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Pope meets Iraq top Shiite clerics in peace bid

Pope Francis held a historic meeting with Iraq’s top Shi’ite cleric Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani on Saturday, in a powerful appeal for coexistence in a land torn by sectarianism and violence. Francis’s meeting in the holy southern city of Najaf, during a whirlwind and risky tour of Iraq, marked the …

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Pope leaves for Iraq, despite warnings

Pope Francis headed to Iraq on Friday for his most risky foreign trip since his election in 2012, and said he felt duty-bound to make the “emblematic” visit because the country had suffered so much for so long. An Alitalia plane carrying him, his entourage, a security detail, and about …

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Turkey, Iran fight over Iraqi territory

The diplomatic crisis between Ankara and Tehran has escalated following the latest statement from Iran’s Ambassador to Baghdad Iraj Masjedi, who reiterated an opposition to Turkish military intervention in Iraq, a new move that highlights a broader rivalry between the two countries in the region. “Turkish forces should not pose …

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Churches of Mosul on Pope’s tour to repair ISIS damage

In Mosul, adjacent to the Biblical city of Nineveh, four churches representing different denominations occupy a small square surrounded by low-rise houses, testament to the role Iraq’s once flourishing Christian community played. Today, all four churches are either damaged or destroyed after Islamic State militants occupied the city from 2014-2017, …

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Protests break out in Iraq ahead of Pope’s visit

At least five protesters were killed and more than 175 people injured on Friday in clashes between demonstrators and security forces in the southern Iraqi city of Nassiriya, a Reuters witness and other sources said. Among the fatalities, most died from bullet wounds, a hospital source said, adding that about …

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Kurdish militants execute 13 Turks in Iraq

Turkish soldiers conducting an operation against Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) militants in northern Iraq have found the bodies of 13 kidnapped Turks executed in a cave, the country’s defence minister said. The identity of the 13 Turkish citizens was unclear and the minister, Hulusi Akar, said their kidnapping had not …

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Iraq and GCC to exchange electricity for goods

Iraq’s prime minister and the GCC secretary general held talks  on Monday to boost trade and supply electricity from the Gulf. Iraqi leader Mustafa Al-Kadhimi and Nayef Al-Hajraf also discussed rebuilding Iraq after the war with Daesh. Iraq has been blighted by a woeful power supply in recent years which feeds …

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Pope adament on making March Iraq trip

Pope Francis said on Monday he is intent on making a trip to Iraq next month even if it means many Iraqi Christians won’t be able to see him in person because of COVID-19 restrictions. “I am the pastor of people who are suffering,” he told Catholic New Service (CNS), …

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Iraqi forces track down, eliminate major ISIS leader

Iraqi security forces have killed Abu Yaser al-Issawi, an Islamic State commander who had claimed to be the leader of the group in Iraq and its “deputy caliph”, Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi said on Thursday. “Our heroic armed forces have eliminated Daesh commander Abu Yaser Al-Issawi as part of an …

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Pope Francis to talk with Sistani in March Iraq visit

Pope Francis is set for an historic meeting with Iraq’s top Shi’ite Muslim cleric, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, during a trip to Iraq planned for March, the patriarch of Iraq’s Chaldean Catholic Church said on Thursday. The visit, which eluded Francis’s predecessors, takes place amid deteriorating security in some parts …

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US accuses UK national of bribery in Iraqi oil case

An Iraqi-born British national has been criminally charged in New Jersey with involvement in a bribery scheme to obtain millions of dollars of U.S. Army Corps of Engineers reconstruction contracts in Iraq, the U.S. Department of Justice said on Wednesday. The defendant, Shwan Al-Mulla, and his co-conspirators allegedly received confidential …

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Oil-rich Iraq in dire need of IMF funds

Iraq has requested emergency assistance from the International Monetary Fund and talks are ongoing between the parties, the IMF said late on Sunday. Iraqi Finance Minister Ali Allawi told Bloomberg News earlier that Iraq was in talks with the IMF for a $6 billion loan package. “The Iraqi authorities have …

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Major suicide attack hits Baghdad, ISIS suspected

Islamic State claimed responsibility for an attack in a crowded Baghdad market on Thursday, killing at least 32 people in Iraq’s first big suicide bombing for three years, authorities said, describing it as a possible sign of the reactivation of Islamic State. Islamic State claimed early on Friday that two …

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Iraq postpones planned general election

Iraq’s cabinet decided on Tuesday to postpone the general election to Oct. 10 from June, the state news agency INA said. The government last year set a general election for June 6, 2021, roughly a year ahead of when it would normally be held, but Iraq’s Independent High Election Commission …

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Iraqi oil tanker crew narrowly escapes marine bomb

An Iraqi oil tanker was evacuated after a mine was discovered attached to its hull, and explosives experts were working to make it safe, Iraq’s military said on Friday. The tanker was in international waters about 28 nautical miles (52 km) off Iraq’s coast in the Persian Gulf and supplying …

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Reverend Warnock calls on US Christians to repent for Iraq War

Georgia Senate candidate Rev. Raphael Warnock spoke at events organized by a religious group that called on Christians to repent for military action in Iraq between at least 2007 and 2009. Warnock, the senior pastor of Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, was part of a group called the “Christian Peace Witness for Iraq,” seeking to “foster a serious …

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Iran downplays US claims about green zone rocket attack

Iran’s foreign minister on Thursday dismissed U.S. President Donald Trump’s allegations that Tehran was behind the recent rocket attack on the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad. “Putting your own citizens at risk abroad won’t divert attention from catastrophic failures at home,” Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif tweeted. Trump said on Wednesday …

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Iraq reaffirms committment to expelling foreign troops

Iraqi parliamentarians ratified their commitment to a resolution to expel all foreign troops from the country, as it was reported. During a ceremony marking the first anniversary of the assassination of Iranian General Qasem Soleimani, lawmakers reiterated that the Pentagon must withdraw from Iraq. Deputy Fazel Yabert al-Fatlawi said his …

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New rocket attack on Baghdad green zone

At least eight Katyusha rockets landed in Baghdad’s heavily fortified Green Zone in an attack targeting the U.S. Embassy, causing some minor damage on the compound on Sunday, the Iraqi military and the embassy said on Sunday. The Iraqi military said an “outlaw group” fired eight rockets. Most of the …

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