Iraq

Iraq finance minister urges battle against graft in military

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BAGHDAD - Iraq's finance minister called for deep-rooted reforms to stamp out corruption in a military that collapsed in the face of an Islamic State advance, as he prepares to spend nearly a quarter of the 2015 budget on defence.

Two Minneapolis men charged with conspiring to support Islamic State 25 Nov 2014

WASHINGTON - U.S. federal prosecutors on Tuesday charged two Minnesota men with supporting Islamic State, the militant group that has captured swaths of territory in Syria and Iraq and carried out gruesome executions of civilians and foreigners.

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Islamic State fighters battle Iraqi forces near Baiji refinery 25 Nov 2014

BAGHDAD - Islamic State insurgents battled Iraqi forces in the centre of Baiji on Tuesday, a week after the army broke their prolonged siege of the country's largest oil refinery just outside the town, an army officer and residents said.

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Hagel, under pressure, resigns as U.S. defence secretary 25 Nov 2014

WASHINGTON - U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel resigned on Monday, leaving under pressure as President Barack Obama faces critical national security challenges, including fighting Islamic State in Iraq and Syria and revising plans to exit Afghanistan. | Video

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Hagel, under pressure, resigns as U.S. defence secretary 24 Nov 2014

WASHINGTON - U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel resigned on Monday, leaving under pressure as President Barack Obama faces critical national security challenges, including fighting Islamic State in Iraq and Syria and revising plans to exit Afghanistan. | Video

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U.S. senator calls for declaration of war against Islamic State - NYT 24 Nov 2014

WASHINGTON - U.S. Senator Rand Paul, a possible Republican candidate for president in 2016, is calling for a formal declaration of war against Islamic State militants who control parts of Iraq and Syria, the New York Times reported on Monday.

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Iraqi forces say retake two towns from Islamic State 23 Nov 2014

BAGHDAD - Iraqi forces said on Sunday they retook two towns north of Baghdad from Islamic State fighters, driving them from strongholds they had held for months and clearing a main road from the capital to Iran.

Iraqi Kurds prepare Sinjar mountain offensive 23 Nov 2014

ARBIL, Iraq - Kurdish forces in northern Iraq are drawing up plans to break Islamic State's siege of Sinjar mountain, where hundreds of minority Yazidis remain stranded months after fleeing their homes.

Islamic State has lured 550 Germans into fighting - spy agency 23 Nov 2014

BERLIN - The number of Germans fighting alongside Islamic State militants in Syria and Iraq has increased sharply to 550 and around 180 have returned, the head of Germany's domestic intelligence said in a newspaper interview published on Sunday.

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U.S. plans to arm Iraq's Sunni tribesmen with AK-47s, RPGs, mortars 22 Nov 2014

WASHINGTON - The United States plans to buy arms for Sunni tribesmen in Iraq including AK-47s, rocket-propelled grenades and mortar rounds to help bolster the battle against Islamic State militants in Anbar province, according to a Pentagon document prepared for Congress.