Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi has hit back against accusations by U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter that his country has "no will" to fight terror group ISIS, which prompted Vice President Joe Biden to call al-Abadi and speak about the issue. The Iraqi army has meanwhile launched a major military offensive to liberate the captured Anbar and Salaheddin provinces.
Abadi responded to Carter's accusations over the weekend by stating through a spokesman that the U.S. defense secretary had been given "incorrect information," and said that it's not right to "judge the whole army based on one incident."
Iraqi forces lost the battle for the key city of Ramadi earlier this month, giving ISIS its most significant victory in the country since the U.S. and its international allies began airstrike operations against the terror group last year. more >>
Islamic State gained full control of a border crossing between Iraq and Syria Sunday, the day after an alliance of Iraqi forces managed to take back from the terror group a town east of Ramadi and advanced to liberate another neighboring town.
Islamic State, also known as ISIS or ISIL, has now full control over the Al-Walid border, which includes the two main roads between Syria and Iraq's province of Anbar, according to Agence France Presse.
ISIS forced the Iraqi coalition to pull back from the border after an offensive early Sunday, a week after the Sunni terror group seized the Iraqi city of Ramadi and days after it captured the historic Syrian city of Palmyra. ISIS' attacks on Ramadi over the past few weeks have left thousands of residents displaced. more >>
Sen. John McCain, R-Arizona, has called the capture of the key Iraqi city of Ramadi by terror group ISIS "one of the most disgraceful episodes in American history," and slammed President Barack Obama's decisions to withdraw American troops from the country in 2011.
ISIS took control of Ramadi after government and tribal forces retreated from their positions on Sunday, and has reportedly been carrying out mass atrocities in the city – including going door-to-door searching for sympathizers of the government and killing their families.
McCain, who is chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, told Fox News that the fall of Ramadi, as well as Obama's strategy when it comes to war against ISIS in Iraq and Syria, has constituted "one of the most disgraceful episodes in American history." more >>
A detailed Islamic State "secret agent" training manual has been distributed on the Internet and is designed to provide prospective ISIS supporters in Western nations with ways to disguise themselves and their motives when trying to plan and carrying out "lone wolf" attacks and espionage missions.
The 71-page e-book, which was originally published in March and has recently resurfaced on the Internet, includes wide-ranging suggestions for the group's radicalized sympathizers in the West who are looking to make significant contributions to the terror group's jihad, Radio Free Europe reported.
The ebook, which contains 11 chapters, advises extremists in the west not to show any signs that they're devout Muslims so that they do not raise suspicion from national and local law enforcement agencies. more >>
Terror group ISIS has reportedly captured the key Iraqi city of Ramadi, which it had besieged for months. The Iraqi security forces and tribal fighters fighting the jihadists have been forced to retreat from their positions following heavy car bomb blasts, though U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said that the fight is not yet over.
"It is possible to see the kind of attack we have in Ramadi, but I am absolutely confident in the days ahead that will be reversed," Kerry said on Monday during a visit to Seoul, CNN reported. "Large numbers of Daesh were killed in the last few days, and will be in the next days because that seems to be the only thing they understand."
Peter Mansoor, a retired U.S. Army colonel, noted, however, that the fall of Ramadi is a "huge setback to Iraqi forces and to the U.S. strategy to degrade and ultimately defeat ISIS." more >>
The Islamic State terrorist organization released a new audio message on Wednesday purporting to come from the mouth of the group's caliph Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, who asserted that Islam is not the religion of peace, but rather the religion of violence.
If it is in fact Baghdadi speaking in the message, which was posted by the group's al-Furqan media outlet and shared by several ISIS-affiliated websites, it would mark the first time that the public has heard from Baghdadi in months, after it was reported that he was immobilized by a spinal injury resulting from shrapnel wounds from an airstrike.
The last audio message Baghdadi released was in November, which was just days after he was wounded in another airstrike. BBC reports that analysts believe that the voice in Wednesday's audio message, entitled "March Forth Whether Light or Heavy," sounds like Baghdadi's but it's still hard to verify. more >>