Last week, the US and Saudi Arabia signed a deal for the purchase of a new sophisticated missile defence system. The deal has been in place since December 2016 and has eventually been finalised and confirmed by a State Department official on Wednesday. This signature will allow Saudi Arabia to purchase a $ 15 billion anti-ballistic missile defence system from the American Lockheed Martin, a global security and aerospace company based in Maryland.
The pro-government paramilitary troops have announced repulsing a terrorist scheme by Islamic State to target the upcoming parliamentary elections, the command announced on Wednesday. A statement by the media service of al-Hashd al-Shaabi said, “as the Iraqi parliamentary elections, slated for May 12, near, the troops became on high alert to secure the border strip fearing any violations in Anbar and border areas.” The troops, along with security troops, “managed to carry out operations on the common borders with Syria in 2017 to eliminate IS members in Qaim, Rawa and Akashat regions as well as securing their vicinities,” the statement added. “Local police and army, backed by al-Hashd al-Shaabi, were tasked with securing the regions and towns that are near to the western desert of Anbar ahead of elections,” it said.
Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani said on Tuesday that Tehran has adopted necessary measures to confront new anti-Iran pressures, saying that his US counterpart is launching psychological war and economic pressure on Tehran by announcing withdrawal from the 2015 nuclear deal. “The Iranian nation will be more united and determined than ever. Trump is exerting economic pressure on Iran and launching psychological war, but we won’t let him achieve what he wants,” Rouhani said, addressing nation right after Trump’s announcement of the US decision to pull out of the nuclear deal, also known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). Stressing that Trumps decision was a historical experience for Iran, Rouhani noted that the US president has a history of undermining international treaties. “Tonight, it was proved that we were right for decades.
Iran is a country that remains committed to its promises, and the US is a country that has never lived up to its commitments.” He further noted that the JCPOA is not a deal between Iran and the US and the JCPOA has been a multilateral agreement approved by the UN. “The US tonight showed it is not committed to the agreements it signs, as it did on the Paris Climate and other trade agreements.” Rouhani also noted that Iran would remain in the nuclear deal without the US, saying, “From now on, the Iran nuclear deal will be a deal between Iran and five countries. The Group 5+1 has lost one of its parties.” The Iranian president then announced that he has ordered the foreign ministry to start talks with other five parties to the nuclear deal within the coming weeks. “After these talks,” Rouhani said, “If we conclude that we can achieve the results we expected from the deal, the JCPOA will remain in place regardless of the US decision.” Rouhani at the same time said that if Iran’s interests are not guaranteed, “I’ll soon address the nation and share with them the Establishment’s decision.”
The Iraqi Air Force has launched airstrikes against positions of the Islamic State militant group inside Syrian territory, the media office of Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi said Sunday. “The heroes of the Iraqi Air Force have dealt a severe blow to the site of the leaders of Daesh south of al-Dashisha village inside the Syrian territory,” the media office said in a statement referring to ISIS by a different acronym. Al-Dashisha village located in south of Hasakah. The airstrikes by Iraqi warplanes in Syrian territory were second of their kind this year.
ISIS positions were hit by Iraqi airstrikes on April 19 following anorder by the Iraqi Prime Minister. At that time, Iraq said that the threat that ISIS militants pose in Syria to Iraq led to the strikes to be launched. “Our forces, our fighters and their pursuit of the terrorist gangs saved many lives and thwarted plans,” it said, adding that “these strikes will help accelerate elimination of the organization in the region after it was eliminated militarily in Iraq.”
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said if the US decided to scrap the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the other parties should guarantee that Iran will get all it wants from the 2015 nuclear agreement. The US will be the real loser if it walks away from the nuclear accord, he added. “We have our own plan. Either what we demand from the JCPOA is fulfilled by the non-American (parties), (and in that case) the US withdrawal will be the removal of a trouble, or we (will resort to) our legal and rational option… if what we expect is not fully accomplished,” the president said.
He warned Washington against the “strategic mistake” of withdrawing from the nuclear deal, reiterating though that Iran has no concerns about the US’s cruel policies and wrong moves. US President Donald Trump in January set a 120-day deadline for US lawmakers and European allies to “fix” his predecessor Barack Obama’s main foreign policy achievement or face a US exit.
Police troops have arrested 20 Islamic State militants as they were planning to carry out terrorist operations during the parliamentary elections in Nineveh, a security source said on Thursday. “Information from the intelligence helped in arresting 20 terrorists who were planning to carry out terrorist operations during elections in Mosul city and its vicinity,” the police source told Alghad Press. The troops, according to the source, “managed to arrest the terrorists in several regions in al-Shuhadaa al-Thaniya district in Mosul.” Moreover, the Nineveh Police Command announced arresting an IS member in an operation in west of Mosul. Maj. Gen. Hamad Namis al-Jabouri, the commander, said troops arrested “IS member, known as Khaled al-Loweizi, in the market of Sumar district in west of Mosul.” Islamic State continues to launch sporadic attacks across Iraq against security troops. Security reports indicate that the militant group still poses threat against stability in the country.
A total of 68 Iraqis were killed and another 122 injured in acts of terrorism, violence and armed conflict in Iraq in April, according to casualty figures recorded by the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI). Of the overall figures, the number of civilians killed, excluding police, was 64, while the number of injured was 122, the UN agency said in its monthly statement released on Wednesday. Anbar was the worst affected Governorate, with 53 civilian casualties (24 killed, 29 injured), followed by Baghdad with 8 killed and 30 injured, and Kirkuk with 10 killed and 21 injured. “The casualty figures reported continue steadily to decline after the military defeat of Dae’sh (Islamic State) last year. This is good news, but the best news will be when Iraq is completely free of the threat of terrorism and is at peace,” said the Special Representative of the Secretary-General (SRSG) for Iraq Ján Kubiš.
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un told a visiting Chinese diplomat on Thursday that he is committed to denuclearization, China’s foreign ministry said, as diplomatic efforts to bring lasting peace to the Korean peninsula gather pace. China is North Korea’s most important economic and diplomatic backer, despite its anger at North Korea’ repeated nuclear and missile tests, and its support for strong UN sanctions against the North. China’s top diplomat, State Councillor Wang Yi, is visiting North Korea following last week’s historic meeting between South Korean President Moon Jae-in and the North’s Kim Jong Un, when both pledged to improve ties.
The North surprised the world several days before the summit by declaring it would dismantle its nuclear test site to “transparently guarantee” its dramatic commitment to stop all nuclear and missile tests. Wang told Kim that North Korea had seized the day and made a decisive decision, bringing positive changes. China supported an end to the state of war on the peninsula, North Korea’s shift to economic development and the resolution of North Korea’s legitimate security concerns during the denuclearization process, he said.
The coalition has closed down its land forces command headquarters in Baghdad, “signifying the end of major combat operations against ISIS in Iraq,” the 75-member global alliance announced on Monday. The Combined Joint Forces Land Component Command supported Iraqi forces in the war against ISIS. Its train, advise, assist, and equip missions will now be consolidated within a single headquarters “as the nature of its support to the [Iraqi Security Forces] evolves from supporting and enabling combat operations to the training and development of self-sufficient Iraqi security-related capabilities.”
“Thanks to our partnered success, we are able to continue our support to the Government of Iraq under the unified command of CJTF-OIR,” said outgoing commander of the force Maj. Gen. Walter Piatt. The coalition has increasingly scaled back its activities in Iraq, focusing on training and advising Iraqi forces with the locals taking the lead in active combat missions.
The US and Libya’s Government of National Accord signed a security cooperation agreement, which includes a memorandum of intent for airport security and a letter of agreement to support Libyan policing, prisons and justice sector development. The agreement provide technical assistance in the field of criminal justice through training as well as the installation of a system to verify the authenticity of travel documents at airports and Libyan borders.