U.S. Leads 16 Air Strikes in Syria, Seven in Iraq

A Kurdish man mourns next to gravestones of Kurdish fighters killed during clashes against Islamic State in the Syrian town of Kobani, at a cemetery in the southeastern town of Suruc, Sanliurfa province November 12

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S.-led forces conducted 16 air strikes in Syria, most of them around Kobani near the Turkish border, and seven in Iraq since Monday, the U.S. Central Command said.

The Fighters of Iraq Who Answer to Iran

A fighter from the Shi'ite Badr Brigade militia wears a religious flag as he guards a checkpoint recently taken from militants of the Islamic State outside the town of Amerli

BAGHDAD (Reuters) – Among the thousands of militia fighters who flocked to northern Iraq to battle militant group Islamic State over the summer was Qais al-Khazali.

U.S. May Significantly Hike Number of Troops in Iraq

Tribal fighters take part in an intensive security deployment against Islamic State militants in Haditha October 25

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. military has drawn up plans to significantly increase the number of American forces in Iraq, which now total around 1,400, as Washington seeks to bolster Iraqi forces battling the Islamic State, U.S. officials told Reuters on Friday.

Iraq’s Top Cleric Says Graft in Army Helped Islamic State

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi (C) walks after a meeting with the top Shiite cleric, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, in the Shiite holy city of Najaf, south of Baghdad, October 20, 2014

BAGHDAD (Reuters) – Iraq’s most influential Shi’ite cleric said on Friday that corruption in the armed forces had enabled Islamic State to seize much of northern Iraq, criticism that will pressure the government to enact reforms in the face of an insurgency.