in Iraq

Iraq

US Military: Qatar Regional Spat Has 'No Impact' on Operations

Voice of America - Tue, 06/06/2017 - 00:45
The U.S. military says diplomatic tensions between Qatar and five other Middle East countries has had "no impact" on coalition operations in the region. "U.S. military aircraft continue to conduct missions in support of ongoing operations in Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan," Pentagon spokesman Maj. Adrian Rankine-Galloway told VOA on Monday. "We have no plans to change our posture in Qatar," he added. He told VOA the United States and the U.S.-led coalition...
Categories: Iraq

Apartment Building Tilts in Egypt

Voice of America - Mon, 06/05/2017 - 20:54
A 13-floor apartment building has tilted in Egypt, causing damage to a building on the opposite side of the street. Egyptian police evacuated the neighborhood while sightseers keep showing up to take pictures of the leaning tower of Alexandria.
Categories: Iraq

What Is Happening in Qatar?

Voice of America - Mon, 06/05/2017 - 19:55
What happened Monday? Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, Yemen and Maldives cut diplomatic ties Monday with Qatar, accusing it of supporting terrorism. Qatar's Foreign Affairs Ministry said the measures are "unjustified and are based on baseless and unfounded allegations." What triggered action? Last month, reports quoted Qatari leader Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani as questioning U.S. hostility toward Iran and claiming...
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US Ambassador Has Message for 'Corrupt' UN Rights Body

Voice of America - Mon, 06/05/2017 - 19:20
Weeks after becoming U.S. President Donald Trump's ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley described the U.N.'s Human Rights Council as "so corrupt.'' Expect some sparks to fly, then, when she addresses that body for the first time. En route to the Middle East, Haley drops in Tuesday at the meeting in Geneva to deliver a speech and take part in a "side event" focusing on rights in Venezuela. Her one-day appearance is shaping up as perhaps...
Categories: Iraq

Families Say IS in Mosul is Shrinking in Size but Increasingly Vicious

Voice of America - Mon, 06/05/2017 - 17:19
Families say Islamic State militants are dwindling in numbers in the few neighborhoods they still control in the Iraqi city of Mosul, but those remaining have re-doubled their efforts to kill as many civilians and Iraqi soldiers before what is expected to be their final defeat. VOA's Heather Murdock reports from western Mosul.
Categories: Iraq

UNICEF: 100,000 Children in Dangerous Conditions in Mosul

Voice of America - Mon, 06/05/2017 - 12:37
The U.N. children's agency warns that the children in Mosul are bearing the brunt of the intensified fight between U.S.-backed government forces and the Islamic State group in the city's western half. In a statement issued on Monday, the UNICEF Representative in Iraq, Peter Hawkins, says the agency is receiving “alarming reports” of civilians being killed, including children, with some caught in the crossfire while trying to flee. Hawkins didn't give a specific number for...
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Black Soldiers: Fighting America’s Enemies Abroad and Racism at Home

NY Times Iraq - Mon, 06/05/2017 - 12:00
A book documents the complex history of black soldiers, illuminating their triumphs and challenges.
Categories: Iraq

6 Countries, Including Saudi Arabia, Egypt, UAE Cut Diplomatic Ties With Qatar

Voice of America - Mon, 06/05/2017 - 07:08
Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, Yemen and Maldives cut diplomatic ties Monday with Qatar, accusing it of supporting terrorism. Qatar's Foreign Affairs Ministry said the measures are "unjustified and are based on baseless and unfounded allegations." The countries said they would withdraw their diplomatic staff from gas-rich Qatar and cut air and sea traffic to the country.  Qatar Airways announced a suspension of flights to Saudi...
Categories: Iraq

Israel, Senegal Mend Diplomatic Ties

Voice of America - Sun, 06/04/2017 - 23:34
Israel and Senegal have mended diplomatic ties that ruptured after the West African country co-sponsored a U.N. Security Council resolution in December condemning Jewish settlement construction. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met with Senegalese President Macky Sall in Liberia on the sidelines of the Economic Community of West African States summit. Israel announced its ambassador will return to Senegal, which, in turn, will support Israel's nomination for observer...
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Syrian Troops Pound Daraa After Rebel Attack

Voice of America - Sun, 06/04/2017 - 20:29
Syrian government forces pounded parts of the southern city of Daraa with air strikes and artillery fire, activists reported Sunday, one day after rebels attacked government positions in the southern city.   Much of Daraa has been reduced to rubble and the two sides are exchanging fire through the shells of buildings, according to footage released by Syrian military media and the al-Qaida-linked Abaa News Agency over the weekend.   Local opposition activist Ahmad al-Masalmeh...
Categories: Iraq

Six-Day War a Turning Point for Israel, 50 Years Later Challenges Remain

Voice of America - Sun, 06/04/2017 - 16:01
June 5th marks the 50th anniversary of a preemptive Israeli airstrike that destroyed the Egyptian air force on the ground, paving the way for Israel to defeat Egypt, Jordan and Syria. It became known as the "Six-Day War."  Analysts agree that the war transformed the U.S.-Israeli relationship and the balance of power in the Middle East. VOA’s Diplomatic Correspondent Cindy Saine reports from the State Department.
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'Six Day War' a Turning Point for Israel, but Challenges Remain 50 Years Later

Voice of America - Sun, 06/04/2017 - 15:27
June 5th marks the 50th anniversary of a preemptive Israeli airstrike that destroyed the Egyptian air force on the ground, paving the way for Israel to defeat Egypt, Jordan and Syria in what came to be known as the "Six Day War." Israel’s lightning victory over its Arab neighbors in June of 1967 stunned the world and surprised even the Israelis themselves. Most analysts agree that the Six Day War transformed the Arab-Israeli conflict, the Middle East as a whole, and U.S.-Israeli...
Categories: Iraq

Iraq Paramilitary Troops Take Strategic Town West of Mosul

Voice of America - Sun, 06/04/2017 - 14:50
A senior leader with an Iraqi government-sanctioned paramilitary force says his troops have captured a key town west of the city of Mosul from the Islamic State group.   Deputy Head of Popular Mobilization Forces, Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, says in a statement that the troops entered the center of strategic Baaj town Sunday morning.   Al-Muhandis said the progress is a "big and qualitative achievement" in the U.S.-backed operation to retake Mosul, which was...
Categories: Iraq

Ramadan Fasting Seen as Means of 'Recharging Spiritual Batteries'

Voice of America - Sun, 06/04/2017 - 00:12
The Muslim holy month of Ramadan is under way, and many of the world’s nearly 1.5 billion believers are taking part in this time of fasting and reflection, which constitutes one of the five pillars of Islam — the basic acts required of every member of the faith. Some non-Muslims express curiosity about one part of the observance: fasting. WATCH : Muslims Derive Spiritual Benefit From Ramadan Fasting “Some people always say, ‘Oh, you don’t eat for an entire month?’ No, you eat...
Categories: Iraq

Iraqi Forces Bogged Down Against IS in Old Mosul

Voice of America - Sat, 06/03/2017 - 20:21
Despite vowing that a renewed offensive against Islamic State in Mosul will be a “final push,” Iraqi forces continue to get bogged down in ancient parts of the city where IS remains entrenched. Days after beginning the latest offensive, the U.S.-backed forces slowed operations late last week, citing the difficulty of protecting residents trapped in remaining IS-controlled areas. Commanders admit the fight for Mosul will take longer than anticipated. “We are fighting a very difficult...
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Egypt, Sudan Downplay Strains After High Level Visit

Voice of America - Sat, 06/03/2017 - 18:59
Ties between Egypt and Sudan appeared to be on the mend Saturday, following a belated visit to Cairo by Sudanese Foreign Minister Ibrahim Ghandour. Ghandour had been scheduled to meet with top Egyptian officials earlier in the week, but the visit was postponed amid a public spat between the presidents of both countries over the imposition of visas on Egyptian nationals. Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir had accused Egypt last month of supporting armed militants in both South Sudan...
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Thousands Rally in N. Morocco After Protest Leader Arrested

Voice of America - Sat, 06/03/2017 - 18:43
Several thousand people protested in a provincial northern Moroccan town to demand the authorities release an activist arrested for leading months of demonstrations against official abuses and corruption. The protest took place late on Friday in the town of Al-Hoceima where tensions have run high since activist Nasser Zefzafi was detained at the start of the week and charged with threatening national security, among other offenses. Political unrest is rare in the North African kingdom...
Categories: Iraq

Fight for Raqqa 'Could Begin' In Coming Days, Syrian Kurdish Militia Confirms

Voice of America - Sat, 06/03/2017 - 16:52
U.S.-backed military forces in Syria are poised to launch in a "few days" an offensive to capture the Islamic State's (IS) defacto capital of Raqqa, according to a spokesman for the Syrian Kurdish militia group YPG. "The forces reached the outskirts of the city and the major operation will start ...in the coming days," YPG spokesman Nouri Mahmoud said Saturday. Mahmoud confirmed Saturday remarks by American military officials who said Thursday that Syrian...
Categories: Iraq