Moqtada al-Sadr, an Iraqi Shia leader, returns to Iran.
Sources: Al Jazeera
Sources: Al Jazeera
U.S., Canadian, British and Iraqi officials say they believe the plane crash near Tehran in which 176 were killed yesterday was likely caused accidentally by an Iranian anti-aircraft missile, while Iran says it was due to "mechanical failure".
Canada's government adds Neo-Nazi groups Blood & Honour and Combat 18 to its list of designated terrorist organizations. It is the first time that extreme far-right groups have been designated as terrorist in Canada. Three Shia militant groups, including the Iranian-backed Al-Ashtar Brigades are also banned.
United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who originally expected to be in Berlin today, makes an emergency trip to Iraq amid escalating tensions with Iran. Earlier this week, the U.S. deployed a bomber task force and the USS "Abraham Lincoln" Carrier Strike Group to the region. In today's meeting with Iraqi Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi and President Barham Salih, Pompeo reaffirmed the longstanding U.S. policy to ensure nobody interferes in their country.
United States President Barack Obama, at the Gulf Cooperation Council Summit in Saudi Arabia, says the United States will continue to deter and confront aggression against Gulf Arab states; joins others in warning the fragile cease-fire in Syria is on the verge of collapse; pledges vigilance about Iran's destabilizing activities in the Middle East; wants Gulf allies to offer more democratic reforms and improve human rights; and, says the U.S. and its Gulf partners should wait to see whether Iraq can resolve its political crisis before committing more financial aid which is impeding the fight against ISIL.
Macedonia, Serbia, Croatia, and Slovenia shut their borders to so-called economic migrants, those not coming from war-torn countries such as Syria, Afghanistan, or Iraq, leaving thousands stranded at Balkan border crossings. Around 500 migrants from Iran, Morocco, and Algeria gather on the border between Greece and Macedonia to protest the closure.