A spokesman for Syria's main Western-backed rebel group has criticized the decision by the United States and Britain to suspend nonlethal aid to opposition fighters in northern Syria.
The U.S.-British decision reflected Western fears of the growing strength of al-Qaida-linked forces among the rebels. It came after some of the aid was seized by Islamic militants.Full Story
Iran and Saudi Arabia, which back opposite sides in Syria's war, are among more than 30 countries slated to attend a peace conference next month, diplomats said.
The so-called Geneva 2 conference, a follow-up to a 2012 meeting, is aimed at mapping out a political transition to end nearly three years of fighting that has killed more than 120,000 people and displaced millions.Full Story
Arab foreign ministers are to meet in Cairo on December 21 to discuss troubled peace talks between the Palestinians and Israel, the Arab League said on Thursday.
The announcement came as U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry was headed to Israel and the West Bank on his ninth visit since he took office in January in his dogged quest for an elusive peace deal.Full Story
The Syrian opposition appealed Thursday for emergency fuel deliveries to rebel-held areas, saying two children had "died of cold" as a winter storm gripped the region.
The opposition National Coalition said that parents were unable to keep children warm in bombed out buildings as temperatures plummeted and snow carpeted many of Syria's main battlegrounds.Full Story
Israel's chief peace negotiator on Thursday accused a key coalition partner of deliberately seeking to sabotage talks with the Palestinians by ramping up settlement construction.
Speaking just hours before the arrival of U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on his second visit within a week, Justice Minister Tzipi Livni accused the far-right national religious Jewish Home of deliberately promoting settlement projects in a bid "to derail" the ongoing negotiations.Full Story
The United Nations closed its offices in the Yemeni capital on Thursday over fears of possible car bomb attacks but Western embassies remained open.
Most shops in Sanaa were shuttered and little traffic ventured out onto the streets as rumors swirled among the city's residents of the risk of an imminent attack.Full Story
Severe winter weather delayed the start of the first United Nations airlift of aid items from Iraq's autonomous Kurdistan region to neighboring Syria, a spokesman said on Thursday.
"It appears... the weather in Qamishli has delayed the start of the airlift, as well as prevailing conditions across the region," U.N. refugee agency (UNHCR) regional spokesman Peter Kessler told AFP, referring to the city in northeast Syria to which aid supplies are to be flown.Full Story
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry marked his 70th birthday Wednesday with another trip to Israel, in his dogged quest for an elusive Middle East peace deal.
But there will be no gift-wrapped agreement awaiting him when he is due to land back in Israel on Thursday, less than a week after his last trip to the Jewish state.Full Story
Early snow has surprised many Israelis and Palestinians as a blustery storm, dubbed Alexa, brought gusty winds, torrential rains and heavy snowfall to parts of the Middle East.
Jerusalem schools cancelled classes and buses in and out of the city were not operating Thursday. Palm and cypress trees were blanketed in white, people threw snowballs along the walls of Jerusalem's Old City and a snowman was built across from a U.S. Consulate building.Full Story
Saudi Arabia's grand mufti Sheikh Abdul Aziz bin Abdullah al-Sheikh branded suicide bombers as "criminals" who will go to "hell," Al-Hayat daily reported Thursday.
Suicide bombings are "great crimes" and bombers are "criminals who rush themselves to hell by their actions," Sheikh said during a lecture in Riyadh a few days ago, according to Al-Hayat.Full Story