Iraq’s embattled PM visits Basra after week-long protest
BASRA, Iraq (AP) — Iraq's embattled prime minister Haider al-Abadi visited the southern city of Basra, on Monday, where 15 people were killed in weeklong protests over poor public services and soaring unemployment.
The visit came two days after Al-Abadi and Basra governor Asaad al-Aidani got into a shouting match in front of cameras in Parliament over who was to blame for Basra's failing services.
Iraqi protesters set fire to Iran consulate in southern city
BASRA, Iraq (AP) — Angry protesters stormed the Iranian consulate in the southern city of Basra on Friday, setting a fire inside amid a wave of demonstrations that have turned deadly in the past few days, a security official and eyewitnesses said.
Iraq’s new parliament meets as rival blocs vie for majority
BAGHDAD (AP) — Iraq's newly-elected parliament held its first session on Monday as two blocs, both claiming to hold the most seats, vied for the right to form a new government.
The session opened with a prayer and an orchestral performance of the national anthem, as lawmakers convened for the first time since national elections were held in May.
Pompeo speaks to Iraqi leaders at ‘this critical time’
WASHINGTON (AP) — Secretary of State Mike Pompeo spoke Saturday with two Iraqi leaders to express support for Iraq's efforts to form a "moderate, nationalist" government that would serve all Iraqis, his spokeswoman said.
Iraq to reduce visa charges for Iranian pilgrims
BAGHDAD (AP) — Iraq is reducing visa charges for Iranian pilgrims who visit to mark a major religious occasion later this year.
The reduction will only apply to pilgrims of the "Arbaeen," the anniversary of the passage of 40 days after the death of the deeply revered Shiite Imam Hussein, the Prophet Muhammad's grandson.
News of the reduction of the visa charges, which are normally $40, was posted on the government's website Tuesday. It did not say how much the reduction will be.
Iran said to cancel visit by Iraq’s prime minister
BAGHDAD (AP) — Iran has cancelled a visit by Iraq's prime minister after he said that while he was opposed to renewed U.S. sanctions on Tehran he had no choice but to abide by them, an Iraqi official said Sunday.
Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi was to visit Iran and Turkey later this week. The official said the Turkey visit, beginning Tuesday, will go ahead as planned.
Iraq’s recount of ballots from May vote doesn’t alter result
BAGHDAD (AP) — Iraq's election commission says the result of its recount of ballots from May's parliamentary elections doesn't alter the overall outcome of the vote.
The commission completed earlier this week its recount from the vote which was marred by allegations of fraud and irregularities. It didn't recount votes from eastern Baghdad because of a fire at a warehouse where ballot boxes were stored.
Iraq completes recount of ballots from May election
BAGHDAD (AP) — Iraq's election commission has completed its recount of ballots from May's parliamentary elections, which were marred by allegations of fraud and irregularities.
The commission said Monday it didn't recount votes from eastern Baghdad because of a fire at a warehouse where ballot boxes and electronic counting equipment were stored.
It did not say whether the recount had altered the results or when the new count would be made public.
BAGHDAD (AP) — Iraq's prime minister on Sunday suspended the country's electricity minister over a power crisis amid mushrooming protests in the country's Shiite heartland demanding better services and jobs.
Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi made the announcement on his Twitter account, saying the suspension of Qassim al-Fahdawi, the electricity minister, would last until an investigation is concluded. He did not elaborate.
BAGHDAD (AP) — Iraq's prime minister on Thursday ordered an investigation into overnight explosions that tore through a mosque in Baghdad as officials raised the casualty toll to 18 dead and 38 wounded.
The blasts took place in Baghdad's Sadr City when a weapons depot exploded inside a Shiite mosque, the officials said. It was not clear what triggered the explosions that destroyed or damaged 20 homes.
BAGHDAD (AP) — Iraq's prime minister has ordered the creation of a high-powered commission to look into alleged irregularities in the parliamentary elections held May 12, the first sign that authorities are taking seriously complaints about the vote.
BAGHDAD (AP) — Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, whose coalition won the largest number of seats in Iraq's parliamentary elections, has sought to reassure Iraqis about their next government, saying it will be "inclusive" and mindful of their needs.
No single bloc won a majority in the May 12 vote, raising the prospect of weeks or even months of negotiations to agree on a government. Major political players began talks soon after the election's partial results were announced last week.
BAGHDAD (AP) — Influential Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr's political coalition has won the most seats in Iraq's national parliamentary elections, according to complete results released by Iraq's electoral commission early Saturday.
BAGHDAD (AP) — The political coalition of influential Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr took an early lead in Iraq's national elections in partial returns announced late Sunday by the Iraqi electoral commission.
BAGHDAD (AP) — The latest on Iraq's national elections. (all times local):
Iraq's electoral commission says influential Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr's alliance is the early front-runner in national elections, with official results in from just over half of the country's provinces.
The announcement Sunday night comes a day after polls closed across Iraq. The results are from 10 of the country's 19 provinces, including Baghdad and Basra.
Iraqi PM al-Abadi Votes In National Election
Iraqis vote Saturday in the first parliamentary election since the country declared victory over the Islamic State extremist group.
The balloting is expected to be a referendum on Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi's tenure and his pledge to be more inclusive of Iraq's Sunni minority.
Entrenched corruption, the influence of Iran and the future of U.S. forces currently in Iraq are other issues that have dominated the run-up to the election.
BAGHDAD (AP) — Iraqis head to the polls this weekend for the first time since the government declared victory against the Islamic State group, in national elections that could tilt the balance of power between the United States and Iran.
Iraq reopens Kurdish airports to international flights
BAGHDAD (AP) — Iraq's civil aviation authority says airports in the country's Kurdish region have been officially reopened for international flights.
Abbas Omran, the authority's director, says he received a cable Wednesday night that international carriers are now allowed to take off and land at the two airports in Iraq's Kurdish region after they had been shut to such traffic some six months ago.
Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi called for the hubs to be reopened on Tuesday.
BAGHDAD (AP) — Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi has ordered an "immediate" investigation into the killing of a senior military officer by "undisciplined individuals" at a checkpoint north of Baghdad.
BAGHDAD (AP) — Iraq is reopening airports in the country's Kurdish region to international flights after federal authority was restored at the hubs, according to a statement from Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi on Tuesday.
The announcement comes some six months after the airports were initially shut to international flights following a controversial referendum vote in northern Iraq's self-ruled Kurdish region that overwhelmingly backed independence from Baghdad.
The U.S. military says the fate of its ongoing presence in Iraq will be decided in "coordination with" and will depend on the "approval of" the government in Baghdad.
The comments by Col. Ryan Dillon, a spokesman for the U.S.-led coalition that battled the Islamic State in Iraq, came in response to Iraqi parliament's demand Thursday that a timeline be set for the pullout of foreign troops from the country.
Twin bombings in Baghdad kill 38, shatter post-IS calm
BAGHDAD (AP) — Twin suicide bombings rocked Baghdad on Monday, killing 38 people in the deadliest attack since Iraq declared victory over the Islamic State group last month, and raising fears ahead of national elections planned for May.
Iraq PM vows to lead diverse coalition in May election
BAGHDAD (AP) — Iraq's prime minister says he will lead a "cross-sectarian" list in national elections proposed for May, hoping to build off last year's victory against the Islamic State group.
Haider al-Abadi, who comes from Iraq's Shiite majority, assumed office in 2014, weeks after IS stormed across northern and central Iraq. Since then, Iraqi forces backed by a U.S.-led coalition have gradually retaken all the territory once held by the Sunni extremists.
Australia ends airstrike operations in Iraq and Syria
SYDNEY (AP) — Australia has announced an end to its airstrike operations against the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria.
The country's six Super Hornet fighter jets will soon head home in a major reduction to Australia's commitment to battling the militants in the region, three years after it began.
Defense Minister Marise Payne told reporters Friday the move followed discussions with the Iraqi government, whose Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi earlier this month declared victory over the group.
Iraq PM warns Islamic State might erupt again somewhere else
PARIS (AP) — Three days after declaring victory over the Islamic State group, Iraq's prime minister warns that the group's extremists might "erupt again somewhere else" without international cooperation in combatting the militants.
Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi told reporters Tuesday that "we have managed to break them" in Iraq, but added that it's a worry for everyone that IS has "this unfortunate ability to recruit young people very quickly."
Iraqi Shiite cleric urges militias to disarm after IS defeat
BAGHDAD (AP) — An influential Iraqi Shiite cleric on Monday urged his fighters to hand state-issued weapons back to the government, following Iraq's declaration of victory against the Islamic State group.
In a speech broadcast on Iraqi television, Muqtada al-Sadr also called on his forces to hand over some territory to other branches of Iraq's security forces, but said his men would continue to guard a holy Shiite shrine in Samarra, north of Baghdad.
World leaders congratulate Iraq on defeating IS
BAGHDAD (AP) — World leaders congratulated Iraq Sunday following the prime minister's declaration of victory over the Islamic State group. Saudi Arabia says the achievement is a big victory against terrorism in the region and the United Kingdom applauded Iraq's security forces "for their courage and sacrifice."
Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi declared victory in the more than three year fight against IS in a national address aired on Iraqi state television Saturday evening.
PM announces on state TV Iraq’s war against IS has ended
BAGHDAD (AP) — After more than three years of combat operations, Iraq announced Saturday that the fight against the Islamic State group is over after the country's security forces drove the extremists from all of the territory they once held. Iraqi and American officials warned, however, that key challenges remain despite the military victory.
Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi formally announced the victory in an address to the nation aired on Iraqi state television Saturday evening.
Rights group: IS suspects face violations in Iraqi custody
BAGHDAD (AP) — Thousands of people suspected of having ties to the Islamic State group are facing widespread rights violations in Iraqi custody, Human Rights watch said Tuesday.
The Latest: British PM May makes surprise stop in Iraq
RIYADH, Saudi Arabia (AP) — The Latest on developments from British Prime Minister Theresa May's Middle East tour (all times local):
British Prime Minister Theresa May has made a surprise visit to Iraq as part of a tour of the Mideast.
Iraq's government released footage Wednesday of May arriving in Baghdad to meet with Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi. It's May's first trip to Iraq as prime minister.
Iraq: Bombing in southeast Baghdad kills 11
BAGHDAD (AP) — Iraqi police and hospital officials say a bombing in southeast Baghdad has killed 11 people.
The officials say the attack late Monday night targeted a popular shopping district and left also 26 civilians wounded.
All officials spoke on condition of anonymity in line with regulations.
Iraqi forces retake the country’s last IS-held town
BAGHDAD (AP) — Iraqi forces backed by the U.S.-led coalition retook on Friday the last town in the country that was held by the Islamic State group, more than three years after the militants stormed nearly a third of Iraq's territory, the Defense Ministry said.
The Latest: Iraqi PM welcomes freeing of last IS-held town
BAGHDAD (AP) — The Latest on developments in Iraq (all times local):
Iraq's prime minister is congratulating his forces on retaking the last Iraqi town that was held by the Islamic State group.
Haider al-Abadi says in a statement released on Friday afternoon that Iraqi forces liberated Rawah in record time and are continuing operations to retake control of Iraq's western desert and the border area with Syria.
Iraqi forces launch anti-IS operation in western Anbar
BAGHDAD (AP) — Iraq's Prime Minister says Iraqi forces are launching an operation to push Islamic State group fighters out of a patch of territory on the western edge of the country near the border with Syria.
Haider al-Abadi is announcing the push during a visit to the holy city of Karbala on Saturday during the Arbaeen pilgrimage that commemorates the martyrdom of Imam Hussein, the Prophet Muhammad's grandson and a central figure in Shiite Islam.
Iraqi PM defends plan to trim Kurdish region’s budget share
BAGHDAD (AP) — Iraq's prime minister has defended a proposal to trim the self-ruled Kurdish region's share in next year's budget from 17 percent to 12.6 percent.
Haider al-Abadi told reporters Tuesday that the proposal is not "a punishment" to the Kurds in the wake of controversial independence vote held late September. That vote saw a majority support from the Kurds. Baghdad considers it unconstitutional and illegal.
Iraqi PM raises flag at border crossing taken from IS
BAGHDAD (AP) — Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi raised on Sunday the Iraqi flag at a border crossing with Syria days after Iraqi forces retook it from the Islamic State group, state TV announced.
Al-Iraqiya TV said al-Abadi visited the newly-liberated town of Qaim and the nearby Husaybah border crossing in western Iraq. Both sit along what was once an important supply route used by IS when the group controlled large areas in Syria and Iraq.
Territorial losses suffered by Islamic State in Syria, Iraq
BEIRUT (AP) — With new losses, the Islamic State group has been driven from more than 96 percent of the large parts of Iraq and Syria it once held, crushing its goal of establishing a "caliphate" that challenges existing borders.
The militants are left fighting for a final stretch inside Syria and desert regions along the Iraq-Syria border. Three years ago, they had defiantly erased that line, knocking down berms marking the frontier.
Territorial losses suffered by Islamic State in Syria, Iraq
BEIRUT (AP) — With new losses Friday, the Islamic State group has been driven from more than 96 percent of the large parts of Iraq and Syria it once held, crushing its goal of establishing a "caliphate" in the region.
Syrian President Bashar Assad's military announced the capture of the eastern Syrian city of Deir el-Zour, while Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi proclaimed victory in retaking the town of Qaim on the border, the militants' last significant urban area in Iraq.
Iraq says negotiations with Kurds have failed
BAGHDAD (AP) — Iraq says negotiations with the Kurds over the deployment of federal forces along the borders of their autonomous region have failed.
The body overseeing Iraq's security forces said Wednesday that Kurdish forces had delayed talks in an effort to strengthen their defenses, and that as a result, both sides are back to "square one."
Iraqi premier urges for calm in Kurdish region after rioting
BAGHDAD (AP) — Iraq's prime minister on Monday called for calm in the self-ruled northern Kurdish region after rioting the previous night following the Kurdish regional president's decision to effectively step down.
In his statement, Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said the central government is closely monitoring what he described as "attempts to create chaos and disorder" in Irbil and Dahuk, two cities in the Kurdish region.
The Latest: Iraq temporarily halts movement against Kurds
BAGHDAD (AP) — The Latest on developments in Iraq (all times local):
Iraq's Prime Minister is issuing a 24-hour suspension of the movement of troops who are deployed to bring territory held by Kurdish forces back under federal control.
Haider al-Abadi says in a statement Friday the order was given to "prevent clashes and bloodshed between the sons of one nation."
MOSUL, Iraq (AP) — Iraq on Monday declared "total victory" over the Islamic State group in Mosul, retaking full control of the country's second-largest city three years after it was seized by extremists bent on building a global caliphate.