in Iraq


UN Decries Surge in Attacks on Hospitals in Syria's Idlib 

Voice of America - Fri, 05/17/2019 - 23:46
The United Nations condemned attacks on health facilities in Syria's northwest Idlib province Friday and warned that a military offensive there by the Bashar al-Assad regime with Russian support risked "catastrophic humanitarian fallout" if it continued.    "Since late April, this escalation in violence has reportedly killed and injured over a hundred civilians and further displaced 180,000," U.N. political chief Rosemary DiCarlo...
Categories: Iraq

Western Powers Clash at UN with Russia, Syria over Syrian Hospital Attacks

Voice of America - Fri, 05/17/2019 - 23:25
The United Nations said on Friday at least 18 health centers have been attacked in the past three weeks in northwestern Syria, prompting a confrontation between western powers and Russia and Syria at the Security Council over who is to blame. While the area is nominally protected by a Russian-Turkish deal agreed in September to avert a new battle, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's forces — backed by Russians — have launched an offensive on the last major insurgent stronghold. Some...
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Egypt's President Pardons Hundreds, Including Prominent Journalist

Voice of America - Fri, 05/17/2019 - 20:46
Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi has pardoned hundreds of prisoners and a prominent journalist who had criticized the country's establishment. Journalist Abdel Halim Qandil was pardoned after receiving a three-year jail sentence following a December 2017 conviction for "insulting the judiciary," the official journal of the Arab Republic of Egypt reported Thursday. Qandil was tried on the same charges with 17 other defendants, including ousted Muslim Brotherhood...
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Iran’s Regional Proxies Ensure It Will Never Fight Alone

Voice of America - Fri, 05/17/2019 - 20:31
In the event of war with the United States, Iran “will not be alone.” That message was delivered by the leader of Lebanon’s Hezbollah militant group to a mass rally in Beirut in February marking the 40th anniversary of Iran’s Islamic Revolution. “If America launches war on Iran, it will not be alone in the confrontation, because the fate of our region is tied to the Islamic Republic,” Hassan Nasrallah said. From Lebanon and Syria to Iraq, Yemen, and the Gaza Strip, Tehran has...
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Palestinian Demonstrators Cancel Weekly Protest

Voice of America - Fri, 05/17/2019 - 20:08
Weekly protests at the border between Israel and Gaza were canceled Friday due to high temperatures and the Ramadan fast. The organizing committee of the protests made the announcement Friday, noting also that a big demonstration took place on Wednesday to recognize Nakba Day, or "Day of Catastrophe," the anniversary of May 15, 1948, when Palestinians were displaced from their homes for the creation of the State of Israel. It is only the second time the weekly protests...
Categories: Iraq

Airstrike Kills, Injures Dozens of Civilians in Yemeni Capital

Voice of America - Fri, 05/17/2019 - 19:21
U.N. agencies are expressing anger and sadness at the deaths and injuries of dozens of civilians, including children, hit by airstrikes on the Yemeni capital, Sanaa, Thursday night. This is just the latest tragedy to hit Yemen, which has been at war for more than four years.The U.N. human rights office reports nearly 7,000 civilians have been killed and 10,800 wounded as of November 2018. Most of the deaths and injuries are due to aerial bombardments by the Saudi-led coalition, it...
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Lloyd's Raises Gulf Insurance Risks After Ship Attacks

Voice of America - Fri, 05/17/2019 - 18:30
Lloyd's of London insurance market on Friday widened its list of areas in and around the Gulf posing "enhanced risk for marine insurers" after attacks on ships off the UAE. Lloyd's said that the Gulf, part of the Gulf of Oman, Oman and the United Arab Emirates had been added to the list. Saudi Arabia's risk areas were meanwhile expanded to include its coasts. It comes after marine insurers in London began Thursday an extraordinary meeting to discuss the situation...
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Iranian Military Official: Missiles Capable of Striking Warships in Gulf

Voice of America - Fri, 05/17/2019 - 17:32
A senior member of Iran's elite Revolutionary Guard Corps said Friday Iranian short-range missiles can "easily" reach warships in the Persian Gulf, according to the semi-official Fars news agency. Revolutionary Guard deputy chief Mohammad Saleh Jokar's comments came amid rising tensions with the United States. The U.S. has increased its military presence in the region by deploying additional ships and tightened sanctions against Iran to counter alleged threats from...
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Algeria Election May Be Postponed, Protests Continue

Voice of America - Fri, 05/17/2019 - 17:01
Algeria's imminent presidential election looks likely to be postponed, a source said on Friday, as protesters returned to the streets for the 13th successive Friday to demand the removal of the nation's ruling elite. After two decades in power, President Abdelaziz Bouteflika quit last month under pressure from protesters and the army, but demonstrations have continued seeking political reforms and the removal of all officials belonging to the old guard. A presidential election...
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US Standoff With Iran Conjures Specter of Iraq War

Voice of America - Fri, 05/17/2019 - 08:36
U.S. President Donald Trump held a closed meeting Thursday with Swiss President Ueli Maurer at the White House. The White House said Trump expressed his "gratitude for Switzerland's role in facilitating international mediation and diplomatic relations on behalf of the United States." Meanwhile, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif visited Japan, where he accused the U.S. of "escalations." VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports U.S. lawmakers voiced their concerns...
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Russia Presents UN Measure to Rein in Chemical Weapons Watchdog

Voice of America - Fri, 05/17/2019 - 04:20
Russia on Thursday presented a draft resolution to the Security Council accusing the UN's chemical weapons watchdog, the OPCW, of politicization just before a new probe begins of chemical attacks in Syria. The draft text, seen by AFP, states that the Council — where Russia holds veto power — is the only international body that can impose measures on countries that violate the Chemical Weapons Convention. The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) agreed last...
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Khashoggi Fiancee: World 'Still Has Not Done Anything'

Voice of America - Fri, 05/17/2019 - 01:42
Hatice Cengiz, the fiancee of Jamal Khashoggi, the journalist slain at a Saudi Arabian consulate in Turkey last year, said Thursday that she could not believe that no one has yet faced serious consequences for the crime.  "I cannot understand that the world still has not done anything about this," Cengiz told a U.S. House of Representatives Foreign Affairs subcommittee, speaking in Turkish through an interpreter.  "I...
Categories: Iraq

Saudi Arabia Accuses Iran of Ordering Drone Attack on Oil Pipeline

Voice of America - Thu, 05/16/2019 - 19:15
Saudi Arabia’s deputy defense minister on Thursday accused Iran of ordering an attack on Saudi oil pumping stations that Yemen’s Iran-aligned Houthi militia has claimed responsibility for. The attack “proves that these militias are merely a tool that Iran’s regime uses to implement its expansionist agenda,” tweeted Prince Khalid bin Salman, a son of King Salman. “The terrorist acts, ordered by the regime in Tehran, and carried out by the Houthis, are tightening the noose around the...
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'I Hope Not,' Trump Says on Possibility of War With Iran

Voice of America - Thu, 05/16/2019 - 18:46
Michael Bowman and Shahla Arasteh contributed to this report. President Donald Trump says he hopes the U.S. is not going to war with Iran amid rising tensions in the Middle East, as an Iran diplomat downplayed such prospects. "I hope not," Trump said when asked about the possibility of a conflict with Tehran as he began talks with Swiss President Ueli Maurer.  The U.S. and Iran do not have diplomatic ties but Switzerland represents U.S. interests in the Middle Eastern...
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Sudanese Protesters Divided Over Barricade Removal Order

Voice of America - Thu, 05/16/2019 - 18:11
Arguments, shouting matches, and physical tussles broke out late Wednesday among Sudanese protesters over the positioning of barricades surrounding a sit-in in the capital Khartoum, where thousands of demonstrators have camped since April 6. The barricades, built from rock and twisted metal, protect the sit-in, which is intended to pressure the leaders of a military coup that ousted long-time dictator Omar al-Bashir on April 11. The protesters have been demanding coup-leaders, known as...
Categories: Iraq

Fears of US War With Iran Weigh on Spain

Voice of America - Thu, 05/16/2019 - 17:44
Spain this week withdrew a frigate assigned to a U.S. navy task force ordered into the Persian Gulf. The decision is widely seen as reflecting persistent fears of Spain's socialist government about getting involved in a possible war with Iran.   The government of Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez made the decision despite the risk of further straining frayed relations with the United States that could endanger major U.S. defense contracts with Spain's expanding naval...
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Facebook Busts Israeli-Led Campaign to Sway Elections

Voice of America - Thu, 05/16/2019 - 17:22
Facebook has announced it removed 265 Facebook and Instagram accounts, pages, groups, and events from its service Thursday because of what it called "coordinated inauthentic behavior." In a statement, the company said the objectionable activity originated in Israel and focused on events in Nigeria, Senegal, Togo, Angola, Niger, and Tunisia, along with some activity in Latin America and Southeast Asia. Facebook said "the people behind this network used fake accounts to...
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Moody's: Turkey Needs Credible Economic Plan to Avoid Downgrade

Voice of America - Thu, 05/16/2019 - 16:47
Turkey needs to put a comprehensive and credible economic plan in place if it is to avoid another cut to sovereign credit rating, a senior Moody's sovereign analyst said on Thursday. New analysis from the rating agency shows Turkey's recession, the slump in the lira, upcoming refinancing pressures and dwindling reserves have pushed it to right near the top of its worldwide external vulnerability index. "Failure to put forward a credible broad-based plan to address the...
Categories: Iraq

Zarif: Iran Has Right to Respond to 'Unacceptable' US Sanctions

Voice of America - Thu, 05/16/2019 - 15:39
Iran's foreign minister on Thursday said sanctions imposed by the Trump administration are “unacceptable” but that his country is committed to an international nuclear deal that has steadily unraveled amid rising tensions. On a visit to Tokyo, Mohammad Zarif defended Iran's right to respond to the U.S. pullout from the nuclear deal last year and the imposition of sanctions. “We believe that escalation by the United States is unacceptable and uncalled for. We have exercised...
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Saudi-Led Airstrikes Hit Yemen's Capital

Voice of America - Thu, 05/16/2019 - 15:03
The Saudi-led coalition backing Yemen's government carried out a series of airstrikes Thursday in Sanaa that killed at least six people. The airstrikes hit multiple targets in the city and damaged several houses. Sanaa has been under the control of Iran-backed Houthi rebels since late 2014, and the airstrikes come days after the Houthis claimed responsibility for drone attacks against an oil pipeline in Saudi Arabia. The Saudi deputy defense minister, Khalid bin Salman, accused...
Categories: Iraq