12092016Fri
Last update: Fri, 09 Dec 2016 12pm

Middle East

World - Middle East

Islamic State attacks Iraqi soldiers in Mosul      BAGHDAD: Islamic State militants attacked Iraqi soldiers near a hospital in southeast Mosul on Wednesday, an army officer and the militants group's new agency said, trying to repel the army's deepest advances of the seven-week Mosul campaign.  The fighting came a day after the army's operations commander for Mosul said soldiers surged into the city and took over the Salam hospital, less than a mile (1.5 km) from the Tigris river which divides eastern and western Mosul.  Tuesday's rapid advance marked a change in military tactics after more than a month of gruelling fighting in the east of the city, in which the army has sought to capture and clear neighbourhoods block by block.  But it left the attacking forces exposed, and the Islamic State news agency Amaq said on Wednesday some of them were surrounded. It said a suicide bomber blew himself up near the hospital, killing 20 soldiers. Eight armoured personnel carriers were also destroyed in the fighting, Amaq said.  There was no official ...

World - Middle East

Almost 60 people missing after ship sinks in Yemen ADEN: Nearly 60 people are missing after a ship sank off Yemen's Socotra island, the country's fisheries minister said Wednesday, with state media reporting that only two people had been rescued.The boat went missing five days ago while heading from Yemen's southeastern port city of Mukalla towards Socotra with some 60 people on board, Fisheries Minister Fahd Kavieen said.  Copyright AFP (Agence France-Presse), 2016 ...

World - Middle East

UN says help needed for suffering Hebron HEBRON: The UN's Middle East envoy on Monday warned of a new "spiral of violence" in the flashpoint West Bank city of Hebron unless daily life for its Palestinian residents improves.Nickolay Mladenov said during a visit that while the city was the main Palestinian economic hub in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, little trickles down to those who live there."It is also the city with the highest rate of unemployment and poverty compared to the rest ...

World - Middle East

Syria rebels lose all of northeast Aleppo: monitor BEIRUT: Syrian rebels have lost all of the northern neighbourhoods of their stronghold in eastern Aleppo, a monitor said Monday, as the army pushed an offensive to retake the battered city.The army captured the Sakhur, Haydariya and Sheikh Khodr neighbourhoods on Monday, while Kurdish forces took the Sheikh Fares district from rebels, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.Copyright AFP (Agence France-Presse), 2016 ...

World - Middle East

More than 400 civilians flee east Aleppo: monitor BEIRUT: More than 400 Syrian civilians have fled rebel-held districts of eastern Aleppo for the government-controlled west as regime forces advance in the city, a monitor said Sunday.The civilians fled overnight to the Masaken Hanano district and were taken to regime-controlled areas, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.Syrian state media said government forces had on Saturday captured Masaken Hanano, the largest rebel-held district of Aleppo, in what would be a major breakthrough in the ...

World - Middle East

UN Yemen envoy in new bid for peace MUSCAT: The UN envoy for Yemen announced a new bid for peace talks between the government and rebels, after the latest ceasefire failed to bring an end the 20-month conflict.Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed said he was heading to Riyadh and Kuwait "to prepare for a new round" of talks, as he left Muscat late Saturday after discussions with representative of Yemen's Shiite Huthi rebels and their allies.Riyadh has been the base of Yemeni President Abedrabbo ...

World - Middle East

Helicopter crashes in Iran, killing five: official TEHRAN: Five people on board an Iranian helicopter were killed when it crashed into the Caspian Sea on Sunday, state television reported.The bodies of four crew and a civilian, plus the helicopter, had been found, a security official told state television website.The helicopter, owned by the National Iranian Drilling Company, was carrying an emergency patient from Amir Kabir offshore oil platform when it "disappeared half a mile from the oil rig on its way back," ...