Middle East
Latest stories
Arab Summit to Mull Creation of Joint Force against IS

The Arab League will consider setting up a defense unit to battle the spread of the Islamic State group at its annual summit later this month, an official said Tuesday.

Deputy chief Ahmed Ben Helli told reporters that the March 28-29 meeting in Egypt's Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh will discuss an Egyptian initiative to create a "unified Arab force".

W140 Full Story
U.N. Delegation Meets Aleppo Governor on 'Freeze' Plan

A United Nations delegation in Syria met the governor of Aleppo on Tuesday as the U.N. pushes a plan to freeze fighting in the divided northern city, officials said.

U.N. envoy Staffan de Mistura has made the Aleppo plan the centerpiece of his efforts to mediate a halt to fighting in Syria's devastating civil war.

W140 Full Story
Libya Militia in Failed Air Strike on Oil Port

Militia warplanes attacked a major oil export terminal in Libya Tuesday but were driven off by anti-aircraft fire without being able to hit their targets, a spokesman for guards there said.

In response, planes from the internationally recognized air force struck Tripoli's militia-controlled Mitiga airport without causing any casualties, said the head of the internationally recognized government's air force.

W140 Full Story
Iran Mourns 7 Afghans Killed Fighting for Damascus Ally

Iran was to hold a memorial service on Tuesday for seven Afghans killed fighting alongside the forces of its close ally Syrian President Bashar Assad, Iranian media reported.

Among the dead was the commander of Afghan volunteer unit the Fatemiyoun Brigade, the government daily Iran reported.

W140 Full Story
PLO to Meet on Future of Palestinian Authority

The Palestinian leadership meets this week for crucial talks on the future of the Palestinian Authority, whose existence is under threat after Israel cut off a key source of funds.

The Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO), recognized as the sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people and their ultimate decision-making body, will mull an array of urgent economic and political issues.

W140 Full Story
Three British Plane Spotters Detained in UAE

Three British men are being detained in the United Arab Emirates on national security grounds after being arrested while plane spotting, their relatives said Tuesday.

Valerie Clitheroe said her husband Conrad, 53, and his friend Gary Cooper, 45, are being held with their former work colleague, Neil Munro, who lives and works in the UAE.

W140 Full Story
Saudi Beheads Rapist, Murderer

Saudi Arabia beheaded Tuesday a rapist and two murderers, bringing to 38 the number of death sentences carried out in the kingdom this year.

Saudi Mohammed bin Ali bin Mohammed al-Bishi was convicted of raping his victim at gunpoint, the interior ministry said in a statement carried by the official Saudi Press Agency.

W140 Full Story
Egypt Court Formally Delays Parliamentary Election

Egypt's administrative court formally delayed Tuesday this month's parliamentary election, after the electoral commission announced it would not be held on time due to legal obstacles.

The constitutional court ruled Sunday that part of the electoral law was unconstitutional, prompting the electoral commission to begin preparing a new timetable for the vote, which had been due to start on March 21.

W140 Full Story
Tunisia Blogger Gets 6 Months for Defaming Army

A Tunisian military appeals court jailed blogger Yassine Ayari for six months Tuesday for defaming the army, halving the previous sentence but failing to satisfy critics.

Chants of "Down with the military judge" rang out from the public gallery as the sentence was read out.

W140 Full Story
Yemen's Hadi Wants Reconciliation Talks Moved to Saudi

Yemeni President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi called Tuesday for troubled U.N.-brokered reconciliation talks to be moved to neighboring Saudi Arabia if agreement cannot be reached on a venue inside Yemen.

The call came as at least 32 people were killed in clashes between Shiite Huthi gunmen and Sunni tribesmen backed Al-Qaida militants in central Yemen, tribal source said.

W140 Full Story