Iraq

The Iraqi poets flirting with death


Torn apart by a civil war, a collective of poets from Babylon province, in the centre of Iraq, has recently conducted a series of performance pieces based on the theme of the violence that is destroying their homeland. During these performances, they literally flirt with death. Read more…
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A family’s flight – on foot – from Islamic State jihadists


In the past few weeks, thousands of people have fled Iraq’s central Ramadi region, where clashes continue between Iraqi security forces and fighters from the Islamic State (IS) group. Fearful that jihadists might infiltrate the stream of refugees, Iraqi authorities have imposed draconian restrictions on these civilians, most of whom are trying the reach Baghdad, the capital. Abou Abdallah, 50, and his family have just arrived at the end of this difficult journey. Read more...
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Iraqi artist shows 'ugly faces' of IS using old shoes


An Iraqi artist has transformed worn-out shoes and trash into works of art to illustrate the 'ugliness' of Islamic State group. Using old footwear salvaged from local shoemakers, Akeel Khreef has created ugly-looking 'shoe faces' to decorate an entire wall of his house. The mural is set to go on display in a London gallery this summer. Read more...
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Is an Iraqi militia really using high-tech combat robots?


These little machines aren’t NASA's latest Mars rovers built to scour the red planet, but combat robots deployed by none other than an Iraqi militia group. The Shiite militia Saraya Al Salam is currently taking part in an offensive against the Islamic State organisation in Tikrit. In a video, the group brags that it built these sophisticated war machines entirely by itself. Read more...
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Video shows burning village near Tikrit : "Shiite militias wanted revenge"


A video appears to show Shiite militias burning homes to the ground in a Sunni village on the outskirts of the Iraqi town of Tikrit in what some believe to be a revenge attack. Read more...
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The Iraqi gypsies living on the fringes of society


Iraq's gypsies are one of the country's tiniest minorities. They're also one of its most scorned. Deprived of work and education, the gypsies live like pariahs in ramshackle villages completely cut-off from major cities. Our Observer visited one such village in the region of Diwaniya, 200 kilometres south of the capital Baghdad. Read more...

Video: Shiite militias use same brutal tactics as Islamic State


A disturbing video filmed by soldiers fighting for the Kurdish Peshmerga reveals gruesome tactics used by Shiite militias battling to push Islamic State organisation jihadists out of Iraq. The images show the beheaded corpses of two IS fighters being dragged on the ground by a vehicle. Read more...
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Photo of 'women murdered for refusing sex jihad’ is fake


Iraq’s human rights minister issued a statement Tuesday saying that the bodies of 150 women had been found in two mass graves in Fallujah. He said they belonged to women who were executed by the Islamic State group for refusing to have sex with jihadists. Several Arabic language media outlets quickly relayed his statement, but there was a problem: they used a fake photo to illustrate it. Read more...
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Yazidi women slaves: real plight, fake images


Many Yazidi women captured by the Islamic State (IS) group have been forced into slavery. After months of speculation while photos claiming to show their plight circulated online, the group finally confirmed these rumours in its online magazine Dabiq. However, all the photos of these slave women circulating on social networks are fake. Even though the jihadists boast about enslaving these women, they keep them hidden away. Read more...
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Priests race to save manuscripts from jihadists in Iraq

As fighters from the Islamic State group rampage across northern Syria and Iraq, a group of priests are racing against time to save what's left of the region's Christian heritage. Dominican Order priests have already managed to get many precious artifacts and manuscripts safely to Erbil in Kurdistan. Read more...

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