02102016Wed
Last update: Wed, 10 Feb 2016 01am

Middle East

World - Middle East

Iraq's largest dam at 'higher risk' of failure: US BAGHDAD: Mosul Dam in northern Iraq, the country's largest, is at now at a "higher risk" of failure that could devastate areas to its south, according to a US assessment released by the Iraqi parliament.The dam was built on an unstable foundation that continuously erodes, and a lapse in maintenance after the Islamic State jihadist group briefly seized it in 2014 weakened the already flawed structure."All information gathered in the last year indicates Mosul Dam is at a signficantly higher risk of failure than originally understood," said the assessment from the US Army Corps of Engineers, cited in an Iraqi parliamentary report on Monday.And it "is at a higher risk of failure today than it was a year ago," it said.Since the dam's completion in 1984, the Iraqi government has sought to shore up the foundation by injecting mortar-like grout into cavities that develop under the structure.A US officer said ...

World - Middle East

Syria air strike hits MSF-supported hospital, 3 dead: statement PARIS: An air strike hit a hospital in southern Syria that was supported by Doctors Without Borders (MSF), killing three people and wounding six others, including a nurse, the medical charity said on Tuesday."The strike on Tafas field hospital, some 12 kilometres (seven miles) from the Jordanian border, took place on the night of February 5. It caused partial damage to the hospital building, and put its heavily-used ambulance service out of action," MSF said ...

World - Middle East

Israeli parliament takes first step to pass controversial NGO law JERUSALEM: The Israeli parliament voted early on Tuesday to pass a controversial bill in its first reading that would compel NGOs that receive most of their funding from foreign governments to declare it in official reports.The proposal -- denounced by critics as likely to encourage a \ witch-hunt against leftist groups that campaign for the defence of Palestinian rights -- passed with 50 votes in favour and 43 against following a tense debate.Copyright AFP (Agence ...

World - Middle East

Kerry hopes for talks in weeks on ending Yemen conflict WASHINGTON: US Secretary of State John Kerry said on Monday it may be possible to hold talks over the next few weeks on ending the conflict in Yemen."Over the course of the next week it may become possible to try to engage in some productive conversations about how to bring that conflict to a close," Kerry told reporters after talks at the State Department with Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir. He did not elaborate, saying ...

World - Middle East

Egypt flooded Gaza tunnels at Israel's request: minister JERUSALEM: An Israel minister said Egypt flooded tunnels on its border with the besieged Gaza Strip at the Jewish state's request, before a spokeswoman on Sunday said the remarks were misinterpreted.Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz, a member of the ruling Likud party, said on Saturday that Egypt's President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi "did flood a large part of the tunnels between Gaza and Sinai", calling it a "good solution".The Palestinian coastal enclave's southern border with Egypt's Sinai ...

World - Middle East

Iraqi PM rejects idea of building security wall around Baghdad BAGHDAD: Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi on Saturday dismissed plans announced by the military this week to build a concrete wall around Baghdad in a bid to prevent attacks by Islamic State militants."Baghdad is the capital of all Iraqis," he said in a statement. "There can be no wall or fence to isolate it or prevent other civilians from entering it."Baghdad Operations Command said on Wednesday that preparatory work for a security barrier was underway ...

World - Middle East

Syrian President Assad's mother dies aged 86: state media BEIRUT: Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's mother, Anisa Makhlouf, has died at the age of 86, Syrian state media said on Saturday.Makhlouf was married to the late president Hafez al-Assad, who ruled Syria from 1971 until his death in 2000.They married in 1957 and had five children: Bushra, Basil, Bashar, Majed and Maher.Copyright Reuters, 2016 ...