in Iraq


Saudi Arabia Has No Idea How to Deal With Iran

NY Times Iraq - Fri, 11/17/2017 - 03:12
Pushing back against Tehran’s ambitious designs in the Middle East is a worthy goal. But Riyadh needs a strategy.
Categories: Iraq

Lebanon's Hariri Finds Himself Caught in Regional Feuds

Voice of America - Fri, 11/17/2017 - 03:11
Saad Hariri has seen a lot in his 47 years. His father, Lebanon’s charismatic leader and influential businessman Rafik Hariri, was assassinated in a 2005 bombing that rocked the country and thrust the young man into a political career before he was ready.   He led an uprising that ended decades of Syrian military presence in Lebanon, and was later wanted by the government in Damascus for arming rebels seeking to overthrow President Bashar Assad. He was ousted as prime minister...
Categories: Iraq

Africa Politics Creep Into French PM's Visit to Morocco

Voice of America - Fri, 11/17/2017 - 00:07
France's prime minister launched a mission Wednesday to reinvigorate trade and cooperation with Morocco, which has steadily positioned itself as a regional economic powerhouse focused on Africa instead of its former colonial ruler. French government ministers, state secretaries and a large group of business leaders accompanied Prime Minister Edouard Philippe to the Moroccan capital for a two-day visit. It was Philippe's first visit to the North African kingdom since his...
Categories: Iraq

Iraqi Kurds to End Parliament Boycott

Voice of America - Thu, 11/16/2017 - 23:45
Iraq's Kurdish lawmakers are returning to Baghdad this week in an apparent end to their boycott of the national parliament, a senior Kurdish official said Thursday. The move is a concession to Baghdad after a military and political standoff that followed the controversial Kurdish independence vote in September. Kurdish lawmakers had announced they would return to parliament, but an Iraqi lawmaker, Josef Slewa, told The Associated Press that Kurdish legislators from Masoud...
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Save the Children Says 130 Children Die Every Day in Yemen

Voice of America - Thu, 11/16/2017 - 22:56
An international aid group says an estimated 130 children or more die every day in war-torn Yemen from extreme hunger and disease. Save the Children said late on Wednesday a continuing blockade by the Saudi-led coalition fighting Yemen's Shiite rebels is likely to further increase the death rate. It says over 50,000 children are believed to have died in 2017. Saudi Arabia blocked Yemen's ports after a rebel missile attack near Riyadh earlier in November. It said Monday the...
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Iranian-Turkish Relations Deepen with Shared Regional Goals

Voice of America - Thu, 11/16/2017 - 22:47
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is due to attend a summit with Iranian and Russian leaders to discuss Syria. It will be Erdogan's second meeting with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani in a month. Bilateral relations have warmed significantly in recent months between the regional rivals, since the Turkish president criticized Tehran in June, accusing it of Persian expansion in the region, a threat he said needed to be challenged. "This is part of Ankara's...
Categories: Iraq

Saudi Foreign Minister: Message to Iran is: 'Enough is Enough'

Voice of America - Thu, 11/16/2017 - 21:05
Saudi Arabia's Foreign Minister Adel Jubeir said on Thursday the kingdom's actions in the Middle East were a response to what he called the "aggression" of Iran. Long-standing arch-rivals, Riyadh and Tehran are waging a contest for power on several fronts across the region, notably in Yemen and Lebanon. "Any way you look at it, they [the Iranians] are the ones who are acting in an aggressive manner. We are reacting to that aggression and saying, 'Enough is...
Categories: Iraq

Israeli Army Chief says Ready to Share Information with Saudi Arabia

Voice of America - Thu, 11/16/2017 - 20:27
The Israeli army's chief of staff told an Arabic anguage online newspaper that Israel was ready to share "intelligence information" with Saudi Arabia, saying their countries had a common interest in standing up to Iran. Lieutenant General Gadi Eizenkot told the privately Saudi-owned Elaph in what it said was his first interview with an Arabic newspaper that Israel had no plans to attack Lebanon's Hezbollah group. Saudi Arabia has ratcheted up pressure on arch-foe...
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French FM Visits Riyadh to Meet Lebanese Prime Minister

Voice of America - Thu, 11/16/2017 - 20:06
Saudi Foreign Minister Adel Jubeir has again insisted Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri is "not being detained against his will" in Saudi Arabia, while accusing Iran and its Hezbollah proxy militia of trying to dominate Lebanon and meddling in Yemen and Bahrain. Visiting French Foreign Minister Jean Yves Le Drian told reporters that he would meet the Lebanese prime minister and that Hariri was invited to travel to Paris. Paris invitation The odd saga of Lebanese...
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The Uncounted

NY Times Iraq - Thu, 11/16/2017 - 20:05
An on-the-ground investigation reveals that the U.S.-led battle against ISIS — hailed as the most precise air campaign in history — is killing far more Iraqi civilians than the coalition has acknowledged.
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UN Agencies Renew Pleas to Lift Blockade on Yemen

Voice of America - Thu, 11/16/2017 - 20:03
Three United Nations agencies have renewed pleas to a Saudi-led coalition to lift a blockade that has halted the flow of essential supplies into Yemen, warning that the lives of "untold thousands" of people are at stake. "The cost of this blockade is being measured in the number of lives that are lost," the leaders of the World Food Program, the World Health Organization and UNICEF said in a statement. The agencies said 7 million people are at risk of famine in...
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Turkish FM: Turkish-Iranian Gold Trader Jailed in US Was Relocated

Voice of America - Thu, 11/16/2017 - 19:52
U.S. authorities told Turkey that Turkish-Iranian gold trader Reza Zarrab, arrested in the United States, was moved to a different location and is in good medical condition, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Thursday. Cavusoglu said U.S. authorities had not replied to a first diplomatic note from Turkey, but responded to a second note sent on Wednesday inquiring about Zarrab's condition after the U.S. Federal Bureau of Prisons website showed that Zarrab had been...
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French Military: Coalition Opposed IS Withdrawal From Raqqa

Voice of America - Thu, 11/16/2017 - 19:20
France's military said on Thursday the coalition battling Islamic State in Syria had opposed a deal allowing fighters of the militant group to withdraw from their former bastion of Raqqa. The coalition had also been unable to launch air strikes against the fighters because they had mingled with civilians, French army spokesman Patrik Steiger said. A report by BBC television on Sunday said some 4,000 Islamic State militants, including hundreds of foreign nationals, had been...
Categories: Iraq

Lebanon's Hariri Will Travel to France

Voice of America - Thu, 11/16/2017 - 15:50
Lebanon's Prime Minister Saad Hariri has accepted an offer to travel to France in the coming days, the latest move in a nearly two-week saga surrounding his announced resignation earlier this month. Hariri has been in Saudi Arabia since the announcement, prompting questions about whether he was being held there and leading Lebanese President Michel Aoun to declare Hariri was being detained. Aoun has said he will not formally accept Hariri's resignation until he returns to...
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UN Security Council Faces Rival Plans for Renewing Syria Chemical Weapons Inquiry

Voice of America - Thu, 11/16/2017 - 12:32
The United Nations Security Council is set to vote Thursday on rival U.S. and Russian proposals for extending the mandate of a body set up to investigate chemical weapons attacks in Syria. Authorization for the Joint Investigative Mechanism (JIM) will expire at the end of the day unless it is renewed. The U.S. mission to the U.N. called for a vote on its proposal, which like the Russian plan would extend the JIM for one year. The U.S. text calls for JIM’s experts to continue their work...
Categories: Iraq

Lebanese PM Invited to France Amid Resignation Crisis

Voice of America - Wed, 11/15/2017 - 22:36
French President Emmanuel Macron on Wednesday invited Saad Hariri and his family to come to France after the Lebanese prime minister's surprise resignation earlier this month, amid allegations that Saudi Arabia is holding him prisoner. Hariri's older brother meanwhile broke his silence over the premier's shock resignation announced from Riyadh earlier this month, after speculation that the elder Hariri was being groomed by Saudi Arabia to fill the post. Bahaa Hariri, in a...
Categories: Iraq

Lebanon’s President Accuses Saudi Arabia of Aggression

Voice of America - Wed, 11/15/2017 - 18:46
Lebanon’s president has sharply upped his rhetoric against Saudi Arabia in the war of words that’s been waged between the two countries since the shock resignation earlier this month of Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri. The Lebanese prime minister announced his resignation abruptly while visiting the Gulf kingdom, his longtime patron, in a pre-recorded  television address.   In a tweet, President Michel Aoun said he is sure Hariri is being detained against his will in...
Categories: Iraq

Survivors of Iran Quake Await Badly Needed Aid, 3 Days Later

Voice of America - Wed, 11/15/2017 - 14:46
Many survivors in Iran were still awaiting badly needed aid on Wednesday, three days after the powerful earthquake along the Iraq border killed more than 530 people and left thousands injured.   The delay in getting help to the needy came as public order broke down in many instances where aid was being delivered. Officials said families that were not affected by the quake rushed and took some of the aid supplies.   The police said they deployed forces to secure aid distribution...
Categories: Iraq

Iran's Earthquake Leaves Thousands Without Home

Voice of America - Wed, 11/15/2017 - 08:56
Sunday's Earthquake on the border of Iran and Iraq has left thousands of people without a roof over their head. Those who could not find a place under a tent spent the second night in a row in the open, fearing additional tremors. Officials say the earthquake that killed more than 500 people and injured many others was followed by 193 aftershocks. The death toll was lower in neighboring Iraq. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports.
Categories: Iraq

Militant Convoy That Left Raqqa Contradicts America’s New Counter-IS Strategy 

Voice of America - Wed, 11/15/2017 - 06:15
When the Trump administration rolled out a new campaign in May to “annihilate” Islamic State, Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis praised tactical changes that would provide “no escape” for the terrorists. But a convoy of thousands of Syrians — including hundreds of Islamic State (IS) fighters — permitted by U.S.-backed forces last month to leave the city once touted as the terror groups’ de facto capital, challenges that notion. Several officials told VOA it also highlights the “limitations...
Categories: Iraq