Archive for the ‘Middle Orient News’ Category

France calls for restraint in standoff between Baghdad, Kurds in Kirkuk

Friday, October 13, 2017 Comments Off

France on Friday urged restraint on all sides in a potentially volatile standoff between the Iraqi Government and the Kurdish authorities over the oil-rich Kirkuk region, diplomats indicated. Kirkuk is legally under Iraqi federal authority but is currently under Kurdish control and France is anxious that the differences between the two parties be resolved through […]

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Iraq forces retake positions from Kurds in disputed Kirkuk

Friday, October 13, 2017 Comments Off

Iraqi forces Friday retook positions controlled by Kurdish peshmerga fighters since 2014 in the oil-rich province of Kirkuk amid a bitter row with the Kurds over a vote for independence last month. A senior Kurdish official said thousands of heavily armed fighters had been deployed to defend themselves “at any cost” against the Iraqi operation […]

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France offers to mediate Iraqi referendum crisis

Friday, October 6, 2017 Comments Off

France offered on Thursday to mediate in a political crisis pitting Iraq’s government against Kurdish regional authorities, and promised to maintain a military presence there until Daesh was defeated. The offer by President Emmanuel Macron coincided with a visit by Iraq’s Prime Minister Haider Al Abadi, his first abroad since its Kurdish-held northern regions last […]

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France to keep military in Iraq as needed

Friday, October 6, 2017 Comments Off

France will maintain its military commitment in Iraq until the Islamic State (IS) was completely defeated and as long as necessary, President Emmanuel Macron said on Thursday. France, the second leading force in the US-led coalition against IS, was determined to remain engaged in the war against the terrorist group until its “total defeat.”

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Tunisia, Saudi Arabia discuss military co-operation

Friday, October 6, 2017 Comments Off

Tunisia National Defence Minister Abdelkrim Zbidi received Friday Saudi Arabia’s Ambassador Mohamed Ben Mahmoud Al Ali. The meeting turned on bilateral co-operation and ways to boost it notably in the military field, a Defence Ministry press release reads.

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France, Turkey to discuss methods to achieve peace in Syria

Wednesday, October 4, 2017 Comments Off

France and Turkey will discuss the parameters and progress in setting up a “Contact Group” to spur peace efforts in Syria and streamline ongoing processes in this area, an official source said Wednesday. French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian is hosting his Turkish counterpart Mevlut Cavusoglu in Paris on Thursday for talks that “will focus […]

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Turkish FM says not too late for KRG to go back

Wednesday, October 4, 2017 Comments Off

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu expressed confidence in a return to normal relations with northern Iraq’s Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) should it correct its “mistake”, i.e. the holding of an illegitimate independence referendum. “This was neither a democratic nor a legal referendum,” Cavusoglu said. “It is illegal according to Iraq’s constitution.”

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US ambassador to Iraq, Kurd PM discuss ways to calm situation after referendum

Wednesday, October 4, 2017 Comments Off

Kurdistan’s prime minister and the US ambassador to Iraq called for efforts to calm the situation between Erbil and Baghdad following Kurdistan’s independence referendum. Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani met with Ambassador Douglas Silliman on Tuesday. US Consul in Erbil, Ken Gross, also attended the meeting.

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Slovakia to send soldiers to Iraq to train security forces

Wednesday, October 4, 2017 Comments Off

Slovakia’s defence ministry says the government has approved a plan to send 25 soldiers to Iraq to help train Iraqi security forces as part of a NATO mission. Peter Gajdos says the Slovak service members will focus on demining and also supporting the local military in the repairs of the Soviet-made weapons.

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Iraqi troops in final stages of liberating Hawija from ISIL

Wednesday, October 4, 2017 Comments Off

Iraqi forces on Wednesday made their final push into the northern town of Hawija, one of two enclaves in the country still held by ISIL extremists. Hawija operation’s commander, Lieutenant General Abdel Amir Yarallah said, the army, federal police and rapid response force had begun a major operation “to liberate the centre of Hawija and […]

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Iraq forces capture airbase from Daesh near Hawija

Monday, October 2, 2017 Comments Off

Iraqi forces and Shiite paramilitaries captured an airbase from the Daesh terror group on Monday, the army said, gaining a strategic foothold in the north of the country as they push towards the town of Hawija. Iraq launched an offensive on September 21 to dislodge Daesh from Hawija, which lies west of the oil city […]

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US-backed force scours Daesh ex-fort in Raqa

Monday, October 2, 2017 Comments Off

US-backed fighters on Monday combed through a central district of Syria’s Raqa that once housed key Daesh group command centres, recovering communication equipment and weapons used by the militants. The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) have captured around 90 per cent of Daesh’s one-time bastion Raqa, including about half of the Al Nahda neighbourhood on the […]

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Iraq urges KRG to cancel referendum results

Monday, October 2, 2017 Comments Off

The Iraqi government has called on the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) to cancel the results of an illegitimate independence referendum before engaging in dialogue. “The KRG has to cancel the illegitimate referendum results to empower Iraq’s unity for a serious dialogue with Baghdad,” Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi’s office said in a statement on Monday.

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Iraq starts 2nd phase of anti-Daesh operations in Kirkuk

Friday, September 29, 2017 Comments Off

Iraqi forces on Friday recaptured four villages and cut a supply route used by Daesh terrorists in Iraq’s northern city of Kirkuk, according to an Iraqi military source. “Federal Police units and the Hashd al-Shaabi [a unit of the Iraqi army] have liberated the villages of Al-Awasi, Hamad al-Suwaid, Al-Amoudiya and Ghareeb al-Alkaya in Kirkuk’s […]

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US opens new military base in Iraq’s Nineveh province

Friday, September 29, 2017 Comments Off

The U.S. has built a new military base in the Makhmour district of Iraq’s northern Nineveh province, according to a high-ranking Peshmerga officer. “U.S. forces are transferring supplies from the Qayara Base [near Mosul] to the new base to support forces now fighting to retake Kirkuk’s Hawija district from Daesh,” Jamal Iminiki, chief-of-staff of Kurdish […]

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92% of Kurdish voters choose independence from Iraq

Wednesday, September 27, 2017 Comments Off

More than 92 per cent of Kurdish voters chose independence from Baghdad’s central government, Kurdish election monitors said on Wednesday. Hendrin Mohammed, head of the Iraqi Kurdish region’s election commission, announced the official results at a press conference, saying the referendum passed with 92.73 per cent support and a turnout of more than 72 per […]

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New round of Geneva talks on Syria expected in early November

Wednesday, September 27, 2017 Comments Off

Eighth round of talks in Geneva to start no later than early November, UN special envoy Staffan de Mistura says. A seventh round in July and a sixth in May ended without any breakthroughs in the almost six-and-a-half-year conflict. Syria has been locked in a vicious civil war since early 2011, when the Bashar al-Assad […]

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EU expresses regret over Kurdish referendum in Iraq

Tuesday, September 26, 2017 Comments Off

The European Union stressed Tuesday that it has consistently confirmed its full support for the unity, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Iraq. “It therefore appealed for the referendum not to be held in this unilateral manner, and especially not in disputed areas. It regrets that these calls have not been heeded,” said a spokesperson for […]

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Iraq starts operation to retake Hawija from IS

Friday, September 22, 2017 Comments Off

Iraq’s Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi announced on Thursday that the first phase of the liberation to retake the town of Hwaija from the so-called Islamic State (IS) has begun. Al-Abadi said in a press statement that the operation began at dawn on Thursday, just two days after Iraqi forces began an offensive against IS’ holdouts […]

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Iraq launches assault for Daesh-held Anbar

Wednesday, September 20, 2017 Comments Off

Iraqi security forces and paramilitary units launched a dawn assault Tuesday against one of the Daesh group’s last bastions in the vast western province of Anbar bordering Syria. The Joint Operations Command, which is co-ordinating Iraqi security forces battling Daesh, said an offensive had begun to retake the town of Anna and the nearby village […]

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EU rejects Kurdish referendum in Iraq

Wednesday, September 20, 2017 Comments Off

The European Union reiterated Wednesday its steadfast support for Iraq’s unity, sovereignty and territorial integrity and called for dialogue between Irbil and Baghdad to resolve outstanding issues. EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini described the Kurdistan region’s planned September 25 independence referendum as “counterproductive,” saying that it “must be avoided.”

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Iraqi forces capture area on Syria border from Daesh

Monday, September 18, 2017 Comments Off

Iraqi armed forces on Saturday dislodged the Daesh terror group from a natural gas-rich border area with Syria, according to the military. Iranian-backed forces fighting with Syrian President Bashar Assad’s army simultaneously announced the start of an offensive to reach the same border area from the opposite side. An Iraqi military statement said Akashat, a […]

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Turkey holds military drill near Iraqi border

Monday, September 18, 2017 Comments Off

Turkey launched a military drill featuring tanks close to the Iraqi border on Monday, the army said, a week before Iraq’s Kurdish region will hold an independence referendum. Despite opposition from Turkey, Iran and the United States, the Kurdistan Regional Government’s leaders have said they will hold the non-binding independence vote on Sept. 25. Ankara […]

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UK defence chief visits Baghdad for talks on anti-Daesh fight

Monday, September 18, 2017 Comments Off

U.K. Defense Minister Michael Fallon arrived in Baghdad on Monday morning to discuss the ongoing fight against Daesh and Iraq’s precarious political situation with Iraqi officials. Iraqi Interior Minister Qassem al-Araji received the British defense minister at Baghdad’s international airport this morning.

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US-Backed Syrian fighters say won’t let regime forces cross Euphrates

Friday, September 15, 2017 Comments Off

US-backed Syrian opposition factions will not let forces backing the regime of Syria’s Bashar al-Assad cross the Euphrates River in their bid to recover eastern Syria, their commander said. Syrian opposition commander Abu Khawla said a civilian administration would be set up to run areas of Deir al-Zor province being captured from ISIS by his […]

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Iraqi PM invites KRG to discuss referendum

Friday, September 15, 2017 Comments Off

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said the Kurdistan Regional Government’s (KRG) planned referendum on independence was “unconstitutional” on Tuesday, hours after parliament voted against the regional plebiscite. “I call upon the Kurdish leadership to come to Baghdad and conclude the dialogue,” Abadi said in a press conference. Abadi’s remarks came after the Iraqi Parliament vote […]

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UN chief condemns deadly terrorist attack in southern Iraq

Friday, September 15, 2017 Comments Off

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has condemned the terrorist attacks in southern Iraq and called for the perpetrators to be quickly brought to justice. In a statement from his spokesperson, the Secretary-General expressed “his sincere condolences to the families of the victims and to the Government and people of Iraq.”

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US and UAE to conduct joint military exercise in Abu Dhabi

Friday, September 15, 2017 Comments Off

The US and UAE’s ground forces will begin a joint military exercise in Abu Dhabi on Saturday, as part of efforts to consolidate their bilateral relations and exchange training and military expertise. Code-named Iron Union 5, the drill is an extension of a series of Iron Claw exercises, which the UAE organises with friendly countries […]

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US urges Iraqi Kurds to call of independence referendum

Friday, September 15, 2017 Comments Off

The United States on Friday strongly urged northern Iraq’s autonomous Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) to call off a controversial referendum on independence from Baghdad. The announcement comes hours after the KRG parliament voted to hold the poll next week despite opposition from the central government and Iraq’s neighbours.

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US-lead coalition airstrikes kill 14 IS terrorists in Kirkuk

Wednesday, September 13, 2017 Comments Off

At least 14 Daesh terrorists were killed Tuesday in airstrikes carried out by a U.S.-led coalition in Iraq’s northern Kirkuk province, according to local security sources. “An aircraft belonging to the international coalition targeted a Daesh bomb factory in Hawija’s Riyadh district​​ southwest of Kirkuk city,” Khalid al-Numan, a Kirkuk police officer said. The airstrikes, […]

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Iraqi PM calls for unity in the final stages of liberation from ISIL

Wednesday, September 13, 2017 Comments Off

The Iraqi prime minister says the country is in its final stages of liberation from ISIL militants. As Iraqi forces battled to push the extemists out of their last remaining pockets of territory, Haider al Abadi attributed the forthcoming victory over ISIL to iraqi unity and solidarity. “Iraq was at a crossroads when ISIL entered […]

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Iraqi jets strike ISIL convoy in Diyala

Saturday, September 9, 2017 Comments Off

Iraqi army warplanes destroyed on Wednesday a convoy of Islamic State militants in northeastern Diyala, a security commander was quoted saying. Maher al-Ezzawi, commander of Dijlah Operations, said that army fighter jets bombarded the convoy at Wadi Thallab (80 km northeast of Baqubah), killing al militants in it. Ezzawi said the strike was carried out […]

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US affirms continued support for Lebanon’s army

Saturday, September 9, 2017 Comments Off

Major General George Smith, the CENTCOM Director of Strategy, Plans, and Policy reiterated the United States support for the Lebanese army during a short visit he paid to Beirut, a US embassy statement said on Saturday. Smith met with General Joseph Aoun on Thursday, September 7, the press release said.

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US-backed forces, Syrian army advance separately on ISIL in Deir Ezzor

Saturday, September 9, 2017 Comments Off

US-backed forces and the Syrian army advanced in separate offensives against ISIL in eastern Syria on Saturday. The Syrian Democratic Forces, a US-backed coalition, aimed to push out the jihadists from territory east of the Euphrates River, while Syrian government forces — supported by Lebanese group Hizbollah and Russian air power — seized an oilfield […]

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Iraqi PM announces new military operation against ISIL

Thursday, September 7, 2017 Comments Off

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi has announced the launch of a new military operation against militants of the ‘Islamic State’ (IS) terrorist group in the cities of Hawijah and Anbar, the Iraqi media outlets reported Sept. 7.

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