in Iraq


Civilians Continue to Flee Raqqa Ahead of Expected Final Battle Against IS

Voice of America - Sat, 10/14/2017 - 01:50
Scores of civilians fled Raqqa on Friday ahead of an anticipated final push into the city by U.S.-backed fighters aiming to retake it from Islamic State militants. Hundreds of civilians have been streaming out of Raqqa in the past few days from the remaining neighborhoods held by IS. They are taking advantage of a slowdown in the fighting by coalition troops meant to help civilians safely evacuate. Residents say local IS fighters have been surrendering in recent weeks but still hold a...
Categories: Iraq

Jitters in Kirkuk Over Iraqi Troop Movements

NY Times Iraq - Sat, 10/14/2017 - 00:46
Iraq’s prime minister says reports of Iraqi troops massing for an attack on Kurdish forces in Kirkuk were “fake news.”
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Congressional Reaction to Trump's Announcement on Iran Deal

Voice of America - Sat, 10/14/2017 - 00:43
In announcing that the United States would not certify the nuclear deal with Iran, U.S. President Donald Trump has required Congress to reconsider the agreement. The Trump administration said it will continue to live up to its commitments under the deal, but said Congress must address flaws within the agreement. If not, Trump said the United States will withdraw from the 2015 nuclear deal agreed upon by Tehran, the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council, Germany and...
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Iran Angrily Rebukes Trump's Decision to Decertify Nuclear Deal

Voice of America - Fri, 10/13/2017 - 23:56
Iran's president said Friday that the nuclear deal it signed with six world powers in 2015 could not be revoked, after U.S. President Donald Trump announced he would not certify that Iran was in compliance with it. In a nationally televised speech following Trump's remarks, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani urged all signatories to the agreement to honor their commitments. He called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) "an outstanding achievement" in...
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Transcript of Trump Speech on Iran Nuclear Deal

Voice of America - Fri, 10/13/2017 - 21:46
THE WHITE HOUSE   Office of the Press Secretary ________________________________________________________________ For Immediate Release                            October 13, 2017     REMARKS BY PRESIDENT TRUMP ON IRAN STRATEGY   Diplomatic Reception Room       12:53 P.M....
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UN Laments Plight of Civilians Trapped by Syrian Fighting

Voice of America - Fri, 10/13/2017 - 21:39
The U.N. refugee agency said Friday that it was alarmed by the dangers facing thousands of Syrian civilians trapped by intense fighting in the city of Raqqa and neighboring areas. The battle for Raqqa is in its fifth month. The opposition Syrian Democratic Forces, backed by U.S.-led coalition airstrikes and ground forces, had hoped for a quick victory in ousting Islamic State militants from Raqqa, their de facto capital. But the fighting remains intense, and U.N. refugee spokesman Andrej...
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US Has Ramped Up Some Sanctions, Dropped Others, Since Iran Nuclear Deal

Voice of America - Fri, 10/13/2017 - 19:12
U.S. President Donald Trump will strike a blow against the 2015 Iran nuclear agreement in defiance of international support for it on Friday, choosing not to certify that Tehran is complying with the deal in a major reversal of U.S. policy. Trump's decision to decertify the nuclear deal will not withdraw the United States from the agreement, which was negotiated by the United States and other world powers during the administration of former President Barack Obama. Under the...
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Trump Toughens Iran Strategy, Decertifies Tehran's Compliance With Accord

Voice of America - Fri, 10/13/2017 - 19:00
Saying Iran is not living up to the spirit of a two-year-old nuclear agreement it signed with Western powers, President Donald Trump Friday unveiled a tough new strategy toward Tehran, including additional sanctions aimed at blocking the regime’s path to develop nuclear weapons. “Today, I am announcing our strategy along with several major steps we are taking to confront the Iranian regime’s hostile actions and to ensure that Iran never — and I mean never — acquires a nuclear weapon,”...
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UN Condemns Anti-gay Crackdowns in Egypt, Azerbaijan, Indonesia

Voice of America - Fri, 10/13/2017 - 18:07
Azerbaijan, Egypt and Indonesia have all unjustly arrested dozens of people during anti-gay crackdowns in recent weeks, subjecting many to mistreatment in custody, the United Nations human rights office said Friday. "Arresting or detaining people based on their actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity is by definition arbitrary and violates international law," U.N. human rights spokesman Rupert Colville told a news briefing. In Azerbaijan, more than 80...
Categories: Iraq

Iraq on Edge as Kurdish, Iraqi Forces Face-off in Kirkuk

Voice of America - Fri, 10/13/2017 - 18:01
Thousands of Kurdish Peshmerga forces have deployed in Iraq's disputed oil city of Kirkuk and local residents are on edge, fearing a military advance despite Iraqi announcements that an attack is not imminent. “Some civilians are out on the streets with their guns,” said Dara Saieed, a local journalist in Kirkuk, which is currently controlled by Kurdish authorities but claimed by both Iraq's central government in Baghdad and regional Kurdish leadership based in the city of Irbil....
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Turkish Troops Move Into al-Qaida-dominated Syrian Province

Voice of America - Fri, 10/13/2017 - 15:43
Turkish armored vehicles have rolled into northwestern Syria to impose a "de-escalation zone" in a province dominated by al-Qaida-linked militants, an incursion that the Turkish leader said was meant to secure his country's border. The Turkish military said it began an operation late Thursday to set up "observation points" in Idlib, without providing further details or saying how many troops were involved. Turkey's Hurriyet newspaper said around 30 armored...
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Israel Buoyed by Trump Tack Against Iran Atom Deal But Sees Long Way to Go

Voice of America - Fri, 10/13/2017 - 15:02
Israel was upbeat about U.S. President Donald Trump's anticipated announcement on Friday of major steps against the international nuclear deal with Iran, but voiced doubt that the tougher tack by Washington could turn around Tehran. While the White House's distaste for the 2015 pact may be sweet to the ears of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, his government is mindful of the limits of any unilateral U.S. action in the face of dissent from other big power...
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Kurdish Forces Withdraw From Edges of Disputed Iraqi Region

Voice of America - Fri, 10/13/2017 - 14:27
Kurdish forces have withdrawn from the edges of a disputed region in northern Iraq, a commander said Friday, amid tensions with Iraq's central government over the administration of the oil-rich city of Kirkuk. Lt. Gen Wasta Rasul said Kurdish forces known as the peshmerga evacuated positions southwest of city, while an officer in the Iraqi Army's 9th Armored Division said federal forces had moved into positions left by the Kurdish forces in the same area, near the village of...
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Trump Unveils New, Tougher Iran Strategy

Voice of America - Fri, 10/13/2017 - 12:00
U.S. President Donald Trump, following impassioned appeals from some of America’s closest allies and members of his own administration, is likely to stop short Friday of calling for the abandonment of a 2-year-old nuclear deal with Iran while unveiling a more confrontational overall strategy towards Tehran. The White House, early Friday, announced that the president, in consultation with his national security team, “has approved a new strategy for Iran.” Lawmakers say that while Trump...
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What’s Next for Iran Nuclear Deal?

Voice of America - Fri, 10/13/2017 - 12:00
What is the Iran Nuclear Deal?  The deal, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, is an agreement reached between Iran and the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council, along with the European Union and Germany in October 2015. The deal requires Iran to: Eliminate its stockpile of medium-enriched uranium Reduce its stockpile of low-enriched uranium by 89 percent Reduce by two-thirds the number of centrifuges capable of enriching...
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Amnesty Marks 100 Days of Detention for Turkey Staffers

Voice of America - Fri, 10/13/2017 - 09:15
Human rights group Amnesty International held events Thursday to mark 100 days since several of its Turkish staffers were detained in Istanbul. This week, Turkish prosecutors officially filed an indictment against 10 of the human rights activists detained in July, along with Amnesty’s Turkey chairman Taner Kilic, and demanded jail sentences of up to 15 years on charges of supporting terrorist organizations. Amnesty labeled the indictment “trumped-up and absurd.” WATCH: Amnesty...
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Trump Expected to Decertify Iran Accord, Lay Out New Strategy

Voice of America - Fri, 10/13/2017 - 09:11
U.S. President Donald Trump is expected to withdraw his support for the Iran nuclear agreement Friday, but stop short of completely scrapping the deal. The U.S. leader is expected to outline a new strategy. Trump will likely declare that it is not in the U.S. national security interests to certify the 2015 deal that Washington reached with Iran and five other countries. The move would start a 60-day period during which Congress must decide whether to re-impose some or all of the...
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Drones Steal the Show at Dubai Technology Week

Voice of America - Fri, 10/13/2017 - 08:46
Bigger and more powerful flying drones are slowly entering everyday life. At this year's international technology show in Dubai, a number of drone manufacturers displayed machines that could substantially increase the mobility of various public services, from police and firefighters to taxis. VOA's George Putic has more.
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US, Israel Withdraw from UNESCO

Voice of America - Fri, 10/13/2017 - 08:18
Following the U.S. decision Thursday to quit the United Nations organization for education, science and culture, Israel announced it too will withdraw. The United States stopped funding UNESCO after the Palestinian Authority was accepted into the agency as a full member. As a member subject to membership dues, the United States accumulated a $600 million debt over the years. But as VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports, the Trump administration also cited anti-Israel bias as a reason for withdrawal.
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Israeli-Palestinian Issue Back in Spotlight After US Leaves UNESCO

Voice of America - Fri, 10/13/2017 - 05:03
State Department officials on Thursday defended the U.S. decision to withdraw from UNESCO, citing the need to see real reform at the United Nations cultural agency. "We would like to see the politics kept out of it," State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert told reporters. "And we see with this anti-Israeli bias that is long documented on the part of UNESCO, that that needs to come to an end."   WATCH: US, Israel Withdraw from...
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