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Brit guilty of making bomb which killed US soldier

Credit: PA

A British minicab driver has been found guilty of making roadside bombs, one of which killed a US soldier in Iraq.

Anis Abid Sardar, 38, was convicted of the murder of Sergeant first class Randy Johnson in September 2007.

Sergeant Randy died instantly when a device exploded under his armoured vehicle.

Three further bombs which had been planted on the same stretch were recovered and safely detonated.

Sardar, of Wembley, north west London, will be sentenced at Woolwich Crown Court tomorrow.

US-led coalition will support ground force in Iraq

A White House official has said that the US-led coalition will support the multisectarian ground force in Iraq in its effort to take back the city of Ramadi from Islamic State fighters.

White House spokesman Josh Earnest said it is important for the force to have control and be in command of Iraq.


Islamic State use children as propaganda in victory parades

Thousands of Iraqis have streamed out of the city of Ramadi - from the self styled Islamic State forces who took control yesterday.

Among the refugees, the patients of what is now a deserted hospital. Islamic State territory in Syria and Iraq has, since yesterday, been extended to include Ramadi which is just eighty miles to the west of Baghdad, Iraq's capital. It was the biggest defeat for Iraq's army since last summer. Once again the group used little children as propaganda in victory parades.

UN: 25,000 people have fled the Iraqi city of Ramadi

The United Nations has said that close to 25,000 people have fled the Iraqi city of Ramadi after an Islamic state attack. Funds to help them were running out and aid stocks were almost gone, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in Iraq said.

Some 3,000 Shi'ite militia fighters have arrived at a military base near Ramadi as Baghdad moved to retake the western Iraqi city that fell to Islamic State militants at the weekend in the biggest defeat for the government since mid-2014.

Thousands have been displaced from Ramadi. Credit: Reuters

Earlier Army General Martin Dempsey, chairman of the US military's Joint Chiefs of Staff, said the Islamic State's gains in Ramadi were setback for Iraqi security forces, but such setbacks were "regrettable but not uncommon in warfare".

"Much effort will now be required to reclaim the city," he added.

Iran 'ready to help confront Islamic State in Ramadi'

Iran is ready to help confront Islamic State militants who have taken control of the Iraqi city of Ramadi, a senior Iranian official said.

Shia militia fighters seen here celebrating a victory over IS last September. Credit: Reuters

The comments came as Iran-backed Shia fighters were ordered to prepare to retake the city.

Ali Akbar Velayati, an advisor to Iran's supreme leader, said he was certain the city would be "liberated".

"If the Iraqi government officially asks the Islamic Republic of Iran ... to carry out any step that helps Iraq to confront (them)... then the Islamic Republic of Iran will meet this call," he told Reuters.


US-led air strikes hit Ramadi amid 'IS takeover'

The US-led coalition against Islamic State have conducted multiple air strikes in Ramadi amid claims the terror group have seized the city.

Smoke rises over an area of Ramadi following fighting. Credit: Reuters

IS said last night that it had overran the city after fierce fighting in recent days left an estimated 500 people dead.

A spokesperson said 19 air strikes in the last 72 hours had targeted IS fighting positions, vehicles and buildings.

"The Coalition increased its support in Ramadi today, in order to fulfill all requests of the Iraqi security forces," a spokesman said.

Shi'ite fighters 'preparing to launch assault on Anbar'

Shi'ite fighters are preparing to launch a counter-assault on Anbar province after Islamic State militants reportedly took control of Ramadi.

A spokesman for the Shi'ite paramilitaries - known as Hashid Shaabi - told Reuters they had received instructions to mobilise, but details of the timing and scale of the deployment could not be revealed for security reasons.

Now that the Hashid has received the order to march forth, they will definitely take part.

They were waiting for this order and now they have it.

– Hashid Shaabi's Ali al-Sarai

Ramadi is a Sunni Muslim-dominated area and Iraq's prime minister has previously resisted sending Shia militias into the area in the fear of sparking a sectarian backlash.

Around 500 killed as 'Ramadi falls to Islamic State'

About 500 people - including civilians and Iraqi troops - are reported to have died over the last few days after Islamic State militants reportedly seized the city of Ramadi.

People fleeing the violence in the city of Ramadi. Credit: Reuters

Islamic State said it had taken full control of the city yesterday, but US security officials insisted the situation was still "fluid and contested".

A spokesperson for governor of Iraq's Anbar province said that around 8,000 people had also fled the violence.

If Islamic State's gain is confirmed, it would mark the biggest victory for the terror group since security forces - aided by US-led air strikes - pushed them back last year.

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