in Iraq


Lost Children Are Legacy of Battle for Iraq's Mosul

Voice of America - Sun, 07/30/2017 - 23:42
Thousands of children have been separated from their parents in the nine-month battle for Mosul and the preceding years of Islamic State rule in northern Iraq - some found wandering alone and afraid among the rubble, others joining the refugee exodus from the pulverized city. In some cases their parents have been killed. Families have been split up as they fled street fighting, air strikes or Islamic State repression. Many are traumatized from the horrors they have endured. Protecting...
Categories: Iraq

Saudi Arabia Says Calls for Internationalization of Holy Sites 'A Declaration of War'

Voice of America - Sun, 07/30/2017 - 23:06
Saudi Arabia's foreign minister called Qatar's demands for an internationalization of the Muslim hajj pilgrimage a declaration of war against the kingdom, Saudi-owned Al Arabiya television said on Sunday, although it was unclear whether Qatar had actually made any such demand. "Qatar's demands to internationalize the holy sites is aggressive and a declaration of war against the kingdom," Adel al-Jubeir was quoted saying on Al Arabiya's website. "We...
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Thousands Rally in Istanbul Against Israel's Al-Aqsa Mosque Measures

Voice of America - Sun, 07/30/2017 - 22:39
Thousands of people rallied in Turkey's largest city on Sunday against security measures Israel has imposed at the Al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem, shortly after Israel removed other measures that led to two weeks of violent Palestinian protests. The rally in Istanbul, called "The Big Jerusalem Meeting" and organized by Turkey's Saadet Party, drew some five thousand people to the Yenikapi parade ground on the southern edge of Istanbul. Protesters were brought in by buses...
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Egypt Officials Say Resort Knife Attacker Tasked by IS

Voice of America - Sun, 07/30/2017 - 22:21
Security officials said on Sunday that the Egyptian man who stabbed to death three tourists and wounded three others earlier this month in the Red Sea resort of Hurghada was tasked by the Islamic State group to carry out an attack against foreigners. The officials said that investigations revealed 29-year old Abdel-Rahman Shaaban had communicated with two IS leaders on social media after they recruited him online. One of them gave Shaaban daily lessons for a month after which he got in...
Categories: Iraq

Court Upholds Sentence for Israeli Soldier Who Killed Unarmed Palestinian

Voice of America - Sun, 07/30/2017 - 21:28
An Israeli military court has rejected a soldier's appeal after he was sentenced to 18 months in prison for killing a Palestinian. Elor Azaria, 20, was convicted of manslaughter in January for fatally shooting an incapacitated Palestinian assailant in the West Bank nearly a year ago. The landmark case polarized the nation, pitting much of the public against Israel’s most prized and respected institution, the army.  In a rare move, the military condemned a soldier’s actions...
Categories: Iraq

Britain Strips More Than 100 Islamic State Fighters of Citizenship

Voice of America - Sun, 07/30/2017 - 16:16
Their home countries don’t want them back. Hundreds of foreign fighters who enlisted with Islamic State to fight in Syria and Iraq are being stripped of their citizenship and blocked from returning by Western governments. Returning fighters are seen as a grim threat, the deadly legacy of a murderous movement being defeated and rolled back on the battlefield. Western intelligence officials say they are already over-stretched trying to monitor tens of thousands of suspected extremists who...
Categories: Iraq

Iraqis Say They Foiled IS Plan to Attack Revered Shrines

Voice of America - Sun, 07/30/2017 - 15:37
Iraqi intelligence officials said Sunday they foiled an attempt by the Islamic State group to attack revered Shi'ite shrines and the sect's spiritual leader. The IS plan was to launch a series of suicide attacks in Karbala and Najaf that house the shrines as well as the home of Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, two officers told The Associated Press.   The simultaneous airstrikes by Iraqi and Russian air forces two weeks ago hit gatherings of suicide bombers in the Iraqi town...
Categories: Iraq

Iran Says Telegram Transfers Servers, but CEO Denies it

Voice of America - Sun, 07/30/2017 - 13:57
Iran's communications and information technology minister was quoted Sunday as saying the widely used Telegram messenger service has transferred some of its servers into the country, but the encrypted application's founder swiftly denied the claim.   The report from Iran's semi-official ISNA news agency quoted Mahmoud Vaezi as saying: "As a result of meetings with Telegram managers, some of its servers have been moved to the country.''   But Telegram...
Categories: Iraq

4 Arab Countries say Ready for Qatar Dialogue With Conditions

Voice of America - Sun, 07/30/2017 - 10:28
Four Arab countries boycotting Qatar are ready for dialogue to ease the dispute if Doha agrees to certain demands, Bahrain's foreign minister said on Sunday after a meeting with his counterparts. "The four countries are ready for dialogue with Qatar with the condition that it announces its sincere willingness to stop funding terrorism and extremism and its commitment to not interfere in other countries' foreign affairs and respond to the 13 demands," Sheikh Khalid bin...
Categories: Iraq

Will IS Losses in Iraq, Syria Boost al-Qaida?

Voice of America - Sun, 07/30/2017 - 01:14
As Islamic State militants continue to lose territory in their declared caliphate in parts of Iraq and Syria, officials and analysts are expressing concern that al-Qaida is making efforts to turn those losses into gains for itself. Al-Qaida had been largely eclipsed by IS in recent years, with IS militants grabbing headlines by seizing territory in Iraq and Syria and carrying out attacks in the West. But there are signs that al-Qaida may be re-emerging as a regional...
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Spokesman: Palestinian Leader in Hospital for Routine Tests

Voice of America - Sat, 07/29/2017 - 15:39
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' spokesman said Saturday the 82-year-old leader has been hospitalized for a routine checkup and will be discharged in a matter of hours.   Nabil Abu Rdeneh said Abbas is undergoing regular examinations at a Ramallah hospital. Abbas has suffered heart problems in the past, but his doctors have said he is fine. A year ago, Abbas underwent an emergency heart procedure after suffering exhaustion and chest pains. He went through a number of tests,...
Categories: Iraq

US, Iranian Ships Have Close Encounter in Persian Gulf

Voice of America - Sat, 07/29/2017 - 12:10
The Pentagon on Saturday strongly countered Iran's claim that a U.S. Navy aircraft carrier had fired warning shots at one of its ships in an "unprofessional" manner. Iran's official IRNA news agency quoted a statement from the Revolutionary Guard as saying the incident occurred Friday when the USS Nimitz approached an offshore oil platform in the Persian Gulf and a helicopter from the ship buzzed a boat carrying Iranian soldiers. Navy spokesman Lieutenant Ian M....
Categories: Iraq

US Issues Sanctions After Iran Rocket Test 

Voice of America - Sat, 07/29/2017 - 06:05
The United States imposed sanctions Friday on six subsidiaries of a company key to Iran’s ballistic missile program, citing continued “provocative actions” like Tehran’s launch of a rocket capable of putting a satellite into orbit. Iranian state television reported Thursday that Iran had successfully tested a rocket that can deliver satellites into orbit, an action the United States and others say breaches a U.N. Security Council resolution because of its potential use in ballistic...
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Campaign Underway to Stem Polio Outbreak in Syria's Deir Ezzor

Voice of America - Fri, 07/28/2017 - 23:02
A United Nations-led polio immunization campaign to stem an outbreak of this crippling disease is under way in Syria's Deir Ezzor Governorate. The campaign, headed by the World Health Organization and United Nations Children's Fund, started on July 22. The campaign got off to a good start. The World Health Organization reports that hundreds of vaccinators going door to door in this embattled Syrian city managed to inoculate nearly 60,000 children under the age of five on the first...
Categories: Iraq

IS Claims Deadly Attack in Syria Against US-backed Force

Voice of America - Fri, 07/28/2017 - 17:40
Islamic State militants have carried out a deadly attack on U.S.-backed forces in Syria, killing and wounding many fighters and civilians, Syrian monitors and an IS-linked media outlet said Friday. The assault took place on Thursday near the northern city of Raqqa — the Islamic State group's de facto capital, where U.S.-backed Syrian fighters are battling to rout the extremists from their stronghold. The Syrian Democratic Forces have captured wide areas from IS in northern Syria...
Categories: Iraq

Friday Prayers Pass Quietly at Disputed Jerusalem Holy Site

Voice of America - Fri, 07/28/2017 - 10:47
Following protests, tension ran high Friday as prayers were held at a disputed Jerusalem holy site that is sacred to Muslims and Jews. The muezzin summoned Muslims to Friday prayers at the Mosque of al-Aqsa in Jerusalem’s Old City, as thousands of Israeli police and soldiers stood deployed amid fears of violent protests by Palestinians. In a bid to forestall riots, Israel banned men under the age of 50 from entering the mosque, located in a compound known to Jews as the Temple...
Categories: Iraq

US Cuts Ties With Local Syrian Group Trained to Fight IS

Voice of America - Fri, 07/28/2017 - 02:00
The U.S.-led coalition fighting Islamic State is cutting ties with a local Syrian partner force who "engaged in activities not focused on fighting ISIS," a coalition spokesman said Thursday. Army Colonel Ryan Dillon told reporters that American forces were "in the process of ceasing our support and receiving the equipment" provided to the group Shohada al-Qartyan (ShQ) to fight Islamic State militants in southern Syria. "We have made it very clear time and...
Categories: Iraq

Islamic State Threatens Iran in New Video

Voice of America - Fri, 07/28/2017 - 01:15
The Islamic State group has issued a short new video in which it threatens the Islamic Republic of Iran and vows to destabilize the country with terrorist attacks. The video, released Tuesday, depicts a teenage boy in military uniform who directly looks at the camera and speaks Persian with a bold voice, threatening the regime. The teenager is introduced as the "Persian Qattadah" in the video, which is the name of a close disciple of Prophet Muhammad.  ...
Categories: Iraq

Turkish Parliament Changes Bylaws

Voice of America - Fri, 07/28/2017 - 00:35
The Turkish parliament has approved a series of changes to its bylaws, which critics say aim to further curtail opposition voices. The amendments cover a range of issues from what the parliament speaker can wear to how long a bill can be debated. The government insists the changes will render parliament more effective. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who is accused of increasing authoritarianism, has long criticized the opposition for allegedly obstructing the work of...
Categories: Iraq

UN: As Many as 50,000 Civilians Still Trapped in Syria's Raqqa

Voice of America - Thu, 07/27/2017 - 21:35
The United Nations estimated Thursday that 20,000 to 50,000 civilians remained trapped in the Syrian city of Raqqa, the site of heavy fighting as U.S.-backed local forces seek to defeat Islamic State militants in their self-declared capital. U.N. deputy humanitarian chief Ursula Mueller told the Security Council, "Their situation is perilous. There is no way for them to get out." Mueller said the heavy fighting and airstrikes had killed or injured dozens of civilians and had...
Categories: Iraq