in Iraq


US-backed Forces Deny They Allowed IS Fighters to Evacuate Raqqa

Voice of America - Sun, 11/19/2017 - 04:52
Officials of the U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) are dismissing claims they brokered a covert deal with the Islamic State last month to allow safe passage to hundreds of besieged IS fighters evacuating from Raqqa, the de facto capital of the so-called Islamic State in northern Syria. The BBC on Sunday reported it had uncovered details of a pact between the SDF and IS, with the blessing of the U.S.-led coalition, to allow hundreds of suspected IS fighters and...
Categories: Iraq

Palestinians Vow to Suspend Talks If US Closes PLO Mission

Voice of America - Sun, 11/19/2017 - 03:01
The Palestinians threatened Saturday to suspend all communication with the United States if the Trump administration follows through with plans to close their diplomatic office in Washington. The potential rupture in relations threatens to undermine President Donald Trump's bid for Mideast peace, a mission he has handed his senior adviser and son-in-law, Jared Kushner. Senior Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat said the U.S. decision was "very unfortunate and...
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Egypt Orders Detention of Prominent Activist Mahinour el-Masry Over Protest

Voice of America - Sat, 11/18/2017 - 21:30
An Egyptian court has ordered a prominent activist to remain in custody pending trial on charges of participating in an illegal protest against the government's transfer of two strategic Red Sea islands to Saudi Arabia, a rights lawyer said on Saturday. Mahinour el-Masry, a rights lawyer herself and notable activist from the country's 2011 uprising, and another defendant attended Saturday's trial in the Mediterranean city of Alexandria, said Taher Aboelnasr. The court...
Categories: Iraq

'Pocket Hercules,' 3-time Olympic Champion, Dies at 50

Voice of America - Sat, 11/18/2017 - 18:28
Naim Suleymanoglu, the Turkish weightlifter who won three Olympic gold medals and was known as "Pocket Hercules," died Saturday. He was 50. Suleymanoglu was considered one of the sport's greatest athletes and earned his nickname for his strength and diminutive size. He died at an Istanbul hospital where he was receiving treatment for cirrhosis of the liver. He had been in intensive care since Sept. 28 and received a liver transplant in October, according to Turkey's...
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After Mystery Tour, Hariri Plans Return to Lebanon

Voice of America - Sat, 11/18/2017 - 17:39
Saad al-Hariri, who announced his resignation as Lebanon's prime minister earlier this month, plans to visit Egypt Tuesday before returning home. His office announced Sunday he will meet with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi in Cairo. A day later Hariri plans to return to Beirut and explain the surprising resignation announcement he made November 4 while in Saudi Arabia. In that appearance on Saudi TV, Hariri blamed Iran and Hezbollah, which is part of the Lebanese...
Categories: Iraq

Egypt Warns Ethiopia Nile Dam Dispute 'Life or Death'

Voice of America - Sat, 11/18/2017 - 17:12
Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, for the second time in as many days, has delivered a stern warning to Ethiopia over a dam it is building after the two countries along with Sudan failed to approve a study on its potential effects. Ethiopia is finalizing construction of Africa's largest hydroelectric dam on the Blue Nile. Egypt fears that will cut into its water supply. Cairo said last week that the three countries had failed to approve an initial study by a consultancy...
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Aid Group: Saudis Blocking Help From Yemen Capital

Voice of America - Sat, 11/18/2017 - 13:32
International aid group Doctors Without Borders says it has not been able to deliver live-saving medical and humanitarian assistance to the people in dire need in the Yemeni capital because of a blockade by a Saudi-led coalition fighting Yemen's Shiite rebels.   The group, known by its French acronym MSF, says in a statement Saturday it hasn't received authorization from the coalition to fly from Djibouti to Sanaa.   The group welcomes the reopening of the port in the...
Categories: Iraq

US Puts Palestinians on Notice: DC Office May Be Shuttered

Voice of America - Sat, 11/18/2017 - 06:03
The Trump administration put the Palestinians on notice Friday that it will shutter their office in Washington unless they’ve entered serious peace talks with Israel, U.S. officials said, potentially giving President Donald Trump more leverage as he seeks an elusive Mideast peace deal. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has determined that the Palestinians ran afoul of an obscure provision in a U.S. law that says the Palestine Liberation Organization’s mission must close if the Palestinians...
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Russia Again Vetoes Chemical Weapons Resolutions on Syria

Voice of America - Sat, 11/18/2017 - 04:20
Russia has again vetoed a U.N. Security Council resolution that would have extended an international probe into chemical weapons use in Syria, one day after it rejected a similar resolution. Japan had put forward a resolution that would have extended the investigation to identify who is behind chemical weapons attacks in Syria by 30 days to allow time for negotiations on a wider compromise. On Thursday, the United States sponsored a similar resolution with a yearlong extension that was...
Categories: Iraq

Crimes of the Caliphate: Iraqi Shepherd Bears Witness to ISIS Massacre

NY Times Iraq - Sat, 11/18/2017 - 02:03
As Iraq liberates the last territory from the Islamic State, the country is starting to grapple with the extent of the group’s destruction.
Categories: Iraq

Iraqi Forces Recapture Last Islamic State-held Town

Voice of America - Sat, 11/18/2017 - 01:45
Iraqi forces on Friday captured the border town of Rawa, the last remaining town under Islamic State control, signaling the collapse of the group's self-proclaimed caliphate. Rawa's capture marks the end of Islamic State's era of territorial rule over a so-called caliphate that it proclaimed in 2014 across vast swaths of Iraq and Syria. Iraqi forces "liberated Rawa entirely, and raised the Iraqi flag over its buildings," Lieutenant General Abdul Ameer Rasheed...
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Hariri Meets With Macon About Lebanese Drama

Voice of America - Fri, 11/17/2017 - 23:50
Lebanon's Prime Minister Saad Hariri is at  the Elysee presidential palace in Paris where he is in discussion with French President Emmanuel Macron who has offered to help Hariri resolve his role in the bizarre Lebanese political drama. Earlier this month, Hariri resigned from office on Saudi TV, sparking turmoil and skepticism.   However, earlier Saturday, Lebanon's state-run National News Agency said Hariri called Lebanese President Michel Aoun to tell him he will...
Categories: Iraq

IS Bomb Kills More Than 20 Displaced People in Syria

Voice of America - Fri, 11/17/2017 - 22:30
At least 20 internally displaced persons were killed by a car bomb Friday in Syria — an attack blamed on Islamic State. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitor put the death toll at 26, adding that 12 of the victims were children. Syrian state broadcaster SANA said that 30 others were injured at a site where displaced families were relocated in eastern Syria near the city of Deir el-Zour. Both sources said Islamic State, which controls roughly one-quarter of oil-rich Deir...
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Security Council Considers 30-day Extension on Syria Experts

Voice of America - Fri, 11/17/2017 - 21:21
The U.N. Security Council met Friday to discuss a 30-day extension to the mandate of the expert body charged with determining responsibility for chemical weapons attacks in Syria after rival U.S. and Russian resolutions were defeated. The defeats came during a dramatic and highly contentious three-hour council meeting Thursday that reflected the deterioration of U.S.-Russian relations and they ended the mandate of the expert body, the Joint Investigative Mechanism or JIM. But all 15...
Categories: Iraq

Turkish President Slams US Policy in Syria

Voice of America - Fri, 11/17/2017 - 20:53
Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan used an address to party officials Friday in Ankara as an opportunity to launch a blistering attack on the U.S. policy in Syria. Erdogan openly asked why the U.S. is involving itself in a country 12,000 kilometers away. He then accused Washington of breaking commitments and promises, claiming the country was trying to trick him. Bilateral relations have hit a low point over Washington's arming of the Syrian Kurdish group the PYD in its fight...
Categories: Iraq

Hariri: My Stay in Saudi Arabia Was to Discuss Lebanon's Future

Voice of America - Fri, 11/17/2017 - 19:46
Lebanon's Prime Minister Saad Hariri said Friday he has been in Saudi Arabia, from where he announced his shocking resignation, for discussions on the future of the region. "My stay in the kingdom is aimed at conducting consultations on the future of Lebanon and its relations with its Arab neighbors," he wrote on Twitter ahead of his trip to France. Hariri went on to say that any other information about his stay in Riyadh, his departure from Lebanon, or his family are...
Categories: Iraq

Red Cross: 1 Million Yemenis at Risk of Cholera Outbreak

Voice of America - Fri, 11/17/2017 - 19:01
One million people across three Yemeni cities are at risk of a renewed cholera outbreak and other water-borne diseases following the closing of airports and sea ports by a Saudi-led coalition fighting Yemen's Shiite rebels, an international aid group said on Friday. The International Committee of the Red Cross said in a statement that the cities of Hodeida, Saada and Taiz were not able to provide clean water in recent days due to a lack of fuel. "Close to one million people...
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Behind the Cover: 11.19.17

NY Times Iraq - Fri, 11/17/2017 - 13:00
In this issue, an investigation into the true civilian death count in Iraq.
Categories: Iraq

China's Xi Offers Support for Saudi Arabia Amid Regional Uncertainty

Voice of America - Fri, 11/17/2017 - 05:11
China supports Saudi Arabia’s efforts to safeguard national sovereignty and achieve greater development, President Xi Jinping told Saudi Arabia’s King Salman, at a time of regional tensions between Saudi Arabia, Iran, Lebanon and Yemen. China has traditionally played little role in Middle East conflicts or diplomacy, despite its reliance on the region for oil. But it has been trying to raise its profile, with Salman visiting China in March. Speaking by telephone, Xi told Salman that...
Categories: Iraq

Russia, US Reject Rival Chemical Weapons Resolutions on Syria

Voice of America - Fri, 11/17/2017 - 04:30
Russia on Thursday vetoed a U.S.-sponsored Security Council resolution that would have extended the international probe into chemical weapons use in Syria. Hours later, the council rejected a Russian-sponsored resolution after it failed to get the required nine-vote minimum for passage. The Russian proposal included changes to the mandate that the U.S. opposed. This was the 10th time Russia vetoed a resolution on Syria. Without passage, the mandate of the Joint Investigative...
Categories: Iraq