Latest Shia Islam News

In this Sunday, Feb. 2, 2020, Shiite seminary students attend a lecture at

Aging Shiite cleric a powerhouse in Iraq. What comes after?

Feb. 18, 2020 12:45 AM EST

NAJAF, Iraq (AP) — When Iraq’s top Shiite cleric underwent surgery for a fractured bone last month, it sent shivers around the country and beyond. “May God heal Iraq,” read a photo of Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani that circulated online. Frantic supporters shared prayers....

An anti-government protester jumps over burning tires blocking a street during a demonstration against the newly appointed Prime Minister Mohammed Allawi in Najaf, Iraq, Sunday, Feb. 2, 2020. Former communications minister Mohammed Allawi was named prime minister-designate by rival Iraqi factions Saturday after weeks of political deadlock. (AP Photo/Hadi Mizban)

Iraqi protesters reject PM-designate picked by ruling elites

Feb. 2, 2020 12:57 PM EST

BAGHDAD (AP) — Anti-government demonstrators on Sunday rejected Iraq’s new prime minister-designate following his nomination by rival government factions, compounding the challenges he'll have to surmount in order to resolve months of civil unrest. Meanwhile, new divisions emerged among protesters...

Security forces carry slingshots and a pellet air rifle during clashes with anti-government protesters in downtown Baghdad, Iraq, Thursday, Jan. 30, 2020. (AP Photo/Hadi Mizban)

Iraq says joint operations with US-led coalition resume

Jan. 30, 2020 2:19 PM EST

BAGHDAD (AP) — Joint military operations with the U.S.-led coalition to counter the Islamic State group have resumed after a nearly three-week pause, an Iraqi military statement said Thursday. Meanwhile, anti-government protesters called for 1 million Iraqis to take to the streets Friday in what they said...

Anti-government protesters hold a huge Iraqi flag as they gather during a protest in Tahrir Square in Baghdad, Iraq, Sunday, Jan. 26, 2020. (AP Photo/Hadi Mizban)

Iraqi protesters defy top cleric and return to the streets

Jan. 26, 2020 3:28 PM EST

BAGHDAD (AP) — One protester was killed by security forces after hundreds of anti-government protesters flooded the streets of Iraq's capital and southern provinces on Sunday, defying a powerful Iraqi religious leader who recently withdrew his support from the popular movement. Separately, five Katyusha...

Anti-government protester run during clashes with security forces in Baghdad, Iraq, Saturday, Jan. 25, 2020. Security forces set fire to anti-government protest tents in the country's south early Saturday and re-opened key public squares in Baghdad that had been occupied by demonstrators for months. (AP Photo/Hadi Mizban)

4 dead, tents ablaze after Iraq cleric pulls protest support

Jan. 25, 2020 3:01 PM EST

BAGHDAD (AP) — Iraq cracked down on anti-government protesters who have been occupying key public squares for months, leaving four demonstrators dead Saturday in a country reeling from political turmoil and violence. Security forces set fire to protesters' tents in southern Iraq and reopened public areas...

FILE - This handout photo from the office of Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani shows senior Shiite cleric Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani in the southern Iraqi city of Najaf on March, 13, 2019.  At least 13 people were stabbed Thursday, Dec. 5,  in Baghdad’s Tahrir Square, the epicenter of Iraq’s protest movement, security and medical officials said, stoking fears of infiltration by unknown groups among anti-government demonstrators. The protesters aligned with parties had marched to Tahrir earlier that day, mostly young men clad in black and waiving Iraqi flags. They chanted positive slogans in deference to Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, Iraq’s most powerful Shiite cleric, and stood conspicuous against the usual crowds of Tahrir protesters.  (Office of Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, via AP)

Officials: Iraq's top cleric discharged from hospital

Jan. 17, 2020 8:33 AM EST

KARBALA, Iraq (AP) — Iraq's most powerful cleric was discharged Friday from a hospital following a risky surgery for a fractured bone and returned to his home in southern Iraq, medical officials said. Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, who turns 90 later this year, fractured a thigh bone when he slipped...

Iraqi Foreign Minister Mohamed Alhahkim, right, holds a press conference with visiting Qatari counterpart Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani in Baghdad, Iraq, Wednesday, Jan. 15, 2020. (AP Photo/Khalid Mohammed)

Outgoing Iraq PM says US troop ouster up to next government

Jan. 15, 2020 7:22 PM EST

BAGHDAD (AP) — Iraq's outgoing prime minister said Wednesday it was up to the next government to see through parliament's decision to oust U.S. troops. Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi's comments came ahead of planned protests against the American military presence in Iraq called for by an influential...

FILE - In this April 7, 2011 file photo, an Iranian vendor stands in front of his goods at Qeisariyyeh old bazaar, in Imam Square in the city of Isfahan, Iran. The ancient and rich cultural landscape of Iran has become a potential U.S. military target as Washington and Tehran lob threats and take high-stakes steps toward a possible open conflict. President Donald Trump tweeted Saturday, Jan. 4, 2020, that if Iran targets any American assets to avenge the killing of a top Iranian general, the U.S. has 52 Iranian sites it will hit, including ones “important to Iran & Iranian culture.

Trump’s threats draw Iran’s cultural sites into tensions

Jan. 6, 2020 11:45 AM EST

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Iran's ancient and rich cultural landscape has become a potential U.S. military target as Washington and Tehran lob threats and take high-stakes steps toward a possible open conflict. President Donald Trump tweeted Saturday evening that if Iran attacks any American assets...

An Iraqi soldier stands guard in front of smoke rising from a fire set by pro-Iranian militiamen and their supporters in the U.S. embassy compound, Baghdad, Iraq, Wednesday, Jan. 1, 2020. U.S. troops fired tear gas on Wednesday as hundreds of Iran-backed militiamen and other protesters gathered outside the American Embassy in Baghdad for a second day and set fire to the roof of a reception area inside the compound. (AP Photo/Nasser Nasser)

Militiamen withdraw from US Embassy but Iraq tensions linger

Jan. 1, 2020 4:35 PM EST

BAGHDAD (AP) — Iran-backed militiamen withdrew from the U.S. Embassy compound in Baghdad on Wednesday after two days of clashes with American security forces, but U.S.-Iran tensions remain high and could spill over into further violence. The withdrawal followed calls from the government and senior militia...

A protester walks past a poster with a defaced picture of the governor of the southern Basra province Asaad al-Eidani and Arabic that reads

Iran-backed groups accuse Iraqi president of caving to US

Dec. 27, 2019 6:11 PM EST

BAGHDAD (AP) — Iran-supported groups on Friday blasted Iraq's president for not naming their preferred prime minister candidate, saying his decision was at the behest of the United States, and warned him not to designate anyone who could be “an agent of the Americans.” In refusing to appoint...