in Iraq


Lebanese Hezbollah Leader Says Group Stronger Than Ever

Voice of America - Tue, 08/14/2018 - 23:33
The leader of Lebanon's Iran-backed Hezbollah, Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, said on Tuesday his group was stronger than ever and would "very soon" celebrate victory in Syria, where it has been fighting alongside President Bashar al-Assad. Nasrallah was speaking on live television to mark the anniversary of a 2006 war it fought with Israel, which regards Iran as its biggest foe and Hezbollah as the top threat on its borders. "The resistance in Lebanon today, in its...
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Iraqi Leader Offers to Help Family of Spy Who Infiltrated ISIS

NY Times Iraq - Tue, 08/14/2018 - 23:05
Relatives of the spy, who was killed behind enemy lines, have struggled to receive death benefits without his body as legal proof of death.
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Lebanon's Hariri: Government Formation May Take Longer

Voice of America - Tue, 08/14/2018 - 22:41
It may take Lebanese parties more time to form a coalition government, Prime Minister-designate Saad al-Hariri said Tuesday,  more than three months after the general election. "Perhaps we need more time to arrive at a final formula," he said to reporters before a meeting of members of parliament from his party in Beirut. Lebanese politicians have repeatedly warned that the country — which has one of the world's highest rates of public debt...
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Roadside Bomb in Yemen's Aden Targets Provincial Governor's Convoy

Voice of America - Tue, 08/14/2018 - 22:37
A roadside bomb in Yemen's southern city of Aden targeted the convoy of a Saudi-backed provincial governor but he was unhurt, witnesses said Tuesday. Some people were injured in the attack on Ameen Mahmood, governor of Taiz province and a member of Yemen's internationally recognized government in exile. "The governor was not injured, but some of the escorts were injured and taken to hospital," an official at the governor's office told Reuters. The...
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Blocked by Israel for Years, Palestinian Mail Finally Arrives

Voice of America - Tue, 08/14/2018 - 21:51
Palestinian postal service employees are working overtime to sort through some 10 tons of letters and packages blocked by Israel for up to eight years, Palestinian officials said Tuesday. The parcels, dating from between 2010 and this year, had been prevented by Israel from entering the West Bank via Jordan but were released in a one-time deal, the officials said. The goods range from simple letters to medicine and even wheelchairs for the disabled, AFP journalists found at the sorting...
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Libyan Militia Evict 1,900 Minority Tawergha from IDP Camp

Voice of America - Tue, 08/14/2018 - 19:03
The United Nations refugee agency says nearly 2,000 members of a persecuted ethnic minority group in Libya fled a displaced persons camp last week after raids by local militias. The agency says the Tawergha are now dispersed in a precarious state throughout the country. The UNHCR says the entire population of the IDP settlement in Tripoli was forcibly evicted following three nights of indiscriminate raids.   UNHCR spokesman William Spindler says 94 residents were arbitrarily...
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Assad Intensifies Bombing Campaign of Syrian Rebels' Last Stronghold

Voice of America - Tue, 08/14/2018 - 19:00
Syrian rebels are readying for a government assault on the country’s northwestern Idlib province, their last major stronghold in a country that’s been wracked by a seven-year war, leaving half a million dead and more than 5 million Syrians languishing as refugees in neighboring countries. Rebel commanders fear an offensive will be launched by mid-September, when a de-escalation agreement negotiated by Russia and backed by Iran and Turkey expires. With President Bashar al-Assad saying his...
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On the Ground in Afghanistan and Iraq

NY Times Iraq - Tue, 08/14/2018 - 12:00
C.J. Chivers’s “The Fighters” provides gut-wrenching descriptions of the battles in the Middle East.
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As 5-Year Anniversary of Rabaa Massacre Looms, Egypt Comes Under Fire

Voice of America - Tue, 08/14/2018 - 05:45
As the five-year anniversary of Egypt’s Rabaa massacre comes Tuesday, some human rights groups say the country has not done enough to address the human rights issues demonstrated in the killing. The Rabaa massacre was an attack in Cairo on supporters of ex-President Mohamed Morsi who were conducting a sit-in in the nation’s capital. A month earlier, Morsi had been ousted in a military coup. On July 3, 2013, current general-turned-president Abdel Fattah el-Sissi led the coup against...
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Far From Dead: Tens of Thousands of IS Fighters Linger in Iraq, Syria    

Voice of America - Tue, 08/14/2018 - 04:15
The Islamic State terror group may be far more resilient, stronger and dangerous than U.S. officials have been willing to let on, boasting a fighting force in Iraq and Syria that comes close to what it fielded at its peak. After four years of bombings, the elimination of key IS leaders, and other U.S. and coalition backed efforts, there are still anywhere from 28,600 to 31,600 IS fighters in Iraq and Syria, according to information given by the Defense Department to the lead inspector...
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Iran Jails One Civic Activist, Frees Another Held for 10 Years

Voice of America - Tue, 08/14/2018 - 03:15
Iranian rights groups say authorities have jailed a civil society activist in central Iran while releasing another activist who completed a 10-year prison term for photographing an alleged mass grave. In the case of the newly jailed civic activist, the Iran-based Human Rights Activist News Agency (HRANA) and the U.S.-based Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI) published reports Monday saying intelligence agents arrested Mohammad Davari last Friday in the west-central Iranian city of...
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US Adds Iran-based Bahraini Militant Leader to Global Terrorist List

Voice of America - Tue, 08/14/2018 - 02:50
The United States on Monday imposed sanctions on the Iran-based leader of the Bahraini al-Ashtar Brigades militant group for allegedly engaging in plots to overthrow the U.S.-backed government of Bahrain. Qassim Abdullah Ali Ahmed, leader of al-Ashtar Brigades who is commonly known as Qassim al-Muamen, has recruited terrorists in Bahrain and provided al-Ashtar Brigades members with funding, weapons and explosives to carry out attacks against the Bahraini government, the U.S. State...
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Netanyahu Calls Detention of US Journalist a Mistake

Voice of America - Tue, 08/14/2018 - 02:45
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is calling the detention of an American journalist at Ben Gurion Airport Sunday an "administrative mistake." Peter Beinart, a columnist for the liberal Jewish newspaper Forward and a critic of the Israeli government, was held and questioned about his politics for about an hour. He was in Israel to visit family. Beinart said he was asked if he was involved with groups that advocate violence in Israel or threaten Israeli...
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Syria Vows to Help Refugees Return, Wants Sanctions Lifted

Voice of America - Tue, 08/14/2018 - 02:19
Syrian government officials vowed Monday to ensure the safe return of refugees and urged Western countries to encourage the process by lifting sanctions. Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad said the refugees' return is a top priority for Damascus, adding that "the Syrian government will facilitate their return by all means." He added that the country would welcome any foreign assistance, provided it comes with no preconditions. Public Administration Minister Hussein...
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Iraq to Respect Dollar Ban But Not All US Sanctions on Iran

Voice of America - Mon, 08/13/2018 - 23:45
Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi stepped back from his commitment to abide by new U.S. sanctions on Iran on Monday, saying his government would only respect the dollar ban in transactions with Iran. “I did not say we abide by the sanctions, I said we abide by not using dollars in transactions. We have no other choice,” Abadi told a news conference in Baghdad. Last week he said Iraq disagreed with the U.S. sanctions on Iran but would abide by them to safeguard its own interests,...
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Aid Worker Killings Rise, Fueled by Conflict in South Sudan, Syria

Voice of America - Mon, 08/13/2018 - 23:36
Nearly 140 aid workers were killed last year, a 23 percent rise on 2016, according to data released Monday that showed South Sudan was the most dangerous country in which to deliver aid for the third year running. The figures revealed a dramatic increase in aid worker kidnappings and fatal shootings in South Sudan — the world's youngest country — and a trebling of attacks in Central African Republic (CAR). South Sudan, Syria, Afghanistan and CAR accounted for two-thirds of 158...
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Egypt Voices Concern Over Red Sea Security After Houthi Attack

Voice of America - Mon, 08/13/2018 - 23:29
Egypt's president said on Monday Cairo was deeply concerned about security in the Red Sea following an attack by Yemen's Houthis on two oil tankers that forced Saudi Arabia to suspend crude shipments temporarily through the strait of Bab al-Mandab. Speaking at a joint press conference with his Yemeni counterpart, President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi also said Cairo was committed to helping Yemen regain its security after more than three years of war that has killed thousands of...
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US Journalist Questioned by Israeli Security Authorities

Voice of America - Mon, 08/13/2018 - 22:47
A leading U.S. Jewish columnist said Monday that he was detained by Israeli authorities at Tel Aviv's airport and questioned about his political activity, the latest in a series of such incidents. Peter Beinart, a contributing editor at The Atlantic and a columnist at the liberal Jewish Forward daily, said on Twitter that he had been detained at Israel's Ben Gurion airport when he arrived for a family visit Sunday. In an article in The Forward, Beinart said he was taken into a...
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Turks Fear for Future as Currency Rout Continues

Voice of America - Mon, 08/13/2018 - 20:21
The Turkish lira has fallen more than 40 percent since the start of the year, 20 percent just last week, amid rising tensions between the U.S. and Turkey, and international investors' concerns over the economy.  For Turkey, the dramatic collapse of the currency signal fears for the future, as Dorian Jones reports from Istanbul. Fruit and vegetable sellers, along with fishmongers, try to drum up business in Istanbul’s old Kadikoy market.  But trade is slow. Most people just...
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Turkey's Currency Dips Again

Voice of America - Mon, 08/13/2018 - 19:43
Turkey's central bank failed to halt the slide of the country's lira currency on Monday as Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan accused the United States of purposely trying to damage his country's economy. "We are together in NATO and then you seek to stab your strategic partner in the back. Can such a thing be accepted?" Erdogan said in the capital, Ankara. The Turkish lira has plunged 40 percent this year, dropping 16 percent Friday and tumbling another seven...
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