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Iraq estimates cost of ISIS ravages at $23 billion

The Levant News — Iraqi Minister of Construction and Housing Tariq al-Khikani estimated Tuesday that Iraq has lost $23 billion since the emergence of the ISIS in 2014. He spoke at the third preparatory meeting for the United Nations Human Settlements Programme, held in Indonesia from Monday through Wednesday. Khikani …

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Baghdad death toll tops 200

The Levant News — Iraq’s government is under growing pressure to improve security as the death toll from Sunday’s massive car bombing in Baghdad’s predominantly Shiite Karada neighborhood officially topped 200. Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi has announced three days of mourning. He also ordered that phony explosives detection devices be …

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Iraq warns Saudi Arabia against meddling in its affairs

The Levant News — Iraq’s ministry of Foreign Affairs condemned Saudi Arabia for its “repeated interventions in Iraqi internal matters” in a statement today. The warning follows remarks by Saudi Foreign Affairs Minister Adel al-Jubeir on Wednesday that called for the dissolution of the Shiite-dominated Popular Mobilization Forces fighting alongside …

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Glimmers of a Future in Iraq?

by Graham E. Fuller*– Iraqi politics are in turmoil—nothing new here. Not surprisingly, the post-invasion order is taking a long time to shake down, given the destruction of the old. Entirely new relationships had to be forged under the new, radically changed environment. What Iraq requires above all is the …

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WOMEN, WATER AND PEACE: SFG Conference

The Levant News — Istanbul – Turkey: More than 50 opinion makers and policy makers from the Middle East came together to discuss linkages between women, water and peace in a conference hosted by Strategic Foresight Group (SFG) and MEF University in co-operation with Sida on 18th and 19th March …

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The Compulsion of Water Cooperation

The Levant News — By Danilo Turk and Sundeep Waslekar — Since last September when the United Nations declared water as a sustainable development goal, a number of countries have intensified efforts to promote water cooperation with their neighbouring countries. The Middle East is missing in this action. For decades, …

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Kurds declare federal region, muddying Syria peace efforts

THE LEVANT NEWS — GENEVA: Syria’s Kurds declared a federal region in the country’s north Thursday, in a move that risks complicating already fragile talks underway in Geneva to end the country’s brutal five-year conflict. More than 150 delegates from Kurdish, Arab, Assyrian and other parties meeting in the Syrian …

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Britain uses Brimstone missiles for first time in Syria

THE LEVANT NEWS — LONDON: Britain carried out several air strikes against ISIS militants in Syria Sunday, deploying its Brimstone missiles for the first time there, a spokeswoman for Prime Minister David Cameron said Monday. Britain joined U.S.-led air strikes against ISIS in Syria late last year but has been …

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ISIS attempted to raid Turkey base in Iraq

THE LEVANT NEWS — ISIS militants have reportedly attempted to carry out an attack against a military base used by Turkish forces deployed to northern Iraq without Baghdad’s approval. On Friday, unnamed Turkish military sources said Turkish soldiers had repelled the attack on the Bashiqa camp in Iraq’s Nineveh Province, …

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Turkey discovers bodies of 21 refugees

THE LEVANT NEWS — Authorities in Turkey say the remains of 21 refugees, including a number of children, have been discovered in two separate coastal areas in the country. Security officials said Tuesday 11 bodies were found on the shoreline in the southwestern Turkish district of Ayvalik, while the remaining …

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Thousands of Iraqis protest over Nimr execution

THE LEVANT NEWS — Thousands of people have protested in a number of cities across Iraq to express their condemnation of the recent execution of a prominent Shia cleric in Saudi Arabia. On Monday, protesters marched outside the Green Zone, an area that houses government departments and diplomatic buildings, in …

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Iraqi forces continue clean-up operation in Ramadi

THE LEVANT NEWS — Iraqi forces continue the clean-up operation in Ramadi, western province of Anbar, inflicting more losses on the Daesh Takfiri terrorists. “Our security forces launched an operation from Khaldiya, east of Ramadi, and managed to liberate the College of Agriculture,” said Hamid al-Dulaimi, Ramadi district mayor, on …

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Why Isis fights

Jihadi fighters in Iraq and Syria reveal the apocalyptic motivations of the militant movement that has hijacked the Syrian uprising – and transformed the Middle East THE LEVANT NEWS – By Martin Chulov for THE GUARDIAN — For more than a century, Dabiq was one of northern Syria’s forsaken villages, …

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