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  1. President Obama speaks about the economy, Iraq, and Ukraine, Thursday, Aug. 28 at the White House. Manuel Balce Ceneta / AP

    Obama calls on other nations to fight Islamic State

    President Obama on Thursday shunted aside speculation that he will soon expand the U.S. bombing campaign against Islamic extremists into Syria, saying the military mission for now will remain focused on Iraq.

    • Aug. 28, 2014
  2. An F/A-18C Hornet launches from the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77) on Aug. 25 in the Arabian Gulf. MC3 Brian Stephens / Navy

    U.S. warplanes bomb targets in northern Iraq

    U.S. fighter planes conducted five airstrikes against Islamic State targets in northern Iraq on Thursday, continuing a limited campaign aimed at helping Iraqi and Kurdish forces retake key territory and degrade the militants' capability.

    • Aug. 28, 2014
  3. An image taken from a video uploaded on social networks on Aug. 28 shows men in underwear being marched barefoot along a desert road before being allegedly executed by Islamic State (IS) militants at an undisclosed location in Syria's Raqa Province. AFP

    Jihadists kill dozens of captured Syrian soldiers

    The Islamic State group killed more than 160 Syrian government troops seized in recent fighting, posting pictures Thursday of terrified young conscripts stripped down to their underwear before meeting their deaths in the arid Syrian countryside.

    • Aug. 28, 2014
  4. Rep. Duncan Hunter: '[Islamic State] in Iraq is not an existential threat to us. They're not going to harm the United States. They're bad guys, yes. If you're there.' Win McNamee/Getty Images

    Rep. Hunter: Islamic State just 'guys in pajamas,' not an 'existential threat'

    A GOP House member who served in Iraq says the Islamic State is not an 'existential threat' to the United States, striking a different tone than other Republicans.

    • Aug. 28, 2014
  5. President Obama speaks on the economy, Iraq, and Ukraine on Aug. 28 at the White House . Charles Dharapak / AP

    Obama tamps down prospect of strikes in Syria

    President Obama played down the prospect of imminent U.S. military action in Syria on Thursday, saying 'we don't have a strategy yet' for degrading the violent militant group seeking to establish a caliphate in the Middle East.

    • Aug. 28, 2014
  6. Members of the Bundeswehr, the German armed forces, load an Antonov 124 cargo plane with food and other humanitarian aid destined for Erbil in northern Iraq at the airport Leipzig-Halle on Aug. 22 in Schkeuditz, Germany. Ronny Hartmann / Getty Images

    Sources: U.S. considering new relief mission in Iraq

    The Obama administration is considering launching a humanitarian relief operation for Shiite Turkmen in northern Iraq who have been under siege for weeks by Islamic State militants, U.S. defense officials said Wednesday.

    • Aug. 27, 2014
  7. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, left, and Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, hold a press briefing Aug. 21 at the Pentagon . Saul Loeb / AFP

    Dempsey: Regional plan key to militants' defeat in Iraq

    U.S. airstrikes on Islamic militants in Iraq have blunted their momentum, but defeating them will require a broad regional approach that draws support from Iraq's neighbors and includes political and diplomatic efforts, the top U.S.

    • Aug. 25, 2014
  8. Iraqi premier-designate Haider al-Abadi speaks Aug. 25 at his first press conference since accepting the nomination to be Iraq's next prime minister in Baghdad, Iraq. Office of the Iraqi Prime Minister / AP

    Iraq premier-designate: Militias must follow state

    Iraq's prime minister-designate called Monday on the country's numerous Shiite militias and tribes to come under government control and stop acting independently, as violence killed at least 58 people in areas where the Muslim sect dominates.

    • Aug. 25, 2014
  9. Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey says the surging Islamic State group has an 'apocalyptic, end-of-days strategic vision' in the Middle East and cannot be defeated unless the United States and a coalition of partners confront it head-on in Syria. Kathy Willens / AP

    Dempsey hits Islamic militant 'end-of-days' vision

    America's top-ranked military officer says the surging Islamic State group has an 'apocalyptic, end-of-days strategic vision' in the Middle East and cannot be defeated unless the United States and a coalition of partners confront it head-on in Syria.

    • Aug. 22, 2014
  10. An Aug. 18 airstrike on a moving armed truck in Iraq is seen in an image taken from a video released by U.S. Central Command. CENTCOM

    CENTCOM releases new video of U.S. airstrikes in Iraq

    U.S. Central Command released two new videos Friday on its YouTube page of military Aug. 18 airstrikes on Islamic State targets in Iraq.

    • Aug. 22, 2014
  11. Members of the Islamic State militant group raise their black and white flag July 25 over a building belonging to a Syrian army base in the northern rebel-held Syrian city of Raqa. AFP

    Armed with passports, IS fighters could threaten U.S.

    After U.S. planes bombed its forces in Iraq, the jihadist juggernaut that calls itself the Islamic State threatened to attack Americans 'in any place,'' adding for good measure: 'We will drown all of you in blood.''

    • Aug. 22, 2014
  12. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, left, and Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, hold an Aug. 21 press briefing at the Pentagon. Saul Loeb / AFP

    Pentagon: Islamic State militants will regroup

    U.S. airstrikes have helped Iraqi and Kurdish forces regain their footing in Iraq, but the well-resourced Islamic State militants can be expected to regroup and stage a new offensive, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said Thursday.

    • Aug. 21, 2014
  13. Top officers at Central Command, which oversees military operations in the Middle East, are urging that the list of Islamic State targets be expanded, according to Pentagon officials who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly about the plans. MCSN Andrew Schneider / Navy

    Officials: Commanders want to expand Iraq airstrikes

    U.S. military commanders in the Middle East are urging the Pentagon to intensify the air war against Islamic State targets in Iraq, two Defense Department officials said Wednesday.

    • Aug. 21, 2014
  14. Rep. Scott Rigell, R-Va, talks with media before entering a classified members-only briefing on Syria by senior administration officials on Capitol Hill, Sept. 1, 2013. Little of the impassioned debate that fractured lawmakers last year over possible military intervention in Syria is happening now as American war planes strike extremist targets in Iraq. Carolyn Kaster/The Associated Press

    Foley's death isn't changing views in Congress on Iraq

    For all its horror, the beheading of an American journalist in Syria appears unlikely to change lawmakers' minds about military intervention against Islamic State extremists.

    • Aug. 21, 2014
  15. An F/A-18C hornet takes off for Iraq from the flight deck of the US navy aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush on August 15, 2014, in the Persian Gulf. Mohammed Al-Shaikh/AFP/Getty Images

    U.S. launches more airstrikes in Iraq

    U.S. aircraft are continuing their assault on Islamic State militants in Iraq, conducting six airstrikes overnight to help solidify Iraqi and Kurdish forces' efforts to retake and maintain control of the Mosul Dam.

    • Aug. 21, 2014
  16. Interpol urges world response to Iraq extremists

    Interpol says the killing of an American journalist kidnapped in Syria shows the need for a coordinated international effort against the stream of foreign fighters joining extremists in the Middle East.

    • Aug. 21, 2014
  17. Mississippi Army National Guard soldiers with the 1st Battalion, 185th Aviation Regiment and 2nd Battalion, 20th Special Forces Group (Airborne) conduct fast rope insertion training on April 30. Staff Sgt. Shane Hamann / Army National Guard

    Officials: U.S. rescue mission in Syria failed earlier this summer

    President Obama sent special operations troops to Syria this summer on a secret mission to rescue American hostages, including journalist James Foley, held by Islamic State extremists, but they did not find them, the Obama administration said Wednesday.

    • Aug. 20, 2014
  18. An F/A-18C Hornet takes off for Iraq from the flight deck of the aircraft carrier George H.W. Bush on Aug. 14 in the Persian Gulf. Islamic State militants have shot at some Navy aircraft with small arms, but to little effect. Mohammed al-Shaikh / Getty Images

    Navy planes take small-arms fire during Iraq airstrikes

    Aircraft from the carrier George H.W. Bush have struck about 30 targets in Iraq since the U.S. military began pounding the insurgents who are destabilizing Iraq, Navy officials said Wednesday.

    • Aug. 20, 2014
  19. A loadmaster counts halal meals inside a C-130 Hercules on Aug. 13 prior to a humanitarian airdrop over Iraq at a base in the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility. Staff Sgt. Vernon Young Jr. / Air Force

    U.S. officials: Military mulling more troops to Iraq

    American fighter jets and drones continued to pound Islamic State militants in Iraq on Wednesday, and military planners weighed the possibility of sending a small number of additional U.S. troops to Baghdad, U.S.

    • Aug. 20, 2014
  20. In a horrifying act of revenge for U.S. airstrikes in northern Iraq, militants with the Islamic State extremist group have beheaded American journalist James Foley (shown)  and are threatening to kill another hostage, U.S. officials say. Nicole Tung

    Beheading spurs new U.S. airstrikes on Islamic militants

    The United States launched a new barrage of airstrikes Wednesday against the Islamic State extremist group that beheaded American journalist James Foley and that has seized a swath of territory across Iraq and Syria.

    • Aug. 20, 2014
  21. President Obama makes a statement to the press on the death of American journalist James Foley at Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts, on Wednesday. NICHOLAS KAMM / AFP/Getty Images

    Obama: 'We will be relentless' against terrorists who beheaded American

    President Obama gave no indication that the U.S. will relent in its air campaign against the Islamic State following the brutal murder of American reporter James Foley.

    • Aug. 20, 2014
  22. Iraqi Shiite fighters, loyal to Muslim Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr, take part in military and first aid training on Tuesday, in the shrine city of Najaf, in central Iraq. Haidar Hamdani / AFP via Getty Images

    Iraqis in besieged town appeal to army for help

    Members of a minority Iraqi Shiite community whose town has been besieged by Sunni militants are appealing to Iraq's military and the international community to intervene to end the siege, a lawmaker said Wednesday as the U.N.

    • Aug. 20, 2014
  23. F-15 Eagles from the 44th Fighter Squadron, Kadena Air Base, Japan, fly over the Pacific Ocean Aug. 9 during Exercise Valiant Shield. Senior Airman Miranda Moorer/Air Force

    U.S. military stops identifying planes involved in Iraq airstrikes

    The U.S. military, at the request of host nations in the region, is no longer identifying the specific land-based aircraft carrying out airstrikes in Iraq, a defense official told Military Times on Tuesday.

    • Aug. 19, 2014
  24. President Obama answers questions at an Aug. 18 press conference at the White House. Win McNamee / Getty Images

    Obama: Iraq has regained control of Mosul dam

    President Obama hailed the recapture of Mosul dam Monday as a 'major step forward' as a barrage of U.S. airstrikes helped Kurdish and Iraqi forces score the biggest victory of its counteroffensive against the Islamic State militants.

    • Aug. 18, 2014
  25. Kurdish Peshmerga fighters stand behind a sand barricade set-up close to the village of Bashir on Aug. 17 after the arrival of a new military supplies. Marwan Ibrahim / Getty Images

    Kurdish forces retake parts of Iraq's largest dam from militants

    Kurdish forces took over parts of Iraq's largest dam on Sunday less than two weeks after it was captured by the Islamic State extremist group, Kurdish security officials said, as U.S.

    • Aug. 17, 2014
  26. This Oct. 31, 2007, file photo, shows a general view of the dam in Mosul, 360 kilometers (225 miles) northwest of Baghdad, Iraq. Khalid Mohammed/The Associated Press

    Islamic fighters kill scores of Yazidi men in Iraq

    Islamic extremists shot scores of Yazidi men to death in Iraq, lining them up in small groups and opening fire with assault rifles before abducting their wives and children, according to an eyewitness, government officials and people who live in the area.

    • Aug. 16, 2014
  27. Young Iraqi Yazidi refugees fill bottles with water at the Newroz camp in Hasaka province, north eastern Syria, on Thursday August 14, 2014, after fleeing advances by Islamic State jihadists in Iraq. AHMAD AL-RUBAYEAFP/Getty Images

    Seeing Iraq horror, Europe reconsiders reluctance

    The European Union on Friday forged a unified response to the rapid advance of Islamic militants in Iraq and the resulting refugee crisis, allowing direct arms deliveries to Kurdish fighters battling the Sunni insurgents, while several EU nations pledged

    • Aug. 15, 2014
  28. Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki , third from left, walks on the grounds of the Defence Ministry on Aug. 13 in Baghdad. Getty Images

    Iraq's al-Maliki gives up post to rival

    Nouri al-Maliki, Iraq's prime minister for the past eight years, relinquished the post to his nominated replacement late Thursday, ending a political deadlock that has plunged the country into uncertainty as it fights a Sunni militant insurgency.

    • Aug. 14, 2014
  29. Displaced Iraqi people from the Yazidi community rest in a refugee camp Thursday near the Turkey-Iraq border at Silopi in Sirnak. Roughly 4,500 people remain atop northern Iraq's Sinjar Mountain, and nearly half are herders who lived there before the siege and have no interest in being evacuated, two U.S. officials said. Ilyas Akengin / AFP via Getty Images

    U.S.: More airdrops on mountain may be unnecessary

    The Pentagon sees little if any need to airdrop more food and water to Iraqis atop Sinjar Mountain because most of the stranded have left and the remainder are in less dire need, a spokesman said Thursday.

    • Aug. 14, 2014
  30. The Obama administration is grappling with how to bridge the gap between its increasingly dire assessment of the threat posed by the Islamic State group and the limited, defensive air campaign it has so far undertaken, which military officials acknowledge will not blunt the group's momentum. Pablo Martinez Monsivais / AP

    Obama weighs strategy against Islamic State

    The Obama administration is grappling with how to bridge the gap between its increasingly dire assessment of the threat posed by the Islamic State group and the limited, defensive air campaign it has so far undertaken, which military officials acknowledge

    • Aug. 14, 2014
  31. Displaced Iraqi Yazidis, who fled a jihadist onslaught on Sinjar, gather Aug. 13 to collect bottles of water at the Bajid Kandala camp in Kurdistan's western Dohuk province. Ahmad Al-Rubaye / AFP

    Iraq evacuation may not require U.S. troops on Mount Sinjar

    A review by U.S. troops of conditions on Iraq's Mount Sinjar Wednesday has determined that the conditions of a religious minority seeking refuge there are better than believed and may not require a U.S.-led evacuation, a Pentagon official said.

    • Aug. 13, 2014
  32. Displaced Iraqis from the Yazidi community cross the Syrian-Iraqi border along the Fishkhabur Bridge over the Tigris River Aug. 13. Ahmad Al-Rubaye / AFP

    Obama weighs using ground troops for rescue mission in Iraq

    President Obama is considering a range of military options, including airlifts and creating safe passages, for rescuing thousands of Iraqi refugees trapped on a mountain, the White House said. A small team of U.S.

    • Aug. 13, 2014
  33. A U.S. Marine Corps MV-22 Osprey aircraft takes off from the USS Mesa Verde (LPD 19) on June 20. Staff Sgt. Lukas Atwell / Marine Corps

    U.S. military aircraft operating in northern Iraq

    U.S. helicopters and MV-22 Ospreys are on the ground in northern Iraq and operating from a secure airfield protected by Kurdish forces, the latest sign of an expanding Iraq mission that now includes about 1,000 U.S. troops, defense officials said Wednesday.

    • Aug. 13, 2014
  34. Pro-government supporters of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki chant slogans during a demonstration Wednesday in Baghdad, Iraq. Karim Kadim / AP

    Iraq PM warns of more turmoil if replaced

    Iraq's Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki said Wednesday he will not relinquish power until a federal court rules on what he called a 'constitutional violation' by the president to replace him with a member of his own party.

    • Aug. 13, 2014
  35. In this Sept. 4, 2013, file photo, Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., speaks to reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington. Little of the impassioned debate that fractured lawmakers last year over possible military intervention in Syria is happening now as American war planes strike extremist targets in Iraq. J. Scott Applewhite / AP

    Congress on board with Obama's Iraq plans

    Little of the impassioned debate that fractured lawmakers last year over possible military intervention in Syria is happening now as American warplanes strike extremist targets in Iraq.

    • Aug. 13, 2014
  36. An Iraqi Kurdish Peshmerga fighter takes position on the front line on Aug. 12 in Bashiqa. Ahmad Al-Rubaye / Getty Images

    Pentagon official: 130 advisers heading to northern Iraq

    The military has sent 130 advisers to northern Iraq to plan for the evacuation of refugees under siege by Islamic militants, according to a senior Defense Department official.

    • Aug. 12, 2014
  37. An Iraqi Kurdish Peshmerga fighter takes position on the front line Aug. 12 in Bashiqa. Ahmad Al-Rubaye / AFP

    Militants have not yet displayed surface-to-air capability, Pentagon says

    After five days of intense air operations over northern Iraq, military officials say they've seen no use of anti-aircraft weaponry fired on U.S. aircraft, the Pentagon said Tuesday.

    • Aug. 12, 2014
  38. Nouri al-Maliki, Iraq's incumbent prime minister, ordered security forces on Tuesday to not intervene in the current political crisis over who will be the next prime minister, amid fears that he might go to any lengths to stay in power. Sabah Arar / AFP via Getty Images

    Iraq's Maliki tells army to keep out of politics

    Iraq's incumbent prime minister ordered security forces on Tuesday to not intervene in the current political crisis over who will be the next prime minister, amid fears that he might go to any lengths to stay in power.

    • Aug. 12, 2014
  39. Displaced Iraqis from the Yazidi community settle at a camp at Derike, Syria. Khalid Mohammed / AP

    Iraqi military helicopter crashes delivering aid

    A Russian-built Iraqi military helicopter providing aid to those stranded on a mountain fleeing Sunni militants crashed Tuesday after too many tried to climb aboard, killing the pilot, said the army spokesman.

    • Aug. 12, 2014
  40. A U.S. F/A-18 fighter jet takes off for Iraq on Aug. 11 from the flight deck of the Navy aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush in the Persian Gulf. Hasan Jamali / AP

    U.S. fighters hit Islamic State checkpoints

    U.S. fighter jets have carried out airstrikes on four checkpoints manned by Sunni militants in northwest Iraq near where thousands of minority Yazidi refugees have been trapped on a mountain to escape violence.

    • Aug. 11, 2014
  41. President Obama speaks on Aug. 11 about developments in Iraq from his vacation residence in Chilmark, Mass., during his family vacation on the island of Martha's Vineyard. Jacquelyn Martin / AP

    Obama welcomes new Iraqi leaders as 'step forward'

    President Obama welcomed new leadership in Iraq as 'a promising step forward' Monday amid a political and security crisis in Baghdad, saying the only lasting solution is the formation of an inclusive government.

    • Aug. 11, 2014
  42. An F/A-18C Hornet coming from Iraq lands on the flight deck of the U.S. Navy aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush on Aug. 10in the Persian Gulf. Hasan Jamali / AP

    Pentagon: Effectiveness of U.S. airstrikes in Iraq remains limited

    The Pentagon's top war planner said the military campaign's impact remains limited after four days of airstrikes in northern Iraq, and the Islamic militants continue to be a powerful force capable of terrorizing Iraqi civilians and seizing territory.

    • Aug. 11, 2014
  43. Iraqi Kurds and Iraqi Christians hold-up signs thanking the U.S. during a demonstration Monday in front of the U.S. General Consulate in Arbil, the capital of the autonomous Kurdish region of northern Iraq. Safin Hamed / AFP via Getty Images

    U.S. sending arms to Kurds in Iraq

    The Obama administration has begun directly providing weapons to Kurdish forces who have started to make gains against Islamic militants in northern Iraq, senior U.S.

    • Aug. 11, 2014
  44. Shiite lawmaker and Deputy Parliament Speaker Haider al-Ibadi was chosen Aug. 11 to lead the government in a major defeat for incumbent Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki just hours after he declared himself the rightful candidate and put troops on the street. Hadi Mizban / AP

    Iraq president names deputy speaker new PM

    Iraq's new president on Monday snubbed the powerful incumbent Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and nominated the deputy parliament speaker to form the new government, raising fears of more infighting in the government as country faces the threat of Sunni mi

    • Aug. 11, 2014
  45. Iraqi army armored vehicles patrol a street in Baghdad's commercial district of Karrada on Aug. 11 as security measures have been reinforced across the capital after Iraq's prime minister said he would sue the president in a desperate bid to cling to his job. Retired U.S. Adm. James Stavridis thinks that 'many more' Special Forces advisers are needed to provide direct assistance to Iraqi and Kurdish troops. Sabah Arar/AFP/Getty Images

    Former NATO chief commander: U.S. advisers needed to fight with Iraqis, Kurds

    The former NATO chief commander and military leader in Europe says he thinks the U.S. needs to put boots on the ground to fight with Iraqi and Kurdish troops against the Islamic State.

    • Aug. 11, 2014
  46. U.S. F/A-18 fighter jets take off Aug. 11 for missions in Iraq from the flight deck of aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush in the Persian Gulf. Hasan Jamali / AP

    U.S. air mission in Iraq still focused on refugee aid

    U.S. forces carrying out airstrikes against Islamic militants in northern Iraq will remain focused on relieving the threat against refugees and the Kurdish city of Irbil instead of degrading the strength of the group known as the Islamic State, a Pentagon official said Monday.

    • Aug. 11, 2014
  47. President Obama arrives May 28 to deliver the commencement address to the U.S. Military Academy at West Point's Class of 2014, in West Point, N.Y. Susan Walsh / AP

    In Iraq, a test of Obama's use of force doctrine

    In making the case for U.S. airstrikes in Iraq, President Obama is drawing on the doctrine involving the use of American force that he outlined less than three months ago, when it seemed he was trying to avoid potential U.S. military action anywhere.

    • Aug. 10, 2014
  48. Iraqi Kurdish Peshmerga fighters look on as smoke billows from the town of Makhmur on Aug. 9 during clashes with Islamic State (IS) militants. Safin Hamed / AFP

    U.S. launches more airstrikes against Iraq militants

    As the U.S. continued airstrikes against the Islamic State in northern Iraq, retired Army Gen. Carter Ham said it looks as though the strikes are having an impact.

    • Aug. 10, 2014
  49. Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., listens to other senators speak on Capitol Hill during a July 24 news conference on the violence in the Mideast. AP

    Lawmakers weigh U.S. role against Islamic fighters

    Islamic militants' growing influence in Iraq and Syria is a threat to Americans, lawmakers from both political parties agreed Sunday even as they sharply split on what role the United States should play in trying to crush them.

    • Aug. 10, 2014
  50. Iraqi Kurdish Peshmerga fighters look on as smoke billows from the town of Makhmur on Aug. 9 during clashes with Islamic State (IS) militants. Safin Hamed / Getty Images

    U.S. military conducts more airstrikes in Iraq

    The Defense Department says a new round of airstrikes by U.S. fighter jets and unmanned drones has targeted Islamic militants in Iraq.

    • Aug. 10, 2014
  51. Demonstrators call for the end to Islamic State terrorism during a Kurdish demonstration in front of the White House on Saturday. President Obama warned Saturday that the U.S. offensive in Iraq was a 'long-term project' to rout out militants and deliver aid to beleaguered civilians. MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images

    Obama: Airstrikes have destroyed arms, equipment

    President Obama said Saturday that airstrikes he ordered in northern Iraq have destroyed arms and equipment held by Islamic State forces whose rapid advance has surpassed U.S. intelligence estimates.

    • Aug. 9, 2014
  52. Airman 1st Class Matthew Perry, right, and Army Sgt. 1st Class Darryl Honick, left, walk back to the Mine-Resistant, Ambush-Protected, All-Terrain Vehicle after supporting Operation Spartan Shield on Sept. 11, 2012, in Southwest Asia. Perry is a radio operator maintainer and driver with the 82nd Expeditionary Air Support Operations Squadron, and Honick is a joint fire observer, 3rd Battalion, 159th Attack Reconnaissance Battalion. SSgt Jonathan Snyder/AFCENT Combat Camera

    Why Obama's campaign in Iraq could require 15,000 troops

    President Obama says it all the time no combat troops will return to Iraq.

    • Aug. 8, 2014
  53. Sailors make final inspections on an F/A-18C Hornet that participated in airstrikes on militants in Iraq. MC2 Joshua Horton/Navy

    U.S. launches second wave of airstrikes in Iraq

    U.S. warplanes made a second wave of airstrikes Friday in northern Iraq against the militants who have besieged a religious group and threatened the city of Irbil, a Pentagon official said.

    • Aug. 8, 2014
  54. Although considered less pinpoint than its fast-jet cousins, the A-10 could also play a role in what may be its last military campaign before the Air Force retires the plane. Proponents of the plane say its ability to get low to the ground could help prevent civilian casualties in a situation where the insurgent population may be mixing with non-combatants. US Air Force

    As strikes begin in Iraq, many options for Pentagon

    The US campaign against a militant group that has taken control of huge chunks of Iraq has begun.

    • Aug. 8, 2014
  55. Two Navy F/A-18 Super Hornets dropped 500-pound laser-guided bombs on Islamic militants outside the Iraqi city of Irbil on Friday at dawn, a defense official said, marking the latest escalation of an open-ended military and humanitarian mission authorized by President Obama one day earlier. Lt. Cmdr. Josh Hammond/Navy

    U.S. fighters pound militants in northern Iraq

    Two Navy F/A-18 Super Hornets dropped 500-pound laser-guided bombs on Islamic militants outside the Iraqi city of Irbil on Friday at dawn, a defense official said, marking the latest escalation of an open-ended military and humanitarian mission authorized

    • Aug. 7, 2014
  56. Lt. Gen. Mick Bednarek is the top U.S. officer serving in Iraq. He stressed that the Islamic State is a global threat, not a local one. Thomas Brown/Staff

    Top U.S. officer in Iraq: 'We must neutralize this enemy'

    The violent advances of Islamic militants in Iraq is not an isolated problem but rather a 'growing global challenge' that needs to be dealt with, the top American general in Iraq told Army Times.

    • Aug. 7, 2014
  57. Iraqi Shiite volunteers who have joined government forces to fight Sunni jihadists take part in a training session Thursday near the southern port city of Basra. Haidar Mohammed Ali / AFP via Getty Images

    Iraqi militants seize country's largest dam

    Sunni militants from the Islamic State group on Thursday seized Iraq's largest dam, placing them in control of enormous power and water resources and access to the river that runs through the heart of Baghdad.

    • Aug. 7, 2014
  58. Iraqi volunteers who joined government forces to fight against Sunni jihadist militants of the Islamic State hold a position Wednesday at a checkpoint in Udhaim, in the Diyala province, north of the capital Baghdad, after the army regained control of the region. Jihadists took over Iraq's largest Christian town Qaraqosh and surrounding areas Thursday and sent tens of thousands of panicked residents fleeing towards autonomous Kurdistan, officials and witnesses said. AFP via Getty Images

    Iraqi militants seize several Christian villages

    Iraqi militants from the Islamic State group overran a cluster of predominantly Christian villages alongside the country's semi-autonomous Kurdish region, sending tens of thousands of civilians and Kurdish fighters fleeing from the area, several priests i

    • Aug. 7, 2014
  59. Iraq TV: Airstrike kills 60 militants in north

    An Iraqi army airstrike in the militant-held northern city of Mosul on Wednesday killed 60 fighters from the extremists Islamic State group, Iraq's state television reported.

    • Aug. 6, 2014
  60. Saddam Hussein's tomb damaged in fighting

    The tomb of Iraq's deceased dictator Saddam Hussein was damaged in clashes between militants from the Islamic State radical group and government soldiers in his hometown, according to local officials Tuesday.

    • Aug. 6, 2014
  61. Sunni militants target Iraq's two biggest dams

    The militants who have overrun large parts of Iraq are now battling ferociously to capture one of the country's vital resources, water.

    • Aug. 4, 2014
  62. This image made from video taken on Sunday shows Iraqis people from the Yazidi community arriving in Irbil in northern Iraq after Islamic militants attacked the towns of Sinjar and Zunmar. Around 40 thousand people crossed the bridge of Shela in Fishkhabur into the Northern Kurdish Region of Iraq, after being given an ultimatum by Islamic militants to either convert to Islam, pay a security tax, leave their homes, or die. AP

    Iraq air force to back Kurds fighting Islamists

    Iraq's Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has called upon his country's armed forces to help Kurdish forces battle a Sunni militant offensive in northern Iraq that has caused tens of thousands of people from the minority Yazidi community to flee their homes.

    • Aug. 4, 2014
  63. Iraqi men clear the debris at the scene of a car bomb in the northern Shiite neighbourhood of Sadr City on August Friday. At least 10 people were killed and 29 wounded in bomb blasts that struck two districts of Baghdad, police and hospital sources said. Ali al-Saadi / AFP via Getty Images

    U.N.: More than 1,700 killed in Iraq in July

    More than 1,700 people were killed in Iraq in July, the United Nations said Friday, making it one of the deadliest months of the year but marking a decline from the previous month, when Sunni militants swept across much of the country.

    • Aug. 1, 2014
  64. House to Obama: No troops to Iraq without our OK

    The U.S. House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed a resolution Friday that would bar President Barack Obama from sending forces to Iraq in a 'sustained combat role' without congressional approval.

    • Jul. 25, 2014
  65. An armed Sunni militiaman wearing an Iraqi Army patch, left, and a U.S. Army soldier patrol in Samarra on Oct. 6, 2010. Over the past month, militants led by the extremist Islamic State group overpowered the military and the Sahwa, seizing control of most of the Sunni-dominated areas of Iraq. The jihadis have systematically killed dozens of former Sahwa leaders, forced others to flee and recruited the remaining foot soldiers through intimidation. Maya Alleruzzo / AP file

    Iraq Sunni militias pinched by jihadis, corruption

    Wisam al-Hardan's cellphone rang late into the night. He let it ring on and on. He couldn't bear to answer.

    • Jul. 25, 2014
  66. Iraqi lawmakers elected veteran Kurdish politician Fouad Massoum as the nation's new president on July 24. Ali Al-Saadi / AFP

    Iraq elects new president as attacks kill dozens

    Iraqi lawmakers elected a veteran Kurdish politician on Thursday to replace long-serving Jalal Talabani as the country's new president in the latest step toward forming a new government.

    • Jul. 24, 2014
  67. Sen. Bob Menendez, D-N.J., who has previously held up the transfer of Apache helicopters to Iraq, threatened Thursday to block U.S. arms sales to Iraq if Congress doesn't get an assessment of Iraqi forces and assurances the weapons won't fall into the hands of extremist militants. Army

    Senator: No arms to Iraq unless Congress gets info

    An influential Democratic senator threatened Thursday to block U.S. arms sales to Iraq if Congress doesn't get an assessment of Iraqi forces and assurances the weapons won't fall into the hands of extremist militants.

    • Jul. 24, 2014
  68. An Iraqi man inspects a destroyed prisoner transport bus Thursday in the town of Taji, about 12 miles north of Baghdad. Gunmen attacked a prisoner convoy north of Baghdad earlier, setting off a gunbattle with troops in which scores of prisoners and several soldiers were killed. Khalid Mohammed / AP

    Iraq: Attack on prisoner convoy kills 60 people

    Gunmen attacked a prisoner convoy north of Baghdad on Thursday, setting off a gunbattle with troops in which scores of prisoners and eight soldiers were killed, brutally underscoring Iraq's instability as lawmakers convened to elect a new president.

    • Jul. 24, 2014
  69. Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki. Brendan Smialowski / Getty Images

    Iraq: al-Maliki rejects Iran's urging to step down

    Iraq's Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki rejected an attempt by Iran to persuade him to step down, senior Iraqi politicians said Wednesday, underlining his determination to defy even his top ally to push for a third term in office and further exacerbating th

    • Jul. 23, 2014
  70. A member of Iraq's Special Weapons and Tactics Team stands guard as blindfolded suspected terrorists are displayed Sunday at the federal police headquarters in Basra, Iraq. Iraq's SWAT arrested 21 suspected terrorists during recent security operations in Basra, according to police. (AP Photo/Nabil al-Jurani) Nabil al-Jurani / AP

    Overnight attacks in Iraq kill at least 16 people

    Attacks overnight in two Iraqi cities killed at least 16 people, officials said Monday as authorities struggle to stop the Sunni militants' offensive that has left huge areas in northern and western Iraq outside of government control.

    • Jul. 21, 2014
  71. In this Friday, June 27, 2014, file photo, an Iraqi nun, second from left, speaks with a Christian man who fled with his family from the Christian villages near Mosul, Iraq, at a school that was turned into a shelter for displaced Christian families, in Ainkawa, a suburb of Irbil, Iraq. The Islamic State group gave Mosul's Christians until midday Saturday to convert to Islam, pay a tax or face death. The vast majority of Christians fled. Hussein Malla/The Associated Press

    Under threat, Iraq's Christians flee city of Mosul

    BAGHDAD The message played over loudspeakers gave the Christians of Iraq's second-largest city until midday Saturday to make a choice: convert to Islam, pay a tax or face death.

    • Jul. 19, 2014
  72. Then-chief of the Quds Force of Iran's Revolutionary Guard, Ghasem Soleimani, attends a September 2013 meeting of the commanders of the Revolutionary Guard with Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei in Tehran, Iran. Office of the Iranian Supreme Leader / AP

    Iranian commanders on front line of Iraq's fight

    A powerful Iranian general has emerged as the chief tactician in Iraq's fight against Sunni militants, working on the front lines alongside 120 advisers from his country's Revolutionary Guard to direct Shiite militiamen and government forces in the smalle

    • Jul. 17, 2014
  73. A file picture from Nov. 23, 2009, shows Iraqi lawmaker Salim Abdullah al-Juburi. Iraq's fractious parliament elected a speaker July 15 after two failed sittings, with al-Juburi passing the winning threshold of 165 votes, according to a tally shown live on state television. Ali Al-Saadi / AFP

    Iraqi parliament breaks deadlock to elect speaker

    Iraqi lawmakers broke two weeks of deadlock Tuesday and elected a moderate Sunni as speaker of parliament, taking the first step toward forming a new government that is widely seen as crucial to confronting militants who have overrun much of the country.

    • Jul. 15, 2014
  74. Car bombs kill at least 7 civilians in Baghdad

    Two car bombs in commercial areas of Baghdad killed at least seven people Monday, as government forces and allied Sunni tribal fighters tried to dislodge militants from a small town north of the capital, officials said.

    • Jul. 14, 2014
  75. Iraqi former Parliament speaker and the chairman of the Sunni Arab Coalition Osama al-Nujaifi, center, speaks to the media during a July 13 press conference in Baghdad. Karim Kadim / AP

    Iraq parliament postpones decision on new leaders

    Iraq's deadlocked parliament failed Sunday to overcome the deep divisions hampering the formation of a new government, making no progress on choosing new leaders who could help hold the nation together and confront the Sunni militant blitz that has overru

    • Jul. 13, 2014
  76. Iraqi Army soldiers and volunteers chant slogans against Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant inside of the main army recruiting center in Baghdad on Saturday after authorities urged Iraqis to help battle insurgents. Hundreds of young Iraqi men gripped by religious and nationalistic fervor streamed into volunteer centers across Baghdad Saturday, answering a call by the country's top Shiite cleric to join the fight against Sunni militants advancing in the north. Karim Kadim/The Associated Press

    Iraq sending 4,000 volunteers to help in Ramadi

    Iraq is airlifting some 4,000 volunteers to an embattled city west of Baghdad to help bolster government forces locked in a running battle with Sunni militants there, authorities said Saturday.

    • Jul. 12, 2014
  77. In this picture taken on June 30, a Kurdish Peshmerga fighter cleans his weapon on his position behind a dirt barrier built along the front line with militants in Mariam Bek village, between the northern cities of Tikrit and Kirkuk, Iraq. Hussein Malla/The Associated Press

    Iraqi Kurds take over 2 northern oil fields

    Kurdish security forces took over two major oil fields outside the disputed northern city of Kirkuk before dawn Friday and said they would use some of the production for domestic purposes, escalating a dispute the central government of Prime Minister Nour

    • Jul. 11, 2014
  78. Iraqi Kurdish protesters deploy a giant flag of their autonomous Kurdistan region during a demonstration July 3 to claim for its independence outside the Kurdistan parliament building in Arbil, in northern Iraq. Iraq's Kurds on Thursday said their politicians will stay away from Cabinet meetings and called on Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki to step down, blaming him for failing to stop the Sunni militant offensive that has swept across much of the country. Safin Hamed / AFP

    Iraq's Kurds say will boycott Cabinet meetings

    Iraq's Kurds on Thursday said their politicians will stay away from Cabinet meetings and called on Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki to step down, blaming him for failing to stop the Sunni militant offensive that has swept across much of the country.

    • Jul. 10, 2014
  79. Iraqi officials: 50 bodies found south of Baghdad

    Iraqi officials discovered 50 bodies, many of them blindfolded and with their hands bound, in an agricultural area outside a city south of Baghdad on Wednesday, raising concerns over a possible sectarian killing amid the battle against a Sunni insurgency.

    • Jul. 9, 2014
  80. Senate Armed Service Committee member Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz. speaks to reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington, on Tuesday, after attending a closed committee meeting on the situations in Iraq and Afghanistan from Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Martin E. Dempsey. Susan Walsh/The Associated Press

    Senators criticize White House for lack of clarity in Iraq

    The more the White House talks to Congress about Iraq, the less clear lawmakers are on what the path ahead there will be.

    • Jul. 8, 2014
  81. Iraq: 'Terrorists' seize ex-chemical weapons site

    The Islamic State extremist group has taken control of a vast former chemical weapons facility northwest of Baghdad, where remnants of 2,500 degraded chemical rockets filled decades ago with the deadly nerve agent sarin are stored along with other chemica

    • Jul. 8, 2014
  82. Iraqi MPs, Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, center, Supreme Court chief Midhat al-Mahmoud, 3rd from right, and Kirkuk provincial Gov. Najm al-Din Karim, 2nd right, take an oath during the first session of the new parliament on July 1 in the capital Baghdad. Ahmad Al-Rubaye / Getty Images

    Iraqi parliament squabbles over when to next meet

    With political leaders deadlocked, Iraq's parliament squabbled Monday over when to hold its next session, potentially delaying the formation of a new government for weeks despite the threat from extremists who have seized control of a large chunk of the c

    • Jul. 7, 2014
  83. The leader of the Islamic State group, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, delivers a sermon July 5 at a mosque in Iraq in a video posted online Saturday in what would be a rare  if not the first  public appearance by the shadowy militant. AP

    Video said to show leader of Islamic state group in Iraq

    Iraqi officials are working to determine the authenticity of a video that purportedly shows the leader of the Islamic extremist group that has seized large swaths of the country delivering a sermon this week in the nation's second-largest city, authoritie

    • Jul. 6, 2014
  84. Syrian children collect buckets of stagnant murky water from the side of a road in a rebel-held area in the northern city of Aleppo on Saturday. Syrian Observatory for Human Rights' director, Abdel Rahman told AFP on Friday that Aleppo city's rebel-held areas 'are now surrounded from all sides, by the regime and by the jihadists they are fighting.' Zein Al-rifai/AFP/Getty Images

    Syria rebel chief warns of 'disaster' without aid

    The military chief of Syria's main Western-backed rebel group warned Saturday that the country risked a 'humanitarian disaster' if allies do not send more aid to help his moderate forces halt the advance of Islamic militants.

    • Jul. 5, 2014
  85. An Iraqi Kurd helps block a road during a demonstration against the fuel crisis in Irbil, Iraq, on Sunday. In Irbil, a city controlled by ethnic Kurds, lines stretched for miles at gas stations for weeks causing demonstrations. The Associated Press

    Kurdish leader calls for independence referendum

    The leader of Iraq's Kurdish north called on lawmakers in the self-rule region's parliament to take the necessary steps toward holding a referendum on independence, a move that would likely spell the end of a unified Iraq.

    • Jul. 3, 2014
  86. Iraqi Kurdish forces take position June 29 as they fight jihadist militants from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant in the Iraqi village of Bashir. Karim Sahib / AFP

    Analysis: Could Sen. Graham's Iraq battle plan work?

    Sen. Lindsey Graham says he would launch a three-tiered military campaign against a violent Sunni group in Syria and Iraq 'tomorrow.' But would his hawkish plan work?

    • Jul. 3, 2014
  87. An image grab taken from a video uploaded June 17 on Youtube allegedly shows militants from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant parading with their weapons in the northern city of Baiji in the Salaheddin province. AFP

    Al-Maliki: Islamic state threatens region

    An extremist group's declaration of an Islamic state in territory it has seized in Iraq and Syria poses a threat to the entire region, Iraq's prime minister warned Wednesday, saying that 'no one in Iraq or any neighboring country will be safe from these p

    • Jul. 2, 2014
  88. A Kurdish Peshmerga fighter cleans his weapon June 30 along the front line with militants from the al-Qaida-inspired Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), in Mariam Bek village, between the northern cities of Tikrit and Kirkuk, Iraq. Hussein Malla / AP

    Envoy says Iraq can't wait for U.S. military aid

    Iraq is increasingly turning to other governments like Iran, Russia and Syria to help beat back a rampant insurgency because it cannot wait for additional American military aid, Baghdad's top envoy to the U.S. said Tuesday.

    • Jul. 1, 2014
  89. In this picture taken on Monday, a Kurdish Peshmerga fighter hangs a Kurdish flag on his position behind dirt barriers built along the front line with militants from the al-Qaida-inspired Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), in Mariam Bek village, between the northern cities of Tikrit and Kirkuk, Iraq. Demonstrating their growing independence from the rest of Iraq, the largely-autonomous Kurdish regional government is setting up dirt barriers that they hope will ultimately set the borders of their future state. Hussein Malla/The Associated Press

    Iraqi Kurds dig frontier around disputed areas

    As Islamic extremists seek to sweep away borders in their advance across the Middle East, Kurds in northern Iraq appear to be in the process of digging a new one, asserting their claim to hotly disputed territory and expanding their semi-autonomous region

    • Jul. 1, 2014
  90. Iraqi troops raise up their weapons as they arrive to support the Sunni anti-al-Qaeda militia Sahwa (Awakening) in Ramadi on June 21. AFP via Getty Images

    Analysis: Why Awakening II won't save Iraq this time

    In early 2006. Ramadi was a godforsaken place, with rubble-strewn streets and abandoned buildings. Americans had secured the main routes through the city, but not much else.

    • Jul. 1, 2014
  91. President Obama speaks at the White House on June 30 as Vice President Biden stands behind him. Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images

    More U.S. troops to Iraq, raising total to about 775

    President Obama told Congress on Monday that he is deploying about 200 more troops to Iraq to bolster security at the U.S. Embassy and airport in Baghdad.

    • Jun. 30, 2014
  92. This file image posted on a militant website on June 14 appears to show militants from the ISIL leading away captured Iraqi soldiers in plain clothes after taking over a base in Tikrit, Iraq. AP

    Rights group: Iraq militants executed 160 captives

    Iraqi insurgents executed at least 160 captives earlier this month in the northern city of Tikrit, Human Rights Watch said Friday, citing an analysis of satellite imagery and grisly photos released by the militants.

    • Jun. 27, 2014
  93. FILE - This June 21, 2007 file photo show a MQ-4 Predator controlled by the 46th Expeditionary Reconnaissance Squadron stands on the tarmac at Balad Air Base, north of Baghdad, Iraq. A Pentagon official says the U.S. has started flying armed drones over Baghdad to protect U.S. civilians and military forces in the Iraqi capital. The official said the flights started in the last 24 to 48 hours to bolster manned and unmanned reconnaissance flights the military has been sending over violence-wracked Iraq in recent weeks. He spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss the new flights on the record. (AP Photo/Maya Alleruzzo, File) Maya Alleruzzo / AP

    Official: Armed drones guard U.S. interests in Iraq

    The U.S. has started flying armed drones over Baghdad to protect U.S. civilians and military forces in the Iraqi capital, a Pentagon official said Friday.

    • Jun. 27, 2014
  94. Vitaly Churkin, Russia's U.N. ambassador, says there is a real prospect of a terrorist state springing up from Syria's second-largest city Aleppo to Iraq's capital Baghdad. Richard Drew / AP

    Russian U.N. envoy sees prospect of terrorist state in Syria, Iraq

    Russia's U.N. ambassador says there is a real prospect of a terrorist state springing up from Syria's second-largest city Aleppo to Iraq's capital Baghdad.

    • Jun. 27, 2014
  95. Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal, 2nd left, United Arab Emirates Foreign Minister Abdullah Bin Zayed, 3rd left, and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, 4th left, meet with staff members on the terrace of the U.S. Chief of Mission Residence in Paris. Brendan Smialowski / AP

    U.S., Sunni states meet on Mideast insurgent crisis

    The United States met Thursday with its top Sunni state allies in the Mideast to consider how to confront the region's growing turmoil that has been spawned by a Sunni Muslim insurgency group.

    • Jun. 26, 2014
  96. Iraqi parliament to meet in step to form new govt.

    Iraq's vice president called on parliament to convene on Tuesday, taking the first step toward forming a new government to present a united front against a rapidly advancing Sunni insurgency while Britain's top diplomat started an official visit to the co

    • Jun. 26, 2014
  97. Shiite Turkmen in the Iraqi town of Taza Khurmatu get ready to head out to defend their homes Saturday in nearby Basheer after it was seized by Sunni militants. Karim Sahib / AFP via Getty Images

    Analysis: Iraq producing bizarre Mideast dynamic

    Strange bedfellows, indeed.

    • Jun. 26, 2014
  98. A fleeing Iraqi girl cries Wednesday as she settles with her family at an open air field near a Kurdish security forces checkpoint in the Khazer area between the Iraqi city of Mosul and the Kurdish city of Irbil, northern Iraq. Hussein Malla / AP

    Iraq villagers flee militant advance in north

    Hundreds of Iraqi villagers fleeing advances by Sunni militants crowded at a checkpoint on the edge of the country's Kurdish-controlled territory Thursday seeking shelter in the relative safety of the self-rule region, as Britain's top diplomat arrived in

    • Jun. 26, 2014
  99. Demonstrators chant pro-al-Qaida-inspired Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant as they carry al-Qaida flags June 16 in front of the provincial government headquarters in Mosul. AP

    Spying drop-off in Iraq preceded fresh insurgency

    CIA officers in Iraq have been largely hunkered down in their heavily fortified Baghdad compound since U.S. troops left the country in 2011, current and former officials say, allowing a once-rich network of intelligence sources to wither.

    • Jun. 25, 2014

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