in Iraq


Bombing in Bahrain Town Home to Cleric Kills Police Officer

Voice of America - Mon, 06/19/2017 - 05:46
A bombing in a Bahrain town home to a prominent Shiite cleric has killed one police officer and wounded two. Bahrain's Interior Ministry announced the death in Diraz early Monday, blaming “terrorists” for the attack in a post on Twitter. The February 14 Youth Coalition, which has claimed attacks in the past, posted a video online it said showed its masked members throwing gasoline bombs at police gathered near the home of Shiite cleric Isa Qassim. The group is named after the date...
Categories: Iraq

US Fighter Jet Downs Syrian Warplane

Voice of America - Mon, 06/19/2017 - 01:13
A U.S. fighter jet shot down a Syrian warplane Sunday after it reportedly bombed U.S.-backed fighters battling Islamic State. The Pentagon said Sunday a Syrian SU-22 dropped bombs on coalition-partnered fighters near the town of Tabqah. A U.S. Super Hornet immediately responded and shot down the Syrian plane. There is no word on the pilot’s fate or any other casualties. Earlier, Syrian forces attacked coalition fighters in Ja'Din, wounding a number of fighters and driving them...
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Iran Says It Fired Missiles at Terror Bases in Eastern Syria

Voice of America - Sun, 06/18/2017 - 23:57
Iran's Revolutionary Guard says it fired missiles at terrorists based in eastern Syria Sunday, to retaliate for an attack in Tehran earlier this month. The guard says a "large number of terrorists were killed and weapons destroyed" in the strikes on Deir Ezzor province. It says targets included terror headquarters and a car bomb-making facility. Seventeen people were killed and more than 50 wounded in the June 7 terror attacks on the parliament compound and a shrine to...
Categories: Iraq

IS Victim Wants to Show Terrorism's Consequences Through Film

Voice of America - Sun, 06/18/2017 - 20:00
Lisa Calan’s legs are buried next to her father’s grave, the result of an Islamic State bombing at a political rally two years ago, one of the extremist group’s early attacks in Turkey.   “So I guess I can say I am already partly in the grave,” the 29-year-old film professional told VOA.   During the past four years, IS has killed almost 400 people and wounded more than 1,000 in Turkey, starting with 51 dead in two car bombs on May 11, 2013, according to a VOA tally from news...
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Iraqi Forces Begin Assault on Mosul’s Old City

NY Times Iraq - Sun, 06/18/2017 - 18:01
Fierce resistance from Islamic State fighters suggested that the last phase of a monthslong battle could go on for days or weeks.
Categories: Iraq

Saudi-Turkish Ties Strained over Differing Views on Qatar

Voice of America - Sun, 06/18/2017 - 17:51
Ties between Saudi Arabia and Turkey have begun to fray due to sharply different policies toward Qatar. Saudi Arabia has led other Arab nations in cutting diplomatic ties with Qatar over allegations the small Gulf nation backs terror groups and that its policies, including its support for Islamist groups, threatens the region. Qatar denies it backs terror groups and says the decision to isolate it is politically motivated. Turkey, which is a strong backer of Islamist groups like the...
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Heath Official: 25 Killed in Saudi Airstrikes on Yemen Market

Voice of America - Sun, 06/18/2017 - 14:44
At least 25 Yemenis were killed when Saudi-led coalition aircraft struck a market in the northern Saada province, a local health official said on Sunday, the latest in a string of deadly incidents in the 27-month-old conflict. Officials from the Saudi-led coalition could not immediately be reached for a comment on the report. Yemen has been torn by a civil war in which the exiled government of President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi, backed by the Saudi-led coalition, is trying to roll back...
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Iran, China Conduct Naval Drill in Gulf

Voice of America - Sun, 06/18/2017 - 14:25
Iran and China began a joint naval exercise in the Gulf on Sunday, the Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA) reported. The military drill comes at a time of heightened tension between the Iranian and U.S. military in the Gulf and is likely to be a cause of concern for Washington. In recent months, the U.S. navy has accused the Iranian navy of sending fast-attack boats to harass warships as they pass through the Strait of Hormuz. An Iranian destroyer and two Chinese destroyers are...
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Aid Convoy to Besieged Area Comes Under Fire in Syria

Voice of America - Sun, 06/18/2017 - 14:09
A convoy delivering aid to a besieged opposition area outside Syria's capital has come under attack, seriously wounding a driver of the Syrian Arab Red Crescent and thwarting the first such mission to the area in eight months, aid groups said Sunday.   The 37-truck convoy, jointly organized by the International Committee of the Red Cross, the Syrian Arab Red Crescent and the United Nations, was to deliver food and medicine to 11,000 people in the town of East Harasta.   An...
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Israel Revokes Ramadan Goodwill Measures After Deadly Attack

Voice of America - Sun, 06/18/2017 - 13:43
Israel revoked on Sunday the permits of 200,000 Palestinians to enter Israel that were approved for the holy month of Ramadan following two near simultaneous Palestinian attacks on police that killed a young female officer near Jerusalem's Old City. Israeli defense body COGAT, posted the announcement on its Arabic language Facebook page. Earlier, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that preparations are underway to destroy the homes of the Palestinian attackers and tighten security...
Categories: Iraq

Iraqi Forces Launch Final Assault on IS-Held Mosul Old City

Voice of America - Sun, 06/18/2017 - 10:54
Iraqi forces launched a final assault on Mosul's Old city, the last stronghold of Islamic State in their self-declared "caliphate" in Iraq. Following overnight airstrikes by the U.S.-led coalition, Iraqi forces began the attack on the historic district of Iraq's second largest city at dawn, military commanders said. According to VOA's Heather Murdock in Mosul, soldiers say they have broken through the first defense lines that surround the area, where as many as...
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Yemen Government Agrees to UN Hodeidah Plan, Houthis Skeptical

Voice of America - Sat, 06/17/2017 - 23:39
Yemen's Saudi-backed government said on Saturday it agreed to a two-point plan advanced by the United Nations to ease suffering in the country's civil war, but the Iran-aligned Houthi movement remained sceptical. On Thursday the U.N. Security Council urged the warring parties to agree on a U.N.-brokered plan to keep the Houthi-held port of Hodeidah out of the fighting and to resume government salary payments. The U.N. has proposed that Hodeidah, a vital aid delivery point on...
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UN Chief Set to Name New Libya Envoy After Rare Contentious Search

Voice of America - Sat, 06/17/2017 - 23:14
United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres was set to name a former Lebanese culture minister as new U.N. envoy to Libya, ending an unusually contentious four-month search that followed U.S. rejection of his first suggestion. Guterres on Friday officially put forward Ghassan Salame, a professor of International Relations and Conflict Resolution at Sciences-Po in Paris, according to a letter seen by Reuters on Saturday. Diplomats said objections were unlikely and the U.N. Security...
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US Cautious But Hopeful About New Syria Cease-fire

Voice of America - Sat, 06/17/2017 - 23:03
The United States supports a 48-hour cease-fire declared by the Syrian army in southern Syria but says it will wait to see what happens before judging its effectiveness. "We will judge this initiative by the results, not the words," State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said in a statement Saturday. "The opposition should similarly halt attacks to allow the cease-fire to endure — and hopefully be extended — and humanitarian aid to reach those in need." Earlier...
Categories: Iraq

Following IS Attacks, Iran Cracks Down on Armed Dissident Groups

Voice of America - Sat, 06/17/2017 - 22:27
Iranian forces have staged operations against dissidents they say were planning terror attacks during Ramadan in the wake of twin suicide assaults on symbolic sites in Tehran. Officials linked one group to Saudi Arabia, which it claims is trying to destabilize the country. Intelligence forces killed three members of the small Ansar al-Forqan group and arrested five others Wednesday in the southeastern city of Chabahar in Sistan and Balouchestan province, seizing seven suicide vests and a...
Categories: Iraq

Israeli Police, Palestinian Militants Deny IS Claim in Fatal Stabbing of Policewoman

Voice of America - Sat, 06/17/2017 - 03:09
Palestinian militants and Israeli police have both denied a claim by the Islamic State that it is responsible for attacks carried out by three Palestinian men near Jerusalem’s Old City that ended with the death of an Israeli policewoman.The men were shot dead by Israeli security forces. The police and the militants said the attackers were local individuals who were not associated with the terrorist group. Officials said there were two simultaneous attacks Friday near the Damascus Gate,...
Categories: Iraq

US-led Coalition Closely Monitoring Turkish Training of Syrian Militia

Voice of America - Sat, 06/17/2017 - 00:07
The U.S.-led coalition in Syria is closely monitoring Turkey's arming and training of a Syrian militia in northern Syria and asking Turkey instead to return the region to control of local residents, coalition sources told VOA. U.S. Army Colonel Joseph Scrocca, spokesman for the U.S.-led coalition's Operation Inherent Resolve, told VOA that the coalition "feels strongly that any land seized [from Islamic State] should be returned to the people and governed by local...
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Mosul Battle: Searching for Bodies in IS Rubble

Voice of America - Fri, 06/16/2017 - 22:10
Like most teenagers in Mosul, Iraq, Dhyab Idris Abdulghani dropped out of school once Islamic State (IS) militants took over and changed textbooks into pro-violence treatises. During their nearly three-year rule of his area, he sold ice cream and juice from a cart on the street. Then the war for Mosul came to their neighborhood. As Iraqi forces pushed in, the 17-year-old and his family ran. He held a small cousin while IS militants fired at them from behind. Two weeks later, IS...
Categories: Iraq

UN: Iraqi Civilians in West Mosul Held as Human Shields

Voice of America - Fri, 06/16/2017 - 22:02
The United Nations refugee agency reports more than 100,000 Iraqis may still be held hostage by Islamic State militants in western Mosul. The UNHCR warns conditions in the old city are worsening for the civilians trapped there. The Iraqi military offensive to retake Mosul from Islamic State was launched on October 17. The battle got off to a good start as the militants were ousted rather quickly from their stronghold in the east. After claiming that part of the city, Iraqi forces embarked...
Categories: Iraq

Mosul Battle: Searching for Bodies in IS Rubble

Voice of America - Fri, 06/16/2017 - 21:20
The United Nations estimates that 100,000 civilians may still be trapped in the Old City of Mosul, Iraq, the Islamic State’s last and most tightly held stronghold here. More than 230 civilians have been killed by IS sniper fire in recent weeks, and hundreds of others from airstrikes, according to the U.N. Civilians who have fled IS in Mosul say the death tolls are far higher.
Categories: Iraq