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Influencer Shot to Death by Motorcyclist in Baghdad

Ghufran Mahdi Sawadi was sentenced last year for posts deemed indecent

(Newser) - Iraqi authorities on Saturday were investigating the killing of a well-known social media influencer, who was shot by a motorcyclist in front of her home in central Baghdad. Ghufran Mahdi Sawadi, known as Um Fahad, was popular on TikTok and Instagram, where she posted videos of herself dancing to music...

US Killed Militia Leader in Baghdad Using 'Flying Ginsu'

Military says Kataib Hezbollah commander was responsible for attacks on US forces

(Newser) - When the US military killed a Kataib Hezbollah commander in downtown Baghdad last week, it did so with a weapon dubbed "the flying Ginsu," reports the Wall Street Journal , citing defense officials. It has details on the use of what's officially called the R9X: It's a...

Report: Biden Settles On His Iran Retaliation

US will reportedly strike Iranian targets, but not those inside the country itself

(Newser) - The US has approved a series of strikes in response to the drone attack that killed three service members in Jordan last weekend, CBS News reports, citing US officials—but the plan is to hit Iran-linked facilities in Iraq and Syria, not targets in Iran itself. The officials say the...

US, Iraq to Discuss Ending Coalition's Mission

American forces have repeatedly come under fire since Israel-Hamas war began

(Newser) - The US and Iraq will begin talks soon to wind down the mission of a US-led military coalition formed to fight the Islamic State group in Iraq, both governments said Thursday. The Pentagon said the size of the American military footprint in the country will be part of the discussions,...

US Launches Airstrikes on Iran-Backed Militias

Airstrikes hit targets in Iraq, Yemen

(Newser) - The US military struck three facilities in Iraq and two anti-ship missiles in Yemen operated by Iranian-backed militias that have continued to instigate attacks on US personnel and ships in the region as the US continues to try to keep the Israel-Hamas war from spilling over into a wider conflict....

Fatal Airstrike in Baghdad Was Necessary, Pentagon Says

Militia commander was killed, even as US tries to ease tensions in Middle East

(Newser) - The Pentagon defended an airstrike in Baghdad that killed a militia commander linked to Iran on Thursday, though the attack runs the risk of undercutting the Biden administration's efforts to keep the Israel-Hamas war from spreading in the Middle East. The strike was "necessary and proportionate," a...

US Servicemember Critically Injured by Iran-Backed Militants
US Launches New
Airstrikes in Iraq

US Launches New Airstrikes in Iraq

Move comes after Iranian-backed militants attack US forces

(Newser) - The US conducted new retaliatory airstrikes in Iraq early Tuesday after three US servicemembers were injured in a drone attack, one of them critically, said US officials. The Iranian-backed militia Kataib Hezbollah and affiliated groups claimed credit for the attack on an air base used by American troops in Erbil...

US Forces Strike in Iraq
US Forces Strike in Iraq

US Forces Strike in Iraq

At least 5 members of Kataeb Hezbollah killed in what the military said was retaliation

(Newser) - The US military struck two operations centers belonging to Iraqi Hezbollah early Wednesday in response to what it said were attacks on US bases, including the Ain al-Asad Air Base, that have escalated alongside Israel's operations against Hamas in Gaza. "We can confirm an attack last night by...

Fireworks Set Off at Wedding Spark Blaze That Kills 113

Iraq tragedy leaves 150 people injured as well

(Newser) - More than 100 people are dead after a devastating blaze that reportedly broke out after fireworks were set off at a wedding in Iraq Tuesday night. Health officials in Nineveh, the province where the wedding took place, put the death toll at 113 or 114. Another 150 people were injured,...

Iraq Bans 'Gender,' 'Homosexuality' From Use in Media

'Sexual deviance' must be used in place of 'homosexuality'

(Newser) - Iraq says all media and social media companies operating within its borders are now barred from using the terms "homosexuality" and "gender." In place of "homosexuality," the term "sexual deviance" must be used instead, Reuters reports. The new edict was issued by the Iraqi...

Protesters Try to Storm Baghdad's Green Zone

Security forces stopped them from reaching Danish embassy

(Newser) - Hundreds of protesters attempted to storm Baghdad's heavily fortified Green Zone, which houses foreign embassies and the seat of Iraq's government, early Saturday following reports an ultranationalist group burned a copy of the Koran in front of Iraq's embassy in Copenhagen. Security forces pushed back protesters, who...

Iraqi Protesters Storm Swedish Embassy

Iraqi protesters denounced plans to burn Koran outside country's Stockholm embassy

(Newser) - The Swedish embassy in Baghdad was stormed Thursday by hundreds of protesters angered by plans to burn a Koran outside the Iraqi embassy in Sweden. Protesters broke into the compound, which also houses the Finnish embassy, and set a small fire, the AP reports. Swedish Foreign Minister Tobias Billstrom said...

Senate Votes to Repeal Measure That Green-Lit Iraq War

It seeks to end 20 years of authorization for US presidents to use force in Iraq

(Newser) - The Senate voted Wednesday to repeal the resolution that gave a green light for the 2003 invasion of Iraq, an effort to end more than 20 years of authorization for US presidents to use force in that country and return those war powers to Congress, reports the AP . The measure...

5K-Year-Old Tavern Still Holds Food
5K-Year-Old Tavern
Still Holds Food

5K-Year-Old Tavern Still Holds Food

Fish stew, anyone?

(Newser) - With the exception of beer, the tavern has everything a tavern should: an open-air dining area, benches, a kitchen complete with a refrigerator and oven, even food. The catch: all of it is more than 5,000 years old. Archaeologists have announced the discovery of the buried pub in the...

Baghdad's 'Starbucks' Points to Growing Problem in Iraq

Country is a hub for trademark violation, costing companies billions

(Newser) - Everything from the signboard outside down to the napkins bears the official emblem of the top international coffee chain. But in Baghdad, looks are deceiving: The "Starbucks" in the Iraqi capital is unlicensed. Real Starbucks merchandise is imported from neighboring countries to stock the three cafes in the city,...

As Iraq Melts Down, Borders Close, Flights Halt

The death toll has reached 20 amid unrest over resignation of influential cleric

(Newser) - Iran closed its land borders to Iraq as flights to the country halted Tuesday amid violence in Baghdad following an influential Shiite cleric's announcement he would resign from politics, the AP reports. The death toll rose to 20 Iraqis on Tuesday after the unrest erupted the previous day, according...

10 Killed After Protesters Storm Iraq's Government Palace

Clashes erupt after Muqtada al-Sadr announces retirement from politics

(Newser) - An influential Shiite cleric announced Monday that he would resign from Iraqi politics, prompting hundreds of his angry followers to storm the government palace and sparking clashes with security forces in which at least 10 protesters were killed. Protesters loyal to cleric Muqtada al-Sadr pulled down the cement barriers outside...

British Tourist Who Took Rocks, Shards From Iraq Site Gets 15 Years
Iraq Releases Tourist
Who Took Rocks Home

Iraq Releases Tourist Who Took Rocks Home

Court overturned retired geologist's conviction

(Newser) - Update: Iraq has released a British citizen imprisoned for antiquities smuggling. Jim Fitton, a retired geologist, has left the country, his family said Sunday, per the AP . An appeals court overturned the conviction and ordered him freed. Sam Tasker, his son-in-law, said Fitton landed Friday in Malaysia, where he lives,...

Cleric's Followers Storm Iraqi Parliament
Protesters Storm
Iraqi Parliament

Protesters Storm Iraqi Parliament

Cleric's followers begin sit-in, canceling legislative session

(Newser) - Thousands of followers of an influential Shiite cleric breached Iraq's parliament on Saturday, for the second time this week, protesting government formation efforts led by his rivals, an alliance of Iran-backed groups. The alliance called for counterprotests, raising the specter of civil strife. Iraqi security forces initially used tear...

Dubya Makes 'Freudian Slip of the Century'

Former president slips up during speech, condemns invasion of Iraq instead of Ukraine

(Newser) - It's been awhile since we were treated to a Bushism , but the internet is once again delivering. The Hill reports that former President George W. Bush was speaking at an event in Dallas on Wednesday when he started slamming Russia's electoral system and how the country persecutes political...

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