U.S. Foreign Policy Correspondent
Arshad's Feed
Sep 5, 2014

Turkey may play quiet role in U.S. coalition against Islamic State

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Turkey may find it hard to play a public role in the coalition the United States is building to strike at Islamic State targets in Iraq and possibly Syria for fear the militant group might retaliate against dozens of Turks held hostage.

President Barack Obama has said he hopes to devise a regional strategy to try to counter IS, which has seized swathes of territory in Iraq and Syria, but current and former U.S. officials say they expect Turkey to avoid any major public role.

Aug 15, 2014

U.S. aid to Iraq may speed up despite billions already spent

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States may accelerate U.S. economic and military aid to Iraq with the end of Nuri al-Maliki’s eight-year reign but will first want proof that the country’s new leaders have abandoned his sectarian ways.

Maliki’s surprise announcement that he would give way to Haider Abadi as Iraq’s prime minister removes the man blamed by Washington for the revival of vicious sectarianism in Iraq and the advance of the Islamic State deep into Iraqi territory.

Aug 14, 2014

U.S. says rescue mission for Iraq’s Yazidis less likely after visit

By Arshad Mohammed and Jeff Mason

WASHINGTON/EDGARTOWN Mass. (Reuters) – A U.S. mission to evacuate Iraqi civilians trapped on a mountain by Sunni militant fighters is far less likely after a U.S. assessment team sent there on Wednesday found the humanitarian situation not as grave as expected, the Pentagon said.

A team of U.S. military and humanitarian aid personnel sent to Mount Sinjar in northern Iraq to assess the situation of thousand of members of the Yazidi religious minority found far fewer people than previously feared and in better condition than expected, the Pentagon said in a statement.

Aug 13, 2014

U.S. team lands on Iraqi mountain where Yazidis are trapped

By Arshad Mohammed and Jeff Mason

WASHINGTON/EDGARTOWN Mass. (Reuters) – A team of U.S. military and humanitarian aid personnel landed on Iraq’s Mount Sinjar early on Wednesday to assess how to evacuate thousands of civilians under siege from Sunni militant fighters, a U.S. official said.

The United States has not ruled out using American ground forces in an operation to extract the trapped civilians, but they will not engage in combat, the White House said.

Aug 7, 2014

Russian retaliation against sanctions hurts its own economy -U.S.

WASHINGTON, Aug 7 (Reuters) – The White House made the case
on Thursday that Western sanctions against Russia for
destabilizing Ukraine have had a significant impact on its
economy and that Russian retaliation by banning many Western
food imports will only boomerang.

Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered his government to
adopt the ban in response to Western economic sanctions on
Russia’s defense, oil and financial sectors over Moscow’s
support for rebels waging an insurrection in eastern Ukraine.

Aug 2, 2014

U.S. struggles in Middle East, with fewer allies and less influence

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S failure to secure a firm ceasefire in the Gaza Strip despite two weeks of intense diplomacy reflects new regional dynamics in which the world’s most powerful actor has diminished influence and fewer allies.

    When Secretary of State John Kerry left Washington on July 21 on a mission to try to halt the latest Israeli-Palestinian war, more than 400 Palestinians had been killed, mostly civilians, along with 20 Israelis, 18 of them soldiers.

Jul 26, 2014

International players urge extension of Gaza ceasefire

PARIS (Reuters) – U.S., European and regional powers seeking to mediate an end to the conflict in Gaza called on Israel and Hamas on Saturday to extend their 12-hour ceasefire in a bid to win time and discuss each side’s grievances.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has pushed efforts to end 19 days of conflict in which 940 Palestinians, many of them civilians, have been killed. He met counterparts from Europe and Qatar and Turkey – prime interlocutors with Hamas – at French-hosted talks in Paris.

Jul 24, 2014

Ending bloodshed in Gaza rests on a face-saving truce

CAIRO (Reuters) – A possible truce to halt bloodshed in Gaza during the Muslim Eid al-Fitr holiday next week hinges on complex negotiations that have to give Hamas, Israel and regional powers a chance to claim political and military victories.

Egypt is trying to broker a temporary humanitarian truce which would start during one of Islam’s biggest celebrations following the fasting month of Ramadan, in the hope that it will facilitate more permanent ceasefire talks.

Jul 22, 2014

Kerry urges Hamas to end conflict, has ‘constructive’ Egypt talks

CAIRO (Reuters) – U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry urged Hamas on Tuesday to pursue a negotiated end to its conflict with Israel after what he said were constructive talks with Egyptian officials about their ceasefire proposal.

After meeting Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, whose country has some leverage over Hamas through its control of a border crossing from Egypt to the Gaza Strip, Kerry said there was still “work to do” to resolve the conflict.

Jul 21, 2014

Kerry, in Cairo, presses for Gaza cease-fire

CAIRO (Reuters) – U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry began a diplomatic push on Monday to secure a cease-fire between Israel and Hamas, but senior U.S. officials acknowledged this would be difficult.

More than 500 people have died in the Gaza Strip fighting, the vast majority of them Palestinians, as Israel has pursued an air and ground offensive to stop rocket attacks on its territory from the Hamas-dominated Gaza Strip.

    • About Arshad

      "I cover U.S. foreign policy for Reuters from a base at the State Department. I joined Reuters in 1988 and have worked as a correspondent in New York, Paris, Algiers and Washington, where I have covered the White House (1996-2002) and the State Department (2002-2005, 2006-present)."
    • Follow Arshad