Iraq gets US sanctions break to keep the lights on | AFP

[Written with my colleague Ammar Karim and published here on November 8, 2018]

Iraq has won an exemption allowing it to buy Iranian electricity despite US sanctions, as the country plagued by chronic power shortages walks a tightrope between rivals Washington and Tehran.

With US measures imposed Monday taking aim at Iran’s banking and energy industries, there were concerns Iraq — which heavily relies on its eastern neighbour for electricity and consumer goods — would be caught in the crossfire.

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US steps closer to arming vetted Syrian rebels | NOW News

[Published here June 2, 2014]

The American government may be getting closer to a broad train-and-equip program for vetted members of Syria’s armed opposition, according to US officials. The plan would constitute a move from a Title 50 action, run covertly by the Central Intelligence Agency and training a very limited number of rebels, to a Title 10 action run overtly by the Department of Defense that would target more scrutinized groups.

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