20 August 2019
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German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas arrived in Iraq on Saturday as part of a wider trip to the Middle East seeking to de-escalate tensions between Iran and the United States. In a statement, Maas’s office said European nations must engage with the region at a time of heightened concern following recent U.S. naval movements in the Persian Gulf. “We cannot just call for dialogue; we must conduct it — particularly where differences appear unbridgeable and long-standing conflicts run deep. The danger that miscalculations, misunderstandings and provocations…
The Office of the Inspector-General of the Ministry of the Interior, on Tuesday announced the arrest of an Iranian drug dealer that has been smuggling the drug "Alristal" into Baghdad. The office said in a statement issued on Tuesday that "the Detective Unit of the Interior Ministry's inspector general was able to arrest one of the Iranian drug traffickers with the entry and smuggling of more than half a kilogram of Alristal material to Baghdad." He added that "the operation…
BAGHDAD (Reuters) - An Iraqi court sentenced two Frenchmen to death on Monday for membership of Islamic State, a prosecutor told Reuters, bringing the total number of French citizens on death row in Iraq to 11. The sentences can be appealed. President Emmanuel Macron’s government has said France opposes the death penalty but respects Iraqi sovereignty. Iraq is conducting trials of thousands of suspected Islamic State fighters, including hundreds of foreigners, many of whom were arrested as the group’s strongholds…
ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Senior Kurdish leaders strongly condemned Thursday’s deadly series of bombings that killed and injured dozens of civilians in the disputed province of Kirkuk, urging for the area’s security to be jointly administered with Erbil to combat the threat of terrorism. On Thursday night, six explosions rocked Kirkuk. It was first reported that at least five people were killed and around 20 more injured, but on Friday, Iraq’s Ministry of Health announced that the bombings had killed…
The Supreme Judicial Council and Federal Court in Iraq denied that arrangements have been made to dismiss judicial cases against prominent Sunni politicians.Local media had reported that figures, such as former Vice President Tareq al-Hashemi, former Finance Minister Rafeh Issawi, former Nineveh province Governor Atheel al-Nujaifi and Anbar province elder Sheikh Ali al-Hatem al-Suleiman, have had their judicial cases dismissed as part of a political settlement.Official spokesman for the Supreme Judicial Council Abdulsattar al-Bayrkdar denied the report, saying that any…
Followers of Iraqi cleric hold anti-war protests as Iran-US tensions growERBIL (Kurdistan 24) ­– Followers of influential Iraqi Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr on Friday launched a series of anti-war demonstrations in the capital of Baghdad and other cities to the south as tensions escalated between the US and Iraq’s eastern neighbor, Iran. Crowds chanted, “Yes to peace… No to war!” in central Baghdad’s Tahrir Square, a popular site of Friday demonstrations. Local sources told Kurdistan 24 that security forces were…
BAGHDAD – Leading Iraqi Shiite figures warned Monday against attempts to pull their country into a war between the U.S. and Iran, saying it would turn Iraq into a battlefield yet again, just as it is on the path to recovery. The warning came hours after a rocket slammed into Baghdad's heavily fortified Green Zone, landing less than a mile from the sprawling U.S. Embassy. No injuries were reported and no group immediately claimed the Sunday night attack. Shortly after, President…
BAGHDAD (Reuters) - A rocket was fired into the Iraqi capital Baghdad’s heavily fortified Green Zone, which houses government buildings and diplomatic missions, on Sunday night, falling near the U.S. Embassy but causing no casualties, the Iraqi military said. The attack came two weeks after U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo warned Iraqi leaders during a surprise visit to Baghdad that if they failed to keep in check Iran-backed militias, which are expanding their power in Iraq and now form…
Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi has described the Iranian-US dispute as 'complex'. Speaking to journalists at a news conference on Tuesday after his weekly cabinet meeting, Abdul Mahdi said Baghdad was communicating regularly with Tehran and Washington in an attempt to reduce tensions.Iran and the US are not willing to enter a war, and Iraq is seeking to solve the crisis. “The Iran-US dispute is a complex one and we are making an effort to find a way out of…
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – Anti-corruption protests called by firebrand cleric Muqtada al-Sadr in Iraq’s holy city of Najaf turned violent on Wednesday night resulting in the death of four people.Four people were killed and 17 wounded, according to Najaf’s Hakim Hospital, when security guards outside a mall owned by a former Sadrist opened fire on the crowd. Sadr, who leads the Sayirun alliance, the biggest bloc in the Iraqi parliament, had called on his supporters to take to the streets to…
BEIRUT — The State Department ordered all “non-emergency U.S. government employees” to leave Iraq on Wednesday amid soaring tensions with Iran, which backs proxy forces there.  It said in a statement that the announcement affects both the U.S. Embassy in the capital, Baghdad, and a consulate in the northern city of Irbil.  “Normal visa services at both posts will be temporarily suspended,” the department said. “The U.S. government has limited ability to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens in Iraq.” The Trump administration has accused…

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