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Iraq

Houthis Target Saudi Arms Depot

Voice of America - 5 hours 21 min ago
Yemen's Houthi rebels said Tuesday they attacked an arms depot in the southern Saudi city of Najran. A spokesman for the Saudi-led coalition fighting the Houthis in Yemen said the attack involved a drone carrying explosives, and that it targeted a facility used by civilians. The Saudi report did not mention any casualties. On Monday, Saudi Arabia said it intercepted two Houthi missiles fired from Yemen, stopping one over the city of Taif and the other over Jiddah. The Houthis...
Categories: Iraq

Trump Officials to Brief Congress on Iranian Threat

Voice of America - 8 hours 38 min ago
WASHINGTON- Michael Bowman on Capitol Hill contributed to this report. Senior Trump administration officials are due to brief members of Congress in closed-door sessions Tuesday about the military threat the White House says Iran poses in the Middle East. Among those going to Capitol Hill are Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan and Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Joseph Dunford. They are planning to talk with lawmakers after days of...
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What Is Behind Protests Against US-Backed Forces in Eastern Syria?

Voice of America - Tue, 05/21/2019 - 04:44
VOA's Saleh Damiger contributed to this story. WASHINGTON — For three consecutive weeks, residents in parts of the eastern Syrian province of Deir el-Zour have been protesting against U.S.-backed forces that recently defeated Islamic State in its last stronghold there.  With help from the U.S., Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), a Kurdish-led military alliance, has controlled large parts of eastern Syria after removing IS militants from the region. But rising food prices, lack...
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Water Supply to Libyan Capital in Jeopardy After Attack    

Voice of America - Mon, 05/20/2019 - 22:36
The United Nations is expressing concern over the reported cut-off of water to the Libyan capital, Tripoli.  "Yesterday, an armed group stormed Tripoli's main water distribution station and has reportedly closed the water valves supplying Tripoli and other cities in the northwest of the country, including Gharyan and Al Zawayih, potentially affecting some two million people and their access to water," U.N. spokesperson Stephane Dujarric told reporters on Monday. He...
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WFP: Houthi Obstruction May Force Aid Suspension in Parts of Yemen

Voice of America - Mon, 05/20/2019 - 21:58
The World Food Program warned Monday that it may have to suspend the distribution of food aid in Houthi rebel-controlled areas of Yemen, if the group does not stop obstructing its work. In a statement, the United Nations food agency said humanitarian workers are being denied access to the hungry, aid convoys have been blocked and local authorities have interfered with food distribution. The agency also accuses the rebels of interfering with the independent selection of people to receive...
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Iran Quadruples Uranium Enrichment 

Voice of America - Mon, 05/20/2019 - 19:50
Michael Bowman of Capitol Hill contributed to this report. WASHINGTON — Iran said Monday it has quadrupled its uranium enrichment capacity as the war of words between Tehran and Washington shows little sign of cooling off. Iranian officials say the uranium will be enriched for civilian energy uses, far below weapons grade as spelled out in the 2015 nuclear agreement. Enriching uranium means concentrating the element's radioactive component. Natural uranium has less than one...
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Yemen's War: Children Paying the Price

Voice of America - Mon, 05/20/2019 - 18:00
When the blast went off in early April, shrapnel hit homes and schools all over the quiet residential neighborhood of the Yemeni capital.   Windows shattered and the 2,000 girls in a nearby school tried to evacuate at once, many racing down the stairs and some dying in the stampede.   Safia Al-Wesabi, a 10-year-old student of the Al-Ra'ai School, made it out safely, but she couldn't find her older, teen-aged sister outside. "I was sobbing," she said....
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Zarif Suggests Trump 'Try Respect' Instead of Threats

Voice of America - Mon, 05/20/2019 - 14:14
Nike Ching at the State Department and Carla Babb at the Pentagon contributed to this report. Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif suggested Monday that U.S. President Donald Trump "try respect" instead of issuing threats. He was responding to a Twitter post Sunday in which Trump said: "If Iran wants to fight, that will the official end of Iran. Never threaten the United States again!" Zarif said Trump, under pressure from a group that includes his...
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Egyptian Forces Kill 12 Suspected Militants in Raids

Voice of America - Mon, 05/20/2019 - 12:47
Egypt's interior ministry said security forces killed 12 suspected militants during raids Monday near Cairo. A ministry statement linked the militants to Hasm, an armed affiliate of the Muslim Brotherhood, and said authorities found explosives, weapons and ammunitions at two different raid sites. The operation came a day after a roadside bomb hit a tourist bus near Egypt's Giza pyramids. That blast wounded 17 people. There was no claim of responsibility for the bomb attack,...
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Trump: Fighting the US Will Be 'Official End of Iran'

Voice of America - Mon, 05/20/2019 - 01:52
Nike Ching at the State Department and Carla Babb at the Pentagon contributed to this report. President Donald Trump has given a strong warning to Iran, threatening its destruction if it attacks the United States or U.S. interests. "If Iran wants to fight, that will be the official end of Iran," Trump tweeted Sunday. "Never threaten the United States again!" Just three days earlier, Trump appeared to be backing away from his apparently hawkish stance...
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Saudi, UAE See Sufficient Oil Supplies, Rising Stocks

Voice of America - Mon, 05/20/2019 - 01:39
Oil supplies were sufficient and stockpiles were still rising despite massive output drops from Iran and Venezuela, said OPEC kingpin Saudi Arabia and key producer UAE on Sunday, as oil exporters met in Jeddah. Producer nations discussed how to stabilize a volatile oil market amid rising U.S.-Iran tensions in the Gulf, which threaten to disrupt global supply. But "we see that (oil) inventories are rising and supplies are plenty," Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih told...
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Palestinians Cast Doubt on US-Led, Economy-Focused Peace Conference

Voice of America - Mon, 05/20/2019 - 00:11
Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh cast doubt Monday on a U.S.-led conference set to be held in Bahrain next month focusing on what the White House says would be economic benefits for Palestinians if a peace deal can be reached with Israel. Speaking at a Cabinet meeting, Shtayyeh stressed the need for a political deal with Israel that resolves a number of longstanding issues, including borders, none of which are on the agenda for the economic conference in Manama. He said the...
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As Tensions Rise, US Lawmakers Await Briefings on Iran

Voice of America - Sun, 05/19/2019 - 23:25
In word and deed, the administration of President Donald Trump has been sounding the alarm over Iran and its proxies. “If American interests are attacked, we will most certainly respond in an appropriate fashion,” U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo warned last week. Later this week, U.S. officials are expected to brief lawmakers on what has led the administration to strengthen America’s military posture in the Middle East, while evacuating non-essential personnel from diplomatic...
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As Tensions Rise, US Lawmakers Await Briefings on Iran

Voice of America - Sun, 05/19/2019 - 22:37
Later this week, U.S. officials are expected to brief lawmakers on what has led the Trump administration to strengthen America’s military posture in the Middle East, while evacuating non-essential personnel from diplomatic facilities in Iraq. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, members of Congress of both parties have been demanding the White House share information about perceived threats from Iran.
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Iraqi Officials Call Exxon Withdrawal 'Unacceptable'

Voice of America - Sun, 05/19/2019 - 17:22
Iraq called ExxonMobil's decision to evacuate its staff from the oil-rich country "unacceptable and unjustified" Sunday. Iraq claims the American company withdrew all of their staff, some 60 people, days after the U.S. withdrew non-emergency staff members from its embassy in the Iraqi capital of Baghdad, apparently due to concerns over perceived threats from neighboring Iran. "The temporary withdrawal of employees has nothing to do with security in southern Iraqi oil...
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16 Hurt in Egypt Tour Bus Attack Near Giza

Voice of America - Sun, 05/19/2019 - 17:00
At least 16 people were injured in a blast targeting a bus near Egypt's Giza pyramids Sunday, security sources said. Officials said the bus was carrying 28 people, most of them South African tourists. Videos circulating online show the bus windows blown out or shattered. Egyptian Tourism Minister Rania Al Mashat tweeted: "Of the 28 passengers on the bus we can confirm some minor injuries with three being treated at the hospital as a precaution." There was no...
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Saudi Arabia to Iran: We Don’t Want War, Will Defend Ourselves

Voice of America - Sun, 05/19/2019 - 11:50
Saudi Arabia said Sunday that it wants to avert war in the region but stands ready to respond with “all strength” following last week’s attacks on Saudi oil assets, telling Iran that the ball was now in its court. Riyadh has accused Tehran of ordering Tuesday’s drone strikes on two oil pumping stations in the kingdom, claimed by Yemen’s Iran-aligned Houthi group. Two days earlier, four vessels, including two Saudi oil tankers, were sabotaged off the coast of the United Arab...
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Fan Votes Lift The Netherlands to Eurovision Song Contest Win

Voice of America - Sun, 05/19/2019 - 05:03
The Netherlands won the 2019 Eurovision Song Contest in Tel Aviv Saturday, with Duncan Laurence’s doleful piano ballad “Arcade” crowned champion of Europe’s annual music extravaganza. The 25-year-old was tapped as an early front-runner before the Grand Final but was only ranked third after the vote of professional juries from the 41 participating countries, trailing Sweden and North Macedonia. He surged ahead thanks to the fan vote, securing The Netherlands its fifth win ever in the...
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Saudi Crown Prince, Pompeo Discuss Mideast Developments

Voice of America - Sun, 05/19/2019 - 02:03
Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman discussed regional developments, including efforts to strengthen security and stability, in a phone call with U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, the Saudi Media Ministry tweeted on Sunday. The announcement came hours after Saudi Arabia's King Salman invited Persian Gulf and Arab leaders to convene emergency summits to discuss the implications of this week's attacks against...
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Syrian State Media: Projectiles Fired From Israeli Territory

Voice of America - Sun, 05/19/2019 - 00:44
Syrian air defenses targeted projectiles fired from the direction of Israel for the second night in a row, Syrian state media said Saturday.  The projectiles came from "occupied territory" into the airspace in southern Syria, state news agency SANA said, referring to territory held by Israel. Israel's military declined to comment on the report.  Israel has been more open in recent months about targeting sites inside Syria...
Categories: Iraq