Middle East
Latest stories
Defiant Gadhafi Vows to Defeat NATO

Hours after loud blasts shook Libya's capital Tripoli, Moammar Gadhafi vowed to defeat NATO as his forces launched a deadly rocket assault on rebel-held Misrata.

State television on Friday aired Gadhafi's comments in what it said was a live telephone call from the Libyan leader, who has gone underground since Western nations began waging an air war in March to protect civilians from a bloody protest crackdown.

W140 Full Story
At Least 12 Dead in Syria Protests amid Call for Tougher Sanctions

Syrian security forces killed at least 12 people when they opened fire on protesters on Friday, rights activists said, as France urged tougher EU sanctions against President Bashar al-Assad's regime.

The protests after the main weekly Muslim prayers came as the army pressed its campaign against northern towns and the number of refugees fleeing across the border into Turkey neared 10,000.

W140 Full Story
Libya Rebel Chief Denies Talks with Gadhafi Regime

Libyan rebel chief Mahmoud Jibril denied Friday suggestions by a Russian envoy that the insurgents had been negotiating with Moammer Gadhafi's regime.

"I can assure you there is and there was no negotiation between the NTC and the regime," the head of the rebel National Transitional Council told a press conference in Naples.

W140 Full Story
Syria Envoy Sues France 24

Syria's ambassador to France has lodged an official complaint against the news channel France 24 accusing it of misinformation, the state-run SANA news agency reported Friday.

Lamia Shakkur filed the complaint to the Paris public prosecutor on Wednesday "for broadcasting false information," the Syrian embassy in France said in a statement carried by SANA.

W140 Full Story
Saudi Official Says Saleh Won't Return Home, Yemeni Official Denies

Embattled Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh, being treated for shrapnel wounds in Riyadh, will not return home, a top Saudi official told Agence France Presse on Friday, contrary to Sanaa's claims that he will return soon.

"The Yemeni president will not return to Yemen," the official said, requesting anonymity.

W140 Full Story
Two Loud Explosions Rock Tripoli in Libya

Two loud blasts shook Libya's capital Tripoli on Friday afternoon following a series of more distant explosions heard earlier in the day, an Agence France Presse journalist said.

Tripoli has been targeted anew by NATO warplanes, which since Thursday have been constantly overflying the Libyan capital.

W140 Full Story
Lieberman: No Chance of Peace if U.N. Recognizes Palestinian State

Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman on Friday bluntly told the European Union's top diplomat that U.N. recognition of a Palestinian state in September would render the Oslo Accords null and void.

At a breakfast meeting with EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, Lieberman said the 1993 Oslo Accords that created the Palestinian Authority, and all the agreements reached since then, would be cancelled if they secured recognition of their independent state when the United Nations meets this autumn.

W140 Full Story
Ban Urges Assad 'to Stop Killing People'

U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon on Thursday urged Syrian President Bashar Assad's regime "to stop killing people," as pressure mounted on Damascus over its widening crackdown in the north.

Ban, who was in Brazil as part of a Latin America tour in support of his bid for re-election as secretary-general, told reporters Assad should "engage in an inclusive dialogue" and "take bold... measures before it is too late."

W140 Full Story
Gas Canister Explosion in Israeli City Kills 4

An overnight explosion in the Israeli coastal town of Netanya which left four dead, was caused by a gas leak and was not related to any criminal or nationalist issues, police said on Friday.

The blast occurred late on Thursday in centre of the seaside town, flattening a four-storey building and injuring around 65 people, many of whom were sitting in a restaurant on the ground floor.

W140 Full Story
Rami Makhlouf Turns to Charity, Says Doesn't Want to Be 'Burden on Syria'

Telecoms tycoon Rami Makhlouf, a cousin of President Bashar al-Assad who is on a list of 13 Syrians facing EU sanctions, said Thursday he will allocate profits from his businesses to charity.

"Profits from the shares I own in Syriatel will be allocated to charity, humanitarian work and development projects" for people across Syria, Makhlouf said in a statement obtained by Agence France Presse.

W140 Full Story