in Iraq

Iraq

Egypt Refers 555 Terror Suspects to Military Court

Voice of America - Mon, 05/07/2018 - 20:48
Egypt's chief prosecutor on Monday referred 555 terror suspects to a military court on charges of joining a local affiliate of the Islamic State group.   The suspects set up dozens of small militant cells and carried out a total of 63 attacks against army and police forces in the restive northern part of the Sinai Peninsula, prosecutor Nabil Sadek said in a statement.   The charges against them, he said, include killing and plotting to kill security personnel, attacking...
Categories: Iraq

Rights Group Says 2 Journalists Detained in Libya

Voice of America - Mon, 05/07/2018 - 20:37
An international rights group says armed men linked to Libya's internationally recognized government have arrested two organizers of an annual media award. Human Rights Watch said Monday that the Special Deterrence Force arrested Suleiman Qashout, chair of the Septimus Award's board, and Mohamed Yaacoubi, director of the award, in the capital, Tripoli, on April 29.   HRW says the reason for their arrest remains unknown.   The Septimus Award has been given annually...
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Iran-backed Hezbollah, Allies Set for Major Gains in Lebanese Election

Voice of America - Mon, 05/07/2018 - 19:20
The Iran-backed Hezbollah movement and its political allies appear to be on course, according to preliminary results and pollsters’ calculations, to win half the seats in Lebanon’s parliament from Sunday’s election — the country’s first parliamentary poll in almost a decade. The still-to-be confirmed results show major gains for Hezbollah and its allies and seat losses for the Western-backed Future Movement of Prime Minister Saad Hariri. Hezbollah’s gains will fuel anxiety in Gulf...
Categories: Iraq

Radio Resistance: Iraqi Amateur Broadcasters Who Beat Islamic State

Voice of America - Mon, 05/07/2018 - 19:00
The operation to free the Iraqi city of Mosul from Islamic State militant forces took nine months, involved hundreds of coalition airstrikes and a brutal Iraqi-led ground offensive. Victory was finally declared last July as the militants were forced from the city. A report published by Britain’s Royal United Services Institute suggests the offensive's ultimate success was underpinned by a campaign of information warfare conducted by resistance forces, which punctured Islamic State’s...
Categories: Iraq

Syria's Kurds Put IS on Trial with Focus on Reconciliation

Voice of America - Mon, 05/07/2018 - 18:53
The "Defense of the People" Court is an almost intimate place. Three judges — two men and a woman — sat behind a large desk. The defendant, a former Islamic State group fighter in Syria, faced them in a chair only a yard away, close enough for a conversation. A space heater in the center and mustard-colored couch and armchairs made the room even homier. The judges are Kurds, belonging to the U.S.-backed self-rule authority that the community has set up over much of the north and...
Categories: Iraq

Radio Resistance: Iraqi Amateur Broadcasters Who Beat Islamic State

Voice of America - Mon, 05/07/2018 - 18:25
The operation to free the Iraqi city of Mosul from Islamic State took nine months, involved hundreds of coalition airstrikes and a brutal Iraqi-led ground offensive. A report published by Britain’s Royal United Services Institute suggests its ultimate success was underpinned by a vital campaign of information warfare conducted by resistance forces, which punctured Islamic State’s image of invincibility. As Henry Ridgwell reports, Mosul could provide valuable lessons for other conflicts.
Categories: Iraq

Iranians Say Uncertainty Over Nuclear Deal Bringing Fear

Voice of America - Mon, 05/07/2018 - 16:59
On the streets of Tehran, every day seems to bring more worry and fear ahead of President Donald Trump's decision this week on whether to pull America out of the nuclear deal with Iran. Exchange shop windows that once showed rates for Iranian rial to U.S. dollar transactions have gone blank, as black-market rates have skyrocketed to 70,000 rials to the dollar, far higher than the newly government-imposed rate of 42,000 for $1. Busy shopping districts that once saw newlyweds buying...
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Road Signs Pointing to 'US Embassy' Go Up in Jerusalem

Voice of America - Mon, 05/07/2018 - 16:00
Jerusalem's city hall says it has put up road signs pointing to the new U.S. Embassy, which is set to move to the contested city next week.   Mayor Nir Barkat placed the first signs on Monday in the southern Jerusalem neighborhood where the embassy is to be located. According to a picture sent by Barkat's office, the white signs read “U.S. Embassy” in English, Hebrew and Arabic.   The new U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem is to be opened on May 14 with a huge American...
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WHO: Cholera Vaccination Campaign Starts in Yemen

Voice of America - Mon, 05/07/2018 - 15:41
The first vaccine campaign against cholera in Yemen has started, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Monday, a year and a half after an epidemic was triggered by war and a health and sanitation crisis. There have since been more than one million suspected cases of cholera in Yemen, and 2,275 recorded deaths, the WHO says. The disease is spread by feces in sewage contaminating water or food, and it can kill because patients quickly lose fluids through vomiting and diarrhea....
Categories: Iraq

Reports: Hezbollah Gains Seats in Lebanon Parliamentary Election

Voice of America - Mon, 05/07/2018 - 12:40
Lebanese media citing unofficial preliminary results reported Monday that Iran-backed Hezbollah was set to make gains in parliamentary elections with the party of Prime Minister Saad Hariri losing seats. Officials results were expected later Monday for the country's first national election in nine years. The voter turnout was 49.2 percent, down from 54 percent in 2009, according to Lebanon’s Interior Ministry.  The 2009 parliamentary election was held for what was supposed...
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Trump to Announce Decision on Iran Nuclear Deal on Tuesday

Voice of America - Mon, 05/07/2018 - 07:56
President Donald Trump says he will announce Tuesday whether he will pull the United States out of the international nuclear deal with Iran and re-impose sanctions. Trump has frequently complained the 2015 agreement to ease sanctions against Iran in exchange for curbs on its nuclear program is a "disaster." He says it does nothing to stop Iran from testing ballistic missiles and says the deal lets certain nuclear-related provisions eventually expire.  But he has...
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Lebanon's Long-delayed Election Unlikely to Change Balance of Power

Voice of America - Mon, 05/07/2018 - 07:25
Lebanon's major political parties have celebrated the country's first parliamentary election since 2009, but some citizens have no great expectations for the country, divided along sectarian lines. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports Sunday's election pitted Sunni Muslims, against Christians and Shiite Muslims.
Categories: Iraq

Rights Group: Egypt Uses Solitary Confinement as 'Torture'

Voice of America - Mon, 05/07/2018 - 04:34
Egypt is holding political prisoners in “prolonged and indefinite solitary confinement” that amounts to “torture,” an international rights group said Monday.   In a new report, Amnesty International said dozens of detained human rights activists, journalists and members of the opposition held in solitary confinement face “horrendous physical abuse.” Such treatment results in “panic attacks, paranoia, hypersensitivity to stimuli, and difficulties with concentration and memory,” it...
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Erdogan Vows New Anti-Syrian Kurd Offensive

Voice of America - Sun, 05/06/2018 - 20:43
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan vowed Sunday to launch a new offensive against Kurdish militants along the country's borders with Syria and Iraq. Turkey has conducted two previous operations aimed at Syrian Kurdish YPG militia, militants Ankara considers an extension of Kurdish fighters the Turkish government has been clashing with for three decades for control of southeastern Turkey. In an address to thousands of supporters in Istanbul in advance of June's snap...
Categories: Iraq

Lebanon Holds First Parliamentary Vote in 9 Years

Voice of America - Sun, 05/06/2018 - 20:26
Polls have closed across Lebanon 12 hours after voting began in the country's first national election in nine years. Overall, turnout was tepid throughout the day, even as President Michel Aoun appealed to voters in a televised address an hour before the polls closed to turn out to cast their ballots. "If you want change, you should exercise your right'' to vote, he said in a message published on Twitter at the same time. The last election in Lebanon was held in...
Categories: Iraq

Israeli Military Kills 2 Palestinians It Says Crossed Border

Voice of America - Sun, 05/06/2018 - 18:04
Israel's military says its forces shot and killed two Palestinians who breached the Gaza border and entered its territory as tensions there mounted Sunday. Palestinian medic Izzat Shatat said that soldiers fired tank shells and machine guns. He said the Palestinians killed may have been "too close" to the fence but he was not sure if they had actually crossed into Israel. The Gaza border has been the scene of violence over the past weeks.   The Islamic militant...
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IMF Lauds Egypt, Says It Must Now Empower Private Sector

Voice of America - Sun, 05/06/2018 - 16:44
The International Monetary Fund has lauded Egypt's progress in stabilizing its economy, instilling market confidence, cutting debt and driving growth. In remarks to a government meeting released late Saturday, IMF First Deputy Managing Director David Lipton says Egypt must now enable private-sector economic activity to expand and provide the jobs needed by millions of Egyptians. Egypt's economy is still recovering from a 2011 popular uprising and years of political instability....
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Macron Warns of Risk of War if Trump Withdraws from Iran Deal

Voice of America - Sun, 05/06/2018 - 16:01
French President Emmanuel Macron has warned that war could ensue if U.S. President Donald Trump withdraws from the 2015 deal in which Iran agreed to curb its nuclear program in exchange for sanctions relief. "We would open the Pandora's box. There could be war," Macron told German weekly magazine Der Spiegel. But he added: "I don't think that Donald Trump wants war." Trump is set to decide by May 12 whether to pull out of the Iran deal. Trump has all but...
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Turkey Says It Will Retaliate If US Halts Weapons Sales

Voice of America - Sun, 05/06/2018 - 14:20
Turkey will retaliate if the United States enacts a proposed law that would halt weapons sales to the country, Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Sunday. Lawmakers in the U.S. House of Representatives released details on Friday of a $717 billion annual defense policy bill, including a measure to temporarily halt weapons sales to Turkey. In an interview with broadcaster CNN Turk, Cavusoglu said the measures in the bill were wrong, illogical and not fitting between the NATO...
Categories: Iraq

Israel: Better to Confront Iran Sooner Than Later

Voice of America - Sun, 05/06/2018 - 13:52
A tough new warning from Israel to Iran is raising fears of war in the Middle East.  Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says Israel is prepared to confront Iranian “aggression” sooner rather than later. Speaking at the weekly Cabinet meeting in Jerusalem, Netanyahu accused Iran of transferring advanced weapons to neighboring Syria, including missiles and anti-aircraft batteries it intends to use against Israel. “We do not want an escalation,” Netanyahu said, “but we are prepared...
Categories: Iraq