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Iraq

Qatar: Arab States' Blocakde Is Collective Punishment

Voice of America - Fri, 06/16/2017 - 17:51
The head of Qatar's human rights committee has denounced moves by several Arab states to isolate his country as "collective punishment" and has appealed to United Nations experts to investigate the impact of the blockade. Ali Bin Samikh al-Marri says the isolation of the Persian Gulf emirate is worse than injustices that were imposed by the Berlin Wall. He spoke on Friday in Geneva, saying his group was taking action through the United Nations and requesting a...
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UN: Lifesaving Programs for Syrian Children at Risk

Voice of America - Fri, 06/16/2017 - 13:49
The U.N. children’s fund warns it may be forced to cut some lifesaving programs for millions of children inside Syria and in neighboring countries because it has run out of money.  UNICEF says it has received 25 percent of its $1.4 billion appeal for emergency operations this year. That is the fund’s the most severe funding gap since the agency began responding to the Syria crisis more than six years ago. It says it urgently needs to receive $220 million or it will be forced to...
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US Skeptical of Russian Claim it Killed IS Leader

Voice of America - Fri, 06/16/2017 - 10:56
U.S. officials are highly skeptical about reports that Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi may have been killed in an airstrike last month. Russia's army said Friday that one of its airstrikes in Syria in late May targeting IS commanders might have killed the terror group's leader, but a senior Trump administration official said the U.S. wasn't convinced al-Baghdadi was dead. Speaking to reporters aboard Air Force One, the official said there were "a number of...
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Senate’s Iran Sanctions Bill Faces Differing Views in House

Voice of America - Fri, 06/16/2017 - 05:55
A newly passed Senate bill that would impose additional U.S. sanctions on Iran faces uncertain prospects for passage in the House, whose members are expressing differing views about its efficacy. Hours after the Senate approved the Countering Iran’s Destabilizing Activities Act in a near-unanimous 98-2 vote Thursday, the House’s majority Republican leaders had not said when they will act on it. The bill also would sanction Russia for interfering in the 2016 U.S. election, a charge Moscow...
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UN Security Council Urges Peaceful Settlement in Yemen

Voice of America - Fri, 06/16/2017 - 02:20
The U.N. Security Council Thursday urged the parties to the conflict in Yemen to work towards a peace settlement to prevent the country from slipping further into a humanitarian catastrophe. In a lengthy statement agreed to by all 15 council members, it expressed deep concern about the recent outbreak of cholera and the growing possibility of famine. “The Security Council emphasizes that the conflict in Yemen will only be resolved through the resumption of an inclusive political...
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Europol: European Jihadists Getting Younger, Increasingly Female

Voice of America - Fri, 06/16/2017 - 00:30
Jihadists attempting to launch terror attacks in Europe are trending younger and more of them are women than ever before, Europe's top law enforcement agency said in a new report released Thursday. Last year in Europe, police arrested 718 alleged jihadist terrorists  representing a near two-fold increase over the 395 jihadists arrested in 2014. Of those arrested, almost one third were under the age of 25, and about one in four were women, according to the report. Those...
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Egypt Panel Defies Parliament on Red Sea Islands Transfer

Voice of America - Thu, 06/15/2017 - 21:34
A senior constitutional panel in Egypt has concluded that two courts, which ruled to annul an agreement to transfer control of two Red Sea islands to Saudi Arabia, acted within their jurisdiction.     The panel's report, published Thursday in Egyptian media, defies Egypt's parliament, which the previous day overwhelmingly backed the 2016 deal on the islands transfer. It also signals the start of what is potentially a destabilizing legal battle between the judiciary and...
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Ankara Pushes Back on Iraqi Kurd Independence Bid

Voice of America - Thu, 06/15/2017 - 21:15
A bid by Iraqi Kurds to achieve independence could threaten a partnership with neighboring Turkey. "The [referendum] decision by the northern Iraqi authority deeply saddened us," Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan told his ruling AKP lawmakers this past Tuesday. "A step toward the independence of northern Iraq is a threat to the territorial integrity of Iraq, and it is wrong," he added. Erdogan has built a close, if not unlikely, relationship with Masoud...
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US Police Issue Arrest Warrants in Turkish Bodyguard Attack on Protesters

Voice of America - Thu, 06/15/2017 - 20:21
Eighteen people linked to an attack on protesters last month — including bodyguards to Turkey's president — face assault charges in Washington, D.C., city officials said Thursday. Four have been arrested; the remainder are at large. Watch: Police in Washington Seek Arrest of 16 More in Attack on Anti-Erdogan Protesters The announcement at a news conference by the city's mayor and police chief follows a nearly monthlong investigation in which police scrutinized video...
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Syrians Refugees Head Home on Foot From Turkey for Eid Holiday

Voice of America - Thu, 06/15/2017 - 19:35
Carrying suitcases, shopping bags and toddlers, thousands of refugees walked back home into Syria from Turkey on Thursday ahead of the Eid festival that marks the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. Turkey has taken in some 3 million Syrian migrants since the start of civil war in 2011, making it home to the world's largest refugee population. Now Ankara is giving Syrian refugees the right to return to Turkey within a month if they want to go home to celebrate the Eid al-Fitr...
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Fighting, Red Tape Prevent Humanitarian Aid Deliveries in Syria

Voice of America - Thu, 06/15/2017 - 18:40
A Senior United Nations official says intense fighting in Syria and bureaucratic red tape are impeding the delivery of desperately needed humanitarian assistance to hundreds of thousands of people trapped in besieged areas. U.N. Special Envoy for Syria Jan Egeland says the United Nations has been unable to deliver food, medicine and other essential items to some 600,000 people in 12 besieged areas for the past 40 days. He says it also is extremely difficult to reach millions of others in...
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Iraqi Forces say About to Encircle Islamic State in Mosul's Old City

Voice of America - Thu, 06/15/2017 - 18:39
Iraqi forces said they were about to complete the encirclement of Islamic State's stronghold in the Old City of Mosul, after taking control of a neighboring district on Thursday. Iraq's military said it had captured Bab Sinjar, north of the historic, densely-populated district where the militants launched their cross-border "caliphate" in 2014. Government forces and their allies still have to take full control of Medical City, a complex of hospitals further north...
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UN: Trucks Readied to Send Polio Vaccine For IS-Held Syria

Voice of America - Thu, 06/15/2017 - 18:17
A U.N. humanitarian aid adviser for Syria says trucks are being prepared to ship polio vaccine into Islamic State group-held areas of Deir Ezzor governorate following confirmation of a "very dangerous" outbreak of the virus.   Jan Egeland made the comment to reporters Thursday in the wake of the confirmation announced last week by the World Health Organization of two cases in Deir Ezzor of a polio strain derived from vaccines that mutated under weakening health and...
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Fighter Jet Deal Adds to US Ties to Qatar

Voice of America - Thu, 06/15/2017 - 11:42
A deal between the United States and Qatar for F-15 fighter jets and a visit to Doha by two American warships Thursday showed the vital military links Washington maintains with a country now in a dispute with several other Arab nations.   Qatar remains the home of some 10,000 American troops at a major U.S. military base in the Mideast. So far, the dispute between Doha and nations led by Saudi Arabia has yet to shake that partnership, though cracks are showing in responses from...
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Saudi Coalition: Yemen Rebels Fired Missile at UAE Ship

Voice of America - Thu, 06/15/2017 - 06:01
A Saudi-led coalition says rebels in Yemen have fired a missile at an Emirati ship, causing no damage but wounding one sailor. A statement early Thursday carried by the state-run Saudi Press Agency said rebels fired on the ship as it left Mokha, a strategic Red Sea port. Saudi-led forces began their war in Yemen in March 2015, battling Shiite rebels known as Houthis who hold the capital, Sanaa, with their allies. Emirati ships have been targeted before in the conflict. The attack...
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US Arrests Nearly 200 Iraqis in Deportation Sweep

Voice of America - Thu, 06/15/2017 - 04:21
U.S. immigration authorities have arrested and moved to deport 199 Iraqi immigrants, mostly from the Detroit area, in the last three weeks after Iraq agreed to accept deportees as part of a deal removing it from President Donald Trump's travel ban, officials said on Wednesday. In the Detroit area, 114 Iraqi nationals were arrested over the weekend, and 85 throughout the rest of the country over the past several weeks, Gillian Christensen, a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement...
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Human Rights Groups Dispute Russian Claims Aleppo, Syria 'Liberated' From Terrorists

Voice of America - Thu, 06/15/2017 - 04:00
Human rights groups have disputed Russian claims that Aleppo has been “liberated” from Jabhat al-Nusra (al-Qaida) terrorists and affiliated extremists, accusing Russian and Syrian forces of having bombed Syria's second largest city into submission. In commemoration of six months after what they called the “liberation of Aleppo,” the Russian mission hosted a side event Wednesday at the United Nations Human Rights Council called “Aleppo: A City Free from Terror, New Life, New Hopes” to...
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ICRC: Urban Warfare Takes Heavy Civilian Toll in Syria, Iraq, Yemen

Voice of America - Thu, 06/15/2017 - 01:16
Urban warfare is taking root in conflicts across the Middle East, with five times more civilians in Syria and Iraq killed in cities than in rural areas over the past three years, the International Committee of the Red Cross said Wednesday. Tens of thousands of war-related fatalities among city dwellers accounted for 70 percent of civilian deaths in the two countries during the period, the agency said. The Yemeni cities of Taiz, Sadaa and Sana'a have also become deadly...
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Qatari Businesses Find New Suppliers After Gulf Boycott

Voice of America - Thu, 06/15/2017 - 00:54
The sanctions imposed by Saudi Arabia and other Arab states on Qatar have been a blessing for Mohammed Kuwari and his al-Rawa brand of yoghurt. With competing Saudi products off the shelves, his business is booming. “Our sales doubled! There's lots of production as you can see and we have a big share in the market now,” said the 30-year-old dairy factory owner. Previously he struggled to compete against products trucked in from Saudi firms like the Middle East's biggest dairy,...
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Iranian Navy Trains Laser on US Chopper, Turns Spotlight on American Ship

Voice of America - Thu, 06/15/2017 - 00:40
An Iranian military vessel trained a laser on an American helicopter that was accompanying three U.S. military ships in the Strait of Hormuz, Navy officials said Wednesday. Commander Bill Urban, spokesman for the U.S. Navy's 5th Fleet, said the Iranian vessel, which came within 730 meters of the USS Baatan assault ship, acted in an "unsafe and unprofessional" manner late Tuesday. "The amphibious assault ship USS Bataan, guided missile destroyer USS Cole and dry cargo...
Categories: Iraq