded at coffee shops in and around the Iraqi capital Baghdad.  Two blasts in north and south Baghdad left eight people dead, while 10 people were killed in twin attacks at cafes in the city of Baquba.

Twin blast at Ramadi checkpoint leaves 11 dead

At least 11 people have been killed after two bombs exploded near a checkpoint close to the western city of Ramadi.  The devices, which had been planted in a senior police officer's car, exploded just before midday in the village of Zangoura at a checkpoint manned by members of the pro-government Sahwa militia.

Baghdad bombings leave dozens dead

At least 30 people have been killed in a series of car bomb attacks in the Iraqi capital Baghdad.  Eight vehicles laden with explosives were detonated across the mainly Shia neighbourhoods of Nahrawan, Jadidah, Jihad, Ma'amel, Karada, Amanah, Shurtah and Husseniyah.

Turkmen protest camp hit by twin suicide blasts

At least eight people have been killed and dozens more wounded after two suicide bombers attacked a crowd of Turkmen protesters near Tuz Khurmato.  The bombers walked into tents pitched by Turkmen protesters on the Baghdad-Kirkuk highway before detonating their devices.

Iraq worshippers killed in twin blasts

At least 31 people have been killed and 60 wounded in coordinated suicide attacks in and around a Baghdad mosque.

Market bombings kill at least 12

The predominantly Shia town of Jidaida-al-shat in Diyela province, North of Baghdad has been targeted by suicide and car bombings leaving at least twelve dead and dozens more injured.

Iranian pilgrims killed in Muqdadiyah

At least 10 Iranian Shia pilgrims have been killed in a suicide car bomb attack in the town of Muqdadiyah.  A further 30 people were wounded in the blast, which occurred as a convoy of buses passed through the town on their way to Shia shrines in Najaf.

Militants kill 14 at fake checkpoint in Anbar province

At least 14 people have been shot dead by gunmen at a fake checkpoint in the western province of Anbar.  The checkpoint was set up along the main highway to Saudi Arabia, near the town of al-Nukhaib.

Latest wave of bombings kill 16 across Iraq

At least 19 people have been killed and dozens more wounded in the latest series of bombings to hit Iraq.  Two separate car bombings killed six people in Baghdad, while at least eight police officers were killed in the northern city of Mosul.  Two border police officers were also reportedly killed in an ambush along the Iraq-Jordan highway.

Baghdad car bombings kill 57

At least 57 people have been killed after a series of car bombs exploded in largely Shia areas of Iraq's capital Baghdad.  More than 140 others were reportedly wounded in the blasts, which follow a series of sectarian attacks across Iraq which have left more than 700 people dead since the beginning of April.

Gunmen kill 12 in Baghdad brothel

At least 12 people have been shot dead after gunmen stormed into a brothel in the Zayouna district of eastern Baghdad before opening fire.  Police confirmed that seven women and five men were killed in the attack, while one of the gunmen reportedly wrote "wanted" on the wall of the house.

Latest series of bombings leave 13 dead across Iraq

At least 13 people have been killed in the latest series of bomb attacks to hit Iraq, and come a day after more than 70 died in sectarian violence across the country.  Three roadside bombs killed six people in Kirkuk, while two blasts were reported in the town of Tuz Khurmato, leaving three dead.  Three soldiers were also killed in a suicide bomb attack at a checkpoint in Tarmiya, north of Baghdad.

More than 50 killed in wave of attacks across Iraq

At least 50 people have been killed and hundreds more wounded in a series of deadly attacks across Iraq.  At least 20 people have died in a series of car bombings in mainly Shia districts of the capital Baghdad this morning, while 11 others have been killed in the southern city of Basra.  Over the weekend at least 10 police officers were killed in an attack on a police checkpoint in the northern town of Rawa and 10 others were kidnapped by militants in Ramadi.

Baquba mosque bombings leave 38 dead

At least 38 people have been killed after two bombs exploded outside a Sunni mosque in the city of Baquba. The blasts occurred as people were leaving the mosque following Friday prayers, and follows similar sectarian attacks against Shia Muslims in recent days.

Series of bombings leave 38 dead across Iraq

At least 38 people have been killed and 120 others wounded in a series of bomb attacks across Iraq.  At least 14 people were killed in Shia areas of Baghdad where a total of 11 blasts were reported.  Other attacks were reported in Tarmiyah and in the northern city of Kirkuk.

Mosque bombing kills eight in Kirkuk

At least eight people have been killed and 40 others wounded in a suicide bomb attack at a Shia mosque in the northern city of Kirkuk.  The bomber was prevented from entering the mosque by police and so detonated his explosive belt near the entrance of the site instead.  At the time of the blast the mosque was being attended by relatives of victims from similar sectarian attacks on Wednesday.

Attacks across northern Iraq leave four dead

At least four people have been killed in separate incidents across northern Iraq.   Three police officers died when a gunman targeted a checkpoint in the western city of Fallujah, while a Kurdish security guard was killed and six others wounded by a suicide car bomb in Kirkuk.

Troops kill 14 militants in Mosul clashes

Iraqi troops have killed at least 14 militants and arrested 10 others during clashes in the northern city of Mosul.  On Thursday the UN's Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) said that April 2013 was the deadliest in the country since June 2008, with more than 712 people killed and 1,600 others wounded.

Bomb attacks leave 15 dead across Iraq

At least 15 people have been killed in a wave of bomb attacks, the latest in a series of sectarian attacks between Sunnis and Shia.  Six people died when a suicide bomber exploded his device in the midst of a group of government-backed Sunni fighters in Fallujah, while four police officers were also killed by a roadside bomb in the northern town of Baiji.  Other deadly attacks were reported in northern Baghdad and in the city of Ramadi.

Multiple car bombs hit Shia provinces in southern Iraq

At least 12 people have been killed in a series of car bombs in Shia-majority provinces of southern Iraq.  Two bombs exploded in the town of Amara in Missan province, while other blasts were reported in Diywaniya and Karbala.

Police officer killed in continuing unrest

At least 20 Iraqi police officers have been killed during clashes with Sunni militants in the city of Mosul.  More than 100 people have died in three days of violence in Iraq, which began with a government crackdown on a Sunni protest in Hawija on Tuesday.

Mortar attack kills 10 in Diyala province

At least 10 people have been killed in a mortar attack on a Sunni mosque in Muqdadiya in Diyala province.  

Militants clash with security forces in northern Iraq

At least 15 people have been killed in clashes between militants and security forces in the northern town of Sulaiman Pek.  Four army helicopters reportedly bombed the town as security forces attempted to drive away gunmen.

Clashes at Sunni protest leave 26 dead

At least 26 people have been killed during clashes between Sunni protesters and Iraqi security forces in the northern town of Hawija.  Local officials said that the unrest began when the army entered the protest area to arrest Sunni rebels known as the Naqshbandiya Army.

Baghdad cafe bombing kills 27

At least 27 people have been killed and dozens more wounded in a suicide bomb attack in the Iraqi capital Baghdad.  The blast occurred at the Dubai Cafe in the west of the city, and comes ahead of provincial elections in the country.

Wave of bombings leave 33 dead across Iraq

At least 33 people have been killed and more than 200 others wounded in a wave of bombings across Iraq.  A total of 14 car bombs and three roadside bombs were used in the coordinated attacks in Baghdad, Tuz Khurmatu, Kirkuk and Nasariyah.

Mosque bombing leaves 14 dead

At least 14 people have been killed and more than 40 others wounded when two bombs exploded outside a mosque in Diyala province.  The devices were detonated as worshippers were leaving the Omar Bin Abdul-Aziz mosque in the town of Kanaan.

Bomb at Baquba rally kills 25

At least 25 people have been killed and a further 60 wounded in a suicide bomb and grenade attack at a political rally in the eastern city of Baquba.  Sunni candidate Muthana al-Jourani was meeting supporters at the time of the attack.

Suicide bomber targets police HQ in Tikrit

At least nine people have been killed after a suicide bomber blew up a tanker outside police headquarters in the northern city of Tikrit.  A further 11 people were wounded in the blast, and the majority of casualties were police officers.

Gunmen attack natural gas field in Anbar province

Gunmen have killed at least four people and kidnapped two others in an attack on the Akkas gas field in the western province of Anbar.  The field, which has yet to produce gas, is run by the Korea Gas Company (KOGAS).

Iraq Data Sheet

Population:
31.1 million
Major Religion/s:
Islam (65% Shi'a)
International dialing code:
+964
International dialing prefix:
00
Emergency services:
none currently in operation
Drives:
Right
Voltage:
230V
Climate:
Arid, semi-arid in the north
Ohter Major Cities:
Arbil, Basra, Mosul, Kirkuk, Sulaymaniyah
Borders:
Iran, Jordan, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Turkey