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Iraq

Saudi-Led Coalition to Reopen Some Yemen Ports

Voice of America - Mon, 11/13/2017 - 11:11
A Saudi-led coalition says it will reopen some airports and seaports in Yemen in order to allow in humanitarian aid. The move comes a week after the coalition announced a temporary closure of all ports in response to the firing of a missile from Yemen toward Riyadh, blaming a “vulnerability” in inspection procedures for allowing Iranian military equipment to reach Houthi rebels. A coalition statement said the first ports to reopen would be those under control of the Yemeni government,...
Categories: Iraq

Deadly Earthquake Strikes Iran-Iraq Border

Voice of America - Mon, 11/13/2017 - 10:34
Rescuers in Iran continue to dig through the rubble Monday in a search for survivors after a powerful earthquake that struck the day before on the Iran-Iraq border, killing more than 400 people. Iranian state media reported Monday the death toll was at 407 with thousands more injured there. The majority of the victims were located in the town of Sarpol-e-Zahab in Kermanshah province. Iraq's Red Crescent reported nine people dead and over 400 injured. As dusk approached Monday,...
Categories: Iraq

Iran-Iraq Earthquake Kills More Than 500

NY Times Iraq - Mon, 11/13/2017 - 09:51
Rescuers and residents spent the night digging through rubble in a frantic search for survivors after a quake near the countries’ shared border.
Categories: Iraq

Yemen Rebels Claim They Built Missile Launched at Riyadh

Voice of America - Mon, 11/13/2017 - 05:15
Yemeni Houthi rebels have directly rebutted U.S. assertions that a missile launched into Saudi Arabia earlier this month was manufactured by Shiite ally Iran. Col. Aziz Rashed, a spokesman for rebel-allied forces, said Sunday that the missile intercepted by the Saudis near the capital Riyadh on Nov. 4 was “Yemeni-produced.” The U.S. contends that the ballistic missile was Iranian-made and remnants of it bore “Iranian markings.” Rashed added however that if the rebels could obtain...
Categories: Iraq

Earthquake Kills Over 100 at Iran-Iraq Border

NY Times Iraq - Mon, 11/13/2017 - 02:52
The 7.3 magnitude quake, which was centered in eastern Iraq, killed over 100 people in Iran, according to the country’s National Medical Emergency Service.
Categories: Iraq

Lebanon's PM Assures Country He Will Be Home 'Very Soon'

Voice of America - Mon, 11/13/2017 - 00:59
Lebanon's prime minister, Saad Hariri, assured the country Sunday he will come home "very soon" from Saudi Arabia, where he announced his stunning resignation last November 4. Hariri gave an interview to his own party's Future TV from Riyadh. He denied being under arrest or that the Saudis forced him to resign to break up his coalition government with Hezbollah. He said the decision to quit was entirely his own, saying he wanted to bring a "positive shock"...
Categories: Iraq

Saudi Officials Deny Reports of King’s Abdication Plan

Voice of America - Mon, 11/13/2017 - 00:22
Saudi Arabia has denied reports that King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud is planning to relinquish the throne in favor of his son, Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman. “There is no possibility whatsoever that the king will abdicate,” a senior Saudi official told Bloomberg news on condition of anonymity, noting that Saudi kings usually stay in power even when bad health prevents them from carrying out their job. There is one precedent of a Saudi monarch stepping down while still alive. King...
Categories: Iraq

At Least 140 Reported Dead in Iran-Iraq Border Region Quake

Voice of America - Sun, 11/12/2017 - 23:48
Rescue teams are working through the night looking for survivors after a powerful 7.3 magnitude earthquake shook towns and villages near the Iran-Iraq border. Iranian state television reports more than 140 deaths and more than 800 injured. The Baghdad government did not immediately give word on damage or casualties in that country. The quake struck Sunday night outside the eastern Iraqi Kurdistan city of Halabja, very close to the Iranian border. It was felt as far away as Turkey...
Categories: Iraq

With Iraqi-Kurdish Talks Stalled, Phone Diplomacy Averts New Clashes

NY Times Iraq - Sun, 11/12/2017 - 22:28
Informal talks continue amid public acrimony, but the precise roles of some of the participants are elusive. So is a breakthrough.
Categories: Iraq

Mass Graves Found in Iraq Could Contain Up to 400 Bodies

Voice of America - Sun, 11/12/2017 - 19:50
Iraqi security forces have found mass graves in an area recently retaken from the Islamic State group that could contain up to 400 bodies, an Iraqi official said Sunday. The bodies of civilians and security forces were found in an abandoned base near Hawija, a northern town retaken in early October, Kirkuk governor Rakan Saed said. He didn't say when authorities will start exhuming the bodies from the mass graves. Khalaf Luhaibi, a local shepherd who led troops to the site,...
Categories: Iraq

UN Begins Evacuating Refugees From Libya to Niger

Voice of America - Sun, 11/12/2017 - 19:05
A group of vulnerable refugees from several African countries, who had been stuck in war-ravaged Libya, have been evacuated to Niger, the UN said Sunday. The UN refugee agency said the evacuation of 25 "extremely vulnerable refugees" from Libya Saturday marked the first of its kind. The chaos-ridden country has long been a major transit hub for migrants trying to reach Europe, and many refugees and migrants have fallen prey to serious abuse there at the hands of human...
Categories: Iraq

Israel Signals Free Hand in Syria as US, Russia Expand Truce

Voice of America - Sun, 11/12/2017 - 16:27
Israel signaled on Sunday that it would keep up military strikes across its frontier with Syria to prevent any encroachment by Iranian-allied forces, even as the United States and Russia try to build up a cease-fire in the area. U.S. President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin on Saturday affirmed joint efforts to stabilize Syria as its civil war wanes, including with the expansion of a July 7 truce in the southwestern triangle bordering Israel and Jordan. A U.S. State...
Categories: Iraq

At Beirut Marathon, Lebanese Call for PM to Return

Voice of America - Sun, 11/12/2017 - 16:05
Thousands of Lebanese taking part in the country's annual marathon used the event to call on Prime Minister Saad Hariri to return home after he resigned under mysterious circumstances during a visit to Saudi Arabia.   Hariri was a regular participant in the marathon, giving the international sports event a big boost. This year, President Michel Aoun had encouraged runners to call on Hariri to return. Many Lebanese suspect he was placed under house arrest as part of a Saudi plan to...
Categories: Iraq

Turkey Denies Report of Plan to Kidnap Cleric Gulen from US

Voice of America - Sun, 11/12/2017 - 15:53
 Turkey on Sunday dismissed as ``ludicrous and groundless'' a report that Turkish officials may have discussed kidnapping a U.S.-based Muslim cleric in exchange for millions of dollars.   On Friday, The Wall Street Journal reported that Special Counsel Robert Mueller was investigating an alleged plot involving former U.S. National Security Adviser Michael Flynn and his son to forcibly remove Fethullah Gulen and hand him over to Ankara for as much as $15...
Categories: Iraq

Emirates Airlines Orders 40 Boeing 787s in $15B Deal

Voice of America - Sun, 11/12/2017 - 13:36
Emirates Airlines agreed to buy 40 Boeing 787-10s in a deal worth more than $15 billion. The purchase was announced Sunday at the Dubai Air Show by the largest airline in the Middle East. Deliveries of the wide-body, twin-engine planes are set to begin in 2022. Boeing's website says the aircraft typically carries 330 passengers with a range of 11,900 kilometers.   The manufacturer says the 787 is 25 percent more fuel-efficient than the aircraft it replaces. Also,...
Categories: Iraq

Lebanon Asks Saudi Arabia for Explanation on PM's Absence

Voice of America - Sun, 11/12/2017 - 03:12
Lebanon's president urged Saudi Arabia on Saturday to explain why Saad Hariri had not returned to Beirut since his surprise resignation as prime minister a week ago. Hariri announced on November 4 in a televised statement from Riyadh that he would be stepping down from the post, sending shock waves through Lebanese politics. The premier has yet to return to Lebanon, and rumors have swirled that he is being held in Saudi Arabia against his will. President Michel Aoun on Saturday...
Categories: Iraq

Nuclear Deal 'Not Negotiable,' Iran Tells France

Voice of America - Sun, 11/12/2017 - 02:25
Iran's nuclear deal is "not negotiable," Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Bassam Ghassemi said Saturday in response to remarks by the French president. Emmanuel Macron called for vigilance toward Tehran over its ballistic missile program and regional activities, in an interview published Wednesday by the Emirati daily Al-Ittihad. "We have told French leaders on several occasions that the Iran nuclear deal is not negotiable and that no other issues can be included...
Categories: Iraq

Tens of Thousands Mark Arafat Death Anniversary in Gaza

Voice of America - Sat, 11/11/2017 - 19:37
Tens of thousands of Gaza Palestinians marked the 13th anniversary of the Palestinian President Yasser Arafat's death on Saturday for the first time since the Islamic Hamas group seized the territory a decade ago. In the wake of a brewing reconciliation between Hamas and the Fatah party Arafat founded, Fatah supporters flocked to al-Saraya Square in Gaza City from all over the coastal enclave to commemorate the event, waving their yellow flag, raising posters of Arafat and donning his...
Categories: Iraq

Israel: Military Shot Down Syrian Spy Drone

Voice of America - Sat, 11/11/2017 - 17:48
Israel shot down a Syrian military spy drone near the border on Saturday, the Israeli military said. The Israeli military shot down the reconnaissance drone with a Patriot interceptor missile as it crossed into the Golan demilitarized zone, headed toward Israel. "The State of Israel regards with utmost seriousness any violation of its sovereignty and will respond with force to any provocation," Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman said in a statement. The military...
Categories: Iraq

'Elders' Call on Saudi Arabia, Allies to Lift Blockade of Yemen

Voice of America - Sat, 11/11/2017 - 15:59
An independent group of world leaders are calling on Saudi Arabia and its partners in a coalition fighting Shiite rebels in Yemen to lift their blockade of the war-ravaged nation to avert a humanitarian disaster. In a Saturday statement, "The Elders" said the blockade was aggravating an already "dire" human situation in Yemen. The statement echoed concerns by the United Nations and aid groups that the blockade could bring millions of people closer to...
Categories: Iraq