January 27, 2014 |
WASHINGTON - Iraq's embattled government will be allowed to buy and lease Apache attack helicopters to help fight a renewed insurgency after a U.S. lawmaker lifted his long-running objections to the deal, the Pentagon said Monday. The agreement allows Iraq to lease as many as six Apaches this year and purchase another two dozen for delivery over the next three years, officials said. Iraq's military hopes to use the aircraft against militants from the Al Qaeda-linked group Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, who have overrun parts of Iraq's Anbar province, including the capital, Ramadi, and the city of Fallouja.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 27, 2014 |
The Marine Corps has decided to retry a sergeant from Camp Pendleton who spent six years behind bars for his alleged role in killing an unarmed Iraqi civilian but whose case was overturned on appeal. Arraignment is set for Wednesday at Camp Pendleton for Sgt. Lawrence Hutchins, who has been free since a military court of appeals overturned his conviction on grounds he was improperly denied an attorney when investigators began to question him. Hutchins and his attorney had hoped the Marine Corps would drop the case and allow him to leave the service and return to civilian life.
January 10, 2014 |
WASHINGTON - Zach Iscol was a Marine captain in 2004 when his platoon - a combined unit of 30 Iraqis and 20 Americans - seized the railroad station on the first night of the bloody battle of Fallouja. They spent a week kicking in doors and fighting house to house, block by block, in some of the toughest urban combat of America's eight-year war in Iraq. Half a dozen of Iscol's men were wounded, but dozens of Marines in other squads were killed. Today, with ground that Marines fought and died for under control of insurgents flying the banner of Al Qaeda, and growing fears of another civil war, Iscol admits he has deeply conflicting views about the U.S. military withdrawal from Iraq in 2011.
January 6, 2014 |
Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Maliki urged the residents of Fallouja to expel Al Qaeda-aligned militants who seized the city last week or deal with an imminent attack by government forces to regain the Sunni Muslim stronghold, news agencies in Baghdad reported Monday. Although the statement issued by Maliki on his Shiite-led government's website appealed for troops to avoid striking civilian areas, it warned of the risks of a military onslaught and armed clash with the Sunni warriors of the Al Qaeda-affiliated Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, or ISIS.
January 5, 2014 |
WASHINGTON - Secretary of State John F. Kerry pledged Sunday to "do everything that is possible" to help Iraqi government forces in an escalating battle against Al Qaeda-linked insurgents in the western province of Anbar, but he said the Obama administration will not send American troops back to Iraq. After heavy fighting, Sunni Muslim militants fighting under the banner of Al Qaeda reportedly have in effect taken control of Fallouja and secured large parts of Ramadi, the province's most important cities.
December 26, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - The Obama administration has begun sending Hellfire missiles and surveillance drone aircraft to Iraq to help the government battle an expanding threat from local Al Qaeda-affiliated militants, U.S. officials said, the first such assistance since the American withdrawal from Iraq in 2011. Responding to an appeal from Baghdad, the administration sent 75 air-to-ground Hellfire missiles this month and is preparing to send ScanEagle surveillance drones early next year to counter intensifying attacks by fighters of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, officials said.