in Iraq

Iraq

Trump: 'Total Termination' of Iran Nuclear Deal Possible

Voice of America - Mon, 10/16/2017 - 22:30
President Donald Trump says his decision not to recertify Iran's compliance with the Iran nuclear deal could lead to its "total termination." "That's a very real possibility," Trump said Monday as he began a meeting with his Cabinet at the White House. "Some people say that's a greater possibility." In remarks that were at times prepared and other times off the cuff, the president said a lot of people agreed with what he did in pulling away...
Categories: Iraq

From Immigrant to NY Deli Owner to TV Analyst

Voice of America - Mon, 10/16/2017 - 22:17
Among the 1900s-era row of brick buildings on a Queens, New York Avenue, Lotus Deli is a one-stop shop for warm breakfast sandwiches, batteries, cigarettes, and late-night craft beer. Owner Hatem El-Gamasy is the first New Yorker to greet you in the morning, and the last to say good night. To his diverse customer base, he is known as "Timmy," a father of two who safeguards neighbors' deliveries, holds keys for visiting in-laws, and greets your dog by name. But to viewers...
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What Is Turkey Up to in Syria?

Voice of America - Mon, 10/16/2017 - 20:40
Turkey is expanding its latest military intervention in Syria rapidly, sending more special forces and commandos into Idlib as part of a high-risk effort agreed to with Moscow and Tehran to establish a de-escalation zone in the northwest Syrian province that is mainly controlled by an al-Qaida offshoot. The intervention is the biggest incursion by the Turks in Syria since last year, when Turkish forces partnered with Free Syrian Army (FSA) militias, once aided by the U.S. but now...
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EU to Send Top Diplomat to US to Advocate for Iran Deal

Voice of America - Mon, 10/16/2017 - 20:02
The European Union will send its top diplomat Federica Mogherini to Washington to fight for the Iran nuclear deal, which U.S. President Donald Trump has threatened to scrap. EU foreign, ministers meeting in Luxembourg Monday, echoed concerns from international leaders over Trump's decision to decertify Iran’s compliance with the accord. With his announcement to decertify the nuclear agreement Friday, Trump left it up to Congress as to whether to reimpose economic sanctions that...
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Kirkuk Shuttered as Iraqi Forces Advance on Kurdish Peshmerga

Voice of America - Mon, 10/16/2017 - 19:40
Iraqi forces shut down access both in and out of Kirkuk Monday as fighting with Kurdish Peshemerga forces grew worse.   Popular Mobilization Units (PMU) moved into Kirkuk in the early hours of Monday and continue to fight Kurdish Peshmerga soldiers in the contested oil city, in addition to occupying Kirkuk airport.   “We were defending the city but eventually we had no choice but to retreat,” said Jabar Kareem, 37, a Peshmerga soldier heading north out of Kirkuk on Monday...
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Militants Rob Bank, Attack Church in Egypt's Sinai; 7 Dead

Voice of America - Mon, 10/16/2017 - 16:07
In a brazen daytime attack, about a dozen Islamic militants robbed a local bank, lobbed grenades and traded gunfire with security forces guarding an unused church in Egypt's Sinai Peninsula on Monday, killing seven people, including three civilians, officials said. The militants drove into the city center of el-Arish in the morning, then split into two groups. One group fired rocket-propelled grenades and traded gunfire with the guards outside the Church of Saint George, security and...
Categories: Iraq

Thousands Flee as Iraqi Forces Advance in Kirkuk

Voice of America - Mon, 10/16/2017 - 15:54
As Iraqi forces advance in Kirkuk from the south and west, families are fleeing after gunfire and bombs blasted through the city.   Popular Mobilization Units (PMU) moved into Kirkuk in the early hours of Monday and continue to fight Kurdish Peshmerga soldiers in the contested oil city, in addition to occupying Kirkuk airport.   “We were defending the city but eventually we had no choice but to retreat,” says Jabar Kareem, 37, a Peshmerga soldier heading out of Kirkuk on Monday...
Categories: Iraq

Iraqi Forces Sweep Into Kirkuk, Checking Kurdish Independence Drive

NY Times Iraq - Mon, 10/16/2017 - 15:16
Government troops seize a crucial city and oil fields from separatists who have been pressing for an independent state in northern Iraq.
Categories: Iraq

Iraqi Forces Seize Key Sites in Kirkuk, Kurdish Stronghold

Voice of America - Mon, 10/16/2017 - 05:05
Iraqi forces took over more oil fields near the city of Kirkuk on Tuesday, along with the town of Sinjar, as they expanded a pushback against Kurdish control of areas outside of their semi-autonomous region. The military said Kurdish fighters withdrew from the Bai Hasan and Avana oil fields, leaving federal security forces to take over. A similar dynamic played out in Sinjar where pro-government forces moved into the town Tuesday after the Kurdish Peshmerga moved out....
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Haley Defends Trump's Decision on Iran Nuclear Deal

Voice of America - Mon, 10/16/2017 - 02:02
Washington must decide how to proceed now that President Donald Trump has declined to certify Iran’s compliance with the nuclear accord signed by leading world powers in 2015. VOA’s Michael Bowman has this report.
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Iraqi Forces Begin Assault Near Kurdish-Held City of Kirkuk

NY Times Iraq - Sun, 10/15/2017 - 23:36
American officials call for calm as Iraqis move in and Kurds vow to defend the city and oil fields at the center of their bid for independence.
Categories: Iraq

Egyptian Army: Terror Plan Foiled in Sinai Peninsula

Voice of America - Sun, 10/15/2017 - 22:32
Egyptian security forces have foiled a militant attack on army installations in the Sinai Peninsula, a day after half a dozen policemen were killed by insurgents in the region, a military statement said.   A statement by the Egyptian army on Saturday said a group of insurgents breached a heavily-guarded army installation in the city of el-Arish in northern Sinai to carry out a “terrorist attack.”   The militants, disguised in Egyptian army uniforms, were armed with grenades and...
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US-backed Militias Launch Final Assault on IS Stronghold in Raqqa

Voice of America - Sun, 10/15/2017 - 19:49
U.S.-backed militias said Sunday they have launched their final assault on Raqqa, the northern Syria city Islamic State has claimed as the self-declared capital of its religious caliphate. The Kurdish-led Syrian Defense Forces (SDF) said that about 275 Syrian Islamic State fighters and their families were allowed to leave the city held by the jihadists since a 2014 takeover, leaving "no more than" 200 to 300 militants to fight on. Raqqa's fall could be imminent, with the...
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Shots Fired in Flashpoint City as Iraqi, Kurdish Forces Stand Off in Kirkuk

Voice of America - Sun, 10/15/2017 - 18:58
As Iraqi and Kurdish military forces mass troops and weaponry around the oil city of Kirkuk, sporadic fighting in another contested city is forcing some families to flee their homes, joining more than 3 million displaced people in Iraq. VOA’s Heather Murdock is on the scene in Tuz Khurmatu, Iraq.
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Tillerson: Iran Compliant With Nuclear Deal, But Trump Wants to Fix Flaws

Voice of America - Sun, 10/15/2017 - 18:25
U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson conceded Sunday that Iran is in "technical compliance" with the international agreement to curb its nuclear weapons development, but said that President Donald Trump wants Congress to adopt "a more complete strategy" to fix what the U.S. leader sees as flaws in the pact. The top U.S. diplomat told CNN that Tehran has a "demonstrated practice of walking right up to the limits" of the 2015 deal, prompting Trump on Friday to...
Categories: Iraq

Shots Fired in Flashpoint City as Iraqi, Kurdish Forces Stand Off in Kirkuk

Voice of America - Sun, 10/15/2017 - 18:25
On the road out of Kirkuk city, Kurdish Peshmerga forces are massed on a bridge, overlooking the countryside. Just over a nearby bream, Popular Mobilization Unit (PMU) soldiers whip down a street in large pick-up trucks, while Iraqi Army tanks lay quiet, parked in fields with their weapons pointed at Kurdish forces. WATCH: Heather Murdock's Video Report  Everyone is staying on their own side, as the standoff continues in this oil city, which is claimed by both the...
Categories: Iraq

Syria Condemns Trump Stance on Iran Deal

Voice of America - Sun, 10/15/2017 - 18:05
Syria's Foreign Ministry on Sunday condemned the U.S. administration of President Donald Trump for its position on the Iran nuclear deal, saying in comments to state media that it would increase regional tension and threaten security and peace. "Syria condemns the aggressive policies of the U.S. administration against the interests of the people, and which will increase the atmosphere of tension in the region and the world," state news agency SANA quoted an official source...
Categories: Iraq

Iran Denies It Shut Border with Iraqi Kurdish Region

Voice of America - Sun, 10/15/2017 - 16:39
Iran on Sunday denied reports that Tehran had closed a border crossing with northern Iraq in response to an independence referendum in Iraq's Kurdish region last month, the Iranian Students' News Agency (ISNA) reported. "As we announced earlier, we blocked our airspace to the Kurdish region on a request from the central government of Iraq, and as far as I know, nothing new has happened in this area," ISNA quoted Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qassemi as saying....
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Trump Administration Accused of Aiding Iranian Militias in Syria

Voice of America - Sun, 10/15/2017 - 16:04
U.S. President Donald Trump lambasted Iranian expansionism in the Middle East Friday when disavowing the international nuclear deal with Tehran, citing in particular Iran’s support for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. But analysts charge his strategy to check Iran in the region remains inconsistent, especially when it comes to Syria. In his statement announcing he’s withholding certifying Iran’s compliance with the nuclear agreement, known formally as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of...
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Refugee Food Festival Aims to Sweeten the Way to People's Hearts

Voice of America - Sun, 10/15/2017 - 13:17
A Refugee Food Festival showcasing the cooking talents of refugee chefs from five different countries has won the hearts of Geneva residents by connecting through the food of their national cuisines.  Over the past week, local chefs have turned their kitchens over to their refugee counterparts from Syria, Eritrea, Sri Lanka, Tibet and Nigeria. Nadeem Khadem al-Jamie smiles broadly as clients at this high-end restaurant applaud his culinary skills. Nadeem, a 29-year-old Syrian...
Categories: Iraq