Iraqi forces fighting ISIS in western Mosul have reportedly told local jihadists they would be offered ‘special care from the judiciary’ if they agreed to kill foreign militants.
The forces, who also encouraged locals to pick up weapons and join the fight against ISIS, made their announcement as they gained control of Mosul airport on Friday and a sprawling military base next to it on the city’s southwestern edge.
‘I can confirm that the airport is fully liberated,’ said Brigadier General Abbas al-Juburi, of the interior ministry’s elite Rapid Response units that led the assault on the airport, which was largely destroyed by ISIS forces,.
DOHUK, Iraq (AP) — After their rape and torture by Islamic State extremists for months or years, Yazidi women face ongoing suffering from psychological trauma even if they do manage to escape.
Until now, a lack of psychiatrists and other mental health specialists in northern Iraq meant that many Yazidi women — a minority singled out for especially harsh treatment by IS — got little or no help. That’s about to change with the establishment of a new psychological training center at the University of Dohuk in Iraq, the first in the entire region.
For Perwin Ali Baku, who escaped IS two weeks ago after more than two years in captivity, that can’t come soon enough. The trauma of being bought and sold from fighter to fighter and carted from Iraq to Syria and then back again weighs heavy on both her body and her mind.
Today, when a door slams, the 23-year-old Yazidi woman flashes back to her captors locking away her 3-year-old daughter, captured with her, to torment her. When she hears a loud voice, she cringes at the thought of IS militants barking orders.
“The Defense Department might propose that the US send conventional ground combat forces into northern Syria for the first time to speed up the fight against ISIS,” CNN reported last week. No options have been formally presented to the National Security Council or President Trump for consideration, and there will certainly be more choices on the menu for the NSC staff to consider. But if the deployment of potentially sending several thousand U.S. conventional forces into Syria is truly an option that the Trump administration is considering, then it should think long and hard before signing the order.
As the ‘final offensive’ to retake the western half of the city begins, the underground networks of ISIS continue to attack in the ‘liberated’ eastern half.
MOSUL, Iraq—The “My Fair Lady” restaurant was making a brisk trade when the suicide bomber stepped into the open-fronted eatery flanking a busy roundabout in east Mosul and detonated the explosives strapped around his waist. The blast swept through the cavernous interior, killing staff and guests enjoying a lunch of kebab, salad, and soup in one of the city’s most famous restaurants.
Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi announced the start of the campaign, asking Iraqi forces to “respect human rights” during the battle, after a series of shocking videos and images depicting abuse by uniformed men emerged.
US-backed Iraqi forces including elite units and the federal police snaked north through the outlying areas of western Mosul on Sunday, backed by coalition air support.
The Islamic State group is hemorrhaging money with every piece of territory it loses, according to a new analysis that found that the group’s “business model” is on the path to failure.
The analysis released Saturday by the International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation and Political Violence and the accounting firm EY found that the self-proclaimed caliphate’s financial resources have been drained substantially since the days beginning in mid-2014 when it captured banks, oil wells and entire warehouses of weapons as it amassed land.
SULAIYMANIYA, Iraq — Islamic State militant Amar Hussein says he reads the Koran all day in his tiny jail cell to become a better person. He also says he raped more than 200 women from Iraqi minorities, and shows few regrets.
Kurdish intelligence authorities gave Reuters rare access to Hussein and another Islamic State militant who were both captured during an assault on the city of Kirkuk in October that killed 99 civilians and members of the security forces. Sixty-three Islamic State militants died.
Hussein said his emirs, or local Islamic State commanders, gave him and others a green light to rape as many Yazidi and other women as they wanted.
KIRKUK, IRAQ — Islamic State militants usually speak to the media through their propaganda machine against a backdrop of bombs, mortars and sniper fire. To better understand what is happening in IS-controlled territories, VOA visits a detention center in Kirkuk, Iraq, to meet a self-described former IS fighter. Here is what happened:
The door abruptly swings open, and we are surprised to see two soldiers burst in, the prisoner Mithaq in tow.
Mithaq’s wrists are handcuffed in front of him and a black knit cap is pulled over his eyes and nose. I had imagined we would see him in a cell, and not dressed as he is – in a black and red Adidas track suit.
A self-styled “revolutionary” from Blackburn is believed to have become the first British woman to travel to Syria to join the fight against Isis.
Kimberly Taylor, 27, left the UK to join the Women’s Protection Units (YPJ), the all-female affiliate army of the People’s Protection Units (YPG) of Syrian Kurdistan, last March.
Known as Kimmie and also by the name Zilan Dilmar, she told the Guardian she had spent the past 11 months learning Kurdish and studying regional politics, weaponry and battlefield tactics at the YPJ’s dedicated military academy.
President Donald Trump has spoken: he wants his secretary of defense and chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff to get to work immediately on a plan to aggressively confront the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. And according to an executive order he signed last week, he wants that plan on his desk by late February.