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 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.
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.
November 16, 2013 |
A U.S. soldier has been charged with two counts of premeditated murder in the killing of two Iraqi civilians. The charges against Army Sgt. 1st Class Michael Barbera, 31, stem from an alleged shooting of two civilians near the village of As Sadah in Diyala Province in March 2007. Barbera was charged Wednesday at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson in Alaska, U.S. Army Public Affairs Officer Major Johnpaul Arnold told the Los Angeles Times. The incident in which Barbera is accused was first made public by an investigation by the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review in Pennsylvania last December: "AS SADAH, Iraq - Shortly before noon on March 6, 2007, Small Kill Team leader Michael Barbera rose from his squad's position in high grass in a palm grove here and shot two teenage cattle herders.
October 24, 2013 |
In 2007, Congress created the Special Immigrant Visa program to help Iraqis and Afghans who had risked their lives to work for the American government during the wars in their countries. Thousands of former interpreters, drivers and other contractors applied, many of them worried about reprisals from fellow citizens and confident that the United States would help them begin a new life in America. More than five years after the program began, however, less than half of the visas set aside for the program - 5,000 annually for the last five years, plus more for family members - have been issued.