Middle East
Latest stories
Libya Holds Back from Assault on Last Gadhafi Redoubts

Forces loyal to Libya's new rulers said they were holding back on Thursday from advancing on Moammar Gadhafi's last redoubts despite their capture of two key southern oases.

The commander of NATO's Libya air campaign, Lieutenant General Charles Bouchard, said he was confident the mission could be completed "well within" three months after the alliance extended it for another 90 days.

W140 Full Story
Gadhafi's PM Mahmoudi Arrested in Tunisia

Al-Baghdadi al-Mahmoudi, Libya's former prime minister under Moammar Gadhafi, was arrested in Tunisia and jailed Thursday for six months for illegal entry, a Tunisian justice ministry spokesman told Agence France Presse.

Baghdadi, who was arrested on Wednesday, "appeared before the state prosecutor in Tozeur (430 kilometers south of Tunis) and sentenced to six months in prison with immediate effect," Kadhem Zine el Abidine said.

W140 Full Story
10 Killed in Yemen Capital as Civil War Looms

Deadly clashes spread across Yemen's capital on Thursday as tribesmen joined battles between rival military units, raising fears among frightened residents of a descent into civil war.

Soaring tensions between troops loyal to Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh and his opponents torpedoed efforts on Wednesday by international mediators to promote a Gulf-initiated deal aimed at ending the political impasse that has gripped the country for months.

W140 Full Story
Hundreds Protest in Ramallah over Obama's U.N. Speech

Around 1,000 Palestinians gathered in the West Bank city of Ramallah on Thursday to protest against U.S. President Barack Obama's speech to the United Nations.

The protesters carried signs deriding the United States and Obama for his address, in which he reiterated his opposition to the Palestinians' attempt to win U.N. membership for their state, saying there was no "shortcut" to peace.

W140 Full Story
NATO Says it Can Achieve Libya Mission within 3 Months

NATO can achieve its mission in Libya within the next three months, the commander of the NATO military operation, Lieutenant General Charles Bouchard said Thursday.

Asked for an assessment a day after NATO allies extended their air campaign in Libya by another 90 days, Bouchard said at a press briefing in Brussels: "I'm highly confident we can complete this mission well within this timeframe."

W140 Full Story
Commander: Advance on Gadhafi Hometown Delayed for Lack of Ammo

Troops advancing on Moammar Gadhafi's hometown Sirte from the east have put off any offensive for a week for lack of ammunition, a brigade commander told Agence France Presse on Thursday.

"Fighting has been stopped for a week. We are facing a shortage of ammunition," said Commander Mustafa bin Dardef of the Zintan Brigade, whose troops are deployed on the front line 25 kilometers (15 miles) east of Sirte.

W140 Full Story
Hamas Slams Obama Speech, Says it Shows Bias Towards Israel

Palestinians on Thursday slammed U.S. President Barack Obama's address to the U.N. General Assembly, calling it a display of U.S. bias towards Israel.

Commentators, politicians and ordinary Palestinians alike said Obama's speech on Wednesday, just days before the Palestinians apply to become a U.N. member state, showed Washington was incapable of serving as a fair broker between Israel and the Palestinians.

W140 Full Story
Three Turkish Security Officers Killed in Kurdish Attacks

Three security officials were killed in two separate attacks attributed to Kurdish rebels in east and southeast Turkey, local security sources said on Thursday.

Clashes with Kurdish rebels late Wednesday in a town in Van province in eastern Turkey resulted in the death of two Turkish security forces and left three others wounded, added the sources.

W140 Full Story
Syria TV Says 5 Policemen Killed in Ambush

Syria said on Thursday that "terrorists" had killed five security force members and wounded 17 in the restive area of Daraa while pro-democracy activists said three civilians were killed in Homs, another hub of protest against President Bashar al-Assad.

Activists also said the authorities had blocked mobile phone signals and the internet in parts of Damascus province, at Saqba, Jisrin, Kafar Batna, Hamurieh and Ain Tarma.

W140 Full Story
Former Journalist Elected Israel's Labor Leader

Former TV journalist Shelly Yacimovitch who was elected as head of Israel's Labor, beating former union boss Amir Peretz, on Thursday urged Israelis to join her in rebuilding the country.

The 51-year-old secured 56 percent of the vote in a run-off contest on Wednesday, compared with 46 percent for Peretz, leaving her to take the helm of the ailing party, according to official results published early on Thursday.

W140 Full Story