Iranian Minister of Foreign Affairs Mohammad Javad Zarif looks on as he attends the Executive Committee Meeting of Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) on August 1, 2017 in Istanbul. (Photo by AFP)

Here is a brief look at Press TV newsroom's headlines from 09:00 GMT to 17:00 GMT, August 16, 2017.

Iran US Warning

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif says the United States is a signatory to the nuclear deal and, therefore, cannot ignore its commitments. Zarif said the US actions are a clear proof of why Iran does not trust Washington. He stressed that the US administration’s policies stem from its illusions. The Iranian foreign minister also hailed the parliament for approving a motion last week in response to the latest US sanctions. Zarif highlighted the nuclear deal as the greatest achievement of his term in office, which resulted in the removal of all nuclear-related sanctions. He also referred to the instability in the region, saying regional cooperation will restore security and stability to the Middle East.

Israeli Demolition Policy

Israeli troops have demolished the home of a Palestinian man in the occupied West Bank. The Israeli military says the house belonged to Omar al-Abed; the man who carried out a stabbing attack leading to the death of three settlers back in July. Palestinians reacted to the demolition by throwing stones at the Israeli soldiers. Abed was shot and injured after the stabbing attack and later arrested by the Israeli troops. He was accused by the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of inciting hatred. Abed’s family is also expected to be charged for failing to stop him from carrying out the attack. Tel Aviv regularly demolishes homes of Palestinians, who carry out attacks against Israeli settlers and security personnel. Palestinians, however, strongly slam the move, saying it amounts to collective punishment.

Fight against Terror

Lebanese forces have freed a number of strategic locations from Daesh Takfiri terrorists. According to Syrian media, the Lebanese army carried out a successful operation Wednesday morning, gaining fresh ground near the Syrian border. The army had earlier announced the discovery of bombs and explosive belts on the edge of the border town of Arsal. The developments followed a recent deal between the Lebanese Resistance Movement, Hezbollah, and the Nusra Front, which saw the terrorists relocated from Arsal to Syria’s Idlib.

Afghanistan Mass Graves

Afghan security forces have discovered three mass graves containing the bodies of last week’s massacre, carried out by Taliban-Daesh militants in the country’s north. Officials say one of the graves contained 28 bodies and another one eight. Most of the victims, including three children are said to be beheaded. A third mass grave was also located in an area under the Taliban control. Security forces are searching for more graves. At least 62 people were killed after a group of Taliban militants who pledged allegiance to Daesh raided a village in the Mirza Olang district in Sar-e Pol province. Many others were taken hostage but later released.

US Japan Drills

The annual joint military exercises by the United States and Japan have entered their sixth day. The weeks-long maneuvers on the Japanese island of Hokkaido involve more than 2,000 US Marines as well as 1500 Japanese troops. The exercises aim to test the inter-operability between the two militaries and boost their bilateral capability to work together in a variety of areas, including peacekeeping operations and disaster relief. The drills will run until the 28th of August. The maneuvers come against the backdrop of growing tensions on the Korean peninsula.

Turkey Referendum Warning

Ankara has warned that a plan by Iraq's Kurdish region to hold an independence referendum could lead to a civil war. Turkish foreign minister Mevlut Chavushoglu argues that Iraq has been through so many problems and the vote can make the situation even worse. This has been Ankara’s strongest warning against the poll. On Tuesday, a Turkish government spokesman said Kurdistan's independence violates Iraq’s constitution and will further destabilize the region. The leadership of Iraq's semi-autonomous Kurdistan region has announced a referendum to be held on September 25 despite international warnings.

Saudi Kidnapping

New information has come to light regarding the disappearance of three dissident Saudi princes. According to British media, the three members of the Al-Saud dynasty were kidnapped by the Saudi government and returned to the country against their will. Prince Sultan bin Turki bin Abdulaziz, Prince Turki bin Bandar and Prince Saud bin Saif al-Nasr had vanished over the past two years. The alleged abductions are seen as an attempt by Riyadh to silence high-profile defectors. Prince Sultan, the most high-ranking of the three, had been calling for reform in the authoritarian Kingdom for a long time. He had previously filed a criminal complaint in Switzerland, accusing his family members of drugging him and bundling him onto a plane bound for Riyadh in 2003.

US Kills Civilians

A US-led coalition airstrike on the Syrian city of Raqqah has left more than 40 people dead in two days. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says many of those killed in the airstrike were women and children. Less than a week ago, over 60 civilians were killed by US-led coalition airstrikes against Daesh positions in the city. The US has been accused of failing to take precaution to avoid civilian deaths in the battle to retake the ISIL-held city. According to the UK-based Observatory, some 600 civilians are among the 1600 people killed in Raqqah since the operation to retake the city began in early June.


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