16 December 2017
English Arabic
A powerful Iran-backed Iraqi militant commander has visited the Lebanon-Israel border expressing support for the Lebanese and Palestinians against the Jewish state and sparking harsh criticism from Lebanon's prime minister who ordered him banned from entering the country. Qais al-Khazali is commander of the Iranian-backed Asaib Ahl al-Haq, or League of the Righteous, a group that staged spectacular attacks against U.S. troops before their withdrawal from Iraq in 2011. He appeared in military uniform in a video while touring the…

CIA director warns Iranian general on Iraq Sunday, 03 December 2017 13:42

CIA Director Mike Pompeo said Saturday that he sent a letter to a top Iranian military official warning him that the United States would hold Tehran accountable for any attacks it conducted on American interests in Iraq. Pompeo, who has voiced staunch opposition to Iran, said he sent the letter to Gen. Qassem Soleimani, a leader of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and elite Quds Force, but the general didn't read it. "I sent a note. I sent it because…
French President Emmanuel Macron on Saturday called for a rapid opening of dialogue between Iraq's central government and Iraqi Kurdish leaders and for "all militias" to be dismantled to ease tensions. "France calls for a constructive national dialogue to engage in Iraq," Macron said at a joint news conference in Paris with Iraqi Kurdish leaders, including Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani.   Baghdad and the Kurdish regional capital Arbil have been locked in dispute ever since September's independence referendum, which resulted…
Thousands more American troops are serving in Iraq and Syria than has been previously acknowledged by the Pentagon, a new report found. According to the Defense Manpower Data Center's quarterly report from September, there were 1,720 American troops in Syria -- three times as many as the 503 troops in Syria that U.S. military spokesmen have told reporters. The Pentagon's personnel agency issues quarterly reports about how many American troops are serving in individual states and overseas countries. The same report showed there were…
A top United Nations official Thursday called on the Iraqi government to speed up investigations into allegations of human rights violations committed by security forces during the fight against the Islamic State group and to make the results of those probes public. Since 2014, the U.S.-backed Iraqi forces' fight against the Sunni militant group has been mired in violations committed by government forces and paramilitaries that international human rights groups have decried as war crimes, ranging from extrajudicial killings of IS suspects to forced displacement and…

ISIS just lost its last town in Iraq Friday, 17 November 2017 21:39

In 2014, ISIS controlled around 34,000 square miles of territory in Iraq and Syria. As of Friday, ISIS lost its last stronghold in Iraq. That’s because on Friday morning Iraqi troops and US-led coalition forces retook Rawa — a small town in northwestern Iraq — after about five hours of fighting. ISIS has now effectively lost all of its territory in Iraq, even though some of the group’s militants still operate in the country’s western rural areas near the border with Syria. Now that Iraq’s flag hangs…
Proposed changes to Iraq’s personal status law caused protests because they drop the legal age of marriage to 9. Even worse, the changes come at the same time as an ongoing erosion in women’s status in Iraqi society.  On October 30, Iraq’s parliament made a decision that stirred up much anger around the country. They agreed to make amendments to the country’s personal status law in principle. The proposed changes have been a subject of controversy for years but this…
BAGHDAD: With the Daesh group driven from nearly all of Iraq, US officials have suggested that the thousands of mainly Shiite paramilitary fighters who mobilised against the Sunni extremists three years ago lay down their arms. But Abu Mahdi Al Muhandis, who once battled US troops and is now the deputy head of the state-sanctioned Popular Mobilization Forces, says they are here to stay.  “The future of the (PMF) is to defend Iraq,” he told The Associated Press in his…
BEIRUT, Lebanon — It may not be politically popular to raise concerns about the human rights of Islamic State fighters and their families. But the International Committee of the Red Cross, which has monitored the treatment of the wounded, prisoners and civilians in wartime for a century and a half, sought to do just that in a strongly worded statement on Thursday. The organization is concerned about rhetoric that “dehumanizes” and “demonizes” the enemy or suggests that a particular adversary is “outside…
U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Sunday promoted a Trump administration goal of uniting Saudi Arabia and Iraq in common cause to counter Iran's growing assertiveness in the Middle East. Tillerson participated in the inaugural meeting of the Saudi Arabia-Iraq Coordination Committee, along with Saudi King Salman and Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, telling the leaders that the event highlighted the improving ties between the longtime rivals and showed "the great potential" for further cooperation. He noted the August…
Iraqi army units have seized positions in and around Kirkuk, a major oil city that's dominated by the country's Kurdish people, who voted for independence last month. Iraq's U.S.-trained Counter Terrorism Service has taken control of the provincial government headquarters in Kirkuk, and the Iraqi flag is flying over disputed areas, Reuters reported. The Iraqi national army also took over the North Oil Company, a refinery in Kirkuk, oil fields and an air base, according to news agencies. Reports indicated that the…
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