Iraq’s Fatah Alliance says it will continue to fight the preliminary vote results and will not back down from protecting the ballots cast in Sunday’s general elections. Assadi said there were confusions and lack of transparency in the announcement of the results. He added that the alliance supports the country’s High Electoral Commission but would continue to file complaints and objections with regard to the vote outcome. Assadi also stressed that the alliance’s rejection of the results is not in opposition to any political faction. Leader of the Fatah alliance, Hadi al Amiri, had earlier called the results fabricated, and said he would reject them, whatever the cost. According to initial results and reports, Fatah suffered a decline from 48 to about a dozen seats in parliament. Senior cleric Muqtada al-Sadr’s bloc expanded its grip with 73 of the assembly's 329 seats.
Russia says the U-S policy of confrontation risks further degradation of ties between the two countries. Russian Deputy Foreign minister Sergey Ryabkov said his country will retaliate against any hostile US moves, but stressed that Moscow does not seek an escalation of tensions. Ryabkov also called for lifting all restrictions imposed on the operation of Russian and American missions in a reciprocal move. He said bilateral talks on the matter have been useful but led to no breakthroughs. Washington also said there was no headway in negotiations aimed at resolving a row over the size and functioning of the two countries’ embassies. Tensions have been running high between Russia and the U-S over a number of issues, including the conflict in eastern Ukraine.
Libya humanitarian crisis
The United Nations Children’s Fund warns that over one-thousand women and children in detention centers in Libya are at immediate risk. The UN agency said over 750 women and more than 250 children are among thousands of migrants recently imprisoned following mass arrests in Tripoli. It added that five unaccompanied children and at least 30 infants are among the detainees. Libyan officials began conducting sweeping raids in Tripoli, mostly targeting illegal migrants, earlier this month. According to rights groups, over 5,000 migrants are caught in violent mass arrests and are being kept in squalid conditions in Libya.