Kerry heads back to Israel on peace push
2013-05-23 05:53:39 GMT : (World/Middle East)
AMMAN: US Secretary of State John Kerry headed back to Israel on Thursday as he kept up a push to bring Israelis and Palestinians back to peace negotiations amid a growing scepticism over his efforts.Making his fourth trip to Israel since he began his tenure as the US chief diplomat in February, Kerry was due to arrive later Thursday and head straight into talks with top Israeli and Palestinian le...
Saudi arrests 10 Iran spy suspects: ministry
2013-05-21 15:51:40 GMT : (World/Middle East)
RIYADH: Saudi authorities have arrested 10 more suspects in an alleged Iranian spy ring unveiled two months ago, an interior ministry spokesman said on Tuesday.The eight Saudis, a Lebanese and a Turk bring the number of people arrested to 28, the official SPA news agency quoted the spokesman as saying.However, a Lebanese arrested in March has since been released."The results of investigations by s...
Kerry to help ink $2.1bn defence deal in Oman
2013-05-21 06:06:08 GMT : (World/Middle East)
SHANNON: US Secretary of State John Kerry will help ink a major estimated $2.1 billion proposed deal with Oman to supply a US-made air-defense system to the Gulf nation, officials said Tuesday.One of the main focuses of Kerry's trip to Muscat was to applaud the signing of a letter of intent between Oman and US manufacturer Raytheon ahead of talks on the final contract, they told reporters trav...
Car bombs kill 12 in Iraq capital and south: officials
2013-05-20 07:16:44 GMT : (World/Middle East)
BAGHDAD: A series of car bombs in Baghdad and the southern Iraqi port city of Basra killed at least 12 people on Monday, security and medical officials said.Five car bombs exploded in the Iraqi capital, while two detonated in Basra, officials said.Copyright AFP (Agence France-Presse), 2013
Yemen general denounces 'sabotage' of air force
2013-05-18 13:17:05 GMT : (World/Middle East)
SANAA: Yemen's air force has been the target of "sabotage", the country's military aviation chief said in a televised interview, days after a fighter jet crashed in the capital Sanaa. "The air force is the target of systematic sabotage," General Rashed al-Janad told the private channel Al-Saida in the interview broadcast late on Friday. He said the Sukhoi SU-22 that crashed in Sanaa last M...
Israel justice minister slams Russia arms to Syria
2013-05-17 12:47:19 GMT : (World/Middle East)
JERUSALEM: Israeli Justice Minister Tzipi Livni on Friday slammed Russian arms deals with Syria, after US media reported further weapons shipments to the Damascus regime.Livni's comments also come in the wake of a surprise visit by CIA chief John Brennan to Israel to discuss the situation in Israel's war-torn neighbour."The transfer of arms to Syria is clearly not positive and does not con...
Financial Times 'hacked by Syrians'
2013-05-17 12:42:11 GMT : (World/Middle East)
LONDON: The website of Britain's Financial Times appeared to have been hacked on Friday by the Syrian Electronic Army, a mysterious group seemingly aligned with the regime of President Bashar al-Assad.The hackers posted messages on the prestigious newspaper's technology blog reading "Hacked by the Syrian Electronic Army", while several Twitter feeds run by the Financial Times were also pla...
Senior US general visits Iraq for security talks
2013-05-16 09:16:51 GMT : (World/Middle East)
BAGHDAD: General Lloyd Austin, the officer who oversaw the US military withdrawal from Iraq, visited Baghdad for talks on defence cooperation and security issues including Syria, the US embassy said on Thursday.Austin, who now heads the US Central Command, "visited Baghdad May 14 to 16, 2013 to discuss US-Iraq defence cooperation and regional security issues, including the situation in Syria," the...
First Kurd rebels reach Iraq under Turkey truce
2013-05-14 16:19:38 GMT : (World/Middle East)
HARUR: A first group of Kurdish fighters pulling out of Turkey under a truce arrived in the autonomous Kurdish region of Iraq on Tuesday to handshakes and embraces after a gruelling week-long journey.But the Iraqi government slammed the movement of Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) fighters into its territory as a "flagrant violation" of its sovereignty and said it would complain to the UN Securi...
Arabs, Turkey see no role for Assad in future Syria
2013-05-14 08:27:04 GMT : (World/Middle East)
ABU DHABI: Five Arab countries and Turkey have reiterated that President Bashar al-Assad should have no role in the future of Syria, as Russia and the United States proposed a peace conference.The foreign ministers of Egypt, Jordan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the UAE, as well as that of Turkey -- all supporters of the Syrian opposition -- expressed their stand at a meeting late Monday in Abu Dhabi, W...
Judge rules US soldier's killing of five was premeditated
2013-05-13 20:58:44 GMT : (World/Middle East)
TACOMA: A military judge ruled on Monday that a US soldier who shot and killed five fellow servicemen at a combat stress clinic in Iraq acted with premeditation, a decision that will almost surely get him life in prison.US Army Sergeant John Russell, in a deal that spared him the death penalty, pleaded guilty last month to killing two medical staff officers and three soldiers at Camp Liberty in Ba...
Syrian opposition to discuss US-Russia plan on May 23
2013-05-13 07:26:14 GMT : (World/Middle East)
BEIRUT: Syria's key National Coalition opposition group will meet May 23 to discuss a US-Russian proposal for an international conference on a political solution to the Syrian conflict."The meeting will take place in Istanbul and last three days... to take a decision on the Kerry-Lavrov proposal and our participation," Coalition spokesman Sonir Ahmed told AFP, referring to US Secretary of Stat...
Gunmen kill seven people in Iraq
2013-05-12 15:26:01 GMT : (World/Middle East)
BAGHDAD: Gunmen shot dead four women in Baghdad and killed three men north of the capital on Sunday, security and medical officials said.The women were killed in a house in the Karrada area of central Baghdad, while the men were shot dead while walking on the main road in the Mishahada area, they said.It was not immediately clear why the victims were attacked. Shootings in Iraq often target securi...
UN praises Qatar key role in release of Golan peacekeepers
2013-05-12 15:21:23 GMT : (World/Middle East)
UNITED NATIONS: Qatar played a key role negotiating the release of four Filipino peacekeepers seized by Syrian rebels in the UN patrolled Golan Heights ceasefire zone, UN officials and diplomats said on Sunday.UN leader Ban Ki-moon praised Qatar's role as he welcomed the release of the four who had been held for five days.Ban "appreciates the assistance of Qatar and of others involved in secur...
Turkey car bombs death toll rises to 40: minister
2013-05-11 14:50:59 GMT : (World/Middle East)
ISTANBUL: The death toll from car bombings in a Turkish town near the border with Syria on Saturday has risen to 40, Interior Minister Muammer Guler said.He told NTV news channel that 100 people were also wounded when two explosive-laden cars blew up in the town of Reyhanli and added that 29 were in serious condition.Copyright AFP (Agence France-Presse), 2013
Russian official says Syria conference not possible in May
2013-05-11 12:44:10 GMT : (World/Middle East)
SOCHI: A Russian official said on Saturday it would not be possible for an international conference aimed at bringing Syrian government and opposition envoys together for negotiations by the end of May.US Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov had announced on Tuesday that Washington and Moscow would seek to organise a conference on Syria and expressed hope it cou...
Palestinian-Syrian group says forming units to fight for the Golan
2013-05-11 12:13:10 GMT : (World/Middle East)
BEIRUT: A militant Palestinian group in Damascus said it is forming combat units to try to recapture Israeli-occupied territory, in particular the Golan Heights, after Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and Hezbollah that they would support such operations.The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command (PFLP-GC) said it was preparing for new operations after nearly 40 years of qui...
Explosions shake Turkish town on Syria border: official
2013-05-11 11:29:05 GMT : (World/Middle East)
ISTANBUL: Two explosions shook a Turkish town on Saturday near the border with Syria where mortar fire has in the past spilled over from Syria's civil war, a local official said.The official told Reuters that the blasts hit Reyhanli in the southern Turkish province of Hatay.Copyright Reuters, 2013
Syria army warns civilians to leave Qusayr: military
2013-05-10 16:24:13 GMT : (World/Middle East)
BEIRUT: Syria's army has warned citizens to evacuate the town of Qusayr ahead of an attack, a military source said on Friday, but an activist denied that and said there was no safe route out."Leaflets were dropped over Qusayr asking civilians to leave the city, with a map of a safe route by which to evacuate, because the attack against the city is coming soon if the rebels do not surrender," t...
Abu Dhabi tourism company loss widens amid property weakness
2013-05-10 13:13:16 GMT : (World/Middle East)
ABU DHABI: The Abu Dhabi tourism development company which is building local branches of the Louvre and Guggenheim museums posted a widening loss last year amid the emirate's property slump and said it could take seven years to turn a profit.The state-owned Tourism and Development Investment Company (TDIC) opened a slew of resorts and handed overs hundreds of villas in 2012 but said it might n...