As the assault got underway, a Reuters correspondent saw helicopters overhead releasing flares and heard explosions on the city’s eastern front, where Kurdish fighters moved forward to take outlying villages.
Turkey’s government sees the unrest in its southeast as closely tied to the war in Syria, where a Kurdish militia has seized territory along the Turkish border as it battles Islamic State militants and rebels fighting President Bashar al-Assad.
Washington (AFP) — The United States said Tuesday it was “horrific” watching in real time the battle for the Syrian border town of Kobane, insisting it did not want to see the city fall to Islamic militants. The blitz on Kobane by the Islamic State group follows a three-week siege that sent 190,000 refugees streaming […]
By Patrick J. McDonnell, Los Angeles Times The number of Syrians fleeing from Islamist militants and entering into Turkey in recent days has exceeded 130,000, making the flight one of the largest refugee flows to date during the Syrian conflict, the United Nations said Monday. “In Turkey we have never witnessed such big numbers in […]
By Matthew Schofield, McClatchy Foreign Staff BERLIN — Two months after the Islamic State laid claim to much of Iraq, European nations are reacting, driven in part by the fact that there are already thousands of European boots on the ground in this conflict — fighting on the Islamic State side. France on Wednesday officially announced it […]
Dohuk (Iraq) (AFP) – Time was running out for starving Yazidis trapped on an Iraqi mountain Wednesday as the West ramped up efforts to assist survivors and arm Kurdish forces battling jihadists. The United States has carried out air strikes against members of the Islamic State (IS) jihadist group in the area of Mount Sinjar, […]
Washington (AFP) — The United States has begun urgently shipping weapons to the Iraqi Kurdish forces battling an advance by extremist Islamic State militants, a State Department spokeswoman said Monday. “We’re working with the government of Iraq to increasingly and very quickly get urgently needed arms to the Kurds,” Marie Harf told CNN. “This includes […]
Washington (AFP) — Two U.S. aircraft on Friday bombed Islamic State extremist positions in northern Iraq after artillery fire near U.S. personnel, the Pentagon said. The raid — the most significant since the United States withdrew from Iraq — came a day after President Barack Obama authorized force as he voiced fears of genocide against […]
By Mitchell Prothero, McClatchy Foreign Staff KALAK, Iraq — Kurdish fighters scrambled to set up a defensive line Thursday after militants from the Islamic State seized four strategic towns on a key highway and advanced to positions just minutes from Irbil, the capital of Iraq’s autonomous Kurdish region. Hundreds of Kurdish peshmerga militiamen built earthen […]
By David Lauter, Los Angeles Times WASHINGTON — U.S. officials are “closely monitoring” a potential “humanitarian catastrophe” in northern Iraq but will not be sending combat troops back to the country, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said Thursday. Earnest said the United States would cooperate with Iraqi military and Kurdish authorities in the volatile […]
By Mitchell Prothero, McClatchy Washington Bureau IRBIL, Iraq — Militants from the Islamic State made a surprise attack early Thursday on strategic villages near Irbil, the capital of Iraq’s autonomous Kurdish region, apparently capturing significant territory and sending thousands of refugees into the city. Kurdish military officials said that the situation was under control, but […]
By Nabih Bulos and Patrick J. McDonnell, Los Angeles Times BEIRUT — Iraq’s parliament appointed a new president on Thursday as lawmakers inched closer to forming a new government, even as violence continued to engulf the country. Veteran Kurdish politician Fouad Massoum, 76, was chosen as Iraq’s second president, a largely ceremonial post in the […]
By Paul Richter, Tribune Washington Bureau WASHINGTON — As Islamic militants have advanced farther into Iraq’s heartland, the Obama administration has tried to avert all-out civil war by urging the Shiite Muslim-led government to share more power with alienated Sunni and Kurdish minorities. But if Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki continues to resist a political […]