Middle Orient

Intel: US to announce agreement to pull ‘combat troops’ from Iraq

Security will be at top of agenda for US-Iraq Strategic Dialogue today, and when US President Joe Biden hosts Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi on July 26. US and Iraqi officials are preparing a statement that will likely mention a time frame for the withdrawal of American “combat troops” from …

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Qatar’s foreign minister visits Iran to meet top officials

Sheikh Mohammad bin Abdulrahman Al Thani met Iran’s President-elect Ebrahim Raisi to discuss bilateral relations. Qatar’s foreign minister Sheikh Mohammad bin Abdulrahman Al Thani travelled to Tehran for an unannounced visit and met top officials, days after visiting Washington, Iran’s state news agency reported. IRNA said that Al Thani, who …

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Biden, Iraqi PM to Meet in DC to Discuss Withdrawal of US Combat Troops

US President Joe Biden will welcome Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhemi to the Oval Office on Monday, where the two leaders will discuss the withdrawal of US combat troops from Iraq to officially end its combat mission there. Some 2,500 US troops still remain in Iraq as part of an …

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Khamenei calls largely Arab province of Iran ‘loyal’ amid protests

Protesters in oil-rich Khuzestan province in southwestern Iran want clean drinking water, among other things. Iran’s supreme leader praised the people of Khuzestan province Friday in an apparent response to continuing protests in the impoverished region. “The people of Khuzestan are very loyal,” Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said in a tweet. …

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Search underway after migrant boat sinks off Turkish coast

Eight migrants are still missing after their boat bound for Italy sunk southwest of the Turkish town of Kas. Search-and-rescue operations are underway in the Aegean Sea after a boat carrying 45 migrants sank off the southern coast of Turkey, Greek and Turkish officials said Friday. The state-run Anadolu Agency …

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Iraq still needs US help to defeat Islamic State, foreign minister says

Iraqi Foreign Minister Fuad Hussein made the remarks ahead of Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi’s visit to Washington on Monday. Iraq still needs support from the US-led coalition to defeat the Islamic State, Iraqi Foreign Minister Fuad Hussein said Friday amid reports the Biden administration is planning to withdraw combat troops …

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Amid Iranian gas shortage, Iraq searches for alternatives

Iran’s dilapidated gas infrastructure has limited its transfers to Iraq, adding to Iraq’s own energy crisis. Iraqi parliamentary sources said on July 21 political conflicts are “preventing the investment of natural gas in the Mansouriya field in the Diyala governorate (north of Baghdad). The field’s resources are enough to meet …

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Syrian air defense strikes down Israeli missiles – report

Missiles fired from two Israeli fighter jets were reportedly downed by Syrian air defense systems on Sunday while trying to target the Damascus governorate, Russian media has reported. “From 05:40 a.m. to 05:54 a.m., two F-16 tactical fighter jets of the Israeli Air Force, which stayed outside Syria’s airspace, delivered …

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Will Biden and Kadhimi Produce Platitudes on Iraq?

At the White House on Monday, the Iraqi leader needs a guarantee that Biden won’t use Iraq’s independence as a pawn in negotiations with Iran. At a military parade in Baghdad in late June, Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi saluted the Popular Mobilization Forces, an umbrella group of largely Iranian-backed …

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Assad Clinging to Power in Syria with Iranian and Russian Assistance

The re-election of Syrian President Bashar Al Assad illustrates the failure of Western policy thus far to achieve meaningful political change in Syria. Russia and Iran have benefitted strategically from their respective military support of the Assad government. The July 2021 renewal of a UN cross-border aid mechanism to opposition-held …

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