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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…

U.S. watchdog cannot account for Iraqi billions

BAGHDAD — The US Department of Defence cannot account for some $2 billion of Iraqi funds it held, a report from a US watchdog said on Monday, in the latest case of apparently lax US oversight of spending in Iraq. The defence department “cannot account for about two-thirds of the…

Iraqi officials outraged by use of U.S. drones: report

Iraqi officials have expressed outrage at the United States’ use of a small fleet of surveillance drones to help protect the US embassy, consulates and American personnel in Iraq, The New York Times reported. The newspaper said the State Department began operating somedrones in Iraq last year on a trial basis and stepped up…

U.S. Marine spared jail time in Iraq killings

CAMP PENDLETON, Calif (Reuters) – A U.S. Marine accused of leading a 2005 massacre of 24 civilians in the Iraqi city of Hadithawas spared jail time when he was sentenced on Tuesday for his role in killings that brought international condemnation on U.S. troops. The harshest penalty Staff Sergeant Frank Wuterich, 31,…

British police make arrest over Saddam’s bronze buttock

LONDON — British police arrested a 66-year-old man in connection with part of a bronze statue of Saddam Hussein, a buttock, was illegally brought over from Iraq after the war. He was held on suspicion of breaching the 2003 Iraq Sanctions Order, which bans dealing in “illegally removed Iraqi cultural…

Seven police killed in Iraq compound siege

RAMADI, Iraq — A wave of attacks and a three-hour siege of a police compound in west Iraq left seven policemen dead Sunday, raising doubts about the security forces’ capabilities a month after US troops left. The coordinated blasts and shootings come with the country mired in a festering political…

Marine said ‘shoot first, ask later’ in Iraq civilian slayings

CAMP PENDLETON, California — A US Marine ordered his men to “shoot first and ask questions later,” triggering one of the Iraq war’s most controversial episodes which killed 24 civilians in 2005, a court heard. Staff Sergeant Frank Wuterich overreacted in orders he gave his squad after seeing the mangled…

Iraq police say sorry for Saddam era

BAGHDAD — Iraq’s police, completely reformed after the 2003 US-led invasion, on Sunday apologised for acts committed during the rule of the dictator Saddam Hussein, on the eve of the force’s 90th anniversary. The statement came as Iraq grapples with a festering political row that has pitted the Shiite-led government…

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