06012016Wed
Last update: Wed, 01 Jun 2016 04am

Middle East

World - Middle East

Bin Laden's son urges jihadist unity in Syria DUBAI: The son of Al-Qaeda's late founder Osama bin Laden has urged jihadists in Syria to unite, claiming that the fight in the war-torn country paves the way to "liberating Palestine". "The Islamic umma (nation) should focus on jihad in Al-Sham (Syria) ... and unite the ranks of mujahedeen there," said 23-year-old Hamza in an audio message posted online."There is no longer an excuse for those who insist on division and disputes now that the whole world has mobilised against Muslims," he said.His undated message comes after Al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri also urged jihadists in Syria to unite, despite his continued rejection of the rival Islamic State (IS) group and its proclaimed caliphate. "The matter of unity today is one of life and death," Zawahiri said in an audio message posted online on Saturday."Either you unite to live as Muslims with dignity, or you bicker and separate and so are ...

World - Middle East

France calls for Syrian sides to resume Geneva talks PARIS: France on Monday urged the Syrian government and rebel forces to return to the negotiating table in Geneva "as soon as possible".Speaking after a meeting in Paris with several Arab and Western backers of the Syrian opposition, French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault also called for "concrete guarantees on the maintenance of the ceasefire" and access for humanitarian aid on the ground.Syria's main opposition High Negotiations Committee (HNC) suspended its formal participation in the UN-brokered ...

World - Middle East

Russia and US 'redouble' efforts for Syrian settlement MOSCOW: Russia and the United States on Monday agreed to "redouble" efforts to find a political solution to the Syrian conflict and extend a truce across the whole of the country.With a temporary ceasefire in place in a war that has killed more than 270,000 people over five years, Washington and Moscow said some headway had been made in reducing the fighting.But they admitted they had faced "difficulties" in some areas of the country and ...

World - Middle East

IS leader for Iraq's Anbar province killed in air strike: Pentagon WASHINGTON: A US-led coalition air strike has killed a senior Islamic State leader in Iraq's Anbar province, along with three other IS jihadists, the Pentagon said Monday.Pentagon spokesman Peter Cook said the May 6 strike near the town of Rutba -- deep in the Anbar desert -- targeted Abu Wahib, IS's "military emir" for the vast western province.Wahib was "a former member of Al-Qaeda in Iraq who has appeared in ISIL execution videos," Cook said, ...

World - Middle East

Yemen foes resume direct talks after mediation KUWAIT CITY: Yemen's warring parties resumed face-to-face talks on Monday following a two-day interruption after mediation efforts and an appeal by the UN envoy, the United Nations said.Three joint working groups, formed by the UN last week, discussed during face-to-face meetings written proposals tabled by the two delegations to resolve the 13-month conflict, UN special envoy Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed said in a statement.He said the groups discussed key issues on political and security matters ...

World - Middle East

Aleppo truce extended by 48 hours: Syrian army DAMASCUS: A truce in Aleppo in northern Syria between regime forces and rebels that was due to expire late Monday has been extended by 48 hours, the army command said."The 'regime of silence' in Aleppo and its province has been extended by 48 hours from Tuesday 01:00 am (local time) to midnight on Wednesday," a statement said.The temporary truce, initially for two days and then prolonged until Tuesday at 00:01 am (21:01 GMT Monday), was ...

World - Middle East

Saudis intercept ballistic missile fired from Yemen RIYADH: Saudi air defence on Monday intercepted a ballistic missile fired from Yemen, the Arab coalition backing the Yemeni government said, slamming a "dangerous escalation" as peace talks with rebels falter."The launch of the missile at this time is a dangerous escalation by Huthi militias" and the forces of ousted president Ali Abdullah Saleh, said the Saudi-led coalition in a statement.It said the coalition is cooperating with the international community to "maintain calm and help ...