ARCHIVE FOR January February March 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 SUBMIT Security | 2020-02-28 Russia, Turkey hold crisis talks after deadly Syria strike The international community voiced alarm about a rising risk of escalation after a Syrian regime airstrike that killed 33 Turkish soldiers. Security | 2020-02-28 Iraqi army helps IDPs return to their homes in Anbar Twenty-eight displaced families have returned to their homes in the border district of al-Qaim amid improved security. Security | 2020-02-28 Iraq fortifies security around its oil facilities Iraqi forces have tightened security around oilfields and production facilities in Salaheddine and Ninawa to protect them from ISIS attacks. Terrorism | 2020-02-27 Tahrir al-Sham at crisis point in northern Syria: activists The extremist alliance is facing a shortfall in both money and fighters as it comes under assault in parts of Syria that are still under its control. Health | 2020-02-27 Iran coronavirus toll rises amid cover-up accusations As COVID-19 continues to spread and claim lives, a media watchdog has accused Iran of blocking independent reporting of the outbreak. Security | 2020-02-27 Syria opposition reenters key Idlib crossroads town On Thursday, extremists and Turkish-backed opposition fighters managed to reenter Saraqeb, a key Idlib town they had lost earlier in February. Security | 2020-02-26 Iran leverages Iraqi militias to generate funds The Islamic Republic is attempting to build a 'parallel state' in Iraq to help it further its hegemony and generate revenue, analysts say. Security | 2020-02-26 Iraqi forces kill 39 ISIS elements in al-Sharqat mountains Iraqi forces carried out a successful counter-terrorism operation against ISIS, killing 39 terrorists and destroying their hideouts in Salaheddine province. Human Rights | 2020-02-26 Deadly regime assault targets Idlib city schools Save the Children on Tuesday called for schools to be spared amid a Syrian regime onslaught that has killed both teachers and students. Terrorism | 2020-02-25 Syria-bound Swiss man jailed in Bulgaria on terror charges The man was handed a five-year jail term after he was caught, heavily armed, on his way to Syria in 2018. Politics | 2020-02-25 Moqtada al-Sadr faces growing popular anger in Iraq The populist cleric has been facing intense criticism since his supporters assaulted protestors and he changed his political position. Security | 2020-02-25 Iraqi forces capture 113 people in security operations in Salaheddine Iraqi forces carried out extensive operations against ISIS remnants and other criminals in southern Salaheddine province and near its administrative borders with Diyala and Anbar. Security | 2020-02-25 Alarm grows as fierce Idlib fighting continues Deadly fighting in north-western Syria on Tuesday continued to rage, leaving around 20 civilians dead, along with combatants on all sides. Security | 2020-02-24 Diyala police kills 2 ISIS suicide bombers Successful security operations targeting ISIS remnants have resulted in a safer atmosphere for residents of Diyala province. Human Rights | 2020-02-24 UN warns of 'bloodbath' risk in north-west Syria The fighting is now coming 'dangerously close' to an area where more than a million are living in tents and makeshift shelters, UN says. Crime & Justice | 2020-02-24 Syria's Kurds renew appeal for aid to judge ISIS fighters Almost a year since the military defeat of ISIS in Syria, close to 12,000 suspected ISIS elements are still being held in the country's north-east. Security | 2020-02-21 Turkey seeks to defuse tension with Russia in Syria Moves to defuse tensions in north-western Syria come as Turkey and the 27 EU member states express alarm about a humanitarian crisis. Security | 2020-02-21 Militias impede IDP return in Ninawa Plains Displaced residents complain that Iran-backed militias operating in the region are preventing them from returning to their homes in the area. Human Rights | 2020-02-21 170,000 people living in the open in NW Syria: UN Thousands of the newly displaced are living in the open or in unfinished buildings, with no access to basic services such as latrines. Security | 2020-02-21 Iraq investigates ISIS mass grave near Tal Afar More than 1,000 victims killed by ISIS during its occupation of Mosul were discovered in a mass grave site near Tal Afar. Society | 2020-02-20 Deir Ezzor residents decry regime's negligence Prices are soaring unchecked, poverty and unemployment are rampant, garbage is piling up in the streets, and many areas lack basic services. Education | 2020-02-20 Anti-ISIS ideology campaign under way in Anbar The province's local government is partnering with tribal leaders, educators and religious scholars to counter ISIS's extremist ideology. Terrorism | 2020-02-20 Iraqi government freezes assets of 93 terrorism supporting entities The freezing resolutions, issued February 13th, highlight Iraq's commitment to fighting terrorism financing and money laundering. Refugees | 2020-02-19 Syrian activists call for help for displaced civilians Thousands have fled the fighting in recent days, with the newly displaced facing difficult conditions and a shortage of accommodation and aid. Terrorism | 2020-02-19 Exhumation under way at 17 Sinjar mass graves Authorities say they have completed the procedures to open 17 mass graves in Sinjar that contain the remains of Yazidis killed by ISIS. Human Rights | 2020-02-19 Iraqi women condemn al-Sadr's call to ban mixed demonstrations Iraqi women marched in Najaf and Baghdad to protest Moqtada al-Sadr's remarks, which they said were aimed at excluding and undermining women. Education | 2020-02-18 Iraqi organisations help children scarred by terrorism Civil society organisations are working together to treat the effects of terrorism on children as they are the most susceptible to the psychological effects of violence. Refugees | 2020-02-18 Regime advance in Aleppo causes 900,000 Syrians to flee The UN is calling for a ceasefire and the establishment of humanitarian corridors as civilians continue to suffer from the relentless violence and freezing temperatures. Crime & Justice | 2020-02-18 Turkey arrests suspected ex-ISIS executioner The detainee, arrested at a construction site in Bursa province, was an executioner for a senior ISIS leader in Deir Ezzor, Turkish media report. Crime & Justice | 2020-02-18 Mass grave found near Damascus: state media Syrian regime forces say they have found a mass grave containing the remains of around 70 bodies near the Eastern Ghouta town of Douma. Security | 2020-02-18 Iraqi forces, tribes destroy 3 ISIS rest-houses in Anbar A new operation will look for ISIS remnants in an area that covers the outskirts of al-Baghdadi and Haditha towards Lake al-Tharthar, north of the Euphrates river. Security | 2020-02-17 Iran-backed militias prevent Iraqi IDPs from returning home The Iranian regime wants its proxy militias to establish a foothold in areas it deems strategic, which lie on the 'Iranian silk road' that extends to Syria, officials say. Human Rights | 2020-02-14 Courts uphold Iraqi law in ISIS fighter trials ISIS fighters must be held accountable for the crimes they committed, but defendants also have a right to a fair trial, experts say. Security | 2020-02-14 World more secure, stable with Soleimani gone: observers Quds Force commander Qassem Soleimani was responsible for expanding Iran's influence through a network of militias and his death is a significant hindrance to Iran's plans. Media | 2020-02-13 Uptick in assassinations of Iraqi journalists raises concerns Three Iraqi journalists have been killed so far this year. Media rights organisations demand better protection for reporters and just punishment for the perpetrators. Terrorism | 2020-02-13 Small-scale attacks show ISIS is struggling: experts Though it still poses a threat, the group does not have the resources to conduct wider-scale attacks and is finding it hard to mobilise. Terrorism | 2020-02-13 ISIS women try to manipulate al-Hol children After security forces sectioned off the perpetrators of violence, the women began ordering children in the camp to make trouble on their behalf. Security | 2020-02-12 International coalition clashes with Syria regime loyalists The international coalition responded with live fire after one of its patrols came under attack near the Kurdish-held city of Qamishli. Security | 2020-02-12 Tensions rise sharply on north-west Syria front Opposition groups downed a Syrian regime helicopter in Idlib as the regime pressed on with a Russia-backed offensive in the region. Security | 2020-02-12 Iran-linked militias trade arms ISIS left behind The Iraqi army has dismantled a criminal network involved in selling weapons and explosives it had looted from ISIS caches hidden in Anbar. Security | 2020-02-12 20 ISIS members arrested in Iraqi intelligence operations ISIS members, including senior leaders, were arrested in intelligence operations against active and sleeper cells in northern and western Iraq. Human Rights | 2020-02-12 HRW urges probes into fate of missing ISIS captives More than 8,000 people detained by ISIS when it controlled swathes of north and east Syria remain unaccounted for, the watchdog says. Security | 2020-02-11 Plan to expand NATO's Iraq mission wins support The NATO mission would continue to focus on training Iraqi forces and would not take on combat operations, Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said. Terrorism | 2020-02-11 Iraq shuts down ISIS propaganda efforts The Iraqi Ministry of Interior shut down 900 social media accounts that were used to spread extremist propaganda. Security | 2020-02-11 Syrian regime regains control of M5 highway The move comes amid escalating fighting in Idlib and Aleppo and tensions with Turkey as the Syrian regime and its allies press an offensive. Security | 2020-02-10 Can Qaani be as influential as Soleimani? The new IRGC-QF commander does not have his predecessor's status and will struggle to address challenges the IRGC and its proxies face. Media | 2020-02-10 ISIS chased off social media platforms worldwide Banned from all the major social media networks, the group is losing its ability to spread its extremist ideology, intelligence analysts say. Security | 2020-02-10 Syrian regime presses offensive after seizing Saraqeb The attacks come as regime allies close in on a section of the economically vital M5 highway that connects Damascus to Aleppo. Security | 2020-02-10 Iraq launches 'major operations' to defeat ISIS remnants in Anbar desert ISIS has increased its terror acts in the three weeks that counter-terrorism operations were halted by the international coalition. Economy | 2020-02-07 Regime to blame for Syrian pound's collapse: economist The price of food has risen sharply with the pound's devaluation and tighter rationing has been introduced, leaving many families hungry. Security | 2020-02-07 Turkey bolsters Idlib posts as regime enters Saraqeb Turkey has sent reinforcements into Syria's Idlib province to protect its outposts there as the Syrian regime presses an offensive in the region. Society | 2020-02-07 Iraq to reopen expanded, modernised prisons Several state-run prisons have been expanded and updated to improve conditions and services and reduce overcrowding and recidivism. Society | 2020-02-07 Ninawa to rebuild 800 houses destroyed by terrorism, war This new project focuses on houses that were fully destroyed in the war against ISIS in Mosul's Old City. Protests | 2020-02-07 Top Iraq cleric condemns attacks on protestors In his Friday sermon, top Shia cleric Ali al-Sistani said it falls to state security forces alone to maintain security and stability amid protests. Protests | 2020-02-06 Iran-backed militias 'unwelcome' in Iraqi society Iraqis accuse these militias of being 'disloyal to Iraq and working against demonstrators' in their quest to rid the country of corruption. Security | 2020-02-06 Iraqi protestors face off against al-Sadr's followers Moqtada al-Sadr has reversed his position yet again, turning against Iraqi protestors over the nomination of Mohammed Allawi as prime minister. Security | 2020-02-06 UN Security Council to discuss Idlib escalation The emergency meeting comes amid a Russia-backed regime offensive in north-western Syria that has triggered massive civilian displacement. Security | 2020-02-05 Soleimani aide among latest Aleppo casualties Asghar Pashapour, an IRGC Quds Force officer stationed in Syria, had served as a senior assistant to IRGC-QF commander Qassem Soleimani. Security | 2020-02-05 Syria regime presses offensive despite Turkish warning Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has given Syria until the end of the month to comply with a demand to pull back in Idlib province. Economy | 2020-02-05 Iraq works to address youth unemployment The National Programme for the Employment of Youth will offer substantial group loans to young people who seek to establish a business. Refugees | 2020-02-04 Idlib offensive sparks massive displacement More than half a million civilians, many of them already displaced, have been forced to flee the Idlib region amid heavy airstrikes and shelling. Security | 2020-02-04 Iraq secures desert area straddling 3 provinces The largest search operation of its kind was conducted in the desert that lies between the provinces of Karbala, Najaf and Anbar. Politics | 2020-02-04 Al-Nasiriyah protestors malign pro-Iran militias Demonstrators have been chanting slogans decrying the militias' interference in their peaceful movement. Security | 2020-02-03 Iraqi forces target ISIS remnants in Diyala province Iraqi forces targeted and destroyed ISIS hideouts and training camps in and near Diyala province. Security | 2020-02-03 Syrian regime forces at the gates of Saraqeb Regime forces have encircled the Idlib province city as part of a push to retake the area that has seen increased friction among all parties.