05272016Fri
Last update: Fri, 27 May 2016 03am

Middle East

World - Middle East

Russia says international powers to meet on Syria May 17 in Vienna MOSCOW: Russia's foreign ministry on Tuesday said international powers will meet to discuss the Syria crisis in Vienna on May 17, with recent fighting threatening to derail fledgling peace efforts. A spokeswoman told AFP that minister Sergei Lavrov "is planning" to take part in the meeting of the International Syria Support Group (ISSG) -- which includes 17 key nations -- in the Austrian capital next week.Moscow -- a key backer of President Bashar al-Assad -- is currently spearheading a diplomatic push to resolve the conflict as co-chair of ISSG alongside the United States. Washington and Moscow on Monday vowed in a joint statement to "redouble" efforts to end the five-year war in Syria, as regime forces and rebels in the Syrian battleground city of Aleppo agreed to extend a truce for a second time. A surge in fighting in Aleppo has threatened to kill off a broader February 27 ceasefire ...

World - Middle East

Iran equipped with Russian missile system: defence minister TEHRAN: Iran's army is now equipped with a Russian air defence system after a long and controversial delivery process, Defence Minister General Hossein Dehghan was quoted as saying Tuesday."I inform our people that... we are in possession of the strategic S-300 system" and that it "serves our air force's counterattack command," Dehghan said, according to ISNA news agency.Parts of the system, including missile tubes and radar equipment, were displayed on April 17 during a military ...

World - Middle East

Yemen's Houthis deny agreement to release all prisoners soon CAIRO: Yemen's Houthi fighters have denied reports that warring parties have reached a preliminary agreement on Tuesday to release all prisoners beginning within 20 days. The Iran-allied Houthis and Yemen's Saudi-backed exile government are trying to reach a peace agreement in talks in Kuwait aimed at ending a year-long war and easing a humanitarian crisis in the Arabian Peninsula's poorest country. Government sources at UN-backed peace talks earlier on Tuesday said an agreement had been ...

World - Middle East

Saudi carries out 92nd execution of year RIYADH: Saudi Arabia on Tuesday executed one of its citizens convicted of murder, raising to 92 the number of death sentences carried out this year in the kingdom.Mohsen al-Dosari was found guilty of stabbing to death another Saudi man following a dispute, the interior ministry said in a statement.Most people put to death in Saudi Arabia are beheaded with a sword Murder and drug trafficking cases account for the majority of Saudi executions, although 47 ...

World - Middle East

Saudi Aramco to expand as oil demand grows: president DHAHRAN: State oil giant Saudi Aramco, which could soon become the world's largest listed company, will keep expanding despite low crude prices, its president said on Tuesday."Saudi Aramco will continue to expand," Amin al-Nasser told reporters during a tour of the company's headquarters on Saudi Arabia's Gulf coast in Dhahran, where it drilled its first test well in 1935.Even though the current situation "is challenging, it is an excellent opportunity for growth", said Nasser, as ...

World - Middle East

US and Russia to back Syria ceasefire pledge with pressure: Kerry PARIS: Washington, Moscow and Tehran will press Syrian rebels and government forces to abide by the country's fragile ceasefire agreement, US Secretary of State John Kerry said on Monday."We have a responsibility to make certain that the opposition lives up to this, and Russia and Iran have a responsibility to make sure that the Assad regime lives up to this," Kerry told reporters in Paris."After many hours of discussions, the Russians made clear that is ...

World - Middle East

Senior Islamic State official in Iraq killed in air strike: Pentagon WASHINGTON: An air strike by a US-led coalition killed a senior Islamic State official in Iraq last week, a Pentagon spokesman said on Monday.The strike on May 6 killed Abu Wahib, Islamic State's chief military official in Anbar province, said Pentagon spokesman Peter Cook. The strike was on a vehicle carrying Abu Wahib, also known as Shakir Wahib, and three other Islamic State members near the town of Rutba, Cook said.Islamic State, a hardline Sunni ...