05272016Fri
Last update: Fri, 27 May 2016 05am

Middle East

World - Middle East

Russia backs Syrian army against terrorism: Lavrov VIENNA: Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov insisted Tuesday that Moscow is not wedded to Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad, but is backing his army against the Islamic State group"We don't support Assad, we support the fight against terrorism," Lavrov argued, after a meeting of the International Syria Support Group in Vienna."On the ground we don't see any more real and efficient force than the Syrian army, even given all its weaknesses," he told reporters.Copyright AFP (Agence France-Presse), 2016 ...

World - Middle East

World Food Programme to drop aid into besieged Syria towns: Kerry VIENNA: World powers on Tuesday called on the United Nations to carry out air drops over besieged areas in Syria as regime blockades in rebel-held areas were stopping all food and medical aid in defiance of UN Security Council resolutions."Starting on June 1, if the UN is denied humanitarian access to any of these designated areas, the International Syria Support calls on the World Food Programme to immediately carry out a programme for air bridges ...

World - Middle East

IS blasts rock Syria gas field: monitor BEIRUT: Powerful blasts rocked a key gas field in central Syria on Monday, with a monitor saying they were caused by the Islamic State group blowing up pumping stations.The Shaer gas field -- one of the biggest in the central province of Homs -- has been the site of fierce fighting between IS militants and Syrian government loyalists."There were three huge explosions there carried out by IS on Monday," said Rami Abdel Rahman of the ...

World - Middle East

US, allies stage 14 strikes against IS in Iraq, Syria: US military WASHINGTON: The United States and its allies conducted 14 strikes against Islamic State in Iraq and Syria on Sunday, the coalition leading the operations said.In a statement released on Monday, the Combined Joint Task Force said six strikes near four cities in Syria struck three tactical units and a financial headquarters and destroyed a vehicle, a rocket rail and four fighting positions.In Iraq, eight strikes near five cities denied access to terrain, suppressed a mortar ...

World - Middle East

Kerry holds Saudi talks ahead of Syria, Libya meetings JEDDAH: US Secretary of State John Kerry held talks in Saudi Arabia on Sunday to secure its support ahead of a potential showdown with Russia at talks on the Syrian conflict.After his Saudi meetings, Kerry was due to fly to Vienna which this week will host the international contact groups engaged in efforts to halt fighting in Syria and Libya.Riyadh is the key backer of rebels fighting to overthrow Syria's President Bashar al-Assad, and Kerry ...

World - Middle East

More than 800 migrants rescued off Sicily, many of them Syrian ROME: At least 800 migrants were rescued off the coast of Sicily on Thursday, among them at least 150 Syrians, the Italian coastguard and the UN refugee agency said.It was by far the largest number of Syrian refugees arriving in Italy this year, dwarfing the tiny handful who have so far made it this year on boats from North Africa, suggesting a possible change in tactic as the European Union and Turkey seal off access ...

World - Middle East

Air strikes on Syria's Idlib kill 16 jihadists: monitor BEIRUT: A series of air strikes struck a military airport in northwestern Syria on Thursday, killing 16 jihadists including a top fighter from the Al-Qaeda affiliated Al-Nusra Front, a monitor said.The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said more than 60 air raids targeted the Abu Duhur military airport in Idlib province which Al-Nusra and allied Islamist fighters seized in September.Observatory director Rami Abdel Rahman said however that it was unclear if the strikes were carried ...