The United States knew that an al-Qaida-linked rebel group in Syria was capable of producing sarin gas but ignored it in blaming the Syrian regime for a chemical attack in August, a veteran U.S. journalist has charged.
In a long article published by the London Review of Books, investigative reporter Seymour Hersh accused President Barack Obama's administration of "deliberate manipulation of intelligence" in the Syrian chemical weapons affair to justify intervention.Full Story
Syria's regime captured from rebel fighters a key town near Lebanon on Monday, as doubts were cast on any breakthrough at a Geneva peace conference slated for next month.
France's foreign minister, Laurent Fabius, downplayed the chances of a peace agreement being reached in Geneva, while expressing confidence the January 22 conference would go ahead.Full Story
The International Atomic Energy Agency will inspect the condition of 6,400 barrels of yellowcake stockpiled in Libya later this month, the U.N. special representative for Libya said Monday.
Tarek Mitri said the uranium concentrate was stored at a former military installation near Sabha under the control of a Libyan army battalion.Full Story
Amnesty International alleged Monday a Libyan soldier was tortured to death by members of his own unit, calling on authorities to investigate the case and break with such Gadhafi-era practices.
"Hussein Radwan Raheel, 37, who served with the Saiqa Forces, an elite army unit under the ministry of defense, was severely beaten and subjected to electric shocks," Amnesty said quoting family members.Full Story
Egyptian troops killed on Monday a leader of an al-Qaida inspired militant group that operates in the Sinai peninsula and that has claimed attacks against security forces, the army said.
Ibrahim Mohammed Salaima, also known as Abu Sohaib, a "field leader" from Ansar Beit al-Maqdis group, was killed in North Sinai, army spokesman Ahmad Ali said in a statement.Full Story
An unmanned drone struck a car Monday in southeastern Yemen, killing three suspected al-Qaida gunmen, a security official said.
The drone targeted a vehicle in the village of al-Qatan, in the province of Hadramawt, where Al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) remains active despite Yemeni military operations and U.S. drone strikes targeting its leaders.Full Story
The Palestinian Hamas movement has "resumed" relations with Iran after a temporary falling out over the Syrian conflict, a senior member of the Islamist movement said Monday.
"Relations between Hamas and Iran have resumed," Mahmoud al-Zahar told reporters at a news conference in Gaza, the Palestinian enclave ruled by Hamas since 2007.Full Story
Israel is to allow construction materials for U.N. projects back into the Gaza Strip after reaching an agreement with the world body, officials said on Monday.
The ban on building materials was put in place on October 13 after troops discovered a sophisticated tunnel running under the Israel-Gaza border, built with the alleged aim of perpetrating anti-Israeli attacks.Full Story
The exodus of refugees fleeing the conflict in Syria represents a security threat to the European Union, Italy's foreign minister said Monday, warning that potential terrorists could be among the displaced.
"Like all major humanitarian crises", the Syria conflict "has political aspects and consequences that can have devastating effects", Emma Bonino told reporters in Rome.Full Story
Police fired tear gas Monday in clashes with Islamist students of Cairo's al-Azhar University who hurled stones and torched vehicles during a demonstration backing ousted president Mohammed Morsi, officials said.
Violence in and around the university's dormitory erupted when a few hundred students began protesting and poured onto nearby streets, security officials said.Full Story