Viet Nam News ARBIL, Iraq — Western support for military action against the Islamic State group is key to preventing attacks at home, French President Francois Hollande said on Monday in Iraq, where yet another bombing killed dozens. A suicide bomber detonated an explosives-laden car on a square in Baghdad’s SadrCity neighbourhood, killing at least 32 people in the latest attack on the Iraqi capital claimed by IS. Later the interior ministry said jihadist gunmen wearing suicide vests stormed a police station in the city of Samarra north of Baghdad, sparking clashes. There were no immediate reports of casualties, but IS said it was also behind the Samarra attack. France, one of the most active members of the US-led coalition fighting the Sunni extremist group, is particularly concerned over the return of a large contingent of French jihadists from Syria and Iraq. "Taking action against terrorism here in Iraq is also preventing acts of terrorism on our own soil," he … [Read more...] about In Iraq, Hollande says IS battle prevents attacks at home
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President Barack Obama said on Saturday U.S. airstrikes had destroyed arms that Islamic State militants could have used against Iraqi Kurds, but warned there was no quick fix to a crisis that threatens to tear Iraq apart. Speaking the day after U.S. warplanes hit militants in Iraq, Obama said it would take more than bombs to restore stability, and criticised Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki's Shi'ite-led government for failing to empower Sunnis. "I don't think we're going to solve this problem in weeks. This is going to take some time," Obama told a news conference in Washington. Islamic State has captured wide swathes of northern Iraq since June, executing non-Sunni Muslim captives, displacing tens of thousands of people and drawing the first U.S. air strikes in the region since Washington withdrew troops in 2011. After routing Kurdish forces this week, the militants are just 30 minutes' drive from Arbil, the Iraqi Kurdish capital, which up to now has been spared the sectarian … [Read more...] about Obama says tackling Iraq’s insurgency will take time.
American warplanes pounded Islamic State positions in Syria for a second day at a strategic post on the Iraqi border, but the campaign did nothing to halt the fighters' advance on a Kurdish town where refugees are fleeing. Syrian Kurds said Islamic State had responded to U.S. attacks by sending more tanks and fighters into an assault near the Turkish border in the north, where nearly 140,000 civilians have fled in recent days in the fastest exodus yet. The advance on the town of Kobani is a reminder of the difficulty Washington is likely to face in defeating fighters in Syria, where it lacks strong military allies on the ground. Fighting between Islamic State militants and Kurds could be seen from across the border in Turkey, where the sounds of sporadic artillery and gunfire echoed around the hills. Washington and Arab allies killed scores of Islamic State fighters in the first 24 hours of air strikes, the first direct U.S. foray into Syria two weeks after President Barack Obama … [Read more...] about US hits Islamic State in Syria near Iraq border; fighters advance on Kurdish city
In the fight against Islamic extremists, the commander of Iran’s secretive special forces is turning into an unlikely celebrity. Iranian television published last week a picture of Quds Force Major General Qassem Suleimani on an Iraqi battlefield surrounded by Kurdish Peshmerga fighters. That photograph, widely shared on Twitter and other social media, is the latest of Suleimani to appear since the fall of the city of Mosul to Islamic State. Even in the constrained Iranian media, Suleimani sightings, which once were rare, are now common. The transformation of a man in the shadows as chief of covert foreign operations for the Revolutionary Guards into a public hero is central to Iran’s message to the world: If you want to beat Sunni militants, you need the help of the Shiite nation and its top military commander. “He is sending a message to the U.S. about their influence,” said Antony Cordesman, a senior analyst at the Center for Strategic and International … [Read more...] about Iran’s message to world: you need us to fight Islamists
U.S. Vice President Joe Biden said on Saturday that the United States and Turkey were prepared for a military solution against Islamic State in Syria should the Syrian government and rebels fail to reach a political settlement. The latest round of Syria peace talks are planned to begin on Monday in Geneva but were at risk of being delayed partly because of a dispute over who will comprise the opposition delegation. Syrian armed rebel groups said on Saturday they held the Syrian government and Russia responsible for any failure of peace talks to end the country's civil war, even before negotiations were due to start. "We do know it would better if we can reach a political solution but we are prepared ..., if that's not possible, to have a military solution to this operation in taking out Daesh," Biden said at a news conference after a meeting with Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu. Daesh is the pejorative Arabic acronym for Islamic State insurgents who hold parts of Syria. A U.S. official … [Read more...] about U.S. says prepared for military solution against Islamic State in Syria