in Iraq

Voice of America

Syndicate content Middle East - Voice of America
Updated: 8 hours 43 min ago

Scrambling to Track Islamic State Terrorists, Coalition Turns to Biometrics

Wed, 11/08/2017 - 20:50
As U.S.-backed forces made their final push into the city of Raqqa to liberate what had once been the Syrian capital of the Islamic State's self-declared caliphate, they faced a problem. Not only were the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) holding IS fighters — some captured and some who had surrendered — they were also encountering many Syrians who, for various reasons, had collaborated with or worked for the terror group. In the end, against their initial instincts, the U.S.-backed...
Categories: Iraq

Tillerson Joins Other Diplomats, Signs Onto Statement Condemning Syrian Chemical Weapons

Wed, 11/08/2017 - 20:24
U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and several other diplomats signed onto a statement Wednesday condemning the Syrian government’s use of chemical weapons against its citizens. Tillerson, along with the foreign ministers from France, Germany and Britain, released the joint statement. It followed a recent report from United Nations investigators that found the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad violated international law when it used sarin gas in the rebel-controlled town of...
Categories: Iraq

Egyptian Activists Pan US Actress Helen Hunt in Open Letter

Wed, 11/08/2017 - 16:31
Egyptian activists condemned American actress Helen Hunt on Tuesday for her participation in a government-organized youth conference they say is whitewashing authorities' appalling human rights record and suppression of free speech. The open letter by Mona Seif and other well-known human rights advocates gained nearly 300 signatures by Tuesday afternoon. They included Mohamed Zaree, who last month won the prestigious Martin Ennals Award for Human Rights Defenders, and Aida Seif...
Categories: Iraq

US Condemns Iranian Support for Yemen Rebels

Wed, 11/08/2017 - 12:46
The White House is calling for the United Nations to examine Iran's role in the conflict in Yemen, alleging the Iranian government is perpetuating the fighting in order to "advance its regional ambitions." U.S. ally Saudi Arabia accused Iran of supplying Houthi rebels with arms, including a missile the Saudis intercepted after it was fired at an airport in Riyadh. Saudi Arabia leads a coalition battling the Houthis in support of Yemen's internationally recognized...
Categories: Iraq

State Dept. Asks Saudi Arabia to Be 'Fair and Transparent' in Corruption Crackdown

Wed, 11/08/2017 - 11:52
The U.S. State Department is calling on Saudi Arabia to pursue the prosecution of top officials and members of the royal family in a “fair and transparent manner.”  The reaction comes after a sweeping purge of top Saudi officials Saturday by Saudi King Salman and the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, known as MbS. VOA’s Diplomatic Correspondent Cindy Saine has more from the State Department.
Categories: Iraq

Russia and West Clash Over Blaming Syria for Chemical Use

Wed, 11/08/2017 - 05:37
Russia clashed with Western nations Tuesday over a report blaming Syria for a deadly chemical weapons attack, with Moscow dismissing its findings as "mythical or invented" and the U.S. backing its finger-pointing at President Bashar al-Assad's regime. The debate in the Security Council during a meeting on the report reflected the sharp differences between Russia, Syria's most important ally, and Western countries that have backed Assad's opponents. It also raised...
Categories: Iraq

EU: US Lawmakers Aim to Comply with Iran Nuclear Deal

Wed, 11/08/2017 - 04:24
U.S. lawmakers signaled they plan to ensure the United States complies with the 2015 Iran nuclear deal despite U.S. President Donald Trump's misgivings about the pact, the European Union's foreign policy chief said Tuesday. "I got clear indications that the intention is to keep the United States compliant with the agreement," the EU's Federica Mogherini said at a press conference on a visit to Washington. Trump on Oct. 13 dealt a blow to the pact by refusing to...
Categories: Iraq

Trade, Politics, Religion Draw Turkey to Sub-Saharan Africa

Wed, 11/08/2017 - 02:50
With more than three dozen embassies and billions of dollars in trade, Turkey has quietly built strong ties across Africa over the past decade. In September, the opening of a base in Somalia expanded that presence to include military power. Turkey already had a long history of engagement with north African countries, said David Shinn, an adjunct professor at George Washington University's Elliott School of International Affairs. In 2016, Turkey conducted more than $10 billion in trade...
Categories: Iraq

Hariri Exit and Fallout Worry Lebanon, Signal Bolder Saudi Arabia

Wed, 11/08/2017 - 02:45
Saudi Arabia's escalating rhetoric in the wake of the shocking resignation of Lebanon's Prime Minister Saad Hariri signals an escalation in the Saudi-Iranian struggle, it has been claimed. Sunni regional power Saudi Arabia now has accused the Lebanese government of "declaring war" against it, further stoking fears of regional instability following Hariri's unexpected exit. His departure is widely seen as imposed by his backers in the Saudi Arabian monarchy —...
Categories: Iraq

Bolder Saudi Moves to Confront Iran Echo Across Region

Tue, 11/07/2017 - 23:53
Saudi Arabia is more aggressively confronting its rival Iran on multiple fronts. It's a policy that risks sharpening several conflicts in the Middle East, even though so far it has failed to score any successes in stemming Tehran's influence. The bolder steps are largely seen as the work of the son of King Salman, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who has consolidated his power. Under his leadership, the kingdom has shown a readiness to shake up the region, launching a military...
Categories: Iraq

Bin Laden's Son Calls on Followers to Rise in Rebellion

Tue, 11/07/2017 - 23:24
Osama bin Laden's son, Hamza, is calling for followers to "rise in rebellion ... against the agents of the Americans" and "to incite the masses ... until the preparations are complete & the masses are ready for an uprising." He also is calling on Muslims to "take revenge on the Americans" for killing his father, the founder of al-Qaida. Hamza, said to be about 28, made the comments in a speech released Tuesday by al-Qaida's as-Sahab Media...
Categories: Iraq

British Foreign Secretary Faces Calls to Resign Over Iran Detainee Comments

Tue, 11/07/2017 - 23:07
Britain's foreign secretary faces calls to resign after saying a British-Iranian woman currently in jail in Iran had been training journalists' in the country when she was arrested. Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe was detained in 2016 and her family and employers say she was on vacation visiting family. As Henry Ridgwell reports, Iran has already picked up on Boris Johnson's comments to justify its actions.
Categories: Iraq

Syria Signs on to Paris Climate Agreement

Tue, 11/07/2017 - 21:54
Syria on Tuesday announced its intentions to sign on to the Paris Climate Agreement during talks in Bonn, Germany. Syria's representative at the talks, M. Wadah Katmawi, said the country passed a law last month declaring its decision to join the accord. "I'd like to assure you that the Arab Syrian Republic supports the implementation of the Paris accord in order to achieve global objectives and reflect the principles of justice and joint responsibilities that are assigned...
Categories: Iraq

UN: Saudi Blockade of Yemen's Ports Causing Humanitarian Catastrophe

Tue, 11/07/2017 - 20:14
The United Nations is calling for an immediate halt to the Saudi Arabian coalition's blockade of life-saving commercial goods into Yemen. The coalition closed all land, sea and air ports in Yemen following a ballistic missile launch by Yemen's Houthi rebels near Saudi Arabia's capital, Riyadh, Saturday.   The United Nations reports humanitarian operations in Yemen are blocked because of the port closures. U.N. Organization for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs...
Categories: Iraq

US Opposition to Iraqi Kurdish Independence Stokes Turkish Hopes

Tue, 11/07/2017 - 19:23
Emboldened by the United States' firm opposition to the Iraqi Kurdish  independence referendum in September, Turkey is pushing to persuade Washington to abandon its support for Syrian Kurdish militia, YPG, as it fights  the Islamic State militant group. Washington's robust opposition to its long time ally, the Iraqi Kurds, came as a welcome surprise in Ankara. Turkey fears the establishment of any Kurdish independent state would fuel the secessionist demands of the...
Categories: Iraq

Iran Denies Saudi Claim it Launched Missile from Yemen

Tue, 11/07/2017 - 18:21
Iran is denying claims from the Saudi Arabian crown prince that Iran committed a “direct military aggression” against Riyadh when Yemeni rebels launched a missile at a Saudi airport. Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, while speaking Tuesday with British Foreign Minister Boris Johnson, called the allegations by Saudi Arabia contrary to reality and dangerous. Earlier, Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, also speaking with Johnson, accused its archrival of...
Categories: Iraq

Lebanese PM Who Resigned from Saudi Arabia Visits UAE

Tue, 11/07/2017 - 17:29
In a new twist in the saga of Lebanon's prime minister who resigned over the weekend from Saudi Arabia, Saad Hariri's office said he visited the United Arab Emirates briefly on Tuesday for a meeting with a top official before returning to the kingdom. Much is unknown about Hariri's unexpected resignation, which stunned the Lebanese, threw its government into disarray and prompted a frenzy of speculation. One of the rumors is that Hariri has been under house arrest in Saudi...
Categories: Iraq

Egypt's President Says he Supports 2-term Limit

Tue, 11/07/2017 - 17:10
Egypt's leader said in a television interview that he does not favor amending constitutional provisions that bar the president from staying in office beyond two, four-year terms. General-turned-president Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi was elected to office in 2014, a year after he led the military's ouster of Egypt's first freely elected civilian but divisive president, Mohamed Morsi of the now-outlawed Muslim Brotherhood. He has strongly suggested he would seek a second term in office...
Categories: Iraq

Memories of Raqqa

Tue, 11/07/2017 - 16:38
Syrian children tell some of the horrors they experienced in the final days of IS in Raqqa
Categories: Iraq

Trump Praises Saudi Purge, Voices Confidence in King, Crown Prince

Tue, 11/07/2017 - 06:30
U.S. President Donald Trump on Monday endorsed a move by Saudi Arabia's future king that tightened his grip on power through the arrests of royals, ministers and investors in an anti-corruption purge. The endorsement cemented a U.S.-Saudi relationship that has improved dramatically under Trump's presidency, partly because of both leaders' vision of confronting Riyadh's arch-rival Iran more aggressively in the region. Trump tweeted on Monday that he had "great...
Categories: Iraq