- Middle East Kurds Say Siege of Mt. Sinjar Broken as U.S. Says Top IS Leaders Killed A broad peshmerga operation backed by U.S.-led air strikes broke the Islamic State group's weeks-old siege of Iraq's Mount Sinjar on Thursday, a to... 18 December 2014, 17:40 3
- Middle East Palestinians Present U.N. Resolution on Final Peace Deal The Palestinians on Wednesday presented a draft U.N. resolution laying out terms for a final peace deal with Israel but sought to avoid a clash wit... 18 December 2014, 07:00 6
The bodies of 230 people killed by the Islamic State group have been found in a mass grave uncovered by their relatives in Syria's Deir Ezzor province, a monitoring group said Wednesday.Full Story
The Syrian regime is in talks with a U.N. peace envoy over a possible "freeze" in fighting in the northern city of Aleppo, U.N. and pro-regime sources said Wednesday.
Deputy U.N. envoy Ramzy Ezzeldin Ramzy presented Monday a copy of a plan for Aleppo to Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Muqdad, "and the Syrian side asked for time to study it," daily newspaper Al-Watan said.Full Story
Shiite Muslim militiamen from Afghanistan have been fighting in Syria for months alongside President Bashar Assad's troops, a monitoring group said Wednesday.Full Story
Saudi Arabia on Wednesday beheaded a Pakistani for heroin smuggling, the interior ministry said, in the conservative kingdom's latest execution of a foreigner.
Mohammed Ghafour Hashim Khan was convicted of smuggling "a large amount" of heroin into the country, the ministry said in a statement published by the official Saudi Press Agency.Full Story
With the Palestinians seeking to bring negotiations with Israel to a head, France has sought to insert itself as a moderating force that can break American dominance over the peace process.
"If there is a moment when France can do something, it's now," said Hasni Abidi, a Middle East expert based in Geneva.Full Story
Syria's passport office has recorded a sharp rise in applications since civil war broke out nearly four years ago, a pro-regime newspaper reported Wednesday.
"A thousand passport applications are being made a day in Damascus and its province, including 200 by people aged under 18," said a passport authority official quoted by Al-Watan daily.Full Story
Luxembourg's parliament voted Wednesday to urge the government to recognize a Palestinian state -- the latest in a series of similar moves around Europe aimed at pressuring Israel to move forward the peace process.Full Story
Six months after Abdel Fattah al-Sisi became Egypt's president after crushing his opponents, criticism of his regime is either whispered or left unspoken amid stifling curbs on freedom of expression.Full Story
The European Parliament overwhelmingly backed the recognition of a Palestinian state "in principle" on Wednesday, following a series of votes on the issue in EU nations that have enraged Israel.Full Story
Twenty-sex men suspected of having organized or taken part in homosexual orgies at a public bath in Egypt are to go on trial for "debauchery", a judicial official said Wednesday.
He said the men were arrested on December 7 at a hammam in the Azbakeya district of central Cairo and are to go on trial Sunday.Full Story