Kirkuk woke up Friday to the sound of shooting and praise for the "Islamic State" blared through mosque loudspeakers by dozens of heavily-armed jihadists raiding the Iraqi city. The assault, claimed by the Islamic State group, appeared to be an attempt to divert attention from the massive Iraqi offensive against the jihadist bastion of Mosul, to the northeast. An AFP reporter attended the interrogation of a suspected attacker who said moments after his arrest by Kurdish forces that the attack was designed to ease the pressure on the Mosul front.
US Defence Secretary Ashton Carter said Friday he was confident that Turkey would take part in the operation to retake the Iraqi city of Mosul from the Islamic State group. "I think there is agreement there in principle," he said after a visit to Turkey, following tensions between Ankara and Baghdad that have alarmed Washington. "Iraq understands that Turkey as a member of the counter-ISIL (IS) coalition will play a role in counter-ISIL operations in Iraq and secondly that Turkey since it neighbours the region of Mosul has an interest (in) the ultimate outcome in Mosul," Carter said.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Hillary Clinton appears to be displaying strength in the crucial battleground states of North Carolina and Florida among voters casting ballots before Election Day, and may also be building an early vote advantage in Arizona and Colorado.