Sep 28, 2019

U.S. diplomat who publicly challenged Bush on Iraq dies at 69

Wilson holds a press conference in 2006. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Joseph C. Wilson, the U.S. diplomat who publicly debunked intelligence used to support President Bush's 2003 invasion of Iraq, died in his home on Friday at 69, the New York Times reports. His ex-wife, former CIA agent Valerie Plame, said the cause of death was organ failure.

His impact: Wilson, who was the last American diplomat to negotiate face-to-face with Saddam Hussein in 1990, "forced the White House to concede, grudgingly," that the Bush administration "built the case for the invasion of Iraq on a faulty intelligence report," per the Times. His actions "changed both the narrative and the politics of the war."

Go deeper ... Timeline: the rise and fall of ISIS in Iraq and Syria

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Iraqi military says U.S. troops cannot stay in Iraq

A military convoy of US forces makes its way through Erbil, Iraq. Photo: Yunus Keles/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

The Iraqi military on Tuesday said U.S. troops leaving Syria and heading to neighboring Iraq do not have permission to remain in the country, the AP reports.

Why it matters: The denial contradicts U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper's Oct. 20 statement that all the nearly 1,000 U.S. troops leaving Syria will continue to fight against the Islamic State, or ISIS, from western Iraq.

Go deeperArrowOct 22, 2019

At least 70 Iraqi protesters killed amid calls for prime minister to step down

Photo: Hussein Faleh/AFP/Getty Images

At least 70 Iraqis have died as thousands of protestors continue to demonstrate and call for Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi to step down, reports BBC.

Why it matters: These demonstrations are the "most serious" since 2016, and mark the largest public display of anger directed at Mahdi since he took office nearly a year ago, notes the Financial Times. Protesters, now in their 5th consecutive day, are demanding he resign amid a 25% youth unemployment rate, growing allegations of corruption and a lack of access to public services, according BBC.

Go deeperArrowUpdated Oct 5, 2019

Pentagon chief says U.S. troops to leave Syria for Iraq

A soldier stands guard during a joint patrol with Turkish troops in September in the Syrian village of al-Hashisha, near the border with Turkey. Photo: Delil Souleiman/AFP/Getty Images

Defense Secretary Mark Esper told reporters Saturday night that all of the nearly 1,000 U.S. troops leaving Syria will continue the fight against the Islamic State, or ISIS, from western Iraq, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Why it matters: President Trump has faced scathing criticism from Republicans and Democrats alike for his decision to withdraw U.S. troops from northern Syria, which paved the way for Turkey to lead a military offensive against Kurdish forces who allied with the U.S. in the fight against ISIS.

Go deeperArrowOct 20, 2019