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Iraq

Iraqi PM Says 3-Year War Against IS Has Ended

Voice of America - Sat, 12/09/2017 - 17:56
Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi announced Saturday that the three-year war aimed at driving Islamic State out of Iraq was successful and has come to an end. "Our forces are in complete control of the Iraqi-Syrian border and I therefore announce the end of the war against Daesh [IS]," Abadi said at a conference in Baghdad that was arranged by the Iraqi journalists' union. The announcement came two days after Russia said it had defeated IS in Syria, where Moscow is...
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Earthquake Kills Over 100 at Iran-Iraq Border

NY Times Iraq - Sat, 12/09/2017 - 17:20
The 7.3 magnitude quake, which was centered in eastern Iraq, killed over 100 people in Iran, according to the country’s National Medical Emergency Service.
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Israeli Airstrikes Hit Gaza as Protests Around the World Continue Against Trump's Jerusalem Decision

Voice of America - Sat, 12/09/2017 - 15:02
Israeli airstrikes on the Gaza Strip in response to rocket fire from Gaza killed two men Saturday, in the latest fallout from the announcement from U.S. President Donald Trump that Washington is recognizing Jerusalem as Israel's capital and plans to move its Israeli embassy there. Hamas said two of its gunmen were killed in the strikes.   An Israeli army statement said the target of the strikes were "two weapons manufacturing sites, a weapons warehouse and a military...
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Protesters Lash Out at Trump Across Muslim World

Voice of America - Sat, 12/09/2017 - 07:31
Large crowds of protesters across the Muslim world staged anti-U.S. marches Friday after the United States recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, with protests in Gaza leading to the death of one Palestinian man. The Palestinian, Mahmoud al-Masri, 30, was killed by Israeli soldiers during clashes along the Israel-Gaza border after Palestinians called for a “Day of Rage” to protest the U.S. action. The Israeli military confirmed that it shot two people in Khan Yunis in southern Gaza,...
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US Military Kills 5 al-Qaida Militants in Yemen

Voice of America - Sat, 12/09/2017 - 02:40
The U.S. military said Friday that its airstrikes had killed five al-Qaida militants in central Yemen.  A Central Command statement  said the strikes, which took place November 20 in Bayda province, had killed Mujahid al-Adani, an al-Qaida leader, and four associates. It said al-Adani was responsible for planning and conducting terrorist attacks against Yemeni and coalition forces. The statement said he had a significant influence in al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula,...
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US Isolated at United Nations Over Jerusalem Decision

Voice of America - Sat, 12/09/2017 - 01:17
Some of the United States' oldest allies turned their backs on Washington's decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital and relocate its embassy there, during an emergency meeting of the U.N. Security Council on Friday. "It contradicts international law and U.N. Security Council resolutions," Swedish Ambassador Olof Skoog told the council. "Jerusalem is a final status issue and can therefore only be resolved through negotiations agreed between the...
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Tillerson: US Embassy Move Does Not Affect Jerusalem's Final Status

Voice of America - Fri, 12/08/2017 - 23:24
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said it is up to Palestinian and Israeli negotiators to determine Jerusalem's ultimate status despite the Trump administration's decision this week to recognize the city as Israel's capital and move the U.S. embassy there. Tillerson, who joined an international meeting to shore up support for Lebanon, spoke amid ongoing clashes and protests following President Donald Trump's statement. Tillerson told reporters the move, likely to take...
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Tillerson Urges Saudi Arabia to Curb Military Role in Yemen

Voice of America - Fri, 12/08/2017 - 20:52
U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson urged Saudi Arabia Friday to curb its military intervention in Yemen, a country in the throes of a humanitarian crisis triggered by a two-year civil war. "We would encourage them to be a bit more measured and a bit more thoughtful," Tillerson said of Saudi Arabia after the Arab kingdom imposed a blockade on Yemen last month. The secretary's comments in Paris came two days after President Donald Trump directed his administration to...
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Palestinian Killed in Middle East 'Day of Rage' Reaction to Trump's Jerusalem Move

Voice of America - Fri, 12/08/2017 - 15:37
A Palestinian man was killed by Israeli soldiers in Gaza Friday during clashes in a "Day of Rage" called for by Palestinians after the United States recognized Jerusalem as Israel's capital. The health ministry confirmed Mahmoud al-Masri, 30, was killed in clashes along the Israel-Gaza border. The Israeli military confirmed that it shot two people in Khan Yunis in southern Gaza, accusing them of being "main instigators" of "violent riots." Israeli...
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Protests Against US Recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's Capital Continue Friday

Voice of America - Fri, 12/08/2017 - 09:05
Protests unleashed by U.S. President Donald Trump's decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital continue in the Palestinian territories and outside U.S. missions elsewhere. Dozens have been wounded in clashes between Israeli soldiers and Palestinian protesters in the West Bank and Gaza. Muslims in other countries took to the streets Thursday in solidarity. The violence could worsen Friday when Muslims attend weekly prayers at Jerusalem's Al Aqsa mosque. VOA's Zlatica...
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White House: Trump Decision on Jerusalem Doesn't Kill Peace Process

Voice of America - Fri, 12/08/2017 - 04:30
The White House on Thursday denied that the president's announcement on moving the U.S. Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem meant his administration was pulling out of the Middle East peace process. "In fact, in the president's remarks, he said that we are as committed to the peace process as ever, and we want to continue to push forward in those conversations and those discussions," White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters. "And hopefully...
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Why It Matters: The US Pivot on Jerusalem

Voice of America - Fri, 12/08/2017 - 03:28
Breaking with decades of U.S. policy, President Donald Trump on Wednesday recognized Jerusalem as Israel's capital, a declaration that set off a wave of clashes between Palestinians and Israeli forces and drew sharp criticism from U.S. allies in the Middle East and beyond. Here's a look at why U.S. recognition of the holy city as Israel's capital matters. Jerusalem's current status Israel has considered Jerusalem its capital since the state's establishment in...
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White House Says It Believes Saudi Arabia Will Open Yemen Port

Voice of America - Fri, 12/08/2017 - 02:14
The White House said on Thursday it believed that Saudi Arabia would allow a blocked port in Yemen to open after President Donald Trump urged Riyadh to lift a blockade to let humanitarian aid reach the Yemeni people. The Saudi-led military coalition fighting the Iran-aligned armed Houthi movement in Yemen's civil war started blockading ports a month ago after Saudi Arabia intercepted a missile fired toward its capital Riyadh from Yemen. Reliant on imports Although the blockade...
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Analysis: Jerusalem Decision Could Boost Extremist Islamist Parties

Voice of America - Fri, 12/08/2017 - 01:40
Islamist parties are using the U.S. decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital as a rallying cry that likely will resound in upcoming election campaigns in Muslim-dominated countries. U.S. President Donald Trump’s announcement on Wednesday sparked protests in a number of countries, with clashes breaking out with security forces in Palestinian territories. More crowds are expected from Indonesia to Turkey after Friday prayers. It’s unclear how deep and lasting the outbreak of...
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Russia Says IS Has Been Defeated in Syria

Voice of America - Fri, 12/08/2017 - 01:35
Russia's military said Thursday that its mission to oust the Islamic State group in Syria had been accomplished and that the country was "completely liberated" from the group. "The Russian armed forces' goal to defeat armed groups of the ISIL terrorist organization in Syria has been accomplished," Sergei Rudskoi, in charge of the general staff's main operations department, told reporters, using an alternative acronym for the group. "There is...
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US State Department Braces for Violent Fallout from Jerusalem Recognition

Voice of America - Fri, 12/08/2017 - 00:45
The State Department has issued security warnings at scores of U.S. embassies around the world, bracing for protests or violence from President Donald Trump's decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital. At the United Nations, American diplomats are preparing for a meeting Friday called by eight of the 15 Security Council members, including close U.S. allies Britain, Italy and France. Reaction around the world has been almost universally critical of the decision, which...
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UN: Sale of Migrants as Slaves in Libya May Be Crime Against Humanity

Voice of America - Fri, 12/08/2017 - 00:24
The sale of migrants into slavery in Libya may amount to crimes against humanity, the United Nations Security Council said Thursday, voicing "grave concern" after footage appearing to show Africans being auctioned there sparked global outrage. The 15-member council unanimously adopted a formal statement calling on Libyan authorities to investigate the reports of migrants being sold and bring the perpetrators to justice. Libya's U.N.-backed government last month said it...
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Kurdish Leader Goes on Trial in Turkey Facing 142 Years in Jail

Voice of America - Thu, 12/07/2017 - 21:57
The trial of Kurdish opposition party leader Selahattin Demirtas has started in Ankara. Demirtas is charged with terrorism and has been held for more than a year in pretrial detention. The case is drawing growing international criticism. Supporters of the jailed Kurdish leader gathered outside Ankara’s Sincan prison, where the Kurdish leader’s trial began Thursday.   In a 500 page indictment, Demirtas is accused of leading a terrorist organization, spreading terrorist propaganda,...
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Palestinians Dismiss US Role After Jerusalem Pivot

Voice of America - Thu, 12/07/2017 - 21:31
The dramatic U.S. policy shift on contested Jerusalem is seen by the Western-backed Palestinian leadership as a dangerous betrayal and game changer that is bound to propel them into a risky confrontation with the U.S. and Israel on the global stage. Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas hasn't decided yet whether to formally abandon U.S.-led negotiations with Israel, a troubled process that after two decades has failed to bring the Palestinians closer to statehood. However, those close to...
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Putin to Visit Egypt Next Week

Voice of America - Thu, 12/07/2017 - 19:43
The Kremlin says President Vladimir Putin will visit Egypt next week to discuss expanding political, economic, energy and trade ties.   During Monday's trip the Russian leader will hold talks with Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi on issues related to stability and security in the Middle East and North Africa.   Putin's visit follows the Russian government's announcement last week that Moscow and Cairo have drafted an agreement for Russian warplanes to use...
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