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Updated by Media Excerpts on Aug 09, 2018
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Islamic Extremism - Iraq

[6/23/15] New low: ISIS reportedly gives away sex slaves as 'prizes' in Koran contest

(Fox News) -- ISIS has already committed countless unspeakable acts on Yazidi and Christian girls and women in Iraq, but the terrorist army may have reached a new low with a twisted new contest in which female slaves captured in war are given away as prizes to fighters who show the have mastered the Koran.

The shocking practice of giving away human beings as prizes, called "sibya," was organized by the Da'wa and Mosques Department in Al-Baraka province in Syria in honor of the beginning of the holy month of Ramadan and was announced June 19 on ISIS Twitter accounts, according to the Middle East Media Research Institute and the Clarion Project, two independent research institutes that track social media accounts linked to terrorist groups.

[5/17/15] Key Iraqi City (Ramadi) Falls to ISIS as Last of Security Forces Flee

(NYT) -- The last Iraqi security forces fled Ramadi on Sunday, as the city fell completely to the militants of the Islamic State, who ransacked the provincial military headquarters, seizing a large store of weapons, and killed people loyal to the government, according to security officials and tribal leaders.

The fall of Ramadi, despite intensified American airstrikes in recent weeks in a bid to save the city, represented the biggest victory so far this year for the Islamic State.

Anbar Province holds painful historical import for the United States as the place where nearly 1,300 Marines and soldiers died after the American-led invasion of 2003. Since the beginning of 2014, months before the fall of Mosul and the start of the American air campaign against the Islamic State, the United States has been working with the Iraqi government to drive the extremist group from Anbar, sending vast supplies of weapons and ammunition and, more recently, training Sunni tribal fighters at an air base in the province.

With defeat looming in Ramadi on Sunday afternoon, the Anbar Provincial Council met in Baghdad and voted to ask Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi to send Shiite fighters to rescue Anbar, a largely Sunni province. In response, Mr. Abadi issued a statement calling for the militias, known as the Popular Mobilization Forces and including several powerful Shiite forces supported by Iran, to be ready to fight. Some of the Shiite irregular units, which were formed last summer after Shiite clerics put out a call to arms, are more firmly under the command of the government, while others answer to Iran.

But the advance by Islamic State fighters was evidence again that American air power alone could not hold territory for the Baghdad government, or dislodge the militants, without an effective Iraqi force on the ground.

[5/19/15] ISIS Finances Are Strong

(NYT) -- The Islamic State has revenue and assets that are more than enough to cover its current expenses despite expectations that airstrikes and falling oil prices would hurt the group’s finances.

The Islamic State takes in more than $1 million per day in extortion and taxation. Salaries of Iraqi government employees are taxed up to 50 percent, adding up to at least $300 million last year; companies may have their contracts and revenue taxed up to 20 percent.

[5/19/15] Iraq's Sunni Strategy Collapses in Ramadi Rout

(NYT) -- Nearly three million Iraqis are now displaced, according to the United Nations, a level not seen since the height of Iraq’s sectarian civil war in 2006 and 2007. Then, many Iraqis fled to Syria. But with Syria convulsed by its own civil war, Iraqis on the run from the Islamic State have few safe places to go. Nearly 85 percent of the displaced are Sunnis, according to a United Nations official.

[12/20/14] US To Deploy 1,300 More Troops To Iraq In January

The U.S. is sending as many as 1,300 more troops to Iraq in late January, the Defense Department announced Friday. The troops will include about 1,000 soldiers in the Army's 82nd Airborne Division. The rest will be drawn from multiple services.

“Their mission will be to train, advise and assist Iraqi security forces,” Rear Adm. John Kirby, the Pentagon press secretary, told reporters at a briefing. “This deployment is part of the additional 1,500 troops that the president authorized in November.

[12/18/14] American troops battle ISIS for first time

(Daily Mail) -- A number of militants have been killed in Islamic State's very first battle with U.S. ground troops after the extremists attempted to overrun an Iraqi military base.

The militants attacked Ein al-Asad military base on Sunday where more than 100 U.S. military support troops are based.

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[9/10/14] President Obama: “We Will Degrade and Ultimately Destroy ISIL”

[9/10/14] President Obama: “We Will Degrade and Ultimately Destroy ISIL”

“ISIL is not ‘Islamic.’ No religion condones the killing of innocents, and the vast majority of ISIL’s victims have been Muslim,” President Obama said. “And ISIL is certainly not a state. ... It is recognized by no government, nor the people it subjugates.”

“ISIL is a terrorist organization, pure and simple.”

“Our objective is clear: We will degrade, and ultimately destroy, ISIL through a comprehensive and sustained counter-terrorism strategy.”

THE FOUR PARTS OF THE U.S. STRATEGY
1. A systematic campaign of airstrikes against ISIL
2. Increased support to forces fighting ISIL on the ground
3. Drawing on our substantial counterterrorism capabilities to prevent ISIL attacks
4. Providing humanitarian assistance to innocent civilians displaced by ISIL

“DIFFERENT FROM THE WARS IN IRAQ AND AFGHANISTAN”

But I want the American people to understand how this effort will be different from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. It will not involve American combat troops fighting on foreign soil. This counterterrorism campaign will be waged through a steady, relentless effort to take out ISIL wherever they exist, using our air power and our support for partner forces on the ground. This strategy of taking out terrorists who threaten us, while supporting partners on the front lines, is one that we have successfully pursued in Yemen and Somalia for years.