Iraq rejects Israeli role in Gulf flotilla to protect Hormuz Aug 13, 2019 0 855 12345 AFPBaghdadIraq rejects any Israeli participation in a naval force to protect shipping in the Strait of Hormuz, at the heart of tensions with Iran, Foreign Minister Mohammed Ali al-Hakim said on Monday.Tensions have escalated in past months, with drones downed and tankers mysteriously attacked in Gulf and nearby waters.Washington and its Arab allies in the Gulf have accused the Islamic republic of carrying out the tanker attacks, which Tehran denies.The US has since sought to assemble an international coalition it says is to guarantee freedom of navigation in the Gulf.Israel has made no official announcement on the operation, although Israeli media have reported a possible role for the Jewish state.Iraq “rejects any participation of forces of the Zionist entity in any military force to secure passage of ships in the Arabian Gulf”, Hakim said on Twitter.“Together, the Gulf states can secure the passage of ships,” he said.He added that “Iraq will work to lower tensions in our region through calm negotiations”, while “the presence of Western forces in the region would raise tensions”.Tehran and Washington have been at loggerheads since President Donald Trump unilaterally withdrew the US from a nuclear accord between Iran and world powers in May 2018, reimposing biting sanctions.If the coalition is formed, each country would provide a military escort for its commercial ships through the Gulf with the support of the US military, which would carry out aerial surveillance and command operations.Britain has said it will take part, but other European countries have so far kept out, fearing it might harm efforts to reach a negotiated settlement with Iran.On Thursday, Iran’s Defence Minister Amir Hatami said the formation of a US-led flotilla in the Gulf would “increase insecurity” and any Israeli involvement could have “disastrous consequences” for the region. POST A COMMENT RELATED ARTICLES US turning Gulf region into ‘tinderbox’, says Iran’s FM Aug 13, 2019 0 167 US delegation in Turkey for work on Syria ‘safe zone centre’ Aug 13, 2019 0 212 Yemen separatists say ready for talks after Aden ‘coup’ Aug 13, 2019 0 176 Eight killed as militants attack army base, village in Nigeria Kano: Eight people, including three soldiers, were killed in jihadist attacks on an army base and village in northeast Nigeria ahead of Monday’s Eid al-Adha festival, military sources said. In a separate assault on .. Seven dead in Congo lake boat capsize Bukavu: Seven people drowned after a transport boat sank after hitting rocks on a lake in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo over the weekend, local authorities said on Monday. Lake and river transport is widely .. Israel delays ouster of Filipina worker, Israeli-born son Jerusalem: The deportation of a Filipina migrant worker and her Israeli-born teenage son was delayed at the 11th hour to await a final decision on their fate, an association said on Monday. Rosemarie Perez was arrested by .. Libya airport reopens after truce-violating rocket fire AFP Tripoli Flights have resumed from the Libyan capital’s sole functioning airport as calm returned on Monday to the outskirts of Tripoli after a temporary truce was violated the previous day. “Reopening airspace at .. France should bring back militants facing hanging in Iraq: UN expert Paris: French authorities should try to bring back seven of their nationals sentenced to death in Iraq for joining the Islamic State extremist group, a UN expert said on Monday. Eleven French citizens were sentenced to ..