Iraqi Army Forces, Allies Launch Operation to Capture Daesh Militants in Central Part of the Country

Iraqi government forces, backed by allied voluntary fighters from Popular Mobilization Units, have mounted a large-scale offensive in the central part of the country to hunt down the remnants of the Daesh Takfiri terrorist group.

The media bureau of Iraq's Joint Operations Command (JOC) said in a statement on Wednesday that army, federal police, special forces, Kurdish Peshmerga forces and Hashd al-Sha’abi fighters had launched “a vast operation to clear out the region east of the Diyala-Kirkuk” highway, Press TV reported.

The statement added that the operation, dubbed "Vengeance for the Martyrs," is backed by Iraqi Air Force fighter jets and helicopter gunships.

US won’t succeed in cutting off Iran’s ties with world: Rouhani

TEHRAN– Iranian President Rouhani said Tue. that the US will not succeed in cutting off Iran’s engagement with the world, adding that US attempt at isolating Iran will come with severe consequences.

The Iranian President Hassan Rouhani made the remarks on Tuesday night in a cordial meeting with Iranians living in Austria, according to the Mehr News Agency.

He went on to add, “the Zionists, Americans and a few other countries have always sought to weaken or cut off, if possible, Iran’s ties with other countries in the world, but we always made efforts to foil this policy and introduce Iran in its rightful place as an effective country in regional and global developments.”

Saudi Arabia, UAE Use Bahrain as ‘Trial Balloons’ for Warmer Ties with "Israel": Report

Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates are using Bahrain as "trial balloons" for warmer ties with Israel, the Haaretz daily reports.

An Israeli delegation traveled to Bahrain for a UNESCO event in Manama last month, with the paper describing the visit as “not trivial” because it could signal a shift with regard to the “tiny” Gulf state's treatment of Israel, according to Press TV.

“Arab countries that don’t officially recognize Israel have insisted over the years on not granting entry to Israelis, even when hosting major international events,” the Israeli newspaper wrote.

It quoted experts in Washington as saying that even though official relations between Bahrain and Israel aren’t “around the corner,” ties are indeed getting warmer.

UAE Halts Hudaydah Push amid Stiff Houthi Resistance

The United Arab Emirates has announced a pause in its weeks-long military campaign on Hudaydah amid reports that the Saudi-led push has hit a brick wall in the face of stiff resistance from Yemen's Houthis.

In a post on his Twitter account on Sunday, UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash said that the halt in the offensive was meant to give a chance to UN efforts aimed at resolving the conflict.

"We welcome continuing efforts by UN Special Envoy, Martin Griffiths, to achieve an unconditional Houthi withdrawal from Hudaydah city and port," he said.

Iran to Host 6-Party Anti-Terror Conference

Iran will play host to the next meeting of the parliament speakers of six regional countries on the ways to combat the threat of terrorism and coordinate counterterrorism efforts, an MP said.

The next six-party conference on regional cooperation in the fight against terrorism will be held in Tehran in early 2019, Ardeshir Nourian, member of the Iranian Parliament’s National Security and Foreign Policy commission told Tasnim.

He also hoped that Tehran conference could lay the ground for the establishment of a regional organization for countering extremism and terrorism.