26 January 2020
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The US Embassy in Baghdad denounced on Saturday the “deplorable and cowardly” assassination of journalist Ahmed Abdel Samad and cameraman Safaa Ghali in Basra last night. “The ongoing assassinations, kidnappings, harassment, and intimidation of members of the press, social media activists, and pro-reform activists in Iraq by armed groups cannot continue to go unpunished,” the embassy’s statement said. The statement also held the Iraqi government accountable for upholding the right to freedom of expression, protecting journalists, and ensuring that peaceful activists can…
Iraq, January 11, 2020—Paramilitary forces with ties to the Iranian regime murdered an Iraqi journalist and his camera operator for criticizing the destructive role of the Iranian regime in his country. On Friday, Ahmad Abdul Samad, an Iraqi journalist working for Dijla TV in Basra, southern Iraq, posted a video on Facebook, protesting the role of Hashd al-Shaabi (PMF), an Iran-backed Shiite militia coalition, in attacking journalists and reporters who are giving coverage to nationwide protests in Iraq. Abdul Samad…
Hundreds of Iraqis on Saturday mourned two reporters shot dead the previous evening in the country's southern city of Basra, where they had been covering months of anti-government protests.Ahmad Abdessamad, a 37-year-old correspondent for local television station Al-Dijla, and his cameraman Safaa Ghali, 26, were killed late Friday, the Journalistic Freedoms Observatory (JFO) said.Hundreds marched through the streets of Basra carrying symbolic coffins, their pictures, and Iraqi flags.One mourner told AFP: "What happened was an attempt to scare people. But…
Iraq’s caretaker prime minister asked Washington to work out a road map for an American troop withdrawal, but the U.S. State Department on Friday bluntly rejected the request, saying the two sides should instead talk about how to “recommit” to their partnership. Thousands of anti-government protesters turned out in the capital and southern Iraq, many calling on both Iran and America to leave Iraq, reflecting their anger and frustration over the two rivals — both allies of Baghdad — trading…
Iranian General Qassem Soleimani arrived at the Damascus airport in a vehicle with dark-tinted glass. Four soldiers from Iran’s Revolutionary Guards rode with him. They parked near a staircase leading to a Cham Wings Airbus A320, destined for Baghdad.  Neither Soleimani nor the soldiers were registered on the passenger manifesto, according to a Cham Wings airline employee who described the scene of their departure from the Syrian capital to Reuters. Soleimani avoided using his private plane because of rising concerns…
Anti-government protesters in Iraq set fires and closed streets near Baghdad’s Tahrir Square during a demonstration against the Iranian missile strike that targeted two military bases in Iraq housing US troops.The Iranian attack was in retaliation for a US drone strike that killed top Revolutionary Guard commander Qassem Soleimani last week near the Baghdad airport. About 100 protesters took part in the morning’s demonstration near Tahrir, the epicenter of Iraq’s protest movement.The protesters carrying Iraqi flags shouted “Iran out, out!”…
Sean Hannity reacted Tuesday night to Iran launching ballistic missiles at U.S. military forces in Iraq, saying there's a "massive price to pay" for Iran's retaliation. "I have talked to one high ranking source, only one within the Defense Department ... that believes almost if not all of these missiles may have missed their targets," Hannity said. "That wouldn't be an accident." Iran fired as many as 15 ballistic missiles into Iraq, targeting U.S. military and coalition forces. Hannity pointed out that while some…
US Defense Secretary Mark Esper said on Tuesday the United States wants to de-escalate tensions with Iran, but the country is ready to finish any war that could be started."We are not looking to start a war with Iran, but we are prepared to finish one," he said. "What we'd like to see is the situation de-escalated."The US drone strike on Friday that killed Iranian military commander Qassem Soleimani has sharply escalated tensions with Iran, raising fears of all-out conflict.…
The U.S. is bolstering its military presence in the Middle East after an American strike killed a key Iranian commander in Iraq, with plans to send about 2,800 troops from the Army’s 82nd Airborne division to Kuwait. The new U.S. contingent will join roughly 700 troops dispatched to Kuwait earlier this week as part of the division’s rapid-reaction “ready battalion,” according to two U.S. officials who asked not to be identified discussing the deployment. The U.S. already had about 60,000…
The 62-year-old Soleimani was the target of Friday’s U.S. attack, which was conducted by an armed American drone, according to a U.S. official. His vehicle was struck on an access road near the Baghdad airport. A senior Iraqi security official said the airstrike took place near the cargo area after Soleimani left his plane and joined al-Muhandis and others in a car. The official said the plane had arrived from either Lebanon or Syria. Two officials from the PMF said…
BAGHDAD – Iranian Major-General Qassem Soleimani, head of the elite Quds Force, was killed early on Friday in a US air strike on his convoy at Baghdad airport, the Pentagon said. Top Iraqi militia commander Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis was also killed in the attack, a militia spokesman said. “This strike was aimed at deterring future Iranian attack plans,” the Pentagon said in a statement. Iran’s Revolutionary Guards confirmed in a statement that Soleimani was killed. Ahmed al-Assadi, a spokesman for…

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