Newscast Media WASHINGTON—U.S President Barack Obama has ordered 350 more
military personnel to Iraq in response to the aggression of the Islamist militant group
ISIL against the Iraqi government.
The White House made the announcement in a statement late on September 2,
saying additional troops were being sent to “protect our diplomatic facilities and
personnel in Iraq as we continue to support the government of Iraq in its fight”
against Islamic State militants.
The statement also noted, “These additional forces will not serve in a combat role”
and would be deployed in Baghdad.
The statement said top U.S. officials, including U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry
and Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, would soon travel separately to the Middle East
to “build a stronger regional partnership” against the militant group known as Islamic
The announcement comes as the militants claimed they had executed another U.S.
journalist, Steven Sotloff, in Syria.
The militants released a video purportedly showing the murder of the 31-year-old
journalist, with a militant in the video vowing to next kill David Haines, believed to be
a British aid worker.
The militant gave a warning to other governments not to join an “evil alliance with
The militant in the latest video is believed to be the same person who was in an
earlier video showing the beheading of U.S. journalist James Foley.
That militant, whose face is almost entirely hidden, speaks in English with a British
accent, leading investigators to believe he is a British national who went to Syria to
join militants there fighting against the government of Syrian President Bashar
Meanwhile, U.S. air strikes on September 2 targeted IS militants near the Mosul Dam
in northern Iraq. The U.S. Central Command said in a statement the air strikes had
destroyed 16 vehicles near the dam.
Islamic State militants have been accused of committing a wide range of atrocities.
The group has executed thousands of non-Sunni Muslims, members of other religions,
Syrian, and Iraqi government troops and foreigners. IS is also accused of abducting
women and girls and abusing them.
Rights groups say IS is responsible for committing war crimes and genocide in areas of
Syria and Iraq under their control.
Source: Radio Free Europe
Newscast Media WASHINGTON—The ISIL militant group in Syria is reportedly
demanding a $6.6 million ransom for releasing a 26-year-old American woman.
The woman, whose identity is being kept secret at her family’s request for fears of
her safety, was captured in Syria last year while doing humanitarian aid work, the
Associated Press reported.
The terrorist group recently threatened to kill American hostages to avenge the
crushing airstrikes in Iraq against militants advancing on Mount Sinjar and the Kurdish
capital of Irbil.
A representative for the family and U.S. officials asked Tuesday that the woman not
be identified out of fear for her safety. All spoke on condition of anonymity because
they were not authorized to discuss the issue publicly.
More than a week ago, freelance journalist James Foley of Rochester, New Hampshire,
was beheaded by the Islamic State group, which kidnapped him in November 2012.
The Islamic State video of Foley’s beheading also showed another of the missing
American journalists, Steven Sotloff, and warned he would be killed next if U.S.
The ISIL terrorist group had originally demanded the United States to provide a
ransom of $100 million before decapitating Foley, but the US refused to pay,
according to The New York Times.
Source: Al Manar TV
Newscast Media BAGHDAD—Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki said that the Syrian air
force carried out this week air strikes targeting Takfiri militants, who have been
waging an insurgency against Iraq.
In an interview with BBC, Maliki “welcomed” any such strike against militants, as he
noted that Baghdad did not request the aerial raids which took place on Tuesday.
The strikes came after terrorists of the so-called Islamic State in Iraq and Levant
(ISIL) took control of the Al-Qaim border town on the Iraqi side of the frontier,
providing them a strategic route into conflict-hit Syria.
“Nouri Maliki said Syrian fighter jets had bombed militant positions around the border
town of Qaim on Tuesday,” the British broadcaster reported.
“While Iraq did not ask for the raid, he added, it “welcomed” any such strike,” it
The Iraqi PM said Iraq was buying Russian warplanes, which would arrive in a few
days, as the US kept delaying the sale of F16 jets.
Russian President Vladimir Putin discussed the crisis with Maliki by phone last Friday,
the Kremlin reported on its website at the time.
Putin confirmed his “full support” for the government’s efforts to rid Iraqi territory of
“terrorists”, it said, without giving details.
Source: Al Manar TV
Newscast Media WASHINGTON—The United States has expressed concern over the
deteriorating security situation in Iraq and pledged “any appropriate assistance” to
the Iraqi government.
The State Department’s statement came after on June 11 fighters from the Islamic
State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), an Al-Qaeda splinter group, seized the central
city of Tikrit, one day after capturing Mosul, Iraq’s second-largest city.
State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said Washington is committed to “working
with the Iraqi government and leaders across Iraq to support a unified approach
against ISIL’s continued aggression.”
Tikrit, the capital of Salaheddin Province, lies roughly halfway between Baghdad and
Turkey called for an emergency NATO meeting after ISIL militants seized 80 Turkish
nationals in Mosul. Turkey also warned of retaliation if any of its nationals, including
diplomats, special forces soldiers, and children, were harmed.
The militants seized 49 people from the Turkish consulate in Mosul on June 11, one
day after they abducted 31 Turkish truck drivers.
Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki has called Mosul’s fall to the militants a “conspiracy” and
vowed to regain control of the city by force. He also said that the military
commanders who retreated “must be punished.”
As the militants overran Mosul on June 10, members of the security forces reportedly
removed their uniforms and joined residents in fleeing the city. Some 500,000 people
are believed to have fled Mosul, a city of 2 million residents. The Iraqi parliament is
due to meet on June 12 to debate Maliki’s request for a state of emergency.
Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari said Baghdad will cooperate with the Peshmerga,
the large and disciplined military force of the semiautonomous Kurdish region, to drive
the militants out of Mosul, but he did not provide details on possible cooperation.
ISIL fighters have been holding parts of Ramadi, the capital of western Anbar
Province, and much of the nearby city of Fallujah since early January.
ISIL, which also controls the northeastern Syrian Province of Al-Raqqa, wants to
establish an Islamic state in areas on the two sides of the border.
Source: Radio Free Europe