in Iraq

Iraq

Kurdish Officials Blame Iran as Disputed Territories Fall to Iraqi Forces

Voice of America - Wed, 10/18/2017 - 04:44
Officials of the Kurdistan Regional Government are accusing Iran of playing a key role in the fall of disputed territories in northern Iraq including the oil-rich city of Kirkuk, a claim rejected by Iranian officials. This week the Iraqi government forces backed by Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF) marched into the Kurdish-controlled disputed territories after Kurdish forces known as Peshmerga withdrew from the region. "Iranians were leading the battle on Kirkuk and our forces had...
Categories: Iraq

Lawsuit Claims Three U.S. Companies Funded Terror in Iraq

NY Times Iraq - Wed, 10/18/2017 - 04:37
The lawsuit, filed in federal court in Washington, cited as evidence contracts between the companies and the Iraqi government, leaked diplomatic cables, and the testimony of informants.
Categories: Iraq

Top General’s Grief Becomes Political Talking Point for Trump

NY Times Iraq - Wed, 10/18/2017 - 04:35
President Trump is testing the reluctance of his chief of staff, John F. Kelly, to discuss the death of his son Second Lt. Robert Kelly, who died in combat in 2010.
Categories: Iraq

US Lawmakers Hail Islamic State's Defeat in Raqqa

Voice of America - Wed, 10/18/2017 - 01:45
U.S. lawmakers hailed the apparent liberation of Raqqa, Syria, as a major milestone in the fight against Islamic State, but cautioned that the terrorist group retains the ability to mount attacks in Europe and elsewhere, and that the ultimate defeat of IS will occur beyond the battlefields of Syria and Iraq. "It's a great step in combating ISIS. Raqqa is definitely an important piece of real estate, as was Mosul [Iraq]," the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations...
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US Fears Iran, IS Could Be Big Winners in Clashes over Kirkuk

Voice of America - Tue, 10/17/2017 - 23:32
U.S. officials are increasingly worried tensions between Iraq's government and Iraqi Kurdish officials are playing right into the hands of the two forces Washington most wants to contain in the region: the Islamic State terror group and Iran. So far, Kurdish Peshmerga forces seem to have been willing to cede ground, leaving bases and checkpoints as Iraqi forces move swiftly to reclaim parts of the Kurdish autonomous region in northern Iraq. Officials in Washington repeatedly have...
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New Day, New Government: The Rapid Takeover of Kirkuk

Voice of America - Tue, 10/17/2017 - 21:19
“Call someone Arab inside the city and then you can go in,” the Iraqi Special Forces soldier told my Kurdish colleague as we pulled into the main entrance of Kirkuk city. “Really? But we are journalists!” my colleague replied, hoping to skirt the rule by sounding shocked.   “Just joking,” the soldier said, laughing.  “You can go in.” At that, we really were shocked.  On Monday evening we were reporting on what looked like the beginning of a civil war between Arabs and...
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UN Report: Inequality, Denial of Reproductive Rights Threaten Development

Voice of America - Tue, 10/17/2017 - 21:00
A U.N. report warns gender inequality and the denial of reproductive rights and family planning threatens development goals, weakens national economies and will undermine efforts to eliminate poverty by 2030. In its annual State of World Population report, the U.N. Population Fund (UNFPA) describes the poorest women in most developing countries as the most powerless members of society.   It says the poorest women have the least access to care during pregnancy and childbirth. And...
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Hawaii Judge Bars Travel Order From Taking Effect

Voice of America - Tue, 10/17/2017 - 20:03
A federal judge in Hawaii has blocked President Donald Trump’s latest order restricting travel which was to go into effect at 12:01 a.m. Wednesday. The ruling by Judge Derrick Watson prohibits restrictions on travelers from six countries that the Trump administration said could not provide enough information to meet U.S. security standards. The travel order would have barred to various degrees travelers from Chad, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria and Yemen. Watson's temporary...
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US Not Taking Sides in Iraqi-Kurdish Skirmishes

Voice of America - Tue, 10/17/2017 - 19:47
The United States, which has supported Iraqi forces and helped train Kurdish fighters, is urging calm in the skirmish over Kirkuk. President Donald Trump weighed in Monday saying Washington will “not take sides” in the clashes. VOA Pentagon correspondent Carla Babb has more.
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Europe Mulls Policy Response as Trump Repeats Threat to End Iran Deal

Voice of America - Tue, 10/17/2017 - 19:35
The European Union’s foreign policy chief Monday described U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision not to re-certify Iran's compliance with the 2015 nuclear deal as an "internal U.S. process". European countries, along with Russia and China - the other signatories - say Tehran is keeping its end of the bargain. Henry Ridgwell looks at how other parties to the deal will likely respond should the U.S. withdraw from the agreement.
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Europe Mulls Policy Response as Trump Repeats Threat to End Iran Deal

Voice of America - Tue, 10/17/2017 - 19:29
The European Union’s foreign policy chief describes U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision not to re-certify Iran's compliance with the 2015 nuclear deal as an "internal U.S. process." European countries, along with the other signatories, Russia and China, said Tehran is keeping its end of the deal. But President Trump claims Iran has repeatedly violated the letter and spirit of the agreement, which suspends sanctions in return for limits on the country’s atomic...
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Iraqi Forces Retake All Oil Fields in Disputed Areas as Kurds Retreat

NY Times Iraq - Tue, 10/17/2017 - 18:26
Kurdish independence aspirations appeared to stall — at least for now — as Iraqi forces seized oil facilities that supply most of the region’s revenue.
Categories: Iraq

US Not Taking Sides in Iraqi-Kurdish Skirmishes

Voice of America - Tue, 10/17/2017 - 18:24
The United States, which has supported Iraqi forces and helped train Kurdish fighters, is urging calm in the skirmish over Kirkuk. President Donald Trump weighed in Monday saying Washington will “not take sides” in the clashes. VOA Pentagon correspondent Carla Babb has more.
Categories: Iraq

The Rise and Fall of the Islamic State Group

Voice of America - Tue, 10/17/2017 - 18:15
The Islamic State group, responsible for some of the worst atrocities perpetrated against civilians in recent history, appears on the verge of collapse. After brutalizing residents living under its command for more than three years, the militants have now lost their self-proclaimed capital of Raqqa and are battling to hang on to relatively small pockets of territory in Iraq and Syria, besieged by local forces from all sides. Few, however, expect IS to completely go away, or for the...
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US-backed Forces Say IS Ousted From Syria’s Raqqa

Voice of America - Tue, 10/17/2017 - 14:22
The U.S.-led coalition battling Islamic State in Syria and Iraq says the city of Raqqa is 95 percent under control, a day after the U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces declared victory there after months of fighting. Coalition spokesman Colonel Ryan Dillon said clearance operations were continuing Wednesday in the last blocks of the city. A spokesman for the SDF, which is made up of Kurdish and Arab militias, said Tuesday the fighting in Raqqa was over and that SDF forces were looking...
Categories: Iraq

US Not Taking Sides in Iraqi-Kurdish Skirmishes

Voice of America - Tue, 10/17/2017 - 09:18
The United States, which has supported Iraqi forces and helped train Kurdish fighters, is urging calm in the skirmish over Kirkuk. President Donald Trump weighed in Monday saying Washington will “not take sides” in the clashes. VOA Pentagon correspondent Carla Babb has more.
Categories: Iraq

Is the Dream Of Kurdish Independence Now Over?

Voice of America - Tue, 10/17/2017 - 04:10
The independence dream of Iraq’s Kurds may be over. It was felled by a lightening advance by Iraqi counter-terror units, trained and equipped by the United States, and Shi’ite militias, trained and equipped by Iran, who seized the disputed city Kirkuk and its surrounding oilfields after isolated skirmishes and a withdrawal order by Peshmerga commanders. The Peshmerga commanders either had no stomach for a fight or had already entered into a secret deal with the central government in...
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US Airstrikes Kill Dozens of IS Fighters in Yemen

Voice of America - Tue, 10/17/2017 - 02:57
The Pentagon says U.S. airstrikes on two Islamic State training camps in Yemen have killed dozens of Islamic State fighters. The camps were in Yemen's al-Bayda region. The Pentagon says IS used the camps to train militants to carry out terror attacks with machine guns and rocket-propelled grenades, and also subjected the fighters to endurance training. "ISIS has used the ungoverned spaces of Yemen to plot, direct, instigate, resource, and recruit for attacks against America...
Categories: Iraq

Ankara Backs Baghdad Bid to Take Kirkuk, But Tensions Remain

Voice of America - Tue, 10/17/2017 - 01:47
Turkey has offered assistance to the Iraqi government in its effort to take control of the city of Kirkuk from Kurdish peshmerga forces. The offer was made in a statement by the Turkish foreign ministry: "We once again emphasize the importance we attach to the protection of Iraq's political unity and territorial integrity." Ankara strongly backs Baghdad in its opposition to an independence referendum passed last month by Iraqi Kurds. Turkey fears similar secessionist...
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Iraq Ousts Kurdish Forces From Kirkuk

NY Times Iraq - Tue, 10/17/2017 - 00:01
Three weeks after the Kurds voted for independence, Iraqi forces overtook the Kurdish-held city of Kirkuk and its valuable oil fields on Monday.
Categories: Iraq