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Iraq @en - page 3

Turkish warplanes bomb Iraqi Kurdistan for third day

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Turkish fighter jets bombarded the district of Amedi in Iraq’s Kurdistan Region on Sunday for the third consecutive day targeting suspected positions of the PKK. Turkish warplanes have targeted several villages in Sangasar and Warte districts, about 130 kilometers east of Erbil. Warte Mayor Muslih Zrar told Rudaw that Turkish fighter jets intensively bombed Bokriskiyan village on Sunday, adding that fortunately it did not result in the loss of lives or material. The two districts are close to areas in Qandil Mountains under the control of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which has been engaged in a three-decade-long war against the Turkish state.

Iranian FM: No military solution to crises in Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Bahrain

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Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif underlined that no military solution is envisaged for the crises in Iraq, Syria, Yemen and Bahrain, and said the West Asia region is paying a heavy price for the world powers’ hegemonic policies. “The conflicts in Iraq, Syria, Yemen and Bahrain don’t have a military solution”, Zarif wrote in the Kuwaiti al-Rai al-Youm newspaper on Sunday. He said that the regional crises need political solutions based on the views of all the major parties, excluding the extremist and terrorist groups. Noting that the West Asia region has paid a heavy price for the world powers’ hegemonic policies, Zarif expressed the hope that other regional powers would accompany Iran to avoid domination or beind dominated. In relevant remarks earlier this month, European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini rejected a military solution to the Syria crisis following a US missile strike against the country. “As for Syria, it was reaffirmed during the Brussels conference organized last week that there is no military solution to the crisis in Syria”, Mogherini said at a news conference in Algiers. “For this issue, the European Union is very clear and very firm, there is no possibility for a military solution to the crisis”, she added. Mogherini said the United States is a friend of the EU, adding the bloc hopes the US can agree with the EU on a political solution to the Syrian crisis.

Turkey hits PKK targets in northern Iraq

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Turkish warplanes have carried out airstrikes against the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) targets in the Avaşin-Basyan and Zap regions of northern Iraq. According to a statement released from Turkish Armed Forces (TSK), weapon launching positions and shelters belonging to the group were destroyed in the airstrikes carried out on April 21. The TSK also said that two hand-made explosives were destroyed in the security operations carried out in the eastern province of Bitlis.

Only Israel would recognize a Kurdish state, Iraq’s al-Hakim says.

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Iraq’s National Coalition Chief, Ammar al-Hakim, said on Wednesday that Israel would be the only country to recognize a Kurdish state if it were declared. Hakim stated the U.S. administration has repeatedly declared its commitment to the territorial integrity of Iraq. He added Iraqi officials have received assurances from the new U.S. administration of its commitment to the unity of Iraq, as well as the commitment of previous administrations. Iraq’s Shi’ite ruling coalition would oppose Kurdish plans to hold a referendum on independence of Kurdistan Region after the defeat of Islamic State, its president, Ammar al-Hakim, has said. Hakim said Kurdish officials have a 70-year ambition to announce a Kurdish state, which could continue for another decade whether it were achieved or not. Kurds seek self-determination to have their own state having a logic that they can have a country the way Arabs have 22 countries as well as Turks and Persians who have their own countries, Hakim added.


Iraqi forces push deeper into Old City of Mosul.

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Thick smoke could been seen  billowing over the Old City of Mosul, near the Grand al-Nuri Mosque, as Iraqi forces advance under the U.S.-backed offensive to capture Islamic State’s (ISIS) de facto capital. The battle to free Mosul – between ISIS militants and Iraqi forces – is now in its seventh month and has taken a heavy toll on several hundred thousand civilians trapped in neighborhoods inside the city, still under control of the militants. Iraqi forces are making progress in their offensive to expel ISIS from Mosul but face a complicated urban battle as the militants hide in mosques, homes and hospitals, sheltering among civilians in the city in order to evade airstrikes. The war between ISIS and Iraqi forces is taking a heavy toll on several hundred thousand civilians trapped inside the city, with severely malnourished babies reaching hospitals in government-held areas.


Displaced Iraqis want return; Kurdish ministry not sure they will.

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More than 1.2 million people from the Nineveh province have been displaced. The displaced want to return home, according to an international organization; however, a Kurdish minister largely doesn’t expect the displaced to return home after the defeat of the extremist group. “In the long term, 98% of IDPs [from Nineveh] are determined to return to their location of origin, and the low percentage of those willing to locally integrate (2%) is mostly of families who have no other choice because they were evicted from their last location of displacement”, reads a report from the International Organization for Migration (IOM)-Iraq Mission. The report was published on the eve of the Migration and Displacement in Iraq conference at University of Kurdistan Hewler held on Wednesday. Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) Interior Minister Karim Sinjari, who addressed attendees at the event, said the KRG doesn’t expect the 1.3 million IDPs now in Kurdistan to return to their places in big numbers after the defeat of ISIS.


Iraqi Ministry: more than 55.000 displaced Nineveh families sheltered at refugee camps across Mosul

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The number of displaced Iraqi families from Nineveh sheltered at refugee camps across Mosul has surpassed 55.000, according to the Iraqi Ministry of Migration and Displacement. Minister Jassem al-Jaff said Wednesday that 55.190 families (291.042 refugees) are currently sheltered at refugee camps across Mosul, where a U.S.-backed security campaign has approached a seventh month to eliminate Islamic State militants from the city. According to the minister, 120.000 refugees have so far returned to their homes in eastern and southern Nineveh. Last week, the ministry said refugees from Nineveh, Kirkuk’s town of Hawija and Salahuddin’s town of Shirqat reached 526.281 since operations were launched to clear Nineveh from IS militants in October 2016. Those include 467.210 refugees from Nineveh, 41.774 from Hawija, Kirkuk, and 17.297 from Shirqat, Salahuddin, according to the statement. “We could be facing a humanitarian catastrophe, perhaps the worst in the entire conflict”, United Nations humanitarian coordinator for Iraq Lise Grande told Reuters in a telephone interview on Tuesday, commenting on the situation in Mosul.

Iraqi FM and new Iranian Ambassador to Baghdad discuss anti-terrorism cooperation

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Iraqi Foreign Minister Ibrahim al-Jafari and new Iranian Ambassador to Baghdad Iraj Masjedi conferred on the two countries’ cooperation in the fight against terrorist groups. During the meeting in Baghdad , Jafari lauded Iran’s assistance and cooperation with Iraq in different sensitive and decisive periods of time. “Iran’s standing beside the Iraqi nation and government in hard times has further expanded the relations between the two countries”, he added. The two high-ranking diplomats also discussed bilateral ties, cooperation in the war on terrorism and the latest developments in the region, specially in Iraq. Masjedi, for his part, underlined the abundant potentials existing in the two neighboring, friendly and brotherly countries in all fields, and expressed the hope that bilateral relations would further develop in all arenas, specially in economic sector. In relevant remarks, Masjedi renewed Iran’s support for the Iraqi government and nation in their ongoing fight against the terrorist groups.

Al-Sisi supports national reconciliation, efforts to fight terrorism in Iraq

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President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi said in his meeting on Tuesday with the head of the Iraqi National Alliance, Ammar al-Hakeem. An alliance between both countries had been evoked, especially in economical, political and counter-terrorism field. Al-Sisi recalled the importance of the dialogue between different factions composing the country, and a division of the country could have an impact on the whole region. Al-Hakeem expressed his thanks and appreciation for Egypt’s support, stressing that Egypt plays a pivotal role as a cornerstone for security and stability in the region.

Foreign minister receives the Chinese ambassador to Iraq.

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During the meeting, they discussed the bilateral relations and means to strengthening it to serve the interests of both friendly people, and reviewing the victories achieved by Iraqis in their war against Da’esh terroristic gangs, and the efforts of the friendly states to support Iraq.The minister evaluated the Chinese attitude which supports Iraq, and providing the needed requirements for the displaced families, in spite of  it isn’t a part of the international coalition against Da’esh terroristic gangs. His Excellency said that Iraq defends itself and fighting on behalf of the world and achieving great victories, and will liberate all its territories, especially that Iraq is a rich country, but it is passing through difficult situation and looking forward to the help of the friendly people, to help Iraq to rebuild Iraqi cities after defeating terrorism. From his side, the Chinese ambassador stressed on his country’s support to Iraq in its war against Da’esh terroristic gangs, and they will continue presenting the humanitarian aids to the displaced families, and ready to participate in rebuilding the infrastructure of the Iraqi cities after defeating Da’esh terroristic gangs.


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