Archive for the ‘Middle Orient’ Category

Iraqi troops block IS attack west of Anbar

Thursday, November 16, 2017 Comments Off

Security forces have repulsed an attack by Islamic State militants in western Anbar. Army troops repelled an IS attack in al-Jazeera region, located between Annah and Rawa towns. Thirteen villages were freed, while forty-five IS members and two suicide bombers were killed in three days, according to a statement issued earlier by the War Media […]

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US coalition says Daesh has lost 95% of territory

Thursday, November 16, 2017 Comments Off

The Daesh militant group has lost 95 per cent of the cross-border territory it declared three years ago in Iraq and Syria, the US-led coalition fighting it has said. “Since our coalition was formed in 2014, Daesh has lost 95 per cent of the territory it once controlled in Iraq and Syria,” Washington’s envoy to […]

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Trump calls on UN to extend probe on chemical weapons in Syria

Thursday, November 16, 2017 Comments Off

US President Donald Trump on Thursday urged the UN Security Council to vote to renew a join investigative panel looking into possible chemical weapon attack by the Syrian regime, despite Russia’s veto threat. “Need all on the UN Security Council to vote to renew the Joint Investigative Mechanism (JIM) for Syria to ensure that Assad […]

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Iraqi paramilitary troops repulse IS attack in Diyala

Friday, November 10, 2017 Comments Off

The pro-government paramilitary troops have repulsed an Islamic State attack against a security checkpoint in Diyala, a security source said on Thursday. “Troops of al-Hashd al-Shaabi [Popular Mobilization Forces] managed to repel an attack launched by IS to target a checkpoint in al-Bou Eissa village, north of Udhaim, in Diyala,” the source told Baghdad Today.

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Pence, Turkish PM discuss Middle East situation

Thursday, November 9, 2017 Comments Off

Vice President Mike Pence met with Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim on Thursday “to reaffirm the enduring strategic partnership between the United States and Turkey,” the Office of the Vice President announced. The two “expressed hope that their meeting would help to usher in a new chapter in US-Turkey relations, and agreed on the need […]

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Syria announces victory over Daesh

Thursday, November 9, 2017 Comments Off

Syria’s army declared victory over Daesh on Thursday, saying its capture of the militants’ last town in the country marked the collapse of their project in the region. The army and its allies are still fighting Daesh in desert areas near Albu Kamal, the last town the militant group had held in Syria, near the […]

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NATO hopes Erbil, Baghdad to solve differences through peaceful dialogue

Wednesday, November 8, 2017 Comments Off

The North Atlantic Alliance Organization (NATO) supports constructive and peaceful dialogue between Erbil and Baghdad to resolve their differences, said Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg. “We would like very much to see constructive negotiations between the Peshmerga forces and the government of Baghdad,” Stoltenberg said on Tuesday, urging the sides not to return to violence. “Any use […]

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US Defence Secretary to discuss IS with NATO counterparts

Wednesday, November 8, 2017 Comments Off

US Defence Secretary Jim Mattis has plenty of pressing issues as he begins talks with NATO allies on Wednesday. NATO defence ministers are meeting over two days at the alliance’s Brussels headquarters. The talks will also look at efforts to revamp NATO’s command structure to help it better combat the rising threat from Russia.

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Iraqi forces to resume ops if handing over control of borders delayed

Monday, November 6, 2017 Comments Off

Iraqi forces threatened on Wednesday to resume operations to capture northern Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG)-held territory after accusing authorities there of delaying handing over control of Iraq’s borders with Turkey, Iran and Syria. Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi on Friday declared a pause in an offensive that began on Oct. 16 to take over areas […]

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Iraqi forces liberate al-Qaim

Monday, November 6, 2017 Comments Off

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi on Friday announced the full liberation of the city of al-Qaim near the border with Syria from the Islamic State (IS) militants. A statement by the premier’s office said Abadi, who is also the Commander-in-Chief of Iraqi forces, “congratulated the people of Iraq for the liberation of al-Qaim by the […]

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US calls for dialogue between Erbil, Baghdad

Monday, November 6, 2017 Comments Off

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani had a phone conversation Friday in which they stressed the need for political negotiations between Erbil and Baghdad.

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US Coalition drived out IS from 95% of former lands

Friday, November 3, 2017 Comments Off

Syria’s army announced it had taken Deir al-Zour early on Friday. IS had held most of Deir al-Zour since 2014, important because of its proximity to the border with Iraq. While the Syrian army said it had been re-captured, other reports said government forces and their allies were clearing the last pockets of resistance from […]

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Iraqi forces raid Qaem city

Friday, November 3, 2017 Comments Off

Iraqi government forces on Friday raided Al-Qaem city west of Anbar province in pursuit of fighters of the so-called Islamic State (IS) and eliminate their strongholds. Regular military troops, anti-terrorism squads, popular and tribal forces began the raid starting from Saada, Al-Karablah, and Hasiba areas, part of Al-Qaem surrounding towns, Commander of

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Macron says France supports full recognition of Kurdish rights

Wednesday, November 1, 2017 Comments Off

he French Republic’s President on Monday paid tribute to President Barzani’s historic role and his contribution to the fight against the Islamic State (IS), which Kurdish Peshmerga forces determinedly helped defeat. President Barzani on Sunday announced in a national address that he would not seek an additional term of presidency.

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Iraqi PM says govt forces now in control of all “disputed” areas

Wednesday, November 1, 2017 Comments Off

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi has announced that federal forces now control all parts of country “disputed” between Baghdad, Erbil and also accused certain KRG-linked media outlets of “openly inciting violence against federal forces.” At a press conference held in the capital, al-Abadi also accused certain KRG-linked media outlets – which he did not identify […]

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Iraq retakes Habur crossing with Turkey

Wednesday, November 1, 2017 Comments Off

Iraqi authorities were handed on Tuesday control of the main land border crossing between Turkey and the Iraqi Kurdistan Region, announced three Iraqi officials. One of the officials released photos of the Iraqi flag as it was being raised above the border gate. Iraqi and Turkish forces have been deployed in the area and Turkish […]

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Iraq army forces reach to IS stronghold in Anbar

Monday, October 30, 2017 Comments Off

The Iraqy army has announced troops arrival at the borders of Islamic State’s stronghold in west of Anbar, ahead of the last phase of operations there. Sabah al-Noa’man, spokesperson for the army’s elite Counter-Terrorism Service, said, “troops arrived their positions near Qaim ahead of beginning the last phase of the operation of the town.”

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US calls for unity after Barzani resignation

Monday, October 30, 2017 Comments Off

The United States on Monday urged Iraq’s federal government and Kurdish Regional Government institutions to resolve their disagreements after Iraqi Kurdish leader Masoud Barzani said he would resign later this week. “We call on all Kurdish parties to support the KRG as it works to resolve pending issues over the remainder of its term and […]

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Macron urges dialogue, an end to military operations in N. Iraq

Monday, October 30, 2017 Comments Off

French President Emmanuel Macron on Monday called on Iraqi Federal forces and Kurdish troops to refrain from all military operations in northern Iraq and “pursue the path of dialogue” with UN assistance to find a solution to their differences. In a statement from the Elysee Palace, the French leader said that both sides in the […]

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Iraqi, Kurdish troops deployed at disputed regions

Monday, October 30, 2017 Comments Off

Iraqi and Kurdish troops have reached an agreement on running the remaining disputed jointly, an informed source from Kurdistan was quoted saying on Monday. After a meeting was held between delegations of Kurdistan and Iraq in Faysh Khabur, the source said, “the agreement directly tackled running the regions that are still under control of Peshmerga […]

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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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Iraq retakes Hawija from Daesh

Friday, October 6, 2017 Comments Off

Iraq’s Prime Minister Haider Al Abadi said on Thursday that troops have retaken the northern town of Hawija from the Daesh militant group, driving the extremists from one of their last strongholds in the country. Abadi declared victory during a press conference in Paris with French President Emmanuel Macron.

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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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