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Iraq

Iran Hints at Using Foreign Militias in Domestic Crackdown

Voice of America - Tue, 03/19/2019 - 03:40
An influential Iranian cleric says Iran might bring Shiite militias to the country from other parts of the Middle East to fight threats to the government. Musa Ghazanfarabadi, head of the Tehran Islamic Revolution Courts, told religious students in Qom this month that his government could use foreign fighters to crack down on potential popular uprisings in Iran.  "If we don't support [our] revolution, the Iraqi Hashd al-Shaabi, the Afghan Fatemiyoun [Brigade], the...
Categories: Iraq

Aid Group: Children Dying as Last IS Stronghold Evacuated

Voice of America - Tue, 03/19/2019 - 03:25
Children and babies are dying at increasingly rapid rates in or on their way to al-Hol camp in Syria, as the population balloons with more evacuees from the last patch of land held by Islamic State militants, according to the International Rescue Committee. "Women and children are arriving at al-Hol camp in the gravest condition," Wendy Taeuber, the International Rescue Committee's Iraq and northeast Syria country director, said in a statement Monday. "Many of the...
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UN Experts Urge Israel to Rein In Security Forces

Voice of America - Tue, 03/19/2019 - 01:58
U.N. war crimes investigators called on Israel on Monday to stop its snipers using lethal force against protesters on the border with Gaza, as the anniversary approached of the start of demonstrations there last year in which 189 Palestinians were killed. The Commission of Inquiry said Israel should investigate the shooting of more than 6,000 people, far beyond the criminal inquiries it has announced into 11 killings. "The most important thing for the government of Israel is to...
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Algeria's Bouteflika Defies Pressure to Step Down Immediately

Voice of America - Mon, 03/18/2019 - 23:42
Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika on Monday again defied mass protests calling for his immediate resignation, insisting on a plan to elect a successor only after a national conference and new constitution is approved. Bouteflika, 82, last week bowed to demonstrators who say he unfit to run Algeria by announcing he had reversed a decision to stand for another term. But he stopped short of stepping down and postponed elections due in April, in effect extending his current term until a...
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Israel Supporters Protest UN Rights Meeting

Voice of America - Mon, 03/18/2019 - 22:20
Hundreds of people from across Europe gathered in Geneva Monday to protest as the U.N. Human Rights Council met to discuss allegations of Israeli violations in the Palestinian territories.  While the debate over Palestinian rights was going on inside the United Nations, a rally opposing alleged anti-Israeli prejudice by the 47-member Human Rights Council was taking place outside the premises. Hillel Neuer is Executive Director of the non-governmental organization, U.N. Watch....
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Syria’s Defense Minister Slams ‘Illegitimate’ US Presence

Voice of America - Mon, 03/18/2019 - 17:34
Syria’s defense minister has slammed what he called the “illegitimate” U.S. military presence in his country, vowing that Syria has a right to self-defense. Gen. Ali Ayoub spoke on Monday in the capital, Damascus, during a rare joint news conference with visiting Iranian and Iraqi army commanders. The U.S. currently has about 2,000 troops in eastern Syria and is expected to withdraw hundreds of them in the coming months. The meeting illustrates the strong alliance between Iran, Iraq...
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OPEC Scraps April Meeting but Keeps Oil Cuts in Place

Voice of America - Mon, 03/18/2019 - 16:30
Oil producer group OPEC on Monday scrapped its planned meeting in April and will decide instead whether to extend output cuts in June, once the market has assessed the impact of U.S. sanctions on Iran and the crisis in Venezuela. A ministerial panel of OPEC and its allies recommended that they cancel the extraordinary meeting scheduled for April 17-18 and hold the next regular talks on June 25-26. The energy minister of OPEC's de facto leader, Saudi Arabia, said the market was...
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Minister: Turkey, Iran Launch Joint Raid Against Kurdish Rebels

Voice of America - Mon, 03/18/2019 - 15:56
Turkey and Iran on Monday started a joint military operation against Kurdish rebels on Turkey's eastern border, state-run Anadolu news agency quoted the interior minister as saying. Turkey has recently talked about a possible joint operation with neighbour Iran to counter outlawed militants from the the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), but this is the first time Turkish authorities have confirmed a raid. "We started staging a joint operation with Iran against the PKK on our...
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Second Israeli Dies of Wounds From West Bank Shooting Attack

Voice of America - Mon, 03/18/2019 - 14:52
 Israel's military expanded its massive manhunt for a Palestinian assailant on Monday as authorities announced that a second Israeli died of wounds sustained in a West Bank shooting attack the previous day.   Beilinson Hospital said Ahiad Ettinger, a 47-year-old father of 12, died of his wounds from the shooting and stabbing attack near the settlement of Ariel on Sunday. The attack also killed 19-year-old soldier Gal Keidan and seriously wounded another...
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Rouhani: Iran Will File Legal Case Against US for Sanctions

Voice of America - Mon, 03/18/2019 - 12:32
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said on Monday that the government would file a legal case in Iran against U.S. officials who imposed sanctions on the country as a precursor to action in international courts. Rouhani said in a speech broadcast live on state television that U.S. sanctions had created difficulties including a weaker rial currency that has fed into higher inflation. The United States reimposed sanctions on Tehran after U.S. President Donald Trump chose last May to...
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US-Backed Force Says it Has Taken Positions in Islamic State Syria Camp

Voice of America - Mon, 03/18/2019 - 12:24
U.S.-backed fighters said they had taken positions in Islamic State's last enclave in eastern Syria and air strikes pounded the tiny patch of land beside the Euphrates River early on Monday, a Reuters journalist said. Smoke rose over the tiny enclave as warplanes and artillery bombarded it. Another witness said the jihadists had earlier mounted a counter attack. "Several positions captured and an ammunition storage has been blown up," said Mustafa Bali, a spokesman for...
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Should Media Avoid Naming the Gunmen in Mass Shootings?

Voice of America - Mon, 03/18/2019 - 03:31
A few months after teen shooters killed 12 classmates and her father at Columbine High School, Coni Sanders was standing in line at a grocery store with her young daughter when they came face to face with the magazine cover. It showed the two gunmen who had carried out one of the deadliest school shootings in U.S. history. Sanders realized that few people knew much about her father, who saved countless lives. But virtually everyone knew the names and the tiniest of details about the...
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Israel's Top Court Bars Far-Right Politician From Next Month's Election

Voice of America - Mon, 03/18/2019 - 01:03
Israel's Supreme Court Sunday disqualified an extreme right-wing politician from next month's parliamentary election for inciting violence and racism against Arabs. The Israeli election committee had given permission for Michael Ben-Ari of the Jewish Power party to run. But the court Sunday backed a legal challenge by the opposition leftist Meretz party, which argued that Ben-Ari called for violence against Arabs, denying them civil rights, and incited racism. "The place...
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US-Backed Forces Admit to 'Difficulties' Beating IS in Syria

Voice of America - Sun, 03/17/2019 - 23:22
U.S.-backed forces fighting to recapture the last Islamic State group outpost in Syria admitted on Sunday they were facing “difficulties” defeating the extremists, saying they were being slowed by mines, tunnels and concerns over harming women and children among the militants. The battle to capture the extremist group’s last patch of territory in eastern Syria — a collection of tents covering foxholes and underground tunnels in the village of Baghouz — has dragged on for weeks amid an...
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Born Into Al-Qaida: Hamza Bin Laden's Rise to Prominence

Voice of America - Sun, 03/17/2019 - 17:36
Years after the death of his father at the hands of a U.S. Navy SEAL raid in Pakistan, Hamza bin Laden now finds himself in the crosshairs of world powers. In rapid succession in recent weeks, the U.S. put a bounty of up to $1 million on him; the U.N. Security Council named him to a global sanctions list, sparking a new Interpol notice for his arrest; and his home country of Saudi Arabia revealed it had revoked his citizenship.   Those measures suggest that international officials...
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Palestinian Kills Israeli Soldier, Wounds 2 People

Voice of America - Sun, 03/17/2019 - 12:08
The Israeli army said that in the aftermath of a stabbing and shooting spree by a Palestinian man one Israeli solider is dead and two Israelis are seriously wounded. The army said the incident happened near the Ariel junction, southwest of the Palestinian city of Nablus. Israel said the assailant attacked and killed an Israeli soldier with a knife. The man took the soldier's assault rifle and shot it at passing vehicles, wounding two civilians. The army is conducting a...
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Iran's Oil Minister Blames US for Market Tensions 

Voice of America - Sun, 03/17/2019 - 03:12
Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh said on Saturday that frequent U.S. comments about oil prices had created market tensions, the ministry's news website SHANA reported.  U.S. President Donald Trump, who has made the U.S. economy one of his top issues, has repeatedly tweeted about oil prices and the Organization of the Petroleum Producing Countries. He has expressed concern about higher prices, including last month and ahead of OPEC's...
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Lawyer: US Navy Veteran Held in Iran Sentenced to 10 Years

Voice of America - Sat, 03/16/2019 - 20:49
A Washington-based lawyer says a U.S. Navy veteran held in Iran, the first American known to be detained since President Donald Trump took office, has been sentenced to 10 years in prison.   Mark Zaid told The Associated Press on Saturday that Michael White was convicted on charges of insulting Iran's supreme leader and posting private information.   Zaid says he learned of the sentence from the State Department, which in turn learned of it from the Swiss government, which...
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Eight Years of Syrian War Leaves Loss, Some Hope

Voice of America - Sat, 03/16/2019 - 12:58
War is personal. And in Syria, after eight years of a grinding conflict, there are as many stories of loss, dispossession and desperate hope as there are people. What started as peaceful protests in 2011 asking for government change turned into one of the cruelest modern wars and left a trail of broken lives among the country’s pre-war population of 23 million. Now half are displaced, nearly half a million dead and many live with permanent scars or have joined militias. ​‘Every...
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Pompeo Blasts Senate Vote to End US Support for Yemen War

Voice of America - Sat, 03/16/2019 - 09:15
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is criticizing a U.S. Senate vote to end American military support for the Saudi-led war in Yemen. The years-long conflict has left thousands of civilians dead and millions of others on the brink of starvation.  VOA's Diplomatic Correspondent Cindy Saine has more from the State Department on the clash between Congress and the Trump administration over the president's foreign policy.
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