Sameer N. Yacoub

  • A police officer stands guard in front of the Iraqi Supreme court in Baghdad, Iraq, Wednesday, July 8, 2015. An Iraqi court has issued death sentences to 24 militants for their role in killing hundreds of soldiers last year. The slain soldiers were captured by the Islamic State group when they overran Saddam Hussein's hometown of Tikrit in summer 2014. At the time, the soldiers were trying to flee from a nearby army base. (AP Photo/ Karim Kadim)
    Iraq sentences 24 IS militants to death for killing soldiers

    A Baghdad court on Wednesday sentenced 24 suspected members of the Islamic State terror group to death for their role in the killing of hundreds of Iraqi soldiers

  • In this photo taken from the Turkish side of the border between Turkey and Syria, in Akcakale, Sanliurfa province, southeastern Turkey, a masked gunman, believed to be an Islamic State militant runs, as he gives orders to Syrian refugees waiting on the Syrian side of the border in order to cross, to return back to the city of Tal Abyad, Syria, Saturday, June 13, 2015. Several militants pushed the refugees back towards the city but later the refugees massed again near the border fence in hope to flee intense fighting between Syrian Kurds and militants from the Islamic State group in nearby towns and villages. The mass displacement of Syrians came as Kurdish fighters announced they are making headway toward Tal Abyad, the stronghold of the extremist group near the Turkish border. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)
    Syrian Kurds nearing IS border stronghold

    Hundreds of Syrian refugees poured into a Turkish-Syrian border crossing Saturday, fleeing intense fighting between Syrian Kurds and militants from the Islamic State group in nearby towns and villages.

  • Fighters of Badr Brigades Shiite militia chant slogans against the Islamic State group at the front line, on the outskirts of Fallujah, Anbar province, Iraq, Monday, June 1, 2015. Three Islamic State suicide bombers targeted a police base in the Tharthar area north of Ramadi, some 30 miles (48 kilometers) west of Fallujah, with explosives-laden Humvees on Monday, killing at least 41 police and Shiite militiamen, officials said. (AP Photo/Hadi Mizban)
    Iraqi troops, militias repel IS attacks in Anbar province

    Government forces and Shiite militiamen repelled two Islamic State group attacks in Anbar province on Saturday, officials said. In one attack, they used anti-tank missiles to stop four would-be suicide car bombers.

  • FILE - FILE - In this Sept. 5, 2010 file photo, Tariq Aziz, Saddam Hussein's long time foreign minister, speaks to the Associated Press in Baghdad, Iraq. Officials say Aziz has died in a hospital in southern Iraq on Friday, June 5, 2015. (AP Photo/Hadi Mizban, File)
    Tariq Aziz, top aide to Saddam Hussein, dies in hospital

    Tariq Aziz, the debonair Iraqi diplomat who made his name by staunchly defending Saddam Hussein to the world during three wars and was later sentenced to death as part of the regime that killed hundreds of thousands of its own people, has died in a hospital in southern Iraq, officials said. He was 79.

  • This photo taken Wednesday, June 3, 2015, shows a destroyed bridge on the Euphrates river in northern Ramadi, Iraq. The Islamic State group destroyed the bridge with a car bomb to cut the northern entrance to the city, locals said. (AP Photo)
    IS reduces water supply to government areas in Iraq's Anbar

    Islamic State militants have reduced the amount of water flowing to government-held areas in Iraq's western Anbar province, officials said Thursday, a move that highlights the use of water as a weapon of war and puts more pressure on Iraqi forces struggling to claw back ground held by the extremists in the Sunni heartland.

  • US Vice President Joe Biden and Iraqi Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi (L) hold a meeting of the US - Iraq Higher Coordinating Committee in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building adjacent to the White House in Washington, DC, April 16, 2015. The meeting brings together officials from the US and Iraqi governments to discuss energy, economic cooperation and other issues. AFP PHOTO / SAUL LOEB
    Biden reassures Iraqi prime minister of U.S. support

    Vice President Joe Biden reassured Iraq's government on Monday of U.S. support in the fight against the Islamic State group, telephoning Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi with thanks for "the enormous sacrifice and bravery of Iraqi forces" one day after Defense Secretary Ash Carter questioned the Iraqi military commitment.

  • Iraqi fighters from the Shiite popular mobilisation unit hold position in the outskirts of Baiji refinery north of Tikrit, in the Salahaddin province, during a joint operation with the Iraqi army to retake the remaining area of the oil refinery from Islamic State (IS) group jihadists, on May 25, 2015. Iraq rejected accusations by the US defence chief that its security forces dodged battle in Ramadi and lack the will to fight the IS group. AFP PHOTO / AHMAD AL-RUBAYE (Photo credit should read AHMAD AL-RUBAYE/AFP/Getty Images)
    Iraq, Iran push back on U.S. defense chief over Ramadi loss

    Iraq and Iran pushed back Monday against U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter's criticisms over the fall of Ramadi to the Islamic State group, with an Iranian general going as far as saying America had "no will" to fight the extremists.