in Iraq


Hariri Says Hezbollah Must Remain Neutral to Ensure Lebanon Moves Forward

Voice of America - Tue, 11/28/2017 - 04:30
Lebanese Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri said on Monday that the political and militant group Hezbollah must stop interfering in regional conflicts and accept a neutral policy to bring an end to Lebanon's political crisis. The Iranian-backed Hezbollah, which forms part of the Lebanese government, is fighting alongside Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in Syria and in Iraq against Islamic State militants. Gulf monarchies have accused the Shi'ite group of also supporting the Houthi...
Categories: Iraq

Turkey Demands Trump Honor Purported Pledge to Cut Off Weapons to Kurdish Militia

Voice of America - Tue, 11/28/2017 - 01:30
Turkish officials say they are watching to see whether the United States will honor a promise, which they claim was made by U.S. President Donald Trump to his Turkish counterpart last week, to cut off the supply of arms to Kurdish militias that played a key role in defeating Islamic State militants in Syria. Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu announced the promise at a press conference shortly after the two presidents spoke by telephone Friday. "Mr. Trump clearly stated...
Categories: Iraq

Suicide Bombers in Iraq Kill at Least 11

Voice of America - Tue, 11/28/2017 - 01:15
Police in Iraq say a suicide bombing at a popular market on the outskirts of the capital, Baghdad, has killed at least 11 people. Officials say at least 26 others were wounded in the attack, which took place in the Nahrawan shopping area southeast of Baghdad. A security official said two suicide bombers opened fire on civilians in the market late Monday before blowing themselves up. The Islamic State group claimed responsibility for the attack in a message on its Amaq...
Categories: Iraq

Activists: Bahrain Shiite Cleric Under House Arrest Is Ill

Voice of America - Tue, 11/28/2017 - 00:19
Activists said Monday that a prominent Shiite cleric who has been under house arrest in Bahrain after having his citizenship stripped is seriously ill. Doctors visited Sheikh Isa Qassim on Sunday at his home in Diraz, a Bahraini town that's been surrounded by police for over a year, they said. Sheikh Maytham al-Salman, another Shiite cleric, told The Associated Press on Monday the 80-year-old Sheikh Isa "is in constant pain" and requires emergency surgery for a...
Categories: Iraq

Despite Claims of US Concessions on Kurds, Turkey Rebukes Washington

Voice of America - Mon, 11/27/2017 - 23:45
Senior Turkish ministers have strongly criticized the United States and its policies toward Turkey and the region. The criticisms come after Turkish officials said the Trump administration met a key Turkish demand to end the arming of a Syrian Kurdish militia. U.S. officials have not confirmed the Turkish government's claim and have only said that President Donald Trump informed Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan of “pending adjustments” to the military support provided to U.S....
Categories: Iraq

UN Envoy: No Signs Damascus Will Participate in Latest Geneva Talks

Voice of America - Mon, 11/27/2017 - 21:36
President Bashar al-Assad's government has not confirmed its participation in peace talks with the Syrian opposition scheduled for this week in Geneva, the U.N. special envoy for Syria said Monday. Staffan de Mistura told the U.N. Security Council the Assad government said it would not be sending representatives to Geneva on Monday. But de Mistura held out hope saying, "We know and indeed expect that the government will be on its way shortly, particularly in light of President...
Categories: Iraq

Sinai Villagers Say Jihadists Threatened Attack Prior to Mosque Massacre

Voice of America - Mon, 11/27/2017 - 21:32
Villagers in Bir al-Abd in Egypt’s northern Sinai, scene of a devastating jihadist attack on a crowded Sufi mosque Friday that left more than 300 dead, have added to doubts about the competence of the country’s counterterror efforts. They argue security forces missed the warnings signs of a pending jihadist attack.  Amid the mourning for the 305 dead, villagers are expressing frustration to local media about what they say was a lack of alertness by local security forces, who should...
Categories: Iraq

Food Aid Arrives in Yemen's Ports

Voice of America - Mon, 11/27/2017 - 09:47
Ships carrying badly-needed food aid have arrived in Yemen, and are expected to unload on Monday. Reuters reports that a ship carrying about 6,000 tons of flour was allowed to dock at the port of Hodeida after a nearly three-week long blockade imposed by the Saudi-led coalition was eased. The World Food Program said some 27,000 tons of wheat arrived Sunday at the rebel-controlled Red Sea port of Saleef. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports.
Categories: Iraq

Pakistan Islamist Groups End Protests, Minister Resigns

Voice of America - Mon, 11/27/2017 - 08:08
Pakistan's federal law minister has resigned, following three weeks of protests by Islamist groups. The protests had closed roads linking the capital, Islamabad, with other parts of the country. The situation turned violent Saturday as police tried to break up the sit-in, with more than 100 security personnel and several dozen protesters injured. The demonstrators representing various religious parties wanted law minister Zahid Hamid to resign after a minor amendment in an...
Categories: Iraq

UNICEF: Yemen Worst Place on Earth to Be a Child

Voice of America - Mon, 11/27/2017 - 03:45
UNICEF's Middle East director is calling Yemen one of the worst places on Earth to be a child and urging all involved in the fighting to let humanitarian aid keep coming in. Geert Cappelaere told reporters in Amman, Jordan, Sunday that UNICEF was able to get nearly 2 million doses of vaccines delivered to Sana'a airport Saturday, but that such success should not be a "one-off." Cappelaere said far more supplies are needed and that ships carrying food, chlorine tables...
Categories: Iraq

Syria: At Least 23 Civilians Killed Ahead of UN Talks

Voice of America - Sun, 11/26/2017 - 21:11
Government airstrikes and shelling outside the Syrian capital killed at least 23 civilians, activists reported Sunday, as fighting in the area showed no signs of letting up ahead of the resumption of U.N. peace talks in Geneva.   The government's jets and artillery launched a wave of attacks on residential areas in the Eastern Ghouta suburbs of Damascus, said the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitoring group, which reported that 25 people had been...
Categories: Iraq

Israel Races to Head Off UN Settlement ‘Blacklist’

Voice of America - Sun, 11/26/2017 - 16:08
Weeks ahead of the expected completion of a U.N. database of companies that operate in Israel’s West Bank settlements, Israel and the Trump Administration are working feverishly to prevent its publication. While Israel is usually quick to brush off U.N. criticism, officials say they are taking the so-called "blacklist" seriously, fearing its publication could have devastating consequences by driving companies away, deterring others from coming and prompting investors to dump...
Categories: Iraq

Saudis Launch Counterterror Coalition

Voice of America - Sun, 11/26/2017 - 16:00
A Saudi-led Muslim military coalition, commanded by a former Pakistan army chief, was officially launched Sunday in Riyadh where defense ministers of the participating nations met for the inaugural meeting.   Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who is also Defense Minister of Saudi Arabia, opened the meeting of the Islamic Military Counter Terrorism Coalition or IMCTC.      An official statement explained the “pan-Islamic coalition” of 41 predominantly Sunni...
Categories: Iraq

Iran Airs More Allegations Against Detained British Woman

Voice of America - Sun, 11/26/2017 - 15:17
Iranian state television has aired more allegations against a detained Iranian-British woman, something her husband said Sunday appeared timed to further pressure London as it considers making a $530 million payment to Tehran. The case of Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe has gained momentum in recent weeks as British Foreign Minister Boris Johnson faces tremendous criticism at home over his handling of it. Zaghari-Ratcliffe, already serving a five-year prison sentence for allegedly...
Categories: Iraq

Egypt Reels from Mosque Attack, Sufi Muslims Still Plan to Honor Muhammad   

Voice of America - Sun, 11/26/2017 - 11:24
Sufi Muslims in Egypt say they plan to continue plans for an annual celebration of the birthday of their prophet, Mohammed, even as the country reels from the massacre at a Sinai mosque that killed 305 worshippers and wounded another 128. No group has claimed responsibility for Friday's attack, widely believed in Egypt to have been launched because Sufis worshipped at the Al-Rawdah Mosque in a village by the same name.  Sufis are members of a mystic movement within Islam and are...
Categories: Iraq

Former Soviet Dissident: Foreign Policy Styled After Realpolitik ‘Absolutely Wrong’ 

Voice of America - Sun, 11/26/2017 - 10:36
In February 1986, Natan Sharansky, a Soviet political prisoner, crossed the Glienicke Bridge linking East and West Berlin under American diplomatic escort, thus ending nine years of Gulag-style labor camps in Siberia and dark, cold cells in Moscow. “Thirteen years after I asked to be deprived of Soviet citizenship, I was finally deprived of Soviet citizenship,” he said. Sharansky emigrated to Israel, took up several ministerial positions in the Israeli government, including deputy...
Categories: Iraq

Iran Warns It Would Increase Missile Range if Threatened by Europe

Voice of America - Sun, 11/26/2017 - 04:59
The deputy head of Iran's Revolutionary Guards warned Europe that if it threatened Tehran, the Guards would increase the range of missiles to above 2,000 kilometers, the Fars news agency reported Saturday. France has called for an "uncompromising" dialogue with Iran about its ballistic missile program and a possible negotiation over the issue separate from Tehran's 2015 nuclear deal with world powers. Iran has repeatedly said its missile program is defensive and not...
Categories: Iraq

Egypt's Options Dwindling in Its Fight Against Militants

Voice of America - Sun, 11/26/2017 - 03:39
The scale of the bloodshed was vastly higher than past militant attacks but the Egyptian government response the same: three days of mourning, reassuring messages in the media that things are under control, and the president promising vengeance. The identical pattern in the aftermath of Friday's attack on a mosque in Sinai, which killed 305 people, raises the question whether Egypt has any options left in the fight against Islamic militants. The military has thrown tanks, fighting...
Categories: Iraq

Saudis Set to Launch Counterterror Coalition Commanded by Ex-Pakistan General Sharif

Voice of America - Sat, 11/25/2017 - 21:14
A Saudi-led Muslim military coalition, commanded by a celebrated former Pakistan army chief, will be officially launched on Sunday when Riyadh hosts defense ministers of the participating nations at its inaugural meeting. Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Defense Minister of Saudi Arabia, will open the meeting of the Islamic Military Counter Terrorism Coalition or IMCTC, said an official statement issued on the eve of the event. The statement explains that the “pan-Islamic...
Categories: Iraq

Suspected Militants Kill More Than 300 in Sinai Mosque Attack

Voice of America - Sat, 11/25/2017 - 18:29
Militants arrived at Radwa mosque in four-wheel-drive vehicles, set off an explosion and then ran inside, where they opened fire on worshipers as they tried to escape. The gunmen also reportedly used burning cars to block exits from the building.
Categories: Iraq