Occupation of Iraq
Shelling west of Baghdad killed the commander of the Iraqi army's 6th division on Monday, Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki's security spokesman said.
Syrian warplanes bombed Sunni militants' positions inside Iraq, military officials confirmed Wednesday, deepening the concerns that the extremist insurgency that spans the two neighboring countries could morph into an even wider regional conflict. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry warned against the threat and said other nations should stay out.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry will attend key NATO discussions on Iraq on June 25, the day after U.S. military advisers began moving into Baghdad as Iraqi forces battle Sunni militants.
Iraqi government troops held off Sunni insurgent attacks on a key town and an oil refinery Tuesday as Kerry pushed for unity in a conflict the UN says has killed nearly 1,100.
Iraqi forces have made a "tactical" withdrawal from three western towns, a security spokesman said on Sunday, as Sunni militants widened an offensive that has already overrun swathes of territory.
"The military units' withdrawal (from Al-Qaim, Rawa and Ana) was for the purpose of redeployment," Lieutenant General Qassem Atta said, referring to it as a "tactical" move.
US President Barack Obama could intervene in Iraq without seeking support from lawmakers, Republican Senator Mitch McConnell said after Obama met Congress members.
In his words, the President "he didn't feel he had any need for authority" to take steps on the Islamist militants' advance in Iraq, as the BBC quoted McConnell as saying.
The recent developments in Iraq have once again called the state borders of the Middle East into question. In reality, the initial signs for change came with the end of the Cold War, accelerated with the U.S. invasion of Iraq, and took a decisive turn with the extension of the Arab Spring into Syria.