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Iraq

EU Seeks Details From Saudis in Row With Canada

Voice of America - Sat, 08/11/2018 - 23:58
The European Union has asked Saudi Arabia to shed light on the arrests of and charges facing female human rights activists, saying that the detainees should be granted due process to defend themselves. Saudi Arabia has in recent months detained several women's rights activists, some of whom had campaigned for the right to drive and an end to the kingdom's male guardianship system. The detentions have triggered a major diplomatic row with Canada...
Categories: Iraq

Israel's Arab Minority Rallies Against New Nation-state Law

Voice of America - Sat, 08/11/2018 - 23:21
Thousands of protesters rallied in Tel Aviv on Saturday against Israel's new law declaring it the nation-state of the Jewish people, legislation that has angered the country's Arab minority and drawn criticism abroad. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has defended the law, which says only Jews have the right of self-determination in the country and downgrades Arabic from an official language, saying it is necessary in order to fend off Palestinian challenges...
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IOM: Libya Struggling With High Numbers of Migrants in Detention

Voice of America - Sat, 08/11/2018 - 15:18
The International Organization for Migration reports its voluntary repatriation program in Libya is unable to keep pace with the alarmingly high number of migrants in government detention centers wishing to go home.   The U.N. migration agency reports government-run detention centers in Libya are packed with migrants, mainly from sub-Saharan Africa.  This, despite IOM’s robust program to return migrants to their countries of origin.   IOM spokesman Joel Millman says...
Categories: Iraq

Iran: 10 Militants Killed in Kurdish Area Near Iraq

Voice of America - Sat, 08/11/2018 - 14:16
Iran's elite Revolutionary Guard says it has killed 10 militants in a Kurdish region near the border with Iraq.   The Guard's website said Saturday that the 10 belonged to a “terrorist group affiliated with global arrogance,” referring to the United States, and that several other militants were wounded in clashes late Friday. The Guard did not say whether its forces suffered casualties.   The fighting took place near the Kurdish town of Oshnavieh, in an area that has...
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Syria Confronts ‘Hostile Target’ West of Damascus

Voice of America - Sat, 08/11/2018 - 12:54
Syrian state media said Saturday its air defenses had confronted a “hostile target” breaching the country’s air space west of the capital Damascus in the early hours of the morning. State news agency SANA, quoting its correspondent, said there were reports of “air defenses confronting a hostile target breaching the skies above the area of Deir al-Asha’ir in the Damascus countryside.” The area is close to the Lebanese border. Syrian air defenses were similarly activated over west...
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Wave of Strikes Hits Syria's Last Rebel-held Bastion

Voice of America - Sat, 08/11/2018 - 04:09
Dozens of airstrikes and shelling hit parts of the last swath of Syrian territory still held by rebels Friday, according to rebels, rescue workers and a war monitoring group, in a possible prelude to a full-scale government offensive. The U.K.-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said dozens of strikes from helicopters and warplanes had hit parts of Hama, Idlib and Aleppo provinces, killing at least 29 people. The three areas in northwest Syria...
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US Citizen Indicted for Trying to Join Islamic State

Voice of America - Sat, 08/11/2018 - 03:26
A U.S. federal grand jury has indicted a U.S. citizen for attempting to join the Islamic State group. The grand jury in Chicago charged Faress Shraiteh with conspiracy to provide material support to the Islamic State and other crimes. Shraiteh is a U.S. citizen who used to live in Chicago and now lives in Israel. According to the indictment, Shraiteh and two other people began trying to join the Islamic State in 2014 and traveled to Egypt the following year. The three then...
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Police Beat Fans Chanting ‘Death to Dictator’ at Tehran Stadium

Voice of America - Sat, 08/11/2018 - 03:23
Iranian security forces have beaten football fans chanting anti-government slogans at Tehran’s main sports stadium, in the first such confrontation since nationwide protests began last December. Friday’s incident happened at Azadi Stadium in the Iranian capital as fans gathered in the stands several hours before home team, Esteghlal, was due to kick off against visiting team Tractor Sazi of the northwestern city of Tabriz.  In a video clip verified by VOA Persian and received from...
Categories: Iraq

Iran's Economic Worries Mount as Iraq Applies New US Sanctions

Voice of America - Sat, 08/11/2018 - 02:49
Iraq has begun to apply new U.S. economic sanctions against Iran, turning back shipments of Iranian goods at a number of border crossings, according to Al Hurra TV, quoting Iranian merchants. Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, who is straddling the political fence as he seeks a second term following parliamentary elections in May, told journalists Wednesday that he was "totally opposed to the principle of sanctions, given the price [Baghdad] itself had paid for international...
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Study: Iran Carrying Out More Cyberattacks for Profit

Voice of America - Fri, 08/10/2018 - 23:17
A U.S.-based cybersecurity intelligence group says Iranian state institutions have perpetrated a growing number of international cyberattacks for profit in recent months. In a VOA Persian interview, Accenture Security growth and strategy leader Tom Parker said most cyberattacks attributed by his research team to Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and similar state bodies were financially motivated. The Arlington, Virginia-based company published a report Tuesday saying...
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US Pressure Builds on Iran, With Gulf States' Backing

Voice of America - Fri, 08/10/2018 - 22:32
New U.S economic sanctions took effect against Iran this week, targeting the Islamic Republic's automotive industry as well as its ability to purchase U.S. dollars and trade in gold. The European Union, Russia, China and Iraq broadly criticized the new sanctions, while Iranian neighbors Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates, which have backed the Trump administration's more confrontational approach with Tehran, remained largely silent. Yousef...
Categories: Iraq

British Museum to Return Looted Antiquities to Iraq

NY Times Iraq - Fri, 08/10/2018 - 19:41
The items, which include clay cones with cuneiform inscriptions, were seized by the British police in 2003 from a now-defunct London art dealer.
Categories: Iraq

Trump Doubles Tariffs on Turkish Steel, Aluminum Imports

Voice of America - Fri, 08/10/2018 - 18:34
U.S. President Donald Trump further escalated tensions with Turkey Friday by announcing a sharp increase in tariffs on steel and aluminum imports in an early morning post on Twitter. In announcing 20 percent tariffs on aluminum and 50 percent tariffs on steel, Trump said "the Turkish Lira, slides rapidly downward against our very strong Dollar!" Trump's announcement came two days after a Turkish diplomatic delegation visited Washington in a bid to to ease tensions...
Categories: Iraq

Recount Shows Al-Sadr Alliance Winner in Iraqi Poll

Voice of America - Fri, 08/10/2018 - 16:54
A recount of votes cast in Iraq's May parliamentary election shows nationalist Shi'ite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr's alliance was the winner, the country's election commission said Friday. Sadr's win positions him to play a key role in the formation of the country's next government. Three months after the election, the winning parties are still negotiating the formation of the next governing coalition. Parliament ordered a recount in June after allegations of fraud...
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Saudi-led Coalition to Investigate Airstrike in Yemen

Voice of America - Fri, 08/10/2018 - 15:35
A Saudi-led Arab military coalition said Friday that it would investigate an airstrike in Yemen that killed at least 50 people, many of them children, after earlier defending the attack and calling it a "legitimate military action." The shift came as the attack drew wide international criticism, including a U.N. Security Council call for an independent investigation of the airstrike. Yemen's Houthi rebels said at least 40 children were killed in Thursday's strike in...
Categories: Iraq

Saudi-led Coalition Airstrike in Yemen Kills Dozens, Many of Them Children

Voice of America - Fri, 08/10/2018 - 08:34
Yemen's Shiite rebels say the death toll from Saudi-led coalition airstrikes on a crowded market and bus carrying school-aged children in the country's north has risen to 50. VOA's Mariama Diallo reports. WARNING: Graphic images.
Categories: Iraq

Palestinians Say Hamas, Israel Reach Truce in Gaza

Voice of America - Fri, 08/10/2018 - 02:51
Palestinian officials said Thursday that Hamas, the militant group that governs Gaza, had reached a truce with Israel as both sides appeared to be on the edge of another war. The Palestinians and Hamas TV said a deal was reached after mediation by Egypt and other regional players. "Palestinian factions will respect calm as long as Israel does," an official told Reuters. Israel has not confirmed that it reached a truce with Hamas, but one official who asked to...
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Report: Montenegro Seeks ex-CIA Agent in Failed Coup

Voice of America - Thu, 08/09/2018 - 22:38
Montenegro on Thursday issued an international arrest warrant for a former CIA agent for alleged involvement in what the government said was a failed pro-Russia coup designed to prevent the Balkan country’s NATO membership. Montenegro’s state TV said that prosecutors want the extradition of Joseph Assad, a U.S. citizen born and raised in Egypt, on charges of participating in a criminal enterprise led by two Russian military spy agency officers. The Russians and 12 others, mostly Serbs,...
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Canada Asks for Help in Saudi Dispute

Voice of America - Thu, 08/09/2018 - 22:37
Canada is quietly working back channels to prod allies including Germany and Sweden to help resolve its row with Saudi Arabia, a government source confirmed Thursday. The senior official, who asked not to be identified due to the sensitivity of the diplomacy, said Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland spoke with her counterparts in the two European nations. Germany and Sweden previously were targets of Saudi backlashes for calling out the kingdom for human rights abuses. Freeland...
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Dissent in IS Ranks; Al-Baghdadi Still in Charge?

Voice of America - Thu, 08/09/2018 - 20:41
In an extraordinary breach of the Islamic State's culture of unquestioning obedience, an IS writer calling himself Ibn Jubayr has penned a series of five scathing articles leveling direct and unprecedented criticism at the militant group's leadership, according to a respected monitoring group. The articles come amid a growing number of dissident social media posts by apparent IS members, a stark change in a group where any suggestion of disobedience or criticism normally has been...
Categories: Iraq