Full Coverage : IRAQ TURMOIL

In a stunning assault that exposed Iraq’s eroding central authority, al-Qaida-inspired militants have seized many cities. The rampage by the black banner-waving insurgents was a heavy defeat for Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki as he tries to hold onto power, and highlighted the growing strength of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). The group has been advancing in both Iraq and neighboring Syria, capturing territory in a campaign to set up a militant enclave straddling the border. The group was once al-Qaida’s branch in Iraq, but under its leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi it has escalated its ambitions, sending fighters into Syria to join the rebellion against President Bashar Assad. Its jihadists became notorious as some of the most ruthless fighters in the rebellion – and other rebels turned against it, accusing it of trying to hijack the movement. Al-Qaida’s central command, angered over its intervention in Syria, threw the group out of the terrorist network.

Iraq crisis: Fears mount over the Mosul missing
August 6, 2014

Officials say they are made to work for insurgents; Kurdish official talks of violence but can’t confirm.

UN Security Council denounces persecution of Iraqi Christians in Iraq
July 22, 2014

UN Security Council asked Iraqi government to tackle terrorist threats against Christians and minorities.

Iraq MPs fail again to form govt as militants gain ground
July 13, 2014

Acting parliament speaker Mahdi Hafez announced that “no type of agreement was reached…between the various blocs”.

Loan sharks, job worries now haunt those back from Iraq
July 10, 2014

A group of 25 construction workers have returned from Iraq.

4 more nurses on way back from Iraq

Several Indians had got trapped in the conflict areas in northern and central Iraq.

Iraq PM Maliki accuses Kurds of hosting Sunni jihadists
July 9, 2014

Maliki warned the Kurds their decision to burn bridges with Baghdad would backfire.

91 more Indians return from Iraq
July 8, 2014

Two officers from Punjab Bhawan have been deployed at IGI Airport to ensure free transportation facility.

Back from Iraq, youths recount tales of exploitation

We were forced to work for 14 hours a day and given very little food and water, said Sukhwinder Singh.

No reason to doubt authenticity of ISIS leader’s video: US

The Sunni militant group has seized large areas of northern and western Iraq in an offencive that began last month.

Iraq parliament delays next session till mid-August, clashes continue

The new legislature held its first session since April elections last week, but failed to make any headway on selecting a new prime minister.

Iraq army general killed by shelling: Spokesman
July 7, 2014

The Iraqi government lost control of Fallujah and parts of nearby Ramadi in January.

Iraq crisis: 84 Indian construction workers return from Iraq

“We had the contact number of Indian embassy officials in Iraq and they came for our rescue,” said one construction worker.

Iraq Conflict: ‘ISIS made failed attempt to release abducted Indians’

A native of Punjab, Singh had left for Iraq three years ago and was working with a German company.

Nurses rescued from Iraq to reach Kochi by noon
July 5, 2014

The nurses, who return after weeks of ordeal at Tikrit Teaching Hospital, would be received by Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy.

Special Air India flight carrying Indian nurses freed from Iraq lands in Mumbai

The flight has made a ‘technical halt’ in Mumbai for refuelling and catering supplies.

Air India flight from Iraq to reach Mumbai at 9.30 am

The nurses were moved out on Thursday against their will and detained in the militant-held city of Mosul.

Tikrit to Erbil to Kochi: Nurses safe, on their way home from Iraq today
July 4, 2014

The nurses were safe and unharmed, although they had gone through a traumatic experience, MEA spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin said.

Iraqi Kurdish leader urges independence referendum

Kurdish independence is opposed by the U.S., as well as by Iraq’s regional neighbors, Turkey and Iran.

ISIL poses serious security threat to Iraq, says White House

Any decision that US President makes about military actions in Iraq will be focused on its core national security interests, said Earnest.

Sushma dials Gulf Ministers as ISIS moves nurses to Mosul

They have all been extremely positive and have assured assistance in the current situation, said sources.

Iraq chases Baghdad sleeper cells as ‘zero hour’ looms over capital

‘We are ready. It can come any minute,’ sleeper cell member says.

Iraq turmoil: Indian nurses in Tikrit held captive by ISIS; govt deals with ‘difficult times’
July 3, 2014

Some nurses suffered minor injuries in an incident of glass breaking in Iraq but no major injury to anybody: MEA.

ISIS threat prompts US to up security at Delhi, Mumbai and other overseas airports
The House vote was 225 to 201 yesterday. (Source: AP)

Such a decision has been taken in view of the declaration of Islamic Caliphate by ISIS.

ISIS wanted to take us to Mosul, we refused, say stranded nurses in Tikrit

The nurses said it was not safe to move along with the ISIS men to Mosul as there was the risk of attacks by the Iraqi military in transit.

Iraq crisis: About 600 Indians out of Iraq, more on their way: MEA
July 2, 2014

Nearly 600 Indians have left conflict-hit Iraq after being facilitated by the External Affairs Ministry.

Chechen in Syria a rising star in extremist group

Omar al-Shishani, one of hundreds of toughest jihadi fighters in Syria, has emerged as the face of ISIL.

Iraq under pressure for new government as turmoil deepens

PM Nuri al-Maliki’s bid for a third term has been battered by the jihadist-led offensive that has seized large chunks of five provinces.

US asks neighbours to encourage inclusive government in Iraq
Anti-government fighters subsequently seized parts of Ramadi and all of Fallujah, the first time they had exercised such open control in major cities in years.(Source: Reuters)

“If you have an interest in reducing tensions inside of Iraq, then encourage inclusive governance, said US.

Sunnis, Kurds abandon parliament after Maliki replacement not named

United States, United Nations, Iran and Iraq’s own Shia clergy have pushed hard for politicians to come up with an inclusive government as Sunni insurgents bear down on Baghdad.

Bombing near building, but nurses ‘safe and unharmed’: Government
July 1, 2014

External Affairs Ministry said the nurses were “safe and unharmed” and in touch with the Indian mission.

UN: More than 2,400 killed in Iraq in June

The figures exclude deaths in embattled Anbar province, which is largely controlled by Sunni militants.

US sends another 300 military personnel to Iraq

Obama said that this force will remain in Iraq until the security situation becomes such that it is no longer needed.

US sending 300 more troops to Iraq to protect citizens and property

The US is sending another 300 troops to Iraq to beef up security at Embassy and elsewhere in Baghdad area.

94 Indians return from Iraq, nearly 600 to return this week, says MEA
June 30, 2014

The official pointed out that 12 Indian nationals in Baghdad were issued tickets of which four flew out today itself.

Al-Qaida splinter declares new Islamic caliphate

Muslim extremists have long dreamed of recreating the Islamic state, or caliphate, in various forms over the course of Islam’s 1,400-year history.

Iraq sends tanks, helicopters into Tikrit to dislodge Sunni insurgents

The army sent in tanks and helicopters to battle ISIL militants near the University of Tikrit in the city’s north on Sunday, security sources said.