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  1. Iraqi former Parliament speaker and the chairman of the Sunni Arab Coalition Osama al-Nujaifi, center, speaks to the media during a July 13 press conference in Baghdad. Karim Kadim / AP

    Iraq parliament postpones decision on new leaders

    Iraq's deadlocked parliament failed Sunday to overcome the deep divisions hampering the formation of a new government, making no progress on choosing new leaders who could help hold the nation together and confront the Sunni militant blitz that has overru

    • Jul. 13, 2014
  2. Iraqi Army soldiers and volunteers chant slogans against Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant inside of the main army recruiting center in Baghdad on Saturday after authorities urged Iraqis to help battle insurgents. Hundreds of young Iraqi men gripped by religious and nationalistic fervor streamed into volunteer centers across Baghdad Saturday, answering a call by the country's top Shiite cleric to join the fight against Sunni militants advancing in the north. Karim Kadim/The Associated Press

    Iraq sending 4,000 volunteers to help in Ramadi

    Iraq is airlifting some 4,000 volunteers to an embattled city west of Baghdad to help bolster government forces locked in a running battle with Sunni militants there, authorities said Saturday.

    • Jul. 12, 2014
  3. In this picture taken on June 30, a Kurdish Peshmerga fighter cleans his weapon on his position behind a dirt barrier built along the front line with militants in Mariam Bek village, between the northern cities of Tikrit and Kirkuk, Iraq. Hussein Malla/The Associated Press

    Iraqi Kurds take over 2 northern oil fields

    Kurdish security forces took over two major oil fields outside the disputed northern city of Kirkuk before dawn Friday and said they would use some of the production for domestic purposes, escalating a dispute the central government of Prime Minister Nour

    • Jul. 11, 2014
  4. Iraqi Kurdish protesters deploy a giant flag of their autonomous Kurdistan region during a demonstration July 3 to claim for its independence outside the Kurdistan parliament building in Arbil, in northern Iraq. Iraq's Kurds on Thursday said their politicians will stay away from Cabinet meetings and called on Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki to step down, blaming him for failing to stop the Sunni militant offensive that has swept across much of the country. Safin Hamed / AFP

    Iraq's Kurds say will boycott Cabinet meetings

    Iraq's Kurds on Thursday said their politicians will stay away from Cabinet meetings and called on Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki to step down, blaming him for failing to stop the Sunni militant offensive that has swept across much of the country.

    • Jul. 10, 2014
  5. Iraqi officials: 50 bodies found south of Baghdad

    Iraqi officials discovered 50 bodies, many of them blindfolded and with their hands bound, in an agricultural area outside a city south of Baghdad on Wednesday, raising concerns over a possible sectarian killing amid the battle against a Sunni insurgency.

    • Jul. 9, 2014
  6. Senate Armed Service Committee member Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz. speaks to reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington, on Tuesday, after attending a closed committee meeting on the situations in Iraq and Afghanistan from Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Martin E. Dempsey. Susan Walsh/The Associated Press

    Senators criticize White House for lack of clarity in Iraq

    The more the White House talks to Congress about Iraq, the less clear lawmakers are on what the path ahead there will be.

    • Jul. 8, 2014
  7. Iraq: 'Terrorists' seize ex-chemical weapons site

    The Islamic State extremist group has taken control of a vast former chemical weapons facility northwest of Baghdad, where remnants of 2,500 degraded chemical rockets filled decades ago with the deadly nerve agent sarin are stored along with other chemica

    • Jul. 8, 2014
  8. Iraqi MPs, Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, center, Supreme Court chief Midhat al-Mahmoud, 3rd from right, and Kirkuk provincial Gov. Najm al-Din Karim, 2nd right, take an oath during the first session of the new parliament on July 1 in the capital Baghdad. Ahmad Al-Rubaye / Getty Images

    Iraqi parliament squabbles over when to next meet

    With political leaders deadlocked, Iraq's parliament squabbled Monday over when to hold its next session, potentially delaying the formation of a new government for weeks despite the threat from extremists who have seized control of a large chunk of the c

    • Jul. 7, 2014
  9. The leader of the Islamic State group, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, delivers a sermon July 5 at a mosque in Iraq in a video posted online Saturday in what would be a rare  if not the first  public appearance by the shadowy militant. AP

    Video said to show leader of Islamic state group in Iraq

    Iraqi officials are working to determine the authenticity of a video that purportedly shows the leader of the Islamic extremist group that has seized large swaths of the country delivering a sermon this week in the nation's second-largest city, authoritie

    • Jul. 6, 2014
  10. Syrian children collect buckets of stagnant murky water from the side of a road in a rebel-held area in the northern city of Aleppo on Saturday. Syrian Observatory for Human Rights' director, Abdel Rahman told AFP on Friday that Aleppo city's rebel-held areas 'are now surrounded from all sides, by the regime and by the jihadists they are fighting.' Zein Al-rifai/AFP/Getty Images

    Syria rebel chief warns of 'disaster' without aid

    The military chief of Syria's main Western-backed rebel group warned Saturday that the country risked a 'humanitarian disaster' if allies do not send more aid to help his moderate forces halt the advance of Islamic militants.

    • Jul. 5, 2014
  11. An Iraqi Kurd helps block a road during a demonstration against the fuel crisis in Irbil, Iraq, on Sunday. In Irbil, a city controlled by ethnic Kurds, lines stretched for miles at gas stations for weeks causing demonstrations. The Associated Press

    Kurdish leader calls for independence referendum

    The leader of Iraq's Kurdish north called on lawmakers in the self-rule region's parliament to take the necessary steps toward holding a referendum on independence, a move that would likely spell the end of a unified Iraq.

    • Jul. 3, 2014
  12. Iraqi Kurdish forces take position June 29 as they fight jihadist militants from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant in the Iraqi village of Bashir. Karim Sahib / AFP

    Analysis: Could Sen. Graham's Iraq battle plan work?

    Sen. Lindsey Graham says he would launch a three-tiered military campaign against a violent Sunni group in Syria and Iraq 'tomorrow.' But would his hawkish plan work?

    • Jul. 3, 2014
  13. An image grab taken from a video uploaded June 17 on Youtube allegedly shows militants from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant parading with their weapons in the northern city of Baiji in the Salaheddin province. AFP

    Al-Maliki: Islamic state threatens region

    An extremist group's declaration of an Islamic state in territory it has seized in Iraq and Syria poses a threat to the entire region, Iraq's prime minister warned Wednesday, saying that 'no one in Iraq or any neighboring country will be safe from these p

    • Jul. 2, 2014
  14. A Kurdish Peshmerga fighter cleans his weapon June 30 along the front line with militants from the al-Qaida-inspired Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), in Mariam Bek village, between the northern cities of Tikrit and Kirkuk, Iraq. Hussein Malla / AP

    Envoy says Iraq can't wait for U.S. military aid

    Iraq is increasingly turning to other governments like Iran, Russia and Syria to help beat back a rampant insurgency because it cannot wait for additional American military aid, Baghdad's top envoy to the U.S. said Tuesday.

    • Jul. 1, 2014
  15. In this picture taken on Monday, a Kurdish Peshmerga fighter hangs a Kurdish flag on his position behind dirt barriers built along the front line with militants from the al-Qaida-inspired Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), in Mariam Bek village, between the northern cities of Tikrit and Kirkuk, Iraq. Demonstrating their growing independence from the rest of Iraq, the largely-autonomous Kurdish regional government is setting up dirt barriers that they hope will ultimately set the borders of their future state. Hussein Malla/The Associated Press

    Iraqi Kurds dig frontier around disputed areas

    As Islamic extremists seek to sweep away borders in their advance across the Middle East, Kurds in northern Iraq appear to be in the process of digging a new one, asserting their claim to hotly disputed territory and expanding their semi-autonomous region

    • Jul. 1, 2014
  16. Iraqi troops raise up their weapons as they arrive to support the Sunni anti-al-Qaeda militia Sahwa (Awakening) in Ramadi on June 21. AFP via Getty Images

    Analysis: Why Awakening II won't save Iraq this time

    In early 2006. Ramadi was a godforsaken place, with rubble-strewn streets and abandoned buildings. Americans had secured the main routes through the city, but not much else.

    • Jul. 1, 2014
  17. President Obama speaks at the White House on June 30 as Vice President Biden stands behind him. Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images

    More U.S. troops to Iraq, raising total to about 775

    President Obama told Congress on Monday that he is deploying about 200 more troops to Iraq to bolster security at the U.S. Embassy and airport in Baghdad.

    • Jun. 30, 2014
  18. This file image posted on a militant website on June 14 appears to show militants from the ISIL leading away captured Iraqi soldiers in plain clothes after taking over a base in Tikrit, Iraq. AP

    Rights group: Iraq militants executed 160 captives

    Iraqi insurgents executed at least 160 captives earlier this month in the northern city of Tikrit, Human Rights Watch said Friday, citing an analysis of satellite imagery and grisly photos released by the militants.

    • Jun. 27, 2014
  19. FILE - This June 21, 2007 file photo show a MQ-4 Predator controlled by the 46th Expeditionary Reconnaissance Squadron stands on the tarmac at Balad Air Base, north of Baghdad, Iraq. A Pentagon official says the U.S. has started flying armed drones over Baghdad to protect U.S. civilians and military forces in the Iraqi capital. The official said the flights started in the last 24 to 48 hours to bolster manned and unmanned reconnaissance flights the military has been sending over violence-wracked Iraq in recent weeks. He spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss the new flights on the record. (AP Photo/Maya Alleruzzo, File) Maya Alleruzzo / AP

    Official: Armed drones guard U.S. interests in Iraq

    The U.S. has started flying armed drones over Baghdad to protect U.S. civilians and military forces in the Iraqi capital, a Pentagon official said Friday.

    • Jun. 27, 2014
  20. Vitaly Churkin, Russia's U.N. ambassador, says there is a real prospect of a terrorist state springing up from Syria's second-largest city Aleppo to Iraq's capital Baghdad. Richard Drew / AP

    Russian U.N. envoy sees prospect of terrorist state in Syria, Iraq

    Russia's U.N. ambassador says there is a real prospect of a terrorist state springing up from Syria's second-largest city Aleppo to Iraq's capital Baghdad.

    • Jun. 27, 2014
  21. Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal, 2nd left, United Arab Emirates Foreign Minister Abdullah Bin Zayed, 3rd left, and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, 4th left, meet with staff members on the terrace of the U.S. Chief of Mission Residence in Paris. Brendan Smialowski / AP

    U.S., Sunni states meet on Mideast insurgent crisis

    The United States met Thursday with its top Sunni state allies in the Mideast to consider how to confront the region's growing turmoil that has been spawned by a Sunni Muslim insurgency group.

    • Jun. 26, 2014
  22. Iraqi parliament to meet in step to form new govt.

    Iraq's vice president called on parliament to convene on Tuesday, taking the first step toward forming a new government to present a united front against a rapidly advancing Sunni insurgency while Britain's top diplomat started an official visit to the co

    • Jun. 26, 2014
  23. Shiite Turkmen in the Iraqi town of Taza Khurmatu get ready to head out to defend their homes Saturday in nearby Basheer after it was seized by Sunni militants. Karim Sahib / AFP via Getty Images

    Analysis: Iraq producing bizarre Mideast dynamic

    Strange bedfellows, indeed.

    • Jun. 26, 2014
  24. A fleeing Iraqi girl cries Wednesday as she settles with her family at an open air field near a Kurdish security forces checkpoint in the Khazer area between the Iraqi city of Mosul and the Kurdish city of Irbil, northern Iraq. Hussein Malla / AP

    Iraq villagers flee militant advance in north

    Hundreds of Iraqi villagers fleeing advances by Sunni militants crowded at a checkpoint on the edge of the country's Kurdish-controlled territory Thursday seeking shelter in the relative safety of the self-rule region, as Britain's top diplomat arrived in

    • Jun. 26, 2014
  25. Demonstrators chant pro-al-Qaida-inspired Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant as they carry al-Qaida flags June 16 in front of the provincial government headquarters in Mosul. AP

    Spying drop-off in Iraq preceded fresh insurgency

    CIA officers in Iraq have been largely hunkered down in their heavily fortified Baghdad compound since U.S. troops left the country in 2011, current and former officials say, allowing a once-rich network of intelligence sources to wither.

    • Jun. 25, 2014
  26. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry warned Mideast nations on Wednesday against taking new military action in Iraq that might heighten sectarian divisions, as reports surfaced that Syria launched airstrikes across the border and Iran flew surveillance drones over the neighboring country. Brendan Smialowski / AFP via Getty Images

    Kerry issues warning after Syria bombs Iraq

    Syrian warplanes bombed Sunni militants' positions inside Iraq, military officials confirmed Wednesday, deepening the concerns that the extremist insurgency that spans the two neighboring countries could morph into an even wider regional conflict.

    • Jun. 25, 2014
  27. A Kurdish peshmerga fighter takes his position behind a wall on the front line Wednesday with militants from the al-Qaida-inspired Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), in Tuz Khormato, northern Iraq. U.S. officials say there are indications that Syria launched airstrikes into western Iraq Monday in an attempt to slow the al-Qaida-inspired insurgency fighting both the Syrian and Iraqi governments. Hussein Malla / AP

    U.S.: Syria may have launched airstrikes in Iraq

    U.S. officials say there are indications that Syria launched airstrikes into western Iraq Monday in an attempt to slow the al-Qaida-inspired insurgency fighting both the Syrian and Iraqi governments.

    • Jun. 25, 2014
  28. Iraq: Suicide bomber kills 13 south of Baghdad

    Iraqi police and hospital officials say a suicide bomber has blown himself up at an outdoor market south of Baghdad, killing 13 people and wounding 25.

    • Jun. 25, 2014
  29. 3 Iranian troops killed in attack near Iraq border

    An attack near Iran's western border with Iraq has killed three Iranian border guards, the semi-official Fars news agency reported on Wednesday.

    • Jun. 25, 2014
  30. Iraqi Shiite men parade their weapons Wednesday in the shrine city of Karbala, in central Iraq, after they volunteered to protect the Shiite holy sites in central and south Iraq in case of an attack by Sunni militants led by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). Mohammed Sawaf / AFP via Getty Images

    Iraqi PM rejects calls to form unity government

    Iraq's Shiite prime minister on Wednesday rejected calls to form an interim 'national salvation government' that critics say would allow the country's squabbling sects to quickly present a unified front in the face of a growing threat by Sunni militants w

    • Jun. 25, 2014
  31. Iraqi Shiite men parade their weapons Wednesday in the shrine city of Karbala, in central Iraq after they volunteered to protect the Shiite holy sites in central and south Iraq in case of an attack by Sunni militants led by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL Mohammed Sawaf / AFP via Getty Images

    In Iraq, former militia program eyed for new fight

    They were known as the Sahwa, or the Awakening Councils Sunni militiamen who took extraordinary risks to side with U.S. troops in the fight against al-Qaida during the Iraq War.

    • Jun. 25, 2014
  32. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry looks over the shoulder of the pilot commanding the helicopter that flew him to Embassy Baghdad on June 23 for meetings with Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and other top national leaders. State Department

    U.S. forces flow into Baghdad to assess Iraq troops

    Nearly half of the roughly 300 U.S.

    • Jun. 24, 2014
  33. President Obama delivers remarks June 23 during the White House Summit On Working Families in Washington. A Washington Post-ABC News poll found that 52 percent of all Americans oppose Obama's response the crisis in Iraq. Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images

    Poll: Majority of Americans oppose Obama's handling of Iraq

    A majority of Americans disapprove of President Obama's handling of the crisis in Iraq, according to a new poll.

    • Jun. 24, 2014
  34. A picture taken Tuesday in the city of Ramadi in the Anbar province shows buildings damaged during fighting between government forces along with allied militias and anti-government militants, including fighters from the jihadist Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). AFP via Getty Images

    U.N. report: At least 1,075 killed in Iraq in June

    More than 1,000 people, the vast majority of them civilians, have been killed in Iraq this month as Sunni insurgents overtook key areas of the country, the United Nations said Tuesday.

    • Jun. 24, 2014
  35. Iraqi Kurdish forces take position near Taza Khormato as they fight jihadist militants from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) positioned in Bashir. Karim Sahib / AFP via Getty Images

    Kurdish leader cites 'new reality' in Iraq

    IRBIL, Iraq (AP) The president of Iraq's ethnic Kurdish region declared Tuesday that 'we are facing a new reality and a new Iraq' as the country considers new leadership for its Shiite-led government as an immediate step to curb a Sunni insurgent rampag

    • Jun. 24, 2014
  36. An image grab taken from a video uploaded on Youtube on June 12 allegedly shows Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) militants taking part in a military parade in the northern city of Mosul. AFP via Getty Images

    U.S. Special Forces face complex challenge in Iraq

    U.S. teams of Special Forces going into Iraq after a three-year gap will face an aggressive insurgency, a splintering military and a precarious political situation as they help Iraqi security forces improve their ability to battle Sunni militants.

    • Jun. 24, 2014
  37. Secretary of State John Kerry greets U.S. Marines as he arrives June 23 at the U.S. embassy in the International Zone in the Iraqi capital Baghdad. Brendan Smialowski / Getty Images

    U.S. and Iraq agree on immunity for American troops

    The U.S. and Iraqi government have hammered out a controversial deal granting U.S.

    • Jun. 23, 2014
  38. Secretary of State John Kerry, left, shakes hands with Iraqi's Parliament Speaker Osama al-Nujaifi on Monday in Baghdad, Iraq, Monday. Kerry flew to Baghdad on Monday to meet with Iraq's leaders and personally urge the Shiite-led government to give more power to political opponents before a Sunni insurgency seizes more control across the country and sweeps away hopes for lasting peace. Brendan Smialowski / AP

    Kerry to Iraq leaders: sharing power is critical

    The fate of Iraq may be decided over the next week, the top U.S.

    • Jun. 23, 2014
  39. Mourners chant slogans against the al-Qaida breakaway group Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant after they bury 15 bodies Monday in the village of Taza Khormato in the northern oil-rich city of Kirkuk, Iraq,. Emad Matti / AP

    Militant group's surge in Iraq fans regional fears

    An al-Qaida breakaway group's seizure of territory in Iraq and Syria has sent tremors across the Middle East, jolting neighboring countries into action over fears that the Islamic militants may set their sights on them next.

    • Jun. 23, 2014
  40. Iraqi militants seize 2 more border crossings

    Sunni militants on Sunday captured two border crossings, one along the frontier with Jordan and the other with Syria, security and military officials said, as they pressed on with their offensive in one of Iraq's most restive regions.

    • Jun. 22, 2014
  41. Iran's top leader opposes U.S. intervention in Iraq

    Iran's top leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said Sunday he is against U.S. intervention in neighboring Iraq, where Islamic extremists and Sunni militants opposed to Tehran have seized a number of towns and cities, the official IRNA news agency reported.

    • Jun. 22, 2014
  42. Demonstrators protest June 21 outside of the White House in Washington against renewed U.S. involvement in Iraq. Susan Walsh / AP

    Obama's test: Try to avoid 'mission creep' in Iraq

    President Obama, in charting a new phase of American military engagement in Iraq, pledges that his war-weary country will not be 'dragged back' into a lengthy conflict or become ensnarled in 'mission creep.'

    • Jun. 22, 2014
  43. President Obama speaks June 19 about the situation in Iraq at the White House. Pablo Martinez Monsivais / AP

    Obama: Threat from Iraq militants could grow

    Al-Qaida-inspired militants who have violently seized territory in Iraq could grow in power and destabilize other countries in the region, President Obama said.

    • Jun. 22, 2014
  44. Volunteers of the newly formed 'Peace Brigades' raise their weapons and chant slogans against the al-Qaida-inspired Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant during a parade in the Shiite stronghold of Sadr City, Baghdad, Iraq. In a reflection of how intertwined the Syria and Iraq conflicts have become, thousands of Shiite Iraqi militiamen helping President Bashar Assad crush the Sunni-led uprising against him are returning home, putting a strain on the overstretched Syrian military as it struggles to retain territory it captures from rebels. Khalid Mohammed/The Associated Press

    Iraq, Syria conflicts merge, feed off each other

    In a reflection of how intertwined the Syria and Iraq conflicts have become, thousands of Shiite Iraqi militiamen helping President Bashar Assad crush the Sunni-led uprising against him are returning home, putting a strain on the overstretched Syrian mili

    • Jun. 21, 2014
  45. U.S., Iran, longtime enemies, now potential partners

    It's the fog of diplomacy.

    • Jun. 21, 2014
  46. Iraqi men brandish their weapons in the southern city of Basra on Thursday as they show their willingness to join Iraqi security forces in the fight against Jihadist militants who have taken over several northern Iraqi cities. Haidar Mohammed Ali / AFP via Getty Images

    Analysis: Obama plan leaves Iraq mostly on its own

    For years, the U.S. has been clear about its intent to step back from Iraq.

    • Jun. 20, 2014
  47. President Barack Obama pauses while speaking Thursday about the situation in Iraq in the Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House in Washington. Obama said the US will send up to 300 military advisers to Iraq, set up joint operation centers. Pablo Martinez Monsivais / AP

    Military advisers also fight, history tells us

    President Obama's announcement that he's sending military advisers to Iraq raises questions in some quarters, red flags about whether that could mean a return to warfare under another name.

    • Jun. 20, 2014
  48. Newly recruited Iraqi army volunteers, loyal to Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr, take part in a Thursday training in the capital Baghdad. Ahmad Al-Rubaye / AFP via Getty Images

    Iraq premier tested by political rivals, offensive

    Iraq's Shiite prime minister, embattled by the militant offensive sweeping his country's north, faces a growing campaign to force him out of office as insurgents press on with their campaign.

    • Jun. 20, 2014
  49. Iraqi Shiite women hold their weapons as they gather to show their willingness to join Iraqi security forces in the fight against Jihadist militants who have taken over several northern Iraqi cities, on Wednesday. HAIDAR HAMDANI/AFP via Getty Images

    What Iraq crisis foretells for Afghanistan's future

    The debate on Capitol Hill over how to respond to the expanding crisis in Iraq isn't just about the future of that nation, but also about what happens next in Afghanistan.

    • Jun. 19, 2014
  50. An image made available on the jihadist website Welayat Salahuddin on June 11 shows militants of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant posing with the trademark jihadist flag after they allegedly seized an Iraqi army checkpoint in the northern Iraqi province of Salahuddin. AFP/Getty Images

    Airmen on standby to support operations in Iraq

    The military is increasing surveillance flights over Iraq to identify possible targets for air strikes, President Obama said Thursday, while a team of airmen waits outside the country to set up and secure air operations if needed.

    • Jun. 19, 2014
  51. President Obama speaks about the situation in Iraq on June 19at the White House. Obama said the U.S. will send up to 300 military advisers to Iraq, set up joint operation centers. Jacquelyn Martin/The Associated Press

    Obama to send up to 300 military advisers to Iraq

    Saying that an 'all-out civil war' in Iraq could endanger U.S. security interests, President Obama on Thursday announced plans to send up to 300 military advisers into the crumbling nation and step up intelligence efforts to respond to the growing insurgent threat there.

    • Jun. 19, 2014
  52. Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice addresses an audience June 19 on the campus of Norwich University in Northfield, Vt. Jeb Wallace-Brodeur / AP

    Rice: U.S. must continue to lead as democratic ideal

    Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said Thursday the United States must continue to lead the world because it represents an ideal of democracy.

    • Jun. 19, 2014
  53. Al-Qaeda inspired militants stand with captured Iraqi Army Humvee on Thursday at a checkpoint outside Beiji refinery, north of Baghdad, Iraq. AP

    Iraqi forces holding on in fight for oil refinery

    Iraqi soldiers and helicopter gunships appeared to be holding on after three days of battle against Sunni militants Thursday for control of Iraq's largest oil refinery, but Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's own fate seemed increasingly in play with politic

    • Jun. 19, 2014
  54. Kurdish security forces prepare combat positions June 19 outside the oil-rich city of Kirkuk, 180 miles (290 kilometers) north of Baghdad, Iraq. AP

    Kurds emerge as winners in Iraq chaos

    Among rolling wheat fields with machine-gun fire rattling in the distance, Kurdish fighters patrol the new frontier of their autonomous region of northern Iraq, dozens of miles from their official border.

    • Jun. 19, 2014
  55. Army Gen. Martin Dempsey is assuring troops who served in Iraq that the rapid deterioration of security there does not reflect on their service and sacrifice. Army

    Dempsey: Violence in Iraq does not detract from troops' successes

    The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff is assuring troops who served in Iraq that the rapid deterioration of security there does not reflect on their service and sacrifice.

    • Jun. 19, 2014
  56. Secretary of State John Kerry brushed aside criticism of Obama administration Middle East policy Thursday, taking exception to assertions Washington has been too passive in the face of surging terrorism in the region. Molly Riley / AP

    Kerry denies Obama has been too passive in Iraq

    Secretary of State John Kerry brushed aside criticism of Obama administration Middle East policy Thursday, taking exception to assertions Washington has been too passive in the face of surging terrorism in the region.

    • Jun. 19, 2014
  57. President Obama meets with, from left, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Ky., House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nev., and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of Calif., in the Oval Office of the White House on June 18 in Washington. Pablo Martinez Monsivais / AP

    GOP leader: Obama may act in Iraq without signoff

    President Obama and congressional leaders believe he does not need authorization from Congress for some steps he might take to quell the al-Qaida-inspired insurgency sweeping through Iraq, the Senate's top Republican and Capitol Hill aides said after the

    • Jun. 18, 2014
  58. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, right, and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin Dempsey testify Wednesday before the Senate Appropriations Committee's Defense Subcommittee. Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

    Hagel on Iraq: 'We didn't lose anything'

    Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel on Wednesday pushed back on criticism that U.S. forces failed to protect Iraq from a predictable collapse, insisting blame be focused on the Iraqi government instead.

    • Jun. 18, 2014
  59. File - In this Monday, Oct. 6, 2003 file photo, an abandoned watchtower and lines of barbed wire are seen surrounding Iraq's largest oil refinery as smoke rises from a petroleum gas flare, in the city of Beiji, north of Baghdad. On Wednesday, June 18, 2014, a top Iraqi security official said Islamic militants of the al-Qaida-inspired Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant laid siege to Iraq's largest oil refinery late Tuesday night, threatening a facility key to the country's domestic supplies as part of their ongoing lightning offensive across the country. The Beiji refinery accounts for a little more than a quarter of the country's entire refining capacity and any lengthy outage at Beiji risks long lines at the gas pump and electricity shortages, adding to the chaos already facing Iraq. (AP Photo/Ivan Sekretarev, File) Ivan Sekretarev / AP

    Militants lay siege to Iraq's largest oil refinery

    Iraqi security forces battled insurgents targeting the country's main oil refinery and said they regained partial control of a city near the Syrian border Wednesday, trying to blunt a weeklong offensive by Sunni militants who diplomats fear may have also

    • Jun. 18, 2014
  60. 40 Indian construction workers kidnapped in Iraq

    India's Foreign Ministry says 40 Indian citizens working for a Turkish construction company near the Iraqi town of Mosul have been kidnapped.

    • Jun. 18, 2014
  61. Newly-recruited Iraqi volunteers, wearing police forces uniforms, take part in a training session June 17 in the central Shiite Muslim city of Karbala. Mohammed Sawaf / Getty Images

    Humiliation at rout hits Iraqi military hard

    The Iraqi soldiers tell of how they can hardly live with the shame of their rout under the onslaught of the Islamic militants. Their commanders disappeared. Pleas for more ammunition went unanswered.

    • Jun. 17, 2014
  62. An image uploaded on June 14 on the jihadist website Welayat Salahuddin allegedly shows militants of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) executing dozens of captured Iraqi security forces members at an unknown location in the Salaheddin province. Nearly 300 armed American forces are being positioned in and around Iraq to help secure U.S. assets as President Barack Obama nears a decision on an array of options for combating fast-moving Islamic insurgents, including airstrikes or a contingent of special forces. AFP via Getty Images

    Hundreds of U.S. troops head to Iraq

    Nearly 300 armed American forces are being positioned in and around Iraq to help secure U.S. assets as President Obama nears a decision on an array of options for combating fast-moving Islamic insurgents, including airstrikes or a contingent of special forces.

    • Jun. 17, 2014
  63. Sen. Mitch McConnell says President Obama must present a strategy against the extremists who are gaining ground in Iraq and could threaten the United States. Brendan Smialowski / AFP

    Senate Republicans to Obama: Give us an Iraq plan

    The Senate's top Republican says President Obama must present a strategy against the extremists who are gaining ground in Iraq and could threaten the United States.

    • Jun. 17, 2014
  64. Newly-recruited Iraqi volunteers, wearing police forces uniforms, take part in a training session on Tuesday in the central Shiite Muslim city of Karbala. Faced with a militant offensive sweeping south toward Baghdad, Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki announced Sunday that the Iraqi government would arm and equip civilians who volunteer to fight, and thousands have signed up. Mohammed Sawaf / AFP via Getty Images

    Fighting northeast of Baghdad kills 44 detainees

    BAGHDAD Sunni insurgents pushed further into a province northeast of Baghdad, laid siege to a police station and battled pro-government Shiite militiamen in overnight clashes that left at least 44 detainees dead, Iraqi officials said Tuesday.

    • Jun. 17, 2014
  65. MV-22 Osprey transport aircraft is on standby aboard the amphibious transport dock Mesa Verde in case the State Department needs support to completely evacuate the U.S. embassy in Baghdad. Cpl. Michael Petersheim / Marine Corps

    FAST Marines, U.S. soldiers arrive at the U.S. Embassy compound in Iraq

    The Pentagon has deployed about 100 troops including more than 50 Marines attached to a Fleet Antiterrorism Security Team to the U.S. Embassy compound in Baghdad, Iraq, to help protect diplomatic personnel and property.

    • Jun. 16, 2014
  66. Shiite tribal fighters carry a poster of Shiite spiritual leader Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, as they raise their weapons June 16 chanting against the al-Qaida-inspired Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) in Basra, Iraq's second-largest city. Nabil Al-Jurani / AP

    Iran's general in Iraq, militants seize key city

    In a sign of Iran's deepening involvement in the Iraqi crisis, the commander of Tehran's elite Quds Force is helping Iraq's military and Shiite militias gear up to fight the Sunni insurgents advancing across the country, officials said Monday.

    • Jun. 16, 2014
  67. President Obama speaks May 27 at the White House in Washington. Susan Walsh / AP

    More U.S. troops to Iraq; Special Forces considered

    The United State is deploying up to 275 military troops to Iraq to protect the U.S. Embassy and other American interests and is considering sending a contingent of Special Forces soldiers as Iraq struggles to repel a rampant insurgency, officials said Monday. The White House insisted anew the U.S.

    • Jun. 16, 2014
  68. Secretary of State John Kerry says the Obama administration is willing to talk with Iran over deteriorating security conditions in Iraq and is not ruling out potential U.S.-Iranian military cooperation in stemming the advance of Sunni extremists. Pablo Martinez Monsivais / AP

    Kerry: U.S. open to talks with Iran over Iraq

    The Obama administration is willing to talk with Iran over deteriorating security conditions in Iraq and is not ruling out potential U.S.-Iranian military cooperation in stemming the advance of Sunni extremists, Secretary of State John Kerry said Monday.

    • Jun. 16, 2014
  69. Militants from the al-Qaida-inspired Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) with captured Iraqi soldiers wearing plain clothes after taking over a base in Tikrit, Iraq. AP

    U.N. calls Iraq reports almost certain war crimes

    Evidence shows that the Islamic militants who massacred scores of captured Iraqi soldiers 'almost certainly' committed war crimes, U.N. human rights chief Navi Pillay said Monday.

    • Jun. 16, 2014
  70. An image uploaded Saturday on the jihadist website Welayat Salahuddin allegedly shows militants of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant capturing dozens of Iraqi security forces members prior to transporting them to an unknown location in the Salaheddin province ahead of executing them. AFP

    Sunni militants capture northern Iraqi town

    Sunni militants captured a key northern Iraqi town along the highway to Syria early on Monday, compounding the woes of Iraq's Shiite-led government a week after it lost a vast swath of territory to the insurgents in the country's north.

    • Jun. 16, 2014
  71. Iraqi policemen stand guard June 14 on a street in the central Shiite Muslim shrine city of Najaf as security forces ready a counter-offensive against militants north of the capital Baghdad. Haider Hamdani / Getty Images

    About 100 Marines and soldiers sent to Baghdad to help with embassy security

    Security at the U.S. embassy in Baghdad was bolstered and some staff members were being moved out of Iraq's capital city as it was threatened by the advance of an al-Qaida inspired insurgency, a State Department spokeswoman said Sunday.

    • Jun. 15, 2014
  72. Iraqi men fill military trucks to join the Iraqi army June 14 at the main recruiting center in Baghdad, Iraq after authorities urged Iraqis to help battle insurgents. Karim Kadim / AP

    U.S. evacuating embassy staff as bombs, fighting rock Iraq

    The United States said Sunday it was evacuating some staff from its embassy and beefing up security as deadly explosions rocked the Iraqi capital and advancing militant Islamic insurgents released graphic images appearing to show its fighters massacring c

    • Jun. 15, 2014
  73. This image posted on a militant website on June 14, which has been verified and is consistent with other AP reporting, appears to show militants from the al-Qaida-inspired Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) taking aim at captured Iraqi soldiers wearing plain clothes after taking over a base in Tikrit, Iraq. AP

    Militants post images of mass killing in Iraq

    As the Iraqi government bolstered Baghdad's defenses Sunday, the Islamic militant group that captured two major cities last week posted graphic photos that appeared to show its fighters massacring dozens of captured Iraqi soldiers.

    • Jun. 15, 2014
  74. Iraqi Shiite tribal fighters raise their weapons and chant slogans against the al-Qaida inspired Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) on June 14 in Baghdad's Sadr city, Iraq. Karim Kadim / AP

    Thousands of Iraqi men answer urgent call to arms

    Thousands of Shiites from Baghdad and across southern Iraq answered an urgent call to arms Saturday, joining security forces to fight the Islamic militants who have captured large swaths of territory north of the capital and now imperil a city with a much

    • Jun. 15, 2014
  75. People train in sail boats in the waters of the Saronic Gulf, outside Piraeus port, near Athens, Greece, back dropped by the USS George H.W. Bush on March 5. Thanassis Stavrakis/The Associated Press

    Ships move into Gulf as U.S. lays out goals for Iraq

    The United States ordered an aircraft carrier into the Persian Gulf and laid out specific ways for Iraq to show it is forging the national unity necessary to gain assistance in its fight against Islamic insurgents.

    • Jun. 14, 2014
  76. Iraqi Shiite tribal fighters deploy with their weapons while chanting slogans against the al-Qaida inspired Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), to help the military, which defends the capital in Baghdad's Sadr City, Iraq, on Friday. The tribal leaders met in Sadr city on Friday and declared their readiness along with their tribesmen to take up arms against the al-Qaida inspired group that has made advances in Iraq's Sunni heartland. Karim Kadim/The Associated Press

    A look at the U.S. presence in Iraq

    The U.S. Embassy in Baghdad is the largest in the world, but America's presence in Iraq has been shrinking. Some questions and answers about America's role in Iraq, where the U.S.

    • Jun. 14, 2014
  77. President Obama talks about his administration's response to a growing insurgency foothold in Iraq, on Fridayat the White House. Charles Dharapak/The Associated Press

    Obama: U.S. will not send troops into combat in Iraq

    President Obama said Friday he is considering military action in Iraq, but will not deploy U.S. troops there.

    • Jun. 13, 2014
  78. President Obama talks about his administration's response to a growing insurgency foothold in Iraq, on Fridayat the White House. Charles Dharapak/The Associated Press

    Obama on Iraq security: We can't do it for them

    President Obama said Friday he is weighing a range of options for halting a violent Islamic insurgency in Iraq, but he warned that American military action alone cannot stabilize the country.

    • Jun. 13, 2014
  79. In this Dec. 3, 2011, file photo, Iraq's Shiite Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki talks during an interview with The Associated Press in Baghdad, Iraq. Hadi Mizban/AP

    Official: U.S. air power options 800 miles from Iraq

    American air power options in Iraq are limited now, because the closest aircraft that could wage a bombing campaign against Islamist militants who have captured several of the nation's largest cities are at least 800 miles away.

    • Jun. 13, 2014
  80. An image from a video posted by a group supporting the al-Qaida breakaway Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), which has been verified and is consistent with other AP reporting, shows a militant in front of a burning Iraqi army Humvee in Tikrit, Iraq. The Associated Press

    How did 800 ISIS fighters rout 2 Iraqi divisions?

    The extremist group seizing vast swaths of Iraq this week is most likely fielding a small force of less than 1,000 fighters equipped with little more than small-arms weaponry and soft-shelled pickup trucks.

    • Jun. 12, 2014
  81. Americans being evacuated from Iraqi air base

    Officials say three planeloads of Americans are being evacuated from a major Iraqi air base in Sunni territory north of Baghdad to escape potential threats from a fast-moving insurgency.

    • Jun. 12, 2014
  82. A militant is shown standing Wednesday in front of a burning Iraqi Army Humvee in Tikrit, Iraq. The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), the group that led the charge in capturing two key Sunni-dominated cities in Iraq this week, has vowed to march on to Baghdad, raising fears about the Shiite-led government's ability to slow the assault following lightening gains. AP

    Iraq Sunni militant group vows to march on Baghdad

    The al-Qaida-inspired group that led the charge in capturing two key Sunni-dominated cities in Iraq this week vowed on Thursday to march on to Baghdad, raising fears about the Shiite-led government's ability to slow the assault following the insurgents' l

    • Jun. 12, 2014
  83. President Obama answers questions on violence in Iraq during his June 12 meeting with Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott in the Oval Office. Pablo Martinez Monsivais / AP

    Obama: U.S. will send fresh help to beleaguered Iraq

    Less than three years after pulling American forces out of Iraq, President Obama is weighing a range of short-term military options, including airstrikes, to quell an al-Qaida inspired insurgency that has captured two Iraqi cities and threatened to press

    • Jun. 12, 2014
  84. Sen. Graham argues for U.S. intervention in Iraq

    The words 'Iraq' and 'airstrikes' were linked Thursday in every Capitol Hill conversation about how the U.S. should respond to reports of Islamic insurgents fighters carving a path toward Baghdad.

    • Jun. 12, 2014
  85. A destroyed Iraqi army armored vehicle is seen on a street of the northern city of Mosul on June 12. Islamic militants have been routing Iraqi army and police forces in recent days. The Associated Press

    Iraq War vets angry, distraught as insurgents gain ground

    Veterans of the Iraq War and their families are watching with dismay and alarm as Sunni insurgents overrun large swaths of Iraq, including cities like Mosul, where hundreds of U.S. troops died.

    • Jun. 12, 2014
  86. Iraqi officials say militants seize city of Tikrit

    Al-Qaida-inspired militants seized effective control Wednesday of Saddam Hussein's hometown of Tikrit, expanding their offensive closer to the Iraqi capital as soldiers and security forces abandoned their posts following clashes with the insurgents.

    • Jun. 11, 2014

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