in Iraq

Iraq

US-backed Syrian Force Declare Victory Over IS in Raqqa

Voice of America - 14 hours 46 min ago
A U.S.-backed Syrian force declared victory over the Islamic State group in its former "capital" of Raqqa on Friday, declaring the northern Syrian city free of any extremist presence. At a press conference held inside the city Friday, the Kurdish-led force known as the Syrian Democratic Forces formally handed over administration of the devastated northern city to a council made up of local officials and tribal leaders. In a highly symbolic move, the press conference was held...
Categories: Iraq

Russia to Control Iraq Kurdistan’s Main Oil Pipeline

Voice of America - 18 hours 46 min ago
Russian energy major Rosneft has agreed to take control of the main oil pipeline in Iraq’s Kurdistan, further boosting its role as the main international investor in the semi-autonomous region. The move is an apparent part of a broader strategy by President Vladimir Putin to ratchet up Moscow’s political and economic influence in the Middle East. It came amid the crisis in Kurdistan’s relations with the central government in Baghdad, which erupted after the region held an independence...
Categories: Iraq

Senate Republicans Plan Iran Nuclear Deal Strategy

Voice of America - Fri, 10/20/2017 - 04:17
Senate Republicans plan to introduce legislation that would add new conditions to the legislation that gives them review authority over the Iran nuclear deal, a longtime lawmaker says. Senator Lindsey Graham, a Republican from South Carolina, told VOA the current Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) is "a lousy deal" and explained President Donald Trump refused to re-certify it because "the benefits to Iran are [not] worth what we’re getting." In an interview...
Categories: Iraq

Graham: Senate Republicans Plan Iran Nuclear Deal Strategy

Voice of America - Fri, 10/20/2017 - 02:54
Senate Republicans plan to introduce legislation that would add new conditions to the legislation that gives them review authority over the Iran nuclear deal, a longtime lawmaker says. Senator Lindsey Graham, a Republican from South Carolina, told VOA the current Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) is “a lousy deal” and explained President Donald Trump refused to recertify it because “the benefits to Iran are (not) worth what we’re getting.”
Categories: Iraq

Tillerson to Attend First Meeting Between Saudi Arabia, Iraq

Voice of America - Thu, 10/19/2017 - 19:51
U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is heading to the Middle East on Friday, attending a landmark meeting between the governments of Saudi Arabia and Iraq, and exploring ways of improving relations between the two countries.     The inaugural Coordination Council meeting comes amid a warming of relations between Riyadh and Baghdad. The gathering is seen as part of U.S. efforts to reduce Iran’s increasing influence in Iraq by encouraging Baghdad to align more closely with...
Categories: Iraq

Rival Parties Trade Blame Over Kirkuk Amid Fears of Kurdish Split

Voice of America - Thu, 10/19/2017 - 19:39
Iraqi Kurdistan’s two main political families and their supporters traded accusations of blame Wednesday for the Iraqi army’s easy takeover this week of the city of Kirkuk and other disputed areas in northern Iraq, which the Kurds seized from the Islamic State terror group three years ago. Some Kurdish leaders expressed fears that Kurdistan could split into two, if recriminations worsen, taking the region back to when it was divided during a three-year-long civil war between Iraqi Kurds...
Categories: Iraq

Turkey Seeks Nigeria's Support Against US-Based Cleric

Voice of America - Thu, 10/19/2017 - 17:22
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan pledged cooperation with Nigeria in its fight against Boko Haram but said he expected the African nation's support against a movement led by U.S.-based cleric Fethullah Gulen whom Ankara accuses of orchestrating last year's failed coup. Speaking at a joint news conference Thursday with Nigeria's President Muhammadu Buhari, Erdogan reiterated Turkish assertions that schools run by Gulen's movement in Africa were being used to raise...
Categories: Iraq

Listen to ‘The Daily’: Big Losses for ISIS

NY Times Iraq - Thu, 10/19/2017 - 14:19
Its de facto capital is falling and its territory is shrinking. But is the Islamic State losing its war, or starting a new one?
Categories: Iraq

Struggle Over Kirkuk Puts the U.S. and Iran on the Same Side

NY Times Iraq - Thu, 10/19/2017 - 04:27
Kurdish and Iraqi forces, both armed by the Americans, fought each other in Kirkuk. Analysts think Iran played a key role in the dispute’s resolution.
Categories: Iraq

Fallen Troops’ Families Tell of Meeting Presidents: Sympathy and Sometimes Discomfort

NY Times Iraq - Thu, 10/19/2017 - 04:21
President Trump’s condolence call to the widow of a slain soldier was outside the usual range of encounters with presidents, wounded service members and families of those killed said.
Categories: Iraq

At UN, US Envoy Cites ‘Laundry List’ of Iranian Bad Behavior

Voice of America - Thu, 10/19/2017 - 04:13
U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley lashed out Wednesday at Iran for what she called a “laundry list” of bad behavior, and she criticized the U.N. Security Council for not holding Tehran accountable. “Every six months the Security Council is presented with a laundry list of bad news but only somehow manages to only hear the good news,” Haley said, referring to the twice-annual report the U.N. secretary-general sends to the council on implementation of the 2015 nuclear deal. Haley spoke at a...
Categories: Iraq

Iraq Will Remain United

NY Times Iraq - Thu, 10/19/2017 - 03:27
For three years, we have battled terrorists — and the odds. We will not allow the Kurds to rip our country apart.
Categories: Iraq

A Saudi Arabian First: Spokeswoman at Kingdom's US Embassy

Voice of America - Wed, 10/18/2017 - 17:24
Saudi Arabia is trying to portray itself as ready to join the ranks of modern, tolerant societies. And to help make that case in Washington, the kingdom is relying on the first woman to serve as the Saudi Embassy's official spokeswoman. Saudi-born Fatimah Baeshen has spent years living, working and studying in the United States. She tells The Associated Press that she's "a byproduct of the longstanding Saudi-U.S. relationship." On her first day on the job, the...
Categories: Iraq

With Islamic State Pushed Out, What's Next for Raqqa?

Voice of America - Wed, 10/18/2017 - 17:10
They raised a flag in Paradise Square, a notorious traffic circle in which the jihadists had staged brutal public executions, including beheadings, leaving severed heads on display for days afterwards.  And then the victors doughnut-spun armored vehicles around in mimicry of how Islamic State militants celebrated their takeover of the city three years ago. There was relief and pride in the faces of the Kurd fighters as they savored the crushing blow they delivered IS this week,...
Categories: Iraq

With Loss of Its Caliphate, ISIS May Return to Guerrilla Roots

NY Times Iraq - Wed, 10/18/2017 - 13:00
With the fall of its capital and loss of territory, the Islamic State may be reeling but not vanquished.
Categories: Iraq

A Marine Attacked an Iraqi Restaurant. But Was It a Hate Crime or PTSD?

NY Times Iraq - Wed, 10/18/2017 - 13:00
After a Marine attacked an Iraqi restaurant in Portland, Ore., his family said he was provoked by trauma, not hate, and that he needed help, not jail time.
Categories: Iraq

State Department: Kirkuk Crisis 'Not Over by Any means'

Voice of America - Wed, 10/18/2017 - 10:20
Iraq's military said Wednesday its forces recaptured control of more areas from Kurdish fighters, including the Mosul Dam, after carrying out an operation to reclaim the city of Kirkuk and oil fields in the northern part of the country. The military statement said "security has been restored" in Kirkuk. Kurds had taken control of the area in 2014 during the chaotic sweep by Islamic State militants through northern and western Iraq. The country's central government...
Categories: Iraq

Could Iran Be Big Winner in Kirkuk Dispute?

Voice of America - Wed, 10/18/2017 - 08:38
The U.S.-led coalition to defeat Islamic State says local forces have retaken 87% of the territory once held by ISIS in Iraq and Syria. But as the terror group’s defeat becomes imminent in Iraq, Iraqis are starting to shift their focus to a more complicated dispute: Iraqi Kurds’ desire for independence. As VOA Pentagon correspondent Carla Babb reports, the dispute between two close U.S. allies could allow a U.S.-enemy, Iran, to strengthen its influence on its neighbor.
Categories: Iraq

Israel Says No Talks with a Palestinian Government that Includes Hamas

Voice of America - Wed, 10/18/2017 - 05:33
Israeli forces raided Palestinian media companies in the West Bank overnight in an operation the military said was carried out in response to incitement of violence against Israelis. Eight companies were ordered to shut down for six months and two people were arrested. Palestinian officials strongly condemned the raids, saying they violated press freedom. Israel's actions came hours after the government announced it would not talk with a Palestinian government that includes the...
Categories: Iraq

Kurdish Officials Blame Iran as Disputed Territories Fall to Iraqi Forces

Voice of America - Wed, 10/18/2017 - 04:44
Officials of the Kurdistan Regional Government are accusing Iran of playing a key role in the fall of disputed territories in northern Iraq including the oil-rich city of Kirkuk, a claim rejected by Iranian officials. This week the Iraqi government forces backed by Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF) marched into the Kurdish-controlled disputed territories after Kurdish forces known as Peshmerga withdrew from the region. "Iranians were leading the battle on Kirkuk and our forces had...
Categories: Iraq