05292016Sun
Last update: Sun, 29 May 2016 10pm

Middle East

World - Middle East

Islamic State militants seize gas field in eastern Syria AMMAN: Islamic State militants on Thursday captured the main Shaer gas field in eastern Syria in the first gain for the ultra militant in the Palmyra desert area since they lost the ancient city in March, rebel sources and a monitor said. Amaq, a news agency affiliated to the militants, said they had taken over the gas field area and its facility where Syrian troops were stationed and killed at least 30 soldiers and gained large caches of heavy weapons including tanks and missiles. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights confirmed the militants seizure of the gas field area that lies roughly 150 km (90 miles) northwest of Palmyra after a three-day assault. The militants were able to seize the area despite heavy aerial bombing to push them back, it said. The militants had captured the gas field and nearby gas facilities in Homs province on several occasions but had ...

World - Middle East

US, Russia win truce promise in Syria's Aleppo ALEPPO: Under pressure from Russia and the United States, the Syrian army agreed on Wednesday to respect a two-day truce in the war-ravaged city of Aleppo.The Syrian climb-down came after Washington said the US and Russia had agreed to push the warring parties to extend their shaky ceasefire."A truce will be in place in Aleppo for 48 hours from 1:00 am on Thursday (2200 GMT Wednesday)," Syrian army command said, according to state media.The Russian ...

World - Middle East

Yemen govt urges UN action over rebel fire on besieged third city KUWAIT CITY: The head of the Yemeni government delegation at troubled peace talks in Kuwait demanded action from UN mediators on Thursday over rebel shelling of besieged third city Taez.Foreign Minister Abdulmalek al-Mikhlafi said the rebel artillery fire was in contravention of undertakings they had given when face-to-face negotiations resumed on Wednesday following a three-day walkout by his team.Mikhlafi said his negotiators had submitted proposals to UN envoy Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed for implementing an ...

World - Middle East

Etihad says 31 passengers injured in Indonesia turbulence ABU DHABI: An Etihad Airways flight experienced "severe and unexpected" turbulence just before landing in Jakarta on Wednesday, leaving 31 passengers injured, the carrier said.An Etihad spokesperson told AFP that the plane was an Airbus A330-200.The flight landed safely at Soekarno Hatta International Airport, the Abu Dhabi-based airline said, adding that medical assistance teams met passengers as they disembarked."Twenty-two are being treated by paramedics for minor injuries at the airport. Nine other passengers have been ...

World - Middle East

Israel to upgrade ties with NATO JERUSALEM: Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Wednesday that Israel would upgrade its ties with the 28-member NATO military alliance by opening a permanent mission to its Brussels headquarters."Israel will accept the invitation and open an office, in the near future," Netanyahu said at the start of a cabinet meeting."The countries of the world want to cooperate with us because of our determined fight against terror, our technicological know-how, our intelligence network and other things," ...

World - Middle East

Egypt court acquits former Mubarak PM CAIRO: Egypt's top appeals court acquitted on Wednesday Hosni Mubarak's last prime minister of corruption charges after overturning his sentence for illegal profiteering, his lawyer and a judicial official said.Ahmed Nazif had been found guilty by two criminal courts in 2012 and 2015 of illegally amassing 64 million Egyptian pounds ($7.2 million) serving under the former president.He was sentenced to three years in prison in the first trial, and to five years in the second ...

World - Middle East

Saudi oil minister visits Sudan to cement improving ties KHARTOUM: Saudi Oil Minister Ali al-Naimi visited Sudan on Wednesday promising increased investment in a major fillip for the impoverished African nation after its tilt from Tehran towards Riyadh."This visit is part of our move to make investments in the region," Naimi told reporters on his arrival."In Sudan we will concentrate on investments in the mining sector."Naimi went straight into talks with his Sudanese counterpart Ahmed Mohamed al-Karuri before meeting President Omar al-Bashir.A major focus ...