Archive for the ‘Middle Orient’ Category

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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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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