Middle East

  • Syrian opposition makes new push to unite
    7c2512ac84973412140f6a706700dad9 2012-07-03 05:52:31 UTC
    CAIRO (AP) — The Arab League chief urged exiled Syrian opposition figures to unite at a meeting Monday as a new Western effort to force President Bashar Assad from power faltered. Another 85 soldiers, including a general, fled to Turkey in a growing wave of defections. Turkey's state-run Andol...

  • Sanctions-hit Iran readies ballistic missile drill
    W460 2012-07-02 10:28:45 UTC
    TEHRAN: Iran on Monday said it was readying ballistic missile war games simulating a counter-attack against U.S. or Israeli targets in the region in the event of air strikes on its nuclear facilities. The three-day drill in Iran's central desert region was starting days after the European Unio...

  • Moderate earthquake hits Iranian town
    Untitled 2012-07-02 06:40:50 UTC
    TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Iran's state TV is reporting that a 5.4 magnitude earthquake has jolted a sparsely populated area in the eastern part of the country. The Monday report says people poured into the streets out of fear after the quake hit Khauf town, some 1,000 kilometers (600 miles) east of ...

  • Iran feels pinch of new EU oil sanctions
    Untitled 2012-07-02 05:25:04 UTC
    TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — As new European Union sanctions targeting Iran's vital oil industry took effect Sunday, Tehran acknowledged the measures aimed at reining in its disputed nuclear program were taking a toll. The vice president said authorities had stockpiled imported goods and hard currency to ...

  • Syrian opposition rejects new international plan
    D76b8d2e6b161d12140f6a70670044ac 2012-07-02 05:02:14 UTC
    BEIRUT (AP) — Syria's main opposition groups rejected on Sunday a new international plan that calls for a transitional government because the compromise agreement did not bar President Bashar Assad from participating. Their reaction held out little hope for an end to more than 15 months of car...

  • Syrian opposition says 800 killed in past week
    Diaalnews 2012-07-01 15:14:28 UTC
    BEIRUT (AP) — Syria's main opposition group said nearly 800 people have been killed in violence across the country in the past week which saw some of the bloodiest violence in the 16-month uprising against President Bashar Assad. Opposition activists groups say more than 14,000 people have bee...

  • Syria conference leaves open Assad question
    Diaalnews 2012-07-01 06:00:37 UTC
    GENEVA (AP) — An international conference on Saturday accepted a U.N.-brokered peace plan that calls for the creation of a transitional government in Syria, but at Russia's insistence the compromise agreement left the door open to Syria's president being part of it. The U.S. backed away from i...

  • Egypt's new president begins struggle for power
    Diaalnews 2012-07-01 05:34:01 UTC
    CAIRO (AP) — Islamist Mohammed Morsi became Egypt's first freely elected president on Saturday, launching his four-year term with a potentially dangerous quest to wrest back from the military the full authority of his office. The outcome of the impending battle between Egypt's first civilian p...

  • Syria troops regain key Damascus suburb
    Diaalnews 2012-06-30 19:16:24 UTC
    BEIRUT (AP) — Syrian troops flushed out rebels from a key Damascus suburb Saturday, regaining control of a key area just outside the capital after a 10-day assault that left dozens dead, hundreds wounded and caused a major humanitarian crisis. The relentless offensive against Douma forced resi...

  • Mood pessimistic on Syria peace plans
    Diaalnews 2012-06-30 12:59:35 UTC
    GENEVA (AP) — A conference called by special envoy Kofi Annan to end the Syria crisis appeared on the brink of failure as it opened Saturday, with the U.S. and Russia still divided over a role for President Bashar Assad in a transition government. Annan seemed confident of his plan a few days ...

  • Islamist Morsi is sworn in as Egypt's president
    Diaalnews 2012-06-30 19:26:53 UTC
    CAIRO (AP) - Islamist Mohammed Morsi promised a "new Egypt" as he took the oath of office Saturday to become the country's first freely elected president, succeeding Hosni Mubarak who was ousted 16 months ago. At his inauguration before the Supreme Constitutional Court, Morsi also became the A...

  • Egypt president-elect vows to fight for authority
    Diaalnews 2012-06-30 06:27:52 UTC
    CAIRO (AP) — President-elect Mohammed Morsi roused the masses in Tahrir Square on Friday, vowing to fight on behalf of the people and defying the ruling generals by reading a symbolic oath of office a day early at the site where Egypt's revolution was born. The country's first Islamist preside...

  • Russia, US key to last-ditch Syria talks in Geneva
    Diaalnews 2012-06-30 06:06:42 UTC
    GENEVA (AP) — Russian's desire to keep its last remaining ally in the Middle East collided head-long with the United States' desire to remove President Bashar Assad and replace him with a democracy at a pivotal United Nations-brokered conference Saturday seeking a political solution to the violen...

  • Egypt's elected president defies military rulers
    Diaalnews 2012-06-29 17:13:10 UTC
    CAIRO (AP) — Egypt's newly elected president has read the oath of office in Tahrir Square and defied the country's military rulers by saying, "I fear no one but God." Mohammed Morsi addressed tens of thousands of mostly Islamist supporters Saturday in a strongly worded speech. He spoke on t...

  • Turkey fortifies Syrian border; bomb hits Damascus
    Diaalnews 2012-06-29 06:12:16 UTC
    BEIRUT (AP) — Turkey deployed anti-aircraft guns, rocket launchers and other weapons along its border with Syria on Thursday, a military buildup that came as world powers showed new urgency to resolve the crisis before it ignites the region. A bomb exploded in central Damascus near a busy mark...

  • Hamas says militant assassinated in Damascus
    Diaalnews 2012-06-28 06:12:12 UTC
    GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) — A senior Hamas leader says one of the Palestinian militant group's members has been assassinated in Damascus. Izzat Risheq, a senior leader of Hamas, wrote on his Facebook page that Kamal Ghanaja, also known as Nizar Abu Mujahed, was killed Wednesday night in the S...

  • Clinton hopeful Syria meeting can be turning point
    Untitled 2012-06-27 15:38:42 UTC
    HELSINKI (AP) — U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said Wednesday she has "great hope" that an upcoming Geneva meeting of world powers can be a turning point in the Syria crisis. Clinton said the U.S. supports U.N. envoy Kofi Annan's plan for political transition in Syria. Annan "h...

  • Syria: TV station attacked, 7 staffers killed
    0 2012-06-27 15:28:15 UTC
    BEIRUT (AP) — Gunmen raided the headquarters of a pro-government Syrian TV station early Wednesday, killing seven employees, kidnapping others and demolishing buildings, officials said. The government blamed terrorists and described the killings as a "massacre." An Associated Press photographe...

  • UN: Violence in Syria worse than before ceasefire
    1538823291_aaa89e1999 2012-06-27 09:16:06 UTC
    GENEVA (AP) — A senior U.N. official says violence in Syria has "reached or even surpassed" levels seen before the ceasefire agreement of April 12. The U.N.'s deputy envoy for Syria Jean-Marie Guehenno says the six-point plan forged by his boss Kofi Annan "is clearly not being implemented." ...

  • Egypt court rules military cannot arrest civilians
    Untitled 2012-06-26 18:41:21 UTC
    CAIRO (AP) — An Egyptian court suspended on Tuesday a government decision allowing military police and intelligence to arrest civilians, a setback for the country's military rulers after the decree drew an outcry from opponents who accused them of trying to impose martial law. The Justice Mini...

  • AP sources: Syrian army stable despite defections
    Untitled 2012-06-26 21:49:03 UTC
    WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. intelligence officials said Tuesday that Syria's military remains loyal despite recent high-profile defections, while the opposition remains fragmented and unable to attack as a unified force, indicating a long, protracted conflict ahead. The Syrian regime is maintaining...

  • Putin visits West Bank, tours key Christian shrine
    Untitled 2012-06-26 18:14:52 UTC
    BETHLEHEM, West Bank (AP) — Visiting Russian President Vladimir Putin praised his Palestinian counterpart Tuesday for what he said was a "responsible" position in negotiations with Israel, frozen for nearly four years, and said Russia has no problem recognizing a Palestinian state. Putin also ...

  • Activists: Syrian rebels clash with elite troops
    Untitled 2012-06-26 17:53:37 UTC
    BEIRUT (AP) — Syria's elite Republican Guard forces clashed with rebels just outside Damascus Tuesday in some of the most intense fighting involving the special forces guarding the capital since an uprising against President Bashar Assad's regime began last year, activists said. The clashes er...

  • Turkey threatens Syria with retaliation over jet
    Turkeys-prime-minister-re-008 2012-06-26 17:47:22 UTC
    ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — Turkey warned Tuesday that any Syrian military unit approaching its border will be treated as a direct threat, a serious escalation in tensions days after Syria shot a Turkish military plane out of the sky. Turkey's NATO allies expressed solidarity with Ankara and condemn...

  • Iran focus of Russian president's visit to Israel
    4fe8c418e49fa.image 2012-06-26 06:47:41 UTC
    JERUSALEM (AP) — Israel urged the visiting Russian president on Monday to step up pressure on Iran to curb its suspect nuclear program but there was no sign of any concessions from Vladimir Putin. With Russia an influential voice in the international debate over Iran, the outcome of the 24-hou...