in Iraq


Iran Supreme Leader Criticizes Politicians Amid Tension With US

Voice of America - Thu, 05/23/2019 - 00:02
Iran's supreme leader publicly chastised the country's moderate president and foreign minister Wednesday, saying he disagreed with the implementation of the 2015 nuclear deal they negotiated with world powers.    The extraordinary comments by Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the first time he's criticized both politicians by name, came amid tensions with the United States a year after Washington's withdrawal from the accord.    Khamenei has final say on all...
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UN Palestinian Refugee Agency Pleads for Funds

Voice of America - Wed, 05/22/2019 - 23:34
The U.N. agency that assists Palestinian refugees warned Wednesday that it would run out of money in a few weeks if donors did not step up quickly.  "As we speak, UNRWA has only enough money to run its operations until mid-June," Pierre Krähenbühl, commissioner-general of the U.N. Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees, told the U.N. Security Council. The council meets monthly to discuss the Israel-Palestinian conflict. UNRWA provides...
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Libya's Haftar Reportedly Rules Out Cease-fire in Talks with France's Macron

Voice of America - Wed, 05/22/2019 - 19:31
Libyan eastern commander Khalifa Haftar told French President Emmanuel Macron that conditions for a cease-fire were not in place, although he would be ready to talk if those conditions were met, a French presidency official said. Macron and French officials have for several weeks called for an unconditional cease-fire in the battle for Tripoli after Haftar last month launched an offensive on the Libyan capital. "The distrust we see between the Libyan actors is stronger than ever...
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Deadly Strike Hits Syria Market as Damascus Battles Jihadists

Voice of America - Wed, 05/22/2019 - 18:32
Syrian government air strikes killed 18 civilians, including a dozen people at a busy market, as fierce fighting raged for the jihadist-held northwest, a war monitor said on Wednesday. Regime forces battled to repel a jihadist counteroffensive around the town of Kafr Nabuda that has left 70 combatants dead in 24 hours, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said. The Hayat Tahrir al-Sham alliance, led by Syria's former al-Qaeda affiliate, controls a large part of Idlib province as...
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Iranian Lawmaker Says His Country Doesn't Want War With US

Voice of America - Wed, 05/22/2019 - 17:21
Iran will "under no circumstances" enter a war either directly or indirectly with the United States, a prominent reformist Iranian lawmaker said Wednesday, as both Washington and Tehran try to ease heightened tensions in the region. The reported comments by Heshmatollah Falahatpisheh come after the White House earlier this month sent an aircraft carrier and B-52 bombers to the region over a still-unexplained threat it perceived from Iran.    Since that development,...
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Algeria's Army Chief Says He Has No Political Ambitions

Voice of America - Wed, 05/22/2019 - 16:35
Algeria's army chief of staff said on Wednesday he had no political ambitions in response to democracy activists who say he intends to copy the authoritarian model of Egypt. The armed forces have been a pivotal power center in Algeria for decades and have been managing a transition after mass protests forced President Abdelaziz Bouteflika to resign last month after 20 years in office. Street demonstrations have continued to press demands for a dismantling of the elite of...
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Egyptians of All Walks of Life During Ramadan

Voice of America - Wed, 05/22/2019 - 16:19
The Muslim holy season of Ramadan is a time of sacrifice. That is especially so for Cairo residents who endure long days of fasting in Egypt's hot temperatures. Cairo-based photojournalist Hamada Elrasam shows how Egyptians of all walks of life find creative ways to cope.
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Seeking Energy Independence, Palestinians Open Solar Plant

Voice of America - Wed, 05/22/2019 - 12:51
Palestinian officials say they have inaugurated their first solar panel plant as part of a plan to reduce their dependence on Israeli power sources. Mohammed Mustafa, head of the government's investment fund, says that Tuesday's plant opening in the ancient West Bank city of Jericho is one of four planned plants. One has been donated from China. He says the Palestinians rely almost entirely on power imported from Israel and the new plants are part of a long-term project to...
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US Lawmakers Sharply Divided Over Iran Policy

Voice of America - Wed, 05/22/2019 - 10:44
President Trump’s national security advisers told U.S. lawmakers Tuesday escalating tensions with Iran were part of a forty-year pattern of aggression from the Islamic Republic. But Democratic lawmakers remained unconvinced by the administration’s argument, urging a cautious approach in the Middle East. VOA’s Congressional correspondent Katherine Gypson reports from Capitol Hill.
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Syrian TV: Two Shells Fall in Syria's Aleppo

Voice of America - Wed, 05/22/2019 - 06:57
Two shells fell in the center of the Syrian city of Aleppo, Syria's Ikhbariya television said early on Wednesday. No further details were immediately available.
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UN Envoy: Islamic State Revival in Iraq Must Be Prevented

Voice of America - Wed, 05/22/2019 - 04:07
The U.N. envoy for Iraq is calling for "wide-based international support" to prevent Islamic State extremists from regaining a foothold in the country. Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert also told the Security Council on Tuesday that if the issue of thousands of returning Islamic State fighters and their families from Syria to Iraq isn't managed properly, "we risk creating a new breeding ground for the next generation of terrorists." She stressed that this "is not...
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US: Syria May Be Using Chemical Weapons Again

Voice of America - Wed, 05/22/2019 - 03:42
The United States says there are signs the Bashar al-Assad regime in Syria may be using chemical weapons again and it is warning the Syrians to stop it. The U.S. State Department said Tuesday it believes Syrian forces were behind an alleged chlorine gas attack Sunday in northwestern Syria. A spokeswoman says officials are still gathering information about the suspected attack but said, “if the Assad regime uses chemical weapons, the United States and our allies will respond quickly and...
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Classified Iran Briefings Fail to Unite US Lawmakers on Threats, Response

Voice of America - Wed, 05/22/2019 - 01:44
VOA's Carla Babb contributed to this report. U.S. lawmakers expressed sharply diverging opinions on the threat level posed by Iran after classified briefings President Donald Trump's national security team presented to all House and Senate members Tuesday. "They explained to us how the Iranian threat streams were different than in the past … and that attacks against American interests and personnel were imminent," Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina told...
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Civilian Casualties Mount as Fighting in Syria's Idlib Province Intensifies

Voice of America - Tue, 05/21/2019 - 21:55
The U.N. human rights office warns civilian casualties are growing in northwestern Syria's Idlib province as fighting between Russian-backed Syrian government forces and rebels allied with al-Qaida escalates. The U.N. agency says it is extremely worried about the military action in Idlib, which is putting at risk the lives of three million civilians trapped in the province. Agency officials express concern at the speed with which a recent 72-hour cease-fire was broken by the warring...
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Bahrain Defends Decision to Host White House Mideast Meeting

Voice of America - Tue, 05/21/2019 - 20:24
Bahrain on Tuesday defended its decision to host a White House-engineered conference to address the Israeli-Palestinian crisis, saying its only objective is to support the "brotherly Palestinian people." The Palestinian Authority has rejected the economic conference planned for next month, which is part of the rollout of the White House's long-awaited Israel-Palestinian plan, saying any peace effort that ignores the Palestinian people's aspirations for an independent...
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Sources: Turkey to Reduce US Import Tariffs This Week

Voice of America - Tue, 05/21/2019 - 18:47
Turkey's Trade Ministry will implement a reciprocal reduction in tariffs on U.S. imports after the United States halved tariffs on Turkish steel imports last week, two Turkish sources said on Tuesday. The White House last week terminated Turkey's eligibility for the Generalized System of Preferences (GTS) program, in a move Turkey said contradicted trade goals, but also halved some of the tariffs it had raised last August amid a diplomatic row between the NATO allies. The...
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Turkish Rights Group Turns to Art to Represent the 'Disappeared'

Voice of America - Tue, 05/21/2019 - 18:43
Human rights groups in Turkey blame the state for hundreds of disappearances dating back decades as the military wages a war against separatist rebels of the PKK. Those rights groups are also turning to artists such as Anil Olcan to call attention to the victims of enforced disappearances. Olcan spent a year capturing images connected to the disappearances. He painstakingly superimposed photographs of the missing onto small marble columns.  “Marble is associated with death,”...
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Turkey’s Enforced Disappearances Remembered Through Art

Voice of America - Tue, 05/21/2019 - 18:30
In Turkey, a human rights group has turned to art to remember the victims of enforced disappearances. Rights groups blame the state for hundreds of disappearances dating back decades. Dorian Jones reports from Istanbul,
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Pompeo Says 'Quite Possible' Iran Behind Gulf Incidents

Voice of America - Tue, 05/21/2019 - 18:27
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Tuesday it was "quite possible" Iran was responsible for sabotage of Gulf oil interests as he prepared to brief lawmakers on rising tensions. Pompeo cautioned that the United States has not made "a definitive conclusion" that can be presented publicly over mysterious sabotage incidents of oil tankers off the United Arab Emirates or drone strikes on a crude pipeline in Saudi Arabia. "But given all the regional conflicts...
Categories: Iraq

Ramadan Fare Frugal in Damascus as War Saps Spending

Voice of America - Tue, 05/21/2019 - 17:30
Abu Anas al-Hijazi scanned the stalls in the Syrian capital's Bab Srija market but bought nothing. For the cash-strapped 45-year-old wedding singer, this Ramadan is a frugal one. "We used to lay out a large spread and invite relatives and friends for a feast around six or seven times at least" during the Muslim holy month, he told AFP. "But now, I invite them once or twice at most." Throughout Ramadan, Muslims abstain from eating and drinking during daylight...
Categories: Iraq