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Posts Tagged ‘ Middle East ’

UN: North Korea Is Giving Chemical-Weapons Supplies to Syria

February 27th 2018

North Korea has been shipping supplies to the Syrian government that could be used to make chemical weapons, according to a shocking new report Tuesday morning from experts at the United Nations. The investigators’ report—which was obtained by The New York Times—said the supplies include acid-resistant tiles, valves, and thermometers, and goes on to...
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Pence Speaks At Israel’s Knesset After Public Scolding In Jordan

January 22nd 2018

Vice President Mike Pence arrived in Israel late Sunday after tense meetings with the leaders of Jordan and Egypt, who publicly scolded him for President Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. Jordan’s King Abdullah II gave Pence a “candid and frank” talk about the U.S. decision, warning it would likely...
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Tillerson: U.S. Will Have An Open-Ended Military Presence In Syria

January 18th 2018

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said Wednesday that 2,000 U.S. troops will remain in Syria, as there are “strategic threats” to the United States beyond the Islamic State. “Iran has dramatically strengthened its presence in Syria through its position in Syria, Iran is in a stronger position to extend its track record of...
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Trump Announces U.S. Will Recognize Jerusalem As Israel’s Capital

December 7th 2017

On Wednesday, President Trump formally recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, upending decades of U.S. diplomacy in the region. The U.S. embassy in Israel will remain in Tel Aviv for security purposes for the next six months. The decision is extremely controversial, fulfilling a campaign promise Trump made while angering U.S. allies abroad. Saudi Arabia’s...
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Saudi Arabia Orders Citizens To Leave Lebanon ‘Immediately’

November 9th 2017

Saudi Arabia is ordering its citizens living or visiting Lebanon to leave the country as tensions between the two governments have risen exponentially in the past week. Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri abruptly resigned last weekend in a televised announcement from the Saudi capital, renouncing Iran’s influence in Lebanese politics in his resignation. He...
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Tillerson: Trump To ‘Decertify’ But Not Leave Iran Deal

October 13th 2017

On Friday, President Trump will largely wash his hands of the nuclear deal reached with Iran, Russia, China, and three European countries, according to a summary released by the White House late Thursday. Trump has long railed against the deal, grudgingly certifying Iran’s compliance two times, and by announcing he is neither certifying it...
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Egypt Cancels Kushner Meeting After Denial of Aid

August 23rd 2017

Egypt has called off a meeting between presidential adviser (and son-in-law) Jared Kushner and Cairo’s top foreign minister after the U.S. moved to withhold $291 million in aid. President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi will still meet with the U.S. delegation—led by Kushner—as scheduled, but the decision will have “negative implications,” the foreign ministry said in...
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Trump: New Afghanistan Strategy Is ‘Killing Terrorists,’ Not ‘Nation-Building’

August 22nd 2017

President Donald Trump on Monday said the United States’ new approach to the war in Afghanistan does not amount to “nation-building,” but rather “killing terrorists.” He said U.S. support for Afghanistan is “not a blank check,” and acknowledged his recent skepticism of increased involvement in the Middle Eastern nation. “My original instinct was to...
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Iran May Quit Nuclear Deal in ‘Hours’ If New Sanctions Imposed

August 15th 2017

Iran is prepared to quit its nuclear deal with world powers “within hours” if new sanctions are imposed by the United States, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said Tuesday. “If America wants to go back to the experience (of imposing sanctions), Iran would certainly return in a short time–not a week or a month but...
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Trump Stops Covert CIA Program To Arm Syrian Rebels

July 20th 2017

President Trump decided within the last month to end a covert CIA program that armed and trained anti-government rebels in Syria, a move long sought by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s ally Russia, U.S. officials told The Washington Post. The program began in 2013 as a way to put pressure on Assad to resign, and...
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State Department Offers Last-Minute Reversal on Travel Ban Policy on Fiancés

June 30th 2017

The U.S. State Department has changed its definition of a close family member eligible for travel to the U.S. under President Trump’s revised travel ban. The revised travel ban, which restricts travel from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen, took effect late Thursday. Under the ban, only close family members of those living...
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Iraq Declares ISIS Caliphate ‘Has Fallen,’ Victory in Mosul

June 29th 2017

The Iraqi government has declared the end of ISIS’s rule in Mosul after recapturing the remains of the historic Grand al-Nuri Mosque in the terror group’s de facto capital in the country. “Their fictitious state has fallen,” said Iraqi military spokesman Brig. Gen. Yahya Rasool. The victory marks the end of more than eight...
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Syria, Russia Reject WH Allegations Of Chemical-Attack Plans

June 27th 2017

Top officials in Syria and at the Kremlin dismissed the White House’s accusations late Monday that Bashar al-Assad’s regime appears to be preparing another chemical attack on civilians. Ali Haidar, Syria’s minister for national reconciliation, told the Associated Press on Tuesday that the Trump administration’s charges were just part of a new diplomatic campaign...
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Russia To Shoot Down U.S. Aircraft Of The River Euphrates In Syria

June 19th 2017

Russia’s defense ministry appears to have threatened to shoot down U.S. aircraft in Syria. “All kinds of airborne vehicles, including aircraft and UAVs of the international coalition detected to the west of the Euphrates River will be tracked by the Russian SAM systems as air targets,” the ministry said Monday. The declaration comes one...
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Jared Kushner Traveling To The Middle East To Talk Peace

June 19th 2017

President Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser, Jared Kushner, is headed to the Middle East this week, where he will attempt to secure a peace deal between the Israelis and the Palestinians, a White House official confirmed Sunday. He will be accompanied by Jason Greenblatt, an assistant to Trump and special representative for international negotiations....
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U.S. To Send 4,000 More Troops To Afghanistan

June 16th 2017

The U.S. is planning to send almost 4,000 additional troops to Afghanistan, according to a Trump administration official. Defense Secretary James Mattis could announce the deployment—the largest so far under President Donald Trump—as early as next week. The military’s top commander in Afghanistan has said he needs more forces to fight a reinvigorated Taliban...
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Russia Claims It Killed ISIS Leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi Outside Raqqa

June 16th 2017

The Russian Defense Ministry said Friday that Russian airstrikes outside the Islamic State’s de facto capital Raqqa, Syria, on May 28 are believed to have killed ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, along with dozens of other high-ranking and midlevel ISIS commanders. “According to information that is being checked through various channels, Islamic State leader...
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Iran Foreign Minister: Trump’s Condolences Are ‘Repugnant’

June 8th 2017

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif on Thursday rejected President Trump’s condolences for the deadly terror attacks in Tehran, calling his words “repugnant.” Trump on Wednesday said he was praying for the victims of the attacks on Iran’s parliament and the Ayatollah Khomeini’s mausoleum, but then added that “states that sponsor terrorism risk falling...
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ISIS Claims Attack on Khomeini’s Tomb, Iran’s Parliament In Tehran

June 7th 2017

The Islamic State claimed responsibility Wednesday for simultaneous attacks at Iran’s parliament building and the tomb of the Islamic republic’s revolutionary founder, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini. The deadly assaults marked what appeared to be ISIS’ first attacks inside Iran. State TV reported that four assailants stormed into the parliament building, and one blew himself up...
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Report: U.S. Believes Russia Planted Fake News To Trigger Qatar Crisis

June 7th 2017

Investigators think that Russian hackers planted a fake news story to successfully cause a rift between Qatar and other allies of the United States in the region, U.S. officials told CNN Tuesday. On May 23, a report on the Qatar News Agency falsely attributed positive remarks about Iran and Israel and negative comments about...
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Notre Dame Assailant Shouted ‘This Is for Syria’ While Rushing Officer

June 6th 2017

French Interior Minister Gérard Collomb said the man who attacked an officer with a hammer outside the Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris on Tuesday shouted “this is for Syria” during the episode. Police shot the man in the chest while the attacked officer sustained minor injuries, officials have said. The situation has since been contained...
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Syrian Kurdish-Led Forces Begin Offensive To Take Raqqa From ISIS

June 6th 2017

On Tuesday, the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) alliance of Kurds and Arabs announced the start of an offensive to capture Raqqa from the Islamic State, which considers the Syrian city the capital of its “caliphate.” Talal Sillo, spokesman for the Kurdish-led forces, told reporters that the SDF is working in coordination with U.S. air...
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Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Egypt, UAE, Yemen Cut Ties With Qatar

June 5th 2017

Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Egypt, and the United Arab Emirates, and Yemen are breaking off diplomatic relations and cutting sea, land, and air ties with Qatar, accusing the fellow Sunni Arab state of backing “terrorist groups aiming to destabilize the region,” as well as “Iranian-backed terrorist groups” active in east Saudi Arabia and Bahrain. Qatari...
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80+ Killed, 350 Injured In Kabul Suicide Bombing Explosion

May 31st 2017

As many as 80 people were killed and hundreds more wounded Wednesday when a massive car bomb went off in the diplomatic zone of Kabul during rush hour, shattering windows in houses hundreds of meters away. It was not immediately clear what the target of the suicide car bombing was, but the area is...
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Ice-Cream Shop Bombing Leaves 15 Dead in Baghdad

May 30th 2017

Fifteen people were killed and an additional 47 injured early Tuesday after a car bomb detonated outside an ice cream shop in central Baghdad. The Islamic State terror group claimed responsibility for the attack, which reportedly involved a remotely detonated device inside a car. The attack occurred just after midnight, when many families head...
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Gunmen In Egypt Attack Bus Carrying Coptic Christians, Killing At Least 20

May 26th 2017

On Friday, a group of at least eight gunmen dressed in military uniforms attacked a bus and pickup truck carrying Coptic Christians traveling to St. Samuel Monastery in Egypt’s Minya province, about 140 miles south of Cairo. At least 20 people were killed in the attack, including children. No group has yet claimed responsibility,...
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Trump Seems To Confirm Israel Was Source Of Intel He Gave Russians

May 22nd 2017

President Trump on Monday seemed to confirm The New York Times’ report that Israel was the source of classified intelligence he revealed to Russian officials during an Oval Office visit several weeks ago. “I never mentioned the word or the name Israel. Never mentioned during that conversation,” he told reporters during a press availability...
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President Trump In Tel Aviv, Israel For Mideast Peace Talks

May 22nd 2017

President Trump arrived in Israel from Saudi Arabia on Monday, for a 36-hour visit that includes a meeting in the West Bank with Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas. Trump will also meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and has scheduled a visit to the Wailing Wall in East Jerusalem and a 15-minute tour of...
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Trump To Embark On High-Stakes 8-Day Trip Abroad

May 19th 2017

President Trump sets off Friday on his first foreign tour since taking office, making five stops in four countries over eight days. Joined by first lady Melania Trump and a large retinue of advisers, Trump will visit Saudi Arabia, Israel, Italy, and Belgium. The agenda includes attending the NATO and G7 summits; meetings with...
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Trump To Visit Saudi Arabia, Israel, Vatican On First Foreign Trip

May 4th 2017

President Donald Trump will be traveling to Saudi Arabia, Israel and Rome in first foreign trip. Trump will meet with a “gathering” of Arab and Muslim leaders in Saudi Arabia, before going on to meet leaders in Israel and finally the Pope in Rome. The trip is about “making sure the three faiths work...
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