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30 dead as Iraq rocked by wave of violence on anniversary of U.S.-led invasion

Near-simultaneous attacks in several Iraqi cities killed at least 30 people on Tuesday on the anniversary of the US-led invasion of the country, just days before Baghdad hosts a landmark Arab summit. The violence, which left 160 people wounded, was the deadliest to strike Iraq in nearly a month and…

Afghan shooting latest scandal for troubled U.S. base

SEATTLE, Washington — The US soldier held for shooting dead 16 Afghan villagers at the weekend was stationed at a military base south of Seattle which has been plagued by scandal and tragedy. Joint Base Lewis-McChord (JBLM), which could in theory host a court martial for the unidentified serviceman, has…

Iraqi ‘emos’ victims of brutal killings

BAGHDAD — Iraqi teenagers widely perceived to be gay are being brutally killed in Baghdad with Shiite militias distributing lists of targets warning of further assaults, officials and human rights groups say. At least 15 teenagers, described as “emos” for their tight-fitting black clothes and alternative hairstyles, have been stoned,…

Army suicides rose 80% after start of Iraq War: study

The number of suicides in the US Army rose by 80 percent after the United States launched the war on Iraq, American military doctors reported on Thursday. From 1977 to 2003, the tally of army suicides had trended slightly downwards, and was far below civilian rates. But it started to…

In labored clarification, Fox contributor castigates military’s ‘fake heroism’

Appearing on the Fox News show America’s News HQ, contributor Liz Trotta attempted to clarify remarks she made earlier this month that became fodder for The Daily Show, during which host Jon Stewart summarized that she did not want the military helping women who’ve been “raped too much.” Unfortunately for the…

U.S. plays down cuts to diplomatic mission in Iraq

WASHINGTON — The United States played down Wednesday plans to reduce its diplomatic footprint in Iraq, saying it would keep most programs open and denying a report that it would cut staff by 50 percent. The New York Times, quoting unnamed officials, said the United States, in the wake of…

Iraq wants to limit private security contractors

Iraq deeply mistrusts private security companies and wants to limit their operations here, officials say, while the contractors themselves have faced bureaucratic delays and detentions. This mistrust stems from perceived arrogant behaviour by employees of these firms in the past and various incidents of violence involving them. The most infamous incident was…

U.S. to downsize Iraq embassy

The United States said Tuesday that it planned to downsize its embassy in Iraq, the largest US diplomatic mission in the world, in hopes of saving money after the end of the war. The New York Times, quoting unnamed officials, said the United States would slash the 16,000-strong staff by…

Baghdad says U.S. Iran sanctions a problem for Iraq

BAGHDAD — American sanctions on Iran pose difficulties for Iraq because of its close economic ties with the Islamic republic, so Baghdad plans to seek a waiver from the US, the government spokesman told AFP. The United States, European Union and others have ramped up sanctions to target Iran’s oil…

Obama downplays U.S. drone use in Iraq

President Barack Obama downplayed a recent report about the use of US drones in Iraq, indicating that the unmanned aircraft are mainly used for embassy surveillance. Obama said during an online event on Monday that a New York Times story citing Iraqi officials as expressing outrage over the use of US drones…

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