Six dead in Daesh attack on Iraqi militia

A member of Iraqi security forces walks through the rubble of destroyed buildings in the Old City of Mosul, Iraq. (Reuters)
Updated 07 March 2019
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Six dead in Daesh attack on Iraqi militia

  • The ambush took place near the town of Makhmour, south of the northern city of Mosul
  • Daesh’s sleeper cells are still carrying out deadly attacks in northern and western Iraq

BAGHDAD: An official with a mainly Shiite militia organization in Iraq says Daesh militants attacked a bus carrying the group’s forces in northern Iraq, killing six militiamen and wounding 31 fighters.
The official from the government-sanctioned Popular Mobilization Forces told The Associated Press that the Wednesday night ambush took place near the town of Makhmour, south of the northern city of Mosul.
The official says the bus was en route from Mosul to the oil-rich city of Kirkuk. He spoke on condition of anonymity because he wasn’t authorized to talk to reporters.
Although Daesh was declared defeated in Iraq in 2017, the group’s sleeper cells are still carrying out deadly attacks in northern and western Iraq.


US bolsters Middle East force with 1,500 troops as Pentagon blames Iran for tanker attacks

Updated 24 May 2019
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US bolsters Middle East force with 1,500 troops as Pentagon blames Iran for tanker attacks

  • Donald Trump says the additional troops would serve a 'mostly protective' role
  • The US began reinforcing its presence in the Arabian Gulf region earlier this month

WASHINGTON: The US will strengthen its force in the Middle East with 1,500 extra troops, Donald Trump said Friday as the Pentagon blamed Iran for an attack on oil tankers off the coast of the UAE.

"We want to have protection in the Middle East," Trump said as he left the White House for a trip to Japan. "We're going to be sending a relatively small number of troops, mostly protective.
"Some very talented people are going to the Middle East right now. And we'll see what happens."

Shortly after his comments, the Pentagon accused Iran's Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) of being directly responsible for attacks on tankers off the UAE earlier this month, describing it as part of a "campaign" by Tehran driving new US deployments.
"The attack against the shipping in Fujairah we attribute it to the IRGC," said Rear Admiral Michael Gilday, the director of the Joint Staff, adding the Pentagon attributed limpet mines used in the attack to the IRGC. He declined to describe "the means of delivery" of the mines.

The 1,500 extra troops will be made up of a deployment of 900 more forces, including engineers, and the extension of a tour by some 600 personnel manning Patriot missiles.

Officials said earlier that members of Congress were notified following a White House meeting Thursday to discuss Pentagon proposals to bolster the force in the region.
Earlier this week, officials said that Pentagon planners had outlined plans that could have sent up to 10,000 military reinforcements to the region. Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan later said planners had not settled on a figure.
The US began reinforcing its presence in the Arabian Gulf region this month in response to what it said was a threat from Iran.

*With AP and Reuters