in Iraq


China, India Seen as Europe's Last Hope to Save Iran Deal

Voice of America - Thu, 05/09/2019 - 18:34
The European Union will defend the Iran nuclear accord despite Tehran's decision to backtrack on its commitments in response to U.S. sanctions, diplomats believe, but European powers expect it to collapse without a deal to sell Iranian oil to China or India. Britain, France and Germany, which signed the 2015 deal along with the United States, China and Russia, are determined to show they can compensate for last year's U.S. withdrawal from the accord, protect trade and still...
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Rights Group Tries to Block Saudi Vessel Loading French Arms

Voice of America - Thu, 05/09/2019 - 17:21
A French human rights group on Thursday sought to block the loading of weapons onto a Saudi Arabian vessel that is due to dock in northern France later in the day, its lawyers said, arguing the cargo contravened an international arms treaty. The move comes weeks after an online investigative site published leaked French military intelligence that showed weapons sold to the kingdom, including tanks and laser-guided missile systems, were being used against civilians in Yemen's...
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Now for Sale on Facebook: Looted Middle Eastern Antiquities

NY Times Iraq - Thu, 05/09/2019 - 12:00
Facebook groups offer ancient treasures from Syria, Iraq and other conflict zones, some of which may have been pillaged by Islamic State militants.
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US Imposes New Sanctions on Iran as Tensions Escalate

Voice of America - Thu, 05/09/2019 - 09:05
One year after the United States withdrew from the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, Washington has imposed sanctions on Iran's metal sectors, as tension escalates between the two countries. In Tehran Wednesday, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani says his country will suspend its compliance with certain prohibitions that were imposed as part of that nuclear deal. VOA's diplomatic correspondent Cindy Saine reports from the State Department.
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Libyan PM Accuses Rival Leader of Seeking a Coup

Voice of America - Thu, 05/09/2019 - 05:42
Libyan Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj says his rival for power, General Khalifa Haftar, is trying to stage a coup and take Libya by force. "He's dreaming of entering Tripoli," al-Sarraj told France 24 television in Paris Wednesday. "This attack must be clearly condemned because it is an attempt to overthrow the (government's) legitimacy and seize power ... the destruction of the (political) process was carried out by the Khalifa Haftar, not the government of...
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US Sanctions Hit Two of Iran's Top Non-Energy Exports

Voice of America - Thu, 05/09/2019 - 03:04
This article originated in VOA’s Persian service. Farhad Pouladi contributed from Washington.​ New U.S. sanctions targeting Iranian industrial metals will hit two of the country's most lucrative non-energy exports, according to Iranian government data seen by VOA Persian.  President Donald Trump signed an executive order Wednesday, seeking to deny Iran revenue from its exports of iron, steel, aluminum and copper. The measure blocks the assets of people involved...
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Kurdish-led SDF Transfers IS Relatives to Home Countries

Voice of America - Thu, 05/09/2019 - 00:49
U.S.-backed Syrian forces have handed over more than 100 women and children of Islamic State (IS) fighters to their home countries, local officials told VOA.    The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), a Kurdish-led military alliance, said Wednesday that Kazakhstan and Sweden were the latest countries that had agreed to take some of their citizens held in northeast Syria.     "We handed over 70 children and 32 women to representatives of the Kazakhstan government...
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US Indicts 2 Israeli Operators of Darkweb Gateway

Voice of America - Thu, 05/09/2019 - 00:34
U.S. law enforcement officials announced on Wednesday the indictment of two Israeli operators of a website that referred hundreds of thousands of users to underground internet marketplaces to purchase drugs, weapons and other illegal products.     Tal Prihar, 37, an Israeli citizen living in Brazil, and Michael Phan, 34, who lives in Israel, were indicted by a federal grand jury in Western Pennsylvania with money laundering in connection with operating DeepDotWeb, a website that...
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UN: 443 Dead, 2,110 Injured in Tripoli Offensive

Voice of America - Wed, 05/08/2019 - 23:09
The U.N. health agency says 443 people have died and 2,110 have been wounded in violence in Libya's capital since the head of the self-styled Libyan National Army launched an offensive against Tripoli last month.    With the number of people displaced by fighting approaching 60,000, the World Health Organization said in a tweet Wednesday that it was working to coordinate health services for them.    U.N. deputy spokesman Farhan Haq said Wednesday that...
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Syrian Troops Capture Rebel Enclave

Voice of America - Wed, 05/08/2019 - 22:18
Syrian troops pushed their way into a northwestern rebel-held enclave Wednesday, clashing with insurgents and capturing a strategically located village at the southern edge, widening an offensive that had previously involved mainly aerial bombings and shelling.      The pro-government Central Military Media said the troops entered Kfar Nabudah, a rebel-held village on the southwestern edge of the enclave, igniting heavy clashes with the insurgents. The CMM...
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Even in Defeat, Islamic State's Foreign Fighters Expanding

Voice of America - Wed, 05/08/2019 - 22:00
This is part two of a four-part series. WASHINGTON — It was March 2018, approximately five months after U.S.-backed forces had declared victory in the battle for the Islamic State terror group's Syrian capital of Raqqa. And Afghan officials had reason to worry. Intelligence suggested the fallout from that victory had been making its way, slowly but surely, to their country. "There has been a growth in the number of the foreign fighters in the country," then-Afghan...
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Israelis Mark Independence Day After Spike in Cross-Border Violence

Voice of America - Wed, 05/08/2019 - 17:40
As a cease-fire between Israel and Palestinian militants in Gaza holds, Israel marks its Memorial Day and Independence Day this week. The population has just topped nine million and Israelis say they've never had a better friend than President Donald Trump in the White House. Israelis stood still Tuesday for a two-minute siren commemorating the more than 23,700 Israeli soldiers killed as well as more than 3,000 victims of terror attacks. All places of entertainment are closed, and...
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Thousands of ISIS Children Suffer in Camps as Countries Grapple With Their Fate

NY Times Iraq - Wed, 05/08/2019 - 16:32
Tens of thousands of foreign women and children are marooned in Iraq and Syria. Most countries don’t want them back.
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US Slaps New Sanctions on Iran as Tehran Suspends Some Parts of Nuclear Deal

Voice of America - Wed, 05/08/2019 - 10:44
President Donald Trump imposed new sanctions Wednesday on Iran, hours after the Iranian president said he was pulling out of parts of the 2015 nuclear deal struck with world powers.   Trump said in an executive order there would be new sanctions on Iranian metal exports: steel, aluminum, copper and iron.    U.S. sanctions on Iranian oil, its No. 1 moneymaker, have had a devastating effect on its economy. Iran's metal industry is another major...
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Iraq’s Militias, Accused of Threatening U.S., Pose a Quandary for Iraq

NY Times Iraq - Wed, 05/08/2019 - 02:43
The militias were critical in pushing the Islamic State out of Iraq, but most have refused to disarm. They range from helpful groups to criminal organizations, and some have ties to Iran.
Categories: Iraq

Iran to Give Up Some 'Voluntary Commitments' to Nuclear Agreement

Voice of America - Wed, 05/08/2019 - 02:01
Iran is giving up some "voluntary commitments" to the six-nation nuclear deal, but is not pulling out of the deal, Foreign Minister Mohammad Zarif says. Iranian state media quote Zarif as saying Iran is making the move because "the European Union and others ... did not have the power to resist U.S. pressure." Zarif did not specify what he means.  But a newspaper tied to the hardline Revolutionary Guard says Wednesday's announcement would "ignite the...
Categories: Iraq

Iraq: Pompeo, Iraq Prime Minister Meet in Baghdad

Voice of America - Wed, 05/08/2019 - 00:40
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo made an unannounced visit to Baghdad on Tuesday and met with the Iraqi prime minister and other senior officials after voicing U.S. concern about Iraqi sovereignty due to increasing Iranian activity in the region. The visit came two days after U.S. national security adviser John Bolton said the United States was deploying the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln and its strike group to the region as well as a bomber task force because of a...
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Pompeo Visits Iraq Amid Reports of Iranian Missile Threat

Voice of America - Tue, 05/07/2019 - 21:20
Jeff Seldin and Michael Bowman contributed to this report.​ PENTAGON / WHITE HOUSE — U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has made an unscheduled visit to Iraq, amid growing tensions with Iran after intelligence reports indicated that Iran moved short-range ballistic missiles by boat in waters off its shores. The move, first reported by CNN, was one of several clues that Iran might be considering or preparing to attack U.S. forces in the region, a government official told...
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Fears Grow Islamic State's Foreign Fighters Ready to Carry On

Voice of America - Tue, 05/07/2019 - 21:12
This is part one of a four-part series. WASHINGTON — Even as the Islamic State’s caliphate was clinging to life with its last defenders cornered in a small town in northeastern Syria, the terror group managed to shock those who would eventually see it die.   Instead of waiting out about 1,000 civilians and 300 or so hard-core IS fighters who had retreated to Baghuz, the U.S.-led coalition watched for weeks in late February and March, as upwards of 30,000 civilians and 5,000...
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Russia-Backed Assad Forces Pummel Syria’s Idlib

Voice of America - Tue, 05/07/2019 - 21:03
Syrian and Russian warplanes have been escalating airstrikes on the last remaining rebel redoubt in northern Syria. The air raids are as much a message to Turkey as to die-hard rebels and jihadists in the province of Idlib, say analysts. Russia wants Turkey to do more to remove from the province jihadists fighters once affiliated with al-Qaida, they say. The U.N. is calling for de-escalation in northwestern Syria, with Secretary-General Antonio Guterres urging all parties to recommit...
Categories: Iraq