(AP) -- France is committing $1 billion euros ($1.15 billion) to help Iraq rebuild after its war against the Islamic State group, Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said Monday. Le Drian was in Baghdad on a busy day that also saw Iraq's top officials receiving King Abdullah II of Jordan. The French diplomat said the aid would go to rebuilding Iraq's most devastated areas.
By Natasha Turak
President Donald Trump speaks during a press conference in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, DC, on January 4, 2019 following a meeting with Congressional leaders on the government shutdown.
The United States has started the "deliberate withdrawal" process of its forces from Syria, US military officials confirmed on Friday, but they refused to provide any details on exactly what troops and equipment were being moved. "Out of concern for operational security, we will not discuss specific timelines, locations or troop movements," military spokesman Sean Ryan said in a statement.
By Marlo Safi
On Thursday Secretary of State Mike Pompeo visited the recently opened Coptic Cathedral of the Nativity, not far from Cairo. "It is a very special thing to have this in the heart of the Middle East, this enormous cathedral where people can come worship in Egypt," he told the press. "It's a land of religious freedom and opportunity. It's remarkable.
(AFP) -- Iraqi special forces deployed Thursday in Kirkuk after the raising of the Kurdish flag over a political party headquarters revived tensions more than a year after Baghdad seized the disputed northern city.
If 2014 was "the black year" with the flight of the bishop, priests and faithful following the rise of the Islamic State (IS, ex Isis), then 2019 will be the year "of our rebirth, of pastoral and social challenges, of the return of the refugees," says Fr. Paul Thabit Mekko, the head of the Christian community in Karamles, on the Nineveh plain, in northern Iraq.
The Assyrian community, a Christian group concentrated in southeastern Turkey, has seen its numbers rise again in recent years with those who emigrated to other cities and countries returning. In Mardin, the centuries-old hometown of the ancient community, those who left years ago amid lack of security and economic prospects have started returning home in the past fifteen years.
By Berk Ozkan
Construction of the first-ever church built in Republican-era Turkey will begin at the end of the February, said an official in Turkey's largest metropolis on Tuesday. The paperwork has been done and a permit issued, Bulent Kerimoglu, the mayor of Istanbul's Bakirkoy municipality, told reporters while meeting with Yusuf Cetin, the Syriac Orthodox Church's metropolitan for Istanbul and the capital...
In a move described as an insult to Iraq's history, several churches have been put up for sale to be converted into commercial or residential units. Joseph Saliwa, a Christian who formerly served in parliament, accused the Christian clergy of being complicit in the "sale and destruction of churches in Iraq.
Kurdish security forces in Erbil are continuing to torture children to confess their involvement with Islamic State, according to allegations in a report released by Human Rights Watch. According to the organisation, which first raised the alarm about the mistreatment of child detainees by Kurdish security forces nearly two years ago, it has collected claims of the continued regular use of...
By Dale Gavlak
AMMAN -- Growing numbers of Christians in North America and Europe are joining Christians in Syria's northeast in expressing concern for the future of religious minorities and Kurds in that region should the U.S. give Turkey the "green light" to take over the fight against Islamic State.
By Patrick Cockburn
Turkey is recruiting and retraining Isis fighters to lead its invasion of the Kurdish enclave of Afrin in northern Syria, according to an ex-Isis source. "Most of those who are fighting in Afrin against the YPG [People's Protection Units] are Isis, though Turkey has trained them to change their assault tactics," said Faraj, a former Isis fighter from north-east Syria who remains in close touch...