Syrian troops on Thursday began withdrawing from Tall Kalakh, deploying on the outskirts of the western town that had been besieged following pro-democracy protests, a witness told Agence France Presse.
"Some 20,000 soldiers that had been in the town began withdrawing this morning," said the witness who did not want to be identified. "We counted 80 tanks and armored personnel carriers and buses."Full Story
U.S. President Barack Obama declared Thursday that the borders of Israel and a Palestinian state must be based on 1967 lines, likely setting up a new clash with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
In a long-awaited survey of the "Arab spring" of revolts, Obama compared "shouts of human dignity" across the region to America's birth pangs and civil rights struggles, and said the uprisings showed repression would not work.Full Story
Authorities in Tunis on Thursday denied reports that members of embattled Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi's family, including his wife and daughter, had fled and arrived in Tunisia.
"These reports are totally false," said a government source, stressing that "no member of the Gadhafi family has crossed the Tunisian border" with Libya, where Gadhafi loyalists are fighting to put down a rebellion.Full Story
Taliban fighters attacked an Afghan road construction company before dawn Thursday, triggering gun battles that killed 35 people and wounded another 20 in the worst single attack in months.
The attack, which sparked a shootout lasting five hours, happened in the eastern province of Paktia, which borders Pakistan, at around 2:00am (2130 GMT Wednesday), a provincial spokesman said.Full Story
A Gulf-sponsored accord to end a bloody political dispute between President Ali Abdullah Saleh and Yemen's opposition will be signed on Sunday, opposition and ruling party officials said.
"The signing will take place on Sunday in Sanaa," Sultan al-Barakani, the assistant secretary general of the ruling General People's Congress, said of an accord sponsored by the six-member Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC).Full Story
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Thursday accused Western countries of devising plans to "cause drought" in the Islamic republic, as he inaugurated a dam in a central province.
"Western countries have designed plans to cause drought in certain areas of the world, including Iran," the official IRNA news agency quoted Ahmadinejad as saying in the central city of Arak in Markazi province.Full Story
Syria denounced Thursday U.S. sanctions imposed on President Bashar al-Assad and top aides, saying they were part of long-time efforts by Washington to impose its will in the region to Israel's benefit.
The Syrian Revolution 2011, a Facebook group spurring anti-regime protests, meanwhile called for fresh demonstrations on Friday for "liberty and national unity."Full Story
A special security court in Bahrain has sentenced nine people to 20 years in prison each after it convicted them of abducting a policeman, state news agency BNA reported Thursday.
"The Lower National Safety Court sentenced nine defendants accused of kidnapping one policeman to 20 years in prison," according to an English-language statement on BNA that did not give further details.Full Story
A spate of bomb attacks against police in the disputed northern oil-rich city of Kirkuk on Thursday killed at least 27 people, the worst violence to hit Iraq in nearly two months.
A further 89 people were wounded in the three attacks; with just months to go before U.S. forces must withdraw from the country.Full Story
Al-Qaida has released a message from slain leader Osama bin Laden praising the revolutions in Egypt and Tunisia and urging Muslims to take advantage of a "rare historic opportunity" to rise up, U.S. monitors said.
The message posted on jihadist forums on Wednesday by al-Qaida's media arm As-Sahab addresses Muslims on the revolutions sweeping the Middle East and North Africa, SITE Intelligence said.Full Story