Middle East Unrest

  • Palestinian death toll rises to 74 as Israel hits Gaza over rocket fire July 10, 2014

    Gaza/Jerusalem: At least 74 Palestinians, most of them civilians, have been killed in Israel's Gaza offensive, Palestinian officials said on Thursday, and militants kept up rocket attacks on Tel Aviv and other cities in warfare showing no signs of ending soon. Eight Palestinian family members, including five children, were killed in...
  • Peace talks must mean Assad's exit: Syrian opposition May 30, 2013

    Istanbul: The Syrian opposition said on Wednesday it would only take part in planned international peace talks if a deadline was set for a settlement that forces President Bashar al-Assad to leave power. In its first official reaction to the Geneva conference being prepared by the United States and Russia, the...
  • Horrific video shows rebel eating Syrian government soldier's heart May 15, 2013

    Washington: A ghastly video posted online shows how barbaric the Syrian civil war can be. A rebel fighter is seen carving into the body of a Syrian government soldier, cutting out his heart and liver, putting the heart in his mouth and taking a bite, CNN has reported. "I swear...
  • Syrian rebels in strategic battle for south March 30, 2013

    Beirut: Capitalising on a recent influx of weapons, Syrian rebels are waging a strategic battle for the southern part of the country and seeking to secure a corridor from the Jordanian border to Damascus in preparation for an eventual assault on the capital. On Friday, the rebels celebrated their latest victory:...
  • Syrian civil war: Two years on, over 1 million refugees March 7, 2013

    Syria's civil war is pushing more people than ever to flee the country. Over the past few months, the exodus has accelerated and now the UN is reporting a dramatic milestone. The number of refugees from the conflict has passed the one-million mark. ...
  • Syrian opposition head visits rebel areas in north March 4, 2013

    Following rebel gains, the leader of the Syrian opposition made his first visit on Sunday to areas near the embattled northern city of Aleppo as fighters trying to oust President Bashar al Assad captured a police academy and a border crossing along the frontier with Iraq. Assad, meanwhile, lashed out at...
  • Syria says it's prepared to talk with armed rebels February 26, 2013

    Beirut: Syria said on Monday it is prepared to hold talks with the armed rebels bent on overthrowing President Bashar al-Assad, the clearest signal yet that the regime is growing increasingly nervous about its long-term prospects to hold onto power as opposition fighters make slow but persistent headway in the...
  • Syria: Schools on frontline of Damascus war February 24, 2013

    Damascus: Syria's civil war has burst into central Damascus and its indiscriminate violence has put civilians in the firing line. Thursday's powerful bomb which killed more than 60 people in the capital's Mazraa district may have targeted President Bashar al-Assad's ruling Baath Party or the embassy of his ally Russia. But many...
  • Syria: Rockets hit eastern Aleppo, killing 12 February 23, 2013

    Beirut: Rockets struck two eastern districts of Aleppo city on Friday, killing at least 12 people and trapping many families in the ruins of their homes, activists in the city said. "There are families buried under the rubble," said an activist called Baraa al-Youssef, speaking by Skype after visiting the scene...
  • Time to refer Syrian war crimes to ICC, says UN inquiry February 19, 2013

    Geneva: United Nations investigators said on Monday that Syrian leaders they had identified as suspected war criminals should face the International Criminal Court (ICC). The investigators urged the UN Security Council to "act urgently to ensure accountability" for violations, including murder and torture, committed by both sides in an uprising and...
  • Shoe thrown at Iranian president in Egypt February 7, 2013

    Cairo: Iran's president on Wednesday offered to help rescue Egypt's failing economy with a "big credit line," another sign of improving relations between two regional powers after a freeze of more than three decades. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad made the proposal during the first trip to Egypt by an Iranian leader since 1979....
  • Iranian leader visits Egypt in warming of ties February 6, 2013

    Cairo: President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's visit to Cairo on Tuesday, the first by an Iranian leader in more than three decades, highlights efforts by Egypt's Islamist leader to thaw long frigid ties between the two regional heavyweights. Although the official welcome was warm, there was unscripted discord from Sunni protesters angry over...
  • Syrian opposition chief offers Assad peaceful exit February 5, 2013

    Beirut: Syrian opposition leader Moaz Alkhatib urged Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's government on Monday to start talks for its departure from power and save the country from greater ruin after almost two years of bloodshed. Seeking to step up pressure on Assad to respond to his offer of talks - which...
  • Egypt unrest continues, protests outside president compound February 2, 2013

    Cairo: Protesters denouncing Egypt's Islamist president hurled stones and firebombs through the gates of his palace gates on Friday, clashing with security forces who fired tear gas and water cannons, as more than a week of political violence came to Mohammed Morsi's symbolic doorstep for the first time. The streets outside...
  • UN's Ban decries 'horrors' in Syria, urges end to war January 31, 2013

    Kuwait: Denouncing "unrelenting horrors" in Syria's war, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon appealed on Wednesday for an end to the violence and more aid to address a situation he said was catastrophic and worsening by the day. "How many more people will be killed if the current situation continues?" Ban said, addressing...
  • 65 people found executed in Syria's Aleppo: Activists January 30, 2013

    Beirut: At least 65 people were found shot dead with their hands bound in the northern Syrian city of Aleppo on Tuesday in a "new massacre" in the near two-year revolt against President Bashar al-Assad, activists said. Opposition campaigners blamed the government but it was impossible to confirm who was responsible....
  • Russia says Syria's Assad's prospects fading January 28, 2013

    Moscow: Russia said the chances of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad staying in power were growing "smaller and smaller", as fighting on Sunday in southwestern Damascus shut a main highway from the capital. Assad has long counted Moscow as an ally and Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev's remarks were the most vocal Russian...
  • Five die in Egypt violence on anniversary of uprising January 26, 2013

    Cairo/Ismailia: Five people were shot dead in the Egyptian city of Suez during nationwide protests against President Mohamed Morsi on Friday, the second anniversary of the uprising that toppled Hosni Mubarak. One of the dead was a member of the security forces, medics said. Another 280 civilians and 55 security personnel...
  • Explosions kill 83 at Syrian university as exams begin January 16, 2013

    Beirut: Two explosions tore through one of Syria's biggest universities on the first day of student exams on Tuesday, killing 83 people and wounding dozens, a monitoring group said. Bloodshed has disrupted civilian life across Syria since a violent government crackdown in early 2011 on peaceful demonstrations for democratic reform turned...
  • Egyptian appeals court orders Mubarak retrial January 14, 2013

    Cairo: A Cairo appeals court on Sunday overturned Hosni Mubarak's life sentence and ordered a retrial of the former Egyptian president for failing to prevent the killing of hundreds of protesters during the 2011 uprising that toppled his regime. The ruling put the spotlight back on the highly divisive issue of...
  • US, Russia talks on Syria end without breakthrough January 12, 2013

    Geneva: International mediator Lakhdar Brahimi and envoys from Russia and the United States - backers of opposing sides in Syria's civil war - failed to make a breakthrough in talks on Friday seeking a political solution to the conflict. "We stressed again that in our view there was no military solution...
  • Syria: Assad 'peace plan' greeted with scorn by foes January 7, 2013

    Beirut: Syrian President Bashar al-Assad rejected peace talks with his enemies on Sunday in a defiant speech that his opponents described as a renewed declaration of war. Although the speech was billed as the unveiling of a new peace plan, Assad offered no concessions and even appeared to harden many of...
  • Syria: Assad to give speech in a rare address to nation January 6, 2013

    Beirut: Syrian President Bashar Assad will deliver a speech on Sunday in a rare address to the nation, state media said, as rebels fighting to topple his embattled regime pressed ahead with an offensive on the capital. The official SANA news agency said in a brief statement on Saturday that Assad...
  • UN lifts Syria death toll to 'truly shocking' 60,000 January 3, 2013

    Amman/Geneva: More than 60,000 people have died in Syria's uprising and civil war, the United Nations said on Wednesday, dramatically raising the death toll in a struggle that shows no sign of ending. In the latest violence, dozens were killed in a rebellious Damascus suburb when a government air strike turned...
  • Syria starts 2013 with aerial strikes and clashes January 2, 2013

    Beirut: Syrians woke on New Year's Day to countrywide aerial bombardment, while President Bashar al-Assad's forces and rebels fighting to topple him clashed on the outskirts of the capital. Residents of Damascus entered the new year to the sound of artillery hitting southern and eastern districts that form a rebel-held crescent...
  • Syria doomed to 'hell' without political deal: Envoy December 30, 2012

    Moscow/Azaz: The international mediator touting a peace plan for Syria warned on Saturday of "hell" if the warring sides shun talks, and Moscow accused enemies of President Bashar al-Assad of blocking negotiations. UN-Arab League envoy Lakhdar Brahimi said in Moscow that responsible people inside and outside Syria should "help the Syrians...
  • Syria: Air strike kills dozens waiting to buy bread December 24, 2012

    Beirut: Dozens of people were killed and many more wounded in a Syrian government air strike that hit a bakery where a crowd was queuing for bread on Sunday, activists said. If confirmed, the attack on Halfaya in central Syria, which was seized by rebels last week, would be one of...
  • Syria fires Scud missiles at rebels: Official December 13, 2012

    Kabul: Syrian government forces have fired Scud missiles at insurgents in recent days, escalating the 2-year-old conflict against rebels seeking to overthrow the regime, US officials said on Wednesday. Speaking on condition of anonymity, two officials said forces of President Bashar Assad have fired the missiles from the Damascus area into...
  • Israel fires guided missile to warn Syria over shelling November 12, 2012

    Jerusalem: Israel fired a guided missile into Syria on Sunday in a potent "warning shot" after mortar fire from fighting between Syrian troops and rebels hit the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights for the second time in four days. Israel Radio said it was the first direct engagement of the Syrian military on...
  • Up to 11,000 people flee Syria in 24-hour period November 10, 2012

    Beirut: As many as 11,000 people fled Syria in 24 hours, some of them desperately clambering through a razor-wire fence into Turkey on Friday to escape fierce fighting between rebels and government forces for control of a border town. The exodus is a sign of the escalating ferocity of the violence,...