in Iraq


Islamic State Intensifies Efforts to Prevent Civilian Escape From Hawija

Voice of America - Sat, 08/05/2017 - 02:34
As the U.S.-backed Iraqi forces and Shiite militias make preparations to attack the Islamic State (IS) in its last Kirkuk stronghold of Hawija, the terror group has increased checkpoints and landmines around the town to prevent residents from fleeing. VOA's Dilshad Anwar reports.
Categories: Iraq

Hezbollah to Join Attack on IS Along Syrian Border

Voice of America - Sat, 08/05/2017 - 02:13
The leader of Lebanon’s Hezbollah, Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, said the Shi’ite group would fight in the coming assault on Islamic State on the country’s border with Syria, which he said would begin within days. The Lebanese army will attack a pocket of Islamic State fighters from the Lebanese side of the border, while Hezbollah and the Syrian army will simultaneously attack it from the Syrian side, Nasrallah said in a speech broadcast live on television. “The Syrian front line against...
Categories: Iraq

Yemenis, Iranians Sue US State Department, Want Visas Processed

Voice of America - Sat, 08/05/2017 - 01:02
Dozens of Yemenis and Iranians who won the chance to immigrate to the United States sued the U.S. State Department on Friday for not processing their visa applications after President Donald Trump's temporary travel ban was reinstated. The ban, which was blocked by lower courts before being partially reinstated by the Supreme Court in June, temporarily bars citizens of Yemen, Iran and four other Muslim-majority countries with no "bona fide" U.S. connections from traveling to...
Categories: Iraq

In Blackwater Case, Court Rejects a Murder Conviction and Voids 3 Sentences

NY Times Iraq - Fri, 08/04/2017 - 22:12
A federal appeals court tossed out sentences and a verdict stemming from a shooting in Baghdad in 2007 that left 31 Iraqi civilians dead or wounded.
Categories: Iraq

In the Ruins of an Iraqi City, Memories of Agatha Christie

Voice of America - Fri, 08/04/2017 - 16:51
Agatha Christie lived here once, but only memories remain of the time the world's best-selling fiction writer spent among the ruins of the ancient Iraqi city of Nimrud. The mud-brick house where the British author of Murder on the Orient Express once stayed is long gone. If she were alive today, she would probably be shocked by what has befallen the Assyrian city where she worked alongside her archaeologist husband five decades ago. Islamic State attacked Nimrud with bulldozers,...
Categories: Iraq

Observatory: Syrian Cease-Fire Lasts 10 Hours

Voice of America - Fri, 08/04/2017 - 15:28
A Syrian watchdog says a cease-fire in areas of Homs province in central Syria held for at least ten hours before regime forces and militant factions began exchanging gunfire.  The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said Friday gunfire erupted in Homs' northern countryside in the towns of Farhaniyah, Teir Maalah, Um Sharshuh, and the outskirts of the al-Houla area.  The Observatory said the militant factions initiated gunfire in the villages of Hos Tasnin...
Categories: Iraq

Young Netanyahu in Spotlight; Father Under Investigation

Voice of America - Fri, 08/04/2017 - 11:20
Since becoming an adult, the eldest son of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has repeatedly drawn media criticism for what has been portrayed as a life of privilege at taxpayers’ expense.   Yair Netanyahu, 26, has been described as someone who hobnobs with world leaders and enjoys a state-funded bodyguard, while living at the prime minister’s official residence.   But his recent behavior has now drawn public rebuke from the children of a former Israeli leader, along...
Categories: Iraq

Under Erdoğan, Turkey’s Secular Traditions Recede

Voice of America - Fri, 08/04/2017 - 08:47
Turkey, once considered the model of an open, secular democracy in the Muslim world, now seems to be stuck in reverse. The government is cracking down on dissidents and erasing the line between religion and state in a country that has served as the bridge between East and West. Founded nearly a century ago, the overwhelmingly Muslim republic incorporated Western thought and philosophy and focused on science. It became an early member of NATO and aimed for European Union membership. But...
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U.S. Condemns Execution of a Syrian Blogger and Activist

Voice of America - Fri, 08/04/2017 - 08:42
The United States condemned the execution of Syrian blogger and activist Bassel Khartabil Safadi by the Syrian regime. In a statement, the U.S. State Department expressed outrage over “the repeated acts of brutality, including torture and extrajudicial executions, conducted by the Syrian regime.” The regime of President Bashar al-Assad “bears responsibility for the widespread suffering, death and destruction it has inflicted on its own citizens,” the statement said. Widow...
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Blaze Engulfs Dubai Residential Skyscraper; No Injuries Reported

Voice of America - Fri, 08/04/2017 - 07:34
Flames engulfed one of the tallest residential towers in Dubai Friday, the second time in two years that residents had to scramble to safety as chunks of debris fell to the street. The 336-meter-tall Torch Building caught fire in the early hours of Friday. More than 40 floors of the 86-story Torch Tower were burning on one side of the building, an Associated Press journalist near the scene said. Building residents could be seen on the street outside, with several saying the...
Categories: Iraq

Senate Panel Approves Bill to Suspend US Aid to Palestinians

Voice of America - Fri, 08/04/2017 - 05:15
A Senate committee approved legislation Thursday that would suspend U.S. financial assistance to the Palestinian Authority until it ends what lawmakers said is a long-standing practice of rewarding Palestinians who kill Americans and Israelis.   Members of the Republican-led Senate Foreign Relations Committee voted 17-4 to pass the measure, sponsored by Sens. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., and the committee chairman, Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn.   Corker said the Palestinian Authority has...
Categories: Iraq

Yazidis Who Survived 2014 Massacre Still Suffering

Voice of America - Fri, 08/04/2017 - 04:45
Members of the Yazidi religious community in Iraq and around the world commemorated the third anniversary Thursday of the massacre of thousands of civilians in their historic homeland, Sinjar, at the hands of Islamic State group militants. Amid expressions of grief and calls for action by the international community, Yazidi officials said the tragedy their minority group suffered in Iraq in 2014 continues: Thousands who disappeared while IS extremists were in control are still missing,...
Categories: Iraq

US-backed Yemeni Troops Attack al-Qaida in Southern State

Voice of America - Fri, 08/04/2017 - 04:39
Yemeni troops, backed by the United States and the United Arab Emirates, conducted raids against the local affiliate of al-Qaida in Shabwa province on Thursday, the Emirati state news agency WAM said. Al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) has taken advantage of a civil war pitting the Houthi movement against the Saudi-backed government of President Abd Rabu Mansour Hadi to try to widen its control and influence in Yemen. "Since early morning on Thursday, Yemeni troops and...
Categories: Iraq

New Cease-Fire in Syria Holds, Observers Report

Voice of America - Fri, 08/04/2017 - 01:20
A cease-fire held Thursday in parts of Syria's Homs province, observers said, giving civilians a chance to start putting their lives back together. The British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported no violations, while reporters on the ground said fruit and vegetable markets reopened and children were back on the streets in the city of Homs. The quiet will also give humanitarian workers the chance to bring in badly needed aid. "It's important that people...
Categories: Iraq

Israel's Netanyahu Suspect in Corruption Cases, Police Say

Voice of America - Fri, 08/04/2017 - 00:20
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is suspected of crimes involving bribery, fraud and breach of trust in two corruption cases, Israeli police said Thursday. Investigators, who have been questioning Netanyahu for months, secured a gag order that limits media coverage of the cases and of talks that are underway to enlist a state witness. Netanyahu has denied any wrongdoing, and his spokesman said in a statement Thursday that the prime minister was the target of "a witch...
Categories: Iraq

Seeking a Dream, Indonesian Family Finds Nightmare in Raqqa

Voice of America - Thu, 08/03/2017 - 16:40
The 17-year-old Indonesian girl made a persuasive case to her family: Lured by what she had read online, she told her parents, sisters, aunts, uncles and cousins they should all move to Syria to join the Islamic State group. Each of her two dozen relatives found something in it for them. Free education and health care for the girls. Paying outstanding debts for her father and uncle. Finding work for the youngest men. And the biggest bonus: a chance to live in what was depicted as an...
Categories: Iraq

Russia Announces New Local Cease-Fire in Syria

Voice of America - Thu, 08/03/2017 - 12:23
Russia's Defense Ministry announced Thursday the start of a new local cease-fire in Syria that covers an area north of the city of Homs. Ministry spokesman Maj. Gen. Igor Konashenkov said the truce was going into effect at noon local time, and would include an area that has more than 147,000 people. He said the details of the cease-fire were discussed last week at a meeting in Cairo between Russian and Syrian rebel representatives. The agreement is the third put in place as a...
Categories: Iraq

Iran Says New US Sanctions Violate Nuclear Deal, Vows 'Proportional Reaction'

Voice of America - Thu, 08/03/2017 - 05:06
Iran said new sanctions imposed by U.S. President Donald Trump on Wednesday broke the terms of its nuclear deal with the United States and other world powers, and it vowed an "appropriate and proportional" response. Trump, who during his election campaign called the nuclear agreement — negotiated under his predecessor, Barack Obama — "the worst deal ever," signed the new sanctions into law along with measures against Russia and North Korea. Iran had already said it...
Categories: Iraq

Thousands of Militants Return to Syria From Lebanon

Voice of America - Thu, 08/03/2017 - 04:00
More than a hundred buses carrying thousands of Syrian militants and their families left Lebanon Wednesday, completing a cease-fire deal between the Syrians and the Lebanese Shi'ite militant group Hezbollah. Hezbollah-run media in Beirut said the Syrians headed for an area of Syria's Idlib province controlled by rebels fighting against the Damascus government. The cease-fire ended three years of sporadic fighting between the Syrian jihadists, linked to the al-Qaida terror...
Categories: Iraq

Iraqi Farmers to Get Needed Cash Via Mobile Phones

Voice of America - Thu, 08/03/2017 - 03:56
Families in rural Iraq will get access to urgently needed cash to invest in farming via a new money transfer program on mobile phones funded by the Belgium government, the United Nation’s food agency said Wednesday. The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) said the cash-for-work program will benefit more than 12,000 farmers in more than 30 villages by providing a secure means of receiving funds to restart or expand agricultural activities. The move comes after years of conflict that...
Categories: Iraq