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Iraq

Trump Tweets to Syria and its Allies Stop 'Bombing The Hell Out of Idlib'

Voice of America - Mon, 06/03/2019 - 03:45
President Donald Trump is demanding Syria, Russia and Iran stop "bombing the hell out of Idlib province in Syria." Trump said in a late Sunday tweet that the bombings are "indiscriminately killing many innocent civilians." "The world is watching this butchery. What is the purpose? What will it get you? STOP!" he wrote. Trump, in comments to reporters at the White House Sunday, also noted his call last year for Syria and its allies to avoid an...
Categories: Iraq

Syria: Israeli Strike on Airbase Kills 1, Wounds 2

Voice of America - Mon, 06/03/2019 - 03:15
An Israeli airstrike on a Syrian airbase killed one soldier, wounded two others, and destroyed an arms depot, Syrian state media reported. The attack on the T4 airbase in central Homs province came hours after Israeli airstrikes on the Golan Heights in southern Syria. Israel did not comment on the attack on the airbase, but said its strikes in Golan were a response to Saturday night rocket fire into Israel from Syria. "We will not tolerate firing into our territory and will...
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Syrian War Monitor: Car Bomb Kills 14 in Azaz

Voice of America - Mon, 06/03/2019 - 01:37
A car bomb blast in Syria's pro-Turkish rebel-held city of Azaz killed at least 14 people Sunday and wounded more than 20, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says. Witnesses tell the monitor the bomb went off as people were leaving a mosque after evening prayers and meal breaking the daily Ramadan fast. No one has claimed responsibility for the blast, which also burned or blew out the windows of more than a dozen nearby stores. The area has been the target of several other...
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Pompeo:US 'Ready' for Conversation With Iran

Voice of America - Mon, 06/03/2019 - 00:15
The Trump administration remains focused on Iran and says it is ready for a dialogue with the country’s leadership. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports from Washington, where, ahead of last week’s congressional recess, U.S. lawmakers were briefed on heightened dangers Iran allegedly poses across the Middle East.
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Iraqi Court Sentences 2 French IS Members to Death

Voice of America - Sun, 06/02/2019 - 18:03
A court in Baghdad has sentenced two French citizens to death for being members of the extremist group Islamic State (IS), prosecutors said on June 2. The new sentences raise the number of French citizens sentenced to death over the past two weeks to nine. Those sentenced are among a group of 12 French citizens who were detained by the U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces in neighboring Syria and handed over to Iraq in January. France has said it would do all it can to spare the...
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Pompeo: US Willing to Talk to Iran With 'No Preconditions'

Voice of America - Sun, 06/02/2019 - 17:20
The United States is willing to hold unconditional talks with Iran to ease tensions between the two countries, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Sunday, but Tehran held out little hope for new negotiations.  "We are prepared to engage in a conversation with no preconditions. We are ready to sit down with them," Pompeo said at a news conference in Switzerland. But the top U.S. diplomat added that "the American effort to fundamentally reverse the malign activity of...
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Algerian Presidential Elections 'Impossible' on July 4

Voice of America - Sun, 06/02/2019 - 16:51
Algeria's constitutional council said Sunday it was impossible to hold elections to choose a successor to ousted president Abdelaziz Bouteflika early next month as planned, after the only two candidates were rejected. "The constitutional council rejects the candidature applications" and as a result has announced "the impossibility of holding presidential elections on July 4", according to a statement carried by national television. It will now be up to interim...
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Israel, Syria Trade Fire; at Least 3 Dead

Voice of America - Sun, 06/02/2019 - 09:07
Israel attacked Syrian military positions in the country’s south early Sunday, killing three soldiers and wounding seven others, Syria’s state-run media reported.  Israel’s military confirmed it targeted several military positions in Syria, including two artillery batteries, several observation and intelligence posts and an SA2 air defense unit. It said it was responding to two rockets launched from Syria late Saturday, which caused no casualties. The army says one rocket fell within...
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Rights Groups: Abuses on the Rise in Syria’s Afrin

Voice of America - Sun, 06/02/2019 - 06:30
Rights groups are expressing concerns over the increasing abuses against civilians by rebel forces in the northwestern Syrian city of Afrin. Last week, a 10-year-old boy with Down syndrome, who was kidnapped by a rebel group, was killed along with his father and grandfather after their family failed to pay the kidnappers a ransom of $10,000, local media reported. Such incidents have been rampant since Turkish military and allied Syrian rebels took control of Afrin after a...
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Car Bomb Blast Kills 10, Hurts 20 in Syria's Raqqa

Voice of America - Sun, 06/02/2019 - 01:28
Ten people were killed and 20 wounded Saturday in a suicide car bomb attack in Ragqa, a former stronghold of the Islamic State group in north Syria, a rights watchdog said. The explosion killed five civilians and five soldiers of the Syrian Democratic Forces, a Kurdish-Arab alliance backed by Washington that wrested the city from IS in October 2017, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. The attack, for which no one immediately claimed responsibility, was...
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Iran's Rouhani: Talks Possible Only if US Shows Respect

Voice of America - Sun, 06/02/2019 - 00:10
President Hassan Rouhani on Saturday suggested Iran may be willing to hold talks if the United States showed it respect, but said Tehran would not be pressured into negotiations, the semiofficial Fars news agency reported.    Iran and the United States have been drawn into starker confrontation in the past month, a year after Washington pulled out of a deal between Iran and global powers to curb Tehran's nuclear program in return for the...
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UN Distributes Food to Yemenis in 'Inaccessible' War Zones

Voice of America - Sat, 06/01/2019 - 17:57
The World Food Program (WFP) says it has delivered food in the rebel-held militarized zone of Nihm for the first time since civil war broke out in Yemen more than four years ago. Nihm governorate is northeast of the rebel Houthi-held capital, Sana’a, close to the Saudi Arabian border. WFP spokesman Herve Verhoosel says persistent negotiations have paid off. He says WFP and a partner organization, Islamic Relief, have distributed food to an estimated 5,000 people living near the front...
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250 Ethiopian Migrants Detained in Yemen Fly Home

Voice of America - Sat, 06/01/2019 - 15:51
The International Organization for Migration reports two flights carrying an estimated 250 Ethiopian migrants are expected to depart Yemen Saturday for Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, as part of a larger ongoing repatriation operation. The UN migration agency says it hopes to repatriate another 1,968 Ethiopian migrants who are being detained under horrific conditions in a sports stadium in the Yemeni port city of Aden. But the operation, which was to have begun last Saturday got off to a...
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UN Watchdog: Iran Complying with 2015 Nuclear Deal

Voice of America - Sat, 06/01/2019 - 12:25
The U.N. atomic watchdog said Friday that Iran continues to stay within the limitations set by the nuclear deal reached in 2015 with major powers, though its stockpiles of low-enriched uranium and heavy water are growing. In a confidential quarterly report distributed to member states and seen by The Associated Press, the International Atomic Energy Agency said Iran has stayed within key limitations set in the so-called Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or JCPOA. The deal is meant to...
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Saudi King: Iran’s ‘Terrorist Acts’ Threaten Energy Supply

Voice of America - Sat, 06/01/2019 - 08:18
Saudi Arabia’s King Salman slammed Iran over recent attacks targeting the kingdom, describing the incidents Saturday in a speech before Muslim leaders gathered in Mecca as “terrorist acts” that threaten global energy supplies. It was the monarch’s strongest words yet since tensions spiked in recent weeks between the two regional heavyweights. The U.S. has sent an aircraft carrier and B-52 bombers to deter Iran as tensions run high. The crisis stems from the Trump administration’s decision...
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Ramadan's Night of Destiny in Cairo

Voice of America - Sat, 06/01/2019 - 07:28
In Egypt, more than 30,000 Muslims gathered to pray for what is believed to be the night of destiny, known in Arabic as Laylatu Al-Qadr. Muslims memorize on this night the first revelation of the Holy Quran and believe that Allah listens to their prayers. Cairo-based photojournalist Hamada Elrasam has more from Cairo.
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Saudi King Salman Urges International Effort to Thwart Iran

Voice of America - Fri, 05/31/2019 - 20:02
Saudi Arabia's King Salman opened an emergency summit of Gulf Arab leaders in the holy city of Mecca on Thursday with a call for the international community to use all means to confront Iran, but he also said the kingdom extends its hand for peace. King Salman was speaking at the first of three high-level summits in Mecca that were hastily convened after a spike in tensions between Saudi Arabia and its rival Iran. That King Salman could bring regional leaders and heads of state to...
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Protesters in Iran, Iraq Burn Israel, US Flags on 'Quds Day'

Voice of America - Fri, 05/31/2019 - 19:31
Iranians in the capital Tehran set fire to effigies of U.S. President Donald Trump, while in the Iraqi capital, Iran-backed militiamen marched over a large Israeli flag as part of rallies Friday marking Quds, or Jerusalem Day. The annual protests come as the Trump administration tries to market its long-awaited Israeli-Palestinian peace plan. Held each year on the last Friday of the Muslim holy fasting month of Ramadan, Iran has marked Quds Day since the start of its 1979 Islamic...
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More Somali Refugees Return Home as Conditions in Yemen Worsen

Voice of America - Fri, 05/31/2019 - 19:18
A boat with 125 Somali refugees fleeing insecurity in Yemen arrived in the Somali port of Berbera Thursday. The voyage was organized by the U.N. refugee agency and partners in cooperation with authorities in Yemen and Somalia. This is the 33rd departure of Somali refugees from Yemen since the U.N. refugee agency and humanitarian partners began the so-called Assisted Spontaneous Return program in 2017. To date, nearly 4,300 Somali refugees have returned home. Yemen is still hosting a...
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US Troop Levels in Syria 'Quite a Bit Lower' with Help on the Way

Voice of America - Fri, 05/31/2019 - 19:01
U.S. officials are touting a "measurable decrease" in the number of U.S. troops in Syria, though they refuse to say just how many remain in the country to aid in the fight against remnants of the Islamic State terror group. The director of the Pentagon's Defeat IS Task Force, Chris Maier, became the latest official to weigh in on troop levels, describing the withdrawal only in general terms. "It's been a measurable decrease," he told reporters late Thursday....
Categories: Iraq