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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...
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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...
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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...
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Time Is Netanyahu's Ally in Weathering Israel Legal Storm

Voice of America - Thu, 08/10/2017 - 02:52
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has described the din of criminal investigations around him as "background noise" and dismissed speculation he will be forced to resign by saying simply on Facebook: "Won't happen." He might just be right. At the moment time appears to be on Netanyahu's side and - unlike his predecessor Ehud Olmert, who quit and later went to jail for corruption - he leads a relatively stable coalition government and presides over a...
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Netanyahu Accuses Israeli Left, Media of Trying to Oust Him

Voice of America - Thu, 08/10/2017 - 01:37
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu accused his leftist opponents and the country's media on Wednesday of trying to oust his government by pressuring investigators to indict him "at any cost." Netanyahu, 67, has been questioned under caution by police in two cases. "Case 1000" deals with gifts given to him and his family by businessmen, while a second, "Case 2000," is related to conversations he held with an Israeli publisher. Police have also...
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Jordan Issues New Work Permits to Syrian Refugees

Voice of America - Thu, 08/10/2017 - 00:01
- Jordan on Wednesday became the first Arab country to issue Syrian refugees with a new type of work permit that opens up the growing construction sector, the U.N. labor agency said. The International Labor Organization said work permits for refugees used to be tied to specific employers, who applied on behalf of workers to fill specific positions. Now, refugees can apply themselves, then take available roles in the industry. "The construction sector has a significant number of...
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Iranian President Names Three Women to Government Posts After Criticism

Voice of America - Wed, 08/09/2017 - 23:28
Iranian president Hassan Rouhani appointed two women vice presidents on Wednesday, but made no changes to an all-male list of cabinet ministers criticized by reformists for its lack of female representation. Massoumeh Ebtekar, head of the Department of Environment in Rouhani's first term, was appointed vice president for women and family affairs while Laya Joneidi was named vice president for legal affairs. Another woman, Shahindokht Molaverdi, was made the president's assistant...
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Up to 50 Migrants 'Deliberately Drowned' Off Yemen, UN Says

Voice of America - Wed, 08/09/2017 - 23:17
Up to 50 migrants from Somalia and Ethiopia were "deliberately drowned" when a smuggler forced them into the sea off Yemen's coast, the U.N. migration agency said Wednesday, calling the drownings "shocking and inhumane." International Organization for Migration staffers found the shallow graves of 29 of the migrants on a beach in Shabwa during a routine patrol, the agency's statement said. The dead were buried by those who survived. At least 22 migrants...
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Qatar Waives Visas for 80 Nationalities Amid Gulf Boycott

Voice of America - Wed, 08/09/2017 - 22:14
Qatar announced on Wednesday a program to allow visa-free entry for citizens of 80 countries to encourage air transport and tourism amid a two-month boycott imposed on the Gulf state by its neighbors. Nationals from dozens of countries in Europe and elsewhere including India, Lebanon, New Zealand, South Africa and the United States will now receive tourist visas on arrival to the gas-rich country which hosts the soccer World Cup in 2022. "The visa exemption scheme will make Qatar...
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Islamic State Still a Threat as Mosul Residents Return to City in Ruins

Voice of America - Wed, 08/09/2017 - 21:42
Abu Ghazi stood smoking a cigarette outside what used to be his home in Mosul's Old City, where only the sound of the footsteps of a few soldiers on patrol and twisted pieces of metal and fabric flapping in the wind disturb the eerie silence. "They should just bulldoze the whole thing and start over," he said, gazing at the rows of collapsed buildings with their contents strewn across the upturned streets. "There's no saving it now, not like this." Hundreds...
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Hundreds Rally in Support of Israel's Netanyahu

Voice of America - Wed, 08/09/2017 - 20:20
Israel's ruling Likud Party kicked off a rally on Wednesday in support of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in what it hopes will be a show of force by the beleaguered Israeli leader as he battles a slew of corruption allegations.   Likud leaders were putting heavy pressure on party activists to attend the rally on Wednesday evening in Tel Aviv. Hundreds of supporters packed a Tel Aviv convention center ahead of Netanyahu's expected speech. Some supporters held signs and...
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As Caliphate Crumbles, Islamic State Turns to Old-Fashioned Crime

Voice of America - Wed, 08/09/2017 - 16:00
There’s an increasing convergence between criminal and jihadist milieus in European countries — notably France and the Low Countries, generally Belgium and the Netherlands. Radicalization experts say they expect the crime-terror nexus to grow as Islamic State tries to find new sources of revenue to replace those it is losing as its caliphate shrinks, and to mount attacks in Europe to demonstrate its continued relevance. The presence of former convicts and criminals inside terrorist groups...
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Syrian Man Charged in Germany With War Crimes, IS Membership

Voice of America - Wed, 08/09/2017 - 15:18
German prosecutors say they've arrested a 29-year-old Syrian man on allegations he committed war crimes as a member of the Islamic State group in his home country.   The federal prosecutor's office said Wednesday that Fares A. B., whose last name wasn't released in line with privacy laws, is also accused of membership in a terrorist organization.   Prosecutors allege that he joined the Nusra Front extremist organization in 2013, and then moved to IS in...
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Syrian Man Charged in Germany With War Crimes, IS Membership

Voice of America - Wed, 08/09/2017 - 15:09
German prosecutors say they've arrested a 29-year-old Syrian man on allegations he committed war crimes as a member of the Islamic State group in his home country.   The federal prosecutor's office said Wednesday that Fares A. B., whose last name wasn't released in line with privacy laws, is also accused of membership in a terrorist organization.   Prosecutors allege that he joined the Nusra Front extremist organization in 2013, and then moved to IS in...
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Q&A: Why Some Countries Are Trying to Muzzle Al-Jazeera

Voice of America - Tue, 08/08/2017 - 23:46
The Al-Jazeera global news network has once again become the subject of the news. The Israeli government called this week for the Qatar-based network's Jerusalem bureau to be closed, its journalists' press credentials revoked and its transmission blocked. The move follows a decision by Saudi Arabia and Jordan to shutter the network's local offices. Its websites and channels were also blocked in Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain. Egypt has banned Al-Jazeera...
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Protection Concerns High in Aftermath of Mosul Battle

Voice of America - Tue, 08/08/2017 - 23:00
A senior U.N. official said Monday that civilians in Mosul, Iraq, remained at risk of revenge attacks from Islamic State militants. Lise Grande, deputy special representative of the U.N. Assistance Mission for Iraq, said that while the fighting in the former IS stronghold was over, the humanitarian crisis was not. The problems resulting from the nine-month fight in Mosul — the single largest urban battle since World War II — are enormous and difficult to handle, she said. Grande said...
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Lebanon's Army Prepares to Clear Border Area of IS Militants

Voice of America - Tue, 08/08/2017 - 22:56
Lebanon's U.S.-backed military is gearing up for a long-awaited assault to dislodge hundreds of Islamic State militants from a remote corner near Syrian border, seeking to end a years-long threat posed to neighboring towns and villages by the extremists. The campaign will involve cooperation with the militant group Hezbollah and the Syrian army on the other side of the border — although Lebanese authorities insist they are not coordinating with Syrian President Bashar Assad's...
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US Military: Iranian Drone Comes Within 30 Meters of US Fighter Jet

Voice of America - Tue, 08/08/2017 - 22:25
An Iranian drone came within 30 meters of a U.S. Navy fighter jet that was waiting to land on the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz as it traveled in the central Persian Gulf, the U.S. Navy and U.S. Central Command said Tuesday. U.S. military statements said an F/A-18E Super Hornet jet was in a holding pattern above the USS Nimitz when a QOM-1 Iranian drone “executed unsafe and unprofessional altitude changes” nearby.   “The F/A-18E maneuvered to avoid collision with the QOM-1...
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Iraq, Saudi Arabia Reopen Land Border and Prepare to Resume Air Links

Voice of America - Tue, 08/08/2017 - 21:00
Saudi Arabia and Iraq say they are in the process of improving relations after the first busloads of Iraqi pilgrims entered the Saudi kingdom through a border crossing at Arar, which had been closed for 27 years. The nations also say that they are resuming air transportation, but have not set a date for the first flights. Saudi and Iraqi officials embraced each other to celebrate the reopening of their Arar border crossing. A convoy of tour buses carrying more than 1,000 Iraqi pilgrims...
Categories: Iraq