Iraq news and updates

Rappler's latest stories on Iraq

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Saudi king hosts Iraq's new president

Nov 18, 2018 - 11:28 PM

Iraq is seeking economic benefits from closer ties with the wealthy kingdom as it seeks to rebuild after the defeat of the Islamic State group

Iraq president visits Iran

Nov 17, 2018 - 8:09 PM

The two countries aimed to boost trade from $12 billion to $20 billion

VISIT. This handout picture released by the Iranian presidency on November 17, 2018, shows Iran's President Hassan Rouhani and Iraq's President Barham Salih (L) during a press conference in Tehran. Photo by HO/IRANIAN PRESIDENCY/AFP

ISIS frees 6 Syria Druze women, children after 3-month ordeal

Oct 20, 2018 - 1:37 PM

(UPDATED) The release of the prisoners is the first part of a deal to exchange them for at least 60 Islamic State prisoners and $27 million

FREE. A handout picture released by the official Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) on October 20, 2018 shows a woman and 4 children among the 6 released of 27 Druze hostages held by the Islamic State (ISIS) group in a prisoner swap and ransom, upon their arrival at a government-controlled building in Syria's southern city of Sweida. Photo from SANA/AFP

Iraq's top two parliament groups demand PM Abadi resign

Sep 09, 2018 - 12:03 AM

This deals a severe blow to Abadi's hopes of holding onto his post through a parliamentary bloc unveiled just days earlier with cleric Moqtada Sadr

IRAQ PM. In this file photo, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi talks during a campaign rally in the holy city of Najaf on May 3, 2018, ahead of the upcoming parliamentary elections. Photo by Haidar Hamdani/AFP

Iraq parliament holds emergency talks as Basra burns

Sep 08, 2018 - 8:57 PM

'We're thirsty, we're hungry, we are sick and abandoned,' says a protester after another night of violence

UNREST. Iraqi protesters wave a national flag while demonstrating outside the burnt-down local government headquarters in the southern city of Basra on September 7, 2018 during demonstrations over poor public services. Photo by Haidar Mohammed Ali/AFP

Car bomb kills 11 in west Iraq after ISIS chief jihad call

Aug 29, 2018 - 10:24 PM

The assailant blows up a vehicle at a checkpoint on the outskirts of Al-Qaim, one of the last towns in Iraq to be recaptured from ISIS, near the Syrian border

Filipino, 2 others in ISIS beheading video blacklisted by U.S.

Aug 26, 2018 - 10:52 AM

A US Treasury official says the June 2016 video was 'part of a propaganda campaign to attract radicals to join militant terrorist groups in Southeast Asia'

 ISIS VIDEO. An Indonesian, Filipino, and Malaysian behead 3 Caucasians and call Muslims to fight the jihad in Syria and the Philippines (screenshot)

ISIS chief Baghdadi urges 'jihad' in purported new recording

Aug 23, 2018 - 8:26 AM

The 'caliphate will remain, God willing,' Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi says in the recording, addressing followers in the Middle East, Asia, and Africa

Wife of new ISIS Southeast Asia 'emir' nabbed in General Santos

Jul 16, 2018 - 5:43 PM

Nafisa Pundog, identified by authorities as the wife of Abu Dar, has a standing warrant of arrest for allegedly possessing a blasting cap/incendiary device

NABBED. Nafisa Pundog is arrested in what is believed to be her safehouse in General Santos City. Military photo

2 Filipinas rescued after abduction in Iraq – DFA

Jul 09, 2018 - 10:42 PM

Philippine Foreign Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano thanks Iraqi authorities for the rescue of two Filipinas abducted in Iraq

5 Filipinos abducted by armed men in Libya, Iraq – DFA

Jul 08, 2018 - 4:16 PM

The Philippine government seeks the help of Libyan and Iraqi authorities to locate 5 Filipinos separately abducted in Libya and Iraq

Photos in graphic courtesy of Shutterstock

Iraq executes 12 death row jihadists in response to killings

Jun 29, 2018 - 8:43 PM

A statement from the office of Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi does not specify how they were executed, but death sentences in terrorism-related cases are usually carried out by hanging

ORDER. Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi talks during a campaign rally in the holy city of Najaf on May 3, 2018, ahead of the upcoming parliamentary elections. File photo by Haidar HAMDANI/AFP

Young Iraqis use innovation to make a living

Jun 24, 2018 - 12:00 PM

While their parents generally went straight into public sector jobs after graduation, the job market for Iraqi youths has become starkly different in the post-Saddam Hussein era

ENTREPRENEUR. Iraqi Karrar Alaa (left), aged 26, sells coffee by his travelling cafe vehicle in a street in Basra. Photo by Haidar Mohammed Ali/AFP

Iraq PM warns armed groups against stockpiling weapons

Jun 24, 2018 - 9:00 AM

'They wanted to be stronger than the state in order to blackmail civilians,' says Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi. 'This we will not allow.'

IRAQ PM. An image grab taken from Iraqiya state TV channel shows Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi delivering a televised speech in Baghdad on December 9, 2017, announcing the end of a war by Iraqi forces to drive the Islamic State group out of the country. Handout by Iraqiya TV/AFP

ISIS operatives, Tito Sotto, World Cup 2018 | Midday wRap

Jun 18, 2018 - 2:00 PM

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In Iraq, Angelina Jolie calls for focus on conflict prevention

Jun 18, 2018 - 11:25 AM

It is Jolie's third visit to the camp as UNHCR special envoy, after previous visits in 2012 and 2016

CONFLICT PREVENTION. UNHCR special envoy Angelina Jolie speaks during a news conference in the Domiz refugee camp in Iraq's autonomous Kurdistan region on May 17, 2018. Photo by AFP

Airstrikes, clashes between military, ISIS-Maute group in Lanao del Sur towns

Jun 18, 2018 - 8:33 AM

(3rd UPDATE) According to Colonel Romeo Brawner, current reports indicate 5 members of the Maute-ISIS group led by Abu Dar, have been killed. The military is still verifying these reports.

Iraq parliament orders full election recount

Jun 07, 2018 - 11:04 AM

Confusion has gripped Iraq since the vote won by Shiite cleric Moqtada Sadr's electoral alliance with communists, even with negotiations to form a new government underway

IRAQ POLLS. Iraqi Shiite cleric and leader Moqtada al-Sadr (C-R) puts his ballot through an electronic counting machine into a ballot box at poll station in the central holy city of Najaf on May 12, 2018 as the country votes in the first parliamentary election since declaring victory over the Islamic State (IS) group. File photo by Haidar Hamdani/AFP

Cleric Sadr wins Iraq poll but forming government far off

May 19, 2018 - 7:09 PM

Moqtada Sadr faces a deeply fragmented political landscape and opposition from key player Iran

IRAQ POLLS. Iraqi Shiite cleric and leader Moqtada al-Sadr (C-R) puts his ballot through an electronic counting machine into a ballot box at poll station in the central holy city of Najaf on May 12, 2018 as the country votes in the first parliamentary election since declaring victory over the Islamic State (IS) group. Photo by Haidar Hamdani/AFP

Fiery cleric ahead in Iraq election surprise

May 15, 2018 - 12:30 PM

The outcome throws open the race to become the next premier, following a parliamentary vote on Saturday, May 12, hit by record abstentions and widespread disillusionment

ELECTIONS. Members of the Iraqi security forces stand guard as people queue in front of a polling station in the Wadi Hajar district of Mosul on May 12, 2018, still partially in ruins from the devastating months-long fight to oust the Islamic State (IS) group. File photo by Ahmad Al-Rubaye/AFP

Iraq elections thrown open as outsiders appear strong

May 14, 2018 - 9:50 AM

The complex electoral arithmetic of the Iraqi system means that the final makeup of the parliament is still far from decided

IRAQ ELECTIONS. Iraqi men celebrate during the general election in Baghdad on May 14, 2018. Photo by Ahmad Al-Rubaye/AFP

Iraq holds first nationwide election since ISIS defeat

May 12, 2018 - 1:57 PM

The poll comes with tensions surging between key powers Iran and the United States over the nuclear deal, sparking fears of a destabilizing power struggle in Iraq

ELECTIONS. A man walks past electoral campaign posters in Baghdad on May 8, 2018. Photo by Sabah Arar/AFP

Iraq security forces vote in first poll since IS war

May 10, 2018 - 9:13 PM

Iraqis are hoping that the vote can lock in a fragile peace, 15 blood-soaked years after the US-led ouster of dictator Saddam Hussein

VOTING. A member of the Iraqi security forces shows his ink-stained index finger after voting at a polling station in the holy city of Karbala ahead of parliamentary elections, on May 10, 2018. Photo by Mohammed Sawaf/AFP

Iraq readies for first election since end of ISIS war

May 10, 2018 - 12:25 PM

Whoever emerges as premier will face the mammoth task of rebuilding a country left shattered by the battle against ISIS

ELECTIONS. A man walks past electoral campaign posters in Baghdad on May 8, 2018. Photo by Sabah Arar/AFP

10 journalists among dozens killed in Afghan attacks

May 01, 2018 - 10:06 AM

Reporters Without Borders calls it the most lethal single attack on the media since the fall of the Taliban

AFGHAN ATTACKS. Relatives and friends of Agence France Presse (AFP) Afghanistan Chief Photographer Shah Marai Faizi, including his AFP photographer colleague Wakil Kohsar (R) carry Marai's coffin before his burial in Gul Dara, Kabul on April 30, 2018, after his death in the second of two bombings that occurred in the Afghan capital. Photo by Andrew Quilty/AFP

EU, U.S. police cripple Islamic State media mouthpieces

Apr 27, 2018 - 5:26 PM

'With this ground-breaking operation we have punched a big hole in the capability of IS to spread propaganda online and radicalize young people in Europe,' says Europol head Rob Wainwright

EUROPOL. Rob Wainwright, Director of Europol, speaks during the launch of the European Migrant Smuggling Centre (EMSC) at Europol’s headquarters in The Hague, The Netherlands, on February 22, 2016. File photo by Jerry Lampen/ANP/AFP

German jihadist tied to 9/11 attacks caught in Syria – Pentagon

Apr 20, 2018 - 1:12 PM

Mohammad Haydar Zammar has been accused of recruiting some of the September 11 Al-Qaeda hijackers who carried out attacks on Washington and New York, killing almost 3,000 people

Years after his hanging, Saddam Hussein mystery lives on

Apr 16, 2018 - 10:07 PM

US president George W. Bush personally authorized the immediate transfer of the dictator's body on an American military helicopter from Baghdad to the northern city of Tikrit, near Al-Awjah

DAMAGED. An Iraqi fighter from the Hashed al-Shaabi (Popular Mobilisation Units) checks the severely damaged tomb of the late Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein in the village of Al-Awja, on the outskirts of Tikrit on April 8, 2018. Photo by Ahmad Al-Rubaye/AFP

Baghdad's infrastructure in ruins 15 years after Saddam fell

Apr 08, 2018 - 11:30 AM

Even Fardous Square, where a giant effigy of dictator Saddam Hussein was symbolically pulled down with the help of US Marines, remains to be revamped

A picture taken on April 5, 2018, Baghdad's Fardoos Square where the statue of late Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein formerly stood.  After the US-led invasion of Iraq in 2003 there were hopes its millennium-old capital Baghdad could rise again from the ashes, but construction sites have remained idle as if time stood still. / AFP PHOTO / AHMAD AL-RUBAYE

Trump promises Syria pullout, but sets no end date

Apr 04, 2018 - 8:56 AM

(UPDATED) 'The military mission to eradicate ISIS in Syria is coming to a rapid end, with ISIS being almost completely destroyed,' the White House says

OUT OF SYRIA? US President Donald Trump looks on during a joint press conference with President Raimonds Vejonis of Latvia, President Kersti Kaljulaid of Estonia and President Dalia Grybauskaite of Lithuania in the East Room of the White House on April 3, 2018 in Washington, DC. Photo by Olivier Douliery/AFP

FIFA lifts 3-decade ban on Iraq hosting international matches

Mar 17, 2018 - 12:24 PM

FIFA added that it cannot 'yet' agree to a request from the Iraqi authorities to organize matches in the capital of Baghdad

OPENED DOORS. Iraq has not played full internationals on home turf ever since its 1990 invasion of Kuwait that sparked an international embargo. Photo by Haidar Mohammed Ali/AFP

In Mosul, hundreds fear arrest for sharing names with jihadists

Mar 03, 2018 - 11:37 AM

This puzzle of similar names and the fear of detention is the talk of the town in Mosul

CHECKPOINT. An Iraqi policeman checks the ID of a driver at a checkpoint in Mosul on February 22, 2018 seven months after Iraqi forces retook the northern city from Islamic State (IS) jihadists. Photo by Ahmad MUWAFAQ/AFP

Iraq condemns 15 Turkish women to death for belonging to ISIS

Feb 25, 2018 - 9:08 PM

(UPDATED) The women, ranging in age from 20 to 50, have a month to appeal

Donors pledge $30B for Iraq reconstruction at Kuwait conference

Feb 15, 2018 - 7:41 AM

76 countries, numerous international funds and global organizations and hundreds of investors have made pledges

PICKING UP THE PIECES. A general view taken on February 14, 2018 shows Iraqis reconstructing a damaged street in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul. Ahmad Muwafaq/AFP

2 British ISIS 'Beatles' fighters captured in Syria – U.S. official

Feb 09, 2018 - 10:30 AM

Alexanda Amon Kotey and El Shafee el-Sheikh are believed to have 'participated in the detention, exploitation and execution of Western detainees'

Bahrain deports 8 after revoking their citizenship – HRW

Feb 04, 2018 - 8:20 PM

Under Bahrain's citizenship law individuals who engage in acts deemed "disloyal" to the state can be stripped of their nationality

DEPORTED. Human Rights Watch reported 8 civilians were deported to Iraq after Bahrain revoked their citizenship. Photo by Rappler

Exercise tracking map highlights locations of deployed troops

Jan 29, 2018 - 8:58 AM

While some US bases are well known to groups that want to attack them, the map also shows what appear to be routes taken by forces moving outside of bases – information that could be used in planning bombings or ambushes

BASE ACTIVITY. A US soldier walks past a A-10 Thunderbolt II at Kandahar Air base in Afghanistan on January 23, 2018. Shah Marai/AFP

Mayon Volcano eruption, Sanofi on Dengvaxia victims, Poe on LTFRB circular | Evening wRap

Jan 22, 2018 - 9:18 PM

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Baghdad twin suicide bombing kills at least 31

Jan 15, 2018 - 2:25 PM

(4th UPDATE) It is the second such attack in the Iraqi capital in 3 days

US basketball player rebounds from arrest with Iraq national team

Dec 27, 2017 - 1:00 PM

Moving to Iraq was no easy sell, but DeMario Mayfield has found his niche as the naturalized player for the national team

NEW START. When American teams weren't interested in him after college, DeMario Mayfield found an unlikely new home in Iraq. Photo by Ahmad al-Rubaye/AFP

Mosul celebrates first post-ISIS Christmas

Dec 24, 2017 - 6:55 PM

Muslims, as well as local and military officials, stood with Christian worshippers amid the candles and Christmas trees

CELEBRATION. Iraqi federal police members flash the sign for victory as they celebrate in the Old City of Mosul. AFP file photo

Shockwaves: The world in 2017

Dec 21, 2017 - 7:00 PM

Here is a look at some of the biggest global stories from the past year

RESISTANCE. Riot police fire rubber bullets and tear gas grenades at demonstrators protesting against President Nicolas Maduro's government in Caracas on April 8, 2017. Federico Parra/AFP

2017: The year the 'caliphate' collapsed

Dec 18, 2017 - 10:30 PM

The jihadist group lost its two main hubs, Mosul in Iraq and Raqa in Syria, earlier this year and is now only clinging to the dregs of a 'caliphate'

VICTORY IN MOSUL. This file photo taken on July 10, 2017 shows members of the Iraqi federal police celebrating in the Old City of Mosul after the government's announcement of the "liberation" of the embattled city from Islamic State (IS) group fighters. Photo by Fadel Senna/AFP

Iraq hangs 38 members of ISIS, Qaeda for 'terrorism'

Dec 15, 2017 - 1:17 PM

Rights watchdog Amnesty International has voiced repeated concerns about the use of the death penalty in Iraq, which it ranks as one of the world's top executioners behind China, Iran, and Saudi Arabia

Iraq holds military parade to celebrate victory over ISIS

Dec 11, 2017 - 12:50 AM

Iraqis sing patriotic songs and wave the national flag as they march in the streets

Iraqis wave their national flag in Baghdad's Tahrir Square on December 10, 2017, during a gathering celebrating the end of the three-year war against the Islamic State (IS) group. Baghdad declared victory in its war to expel the jihadists, three years after the group proclaimed a cross-border "caliphate" stretching into Syria, endangering Iraq's very existence. / AFP PHOTO / AHMAD AL-RUBAYE

Iraqi PM declares end of war against ISIS in Iraq

Dec 09, 2017 - 8:55 PM

'Our forces are in complete control of the Iraqi-Syrian border and I therefore announce the end of the war against Daesh (ISIS),' Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi tells a conference in Baghdad

END TO THE WAR. An image grab taken from Iraqiya state TV channel shows Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi delivering a televised speech in Baghdad on December 9, 2017, announcing the end of a war by Iraqi forces to drive the Islamic State group out of the country. Handout by IRAQIYA TV/AFP

Iraq top court declares Kurd referendum unconstitutional

Nov 20, 2017 - 4:22 PM

It is the latest stage in a crisis sparked by the referendum, which resulted in a resounding 'yes' vote for independence in the Kurdish area

WANTING FREEDOM. Iraqi Kurds wave flags of Iraqi Kurdistan during a demonstration outside the UN Office in Arbil, the capital of the autonomous region, on October 21, 2017, protesting against the escalating crisis with Baghdad. Safin Hamed/AFP

Iran hunts for survivors as quake kills 400 near Iraq border

Nov 14, 2017 - 7:43 AM

Iranian authorities say rescue operations have been largely completed and the government declares Tuesday, November 14, a national day of mourning

SEARCH. Rescue personnel conduct search and rescue work following a 7.3-magnitude earthquake at Sarpol-e Zahab in Iran's Kermanshah province on November 13, 2017. Pouria Pakizeh/ISNA/AFP

Quake leaves trail of death and destruction in Iraq

Nov 13, 2017 - 10:02 PM

The 7.3-magnitude quake which hit the Iraq-Iran border area on Sunday night, kills hundreds of people and injures thousands of others

DESTRUCTION. People gather around a levelled building in the mountainous town of Darbandikhan in Iraqi Kurdistan on November 13, 2017, following a 7.3-magnitude quake that hit the Iraq-Iran border area. Photo by Shwan Mohammed/AFP

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Nov 13, 2017 - 9:55 PM

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