in Iraq

Iraq

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...
Categories: Iraq

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...
Categories: Iraq

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...
Categories: Iraq

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...
Categories: Iraq

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...
Categories: Iraq

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...
Categories: Iraq

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...
Categories: Iraq

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...
Categories: Iraq

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.
Categories: Iraq

Disabled Victims Are Syrian War's Most Vulnerable

Voice of America - Sat, 03/16/2019 - 03:33
Sham al-Akhras, 10, has only known war since the Syrian civil war started in March 2011, when she was an infant. If the brutal conflict is physically and emotionally distressing for regular Syrians, it is all the more so for al-Akhras, who has to live with her disability under the harsh conditions of a refugee camp in northern Syria's Idlib. Al-Akhras is unable to speak and can barely walk. Her father, Maher, told VOA that lack of access to medical facilities in Idlib's war zone...
Categories: Iraq

UN Team Begins Exhuming Mass Graves of Yazidi IS Victims

Voice of America - Sat, 03/16/2019 - 00:15
Asia was 12 when Islamic State militants separated her from her mother and held her for two days. They told her and other young Yazidi girls to get onto a bus. "They said we were going to the mountains to be set free," she said. "But instead they took us and ruined our lives." As a "wife" to two different militants over the next five years, Asia was forced into grueling slave labor, beaten and raped. Asia lives in a refugee camp, but she came to her...
Categories: Iraq

UN-EU Meeting Secures $7 Billion to Aid Syrian Civilians

Voice of America - Fri, 03/15/2019 - 20:55
The United Nations has secured close to $7 billion in aid pledges for Syria to help civilians impacted by fighting in the eight years of civil war. The additional aid was announced Thursday in Brussels. U.N. officials said the money would help save millions of lives and protect civilians across Syria. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports officials called for free access for the humanitarian aid and called on each side to find a political solution to end the devastating conflict.
Categories: Iraq

Algerians Hold Biggest Anti-Bouteflika Protests

Voice of America - Fri, 03/15/2019 - 18:37
Hundreds of thousands of people crammed into central Algiers on Friday, Reuters witnesses said, in the biggest protests against President Abdelaziz Bouteflika's 20-year rule since unrest began last month. Bouteflika on Monday reversed a decision to stand for another term after mass protests against him, but stopped short of relinquishing office and says he will stay on until a new constitution is adopted. Algerians quickly rejected his offer and demanded that the 82-year-old...
Categories: Iraq

Israeli Warplanes Hit 100 Hamas Targets After Rocket Attack

Voice of America - Fri, 03/15/2019 - 10:22
Israeli warplanes on Friday struck about 100 Hamas targets in the Gaza Strip in response to a rare rocket attack on Tel Aviv. Rocket fire persisted throughout the morning, setting the stage for possible additional reprisals. The army said that its targets had included an office complex in Gaza City used to plan and command Hamas militant activities, an underground complex that served as Hamas’ main rocket-manufacturing site, and a center used for Hamas drone development. There were no...
Categories: Iraq

UN-EU Meeting Secures $7 Million to Aid Syrian Civilians

Voice of America - Fri, 03/15/2019 - 09:06
The United Nations has secured close to $7 billion in aid pledges for Syria to help civilians impacted by fighting in the eight years of civil war. The additional aid was announced Thursday in Brussels. U.N. officials said the money would help save millions of lives and protect civilians across Syria. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports officials called for free access for the humanitarian aid and called on each side to find a political solution to end the devastating conflict.
Categories: Iraq

Nine Facts About Syria

Voice of America - Fri, 03/15/2019 - 04:11
Syria's war entered its ninth year on Friday, with fresh violence forcing thousands to flee from separate assaults on the last bastions of Islamic State and rebel-held territories.  Here are nine facts about the war, which grew out of popular protests against President Bashar al-Assad and has laid waste to swaths of Syria, creating the world's largest refugee crisis:  — More than 5.6 million Syrian refugees have fled to...
Categories: Iraq

Israel Strikes Back After 2 Rockets Launched at Tel Aviv

Voice of America - Thu, 03/14/2019 - 23:46
Israeli rockets struck what the army calls "terror targets" in Gaza overnight Thursday, hours after two rockets were fired toward Tel Aviv. The military gave no other details, but Palestinian media say the rockets were fired at the southern Gaza port of Khan Yunis. There are no reports of damage or casualties. Just hours earlier, two rockets were fired toward Tel Aviv from Gaza, setting off air raid sirens across much of central Israel. The army said Israel's Iron...
Categories: Iraq

Another Mass Surrender of IS Fighters as US-Backed Forces Advance 

Voice of America - Thu, 03/14/2019 - 22:57
U.S.-backed forces battling the last remnant of the Islamic State's self-declared caliphate penetrated deeper into the terror group's enclave Thursday, resulting in the second mass surrender in almost as many days. Fighting on the outskirts of the northeastern Syrian town of Baghuz has been intense, with coalition airstrikes and artillery rounds lighting up the night sky while IS fighters launched several waves of suicide bombers at the advancing Syrian Democratic Forces. But...
Categories: Iraq

Court Hearing for Saudi Women Activists Draws International Criticism

Voice of America - Thu, 03/14/2019 - 22:40
A court hearing Wednesday in Saudi Arabia for women activists is drawing some international criticism for perceived flaws in the kingdom's human rights record. The Saudi court hearing coincided with a U.S. State Department human rights report, which criticized Riyadh and many other countries. The Saudi news channel al-Ikhbariya reported that the women activists, most of whom were arrested last year, had "violated acceptable religious and civic norms, in addition to dealing with...
Categories: Iraq