After years of tense relations with President Bashar Assad, Saudi Arabia has adopted a bolder approach towards Syria, prompted by rival Iran's growing regional influence.
The kingdom recently brought Syrian political and armed opposition factions together for unprecedented talks in Riyadh, the culmination of months of manoeuvring by the Sunni Muslim power.Full Story
Two lifeless bodies lay on the ground as the terrified crowd, armed only with sticks against gun-toting Ethiopian security forces, fled the fierce crackdown on protesters.
Blood seeped through a sheet covering one of the bodies on the road outside Wolenkomi, a town just 60 kilometers (37 miles) from the capital Addis Ababa.Full Story
Barack Obama has reveled in defying predictions that 2015 would make him a lameduck president, but securing his final year goals -- from closing Guantanamo to enacting gun control -- will test the limits of White House power.
The last year of a U.S. presidency can be a pitiful thing.Full Story
After years of waning influence, Russia and Iran made a dramatic comeback in the Middle East in 2015 as they threw their support behind Syria's embattled President Bashar Assad.
A decades-long backer of the Syrian regime, Moscow dramatically raised the stakes this year by deploying its air force to bomb rebels fighting Assad's army.Full Story
From the blood spilled in the streets of Paris to the San Bernardino shootings, the world in 2015 showed its vulnerability to the brand of terror perpetrated by Islamic State jihadists.
Over the past 12 months, the group that took root in Iraq and in the chaos of the Syrian war has turned its focus from territorial gains to hitting at "distant enemies".Full Story
Catalonia's bid for independence from Spain has thrust the region's separatist movement to the forefront of Sunday's general election, forcing parties to come up with a range of proposals on how best to meet its demands.
Years of inaction by Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy's conservative government, whose ruling Popular Party refused any form of negotiation or compromise with the separatists, "have caused a lot of harm," says Catalan historian Andreu Mayayo.Full Story
Nigeria, which is still battling Boko Haram militants, now risks unleashing a new Islamist threat after violent clashes between the army and a radical Shiite group, experts say.
Though no official death toll was released, at least a dozen members of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN) were killed in confrontations with the army during a religious procession last week in the northern city of Zaria.Full Story
Seeking to make up for drastically worsening ties with neighbors Iran and Russia as well as bolstering its energy security, Turkey is moving to restore full relations with Israel after falling out more than five years ago.
NATO member Turkey was for years seen as the main Muslim ally of Israel, but ambassadors were withdrawn following the deadly storming by Israeli commandos in 2010 of a Turkish aid ship bound for Gaza.Full Story
Empowered by an effective fighting force on the ground, a newly-formed Kurdish-Arab alliance in Syria is working to position itself as a player in any future peace negotiations with Damascus.
Top international envoys gathered in New York on Friday to push towards a resolution to Syria's nearly five-year war and discuss the formation of an opposition delegation for talks with the regime.Full Story
A fully armed Sukhoi-24 bomber roared deafeningly down the runway at Russia's Hmeimim base in Syria and took off into the sky over the war-torn country.
Within a few minutes another jet laden with bombs hurtled along the tarmac after it and followed up towards the clouds. Then another, and another.Full Story