war

Politics
9:34 am
Sat September 13, 2014

Obama's Hawkish Plan For Islamic State Puts Doves In A Quandary

President Obama's plan to degrade and destroy the Islamic state poses a challenge for members of his own party, who have traditionally provided the anti-war voices in Congress.
Saul Loeb AP

Originally published on Sat September 13, 2014 3:47 pm

President Obama arguably won the Democratic primary in 2008 because of his strong opposition to the Iraq war. Now he's arguing he doesn't need congressional approval to ramp up a bombing campaign in Iraq and expand air strikes into Syria.

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World
7:04 am
Tue September 9, 2014

Dutch Investigators: MH17 Brought Down By 'High-Energy Objects'

A pro-Russian rebel touches MH17 wreckage at the crash site of the Malaysian airliner near the village of Hrabove, eastern Ukraine, in July.
Vadim Ghirda AP

Originally published on Tue September 9, 2014 3:29 pm

An initial investigation by Dutch experts appears to support the long-held theory of what happened to MH17 over eastern Ukraine: The Malaysian airliner was brought down by multiple "high-energy objects from outside the aircraft."

Although the preliminary technical report by the Dutch Safety Board did not directly say the objects were surface-to-air missiles, it left little room to conclude otherwise.

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Horn of Africa
8:23 am
Tue September 2, 2014

Targeting Al-Shabab Leadership, U.S. Launches Airstrikes In Somalia

Originally published on Tue September 2, 2014 3:23 pm

The United States conducted airstrikes in Somalia late Monday, targeting the leadership of the al-Qaida affiliate al-Shabab.

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Ukraine/Russia Conflict
2:05 pm
Fri August 29, 2014

White House Says "Continuation," Murphy Says "War"

Sen. Chris Murphy on WNPR's Where We Live in December, 2013.
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

As the conflict between Ukraine and Russia continues to escalate, Democratic U.S. Senator Chris Murphy wants to call it what it is: a war.

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Human Rights
10:28 am
Wed August 27, 2014

U.N. Says Assad Regime, Islamic State Are Committing War Crimes In Syria

An injured man sits after being treated at a medical center following shelling in the city of Douma, Syria.
Abd Doumany AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed August 27, 2014 3:14 pm

A report presented by the United Nations today paints a pretty grim picture of Syria.

It tells the story of a country mired in a ruthless civil war in which all sides are indiscriminately killing and torturing civilians. It presents a laundry list of human rights violations and war crimes undertaken by both the forces of President Bashar Assad and non-state armed groups, such as the Islamic State, that are fighting to topple the regime.

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Middle East
10:33 am
Sat August 23, 2014

U.N. Warns Of 'Possible Massacre' In Northeastern Iraq

Members of Kurdish security forces take part during an intensive security deployment after clashes with militants of the Islamic State, in Jalawla, Diyala province, on Friday.
Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Sat August 23, 2014 3:15 pm

Updated at 3:10 p.m. ET

The United Nations is calling for action to prevent what it's describing as a possible massacre in Iraq's northeastern city of Amerli, which has been under siege for two months by Islamic State militants.

The city's population is largely Turkmen Shia, seen as apostates by the hard-line Sunni Islamic State, also known as ISIS or ISIL.

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Islamic State
4:44 pm
Thu August 21, 2014

Islamic State 'Beyond Anything We've Seen,' Hagel Says

Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel (left) and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin Dempsey during a Pentagon briefing on Thursday. Hagel said Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria posed a threat "beyond anything we've seen."
Yuri Gripas Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Thu August 21, 2014 7:59 pm

Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel describes a failed U.S. mission into northern Syria earlier this summer to rescue Americans believed held there — including a journalist who was executed earlier this week — as "flawless" despite not recovering the hostages.

"This was a flawless operation, but the hostages weren't there," Hagel told journalists at a Pentagon briefing with Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

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Iraq Crisis
4:27 pm
Mon August 11, 2014

President Obama Speaks About Developments in Iraq

President Barack Obama talks with National Security Advisor Susan E. Rice following foreign leader phone calls, from Chilmark, Mass.
Credit Pete Souza / White House

President Barack Obama congratulated Iraq's prime minster-designate in a statement on Martha's Vineyard during his vacation.

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Iraq
9:30 am
Mon August 11, 2014

New Leader Of Iraq Is Nominated, But Maliki Insists He'll Stay In Office

Iraqis chant pro-government slogans and wave flags in a show of support for embattled Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki during a demonstration in Baghdad Monday. Maliki says he will file a legal complaint against the country's newly elected president.
Hadi Mizban AP

Originally published on Mon August 11, 2014 6:11 pm

Iraq's president has asked the parliament's deputy speaker to form a new government, after members of the Shiite coalition that had backed Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki nominated the deputy, Haider al-Abadi, to the post Monday.

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Iraq
9:50 am
Fri August 8, 2014

U.S. Military Strikes Sunni Extremist Fighters In Iraq

Displaced Iraqis wait for aid Friday at a mosque on the outskirts of Irbil in northern Iraq.
AP

Originally published on Fri August 8, 2014 9:03 pm

(This post was last updated at 8:44 p.m. ET.)

The U.S. military conducted several strikes against Sunni extremist militants near Irbil in Iraq Friday, in what the White House calls a limited engagement.

"Military officials say unmanned aircraft struck a terrorist mortar position," NPR's Tamara Keith reports, "and then when the fighters returned, they were attacked as well. Later, four FA-18 aircraft struck an ISIS convoy and another mortar position using eight laser-guided bombs."

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Middle East
6:43 am
Fri August 8, 2014

In Gaza, Cease-Fire Expires As Rockets Fly

Smoke rises over Gaza City on Friday as Israel and Gaza militants resumed cross-border attacks after a three-day truce expired.
Lefteris Pitarakis AP

Originally published on Fri August 8, 2014 9:54 am

Just as the latest cease-fire expired, rockets flew into Israel from Gaza and Israel responded by ordering airstrikes in Gaza.

And just like that, a three-day negotiated peace came to an end. But NPR's Jackie Northam, who is reporting from Jerusalem, tells us it's still unclear if this renewed fighting is a sign of something broader.

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The Two-Way
8:52 pm
Thu August 7, 2014

Obama Authorizes Limited Airstrikes In Iraq

Iraqi Christians who fled violence in the village of Qaraqush rest upon their arrival at the St. Joseph church in the Kurdish city of Irbil.
Safin Hamed AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri August 8, 2014 8:23 am

This post was updated at 9:45 p.m. ET.

President Obama has authorized targeted airstrikes against Islamic militants where needed and if militants advance toward American personnel in northern Iraq, he said Thursday night.

The president also said American planes have dropped aid and supplies to religious minorities in Iraq who have fled the extremist group the Islamic State.

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Middle East
8:10 am
Tue August 5, 2014

As Truce Takes Effect, Israel Withdraws Troops From Gaza

A Palestinian searches for salvageable items from the rubble of his house that was destroyed in Israeli strikes.
Adel Hana AP

Originally published on Tue August 5, 2014 8:02 am

After nearly a month of fighting, a negotiated, three-day peace has taken hold in Gaza.

As NPR's Emily Harris reports, Israel has also ordered all of its troops out of Gaza. But this may not mean the end of the current conflict, because the Israel Defense Forces said its troops would maintain a defensive position and respond to any attacks.

Case in point: By morning just before the truce started, Emily said she heard rocket fire out of Gaza. But things have calmed down and the AP reports that in Gaza "traffic picked up and shops started opening doors."

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Middle East
3:27 am
Mon August 4, 2014

Is There Any Empathy Left In The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict?

Members of the Israeli security forces stand guard as Palestinian Muslims perform Friday prayers on a street outside the Old City of Jerusalem on Friday.
Ahmad Gharabli AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon August 4, 2014 3:29 pm

In the waiting room at Jerusalem's Hadassah Hospital, an Israeli woman was shouting at a Palestinian mother whose son was being treated for a beating he received from a Jewish mob.

"Go away you trash," the Israeli woman yelled at the Palestinian. "I would bury you in Gaza."

A second Israeli woman joined in the verbal barrage, complaining that her taxes shouldn't be paying for Palestinian treatment.

Two other Israeli women came over to comfort the Palestinian mother. But she is in no mood for reconciliation and retorted: "What good will your apologies do?"

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Middle East
8:45 am
Sat August 2, 2014

War In Gaza Tests Israel's Tolerance For Dissent

Israelis in Tel Aviv take part in a protest against the military operation in the Gaza Strip on July 26. Israel's permissive approach to free speech has long fostered protests like these, but some Israelis now say that dissenters are traitors.
Lior Mizrahi Getty Images

Originally published on Mon August 25, 2014 11:23 am

While fighting between Israel and Gaza militants rages on for a fourth week, there's another war being fought among Israelis themselves — a war on speech. The nation is proud of its tolerance for free expression. But some Israelis critical of the war say their views are under attack; others say the dissent has gone too far.

On The Street And Online

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Middle East
8:46 am
Fri August 1, 2014

Fighting Resumes In Gaza, As Israeli Military Says Cease-Fire Is Over

Gaza City, located in the northern Gaza Strip, is seen shortly before the start of a proposed cease-fire Friday morning.
Lefteris Pitarakis AP

Originally published on Fri August 1, 2014 11:57 am

It was negotiated as a three-day humanitarian cease-fire that was to start at 8 a.m. local time today.

But just hours in, fighting erupted again in Gaza.

Palestinian authorities told The Associated Press that at least 27 people were killed in Gaza after an Israeli tank opened fire. NPR's Emily Harris reports that Israel accused Hamas of continuing its rocket fire.

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Middle East
8:35 pm
Mon July 28, 2014

Netanyahu: Israel Is Prepared For 'Long Operation' In Gaza

Palestinian relatives cry when mourners carry out the body of Baraa Mogdadm, 6, one of nine people killed in an explosion at a park in the northern Gaza Strip on Monday.
Adel Hana AP

Originally published on Mon July 28, 2014 8:40 pm

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday dismissed international calls for an immediate cease-fire in the country's conflict with Hamas in Gaza.

"We need to be prepared for a long operation until our mission is accomplished," Netanyahu said in televised remarks.

He defined that mission the same way Israeli officials have since launching a ground offensive in Gaza: taking out the tunnels Hamas uses to infiltrate Israel.

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Israel
10:04 pm
Sat July 26, 2014

The Reasons Why Israel's Military Is In Such A Tough Fight

Israeli troops come out of the Gaza Strip on Friday following combat operations in the territory. Israel's military is the strongest in the Middle East, but has waged a series of protracted fights in recent years without winning clear-cut victories.
Jack Guez AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat July 26, 2014 9:24 am

Ever since its sweeping victory in the Six-Day War of 1967, Israel has been regarded as the dominant military power in the Middle East. No Arab state has risked a full-fledged war in decades, and few question the conventional wisdom that Israel would swiftly defeat any national army in a traditional, head-to-head confrontation.

Yet for the third time in the past decade, Israel's powerful military finds itself in a protracted, messy fight with a small, elusive, Islamist group and has been unable to score a quick and decisive victory.

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Seeking a Truce
8:40 am
Fri July 25, 2014

Kerry: Gaza Truce Still In Play

A Palestinian man cries after bringing a child, wounded in a strike on a compound housing a U.N. school, to the emergency room of the Kamal Adwan hospital in the Gaza Strip on Thursday.
Lefteris Pitarakis AP

Originally published on Fri July 25, 2014 5:33 pm

Updated at 5:20 p.m. ET.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry called reports that Israel's government had rejected a U.S. truce in Gaza "a mischievous leak" and said he's confident a deal can be reached.

Referring to earlier reports by Israeli TV that a seven-day cease-fire had been unanimously rejected, Kerry, speaking at a news conference in Cairo, said Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had assured him that the report is "an error and inaccurate.

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Middle East
7:10 am
Fri July 25, 2014

Gaza Conflict: What To Know For Friday

Smoke and flames from an Israeli strike rise over Gaza City on Thursday.
Adel Hana AP

Originally published on Fri July 25, 2014 5:34 pm

Updated at 5:35 p.m. ET.

As the conflict between Israel and Gaza approaches the three-week mark, the fighting seems to have only intensified. At least 119 Palestinians were killed Thursday, making it the bloodiest day of the war.

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Middle East
8:49 am
Wed July 23, 2014

White House Adviser: Cease-Fire Should Include Demilitarization Of Gaza

Palestinians walk through the rubble of houses in Gaza City minutes after they were hit in an Israeli strike on Wednesday.
Khalil Hamra AP

Originally published on Wed July 23, 2014 1:06 pm

A top White House adviser says any cease-fire agreement between Israel and Palestinians must include the demilitarization of Gaza.

In an interview with NPR's Steve Inskeep, Deputy National Security Adviser Tony Blinken said "that needs to be the end result."

"There has to be some way forward that does not involve Hamas having the ability to continue to rain down rockets on Israeli civilians," Blinken said.

Asked if this means the U.S. has endorsed Israel's demand that Hamas give up its weapons, Blinken said:

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Middle East
8:04 am
Mon July 21, 2014

In Effort To Forge Cease-Fire Between Israel And Hamas, Kerry Heads To Egypt

A Palestinian overcome by emotion watches rescuers carry a body from the rubble of a house which was destroyed by an Israeli missile strike, in Gaza City, on Monday.
Khalil Hamra AP

Originally published on Mon July 21, 2014 8:26 pm

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is headed to Egypt today in an effort to broker a cease-fire between Israel and Hamas.

In a statement, State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said Kerry would meet with Egyptian and other senior officials.

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Gaza
10:00 am
Sun July 20, 2014

At Least 13 Israeli Soldiers, 87 Palestinians Killed In Gaza Strip Sunday

A Palestinian man runs with a white flag in the Shejaia neighborhood, which was heavily shelled by Israel during fighting in Gaza City on Sunday.
Finbarr O'Reilly Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Sun July 20, 2014 10:36 pm

Updated at 10:30 p.m. ET.

A spokesman for Hamas claimed Sunday that the group has captured an Israeli soldier. Reuters quotes Israel's ambassador to the U.N., Ron Prosor, as saying that no Israeli soldier has been kidnapped.

It's the latest development in a bloody day of fighting between Israel and Hamas. Israel's military said today that a series of attacks on its forces inside the Gaza Strip has killed 13 soldiers, by far the heaviest single-day toll for its troops since the beginning of the offensive nearly two weeks ago.

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Flight MH17
2:27 pm
Sat July 19, 2014

Ukraine Accuses Rebels Of Destroying Evidence At MH17 Crash Site

With pro-Russian separatists standing guard, investigators from the OSCE arrive at the crash site of the Malaysia Airline jet near the village of Hrabove in Eastern Ukraine on Friday.
Dmitry Lovetsky AP

Originally published on Sat July 19, 2014 11:45 pm

Updated at 4:35 p.m. ET.

International investigators say armed rebels have limited their inspection of the Eastern Ukraine site of the downed Malaysian Airlines flight that killed nearly 300 passengers and crew, as Kiev accused pro-Russian separatists of destroying evidence at the scene.

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Military Offensive
1:11 pm
Fri July 18, 2014

What To Watch In Israel's Ground Invasion Of Gaza

An Israeli tank advances near the Israel-Gaza Strip border on Friday as part of Israel's ground incursion in the territory. Israel launched the ground operation Thursday following more than a week of airstrikes that did not halt Palestinian rocket fire.
Dusan Vranic AP

Originally published on Sat July 19, 2014 4:10 pm

Israel has unleashed repeated military offensives in the Gaza Strip since 2000 and has never been able to permanently suppress Palestinian rocket fire or seal off the territory's smuggling tunnels.

So why is Israel launching another major ground incursion now, and is there any reason to think the outcome will be different this time?

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Middle East
5:40 am
Fri July 18, 2014

Israeli Ground Operation In Gaza Continues

An Israeli artillery shell is fired at the border with Gaza on Friday near Sderot, Israel. Late Thursday night Israeli forces escalated their operation with a ground offensive, sending troops into Gaza. More than 250 Palestinians have lost their lives since Israel began operation "Protective Edge."
Ilia Yefimovich Getty Images

Originally published on Fri July 18, 2014 6:42 pm

This post was updated at 6:15 p.m. ET:

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon will travel to the Middle East on Saturday in hopes of finding a way to stop the fighting between Israel and Hamas.

"Israel has legitimate security concerns, and we condemn the indiscriminate rocket fire from Gaza into Israel that ended yesterday's temporary cease-fire," Jeffrey Feltman, deputy U.N. secretary-general for political affairs, told the Security Council on Friday. "But we are alarmed by Israel's heavy response."

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Middle East
4:39 pm
Thu July 17, 2014

Israel Launches Ground Offensive In Gaza

Israeli soldiers ride on military vehicles near the Israel-Gaza border on Thursday
Ariel Schalit AP

Originally published on Thu July 17, 2014 7:53 pm

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ordered the army to send ground forces into Gaza Thursday night.

"We are hearing reports that so far the operation has been concentrated in the north," reports NPR's Emily Harris, who is in Gaza.

Fawzi Barhoum, a spokesman for Hamas, called the invasion "a dangerous step. "The occupation will pay its price expensively, and Hamas is ready for confrontation," he said in a statement.

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Middle East
6:51 am
Thu July 17, 2014

A 5-Hour Truce Between Hamas And Israel Ends, And Fighting Begins

A Palestinian municipality worker sweeps the street as a United Nations vehicle drives past a damaged money exchange post. Israel and Hamas took a break from fighting Thursday for humanitarian reasons.
Lefteris Pitarakis AP

Originally published on Thu July 17, 2014 4:12 pm

This post was updated at 4:10 p.m. ET: Ground Offenses Begin

Israel has sent ground forces into Gaza on Thursday, which we are covering in this post.

Update at 1:15 p.m. ET: Hostilities Resume

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The Colin McEnroe Show
6:00 am
Tue July 15, 2014

Germany: Who Are You Now?

Credit MomentCaptured1 / Creative Commons

Two snapshots: The first from the publication American Bazaar, right after the German World Cup win. "In the city of Leipzig, a solitary car scuttled along, with the flag attached to the roof. Waving the flag has yet to catch on. Jan Hoffman, who works in Frankfurt, was in New York when 9/11 happened.  'I had never seen so many flags in my life. Here, there are hardly any, although we won football's greatest tournament.

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War Wounds
8:41 am
Tue July 8, 2014

Years Home, Female Iraq Vets Endure the Wounds of War

After work, Eunice Ramirez finds comfort in a walk at Walnut Beach, Milford.
Tony Bacewicz Connecticut Health I-Team

It’s been nine years since Eunice Ramirez served in Iraq, but she still suffers from war wounds: post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, respiratory problems, and frequent crying triggered by her memories.

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