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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...
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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...
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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.
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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...
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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...
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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.
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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...
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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...
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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...
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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...
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Donors Pledge $7B in Aid for Syria, Refugees

Voice of America - Thu, 03/14/2019 - 22:28
International donors have pledged around $7 billion in aid for Syria and refugees who fled the conflict-ravaged country, the European Union announced Thursday, as the civil war enters its ninth year. But it was unclear how and when the money would be made available to those in need. EU Humanitarian Aid Commissioner Christos Stylianides said the donors made a “collective pledge of almost $7 billion” for 2019, short of the $8 billion that the United Nations had hoped to raise for...
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China, Saudi Arabia Condemned in Human Rights Report

Voice of America - Thu, 03/14/2019 - 08:30
The human rights situation in China has seen no improvement in recent years, according to a new report presented on Wednesday. The U.S. Department of State also condemns Saudi Arabia in its annual report on human rights abuses around the world. The U.S. ally is cited for last year's killing of U.S.-based Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Istanbul. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports Venezuela is also noted for its abysmal human rights record.
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Senate Demands Trump End US Support for War in Yemen

Voice of America - Thu, 03/14/2019 - 04:50
The U.S. Senate defied President Donald Trump Wednesday and voted to cut off support for the Saudi-led coalition fighting rebels in Yemen. Seven of Trump’s fellow Republicans sided with Democrats in passing the measure 54-46. It now goes to the House, which approved its own similar measure this year, only to have the process stall over a procedural issue. Trump has threatened to veto the bill if it reaches his desk, saying it would undermine the counterterrorism fight. The measure...
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SDF: Fight Against IS in Baghuz More Effective at Night 

Voice of America - Thu, 03/14/2019 - 02:35
U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces continue their push to remove the last remnants of Islamic State militants from eastern Syria, intensifying their attacks at night against what is considered the last piece of territory under the terror group's control.     Coupled with U.S.-led airstrikes, SDF fighters have increasingly been attacking several IS positions inside Baghuz, Syria, late at night, SDF officials told VOA.     On Wednesday, the Kurdish-led...
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Israeli Group Honors Nikki Haley With Coin 

Voice of America - Wed, 03/13/2019 - 22:19
An Israeli organization has minted a coin emblazoned with the face of Nikki Haley, President Donald Trump's former ambassador to the United Nations, to commemorate her defense of Israel in the world body. The Sanhedrin, a Jewish organization that dreams of restoring the Jewish Temple, where ancient temples once stood in Jerusalem's Old City, is one of three religious groups behind the Haley coin. “She supported Israel and she told the truth ... that all the United Nations, all...
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Iran Threatens Defense Overhaul to Counter 'Suspicious Nuclear Projects'

Voice of America - Wed, 03/13/2019 - 21:58
A senior Iranian security official on Wednesday accused regional powers of spending money on "suspicious nuclear projects," and warned that such threats would force Tehran to revise its defense strategy. Ali Shamkhani, the secretary of Iran's Supreme National Security Council, did not name the countries — but a proposed transfer of U.S. nuclear technology to Saudi Arabia has raised concerns in Tehran. The United States, Israel and other allies say Iran's own nuclear...
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US Drops Reference to 'Israeli-Occupied' Golan Heights in Annual Rights Report

Voice of America - Wed, 03/13/2019 - 21:41
The U.S. State Department changed its usual description of the Golan Heights from "Israeli-occupied" to "Israeli-controlled" in an annual global human rights report released Wednesday. Israel has been lobbying U.S. President Donald Trump to recognize Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights, which it effectively annexed in 1981. Israel says the area, captured from Syria in a 1967 war, is a critical buffer zone to defend its territory. A separate section in the...
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UN Expert Criticizes Crackdown on Protesters in Iran

Voice of America - Wed, 03/13/2019 - 21:18
A report critical of Iran's human rights situation and its crackdown on people protesting declining living standards is under review this week at the U.N. Human Rights Council. The U.N. special investigator on the human rights situation in Iran, Javaid Rehman, said the country faces myriad challenges, many related to rising inflation and deteriorating economic and social conditions such as late or unpaid wages, food shortages and lack of health care. The hardships likely will...
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Islamic State Strikes Back in Last Stand at Baghuz

Voice of America - Wed, 03/13/2019 - 21:00
Islamic State fighters launched new counterattacks against U.S.-backed forces Wednesday, as the militants clung to the terror group's last scrap of territory in northeastern Syria. An unknown number of IS fighters have been hiding in a small area by the town of Baghuz covered now by bullet-ravaged campsites and broken buildings. But officials with both the United States and the Syrian Democratic Forces say they have been taking cover from airstrikes and artillery fire in a complex...
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UAE: 7 Emiratis, 2 Egyptians Detained by Iran Were Freed

Voice of America - Wed, 03/13/2019 - 19:54
The United Arab Emirates says seven Emiratis and two Egyptians held by Iran since January after being detained in the Persian Gulf have been freed. The Emirati Foreign Ministry said in a statement Wednesday the nine were detained while on a fishing trip. It said those detained were released into the care of the UAE Coast Guard. Iranian media quoted Emirati media on the release, without elaborating on the case.
Categories: Iraq