in Iraq


Iran: Attack Mastermind Dead, More Suspects Arrested

Voice of America - Sun, 06/11/2017 - 09:08
Iranian authorities said Sunday they have arrested six people involved in a twin attack on Tehran last week in which 17 people were killed. "Six people who were certainly connected to Wednesday’s terrorist attacks in Tehran were identified and arrested," Aliakbar Garousi, head of the justice department in Kordestan province in western Iran was quoted as saying by the Fars news agency. Iran said its security forces Saturday killed the mastermind of the attacks, and arrested...
Categories: Iraq

Mosul Burqa Ban Unveils Militants in Hiding

Voice of America - Sat, 06/10/2017 - 22:40
“At first, I didn’t want to take off the veil at the checkpoint,” said Dhoa, 32, cuddling her infant daughter to her chest. “But then after soldiers told me to remove it a few times, I thought: Why bother wearing it at all?” Since Iraqi forces recaptured this part of Mosul in November, the military has encouraged women not to wear veils that cover their faces because Islamic State militants are hiding among them dressed as women. Less than two weeks ago, the ban became official, and...
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Erdogan Calls for Qatar Row to be Resolved by End of Ramadan

Voice of America - Sat, 06/10/2017 - 19:11
Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan told Bahrain's Foreign Minister that the dispute between Qatar and other Arab states should be resolved by the end of the holy month of Ramadan, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Saturday. In a joint news conference with Bahrain's Foreign Minister Shaikh Khalid bin Ahmed bin Mohammed al-Khalifa, Cavusoglu said Turkey would continue its efforts to resolve the dispute, as Qatar faces isolation imposed by fellow Arab states over its...
Categories: Iraq

1,000 Migrants Rescued Off Libyan Coast; Two Dead

Voice of America - Sat, 06/10/2017 - 17:44
Two migrants died in the Mediterranean Sea on Saturday during a rescue operation that saved more than 1,000 others who were attempting the dangerous crossing to Europe, according to a Spanish aid group. Laura Lanuza, spokeswoman for Spain's Proactiva Open Arms, said that while two migrants perished in international waters off the Libyan coast, the Spanish aid group and five other humanitarian organizations saved 1,058 migrants after intercepting several smugglers' boats. Lanuza...
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Amnesty Chairman in Turkey Arrested Over Alleged Gulen Links

Voice of America - Sat, 06/10/2017 - 17:00
A Turkish court has formally arrested Amnesty  International's chairman in the country pending trial on charges of membership in a terror organization, Turkey's official Anadolu news agency said Saturday. The rights group called it a "mockery of justice.'' Taner Kilic was arrested in the western province of Izmir along with five other attorneys who are accused of using ByLock, an encrypted mobile messaging application. Kilic was detained on Tuesday and arrested...
Categories: Iraq

Iraq's Kurds say 'No Turning Back' on Independence Vote

Voice of America - Sat, 06/10/2017 - 16:44
Iraq's Kurds said on Friday a referendum on independence will go ahead despite warnings internationally that a vote in favor of secession could trigger conflict with Baghdad at a time when the fight against Islamic State is not yet won. The Kurds have played a major role in the eight-month-old U.S.-backed campaign to defeat the hardline Sunni insurgents in the Nineveh province around their de-facto capital Mosul. Baghdad's Shi'ite-led government has rejected any move by the...
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US-Backed Syrian Militias Push Into IS-Held Raqqa

Voice of America - Sat, 06/10/2017 - 15:29
U.S.-backed Syrian forces have advanced into opposite sides of Islamic State's so-called Syrian capital of Raqqa, the forces and a war monitor said on Saturday. The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), a group of Kurdish and Arab militias supported by a U.S.-led coalition, began to attack Raqqa on Tuesday after a months-long campaign to cut it off. The U.S.-led coalition estimates that Raqqa, which Islamic State seized from Syrian rebels in 2014 during their lightning advance in Syria...
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Tel Aviv Gay Pride Festival Draws Thousands; One of Many Marches This Weekend

Voice of America - Sat, 06/10/2017 - 09:12
Thousands of people from around the world packed Israel’s streets of Tel Aviv for the city’s annual Gay Pride march, one of many festivals for gay rights taking place this weekend. The festival is billed as the largest event of its kind in the deeply conservative Middle East. Israeli police estimated that more than 100,000 people participated Friday with many coming from other countries. The annual parade featured floats and dancers with this year’s theme being “Bisexuality...
Categories: Iraq

Will Trump's Qatar Stance Affect the Counter-ISIS Fight?

Voice of America - Sat, 06/10/2017 - 07:57
The United States has again jumped into the diplomatic spat between Qatar and a group of countries led by Saudi Arabia and Egypt. At least a half-dozen nations have cut ties with the tiny Gulf country because of its funding of terrorism, and as VOA's Carla Babb explains, the United States could have a lot to lose if it is pulled too far into the controversy.
Categories: Iraq

Iranian-made Drone Targeted Coalition Patrol in Syria

Voice of America - Sat, 06/10/2017 - 02:21
The armed, pro-regime drone shot down by U.S. aircraft Thursday after it fired upon U.S.-led coalition members on patrol in southern Syria was Iranian-made, officials tell VOA. Officials said a U.S. F-15 fighter jet took down the Shahed-129 drone, which can be used for combat and reconnaissance missions. Thursday's strike marked the first time the U.S. military had shot down an enemy aircraft in air-to-air combat since February 25, 2009, when an Iranian drone was brought down over...
Categories: Iraq

Trump Doubles Down on Qatar, Even as Tillerson Urges Calm in Gulf Crisis

Voice of America - Sat, 06/10/2017 - 01:31
President Donald Trump on Friday doubled down on his criticism of Qatar, the tiny Gulf country involved in a spiraling diplomatic crisis with its Arab neighbors. "The nation of Qatar, unfortunately, has historically been a funder of terrorism at a very high level," Trump said at a Rose Garden news conference. Trump's comments came minutes after Secretary of State Rex Tillerson called for calm and an ease to the blockade imposed against Qatar by its neighbors. WATCH:...
Categories: Iraq

Iran's Supreme Leader: Attacks Will Increase Hatred of US, Saudis

Voice of America - Fri, 06/09/2017 - 23:23
Iran's leadership on Friday accused the United States and Saudi Arabia of supporting the attacks on Tehran that killed 17 people this week. As thousands of Iranians attended a funeral for the victims, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said Wednesday's attacks would only increase hate for the U.S. and Saudi governments, according to state media. The ayatollah made the statement in remarks of condolence for the victims. He said the twin attacks on parliament and the tomb of...
Categories: Iraq

Turkey: Iraqi Kurds' Plan for Referendum 'Irresponsible'

Voice of America - Fri, 06/09/2017 - 22:33
Turkey's prime minister says Iraqi Kurds' plans to hold a referendum on independence are "irresponsible" and will create new problems for the region. Earlier this week, Iraqi Kurds announced they will hold a referendum on September 25 to decide whether to split with the rest of Iraq and form an independent region. Binali Yildirim told reporters Friday in Ankara that Turkey supports Iraq's territorial integrity. "There are sufficient problem areas in our...
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Polio Immunization Campaign Planned for IS-controlled Area in Syria

Voice of America - Fri, 06/09/2017 - 22:12
The World Health Organization hopes to get a polio immunization campaign under way in the next week or two in the IS-controlled area of Deir Ezzor, Syria, where two new cases of the crippling disease were discovered this week. The WHO reports two children in Deir Ezzor have been paralyzed by a vaccine-derived polio virus. Unlike the wild polio virus, vaccine-derived polio viruses are very rare; but, they can emerge in populations that have low immunity against the disease. WHO...
Categories: Iraq

Arab Powers Draw Up Qatari Blacklist; Turkey to Send Troops as Gulf Crisis Deepens

Voice of America - Fri, 06/09/2017 - 20:34
Arab states that have isolated Qatar tightened their squeeze on Friday by putting dozens of figures with links to the country on terrorism blacklists, while Qatar's ally Turkey rushed to its side with plans to send troops, warships and planes. The developments intensified a confrontation between tiny-but-wealthy Qatar and a group of Arab nations led by Saudi Arabia and Egypt that accuse it of fomenting instability. The dispute has created a major diplomatic test for the United States,...
Categories: Iraq

Iran Leaders Accuse US, Saudis of Supporting Attacks in Tehran

Voice of America - Fri, 06/09/2017 - 18:27
Iranian leaders on Friday accused the United States and Saudi Arabia of supporting the Islamic State-claimed dual attacks that killed 17 people in Tehran this week, as thousands of Iranians attended a funeral ceremony for the victims. The country's Supreme Leader said the attacks will add to the hatred that Iranians harbor toward the U.S. and Saudi Arabia. In a condolence message ahead of a funeral for the victims, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said the attack: "will not damage the...
Categories: Iraq

US Shoots Down Pro-regime Drone that Fired Upon Coalition Forces in Syria

Voice of America - Fri, 06/09/2017 - 01:55
A U.S. military aircraft shot down an armed, pro-Syrian government drone Thursday after it fired upon U.S.-led coalition members on patrol in southern Syria, a spokesman for the U.S.-led coalition said. The incident was the first time that pro-regime forces attempted to strike coalition forces in the area surrounding al-Tanf, an army base where members of the coalition are training Syrians to fight Islamic State, U.S. Army Colonel Ryan Dillon told reporters at the Pentagon by video call...
Categories: Iraq

Turkey Agrees to Send Up to 3,000 Troops to Qatar Amid Gulf Diplomatic Crisis

Voice of America - Fri, 06/09/2017 - 01:00
Turkey's decision to send up to 3,000 troops to Qatar further cements their growing ties, but it virtually eliminates a possible role for Ankara to mediate between Qatar and the Gulf states that have decided to isolate it for alleged support of terrorism. Both countries have found themselves increasingly isolated Turkey for the increasing authoritarian rule of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Qatar for its alleged financial support of extremist groups and growing ties with...
Categories: Iraq

With Eyes on Libya, France Cements Egypt Security Ties

Voice of America - Fri, 06/09/2017 - 00:45
France's foreign minister said on Thursday he had firmed up security ties with Egypt, which was the "central element" to ensuring regional stability as the two countries seek to break the political impasse in neighboring Libya. Paris and Cairo have nurtured closer economic and military ties in recent years and with the rise to power of President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi that relationship has improved with both sides concerned by the ongoing political vacuum in Libya and the...
Categories: Iraq

Deadly Choices: Mosul Families Face Gunfire, Bombs or Starvation

Voice of America - Fri, 06/09/2017 - 00:15
The men are heavily bearded as they flee Islamic State (IS) militants in Mosul, and the women wear black burqas flipped back to reveal sweating faces. It about 40 degrees C (104 F) every day as summer sweeps into Iraq. Families from the Zanjili neighborhood run about 500 meters (a third of a mile) between IS and Iraqi front lines, where they take cover from sniper fire before slowly trudging on to find more permanent shelter. A small girl weeps as she arrives at an army base about...
Categories: Iraq