Middle East
Latest stories
Iraq President Says U.S. Troops Needed for Training

Iraqi forces need an American troop presence or at least U.S. training forces, President Jalal Talabani has said, according to a Saturday statement on the Iraqi presidency's website.

Regarding "internal security, I believe that the police and army forces are capable of maintaining security as it is now," Talabani said in an interview with Iraqiya television, according to the statement.

W140 Full Story
Austria Supports Renewed Sanctions against Syria

Vienna is in favor of further sanctions against the regime of Syria's Bashar Assad, Austrian Vice Chancellor and Foreign Minister Michael Spindelegger said in a radio interview Saturday.

"We cannot accept what Bashar Assad is doing to his countrymen at the moment -- shooting at protestors, hunting the opposition," Spindelegger told Oe1 radio, adding that "U.N.-led" sanctions should be reinforced and should target specific people.

W140 Full Story
U.N. Says Syria Needs Food but Not Humanitarian Corridors

The United Nations said Friday that international help is needed to feed 1.5 million people in crisis-torn Syria, but humanitarian corridors were not yet justified.

U.N. humanitarian chief Valerie Amos said almost three million people out of Syria's population of about 20.5 million had been affected by the deadly crackdown on protests launched by President Bashar Assad since March.

W140 Full Story
At Least 24 Killed in Syria Clashes

At least 24 civilians and members of the security forces were killed in attacks in Syria on Saturday as Arab League finance ministers met in Cairo to draw up economic sanctions against Damascus.

Deserters killed eight soldiers and members of the security forces and wounded 40 more in an attack in Idlib in northwest Syria, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

W140 Full Story
Egypt Military Ruler in Talks with el-Baradei, Moussa

Egypt's military ruler on Saturday held talks with presidential hopefuls Mohammed el-Baradei and Amr Moussa whose names have been touted by protesters as possible leaders of a new government.

Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi met separately el-Baradei, the former head of the U.N. nuclear watchdog, and Moussa, the ex-head of the Arab League, the official MENA agency said, as protesters demanding the end of military rule remained camped out in Cairo's Tahrir Square.

W140 Full Story
Yemen Opposition Names Head of Coalition as Candidate to Government

Yemen's opposition parties have nominated the head of their coalition to lead the first government after veteran President Ali Abdullah Saleh agreed to quit in 90 days, a spokesman said Saturday.

Mohammed Basindawa, a former member of Saleh's ruling party, was chosen late Friday to head a national unity government, Mohammed Qahtan, the spokesman of the opposition Common Forum told Agence France Presse.

W140 Full Story
Baghdad Afraid of Extremist Rule in Syria

President Jalal Talabani said Iraq was afraid extremists might take over in Syria if Bashar Assad's regime falls, according to a Saturday statement on the presidential website.

"We are worried about the alternative... we are afraid of the extremist party, if it replaces the old," Talabani said in an interview with Iraqiya television, according to the statement.

W140 Full Story
Iraq FM: Sanctions on Syria 'Not Possible'

Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari said on Saturday that it was "not possible" to impose economic sanctions on Syria due to its commercial ties with Iraq and the large number of Iraqi refugees there.

"It is not possible, in the opinion of Iraq, to impose economic sanctions on Syria," Zebari told a news conference in the Iraqi shrine city of Najaf.

W140 Full Story
Morocco Islamists Claim 'Historic' Vote Breakthrough

Morocco's moderate Islamists said Saturday they were poised for an unprecedented electoral win, the latest religious party to achieve spectacular gains on the back of the Arab Spring.

A month after Islamists won Tunisia's post-revolution election and days before their predicted surge in Egyptian polls, their Moroccan counterparts claimed to have achieved a similar breakthrough without bloodshed.

W140 Full Story
One Dead in Fresh Tahrir Square Clashes in Egypt as Election Looms

One person died in fresh clashes on Saturday, as the rift between Egypt's military rulers and activists who ousted Hosni Mubarak deepened just days before landmark polls.

The naming of a new prime minister, Kamal al-Ganzuri who once served as premier under Mubarak, failed to satisfy demands for change ahead of parliamentary elections due to start on Monday.

W140 Full Story