Iraqi forces complete takeover of Kirkuk province after clashing with Kurds

Friday, 20 October 2017

Iraqi forces took control on Friday of the last district in the oil-rich province of Kirkuk still in the hands of Kurdish Peshmerga fighters following a three-hour battle, security sources said. The district of Altun Kupri, or Perde in Kurdish, lies on the road between the city of Kirkuk - which fell to Iraqi forces on Monday - and Erbil, capital of the semi-autonomous region of Kurdistan in northern Iraq that voted in a referendum last month to secede from Iraq against Baghdad’s wishes. ...

King Salman makes telephone call to Iraqi PM Abadi

Thursday, 19 October 2017

King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud made a telephone call to Prime Minister Dr. Haydar Al-Abadi of Iraq today. According to Saudi Press Agency (SPA), during the telephone conversation, they reviewed bilateral relations between the two countries in various fields and ways of enhancing and developing them through the Saudi-Iraqi Coordination Council.  

UN concerned by reports of forced displacement of Kurds in N.Iraq

Thursday, 19 October 2017

The United Nations expressed concern on Thursday at reports by Kurdish officials that civilians, mainly Kurds, were being forcibly displaced in northern Iraq and their houses and businesses looted and destroyed. “The United Nations urges the Government of Iraq to take every action to halt any violations and ensure that all civilians are protected and that the perpetrators of acts of violence, intimidation and forced displacement of civilians be brought to justice,” the UN Assistance ...

Saudi-Iraqi military talks held in Riyadh

Thursday, 19 October 2017

The Iraqi Defense Ministry said that Army Chief of Staff Lieutenant General Othman Al-Ghanmi headed a high-level military delegation on Monday for a two-day official visit to Saudi Arabia at the invitation of his Saudi counterpart General Abdul Rahman Al-Bunyan, Chief of Staff of the Saudi Armed Forces. The visit was the first of its kind in decades for a senior Iraqi military official, according to Alsharq Alawsaat newpaper. The visit aimed to “discuss important issues through cooperation ...

Turkey’s Erdogan says may shut Iraqi border any moment

Thursday, 19 October 2017

President Tayyip Erdogan said Turkey may shut its border with northern Iraq “at any moment” after closing its air space to the region, Hurriyet newspaper reported on Thursday, reviving a threat first made after Kurds there voted for independence. “We have completely closed our air space to the regional government in northern Iraq,” the paper cited Erdogan as telling reporters on his plane returning from a trip to Poland. “Talks are continuing on what will be done ...

Kurdistan never intended to engage in war with Iraq, foreign minister says

Thursday, 19 October 2017

The ‭Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) never intended to engage in a war with the Iraqi army, Kurdish foreign minister Falah Mustafa Bakir told broadcaster CNN in an interview. ‭ There is a need for dialogue between KRG and Iraq so as to reach a common understanding, Bakir said, adding that the dispute was not about oil or the national flag but about the future of two nations. Turkey said Wednesday that Iraq’s retaking of the northern city of Kirkuk from Kurdish forces earlier this week ...

Baghdad court issues arrest warrant for Iraqi Kurd VP

Thursday, 19 October 2017

A Baghdad court on Thursday issued an arrest warrant for the vice president of Iraqi Kurdistan on charges of “provocation” against Iraq’s armed forces, the judiciary said. Kosrat Rasul had referred to the Iraqi army and federal police as “occupation forces” in a statement on Wednesday, the court said. In the statement, Rasul, who is also vice president of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), one of the two main Kurdish parties, criticized his own group for not ...

As tensions rage back home, Iraq’s U-17 football talents falter

Wednesday, 18 October 2017

A little more than two weeks ago, 21 of Iraq’s most-talented teenage footballers boarded a flight from Baghdad to contest the FIFA U17 World Cup in India. On Thursday, they returned home after being eliminated in the Round of 16 by Mali, but the country they are returning to is a nation much changed. Since the squad arrived in Kolkata on Oct. 2, Iraqi military troops have responded to a Kurdish referendum on independence by seizing control of the oil-rich city of Kirkuk and transforming ...

Abadi orders the withdrawal of all military forces from Kirkuk

Wednesday, 18 October 2017

Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi on Wednesday ordered the withdrawal of all armed groups in Kirkuk, including the Popular Mobilization Militias, and the handover of security to local police and counter-terrorism units only. Al-Abadi confirmed in a statement that “security in Kirkuk is under the control of the local police with the support of counter-terrorism units". In his statement, Abadi, ordered the prevention of any armed group presence in the province and to pursue elements ...

First Saudi commercial flight jets to Baghdad after 27 years

Wednesday, 18 October 2017

Saudi budget carrier flynas on Wednesday made the first commercial flight from Riyadh to Baghdad since 1990, as ties with neighboring Iraq show signs of improvement."Our first flight took off today from Riyadh to Baghdad," the company wrote on Twitter, posting pictures of the cabin crew and passengers.Tickets for the maiden flight were advertised for as low as $7 (six euros) excluding taxes as flynas CEO Bandar al-Muhanna said the move to reopen the route would help "link the two ...

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