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Iraq

Saudi Forces Kill 8 in Shiite Area, Agency Says

Voice of America - Sun, 05/12/2019 - 02:45
Saudi Arabia’s security forces killed eight alleged terrorists in a shootout in the predominantly Shiite eastern region of Qatif, a government statement issued late Saturday said. The Interior Ministry said security forces launched a raid against a suspected militant hideout on the island of Tarot off the coast of the kingdom’s Eastern Province, a restive region on the Persian Gulf where most of the country’s oil reserves are located. The statement described the group as a “terrorist...
Categories: Iraq

Netanyahu to Ask for More Time to Form Government

Voice of America - Sun, 05/12/2019 - 02:05
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will ask Israel's president for more time to form a new government, a spokesman said Saturday.  In office for a decade, Netanyahu won a record fifth term in an April 9 parliamentary election, largely seen as a de facto referendum on his leadership as he faces possible indictment in three corruption cases. He denies the charges.  Netanyahu is negotiating terms with nearly all the right-wing, nationalist and...
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Iran's Rouhani Calls for Unity in Face of US Pressure

Voice of America - Sun, 05/12/2019 - 01:14
President Hassan Rouhani called Saturday for unity among Iran's political factions to overcome conditions that he said might be harder than those during the 1980s war with Iraq, state media reported as the country faces tightening U.S. sanctions.  U.S. President Donald Trump on Thursday urged Iran's leaders talk with him about giving up their nuclear program and said he could not rule out a military confrontation. Trump made the offer as he...
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Syrian Troops Expand Offensive Despite Calls for Calm

Voice of America - Sat, 05/11/2019 - 20:00
Syrian government forces expanded their ground offensive in northwestern Syria, pushing Saturday into the last rebel stronghold and regaining control of a number of villages along its southern corner, activists and media said, despite calls for honoring a cease-fire put in place in September. The pro-government Military Media Center said that troops battled insurgent led by an al-Qaida-linked militant group out of Midan Ghazal village, which falls inside Idlib province. The government...
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Yemen's Houthis Begin Withdrawal Under UN Peace Deal

Voice of America - Sat, 05/11/2019 - 15:01
Yemen's Houthi rebels started withdrawing Saturday from the ports of Hodeida, Salif, and Ras-Issa, under a United Nations peace deal. Michael Lollesgaard, the chair of the U.N.'s Redeployment Coordination Committee (RCC), announced Friday that the redeployment would start Saturday and conclude by Tuesday. The head of the rebels' Supreme Revolutionary Committee said the withdrawal from the ports started at 10 a.m. local time. Lollesgaard said the pullout amounts to a...
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In Syria, Iraq, Foreign Fighters Lurk in Shadows

Voice of America - Sat, 05/11/2019 - 11:50
This is part four of a four-part series. By late February and early March, it had become a common scene on the far outskirts of the northeastern Syrian town of Baghuz: evacuees from the Islamic State terror group's final scrap of territory huddled on the desert floor, empty water bottles littering the ground as they waited to be vetted and taken to a displaced persons camp. Only something had changed. These huddled masses were no longer civilians trapped by the terror group's...
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US Sending More Military Power to Counter Iranian Threat

Voice of America - Sat, 05/11/2019 - 08:22
The United States military is once again ramping up its arsenal in the Middle East to counter a potential attack from Iran. VOA Pentagon correspondent Carla Babb has more on the Iranian threat and the American military response.
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Iran Sees Oil Exports Falter, Trade Slump with Germany, US

Voice of America - Sat, 05/11/2019 - 07:52
U.S. sanctions are biting harder into the Iranian economy, with new signs that Iran’s key oil exports are faltering, while its trade figures with Europe’s biggest economy and with the United States are shrinking. U.S. news service Bloomberg said it has compiled tanker tracking data showing that no oil tankers had been seen leaving Iran’s oil terminals for foreign ports in the first nine days of May. Crude oil is Iran’s main revenue source. Washington tightened its unilateral sanctions...
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US Sending More Military Power to Counter Iranian Threat

Voice of America - Sat, 05/11/2019 - 06:54
The United States military is once again increasing its arsenal in the Middle East to counter Iranian threats, announcing Friday the movement of a Patriot missile battery and the USS Arlington landing platform dock ship used in amphibious assaults. The move comes a day after The USS Abraham Lincoln aircraft carrier strike group and four B-52 bombers arrived in the Middle East in response to concerns Iran may be planning an attack against American targets. “It’s important that Iran...
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Houthis in Yemen Say They Will Redeploy Starting Saturday

Voice of America - Sat, 05/11/2019 - 02:14
The United Nations said Friday that the Ansar Allah, or Houthis, in Yemen had offered to redeploy away from the ports of Al-Hudaydah, Salif and Ras-Issa.   Michael Lollesgaard, chair of the Redeployment Coordination Committee, announced that the redeployment would start Saturday and conclude by May 14. He said the RCC welcomed the offer by the Houthis to begin redeployment.   Lollesgaard said this move amounted to a "first practical...
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UN Security Council Pushes for Libya Cease-Fire

Voice of America - Fri, 05/10/2019 - 22:34
As the fight for the Libyan capital enters its sixth week, the U.N. Security Council Friday urged the parties to stop shooting and rejoin U.N.-led political negotiations. “The U.N. Security Council is deeply concerned about the instability in Tripoli and worsening humanitarian situation, which is endangering the lives of innocent civilians and threatens prospects for a political solution,” Council President Ambassador Dian Triansyah Djani of Indonesia told reporters after an emergency...
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Palestinian Killed at Israel-Gaza Border During Weekly Demonstration

Voice of America - Fri, 05/10/2019 - 22:05
A Palestinian was killed by Israeli fire at a weekly demonstration along the Gaza-Israeli border fence, according to Palestinian officials. Gaza's health ministry said Friday that a 24-year old Palestinian was killed during the border protest and 30 others were wounded by gunfire. An Israeli military spokeswoman said troops opened fire when some of the protesters approached the fortified fence. The violence was the first escalation after a cease-fire deal ended last...
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Libya Rescues More Than 200 Europe-Bound Migrants Off Coast

Voice of America - Fri, 05/10/2019 - 21:33
Libya's navy says it has rescued 213 Europe-bound African and Arab migrants off the Mediterranean coast.    The navy released a statement online Friday saying its coast guard came to the aid of two rubber boats that had sailed separately on May 8. One of the two boats was carrying 88 men, 12 women and seven children. The second boat carried the remaining 106. The statement says the migrants — nationals of several Arab and African countries — were handed over to Libya's...
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Iran Rejects Trump's 'Call Me' Invitation

Voice of America - Fri, 05/10/2019 - 21:12
Iran's semi-official Tasnim news agency has quoted a top commander in Iran's Revolutionary Guard as saying Tehran will not negotiate with the United States. The statement follows U.S. President Donald Trump's indirect invitation to Iranian leaders to give him a call. Trump called for negotiations with Iran several times on Thursday. He told reporters, "What I'd like to see with Iran, I'd like to see them call me." But Tasnim on Friday quoted General...
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Trump's Foreign Policy Challenges Mounting Around the World

Voice of America - Fri, 05/10/2019 - 19:02
New North Korea missile tests. A trade standoff with China. Fresh nuclear tensions with Iran. President Donald Trump's foreign policy challenges are mounting around the world, showing the limits of his self-touted ability to make a deal and perhaps the difficulty of focusing primarily on domestic concerns for his “America first” administration. They're also forcing him into some contorted positions, for example, backing regime change in Venezuela without any displays of force...
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IS Foreign Fighters Dispersing Via Loosely Aligned Networks 

Voice of America - Fri, 05/10/2019 - 09:00
This is part three of a four-part series. It was Easter Sunday in Sri Lanka, and the joy and serenity filling the country's churches were about to be shattered by a series of suicide bombings soon to be claimed by the Islamic State terror group. Until that point, few counterterror officials or analysts had raised concerns about IS in Sri Lanka. Unlike other parts of the world where IS had established provinces, like in Afghanistan, Libya or the Philippines, there had been little...
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US Mideast Peace Plan Starts Argument Before It’s Released

Voice of America - Fri, 05/10/2019 - 05:27
A key architect of the long-awaited U.S. plan for Israeli-Palestinian peace lashed out at the U.N.’s “anti-Israel bias” Thursday while urging support for the Trump administration’s “vision.” But the Palestinian foreign minister dismissed the U.S. peace effort, saying all indications are it will be “conditions for surrender.” The speeches by U.S. envoy for international negotiations Jason Greenblatt and top Palestinian diplomat Riad Malki at an informal Security Council meeting ended up...
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Blast Rocks Baghdad Marketplace; Accounts on Casualties Differ

Voice of America - Thu, 05/09/2019 - 23:15
A blast rocked Baghdad's northeastern Sadr City district on Thursday, but there were differing accounts on whether it caused any casualties. Police Colonel Jamal Hameed told Reuters a parcel had been found on the side of the road near a market and detonated in a controlled explosion, hurting no one. He said an earlier statement by the joint military-police Baghdad Operations Command mentioning a suicide bomb and several deaths had been released in error. That statement had said...
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US Carrier, Bombers Arrive in Middle East to Deter Iran

Voice of America - Thu, 05/09/2019 - 20:47
The USS Abraham Lincoln aircraft carrier strike group and four B-52 bombers have arrived in the Middle East in response to concerns Iran may be planning an attack against American targets.    The carrier strike group completed its transit Thursday through the Suez Canal, U.S. Central Command spokesman Navy Capt. William Urban told VOA. He said two B-52 bombers arrived in the region Thursday, while two others arrived Wednesday.    The bombers are now at...
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Syrian Government Forces Advance in NW Region Between Idlib, Hama

Voice of America - Thu, 05/09/2019 - 19:12
Syrian government forces reportedly have captured at least three towns from Islamic militias, which control portions of the country's northwest between Idlib and Hama. Arab media also are reporting the government was battling its adversaries in an effort to capture parts of the country's main highway that runs from Damascus to Aleppo.   Arab media broadcast amateur video of heavy Russian airstrikes in the northwest of Syria, as government forces advanced, recapturing the...
Categories: Iraq