News / Middle East

    US: 7 European States to Arm Kurds in Iraq

    Kurdish Peshmerga troops participate in an intensive security deployment against Islamic State militants in a village on the outskirts of the province of Nineveh near the border province of Dohuk, Iraq, Aug. 9, 2014.
    Kurdish Peshmerga troops participate in an intensive security deployment against Islamic State militants in a village on the outskirts of the province of Nineveh near the border province of Dohuk, Iraq, Aug. 9, 2014.
    VOA News

    U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel says seven European governments have agreed to join the United States in supplying weaponry to Kurdish forces battling Islamic State extremists in northern Iraq.

    A Pentagon statement Tuesday said Britain, Canada, Albania and Croatia will join Denmark, Italy and France in providing "urgently needed" arms and equipment to the Kurds.

    Islamic State jihadists overran large areas of northern and western Iraq in June. Earlier this month, they pushed Kurdish forces back toward their regional capital, Irbil.

    Also Tuesday, Kurdish leader Massoud Barzani, the president of Iraq's semi-autonomous Kurdish region, met with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif.

    Barzani, speaking in Irbil alongside the Iranian diplomat, said Iran is the first country to provide military aid to Kurdish fighters since the Islamic State offensive was launched.

    Separately, high-level diplomats from Iran and Saudi Arabia — two regional powers separated by steep sectarian divides — met for talks that officials say included the rising threat posed by the Islamic State militancy. Iran's deputy foreign minister described the talks as "positive and constructive."

    The visit to Jeddah by Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian was the first high-level meeting between the two countries since Iran elected Hassan Rouhani president last year. Rouhani has pledged to thaw Iran's diplomatic ties with its Arab neighbors.

    Earlier Tuesday in Baghdad, a car bomb explosion in a mainly Shi'ite neighborhood killed at least 10 people and wounded 31 others. The blast hit the New Baghdad area during the morning rush hour.

    On Monday, a series of blasts in Iraq killed at least 20 people, including 11 at a Shi'ite mosque in the same neighborhood as Tuesday's bombing.

    Some information for this report comes from AP, AFP and Reuters.

    You May Like

    Video Obama Remembers Fallen Troops for Memorial Day

    President urges Americans this holiday weekend to 'take a moment and offer a silent word of prayer or public word of thanks' to country's veterans

    Upsurge of Migratory Traffic Across Sahara From West to North Africa

    A report by the International Organization for Migration finds more than 60,000 migrants have transited through the Agadez region of Niger between February and April

    UN Blocks Access to Journalist Advocacy Group

    United Nations has rejected bid from nonprofit journalist advocacy group that wanted 'consultative status,' ranking that would have given them greater access to UN meetings

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Patrick from: Ca
    August 27, 2014 3:26 AM
    Way to go France, remembering your allies, where's Germany? Playing in the park?

    by: Not Again from: Canada
    August 26, 2014 11:28 PM
    Good to see that the Kurdish reason will be stabilized; let us hope that the weapons supplied, and other help, do the job. The Kurds will need training, to ensure they can use the weapons efficiently, and will require assistance wrt intelligence, operational planning, and logistic support. In due course,the Kurdish people should be able to do most of the work themselves.
    I just hope that no social engineering initiatives are compulsolry with the acceptance of the weapons and other help. People and nations must be allowed to develop and progress at a pace that is consistent with their traditions, and is not intendeed to destroy their core values; overtime, the Kurdish people will develop into a democracy at par with other Western based democracies; they are already quite advanced in their political and social engagements, and are a beacon for tolerance, that others in the region should emulate.

    by: Uncle Ben
    August 26, 2014 10:23 PM
    When are they going to arm Ukrainians alike? Don't be afraid of Russia.

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trendi
    X
    May 27, 2016 5:57 AM
    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trend

    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Reactions to Trump's Success Polarized Abroad

    What seemed impossible less than a year ago is now almost a certainty. New York real estate mogul Donald Trump has won the number of delegates needed to secure the Republican presidential nomination. The prospect has sparked as much controversy abroad as it has in the United States. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Drawings by Children in Hiroshima Show Hope and Peace

    On Friday, President Barack Obama will visit Hiroshima, Japan, the first American president to do so while in office. In August 1945, the United States dropped an atomic bomb on the city to force Japan's surrender in World War II. Although their city lay in ruins, some Hiroshima schoolchildren drew pictures of hope and peace. The former students and their drawings are now part of a documentary called “Pictures from a Hiroshima Schoolyard.” VOA's Deborah Block has the story.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese Rapper Performs for Obama

    A prominent young Vietnamese artist told President Obama said she faced roadblocks as a woman rapper, and asked the president about government support for the arts. He asked her to rap, and he even offered to provide a base beat for her. Watch what happened.
    Video

    Video Roots Run Deep for Tunisia's Dwindling Jewish Community

    This week, hundreds of Jewish pilgrims are defying terrorist threats to celebrate an ancient religious festival on the Tunisian island of Djerba. The festivities cast a spotlight on North Africa's once-vibrant Jewish population that has all but died out in recent decades. Despite rising threats of militant Islam and the country's battered economy, one of the Arab world's last Jewish communities is staying put and nurturing a new generation. VOA’s Lisa Bryant reports.
    Video

    Video Meet Your New Co-Worker: The Robot

    Increasing numbers of robots are joining the workforce, as companies scale back and more processes become automated. The latest robots are flexible and collaborative, built to work alongside humans as opposed to replacing them. VOA’s Tina Trinh looks at the next generation of automated employees helping out their human colleagues.
    Video

    Video Wheelchair Technology in Tune With Times

    Technologies for the disabled, including wheelchair technology, are advancing just as quickly as everything else in the digital age. Two new advances in wheelchairs offer improved control and a more comfortable fit. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Baby Boxes Offer Safe Haven for Unwanted Children

    No one knows exactly how many babies are abandoned worldwide each year. The statistic is a difficult one to determine because it is illegal in most places. Therefore unwanted babies are often hidden and left to die. But as Erika Celeste reports from Woodburn, Indiana, a new program hopes to make surrendering infants safer for everyone.
    Video

    Video California Celebration Showcases Local Wines, Balloons

    Communities in the U.S. often hold festivals to show what makes them special. In California, for example, farmers near Fresno celebrate their figs and those around Gilmore showcase their garlic. Mike O'Sullivan reports that the wine-producing region of Temecula offers local vintages in an annual festival where rides on hot-air balloons add to the excitement.
    Video

    Video US Elementary School Offers Living Science Lessons

    Zero is not a good score on a test at school. But Discovery Elementary is proud of its “net zero” rating. Net zero describes a building in which the amount of energy provided by on-site renewable sources equals the amount of energy the building uses. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, the innovative features in the building turn the school into a teaching tool, where kids can't help but learn about science and sustainability. Faith Lapidus narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora