Middle East
Latest stories
Turkey Warns of Civil War in Syria

Turkey warned Friday that the conflict in Syria risks turning into a civil war, while France's chief diplomat said it was now too late for the Syrian regime to finally implement reforms.

Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu pointed to the new attacks by army defectors, "therefore I say there is a risk of transforming into civil war. It is now the right time to stop this massacre, and therefore the Arab initiative is important," he said.

W140 Full Story
Rival Demos as Talks Begin on Closing Iran Exile Camp in Iraq

U.N.-brokered talks are underway on relocating several thousand exiled Iranian opposition members from a camp north of Baghdad to another location in Iraq, officials said on Friday.

Iraqi authorities have decided to close Camp Ashraf, which has hosted members of the People's Mujahedeen Organization of Iran (PMOI) since the 1980s, by the end of 2011.

W140 Full Story
Rise in Jewish Settlers Joining Army Combat Units

Six out of 10 Jewish settlers were drafted into combat units for their compulsory military service, an Israeli army study showed on Friday, indicating a sharp rise in numbers.

According to a study on draft trends which was published by the military's personnel division, Jewish settlers are more likely than regular Israelis to try to join combat units.

W140 Full Story
Tens of Thousands Stage Anti-Military Rally in Cairo

Tens of thousands of protesters gathered in Cairo's Tahrir Square on Friday for a mass rally aimed at pushing Egypt's military rulers to cede power 10 months after an uprising ousted Hosni Mubarak.

As general elections draw near -- the first polls since Mubarak was ousted in February -- protesters are demanding more control over the constitution the new parliament is set to draft and a shift to civilian rule.

W140 Full Story
France Says Time has Come to Increase Sanctions against Syria

French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe said on Friday that the "time has come to increase sanctions" against the Syrian regime.

"The situation is no longer sustainable," and "the ongoing repression is unacceptable," Juppe told reporters during a visit to Ankara.

W140 Full Story
Analysis: Risk of Civil War Looms in Syria

The risk of civil war looms large over Syria as army defectors increasingly take aim at regime forces and diplomacy fails to resolve the escalating crisis, experts say.

"We are moving down that track and the longer the international community and the Arab League delay (action), the sooner we will be there," said Salman Shaikh, head of the Brookings Doha Center.

W140 Full Story
Syria Forces Kill 20, Including 4 Children, in Friday Protests

Syrian security forces on Friday shot dead 20 civilians, including four children, in the regions of Hama, Daraa, Homs and Reef Damascus, the Local Coordination Committees said, on the eve of an Arab League deadline for Syria to stop its lethal crackdown on protesters and as Turkey warned of the risk of civil war.

The latest bloodletting came as thousands of protesters took to the streets in defiance of massive security deployments to urge nations to expel Syrian ambassadors, activists said.

W140 Full Story
Syrian Websites Hosted in Canada, U.S.

More than two dozen websites belonging to the government of Syria are being hosted by servers in the United States, Canada and Germany, according to a report by Canadian researchers.

The report released Thursday said the operations raise legal questions because they may violate Canadian and U.S. sanctions against Syria, which has used police and military forces for the past eight months to put down a popular uprising.

W140 Full Story
EU Powers Seek U.N. Action against Syria Amid Arab Support

European nations said Thursday they have key Arab support for a U.N. resolution condemning human rights abuses by the Syrian government.

Diplomats from Germany, France and Britain tabled the resolution at the U.N. General Assembly's human rights committee on Thursday for a vote expected next Tuesday, officials said.

W140 Full Story
U.S. Disagrees with Russian View of Syrian Civil War

The United States on Thursday disagreed with Russia's assessment that attacks by renegade Syrian troops risked plunging Syria into civil war, blaming the regime in Damascus for the violence.

"We think that's an incorrect assessment," U.S. State Department deputy spokesman Mark Toner told reporters after Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov made the assessment.

W140 Full Story