06292016Wed
Last update: Wed, 29 Jun 2016 08am

Middle East

World - Middle East

Saudi Aramco, SABIC in joint petrochemicals study RIYADH: Two Saudi Arabian industrial giants said on Tuesday they will jointly study a project to make chemicals from oil, as the world's largest crude exporter seeks to diversify its economy.Saudi Aramco, the state oil company, said it has signed an agreement with Saudi Basic Industries Corp (SABIC), one of the largest global manufacturers of petrochemicals, fertilisers, plastics and metals.They will conduct "a feasibility study on the development of a fully integrated crude oil-to-chemicals complex to be located in Saudi Arabia," Aramco said in a statement.The agreement contains principles of cooperation that will form the basis of a joint venture if the study reaches a positive conclusion, the company said.It added that the project is consistent with the kingdom's wide-ranging Vision 2030 plan announced by Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in April.The plan aims to wean the kingdom off oil, which remains its main revenue source even though global ...

World - Middle East

Suicide bomber kills nine at Iraq mosque: officials BAGHDAD: A suicide bomber detonated explosives at a Sunni mosque near Baghdad where worshippers were gathered for prayers, killing at least nine people, officials said on Tuesday.The attack on the mosque in Abu Ghraib, which also wounded at least 28 people, took place during evening prayers on Monday as Muslims mark the holy fasting month of Ramadan.There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack, but the Islamic State jihadist group frequently carries out ...

World - Middle East

UN chief Ban says Israel-Turkey deal 'hopeful signal' for region JERUSALEM: UN chief Ban Ki-moon on Monday welcomed a deal between Israel and Turkey to normalise relations after years of acrimony, calling it a "hopeful signal for the stability of the region.""I welcome today's announcement of the normalisation of relations between Israel and Turkey," Ban told journalists as he met Israeli President Reuven Rivlin. Copyright AFP (Agence France-Presse), 2016 ...

World - Middle East

Iraq forces take full control of Fallujah FALLUJAH: Iraqi forces took the Islamic State group's last positions in the city of Fallujah Sunday, establishing full control over one of the miltants' most emblematic bastions after a month-long operation.Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi had already declared victory on June 17 after IS defences collapsed, with Iraqi forces facing only limited resistance in subsequent clearing operations.The offensive saw tens of thousands of civilians risk death to flee their homes, leaving Iraq to grapple with a ...

World - Middle East

Russia planes pound Aleppo as Syria army closes in ALEPPO: Russian and Syrian warplanes pounded rebel-held areas of divided second city Aleppo on Saturday as government forces closed in on the rebels' sole remaining supply line, a monitoring group said.An AFP correspondent in the rebel-held east of the city said the air strikes lasted throughout the night into the morning.Aleppo, which was Syria's commercial and manufacturing hub before civil war broke out in 2011, has been a key battleground ever since rebels seized eastern ...

World - Middle East

Assad tasks minister with forming new government BEIRUT: Syria's President Bashar al-Assad tasked Electricity Minister Emad Khamis with forming a new government on Wednesday, state news agency SANA reported, without giving an immediate reason for the formation of a new cabinet. SANA gave no details on why Khamis would replace Wael al-Halaki as prime minister, or whether Halaki would be included in the new administration or had left government.Halaki himself replaced a prime minister who defected to the opposition. The Damascus-based government ...

World - Middle East

Turkish jets strike PKK targets in northern Iraq, southeast Turkey DIYARBAKIR: Turkish warplanes struck Kurdish militant targets in northern Iraq and southeastern Turkey overnight on Wednesday, and authorities imposed new curfews in rural areas as the army and police continue to battle insurgents, security sources said.The fighting came a day after Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said operations in the mainly Kurdish southeast had ended, apparently referring to the months-long clashes in some urban centres, and added the government would focus on reconstruction.The air strikes in ...