Middle East
Latest stories
U.S. Army Chief Cautions against Cut to Egypt Aid

The U.S. military's top officer on Friday cautioned against moves to cut off aid to Egypt due to the unrest against the government of President Hosni Mubarak.

"I would just caution against doing anything until we really understand what's going on," Admiral Mike Mullen said in an interview on ABC News.

W140 Full Story
Jordanians Demonstrate for Reform, Egypt

Around 1,000 protesters gathered on Friday outside the Jordanian prime minister's office to demand reforms, before staging a sit-in near Cairo's embassy in support of anti-regime protests in Egypt.

The demonstrators, answering calls by the powerful Islamic Action Front (IAF), the political arm of the country's Muslim Brotherhood, chanted: "The people demand reform and change."

W140 Full Story
Seven Dead as Ankara-Bound Jet Crashes in Iraq

A small private jet en route to Turkey's capital Ankara crashed soon after takeoff on Friday in Sulaimaniyah, northern Iraq, killing seven people, airport officials said.

"The aircraft caught fire just after it took off," Hadi Amer, an official at the airport 270 kilometers north of Baghdad, told Agence France Presse.

W140 Full Story
Rain Floods Syria Streets on 'Day of Rage', Not Protesters

Rain, not protesters, flooded the streets of Damascus on Friday after Muslim prayers when a "day of anger" had been promoted by online activists in an echo of Egypt's popular uprising.

For a week, Facebook activists had touted Friday as the day they would mark a peaceful "2011 Syrian revolution" to "end corruption and tyranny."

W140 Full Story
Israel Restricts Access to Al-Aqsa to Avert Pro-Egypt Revolt Demos

Access to Jerusalem's flashpoint Al-Aqsa mosque compound was restricted on Friday in a bid to prevent demonstrations in support of the Egyptian uprising after Muslim prayers, police said.

"This Friday, we are forbidding access to the compound to men under 50 years old carrying an Israeli identity card," Israeli police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld told Agence France Presse.

W140 Full Story
Huge Crowds Turn Out for Mubarak 'Departure Day'

Egyptian protesters massed Friday for sweeping "departure day" demonstrations to force President Hosni Mubarak to quit after he said he would like to step down but fears chaos would result.

Tens of thousands filled Cairo's central Tahrir Square, the epicenter of the 11 straight days of protests that have shaken the pillars of Mubarak's three-decade rule, on the Muslim day of rest.

W140 Full Story
Human Rights Watch Urges Syria to Respect Right to Protest

Human Rights Watch called for the Syrian authorities on Friday to "respect" the right of its people to protest, amid online calls for large demonstrations.

"Syria’s government should immediately cease its intimidation and harassment of demonstrators expressing solidarity with pro-democracy campaigners in Egypt," the human rights group said in a statement.

W140 Full Story
Anti-Mubarak Activists Pour into Tahrir Square

Protesters demanding President Hosni Mubarak's ouster packed Cairo's central square in huge numbers Friday, waving Egyptian flags, singing the national anthem and cheering, appearing undaunted and determined after their camp withstood two days of street battles with regime supporters trying to dislodge them.

Thousands more flowed over bridges across the Nile into Tahrir Square, a sign that they were not intimidated after fending off everything thrown at the protesters by pro-Mubarak attackers — stones, firebombs, fighters on horses and camels and automatic gunfire. The protesters passed through a series of beefed-up checkpoints by the military and the protesters themselves guarding the square.

W140 Full Story
Khamenei: Arab Uprisings Sign of 'Islamic Awakening'

A wave of uprisings in Arab countries is a sign of an "Islamic awakening" which was envisaged when the 1979 Iranian revolution took place, Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said on Friday.

"Today's events in North Africa, Egypt and Tunisia and some other countries have different meanings for us," Khamenei, the commander-in-chief and spiritual guide of Iran, said in a sermon at Tehran university during the Muslim weekly prayers.

W140 Full Story
Moussa Says he May Run for Egyptian Presidency

Arab League chief Amr Moussa, a former Egyptian foreign minister, said Friday he might run for his country's presidency but stressed he thought President Hosni Mubarak would remain in power until September.

"I do not think he (Mubarak) will leave. I think he will stay until the end of August," he told France's Europe 1 radio.

W140 Full Story