26 May 2019
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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…
BAGHDAD -- The U.S. Embassy in Iraq is advising U.S. citizens against travelling to the country amid what it called "heightened tensions," reflecting worsening strains between Washington and Tehran. The advisory was posted on Twitter on Sunday night. The U.S. has long advised its citizens against travel to Iraq, but the renewed warning followed Washington's deployment of the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln and B-52 bombers to the Persian Gulf in response to unspecified "threats" by Iran. The warning follows…
(BAGHDAD) — The U.S. on Wednesday ordered all nonessential government staff to leave Iraq, and Germany and the Netherlands both suspended their military assistance programs in the country in the latest sign of tensions sweeping the Persian Gulf region over still-unspecified threats that the Trump administration says are linked to Iran. Recent days have seen allegations of sabotage targeting oil tankers off the coast of the United Arab Emirates, a drone attack by Yemen’s Iranian-allied Houthi rebels, and the dispatch…
ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Iraq’s Commission of Integrity on Monday revealed corruption marred contracts between the state-run Basra Oil Company and two international firms over the purchase of loading arms.  The contracts between the parties valued the purchase of loading arms at a total of $126 million, while the actual price should not have exceeded $40 million, the commission said in a statement, of which Kurdistan 24 received a copy. The statement did not specify the name of the two international companies…

Pompeo makes surprise visit to Iraq Thursday, 09 May 2019 05:10

BAGHDAD — Secretary of State Mike Pompeo made a lightning visit to Baghdad on Tuesday to show U.S. support for the Iraqi government as Washington steps up warnings to Iran against any action against American interests in the Middle East. The unannounced trip began and ended after nightfall and under heavy security. Pompeo’s visit came as the Trump administration is intensifying its pressure campaign against Iran. The U.S. said this week that it is rushing an aircraft carrier group to…
Political forces in Nineveh continued to exchange corruption and bribery accusations, despite being close to agreeing on a new governor for the governorate to replace Noufal Akkoub.Akkoub was dismissed by parliament on charges of corruption after the deadly Mosul ferry sinking that killed dozens of people in March.Nineveh MP Mansour al-Mareed, of al-Ataa coalition led by Faleh al-Fayyad, accused Axis Coalition MP Falah Hassan Zeidan of corruption. Mareed issued a statement saying that he has been trying to remove the Nineveh…
WASHINGTON — Senior American officials said on Monday that new threats by Iran against United States troops in Iraq were behind the sudden deployment of an aircraft carrier strike group and Air Force bombers to the Persian Gulf. The White House and Pentagon made the decision after seeing intelligence that showed new activity on the part of Iranian-aligned forces since Friday, said two senior officials who spoke on condition of anonymity. Additionally, one official noted new concerns in waterways where…
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