in Iraq


Citizen Journalists Wage Online War Against ISIS

Voice of America - Sun, 08/13/2017 - 08:32
City of Ghosts is a new documentary that follows an underground group of citizen journalists from IS occupied Raqqa, Syria, risking their lives and using social media to expose the atrocities of the militants against civilians. The goal of the group, called Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silently, is to broadcast information online about IS atrocities in Raqqa, Syria.  Last year, the Committee to Protect Journalists awarded the group its International Press Freedom Award. In...
Categories: Iraq

US-backed Syrian Rebels Seek to Reposition for Deir ez-Zor Battle

Voice of America - Sun, 08/13/2017 - 02:23
In a race with the Russia-backed Syrian government forces and Shiite militia groups to capture the eastern city of Deir ez-Zor from Islamic State militants, a Syrian rebel group supported by the U.S. claims it is in talks with the U.S.-led coalition to relocate its fighters to northern Syria. Such a move would better position the rebel group in its attempt to recapture the city, which is under IS control, they said. Officials from Jaish Maghawir al-Thawra (MaT), also known as...
Categories: Iraq

US Asks Iraq’s Kurds to Delay Vote on Independence

Voice of America - Sat, 08/12/2017 - 10:35
The United States has asked Iraq’s Kurds to postpone a referendum on the independence of their autonomous Kurdish region, planned for Sept. 25, the Kurdish presidency said. U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson made the request Friday, during a phone call with the president of Iraq’s Kurdistan Regional Government, Massoud Barzani. The U.S. State Department said in June it was concerned that the referendum will distract from “more urgent priorities” such as the defeat of Islamic State...
Categories: Iraq

4 UAE Soldiers Killed in Yemen Helicopter Crash

Voice of America - Sat, 08/12/2017 - 10:12
State media in the United Arab Emirates say four UAE soldiers have been killed in a helicopter crash in Yemen. WAM news agency reported early Saturday that the soldiers were participating in a Saudi-led campaign targeting Shi’ite rebels in Yemen. WAM said the helicopter crash happened in Yemen’s southern Shabwa province where U.S. airstrikes have targeted Yemen’s local al-Qaida branch. The Saudi-led coalition is fighting the Iranian-backed Houthi rebels from the air and on the...
Categories: Iraq

UN Steps Up Aid to Iraqis Returning to Battle-scarred Mosul

Voice of America - Fri, 08/11/2017 - 19:32
The U.N. Refugee agency reports it is stepping up humanitarian aid for thousands of Iraqis who are returning to Mosul in the aftermath of the government’s recapture of the former Islamic State stronghold. The U.N. refugee agency says the task ahead is mammoth given the scale of destruction, especially in western Mosul. Government figures show some 79,000 people have returned to this battered landscape. The UNHCR says shelter is the most pressing need, given the extensive damage done to...
Categories: Iraq

Aid Agencies Warn Displaced Against Premature Returns to Syria

Voice of America - Fri, 08/11/2017 - 17:19
The International Organization for Migration (IOM) is warning people against returning prematurely to war-torn Syria as the number of displaced going back to their homes reaches a record high. An IOM report found more than 600,000 displaced Syrians have returned home in the first seven months of this year, nearly as many as the total number of returnees for all of 2016. IOM spokeswoman Olivia Haedon said most of the returns are spontaneous, but not necessarily voluntary, safe or...
Categories: Iraq

Egypt Train Crash Kills 43, Injures 122

Voice of America - Fri, 08/11/2017 - 17:12
Two passenger trains collided on Friday just outside Egypt's Mediterranean port city of Alexandria, killing 43 people, according to authorities, the country's deadliest rail accident in more than a decade. Magdy Hegazy, a top health official in Alexandria, said that along with the 43 killed, the crash injured 122 people. The Egyptian Railways Authority said earlier that a train coming from Cairo, Egypt's capital, crashed into the back of a train that was waiting at a small...
Categories: Iraq

Anger, Resignation as Egyptians Face Soaring Transportation Costs

Voice of America - Fri, 08/11/2017 - 11:55
Transportation costs are soaring in the Egyptian capital, where budgets are strained from food prices that have risen two or three times in the past year. Locals say they are suffering from the strain, but unlike in the recent past, they are not protesting, because they do not believe anyone is willing to listen. Hamada Elrasam has the story for VOA from Cairo.
Categories: Iraq

Abbas Cracks Down on Social Media, News Sites

Voice of America - Fri, 08/11/2017 - 10:51
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has clamped down on social media and news websites, the main outlets for debate and dissent in the West Bank, with a vaguely worded decree that critics say allows his government to jail anyone on charges of harming “national unity” or the “social fabric.”   Rights activists say the edict, issued without prior public debate last month, is perhaps the most significant step yet by Abbas’ government to restrict freedom of expression in the autonomous...
Categories: Iraq

Netanyahu Rips Media, Opposition in Face of Corruption Case

Voice of America - Fri, 08/11/2017 - 06:39
Israel's embattled prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, lashed out at the media and his political opponents in an animated speech to hundreds of enthusiastic supporters on Wednesday, seeking to deliver a powerful show of force as he battles a slew of corruption allegations that have threatened to drive him from office. Netanyahu's Likud Party organized Wednesday's rally in response to a swirling police investigation into suspected corruption, bribery and fraud by the longtime...
Categories: Iraq

UNICEF: 550,000 Children in Libya Need Aid

Voice of America - Fri, 08/11/2017 - 05:04
United Nations children agency UNICEF warned Wednesday that more than half a million children in Libya need help and called on warring parties to end the violence and negotiate a political solution to the crisis. Libya has spiraled into turmoil after a civil war ousted longtime leader Moammar Gadhafi in 2011. Rival brigades of former rebels backed by competing political factions have turned against each other in a fight for control. A U.N.-backed government in Tripoli is trying to...
Categories: Iraq

UN Secretary-General ‘Heartbroken’ Over Drowning of Migrants Off Yemen

Voice of America - Fri, 08/11/2017 - 03:30
U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres says he is heartbroken over the drowning of dozens of migrants off the coast of Yemen. Smugglers forced nearly 300 migrants from Ethiopia and Somalia overboard from two separate boats Wednesday and Thursday. The International Organization for Migration says at least 56 migrants drowned, with many of them buried in shallow graves on the beach in Yemen’s southern Shabwa province by survivors. At least 65 are missing, and those who survived and...
Categories: Iraq

Iran Arrests 6 Young People for Promoting Banned Zumba Dance

Voice of America - Thu, 08/10/2017 - 16:28
Iranian media say authorities have arrested six young people for promoting Zumba, the Latin-inspired dance exercises, and other types of exercise. The arrests are part of Iran's decades-long crackdown against influences of Western culture. In June, Iran banned Zumba and other exercises considered un-Islamic.   Thursday's report says the six included two women. They were arrested by the powerful Revolutionary Guard in the town of Shahroud, about 400 kilometers, or 250 miles,...
Categories: Iraq

Syrian Army Gains Ground on Jordan Border in Southwest

Voice of America - Thu, 08/10/2017 - 16:05
The Syrian army and its allies seized control of at least 30 km (19 miles) of Syria's border with Jordan from rebels in an attack on Thursday, two rebel groups and a Syrian military source said. A military media unit run by Hezbollah, a close ally of the Syrian government, said the army and its allies had gained control over all checkpoints and border posts on the border in Sweida, one of four Syrian provinces that border Jordan. Rebel groups, some of them backed by Western and...
Categories: Iraq

Egypt Inflation Surges to 33 Percent After Fuel Subsidy Cuts

Voice of America - Thu, 08/10/2017 - 15:29
Egypt's official statistics agency says the country's inflation rate has jumped to 33 percent in July - up from 29.8 percent in June. The announcement comes as Egyptians struggle in the face of steep price hikes as part of the government's economic reform plan.   The Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics made the announcement Thursday.   Economists believe the hike is driven by an increase in fuel prices. They expect inflation to remain above 30...
Categories: Iraq

Search Underway for Smugglers After Migrants Drown Off Yemen

Voice of America - Thu, 08/10/2017 - 15:19
The International Organization for Migration says it is searching for smugglers who it says forced 120 Somalis and Ethiopians into the sea as their vessel approached the Yemeni coast, causing more than 50 teenage migrants to drown. Survivors tell migration officials the smugglers panicked and forced the migrants into the choppy sea when they saw Yemeni authorities as they approached land. International Organization for Migration spokeswoman Olivia Headon tells VOA the migrants knew...
Categories: Iraq

Islamic State Group Claims Attack on Police in Egypt's Sinai

Voice of America - Thu, 08/10/2017 - 14:36
The Islamic State group has claimed responsibility for killing four Egyptian policemen in restive northern Sinai peninsula. The group said in a Thursday statement carried by its news agency AMAQ and circulated on social media that its militants carried out the attack on Wednesday in the town of el-Arish.   The Associated Press couldn't independently verify the authenticity of the statement.   State-run newspaper Al-Ahram  said Wednesday that authorities are hunting...
Categories: Iraq

Israel Warns Hamas Not to Try to Foil Anti-Tunnel Wall

Voice of America - Thu, 08/10/2017 - 13:52
Israel warned Gaza's Hamas rulers on Thursday not to try to foil its construction of a border wall designed to stop tunnels between the two sides. It said it had mapped militant emplacements hidden under civilian sites in the Palestinian enclave that may be attacked in any new war. Hamas accused Israel of belligerence. The unusually detailed Israeli threat followed a rocket launch on Tuesday which caused no damage in Israel and went unclaimed by Gazan groups. Israel responded...
Categories: Iraq

New Wave of Media Arrests in Turkey

Voice of America - Thu, 08/10/2017 - 13:51
In dawn raids, Turkish police enforced arrest warrants on 35 media workers, including journalists, in connection with last year’s coup attempt. Local media reports say at least nine people were detained. The latest arrests add to the more than 150 reporters already jailed in a crackdown following the botched military takeover in July of last year. Turkish media, quoting an anonymous judicial source, report the arrests were in connection with the use of Bylock, a smartphone encrypted...
Categories: Iraq

Turkey Detains Suspected IS Militant for Planning to Bring Down US Plane

Voice of America - Thu, 08/10/2017 - 13:37
Turkish authorities have detained a suspected Islamic State militant of Russian origin after he allegedly planned to use a drone to bring down a U.S. plane at the Incirlik air base, Dogan News Agency said on Thursday. Dogan, citing security officials, said Russian national Renat Bakiev was detained after police surveillance showed him scouting the southern city of Adana, where the base is located, with the aim of carrying out his attack. Bakiev told authorities that he was a member of...
Categories: Iraq