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Iraq

HRW: Egyptian Security Forces Committed Widespread Abuses in Northern Sinai

Voice of America - Tue, 05/28/2019 - 18:55
The Egyptian military and police forces have committed widespread abuses in the northern Sinai Peninsula, according a new report by Human Rights Watch, which said some of the actions amount to war crimes. The report alleges that Egyptian security forces, who have been conducting military operations against Islamist insurgents in the region, have engaged in unlawful action against civilians in the region. The report describes widespread extrajudicial arrests and killings, as well as...
Categories: Iraq

Israel Heading Toward Political Crisis

Voice of America - Tue, 05/28/2019 - 18:50
“This is a night of a marvelous victory! Marvelous!” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu triumphantly declared after hearing the election results.  That was 49 days ago, and Netanyahu appeared securely positioned to — come July — become the longest serving prime minister in the Jewish state's history. However, early Tuesday, in the second of four readings, the Knesset voted 66 to 44 to order a new round of elections.  Netanyahu sought the vote as he has...
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White House Adviser Travels Abroad to Get Support for Peace Plan

Voice of America - Tue, 05/28/2019 - 17:48
President Donald Trump's son-in-law is in Morocco Tuesday as part of a three-day trip to garner support for his Middle East peace plan. White House officials said Tuesday Jared Kushner would also visit Jordan and Israel, along with U.S. representative for Iran Brian Hook and U.S. international negotiator Jason Greenblatt. The trip comes as the U.S. prepares to unveil the economic part of the plan at a conference in Bahrain in late June. The Palestinians have already rejected the...
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Iraq Kurdish Region Gets New President, Opposition Boycotts

Voice of America - Tue, 05/28/2019 - 16:17
Iraq's self-governing Kurdish region has elected a new president in a parliamentary vote boycotted by a key opposition party.   Former prime minister Nechirvan Barzani will follow his uncle Masoud Barzani in office. The elder Barzani resigned in November 2017 after a failed bid for independence from Iraq.   The Barzani family and their Kurdistan Democratic Party have dominated Iraqi Kurdish politics for generations. The opposition Patriotic Union of Kurdistan stayed away...
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Iran's Guard Talks Tough, Says it Has no Fear of War with US

Voice of America - Tue, 05/28/2019 - 15:09
Iran's influential Revolutionary Guard said Tuesday it doesn't fear a possible war with the United States and claimed that America hasn't grown in power in recent years — the latest tough talk from Tehran amid escalating regional tensions and a crisis with Washington.   "The enemy is not more powerful than before," said the Guard spokesman, Gen. Ramazan Sharif.   Tensions between Washington and Tehran soared recently over America deploying an aircraft...
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Iraq Sentences 2 More French IS Members to Death

Voice of America - Tue, 05/28/2019 - 14:02
An Iraqi court sentenced on Tuesday two more French members of the Islamic State group to death, bringing the total number of French former jihadis condemned to death this week to six. The men were identified as Karam el-Harchaoui and Brahim Nejara. They are among a group of 12 French citizens who were detained by the U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces in neighboring Syria and handed over to Iraq in January.   The Kurdish-led group spearheaded the fight against IS in Syria and...
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Israel Moves Toward New Elections

Voice of America - Tue, 05/28/2019 - 12:43
Israel moved closer to new parliamentary elections Tuesday as lawmakers voted in favor of the first of three procedural moves necessary to dissolve the current parliament. The 66 to 44 vote set a tentative date of September 17 for a new election, if the measure makes it through the final two rounds of voting. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been unable to form a new government since his party won the most seats in an election last month. He has until Wednesday to reach a...
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Israel's Netanyahu Struggles to Avert Snap Elections

Voice of America - Tue, 05/28/2019 - 04:56
Israel is facing a political crisis after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu failed to form a governing coalition. If he is not able to draw enough support by Wednesday night, the parliament will be dissolved and the country will hold new elections on August 28th. VOA's Zlatica Hoke has more.
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Tensions Grow Between Russia, Iran in Syria

Voice of America - Tue, 05/28/2019 - 04:50
Russian military police last week reportedly carried out a raid against Iranian-backed militiamen stationed at Syria's Aleppo international airport, local media reported.    In the aftermath, several Iranian militia leaders were arrested in what was seen as the latest episode of tensions between Iranian and Russian forces in Syria.     Since the beginning of Syria's civil war in 2011, Russia and Iran have built a strong military presence in the country in...
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Zarif Says Iran Not Seeking Nuclear Arms

Voice of America - Mon, 05/27/2019 - 23:15
Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said on Monday Iran is not seeking nuclear weapons, which its supreme leader had banned in an edict, adding on Twitter that U.S. policies were hurting the Iranian people and causing regional tensions. "Ayatollah (Ali) @khamenei_ir long ago said we're not seeking nuclear weapons" by issuing a fatwa (edict) banning them," Zarif said in a tweet." (U.S.) Economic Terrorism is hurting the Iranian people and causing tension in the...
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Israel Could Face New Elections Amid Coalition Crisis

Voice of America - Mon, 05/27/2019 - 22:30
Israel moved closer to new parliamentary elections Monday, with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu unable to form a government after appearing on track last month to win a fifth term as leader of the Jewish state. The Israeli parliament approved a preliminary motion to dissolve itself, and if adopted a second time in a Wednesday vote, Israel would be forced to hold new elections. After last month's elections, Netanyahu's ruling Likud Party emerged tied as the largest bloc in the...
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Israel Open to US-Led Talks With Lebanon Over Border Dispute

Voice of America - Mon, 05/27/2019 - 19:40
Israel says it's willing to engage in U.S.-mediated talks with Lebanon to resolve a border dispute over a sliver of the Mediterranean Sea seen as rich with energy resources. Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz said he met Monday with U.S. envoy David Satterfield, who has shuttled between the countries with the aim of demarcating their maritime boundary over past weeks. Steinitz “expressed Israel's openness”' to negotiations “for the benefit of both countries' interests in...
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Israel Fires Missile on Syrian Military Site

Voice of America - Mon, 05/27/2019 - 19:16
Edward Yeranian contributed to this report from Cairo. An Israeli airstrike on a Syrian anti-aircraft position near the Golan Heights Monday killed one soldier and wounded three, Syria said. Israel called the rocket strike on Tal al-Shaar retaliation for a Syrian missile fired at an Israeli military jet it said was a routine flight. Israel only acknowledged firing at the Syrian position, but gave no other details. Israel has fired hundreds of missiles into Syrian territory at...
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Baghdad Court Sentences 4th French IS Member to Death

Voice of America - Mon, 05/27/2019 - 19:09
The French former members of the Islamic State group were brought into the courtroom in Baghdad one after the other on Monday and made to sit inside a wooden cage in the middle. As they spoke in French, a government official typed up the translation into Arabic, which immediately appeared on a large screen behind the judge that the court could read.   Mustafa Mohammed Ibrahim became the fourth French citizen to be sentenced to death by a Baghdad court for joining the Islamic State...
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Trump: Japan-Mediated Iran Talks 'Would Be Fine'

Voice of America - Mon, 05/27/2019 - 15:49
Despite the lingering shadow of North Korea over their talks, U.S. President Donald Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe also turned their attention to trade and other diplomatic issues Monday in Tokyo. Trump even suggested Japan could mediate between the United States and another intransigent foe, as VOA's Richard Green reports.
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Trump: Japan-Mediated Iran Talks 'Would Be Fine'

Voice of America - Mon, 05/27/2019 - 04:08
U.S. President Donald Trump says he would be fine with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe serving as a mediator between the United States and Iran. "The prime minister has already spoken to me about that," Trump said in response to a question from VOA."And I do believe that Iran would like to talk and if they'd like to talk we'd like to talk also. We'll see what happens. But I know for a fact that the prime minister is very close with the leadership of...
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Coalition: Saudi Downs Attack Drone From Yemen

Voice of America - Sun, 05/26/2019 - 19:59
Saudi Arabia on Sunday shot down a bomb-laden drone deployed by Iran-aligned Houthi rebels in Yemen to attack an airport in the kingdom, state media reported. The Saudi air force intercepted and destroyed the drone that targeted Jizan airport, close to the southern border with Yemen, the Riyadh-led coalition fighting the rebels was quoted as saying by the official Saudi Press Agency. The rebels' Al-Masirah TV said earlier that the drone targeted military hangars at Jizan...
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Libya's Haftar Says to Fight Until Tripoli 'Militias' Defeated

Voice of America - Sun, 05/26/2019 - 17:53
Libyan strongman Khalifa Haftar, who is leading a military offensive against the U.N.-recognized government in Tripoli, said in an interview published Sunday he will continue fighting until militias in the city laid down their arms. Haftar had justified the offensive last month by saying he was fighting against "private militias and extremist groups" who he said were gaining influence in the capital under Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj. "Of course a political solution is...
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Iraq Courts Sentences 3 French Men to Death

Voice of America - Sun, 05/26/2019 - 16:31
An Iraqi court has sentenced three French citizens to death after finding them guilty for joining the Islamic State group. They are the first French IS members that received death sentences in Iraq. The hearings push forward the trials of hundreds of people — many of them foreigners — captured after the militant group lost its final stronghold in Syria last year. The three sentenced on Sunday,  Kevin Gonot, Leonard Lopez and Salim Machou, are among 12 French citizens who were...
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Jailed PKK Leader Calls for End to Mass Hunger Strike

Voice of America - Sun, 05/26/2019 - 14:42
Thousands of prisoners in Turkish jails have ended a 200-day-long hunger strike after jailed Kurdish rebel leader Abdullah Ocalan was allowed to see his lawyer for the first time in eight years. "Comrades who have committed themselves to hunger strikes and death fasts, I expect you to end your protest," Ocalan said in an appeal to his supporters Sunday. He has been allowed to see his attorney twice in the past week A number of Kurdish lawmakers had joined the 3,000 prisoners...
Categories: Iraq