Iraq crisis

Iraq crisis

15 killed as Iraqi officials recapture Sunni oil town


A series of bomb attacks which targeted markets near Baghdad have killed at least 15 people, Iraqi officials said as security forces recaptured parts of a strategic Sunni oil town north of the capital from Islamic State militants. Iraq is embroiled in its worst crisis since the 2011 withdrawal of US troops in the wake of a blitz this year by the Sunni militant Islamic State group, which has seized a third of the country’s territory. After heavy fighting overnight, Iraqi security forces backed by Shiite volunteers managed to push into the strategic oil town of Beiji today, taking control of some of the town’s southern districts, according to officials.

Iraq crisis

Kurdish oil grab fuels independence dream as Iraq unravels


As modern Iraq collapses, the northern region of Kurdistan is emerging as an oasis of relative calm -- with plenty of oil to support its political ambitions for independence. With the advance of Islamist rebels deep into Iraq, autonomous Kurdistan is increasingly rejecting Baghdad’s claims over its oil. Last week Kurdish leader Massoud Barzani seized control of fields near Kirkuk, in the latest move by Kurdistan to assert control over the region’s oil.

Iraq crisis

Iraqi PM rejects unity government


Iraq’s prime minister has called on his nation’s political blocs to close ranks in the face of Sunni militants - but gave no concrete promise of greater political inclusiveness for minority Sunnis.