Charlie Hebdo and a high dose of political Islam

By Fatih Abdulsalam Azzaman, January 13, 2015 When an Arabic speaking newspaper in Lebanon appears with a banner headline saying I am Charlie Hebdo the connotation will be totally different when the statement is printed on the front pages of French newspapers in solidarity with the French satirical magazine which ridicules all religions all the [...]

Iraq mulling reinstating conscription as fighting against Islamic State rages

By Ali Kazeer Azzaman, January 12, 2015 The Defense Ministry must have everything ready to reinstate conscription in Iraq, Adnan al-Asadi, security affairs advisor to the Prime Minister Haider Abadi said. Asadi’s call for reinstating conscription comes as the country is engaged in ferocious fighting against Islamic State militants who control large areas of northern [...]

Islamic State deploys hundreds of foreign fighters in defense of Mosul and adjacent towns

By Abbas al-Baghdadi Azzaman, January 11, 2015 Islamic State’s military leaders are pursuing fresh media and war tactics in a bid to raise morale and strengthen positions in areas under its control in the northern and western parts of Iraq. The parliamentary Defense and Security Commission says the group’s hold of the city of Mosul, [...]

Dead British soldiers cannot be buried in Iraq

Azzaman, January 9, 2015 A senior Shiite cleric has ruled against the building of a cemetery for British soldiers killed in action in Iraq. The ruling by Moqtada al-Sadr comes following reports that British troops were constructing a cemetery for their soldiers on Iraqi soil. “Sadr has ordered British occupation troops to stop building the [...]

Baghdad and Arbil join forces against Islamic State militants

By Mohammed al-Salehi Azzaman, January 8, 2015 The central government in Baghdad and the regional Kurdish government in Arbil have agreed on a joint plan to confront Islamic State militants who currently control large swathes of the country. A Defense Ministry source said the sides have held meetings in the past few days during which [...]

Another Sunni cleric dies of wounds in southern city of Basra

 Azzaman, January 6, 2015 Another Sunni cleric has died following an attack by unidentified gunmen near the southern city of Basra. This brings the number of Sunni clerics killed in the January 1 assault to four. The attack on a vehicle carrying five Sunni clerics killed three of them instantly and seriously wounding two others. [...]

Shiite cleric Sistani condemns looting of property

By Ali Latif Azzaman, January 6, 2015 Iraq’s most senior Shiite cleric has issued a decree banning looting of property by Iraqi forces and popular militias. The decree comes amid reports that the advancing Iraqi security forces expropriate personal belongings of inhabitants of areas they retake from Islamic State militants. The looting has raised fears [...]

Sunni tribes turn to Iran for weapons to fight Islamic State militants

By Abbas al-Baghdadi Azzaman, January 4, 2015 Faced with a superior enemy and lacking weapons and proper training, some Iraqi Sunni tribes have turned to Iran for assistance, according Salah al-Jibouri, a deputy representing a Sunni block in the Iraqi parliament. Jibouri said the decision by the tribes comes following U.S. reluctance to arm the [...]

Turkey President Erdogan’s Iraq visit to open new chapter in relations

 By Abbas al-Baghdadi Azzaman, January 2, 2015 Turkish President Recep Tayyib Erdogan’s imminent visit to Baghdad is an opportunity to open a new chapter in relations strained during the eight years in power of former Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki. It will the first visit by Erdogan to Baghdad and comes as the new government of [...]

Royal Dutch Shell urged to employ more Iraqis in oil field

By Dalya Ahmad Azzaman, January 1, 2015 Scores of Iraqis have been demonstrating in villages and towns close to a gigantic oil field which Royal Dutch Shell operates in conjunction with with Petronas and Iraq’s Missan Oil Company. The Iraqis are asking the oil giant, which holds 45% stake in the 20-year contract to develop [...]