- December 15, 2017
The bombs ripped into crowded streets near Reyhanli’s shopping district in the early afternoon
Twin car bombs killed 43 people and wounded many more in a Turkish town near the Syrian border on Saturday and the government said it suspected Syrian involvement.
The bombing increased fears that Syria’s civil war was dragging in neighbouring states despite renewed diplomatic moves towards ending two years of fighting in which more than 70,000 people have been killed.
Secretary of State John Kerry is making his case to Russian President Vladimir Putin for Russia to take a tougher stance on Syria at a time when Israel’s weekend air strikes against the beleaguered Mideast nation have added an unpredictable factor to the talks.
Kerry arrived Tuesday in Moscow for talks with the most powerful ally of Syrian President Bashar Assad’s regime.
At least 17 people were killed by three bombs and a grenade attack on a mosque in the Iraqi capital Baghdad yesterday, medics and police said.
Unidentified assailants threw hand grenades at Sunni Muslim worshippers as they left a mosque yesterday evening, killing six people, police and medics said.
Earlier in the day, two car bombs exploded near police checkpoints at the entrance to the Shi'ite district of Hussainiya in the north of the city, killing one policeman and seven civilians.
The Israeli airstrike on Sunday signalled a sharp escalation of Israel’s involvement in Syria’s civil war
Syrian rebels shot down a military helicopter in the country’s east, killing eight government troops on board as President Bashar Assad’s troops battled opposition forces inside a sprawling military air base in the north for the second straight day, activists said Monday.
In the past months, rebels fighting to topple President Bashar Assad have frequently targeted military aircraft and air bases in an attempt to deprive his regime of a key weapon used to target opposition strongholds and reverse rebel gains in the 2-year-old conflict.
Google said it was 'following the lead of the UN' in changing its references from 'Palestinian Territories' to 'Palestine'
A senior Israeli official accused Google on Monday of setting back Middle East peace hopes by putting the name “Palestine” under the banner of its search page for the Palestinian territories.
Palestinians hailed Google’s move as a virtual victory on the long path to the state they seek in the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza Strip, which Israel seized in the 1967 war.
UN human rights investigators have gathered testimony from casualties of Syria’s civil war and medical staff indicating that rebel forces have used the nerve agent sarin, one of the lead investigators said on Sunday.
The United Nations independent commission of inquiry on Syria has not yet seen evidence of government forces having used chemical weapons, which are banned under international law, said commission member Carla Del Ponte.
Target was a Iranian-made missiles shipment believed to be on their way to Lebanon’s Hezbollah
An intelligence official in the Middle East has confirmed that Israel launched a second airstrike in three days Syria.
The official tells The Associated Press that the target of Sunday’s strike was a shipment of advanced guided Iranian-made missiles believed to be on their way to Lebanon’s Hezbollah militant group.
The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity in order to disclose information about a secret military operation to the media, says the strike took place in Damascus.
Footage showed Assad chatting casually with a group of employees, two days after his prime minister narrowly escaped assassination
Syrian President Bashar Assad made a rare public appearance at a Damascus power station on Wednesday, while two bombs exploded near the city centre, killing one and wounding over two dozen people, Syria's state news agency reported.
Footage of the visit broadcast on state television showed Assad chatting casually with a group of employees, two days after his prime minister narrowly escaped assassination by an explosion and a day after another major bombing in the capital took the lives of at least 14.
Sixteen people have died and three more missing after downpours caused flash floods in several areas of the desert kingdom
Sixteen people have died and three more are missing in Saudi Arabia after downpours caused flash floods in several areas of the desert kingdom, the civil defence authorities said on Wednesday.
Two others died in flash floods in neighbouring Oman, local media reported, as cloudbursts swept across most Gulf countries.
Nine Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces this year so far in the West Bank
Large numbers of Israeli security forces have been deployed in the West Bank after an Israeli settler was stabbed to death by a Palestinian amid fears that the killing could trigger widespread confrontations.
Eviatar Borovzky, 30, a father of five children and a part-time security guard at the hardline settlement of Yitzhar, near Nablus, died of his wounds at the scene of the attack. His assailant snatched the settler's gun and shot at nearby border police. They returned fire, wounding the Palestinian, who was detained and taken to hospital in Israel.
Traditionally regarded as loyal to Assad, Christians are facing aggression from Islamist rebels, and, whatever their sympathies, are becoming a trapped minority in a disintegrating country
Syrian Christians like to say that they belong to an ancient community that long pre-dates the arrival of Islam – and that whatever the outcome of the uprising against President Bashar al-Assad, they will still be there when it is over. But these are deeply unsettling times – highlighted by the case of the two bishops kidnapped on Monday in another alarming example of the human toll of a war without end.
The decision could imperil advances in the country’s media industry
Afghan President Hamid Karzai has agreed with a call from the country's conservative religious council for a crackdown on television stations, calling some of their programmes “immoral and un-Islamic”, officials said on Tuesday.
The decision by Karzai may alarm some of Afghanistan's international backers, who have invested heavily through 12 years of war in promoting liberal values and freedom of expression in Afghanistan's deeply conservative society.
2 guards injured in first such attack in Libyan capital since 2011 war
The French embassy in Libya was hit by a car bomb on Tuesday, injuring two guards in the first such attack in the Libyan capital since the 2011 war that led to the fall of Muammar Gaddafi.
The explosives-laden car was detonated just outside the embassy building in Tripoli's the smart resdiential area of al-Andalus, officials said.
Deal with Israeli authorities expected to be signed today
A Palestinian prisoner who refused food for months is expected to end his hunger strike today after a deal was reached with Israeli authorities for his early release, his lawyer said.
Samer Issawi began refusing food in August to protest his re-arrest. His strike became a rallying cry for Palestinians who protested, sometimes violently, on his behalf, seeing the 33-year-old from Jerusalem as a symbol of their struggle. Israel was worried there would be wide unrest if anything happened to Issawi.
Officials confirm after civilian transport helicopter is forced to land in Taliban-controlled area
A civilian transport helicopter was forced to make an emergency landing in a Taliban-controlled area of eastern Afghanistan, and the insurgents took all nine people who were on board hostage, officials said today.
The aircraft landed in strong winds and heavy rain on Sunday in a village in the Azra district of Logar province, southeast of Kabul and about 30 kilometers from the Pakistan border, said district governor Hamidullah Hamid.
Hagel emphasises Israel’s right to self-defence, stresses military force as last resort
U.S. Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel said Sunday the United States and Israel see “exactly the same” threat from Iran, but differ on when it may reach the point of requiring U.S. or Israeli military action.
Hagel used his first visit to Israel as Pentagon chief to highlight his view that Israel must decide for itself whether and when to pre-emptively attack its neighbour.
Polls open amid tight security; vote an important test of Iraq’s stability
Polls opened amid tight security in Iraq on Saturday for regional elections in the country’s first vote since the US military withdrawal, marking an important test of the country’s stability.
The results will not directly affect Iraq's national government. But the vote is an important measure of support for Iraq’s various political blocs heading into parliamentary elections scheduled for next year.
A suicide bomber blew himself inside a Baghdad cafe popular with young people using the internet, killing at least 27 and wounding dozens more in one of the worst single attacks in the Iraqi capital this year.
The late evening blast in west Baghdad came just two days before provincial elections that will be a major test of Iraq's political stability more than a year after the last American troops left the country.
'The West paid heavily for funding al Qaeda in its early stages in Afghanistan. Today it is supporting it in Syria, Libya and other places, and will pay a heavy price later in the heart of Europe and the United States'
President Bashar al-Assad accused the West on Wednesday of supporting al Qaeda militants in Syria's civil war and warned they would turn against their backers and strike "in the heart of Europe and the United States".
Assad also launched his strongest criticism yet of neighboring Jordan for allowing thousands of fighters to cross the border to join a conflict he insisted his forces would win and save Syria from destruction.
Rebel faction aligned itself with al Qaeda, International community meets up to address the issue
International powers will search for a peaceful settlement to Syria's civil war with fresh urgency at an Istanbul meeting after a rebel faction aligned itself with al Qaeda, diplomats and opposition sources said on Sunday.
Saturday's meeting of 11 countries from the Friends of Syria alliance will come after the al-Nusra Front, among the strongest formations seeking to topple President Bashar al-Assad, pledged allegiance to al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahri on April 10.