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Iran’s allies on high alert in Trump’s final weeks in office

 Iran has instructed allies across the Middle East to be on high alert and avoid provoking tensions with the U.S. that could give an outgoing Trump administration cause to launch attacks in the U.S. president's final weeks in office, Iraqi officials have said.

Pentagon to cut troop levels to 2,500 in Iraq, Afghanistan

Acting Defense Secretary Christopher Miller said Tuesday the U.S. will reduce troop levels in Iraq and Afghanistan by mid-January, asserting that the decision fulfills President Donald Trump’s pledge to bring forces home from America's long wars even as Republicans and U.S. allies warn of the dangers of withdrawing before conditions are right.

U.S. warns Iraq of Baghdad embassy closure if attacks continue

The Trump administration has warned Iraq that it will close its embassy in Baghdad if the government does not take swift and decisive action to end persistent rocket and other attacks by Iranian-backed militias and rogue armed elements on American and allied interests in the country, U.S., Iraqi and other officials said Monday.

US plans further troop reductions in Iraq by November

The United States plans to reduce its military force in Iraq from the current 5,200 to about 3,500 by November, U.S. officials said Friday. The cut would be in line with President Donald Trump's repeated call to bring troops home and his reelection campaign pledge to end what he calls “endless wars.”

Ford, Bush presidential adviser Brent Scowcroft dies at 95

Brent Scowcroft, who played a prominent role in American foreign policy as national security adviser to Presidents Gerald Ford and George H.W. Bush and was a Republican voice against the 2003 invasion of Iraq, has died, a Bush spokesperson said Friday. He was 95.

World responds to Lebanon’s plight, France’s Macron to visit

As Lebanese rescuers counted the dead and combed rubble for signs of life a day after a huge explosion shattered swaths of Beirut, nations near and far pledged Wednesday that the country, already trapped in a deep economic crisis, would not be left alone.

International Criminal Court condemns US sanctions order

The International Criminal Court has condemned the Trump administration’s decision to authorize sanctions against court staff, saying it amounted to “an unacceptable attempt to interfere with the rule of law and the Court’s judicial proceedings.”

US awards 29 Purple Hearts for brain injuries in Iran attack

Six Army soldiers who were injured in a ballistic missile attack in Iraq in January have been awarded Purple Hearts, and 23 others have been approved for the award and will get them later this week, U.S. Central Command said Monday.

U.S. general: U.S. strikes destroy weapons depots, more remain

The U.S. retaliatory airstrikes against militants in Iraq destroyed five weapons depots, but the top U.S commander for the Middle East acknowledged Friday that there are many similar sites that the U.S. has so far not hit because of potential civilian casualties and political sensitivities with the Iraqi government.

Officials: U.S. strikes Iran-backed group that hit Iraq base

The U.S. launched airstrikes in Iraq Thursday, American officials said, targeting the Iranian-backed Shia militia members believed responsible for the rocket attack that killed and wounded American and British troops at a base north of Baghdad.

US speeds cases of translators, others blocked by travel ban

President Donald Trump’s administration has agreed to speed up the cases of some former interpreters for the U.S. military in Iraq and hundreds of other refugees whose efforts to move to the United States have been in limbo since he announced his travel bans three years ago.

Iraqi officials say Baghdad wants to minimize reliance on US

The Iraqi government has told its military not to seek assistance from the U.S.-led coalition in operations against the Islamic State group, two senior Iraqi military officials said, amid a crisis of mistrust between Washington and Baghdad after an American strike killed a top Iranian general and an Iraqi militia commander.

U.S. general slips into Iraq for talks to salvage relations

The top U.S. commander for the Middle East slipped quietly into Iraq Tuesday, as the Trump administration works to salvage relations with Iraqi leaders and shut down the government’s push for an American troop withdrawal.

Brain injuries in Iraq put attention on invisible war wounds

The spotlight on brain injuries suffered by American troops in Iraq this month is an example of America’s episodic attention to this invisible war wound, which has affected hundreds of thousands over the past two decades but is not yet fully understood.