Occupation, Terrorism, Ethnic Cleansing Root Causes of Human Trafficking, Says Iran Envoy

Iran's Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the United Nations (UN) Gholamali Khoshroo pointed to occupation, wars of attrition, terrorism and ethnic cleansing as the main causes of human trafficking.

Addressing the Security Council’s Wednesday debate on the Human Trafficking in Conflict Situations, Khoshroo said that trafficking in persons, sexual abuse and slavery are cases of major international challenges.

Iraqi Forces Recapture Mosul's Train Station, Reach Great Mosque

Iraqi forces have managed to retake the train station in the flashpoint northern city of Mosul and surround the Great Mosque as they continue to purge Daesh terrorists from the city’s western section.

Lieutenant General Raed Shakir Jawdat, the commander of the federal police, said on Tuesday that his forces had wrested control of the train station and a nearby bus station, both situated southwest of Mosul's Old City.

Salam Jabr Saloom, the director general of Iraqi Republic Railways Company (IRR), highlighted the importance of the now recaptured train station, saying, it is the "main corridor from the north to the south and carries goods from Turkey and Syria to [the cities of] Baghdad and Basrah.”

The station was "exposed to many terrorist attacks before the entry of Daesh," due to its significance, Saloom added.

Daesh Uses Poisonous Gas in Attack on Iraqi Forces in Mosul

The Daesh (outlawed in Russia) terrorist group has deployed poisonous gas while fighting Iraqi government forces in Mosul, local media said Monday.

Daesh militants fired mortar shells containing a blue-colored poisonous gas in Mosul's Bab al-Toob district, the Rudaw channel reported.

The shells landed close to Rudaw's camera crew, with footage showing soldiers and crew members suffocating a minute after the plume of smoke appeared.

Regional, International Condemnation of Terrorist Bombings in Damascus

CAPITALS- The Iranian Foreign Ministry has strongly condemned the “heinous and shameful” Saturday terrorist attacks in the Syrian capital of Damascus, which resulted in fatalities among civilians.

 “Indiscriminate assassinations, carnage and spilling the blood of innocent people, including women and children, are the last resort of the desperate and miserable terrorists who have lost their control more than ever following their recurrent and disgraceful defeats in various fields,” Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Qassemi said on Saturday, according to Press TV.

"Terrorists and their overt and covert supporters know well that they are on the threshold of more failures and on the verge of ruin and undoubtedly full collapse,” he added.

Injudicious US Policies Root Cause of Mideast Tensions, Says Qassemi

The Iranian Foreign Ministry has dismissed the “spiteful” anti-Iran remarks by the head of the US Central Command, saying Washington's “injudicious and incorrect” policies are the root cause of tensions in the Middle East.

“The injudicious and incorrect US policies have been the main reason behind the volatile, tense and unstable situation in the Middle East region over the past decades and recent years,” Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Qassemi said on Saturday.

He added that the “wrong and meddlesome policies of US statesmen” have generated the current tensions in the region.

 “These mistakes are themselves a product of US officials’ excessive demands and lack of correct understanding and perception of the strategic and sensitive region of the Middle East and a result of relentless support for the [Israeli] regime occupying Jerusalem al-Quds,” the Iranian spokesperson added.