Iraq`s Army declared victory over Islamic State fighters in a provincial capital west of Baghdad on Sunday, the first major triumph for the US-trained force since it collapsed in the face of an assault by the militants 18 months ago.
BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Iraqi forces launched an intense military operation against Islamic State insurgents in three cities in central Iraq on Wednesday, fighting to regain control of lost ground, security sources said.
Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki told Army officers in the city of Samarra that volunteers were arriving to help defeat Islamist militants who have swept through Sunni Muslim territory towards Baghdad.
In yet another indication of worsening situation in Iraq, Kurds seized control of the northern oil city of Kirkuk on Thursday, while surging Sunni Islamist rebels advanced towards Baghdad, as the central government`s army abandoned its posts in a rapid collapse that has lost it control of the north.
Two car bombs targeted commuters in Baghdad and clashes between security forces and militants killed at least 18 civilians, officials said today, amid an ongoing standoff between Iraqi forces and al-Qaeda-linked militants west of the Iraqi capital.