Tag: Iraq

Russia Says U.S. Policies Helped Islamic State, Interfax Reports

U.S. actions in the Middle East helped Islamic State to gain influence, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said, according to Interfax. The strengthening of Islamic State “became possible partly due to irresponsible U.S. politics” that focused on fighting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad instead of joining efforts to root out terrorism, Medvedev was cited as saying […]

Sinjar offensive: Kurdish troops attempt to take back key Iraqi city and split Isis in two

An ambitious military offensive has finally been launched to retake a key town from Isis which, if successful, could split the militant group’s territories in two.   With the support of US-led coalition air strikes at their backs, up to 8,000 Kurdish and Yazidi soldiers have reportedly captured a number of villages on their way […]

US role in Syria brings push for Congress vote on new war powers

In the fight against the Islamic State group, members of Congress talk tough against extremism, but many want to run for cover when it comes to voting on new war powers to fight the militants, preferring to let the president own the battle.   They might not be able to run for long.   The […]

France to deploy largest warship in mission against IS

France is sending its largest warship to join operations against Islamic State (IS) in Syria and Iraq. Its involvement in the campaign will shorten the time it takes for French jets to carry out air strikes. France has been targeting IS in Iraq as part of the US-led coalition since September 2014. In September this […]

US special forces reportedly in covert combat for months against ISIS

U.S. special operations forces reportedly have carried out several covert combat missions against ISIS over the past year, contrary to the Pentagon’s insistence that operations like last week’s raid of an ISIS-held prison in northern Iraq was a “unique” circumstance.   Bloomberg View reported that a special operations task force staffs an operations center in […]

Kerry in Vienna for Syria talks including Iran, Saudis

Syria berated Saudi Arabia Thursday in bitter comments foreshadowing difficulties ahead for talks gathering key players and focused on ending the conflict.   Syria is not at the Vienna talks, which formally begin Friday. But as U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and other senior dignitaries arrived in the Austrian capital, Syria’s information minister lashed […]

New U.S. Combat Mission in Iraq Is Not New

When Defense Secretary Ashton Carter announced Tuesday that the U.S. would begin “direct action” against Islamic State targets in Syria and Iraq, it sounded like a new mission for U.S. forces in a country where the president has repeatedly insisted Americans would not be engaged in combat operations.   But America’s special operations forces have […]

Ashton Carter: U.S. to Begin ‘Direct Action on the Ground’ in Iraq, Syria

Defense Secretary Ashton Carter said Tuesday that the U.S. will begin “direct action on the ground” against ISIS forces in Iraq and Syria, aiming to intensify pressure on the militants as progress against them remains elusive.   “We won’t hold back from supporting capable partners in opportunistic attacks against ISIL, or conducting such missions directly […]

US, Russia edge close to military collaboration in Syria and Iraq

Washington and Moscow appear close to agreeing to their armed forces teaming up for war operations in Syria and Iraq. Nothing definite has so far emerged about this potential collaboration, or even if it is to be conducted covertly and experimentally ad hoc or seriously and out in the open. A comment suggesting that the Obama […]

Russia overrides Middle East cyber waves

The distance as the crow flies between Russia’s Syrian air base Al-Hmeineem near Latakia and its Iraqi host facility at Al Taqaddum Air base is 824 km (445 nautical miles). From the Latakia base to Israel, the distance is just 288 km or 155 nautical miles, a hop and a skip in aerial terms. Syria’s […]