Middle East Updates / ISIS claims to have shot down Iraqi fighter plane

Sunni volunteers in Iraq's anti-ISIS Popular Mobilization force. (AFP)


4:55 A.M. Marine found guilty of murder in retrial for 2006 civilian killing

A U.S. Marine sergeant was convicted Wednesday of murdering an Iraqi civilian in 2006, the second time a military jury has returned a guilty verdict in what has become one of the most complicated and long-running criminal cases from the Iraq War.

The jury of three enlisted men and three military officers found Sgt. Lawrence Hutchins III guilty of unpremeditated murder. The jury also found him guilty of conspiracy and larceny because prosecutors say he stole the AK-47 and the shovel that were planted near the body during the April 26, 2006, incident. But he was found not guilty of falsifying an official statement. (AP)

2:35 A.M. ISIS claims to have shot down Iraqi fighter plane 

Islamic State said on Thursday it had shot down an Iraqi fighter plane north of the city of Ramadi in Anbar Province. It was not immediately possible to independently confirm the claim made on one of ISIS’s Twitter accounts.

A member of an anti-ISIS Sunni force called Sahwa (Awakening) said an Iraqi fighter jet, a Russian-made Su-25, was seen in flames as it crashed after being shot down north of Ramadi.

The ISIS Twitter site said the fighter jet had been shot down as it conducted a raid on areas north of Ramadi, the provincial capital of Sunni heartland Anbar. (Reuters)

2:21 A.M. UNSC urges Libyan rivals to accept power-sharing peace deal

The UN Security Council urged all Libyan parties to accept a peace deal that requires the internationally recognized government to share power with rival Islamists who control the capital.

Bernardino Leon, the UN envoy leading talks aimed at stemming Libya’s collapse, had hoped to win consensus over the deal before the Muslim holy month of Ramadan which starts Thursday. But Libya’s internationally recognized parliament dropped out of the talks last week in protest at the plan which would mean sharing power with its rivals.

The Security Council stressed that “there can be no military solution to the crisis in Libya and that reaching a political agreement leading to the formation of a government of national accord is critical to ending Libya’s political, security and institutional crises, and to confront the rising threat of terrorism.” (AP)

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