Middle East

  • Palestinian teenager kidnapped and killed in revenge attack
    2014-07-02 06:32:29 UTC

    A Palestinian teenager from annexed east Jerusalem has been kidnapped and killed in a suspected act of revenge for the murder of three Israeli youths, army radio reported. The radio said the youth was seen being forced into a car in the Arab eastern half of the city. His body was found several hours later early on Wednesday morni...
  • Bodies of three missing Israeli teenagers found in West Bank
    2014-06-30 23:46:37 UTC

    The bodies of three missing Israeli teenagers who disappeared almost three weeks ago have been found buried in a shallow grave under rocks in a valley close to the southern West Bank city of Hebron. Following the discovery of the bodies the Israeli prime minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, blamed Hamas for the murders, warning the militan...
  • Iraqis caught in state of fear
    2014-06-30 05:20:24 UTC

    An hour from Baghdad where the battle lines are drawn, residents of Baquba say they're caught between two terrifying options. Just to the north are Isis, the Sunni militant group bent on destroying Iraq and the Shias who govern it. To the south are Shia militias who have responded with vehemence and are transforming the frontlines into...
  • US flying armed drones in Iraq
    2014-06-28 06:17:15 UTC

    The US has confirmed it is flying armed drones over Baghdad to protect US troops who recently arrived to assess Iraq's deteriorating security. The military for more than a week has been flying manned and unmanned aircraft over Iraq, averaging a few dozen sorties daily for reconnaissance, according to the Pentagon. The decision to ar...
  • Sectarian War in Iraq: Terrible toll of victims on both sides of divide
    2014-06-28 06:19:48 UTC

    When Sami Habib woke up early to the sound of distant gunfire in the village of al-Bashier near Kirkuk, he was not unduly alarmed. Fighters from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isis) had carried out hit-and-run attacks before and he thought the army would repel the militants as they had done previously. But a few hours lat...
  • Ashraf Ghani claims Afghan presidential election victory
    2014-06-27 18:32:13 UTC

    Ashraf Ghani believes he has won Afghanistan's heavily contested presidential election by more than 1.3 million votes, according to data compiled by his campaign team. Ghani said the vocal support of clerics, a higher turnout of women, a series of televised town-hall style meetings and polling day transport for potential voters enab...
  • Iraq: Maliki rejects unity government call
    2014-06-25 22:53:09 UTC

    The Iraqi prime minister has rejected the creation of a government of "national salvation" despite pleas from the US and Britain to form a more inclusive administration to fight a growing insurgency of jihadists and disaffected Sunnis. Nouri al-Maliki, who has been criticised for putting Shia sectarian interests ahead of national go...
  • Iraq: Key oil refinery 'seized by Sunni rebels'
    2014-06-24 06:31:05 UTC

    Sunni rebels in Iraq say they have fully captured the country's main oil refinery at Baiji, north of Baghdad. The refinery had been under siege for 10 days with the militant offensive being repulsed several times. The complex supplies a third of Iraq's refined fuel and the battle has already led to petrol rationing. Insurgents...
  • US demotes Thailand and Qatar over modern-day slavery
    2014-06-21 06:18:16 UTC

    The US has signalled its mounting concern over modern-day slavery in Thailand and Qatar after it downgraded both countries on its human trafficking watchlist following revelations of appalling maltreatment of migrant workers. Thailand was relegated to the lowest rank in the state department's Trafficking in Persons (TiP) report – me...
  • IRAQ: Possible sectarian war
    2014-06-21 06:09:24 UTC

    In a dilapidated cafe in north Baghdad under a TV set blasting patriotic songs in support of Iraq's embattled prime minister, a young man looked grave. "Why did the revolutionaries stop?" he asked in a low voice, referring to the Sunni insurgents sweeping across northern Iraq. "Why did they reach Salaheddin [province] and stop? This...
  • Kurdistan PM Does Not Believe Iraq will Stay Together
    2014-06-18 07:40:31 UTC

    KURDISTAN (ERBIL) - The prime minister of Iraq's autonomous Kurdistan Region Nechirvan Barzani said he does not believe the country will stay together, as Sunni extremist militants continue to make territorial gains and are marching towards Baghdad. In an interview with the BBC, Barzani said it would be "almost impossible" for Iraq ...
  • Karzai dismisses 'al-Qaeda comeback'
    2014-06-18 05:56:55 UTC

    Afghan President Hamid Karzai has dismissed the possibility of al-Qaeda linked groups making a comeback in his country in a similar way to Iraq. Asked by the BBC's Lyse Doucet in Kabul whether what was happening in Iraq could happen in Afghanistan, the president replied: "Never, not at all." The outgoing president said that al-Qa...
  • Kurdistan Government Is Selling More Oil in Defiance of Baghdad
    2014-06-18 05:34:04 UTC

    LONDON—The semiautonomous region of Kurdistan is planning to increase its oil exports, flouting the objections of the central government in Baghdad just as it struggles to quell a violent insurgency. Two more tankers of Kurdish oil are scheduled to load from the Turkish port of Ceyhan this week, the Kurdistan Regional Government's M...
  • Iraqi forces hold off rebels north of Baghdad
    2014-06-17 21:04:03 UTC

    Iraqi government forces fought off jihadi rebel forces north of Baghdad on Tuesday amid signs from the US that the Obama administration is hesitating before being drawn into a new war. Heavy clashes were reported from Baquba after it was taken over by fighters of the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (Isis), and in Baghdad eight ...
  • Barack Obama sends 275 special forces soldiers to Iraq
    2014-06-17 08:09:27 UTC

    The US is urgently deploying several hundred armed troops in and around Iraq and considering sending an additional contingent of special forces soldiers as Baghdad struggles to repel a rampant insurgency. Barack Obama discussed the crisis with his top national security advisers on Monday night after earlier telling Congress that up ...
  • Israel may expel Hamas leaders from West Bank to Gaza
    2014-06-16 16:15:58 UTC

    Israel is considering expelling Hamas leaders from the West Bank to Gaza as part of its response to the kidnapping of three teenagers, which it has blamed on the Islamist group. The deliberations come as Israel continued to round up members of Hamas in six West Bank towns for the third night running, including senior Palestinian law...
  • Mass executions in Iraq by islamist militants
    2014-06-15 16:44:53 UTC

    The Sunni extremist group that has taken territory across Iraq has posted photos online that appear to show its fighters massacring Iraqi soldiers. The army personnel are pictured being led away and then lying in trenches before and after their "execution". Iraqi military spokesman Lt Gen Qassim al-Moussawi said the pictures were...
  • Netanyahu accuses Hamas of teeangers' kidnapping
    2014-06-15 16:36:34 UTC

    Speaking at his weekly Cabinet meeting on Sunday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu accused the Palestinian Islamist group, Hamas, of abducting three Israeli teens. The comments coincided with a massive sweep of the southern West Bank, where the individuals were last seen on Thursday. "The ones that conducted the kidnapping of...
  • Fears grow for missing Israeli teenagers
    2014-06-14 16:24:04 UTC

    Fears are growing for the safety of three teenage Israeli settlers believed to have been kidnapped in the southern West Bank by Palestinian militants, after the Israeli army said that it "could not confirm if they are alive or dead". The three boys, one of them a US citizen, disappeared on Thursday night from a hitch-hiking spot pop...
  • Iran is ready to help Iraq against extremist Sunni
    2014-06-14 16:14:06 UTC

    Iran is ready to assist the Iraqi government in its battle against extremist Sunni insurgents, President Hassan Rouhani has said. He denied Iran had sent troops to fight in Iraq. However 130 Iranian Revolutionary Guards had entered the country to provide military training and advice. The insurgents have seized several cities and ...
  • Islamist victories could pull US military back to Iraq
    2014-06-13 06:04:14 UTC

    Barack Obama has set the stage for renewed US military action in Iraq after the authorities in Baghdad proved powerless to stop relentless Islamist insurgents from seizing further swaths of a country in danger of breaking apart. The US president said his national security chiefs were looking at any and every way they could help the ...
  • Kurdistan: Iraqi Kurdish forces take Kirkuk
    2014-06-12 17:14:38 UTC

    Major oil city is controlled by peshmerga fighters after central government's army abandons posts in a rapid collapse. The crisis in Iraq escalated rapidly on Thursday as Iraqi Kurdish forces took control of key military installations in the major oil city of Kirkuk and the Sunni jihadi group Isis revealed its intention to move on B...
  • Islamist seize four cities in Irak
    2014-06-11 23:26:08 UTC

    Iraq is facing its gravest test since the US-led invasion more than a decade ago, after its army capitulated to Islamist insurgents who have seized four cities and pillaged military bases and banks, in a lightning campaign which seems poised to fuel a cross-border insurgency endangering the entire region. The extent of the Iraqi arm...
  • Turkey calls for emergency NATO meeting on Iraq - Turkish official
    2014-06-11 17:55:06 UTC

    ANKARA, June 11 (Reuters) - Turkey has called for an emergency meeting of NATO to discuss the security situation in Iraq after militants took 80 Turkish citizens hostage during a lightning advance, a Turkish foreign ministry official said. Sunni insurgents from the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) overran the city of Tikr...
  • Islamist took control of the hometown of Saddam Hussein
    2014-06-11 16:55:29 UTC

    Islamist militants have overrun the central city of Tikrit. It would be the second city to fall into insurgent hands in as many days. Insurgents from the jihadist Islamist State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) took control of Tikrit on Wednesday afternoon, according to independent news site Alsumaria News and other sources. Tikrit is 95 m...