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Updated: 1 year 48 weeks ago

Saudi King: Iran’s ‘Terrorist Acts’ Threaten Energy Supply

Sat, 06/01/2019 - 08:18
Saudi Arabia’s King Salman slammed Iran over recent attacks targeting the kingdom, describing the incidents Saturday in a speech before Muslim leaders gathered in Mecca as “terrorist acts” that threaten global energy supplies. It was the monarch’s strongest words yet since tensions spiked in recent weeks between the two regional heavyweights. The U.S. has sent an aircraft carrier and B-52 bombers to deter Iran as tensions run high. The crisis stems from the Trump administration’s decision...
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Ramadan's Night of Destiny in Cairo

Sat, 06/01/2019 - 07:28
In Egypt, more than 30,000 Muslims gathered to pray for what is believed to be the night of destiny, known in Arabic as Laylatu Al-Qadr. Muslims memorize on this night the first revelation of the Holy Quran and believe that Allah listens to their prayers. Cairo-based photojournalist Hamada Elrasam has more from Cairo.
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Saudi King Salman Urges International Effort to Thwart Iran

Fri, 05/31/2019 - 20:02
Saudi Arabia's King Salman opened an emergency summit of Gulf Arab leaders in the holy city of Mecca on Thursday with a call for the international community to use all means to confront Iran, but he also said the kingdom extends its hand for peace. King Salman was speaking at the first of three high-level summits in Mecca that were hastily convened after a spike in tensions between Saudi Arabia and its rival Iran. That King Salman could bring regional leaders and heads of state to...
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Protesters in Iran, Iraq Burn Israel, US Flags on 'Quds Day'

Fri, 05/31/2019 - 19:31
Iranians in the capital Tehran set fire to effigies of U.S. President Donald Trump, while in the Iraqi capital, Iran-backed militiamen marched over a large Israeli flag as part of rallies Friday marking Quds, or Jerusalem Day. The annual protests come as the Trump administration tries to market its long-awaited Israeli-Palestinian peace plan. Held each year on the last Friday of the Muslim holy fasting month of Ramadan, Iran has marked Quds Day since the start of its 1979 Islamic...
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More Somali Refugees Return Home as Conditions in Yemen Worsen

Fri, 05/31/2019 - 19:18
A boat with 125 Somali refugees fleeing insecurity in Yemen arrived in the Somali port of Berbera Thursday. The voyage was organized by the U.N. refugee agency and partners in cooperation with authorities in Yemen and Somalia. This is the 33rd departure of Somali refugees from Yemen since the U.N. refugee agency and humanitarian partners began the so-called Assisted Spontaneous Return program in 2017. To date, nearly 4,300 Somali refugees have returned home. Yemen is still hosting a...
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US Troop Levels in Syria 'Quite a Bit Lower' with Help on the Way

Fri, 05/31/2019 - 19:01
U.S. officials are touting a "measurable decrease" in the number of U.S. troops in Syria, though they refuse to say just how many remain in the country to aid in the fight against remnants of the Islamic State terror group. The director of the Pentagon's Defeat IS Task Force, Chris Maier, became the latest official to weigh in on troop levels, describing the withdrawal only in general terms. "It's been a measurable decrease," he told reporters late Thursday....
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Center in Syria Seeks to Deradicalize IS Teens

Fri, 05/31/2019 - 04:22
A child rehabilitation center in the Kurdish-controlled northeastern Syria is hosting dozens of Islamic State (IS) child recruits in an effort to reform them back to normalcy.   Horie Center for Child Protection and Education was established in 2017 by Prisons Authority in the Internal Security Forces of the Kurdish self-proclaimed administration in Tal Maroof town. It currently houses about 70 children, ages 12 to 18, who were brainwashed by IS ideology and participated in...
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US ‘Concerned’ by Sophisticated, Deceptive Pro-Iran Social Media

Fri, 05/31/2019 - 04:07
This article originated in VOA's Persian Service. Cindy Saine contributed from the State Department. The United States has reacted with concern to reports that a recently discovered pro-Iran social media network that deceptively targeted Americans is more sophisticated than a similar network identified last year. In a report published Tuesday, California-based cybersecurity company FireEye said it recently uncovered a network of English-language social media accounts that...
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Saudi King Salman Urges International Effort to Thwart Iran

Fri, 05/31/2019 - 02:55
Saudi Arabia's King Salman opened an emergency summit of Gulf Arab leaders in the holy city of Mecca on Thursday with a call for the international community to use all means to confront Iran, but he also said the kingdom extends its hand for peace.  King Salman was speaking at the first of three high-level summits in Mecca that were hastily convened after a spike in tensions between Saudi Arabia and its rival Iran. That King Salman could bring regional leaders and heads of state...
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Second Saudi Ship Leaves France Without Arms, Group Says

Fri, 05/31/2019 - 01:44
A Saudi cargo ship has left the southern French port of Fos-sur-Mer without loading its arms cargo destined for Saudi Arabia, blocked from doing so after pressure from rights campaigners, a French rights group said Thursday.  The incident reported by ACAT, a Christian organization against torture, is the second time this month that a Saudi vessel has been blocked from loading arms in France as pressure mounts on Paris to stop arms sales to...
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Deadly Blasts Rock Iraq's Kirkuk

Thu, 05/30/2019 - 23:32
At least five people were killed and 18 injured in a series of explosions in the Iraqi oil city of Kirkuk, medical sources in the city's general hospital told Reuters on Thursday. At least six improvised explosive devices went off in the northern city and two more were defused by security forces, the Iraqi military said in a statement. It gave a lower death toll of three and said 16 were injured. The explosion sites included two malls, an ice cream shop and a butcher's shop,...
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Netanyahu Shows Off Trump's Map of Israel with Golan Heights

Thu, 05/30/2019 - 23:05
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says U.S. President Donald Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner has gifted him an official State Department map, updated to incorporate the long-disputed Golan Heights as part of Israel.    Speaking at a news conference Thursday in Jerusalem, Netanyahu addressed a nation rattled by the prospect of an unprecedented second election campaign, after the newly re-elected Netanyahu failed to form a governing coalition.    In a bid...
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Mideast Peace Plan Hopes Dim Amid Israeli Political Crisis

Thu, 05/30/2019 - 21:55
President Donald Trump's son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Thursday to push the Trump administration's long-awaited plan for Mideast peace, just as Israel was thrust into the political tumult of an unprecedented second election in the same year.  Kushner and U.S. special envoy Jason Greenblatt stopped in Israel as part of a Middle East tour to rally support for the administration's upcoming economic...
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Trump Adviser Bolton: Iranian Threat Persists Despite US Actions

Thu, 05/30/2019 - 20:28
U.S. President Donald Trump's national security adviser said Thursday the U.S. has helped prevent Iran from undertaking acts of aggression but warned the threat from Tehran still exists. "I don't think this threat is over, but I do think you can make at least a conditional claim that the quick response and the deployment of and other steps that we took did serve as a deterrent," John Bolton told reporters in London. Trump announced last Friday he would send 1,500 more...
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Israel Heads to New Elections

Thu, 05/30/2019 - 17:42
Israel is in political turmoil after its parliament voted to dissolve itself a month after it was sworn in. Just seven weeks after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu won a convincing victory in national elections, he suffered a major political setback. The Knesset, Israel’s parliament, voted for new elections in September after Netanyahu failed to form a coalition government amid infighting and high demands from smaller parties. Netanyahu, a right-wing conservative who has been in power...
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Saudi Arabia Asks Nations to Respond to Iran With 'Firmness'

Thu, 05/30/2019 - 16:40
Saudi Arabia's foreign minister on Thursday urged Muslim nations to confront recent attacks in the region that the U.S. and its allies have blamed on Iran with “all means of force and firmness.” Ibrahim al-Assaf made the comments at a meeting of foreign ministers of the 57-nation Organization of Islamic Cooperation ahead of a series of summits in the kingdom beginning Thursday. Al-Assaf said the alleged sabotage of boats off the coast of the United Arab Emirates and a drone attack...
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Israel to Hold New Elections After Netanyahu Fails to Build Coalition

Thu, 05/30/2019 - 08:55
Israel is heading for new elections after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu failed to form a new government by Wednesday. Netanyahu won the April 9 election on the assumption that he would be able to garner enough support to form a governing coalition. After weeks of negotiations with smaller parties, he failed to secure 61 seats in a 120-seat parliament. As VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports, Netanyahu is also battling allegations of corruption, which could have contributed to his political woes.
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Turkey Brings Home Dozens of IS Children from Iraq

Thu, 05/30/2019 - 04:34
The Iraqi Central Court of Investigation Wednesday handed over 188 children of Islamic State (IS) Turkish citizens to Turkish authorities in a process to repatriate dozens of IS fighters, as well as their children and wives, held in Iraqi prisons. The Turkish foreign ministry and its embassy in Baghdad told VOA the move is part of Turkey’s effort to bring home its citizens, particularly minors, ahead of Eid al-Fitr or Festival of Breaking the Fast at the end of the Muslim holy month of...
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Israeli Parliament Dissolves in Favor of Another Early Election

Thu, 05/30/2019 - 01:29
Israel’s parliament voted early Thursday morning to dissolve itself and hold an unprecedented second early election after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu failed to put together a coalition government. The lawmakers voted 74 to 45 to break up and hold a new vote Sept. 17. Netanyahu had a Wednesday deadline to form a new government after winning the April 9 election. He was hoping to form a coalition between his conservative Likud Party, ultra-Orthodox lawmakers and another...
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Journalists Accuse Syrian Government Forces of Targeting Reporters

Wed, 05/29/2019 - 23:35
Pro-government forces in Syria have been deliberately targeting journalists covering the war there, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists, which notes that a number of reporters have been injured by suspected pro-government forces in recent days. "The Syrian government and its allies seem to be intent on not only violating the human rights of the country's people, but also on attacking journalists who cover those violations," said Ignacio Miguel Delgado Culebras,...
Categories: Iraq