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PIA launches direct flights to Iraq’s Najaf

KARACHI: Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) has launched regular flights to Najaf city in Iraq. The first scheduled flight which had departed for Najaf on October 30, returned to Karachi on Sunday morning. PIA had been previously operating special flights to

Iraqi forces capture senior ISIS leader

BAGHDAD: Iraqi security forces have captured a senior member of the Islamic State group who was a deputy to slain leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and oversaw its finances, Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi said. Sami Jasim was detained in “a

Iraq caps foreign pilgrim numbers at 40,000 for Arbaeen

BAGHDAD: Iraq will allow only 40,000 foreigners, 30,000 from Iran, to attend the Arbaeen pilgrimage later this month in the Shia shrine city of Karbala due to the pandemic. Arbaeen marks the end of the 40-day mourning period for the

Pakistan, Iraq FMs express concern over Afghan situation

ISLAMABAD: Iraqi Foreign Minister Fuad Hussein on Wednesday said the situation in Afghanistan was a cause for concern due to the use of violence to resolve the conflict. The Iraqi foreign minister arrived in Islamabad earlier for a two-day visit

Biden seals deal to officially end US combat mission in Iraq

WASHINGTON: US President Joe Biden and Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi sealed an agreement formally ending the US combat mission in Iraq by the end of 2021, more than 18 years after US troops were sent to the country. Coupled

At least 44 killed, dozens injured in coronavirus hospital fire in Iraq

NASSIRIYA: At least 44 people were killed and over 67 injured in a fire likely caused by an oxygen tank explosion at a coronavirus hospital in Iraq’s southern city of Nassiriya, health officials and police said. Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi

US troops come under fire in Syria after strikes against militias

WASHINGTON: US troops came under rocket fire in Syria but escaped injury in apparent retaliation for US airstrikes against Iran-aligned armed groups in Syria and Iraq. A US military spokesman said US forces had responded to the multiple rockets by

US carries out airstrikes against militia in Iraq, Syria

WASHINGTON: The United States said it carried out another round of airstrikes against Iran-backed militia in Iraq and Syria, in response to drone attacks by the militia against US personnel and facilities in Iraq. In a statement, the US military

FM Qureshi, Iraqi ministers agree to expand bilateral cooperation

ISLAMABAD: Foreign Minister Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Qureshi held separate meetings with his Iraqi defence and interior ministers during his official visit and reviewed the progress made on various aspects between the two countries.  The foreign minister met with Minister of

Qureshi meets Iraqi PM, suggests framework for political consultations

BAGHDAD: Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi met Prime Minister of Iraq Mustafa Al-Kadhimi and proposed the development of an overarching framework of political consultations and bilateral cooperation at the foreign ministers’ level. The meeting took place as the foreign minister

FM Qureshi arrives in Baghdad to hold talks with Iraqi leadership

ISLAMABAD: Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi has arrived in Baghdad on a three-day official visit to Iraq. During the visit, the foreign minister will hold detailed discussions on bilateral cooperation with his Iraqi counterpart Fuad Hussein. He will also review

Iraqi judge who presided over Saddam Hussein’s trial dies of COVID-19

BAGHDAD: A retired Iraqi judge who presided over the trial of Iraq’s late dictator Saddam Hussein has died after battling COVID-19. According to Iraq’s Supreme Judicial Council, Judge Mohammed Oreibi al-Khalifa, 52, passed away in a hospital in Baghdad where

CJCSC discusses regional security with Iraqi authorities

RAWALPINDI: Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee (CJCSC) General Nadeem Raza, who is on an official visit to Iraq, held talks with Iraqi military and civil leadership. According to Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), General Nadeem Raza called on Defence Minister

Pakistan dispatches COVID-19 relief goods to Iraq

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan will dispatch three planes load of COVID-related relief goods to Iraq on the directives of Prime Minister Imran Khan to help the country in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic.  The first planeload was dispatched on Saturday in

Pope Francis visits Iraq’s ruined city of Mosul

MOSUL: Pope Francis, on a historic trip to Iraq, flew into the city of Mosul by helicopter to encourage the binding of sectarian wounds and to pray for the dead of any religion. Muslim and Christian residents of Mosul told

Pope Francis holds historic meeting with Iraq’s top Shia cleric

NAJAF: Pope Francis held a historic meeting with Iraq’s top Shia cleric Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani on Saturday, in a powerful appeal for coexistence in a country torn by sectarianism and violence. The meeting in the holy city of Najaf,

Pope Francis calls for end to violence, extremism in Iraq

BAGHDAD: Pope Francis began his most risky foreign trip flying into Iraq amid the tightest security ever seen for a papal visit to appeal to the country’s leaders and people to end violence and religious strife. The country has deployed

‘I come as a pilgrim of peace,’ says Pope Francis ahead of Iraq visit

ROME: On the eve of his historic trip to Iraq, Pope Francis paid tribute to those who have suffered from years of violence, saying he came as a “pilgrim of peace”. In a video message, the 84-year-old offered his hand

US reduces troops to 2,500 in Afghanistan and Iraq

WASHINGTON: The US military has cut troop levels in Afghanistan and Iraq to 2,500 each, their lowest levels in the nearly two decades since the wars began, the Pentagon announced. Outgoing President Donald Trump, seeking to fulfill a campaign promise

Pakistan among top five dangerous countries for journalism

BRUSSELS: The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) has released a ‘White Paper on Global Journalism’ listing five countries, including Pakistan and India, as the ‘Most Dangerous Countries for Practice of Journalism in the World’. The white paper marks the 30th

Iraq’s Yazidi community crown new spiritual leader

ERBIL: The minority Yazidis crowned a new spiritual leader at their holiest site of Lalish in northern Iraq, nearly two months after the death of their top cleric. Ali Alyas was formally named as the Yazidi “Baba Sheikh,” the title

Trump to reduce troop levels in Afghanistan, Iraq

WASHINGTON:  President Donald Trump will sharply reduce the number of U.S. forces in Afghanistan from 4,500 to 2,500 by mid-January, the Pentagon announced. Trump stopped short of a threatened full withdrawal from America’s longest war after fierce opposition from allies

US pledges to reduce Iraq troops in coming months

WASHINGTON: The United States said it would reduce troops in Iraq in the coming months as tension between the two countries eased under a new US-friendly prime minister in Baghdad. The US also promised support to prop up the struggling

Tawfiq Allawi appointed as Iraq’s new prime minister

BAGHDAD: Iraq’s President Barham Salih has appointed Mohammed Tawfiq Allawi as the country’s new prime minister, ending more than two months of uncertainty and political deadlock. The announcement comes as Iraqis continue anti-government protests two months after former Prime Minister

11 US troops wounded in Iran’s attack on Iraq base: US Command

At least 11 members of the US troop were wounded in the Iranian attack on two Iraqi bases where US troops were deployed, US Central Command said. US Central Command Spokesperson, Captain Bill Urban in a statement said, “While no

Trump says Iran appears to be standing down; no US casualties

WASHINGTON: President Donald Trump said on Wednesday Iran appeared to be “standing down” after missile strikes on US troop bases in Iraq that resulted in no American or Iraqi deaths. “All of our soldiers are safe and only minimal damage

Pakistani citizens advised against traveling to Iraq

ISLAMABAD: Foreign Office spokesperson Ayesha Farooqi has advised Pakistani citizens to refrain from planning a visit to Iraq due to armed conflict between the United States and Iran. Ayesha Farooqi in a tweet advised remaining in close contact with Pakistan

Petroleum prices jump high as Iran strikes US bases in Iraq

TOKYO: Petroleum prices jumped to their highest level on Wednesday in months after Iran attacked American forces in Iraq in response to a U.S. strike last week killed an Iranian general, raising the looming threat of a spiraling conflict and

Donald Trump responds to Iran’s missile attack in Iraq

WASHINGTON: Iran attacked two US military bases in Iraq on Wednesday at about 1:30 a.m local time. This attack was a retaliation for America’s recent drone attack on Iranian commander Qasem Soleimani. While the Pentagon announced, “Iran launched more than

Soleimani’s assassination

The assassination of Iranian general Qassem Soleimani by a US airstrike in Baghdad is a turning point in the Middle East geopolitics. Tensions between the US and Iran have escalated dramatically placing the entire region onto the brink of war.