Middle East
Latest stories
Syria Opposition Figures Seek to Form Alternative Body

A group of Syrian opposition figures is seeking to form an alternative to the National Coalition body and open negotiations with President Bashar Assad to end their country's conflict.

The "National Syrian Democratic Conference" is expected to take place in Cairo in early May and bring together some 150 opposition figures living in Syria and abroad, organizers say.

W140 Full Story
Sudan Summons EU Representative over Vote Criticism

Sudan's foreign ministry summoned the EU representative in Khartoum on Friday to protest a statement issued by Brussels that criticized nationwide elections due to start next week.

EU foreign affairs chief Federica Mogherini said in a statement Thursday that the polls "cannot produce a credible result" because of President Omar al-Bashir's failure to establish a genuine national dialogue, which he announced last year.

W140 Full Story
Morocco Bus Crash Kills 31, Mostly School Athletes

Schoolchildren returning from a sports competition in Morocco were among 31 people killed Friday in a head-on collision between a truck and a bus that caught fire, officials said.

The accident in southern Morocco is the worst in the North African kingdom since September 2012 when a bus plunged into a ravine, killing 42 people.

W140 Full Story
PLO Rejects Idea of Joining Yarmuk Fighting

The Palestinian leadership has rejected the idea of joining the conflict in Syria's Yarmuk camp, apparently ruling out involvement in a joint military operation to expel the Islamic State group.

The position was made clear in a statement released late Thursday by the Palestine Liberation Organization from its headquarters in the West Bank city of Ramallah.

W140 Full Story
Saudi Border Guards Face Yemen 'Red Line'

The Saudi border guard points past a crumbling, abandoned village towards a road barely visible against the hazy backdrop of Yemen's towering mountains.

"That is the Red Line," he says.

W140 Full Story
Red Cross, U.N. Fly Aid into Yemen as Raids Batter South

The Red Cross and U.N. flew medical aid into Yemen's capital Friday after southern city Aden was battered by the heaviest night yet of Saudi-led air strikes targeting Shiite rebels.

The United Nations also called for a daily "humanitarian pause" of a few hours, saying aid was desperately needed in the conflict-ravaged country.

W140 Full Story
Pakistan Parliament Rejects Saudi Call to Join Yemen Coalition

Pakistan's parliament on Friday voted to stay out of the conflict in Yemen, rejecting Saudi demands for Islamabad to join its military coalition against Shiite Huthi rebels.

A unanimous resolution passed by a special session of parliament backed the government's commitment to protect Saudi Arabia's territory, which has so far not been threatened by the conflict. 

W140 Full Story
Turkey Arrests 17 over 'Syria Arms Interception'

A Turkish court on Friday placed under arrest pending trial 17 soldiers charged in a hugely controversial case over the interception last year of a consignment that allegedly contained arms bound for Syria.

The 17 have been charged with membership of a terrorist organization and working on behalf of the "parallel state", common official shorthand for President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's arch enemy the U.S.-based preacher Fethullah Gulen.

W140 Full Story
Syrian Observatory: IS Holding 50 Civilians after Raid on Syria Village

Jihadist fighters from the Islamic State group are holding hostage at least 50 civilians, almost half of them women, seized in a raid on a village in central Syria, a monitor said.

They were kidnapped from the village of Mabujeh in Hama province on March 31, said the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

W140 Full Story
U.N. calls for 'Humanitarian Pause' in Yemen Violence

The United Nations called Friday for an immediate "humanitarian pause" of at least a few hours each day in Yemen to allow desperately needed aid to enter the conflict-ravaged country.

The Red Cross and U.N.'s children agency finally managed Friday to get two planeloads of medical aid into the country -- the first to reach Sanaa since Saudi-led air strikes against Shiite rebels began last month.

W140 Full Story