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Iraq

Lebanese PM Hariri Withdraws Resignation

Voice of America - Tue, 12/05/2017 - 17:39
Lebanese Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri rescinded his resignation on Tuesday, drawing a line under a month-long crisis triggered when he announced from Riyadh that he was stepping down and remained outside Lebanon for weeks. His coalition government, which includes the Iran-backed Hezbollah group, reaffirmed a state policy of staying out of conflicts in Arab states. Hariri's Saudi allies accuse Hezbollah of waging war across the Middle East as agents of Iran. Hariri's shock...
Categories: Iraq

Protected but Stifled, a Pakistani Minority Feels Imprisoned in its Own Community

Voice of America - Tue, 12/05/2017 - 12:27
Ali Haris dreamed of getting a college degree and a well-paid job. Instead, he had to quit his education after high school. Going to Balochistan University, the only public university in the area that he could afford, would require him to travel through areas unsafe for him, putting his life at risk. “At that time, around 2013-14, there was no chance that if we went there we would come back alive,” he said. He wasn’t alone in giving up the prospects of a comfortable future. “Out...
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UN 'Deeply Concerned' About Yemen's Political, Humanitarian Crisis

Voice of America - Tue, 12/05/2017 - 11:24
Members of the United Nations Security Council are expressing deep concern about the situation in Yemen, a day after rebels killed the country's former president and their former ally, Ali Abdullah Saleh, following a spike in violence in the capital with the dissolution of their alliance. “The latest developments in Yemen create a period of maximal risk, a zone of all dangers – both on the humanitarian and military front,” said France’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations...
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Syria Says it Shot Down 3 Israeli Missiles Near Damascus

Voice of America - Tue, 12/05/2017 - 10:31
Syria's state news agency says Syrian air defense has shot down three Israeli missiles that were targeting a military post near the capital, Damascus. SANA says the attack occurred early on Tuesday but hasn't said whether there were casualties. The attack comes three days after Syria said Israel fired several surface-to-surface missiles at a military post near Damascus, causing material damage but no casualties. There was no Israeli comment on the incident. The...
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Trump Delays Announcement on Whether US Embassy to Be Moved to Jerusalem

Voice of America - Tue, 12/05/2017 - 05:54
President Donald Trump will not announce a decision on Monday on whether he will again delay moving the U.S. embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, a White House spokesman said, despite Monday’s deadline for doing so. An announcement on the decision will be made “in coming days,” White House spokesman Hogan Gidley told reporters aboard Air Force One as Trump was returning from a trip to Utah. Temporary order expected Trump had been due to decide whether to sign a waiver that would hold off...
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Iraq Child Marriage Bill Draws UN Ire

Voice of America - Tue, 12/05/2017 - 05:07
A proposed law that could allow marriage for children as young as 9 years old in Iraq would rob boys and girls already scarred by war of their childhoods, top U.N. officials said Monday. The bill, which would allow religious leaders to govern marriage contracts and wed children, has prompted public demonstrations by women's rights groups and activists in Iraq. "The boys and girls of Iraq, already victims of grave violations resulting from years of conflict, are now at risk of...
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Mali: Saudis Pledge $100M to African Anti-jihadist Force 

Voice of America - Tue, 12/05/2017 - 04:16
Mali: Saudis Pledge $100M to African Anti-jihadist Force    Saudi Arabia has pledged $100 million to a new regional military force battling jihadist groups in West Africa's Sahel region, force member Mali said on Monday. The contribution would be a major boost to the cash-strapped force and bring pledged commitments to more than half the roughly $500 million the G5 Sahel says it needs for its first year of operations. The G5 Sahel — composed of the armies of Mali,...
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Lebanon's Hariri to Meet Major Powers in Paris

Voice of America - Tue, 12/05/2017 - 04:00
Lebanese Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri will meet ministers from major powers in Paris on Friday to discuss ways of stabilizing his country a month after his shock resignation plunged it into political turmoil, three diplomats said. The Arab and European diplomats said Hariri would take part in the meeting of the International Lebanon Support Group, a body that includes the five members of the U.N. Security Council - Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States. Hariri resigned...
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Qatar's Ruler to Attend Gulf Meeting in Kuwait Amid Dispute

Voice of America - Tue, 12/05/2017 - 03:24
Qatar's ruling emir will attend a meeting of the Gulf Cooperation Council this week in Kuwait, his government said Monday, a summit coming amid a boycott of the energy-rich country by three of the council's members. The ongoing dispute has threatened to tear apart the six-member GCC, all U.S. allies who serve in part as a Gulf Arab counterbalance to Shiite power Iran. Already, the island nation of Bahrain had threatened that it wouldn't take part in any meeting that Qatar...
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Ankara Steps Up Threats Against Syrian Kurdish Enclave

Voice of America - Mon, 12/04/2017 - 23:45
For security reasons, Turkey is ratcheting up its threat to intervene militarily against Kurdish forces in Afrin, a Syrian region on Turkey’s border. Analysts say doing so could potentially bring Turkish forces into a confrontation with the United States and Russia, which back the Kurdish fighters, known as the YPG. Ankara considers the YPG militia, which controls Afrin, of being affiliated with the Kurdistan Workers Party, or PKK, which is waging a Kurdish insurgency inside...
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'Tens of Thousands' of Unexploded IEDs Remain in Raqqa

Voice of America - Mon, 12/04/2017 - 23:40
It will take years to remove improvised explosive devices left behind by Islamic State fighters who fled Raqqa, the Syrian city that served as the capital of the terror group's self-declared caliphate. A coalition official involved in the U.S.-led anti-IS campaign estimated "tens of thousands" of unexploded IEDs remain in Raqqa, which was captured by U.S.-backed forces in October after nearly three years of Islamic State rule. "The scale of this is...
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Yemen's Former President Saleh Killed After Houthis Stop His Motorcade

Voice of America - Mon, 12/04/2017 - 16:44
It was a bitter end for the former president who had ruled the north of Yemen and then a united north and south for nearly 34 years. His death came at the hand of Houthi militiamen who were pursuing him and a number of close aides as they attempted to flee fighting inside the capital Sanaa.  Amateur video released by Houthi media show the former president with an apparent gunshot wound to the head, being carried off in a blanket. Members of his political party claimed Saleh had been...
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Airstrikes, Battles in Yemen's Capital as Rebel Alliance Unravels

Voice of America - Mon, 12/04/2017 - 11:30
Airstrikes struck Yemen's capital, Sana'a, overnight and into Monday with witnesses saying the bombings hit Houthi rebel positions. A Saudi-led coalition that has launched airstrikes against the Houthis in Yemen since March 2015 is the only force known to conduct strikes on Sana'a. Robert Mardini, Middle East regional director for the International Committee of the Red Cross, said "the night was tough" in the city with massive clashes that included airstrikes and...
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Kushner: Trump Has Not Decided Whether to Recognize Jerusalem As Israel's Capital

Voice of America - Mon, 12/04/2017 - 08:44
U.S. President Donald Trump has not yet decided whether to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital and whether to move the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem as promised during his campaign. The president's son-in-law and senior advisor Jared Kushner said Sunday that the president is still considering various facts. Trump has until Monday to make a decision. VOA's Zlatica Hoke has more.
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Arab Leaders Warn Against US Recognition of Jerusalem as Israeli Capital

Voice of America - Mon, 12/04/2017 - 07:40
Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi says he told U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson of the "dangerous consequences" that would follow if the United States recognizes Jerusalem as Israel's capital. "Such a decision would trigger anger across Arab Muslim worlds, fuel tension and jeopardize peace efforts," Safadi said on Twitter. U.S. President Donald Trump is expected to make an announcement this week concerning his administration's policy on...
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After Return Home, Former Egypt PM Says Still Mulling Election Bid

Voice of America - Mon, 12/04/2017 - 05:51
Former Egyptian prime minister Ahmed Shafik, who returned home from the United Arab Emirates after announcing his bid for Egypt's presidency, appeared in Cairo on Sunday to say he was still considering his run in next year's election. Shafik's comments on a private Cairo television station came a day after his family said he had been taken from their home in the Emirates and deported back to Egypt, where they said they had lost contact with him until late on Sunday. Shafik,...
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Reports: Syrian, Russian Jets Bomb Residential Areas in Eastern Ghouta

Voice of America - Mon, 12/04/2017 - 03:57
Jets believed to be Syrian and Russian struck heavily crowded residential areas in a besieged rebel enclave near Damascus, killing at least 27 people and injuring dozens in the third week of a stepped-up assault, residents, aid workers and a war monitor said on Monday. Civil defense workers said at least 17 were killed in the town of Hamoriya in an airstrike on a marketplace and nearby residential area after over nearly 30 strikes in the past 24 hours that struck several towns in the...
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Gunbattles Rage as Yemen's Rebel Alliance Unravels

Voice of America - Mon, 12/04/2017 - 01:55
Gunbattles erupted in the Yemeni capital Sana'a Sunday as an alliance between the Iran-backed Shi'ite rebels known as the Houthis and former president Ali Abdullah Saleh appeared to have fallen apart. The two sides joined ranks three years ago and swept across the capital, Sana'a, forcing the country's internationally recognized President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi to flee the country and seek military intervention led by Saudi Arabia. The Houthis' political office...
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Netanyahu Says Iran’s Presence in Syria Won’t Be Tolerated

Voice of America - Sun, 12/03/2017 - 23:45
Israel won’t allow Iran to entrench itself militarily in Syria, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed Sunday.   His remarks, in a taped message to a forum in Washington, came just a day after Israeli aircraft attacked a suspected Iranian base outside Damascus and could suggest the Middle East is entering a new volatile phase in a confrontation between Israel and Iran. “Let me reiterate Israel’s policy,” Netanyahu said.  “We will not allow a regime hell bent on the...
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Kurdish Forces Announce IS Defeat in Eastern Syria

Voice of America - Sun, 12/03/2017 - 18:41
Kurdish forces in Syria announced Sunday that they had regained control of a key area east of the Euphrates river from Islamic State militants. The People's Protection Units (YPG) thanked Russian forces as well as the United States-led coalition for logistical and air support in retaking Deir al-Zour's eastern countryside. Speaking at a news conference Sunday, YPG's spokesperson Noureddine Mahmoud said that he hoped for more coordination with the two international...
Categories: Iraq