BAGHDAD, June 15 (Xinhua) -- Kurdish forces took control of a border crossing point with Syria, while Iraqi security forces fought insurgent groups who were trying to seize an ethnically mixed city in the country's northern province of Nineveh, military sources said on Sunday.
The Kurdish security forces, known as Peshmerga, took control of the crossing point of Rabia with Syria since Tuesday, after the Iraqi security source withdrew from many parts of Nineveh province, a Kurdish security source told Xinhua on condition of anonymity.
However, the other side of the border crossing point, al- Yaroubiyah, has been under the control of Syrian opposition groups, the source said.
Separately, fierce battles continued since late Saturday around the city of Tal Afar in Nineveh province, some 70 km west of the provincial capital Mosul, between Iraqi security forces, backed by groups of volunteers, and militant groups who tried to seize the city, according to a local police source.
The militants fired mortar rounds, leaving at least five people killed and some 35 others wounded, the source said, without giving further details.
The Sunni-majority province of Nineveh and its capital Mosul, some 400 km north of Baghdad, has long been a stronghold for insurgent groups, including al-Qaida militants, since the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in 2003.
Large parts of the province are now in the hands of militant groups since last week after bloody clashes with Iraqi security forces. The militant groups later seized swathes of territory after the Iraqi security forces abolishing from their posts.
BAGHDAD, June 14 (Xinhua) -- Iraqi security forces on Saturday continued fierce clashes with militant groups, while the troops managed to retake control of three towns in Salahudin province, security and medical sources said.
In Iraq's eastern province of Diyala, fierce clashes broke out between security forces and militant groups in the city of Saadiyah, 120 km northeast of Baghdad, resulted in the killing of four gunmen and a policeman, along with wounding six other policemen, a provincial police source said. Full Story
WASHINGTON, June 13 (Xinhua) -- President Barack Obama on Friday ruled out sending back U.S. troops and set conditions for aid in helping the Iraqi forces fight Islamist militants who are making rapid gains on the ground.
"We will not be sending U.S. troops back into combat in Iraq," Obama told reporters at the White House South Lawn, acknowledging "significant gains" made by the Islamic State in Iraq and Levant, an offshoot of al-Qaida also known as ISIL, in the past few days. Full story
BAGHDAD, June 14 (Xinhua) -- Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al- Maliki vowed to defeat the insurgent groups, as the troops and volunteers are gathering in the city of Samarra in north of the Iraqi capital of Baghdad to fight militant groups who are trying to march toward Baghdad.
"Samarra is not the last line, but it will be a gathering point and a launch pad to clear all areas," Maliki said in a speech broadcast on Saturday during his visit to Samarra late Friday. Full story