in Iraq


In Ramallah, UN Chief Reiterates Support for Two-state Solution

Voice of America - Tue, 08/29/2017 - 19:06
U.N. Secretary General Antonio Guterres said Tuesday that a two-state solution remains the only path to peace for Israel and the Palestinians. "I want to express very strongly the total commitment of the United Nations and my personal total commitment to the two-state solution," Guterres said after meeting Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah in Ramallah, after having spoken with Israeli leadership the day before. Guterres also spoke on Israeli settlements in the West...
Categories: Iraq

Lebanon's Negotiated IS Evacuation Angers Many

Voice of America - Tue, 08/29/2017 - 18:27
Buses carrying hundreds of Islamic State militants and their families arrived in eastern Syria on Tuesday following a negotiated evacuation from the Lebanon-Syria border, where the U.S.-backed Lebanese army deployed for the first time in years.   The evacuation agreement, the first such publicized deal concluded with the extremist group, angered many Iraqis, who accused Syria and Hezbollah of dumping the militants on the Iraqi border rather than eradicating them.   Some 600...
Categories: Iraq

Russia, UAE Tell North Korea: Stop Your 'Provocations'

Voice of America - Tue, 08/29/2017 - 18:06
The foreign ministers of Russia and the United Arab Emirates urged North Korea on Tuesday to stop its provocations and obey United Nations resolutions, after Pyongyang's launch of a ballistic missile over Japan. Speaking in Abu Dhabi, the two ministers offered a forceful warning for Pyongyang, with Emirati Foreign Minister Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan particularly calling for North Korea to stop its "provocations." But what was left unsaid between the two ministers was...
Categories: Iraq

Israeli Prime Minister Says No Withdrawal From Settlements

Voice of America - Tue, 08/29/2017 - 16:17
Israel's prime minister on Tuesday vowed to never uproot any West Bank settlement — just days after a White House envoy was in the region trying to restart peace talks with the Palestinians. Benjamin Netanyahu's comments enraged the Palestinians and raised new questions about the slow start for U.S. peace efforts led by White House adviser Jared Kushner.   Netanyahu spoke at a ceremony Monday night in Barkan, a settlement in the northern West Bank.   "We have...
Categories: Iraq

Study: Blasphemy Laws on Books in One-third of Nations

Voice of America - Tue, 08/29/2017 - 05:47
Laws prohibiting blasphemy are “astonishingly widespread” worldwide, with many laying down disproportionate punishments ranging from prison sentences to lashings or the death penalty, the lead author of a report on blasphemy said. Iran, Pakistan, and Yemen score worst, topping a list of 71 countries with laws criminalizing views deemed blasphemous, found in all regions, according to a comprehensive report issued this month by the U.S. Commission on International Religious...
Categories: Iraq

After Deal, IS Allowed to Leave Syria-Lebanon Border Area

Voice of America - Mon, 08/28/2017 - 22:21
Islamic State militants and their families began leaving a border area between Lebanon and Syria on Monday as part of a controversial negotiated deal with the extremist group to end its presence there, Lebanese and Syrian media reported. An unidentified number of militants and their families headed in buses toward a town held by the Islamic State group in far eastern Syria, near the border with Iraq. The evacuation will effectively end the presence of Sunni militant groups on the...
Categories: Iraq

New Hamas Leader Says It Is Getting Aid Again from Iran

Voice of America - Mon, 08/28/2017 - 22:11
Hamas' new leader in the Gaza Strip said Monday his group has repaired relations with Iran after a five-year rift and is using its newfound financial and military aid to gear up for new hostilities with Israel. The announcement by Yehiyeh Sinwar came as U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres was visiting Israel. At a meeting with the U.N. chief, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu complained about what he called rising anti-Israel activity by Iran and its allies in the...
Categories: Iraq

Lawyer Says 2 Americans Serving 10 Years in Iran Lose Appeal

Voice of America - Mon, 08/28/2017 - 21:24
An Iranian-American businessman and his father, who are serving 10-year prison sentences in Iran over their ties to the U.S., have lost a court appeal, a lawyer said Monday. Siamak Namazi and his 81-year-old father Baquer, who are among several dual nationals detained in Iran, learned Sunday that the Tehran Appeals Court denied their appeal, Washington-based lawyer Jared Genser said. Iranian officials and state media did not immediately acknowledge the failed appeal. The court's...
Categories: Iraq

Victim's Daughter Testifies at Lebanon Assassination Trial

Voice of America - Mon, 08/28/2017 - 19:16
The daughter of a victim of a 2005 bombing that killed Lebanon's former prime minister and 21 others testified before an international court Monday about the frantic days of hunting for traces of her father after the explosion as her hopes of finding him alive ebbed away. Lama Ghalayini was the first of seven witnesses who are expected to testify before the Netherlands-based Special Tribunal for Lebanon over the next two weeks at the marathon trial in absentia of four suspects in the...
Categories: Iraq

Baghdad Car Bomb Kills 10

Voice of America - Mon, 08/28/2017 - 14:46
A car bomb exploded Monday in Baghdad, killing at least 10 people and wounding 28 others. The blast happened in the mainly Shi'ite Sadr City section of the Iraqi capital. Members of Iraq's security forces were among the casualties. There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the bombing.
Categories: Iraq

Jordan, Germany Said to Disagree on Status of German Troops

Voice of America - Sun, 08/27/2017 - 20:51
A Jordanian official said Sunday that Jordan is negotiating with Germany over the legal status of German troops to be stationed in the kingdom, amid reports that disagreements delayed deployment. The German magazine Der Spiegel reported that Germany seeks immunity in Jordan for 250 soldiers who are part of the U.S.-led campaign against Islamic State group extremists. The report says Jordan balked at the demand.   The Jordanian official said talks with Germany are "subject to...
Categories: Iraq

Military: Iraqi Forces Retake Most of Tal Afar From Islamic State

Voice of America - Sun, 08/27/2017 - 18:30
Iraqi forces have retaken almost all of Tal Afar, Islamic State's stronghold in the country's northwest, the Iraqi military said on Sunday. After just eight days of fighting, all 29 neighborhoods in Tal Afar city had been taken back from the militant group, the military said in a statement on Sunday. However, fighting was ongoing in al-'Ayadiya, a small area 11 kilometers northwest of the city, where militants who fled the district's city center were hiding out, Iraqi...
Categories: Iraq

<div>Iran Out to Remake Mideast With Arab Enforcer: Hezbollah</div>

NY Times Iraq - Sun, 08/27/2017 - 18:11
The “Party of God” has evolved from a Lebanese militant group into the spearhead of an international militia network led by Tehran.
Categories: Iraq

Saudi Factory Stitches Gold-Laced Cover for Islam's Holiest Site

Voice of America - Sun, 08/27/2017 - 12:33
Dozens of Saudi craftsmen, mostly in their 40s and 50s, are hard at work in a factory in Mecca preparing an embroidered black and gold cloth to cover the Kaaba, the holiest site in Islam. Known as the kiswa, the cloth is woven from silk and cotton and adorned with verses from the Koran. A new one is made each year to be placed on the Kaaba in Mecca's Grand Mosque during the annual Muslim haj pilgrimage, which begins on Wednesday. Many of the craftsmen have worked in the factory in...
Categories: Iraq

Emirati Filmmaker Unsettles Traditions, Exposes Hidden Lives

Voice of America - Sun, 08/27/2017 - 11:53
An Emirati filmmaker is pushing boundaries and bypassing state censors by delicately unraveling a story about a traditional Arab family grappling with issues of homosexual love, gender identity, sectarianism and women's rights. The movie focuses on a conservative Iraqi family who begin seeing and unearthing one another's secrets after the family matriarch goes blind and dies. What makes the film "Only Men Go To the Grave" particularly avant-garde is that the...
Categories: Iraq

Lebanese Army Finds Remains Believed to be Missing Soldiers Killed by IS

Voice of America - Sun, 08/27/2017 - 11:20
The Lebanese army says it has found human remains believed to belong to troops kidnapped by Islamic State forces three years ago near the Syrian border. The announcement came after the Lebanese army announced a unilateral cease-fire in its fight against the IS group along the border. A statement from the army Sunday said the cease-fire began at 0400 UTC in order to allow for negotiations linked to the fate of nine Lebanese soldiers kidnapped in August 2014. The Lebanese militant...
Categories: Iraq

Hundreds of Israelis Gather in Anti-Netanyahu Protest

Voice of America - Sat, 08/26/2017 - 23:39
Hundreds of protesters gathered in front of the Israeli attorney general's home Saturday to demand he indict Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on corruption charges. The weekly vigils have become the vanguard of a grass-roots protest movement against Netanyahu's alleged financial misdeeds and illicit ties to executives in media, international business and Hollywood. Netanyahu has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing and called the accusations against him a witch hunt orchestrated...
Categories: Iraq

Iraqi Officials: Close to Retaking Islamic State Stronghold of Tal Afar

Voice of America - Sat, 08/26/2017 - 22:59
In a surprise announcement on Saturday, Iraqi officials said they are hours or days away from recapturing Tal Afar from Islamic State militants after less than a week of battle. VOA’s Heather Murdock is on the scene with the Iraqi forces' Golden Division in Tal Afar.
Categories: Iraq

Iraqi Forces Capture Tal Afar Center From Islamic State

Voice of America - Sat, 08/26/2017 - 14:15
Iraqi forces say they have recaptured most of the northwestern Iraqi city of Tal Afar from Islamic State, including its center, and raised the flag atop its Ottoman-era citadel. "Units of the Counterterrorism Service liberated the Citadel and Basatin districts and raised the Iraqi flag on top of the citadel," the Iraqi joint operations command said in a statement. WATCH: Iraqis Say They're Close to Retaking IS Stronghold of Tal Afar "Seventy percent of the...
Categories: Iraq

In the Persian Gulf, Iran's Drones Pose Rising Threat to US

Voice of America - Fri, 08/25/2017 - 20:58
High above the Persian Gulf, an Iranian drone crosses the path of American fighter jets lining up to land on the USS Nimitz. The drone buzzes across the sky more than a mile above the massive aircraft carrier and is spotted by the fighters. It is unarmed. But for the senior Navy commanders on the ship, the presence of the enemy drone so close is worrying. Their biggest fear is the surveillance aircraft will start carrying weapons, posing a more direct threat to U.S. vessels transiting...
Categories: Iraq