• Iraqi forces use water cannon, tear gas against protesters in Baghdad
    BAGHDAD, October 25 (Reuters): Iraqi security forces fired water cannon and tear gas at anti-government protesters on Sunday to prevent them crossing barricades on a bridge leading towards government buildings. The skirmishes came as hundreds of Iraqis took to the streets of Baghdad and some southern cities to hold anti-government protests, marking a year since mass anti-government unrest that killed more than 500 people. "We will not stop protesting to demand our stole
  • Under attack and losing hope, Iraqi activists flee abroad
    AMARA, Iraq, October 19 (Reuters): Hasanain Alminshid had received death threats for his human rights activism for years, but ignored most of them. After his mentor was gunned down outside a police station, he finally made the difficult choice to flee Iraq. "It's too dangerous now. There have been killings in the open in front of security forces," he said, speaking by 'phone from Istanbul, where he has based himself since that incident in November last year.
  • Violence mounts against Iraqi doctors as COVID cases spike
    NAJAF, Iraq, September 23 (Reuters): Iraqi doctor Tariq Al-Sheibani remembers little else beyond cowering on the ground as a dozen relatives of a patient, who had just died of COVID-19, beat him unconscious. About two hours later the 47-year-old director of Al-Amal Hospital in the southern city of Najaf woke up in a different clinic with bruises all over his body. "All the doctors are scared," said Sheibani, speaking at his home in Kufa a few weeks after the Aug. 2
  • Defying fatwa, Iraqis flock to COVID cemetery to exhume dead, re-bury elsewhere
    NAJAF, Iraq, September 15 (Reuters): It took Abu Haider and his relatives several hours to dig up his nephew's grave and exhume the body at a cemetery in the southern Iraqi city of Najaf built especially for COVID-19 victims. When they had finished, they shrouded the body in white sheets, loaded it on to the back of a pickup truck and set off to re-inter it in Najaf's old "Valley of Peace" graveyard, the traditional resting place for Iraq's Shi'ites. In
  • United States formally announces troop reduction in Iraq
    WASHINGTON, September 9 (Reuters): The United States military on Wednesday announced that it would be reducing its presence in Iraq from 5,200 to 3,000 troops this month, formalizing a move that had been long expected. Last month, Reuters reported that the United States was expected to reduce its troops presence in Iraq by about a third. The United States has around 5,200 troops that were deployed in Iraq to fight the Islamic State militant group. Officials in the U.S.-led c
  • Mosul war victim struggles to make ends meet through pandemic
    MOSUL, Iraq, September 8 (Reuters): When the Iraqi city of Mosul went into lockdown in March, Mohammed Sattar, who lost both his legs when his house was shelled in 2017, found himself unable to see the old friends whose support he and his family relied on. Lockdown was eased two weeks ago, but the economic crisis resulting from the pandemic has left Sattar's friends unable to help him to the same degree. The 39-year-old says his best hope is the government compensation t
  • U.S.-led troops withdraw from Iraq's Taji base
    CAMP TAJI, Iraq, August 23 (Reuters): United States-led international coalition troops withdrew from Iraq's Taji military base on Sunday and handed it over to Iraqi security forces, Reuters witnesses and the coalition said. The base, 20 km (12 miles) north of Baghdad, had been the site of frequent rocket attacks by Iran-backed militias targeting U.S.-led troops in recent months. "The movement of coalition military personnel is part of a long-range plan coordinated w
  • Iraq PM, on Tehran visit, says won't allow threats to Iran from Iraqi soil
    BAGHDAD, July 21 (Reuters): Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi said on a visit to Tehran on Tuesday that Iraq would not allow any threat to Iran coming from its territory. Speaking at a news conference alongside Iranian President Hassan Rouhani ahead of a meeting with Iran's Supreme Leader, Kadhimi alluded to Iraq's concern not to become a battlefield between arch-enemies Iran and the United States. The Iraqi premier faces a tough balancing act between Tehran an
  • Gunmen kill prominent Iraqi analyst and advisor - officials
    BAGHDAD, July 7 (Reuters): Gunmen in Baghdad shot dead a well-known former government advisor and political analyst near his home on Monday in a rare high-profile killing in the Iraqi capital, government officials, police sources and medics said.   The government officials described the killing of Hisham al-Hashemi, who had written about politics, Islamic State and the role of Iran-backed militias in Iraq, as a targeted killing but did not point the finger at any partic
  • US pledges troops reduction, no permanent presence in Iraq
    Washington, June 12 (IANS): The US has pledged that it would continue reducing its forces in Iraq and confirmed that it does not seek permanent military presence in the country, said a joint statement on Friday.   The joint US-Iraq Strategic Dialogue statement on the website of the Iraqi Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that the Iraqi delegation was led by the Ministry's Senior Deputy Minister Abdul-Karim Hashim, while the American delegation was led by the Under Secreta
  • Iraqi militiamen drop guns to dig graves for coronavirus victims
    NAJAF, Iraq, June 1 (Reuters): Iraqi paramedic Sarmad Ibrahim cut his teeth treating fellow Shi'ite Muslim militiamen in the war against Islamic State. Now, he buries COVID-19 victims - an exhausting task where he must also get to grips with both Muslim and Christian burial rites.   "So far, we're coping," Ibrahim said as fellow volunteers from the Imam Ali Combat Brigade prepared to handle a coffin just sent from Baghdad. "But if we start receivi