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Iraq

Human Rights Honor Goes to Egyptian Banned From Travel

Voice of America - Tue, 10/10/2017 - 23:41
An Egyptian has been honored with one of the most prestigious awards granted to human rights defenders but was unable to accept the prize in person because his government has banned him from travel over his work documenting abuses. Mohamed Zaree is one of several prominent Egyptian activists and human rights workers who are banned from travel over allegations of harming national security, part of a wide-scale crackdown on dissent that has stamped out much of the country's once-vibrant...
Categories: Iraq

UN Envoy: Yemen's Warring Leaders Seek Power, Not Peace

Voice of America - Tue, 10/10/2017 - 22:53
The U.N. special envoy for Yemen accused the country's warring leaders on Tuesday of refusing to end the fighting and liberate the people "from the scourge of famine and conflict" because they stand to lose wealth and power. With the civil war entering its fourth year and heavy fighting continuing, Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed warned that "the situation will continue worsening as well as the terrorist threat" if the parties don't listen to the people and display...
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Pentagon: Diplomatic Dispute Not Affecting Military Operations Out of Turkey

Voice of America - Tue, 10/10/2017 - 21:03
The Pentagon says a diplomatic dispute between Turkey and the United States has not affected military operations or personnel out of Turkey, including efforts to defeat Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria. "I can confirm that these developments have not impacted our operations or personnel," Pentagon spokesman Army Colonel Robert Manning told reporters on Tuesday. “Coalition counter-IS operations out of Incirlik and other Turkish facilities are closely coordinated with and...
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Egypt Presses Fatah, Hamas for Final Reconciliation Deal

Voice of America - Tue, 10/10/2017 - 19:41
Leaders of the rival Palestinian Fatah and Hamas factions were meeting in Cairo Tuesday under the auspices of the Egyptian government amid high hopes that both sides would finally reach a reconciliation deal after a 10-year schism Top officials from the two Palestinian factions have been mulling the details of an Egyptian draft reconciliation deal, as both sides appear to be inching closer to an agreement that would bring the Hamas-run Gaza Strip back under the control of a Palestinian...
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Erdogan Defends Arrest of US Consulate Employee

Voice of America - Tue, 10/10/2017 - 17:31
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is defending the arrest of a U.S. consulate employee, accusing him of being a spy. "How did these spies infiltrate the American consulate?  If they didn't infiltrate the American consulate, who put them there?'' Erdogan said, speaking Tuesday alongside Serbia's president in Belgrade.  "No state would allow such spies that pose an internal threat.'' Last week, Turkey arrested Metin Topuz, a U.S. consulate...
Categories: Iraq

Iran Warns US Over Potential Terror Designation of Its Guards

Voice of America - Tue, 10/10/2017 - 16:48
Iran is warning the United States against designating its Revolutionary Guards as a terrorist organization, saying it would put the United States on the side of the Islamic State group. Government spokesman Mohammad Bagher Nobakht told reporters Tuesday the guards are “the defender of the nation” and if the United States designates the military force a terror organization “it puts itself in the camp of terrorists.” "Any country that wants to have such a position about the Guards...
Categories: Iraq

Iraq to Restore Pipeline to Turkey, Bypassing Kurdish Region

Voice of America - Tue, 10/10/2017 - 16:10
Iraq's Oil Ministry has ordered the restoration of an oil pipeline from the city of Kirkuk to Turkey that would bypass the country's northern Kurdish region in the wake of the area's pro-independence referendum. Tuesday's development is the second measure that Baghdad has taken over the past two days to isolate the Iraqi Kurdish region.   The pipeline was taken out of service after Islamic State militants swept across much of northern and western Iraq in the summer...
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As Trump Challenges Iran Nuclear Deal, Those in Tehran Worry

Voice of America - Tue, 10/10/2017 - 03:50
As U.S. President Donald Trump threatens the Iran nuclear deal, those living in Tehran feel that an accord they have yet to benefit from may already be doomed, hardening their skepticism about America. Trump is set to deliver a speech on Iran this week in which he is expected to decline to certify Iran's compliance in the landmark 2015 agreement, referring it to Congress, and perhaps targeting the country's paramilitary Revolutionary Guard with new sanctions. In the streets of...
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Lebanon Receives 2 Military Aircraft From US

Voice of America - Mon, 10/09/2017 - 18:27
The Lebanese army says the United States has supplied Beirut with two A-29 Super Tucano light-attack aircraft designed for counter-insurgency operations.   The army said in a statement that the aircraft were handed to Lebanon on Monday at the Hamat air base north of the capital Beirut. It gave no further details.   Washington has been a major supporter of Lebanon's army, which until recently had been fighting the Islamic State group and al-Qaida's Syrian branch on the...
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UAE Official Says Qatar Giving Up World Cup Could End Crisis

Voice of America - Mon, 10/09/2017 - 17:38
A top Emirati security official says the Qatar diplomatic crisis can end if Doha gives up hosting the 2022 FIFA World Cup, the first time someone from the four Arab nations boycotting the country directly linked the tournament to resolving the monthslong dispute. While Dubai security Lt. Gen. Dhahi Khalfan is often outspoken on Twitter, his tweet on Sunday night on the crisis comes as those opposing Qatar increasingly target the upcoming soccer competition in their criticism. He later...
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Iran Promises ‘Crushing’ Response if US Designates Guards Terrorist Group

Voice of America - Mon, 10/09/2017 - 17:18
Iran promised on Monday to give a "crushing" response if the United States designated its elite Revolutionary Guards as a terrorist group. The pledge came a week before President Donald Trump announces final decision on how he wants to contain Tehran. He is expected on Oct 15 to "decertify" a landmark 2015 international deal to curb Iran’s nuclear program, a step that by itself stops short of pulling out of the agreement but gives Congress 60 days to decide whether to...
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Fatah, Hamas to Discuss Gaza Security Under Unity Deal

Voice of America - Mon, 10/09/2017 - 16:51
Negotiators from rival Palestinian factions Fatah and Islamist group Hamas will discuss security in the Gaza Strip at unity talks in Cairo on Tuesday, including a proposal that would see Fatah security personnel deployed to Hamas-dominated territory. The plan for 3,000 Fatah security officers to join a Gaza police force over the course of a year, part of a unity deal mediated by Egypt in 2011, would restore much of the influence of Fatah leader President Mahmoud Abbas in Gaza and further...
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Turkey Urges US to Reverse Visa Halt

Voice of America - Mon, 10/09/2017 - 15:46
Turkey on Monday urged the United States to reverse its temporary halt to non-immigrant visa applications - a move that was quickly mirrored by Turkey the day before. A statement Sunday from the U.S. Embassy in Ankara said, "Recent events have forced the United States Government to reassess the commitment of the Government of Turkey to the security of U.S. Mission facilities and personnel. The statement did not clarify the reasons for which it is reassessing Turkey's commitment,...
Categories: Iraq

Should Jihadist Families Be Prosecuted?

Voice of America - Mon, 10/09/2017 - 12:40
Then French President Nicolas Sarkozy declared March 19, 2012, the date an Islamic militant killed a Jewish rabbi and three children in Toulouse, “a day of national tragedy.” The gunman, Mohammed Merah, a French petty criminal of Algerian descent, had targeted French soldiers a week earlier in two attacks, one at a shopping center. On March 19 it was the turn of the Ozar Hatorah Jewish day school. Dismounting a motorbike, the 23-year-old Merah unleashed a fusillade toward the...
Categories: Iraq

Syrian Airstrike on Idlib Province Market Kills 6

Voice of America - Mon, 10/09/2017 - 01:00
Rescuers in Syrian city of Maarat al-Numan are picking through the rubble after what they say was a Syrian military airstrike on a market Sunday. At least six were killed while the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights puts the death toll at 11. Syria's famed White Helmet rescuers pulled a man and young boy from under a pile of rocks and dust, saying they expect to find more victims. Maarat al-Numan is in Syria's rebel-controlled Idlib province, which borders...
Categories: Iraq

Women March Through Desert for Israeli-Palestinian Peace

Voice of America - Mon, 10/09/2017 - 00:30
Thousands of Israeli and Palestinian women trekked through a biblical desert landscape on Sunday, converging on the shores of the Jordan River in a march for peace. The women, many of them dressed in white, descended through the arid hills leading to the river, where they erected a "peace tent" named for Hagar and Sarah, scriptural mothers of Ishmael and Isaac, the half-brother patriarchs of Muslims and Jews. "We are women from the right, the left, Jews and Arabs,...
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Hundreds Protest to Free Morocco's Northern Activists

Voice of America - Sun, 10/08/2017 - 23:45
Hundreds of people from around Morocco protested on Sunday in the nation's economic capital, Casablanca, to demand freedom for activists jailed for their roles in a protest movement that took off a year ago in a neglected northern city.   The demonstration was the latest of numerous protests demanding the liberation of activists from the city of Al Hoceima, in the northern Rif region where hundreds of protesters have been arrested.   Leading figures in the opposition...
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US Lawmakers Eye Tougher Sanctions Against Hezbollah

Voice of America - Sun, 10/08/2017 - 22:40
Members of the U.S. Congress are seeking new tools to stop the flow of cash to the militant group Hezbollah in hopes of reducing its ability to recruit, raise funds and carry out propaganda.   “We have got to double down on the money that's coming in from Iran and coming in from Syria,” said Representative Ed Royce, chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee and one of the originators of a bipartisan bill to levy new sanctions on the group. The bill is co-sponsored by...
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Somali Forces Shoot and Kill Iranian Sailor in Indian Ocean

Voice of America - Sun, 10/08/2017 - 22:15
Somali regional officials say the Iranian captain of a fishing boat was killed and another sailor was injured after security forces opened fire during an operation in the Indian Ocean. Officials said the shooting occurred after Puntland Maritime Police Forces spotted two boats suspected to be fishing illegally Friday in Somali waters. Colonel Mohamed Abdi Hashi of Puntland police told VOA Somali the two boats ignored orders to stop and attempted to escape. “Our security forces were...
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Thousands of Migrants Found Trapped Amid Libya Fighting

Voice of America - Sun, 10/08/2017 - 16:39
Thousands of migrants have been found trapped in camps in Libya the past days after they were caught amid the fighting over the northwestern city of Sabratha, officials said Sunday. Sabratha, a city on the western side of Libya's Mediterranean coast that used to be the main launching point for migrant boats, has witnessed heavy clashes over the past two weeks. Hundreds were killed in the fighting and officials said that it was triggered by an Italian deal with one of the rival...
Categories: Iraq