in Iraq

Iraq

Islamic State Claims Deadly Attacks on Iran Parliament, Tomb

Voice of America - Wed, 06/07/2017 - 09:56
The Islamic State group claimed a pair of attacks Wednesday on Iran's parliament and the shrine of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, which have killed two security guards and wounded more than 30 people, with the siege at the legislature still underway. It marks the first attack in Iran claimed by the extremist group, which is at war with Iranian-backed forces in Syria and Iraq. In a message posted through its Aamaq News Agency, the IS group claimed its fighters were behind the...
Categories: Iraq

Iranians Support Qataris, Blame US For Tensions in Middle East

Voice of America - Wed, 06/07/2017 - 08:08
U.S. officials have accused Iran of "unhelpful" interference in Syria, and of stirring tensions elsewhere in the region. Iran has accused the U.S. of setting the scene for the escalating Gulf diplomatic crisis during President Donald Trump’s recent trip to Saudi Arabia. Ordinary Iranians in Tehran are expressing concern about Qatar's isolation. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Categories: Iraq

Trump Wades Into Diplomatic Spat Among Gulf Arab Nations

Voice of America - Wed, 06/07/2017 - 08:08
U.S. President Donald Trump on Tuesday jumped head first into the diplomatic spat between Qatar and major Arab nations. In a series of tweets, Trump praised the regional effort to isolate Qatar because of its perceived support for extremist groups. The statements were notable, since Qatar is a close US ally. VOA’s Bill Gallo reports.
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Rights Group: Turkey Detains Local Chair of Amnesty in Post-coup Crackdown

Voice of America - Wed, 06/07/2017 - 03:58
Turkish authorities on Tuesday detained the local chair of Amnesty International for suspected links to the network of the Muslim cleric Ankara blames for last year's failed coup, the rights group said. Police detained Taner Kilic and 22 other lawyers in the Aegean coastal province of Izmir on suspicion of ties to the movement of U.S.-based cleric Fethullah Gulen, it said, citing a detention order. Since the July coup attempt, authorities have arrested 50,000 people and sacked or...
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Libya's Neighbors Push Political Deal Over Military Solution

Voice of America - Wed, 06/07/2017 - 03:15
Libya's neighbors Algeria, Egypt and Tunisia agreed on Tuesday to push for political dialogue to end the crisis in the North African country and rejected foreign interference or any military solution. The "Algiers declaration" came after Egyptian jets last month carried out repeated airstrikes targeting camps for Islamist militants inside Libya who Cairo says were responsible for an attack on Egyptian Christians. The joint statement appeared to be an effort to smooth over...
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Does the UN Have an Anti-Israel Bias?

Voice of America - Wed, 06/07/2017 - 02:30
The U.S. ambassador to the United Nations put the organization's Human Rights Council on notice Tuesday, saying it needs to reform or the U.S. will withdraw from it. Nikki Haley, who also is a member of President Donald Trump's cabinet, has been very vocal about what she says is the 47-member, Geneva-based council's bias against Israel. "Since its creation, the council has passed more than 70 resolutions targeting Israel," Haley told the Graduate Institute of...
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US-backed Syrian Forces Advance in IS Stronghold Raqqa

Voice of America - Wed, 06/07/2017 - 01:20
U.S.-backed Syrian forces stormed into Islamic State's de-facto capital of Raqqa on Tuesday, triggering intense combat and signaling the start of what the U.S.-led coalition says will ultimately be the end of IS control in the besieged city. "We declare today the beginning of the great battle to liberate the city of Raqqa, the alleged capital of terrorism and terrorists," Talal Silo, a spokesman for the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces, told reporters at a press...
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Saudi Arms Dealer Adnan Khashoggi Dead at 81

Voice of America - Tue, 06/06/2017 - 23:15
Saudi arms dealer Adnan Khashoggi has died at the age of 81. He had Parkinson's disease, according to his family. Khashoggi was rumored to have been one of the world's richest men at the height of his career in the 1970s, when he was believed to have been worth some $4 billion. He made his fortune by brokering international arms deals, and was implicated in the Iran-Contra affair, a notorious arms-for-hostages deal that saw several U.S. officials selling arms to Iran despite an...
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Farmers Market Reopens in East Mosul After Ouster of IS

Voice of America - Tue, 06/06/2017 - 22:40
With Islamic State pushed from the eastern side of Mosul, local farmers are again able to sell their products for the first time in more than two years. VOA's Kawa Omar reports
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Marrakech's Historic Booksellers Once Again Face Eviction

Voice of America - Tue, 06/06/2017 - 22:15
Lined up against shopkeepers hawking everything from fresh parsley to colorful socks, Marrakech's historic booksellers face an uncertain future as authorities plan an urban makeover in one of Morocco's tourist hubs. In the shadow of the 12th century Al Koutoubia mosque — also known as the Mosque of Booksellers — the bustling shops once specialized in handwritten manuscripts and religious texts. It is a business that has been passed down from generation to generation. Only 26...
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How Al Jazeera Covered Arabs Severing Ties with Its Backer

Voice of America - Tue, 06/06/2017 - 21:33
As one Arab state after another announced it was severing ties with Qatar, the tiny Gulf monarchy's flagship television channel Al Jazeera did not react like other broadcasters — it updated its news ticker, but its presenters said nothing. It was only when the Qatari foreign ministry released a statement saying it was facing a campaign of lies and fabrications aimed at putting the Gulf Arab state under guardianship that the channel came to life on the topic. "This has been...
Categories: Iraq

Live From Mosul: A Photographer’s Perspective

NY Times Iraq - Tue, 06/06/2017 - 17:21
“I remember a massive explosion and the flash of a fireball.” Ivor Prickett on the front line for The New York Times as Iraqi forces battle to retake Mosul from the Islamic State.
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Tilted Apartment Building in Alexandria, Egypt

Voice of America - Tue, 06/06/2017 - 17:15
A 13-floor apartment building tilted, causing damage to a neighboring building, and Egyptian police evacuated the neighborhood. Egyptian armed forces are overseeing the demolition of the building. Residents gathered to watch and take selfies.
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Qatari Riyal Under Pressure as Saudi, UAE Banks Delay Qatar Deals

Voice of America - Tue, 06/06/2017 - 15:29
Qatar's currency came under pressure on Tuesday as Gulf Arab commercial banks started holding off on business with Qatari banks because of a diplomatic rift in the region. Banking sources said some banks from Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain delayed letters of credit and other deals with Qatari banks after their governments cut diplomatic ties and transport links with Doha on Monday, accusing Qatar of backing terrorism. Saudi Arabia's central bank advised...
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US-backed Commander: IS Struggling to Hold Raqqa

Voice of America - Tue, 06/06/2017 - 13:18
Islamic State jihadists struggled Tuesday to remain in control of land in and around Raqqa after holding the territory for more than two years, a leader of U.S.-backed forces in Syria told VOA. Mahmud Ismail, a senior commander in the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), said coalition forces had liberated "tens of villages and cities, including strategic Tabqa city and two major dams," since the U.S.-backed  forces launched an offensive earlier in the day. "Until today...
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Trump Wades Into Diplomatic Spat Among Gulf Arab Nations

Voice of America - Tue, 06/06/2017 - 12:45
The White House says President Donald Trump and Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud spoke by telephone, and the two stressed the need for Gulf unity following a decision by Arab states in the region to cut ties with Qatar. A statement issued late Tuesday said the two discussed the "critical goals of preventing the financing of terrorist organizations and eliminating the promotion of extremism by any nation in the region." Earlier in the day, the president entered the...
Categories: Iraq

US Officials: Rift Between Qatar And Its Gulf Neighbors Will Not Affect Anti-terrorism Efforts

Voice of America - Tue, 06/06/2017 - 08:59
The United States has called on the Gulf countries and Egypt to address their differences with Qatar. Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Yemen, Maldives and Egypt cut ties with Qatar over its alleged links with terrorist organizations and questioning of U.S. hostility toward Iran. All of these countries are U.S. allies in the fight against Islamic State and Iran's expansionism. U.S. officials say the rift will not undermine these efforts. Zlatica Hoke reports.
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US State Department Approves $1.4 Billion in Military Sales to Saudi Arabia

Voice of America - Tue, 06/06/2017 - 05:11
The U.S. State Department has approved the potential sale of more than $1.4 billion worth of military training and equipment for Saudi Arabia, the Pentagon said Monday, part of a $110 billion arms deal U.S. President Donald Trump sealed with the kingdom in May. The proposed sales include a radar system made by Lockheed Martin Corp as well as a training program for the Royal Saudi Air Force and other Saudi forces inside and outside of Saudi Arabia, the Pentagon said in two separate notices...
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Iran, Pakistan Crucial to al-Qaida's Long-term Success

Voice of America - Tue, 06/06/2017 - 04:45
For many, the whereabouts and machinations of al-Qaida founder Osama bin Laden following the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks until his death remain shrouded in mystery. The terror mastermind had been on the run, trying to evade U.S. forces, while al-Qaida itself was in a period of disarray.  Yet even as U.S. Navy SEALs burst into bin Laden's compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, in May 2011 and killed him, things already had begun to change with the help of officials in Iran and...
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Netanyahu: Israel to Keep Security Control Over West Bank

Voice of America - Tue, 06/06/2017 - 04:20
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Monday that Israel will maintain security control over all of the West Bank, with or without a peace agreement with the Palestinians.   Speaking at a ceremony marking the 50th anniversary of the 1967 Mideast war, when Israel captured the West Bank, Netanyahu said Israel seeks "true peace'' with its neighbors but all has to ensure its own security.   "For that reason, in any agreement, and even without an...
Categories: Iraq