Main headlines

January 9, 2014

Iraqi soldiers monitor a checkpoint east of Baghdad on January 6, 2014. On Thursday, 13 Iraqi army recruits were killed by a suicide bomber in the capital city. (AFP)
10:30 GMT

A suicide bomber killed 13 Iraqi army recruits and wounded more than 30 near Baghdad on Thursday in an attack on men who were responding to the government's appeal for more fighters to help battle Al Qaeda in Anbar province.

Several parts of Anbar province have been outside government control - and under the command of Al Qaeda-linked militants - for several days. (AFP)
09:09 GMT

Iraqi tribesmen have recaptured the majority of Anbar province, restoring tentative calm to the cities of Ramadi and Fallujah after they were controlled by Al Qaeda-affiliated gunmen for several days.

The UN Security Council has attempted to pass three resolutions on Syria since March 2011 (File Archive/AFP)
08:39 GMT

Russia blocked a British-drafted UN Security Council statement that condemns the Syrian government attacks on the northern city of Aleppo.

Israeli airstrikes regularly damage Palestinian property severely. Here, Palestinians look at the wreckage of their homes in the Gaza town of Rafah in late 2012. (AFP/File)
07:52 GMT

Three Palestinians were injured after Israel launched an airstrike on the southern Gaza strip on Thursday morning.

Tension between Bahrain's Sunni and Shiite populations has risen since the onset of protests and police crackdowns in 2011. (AFP/File)
07:48 GMT

Bahrain announced late Wednesday that it has suspended reconciliation talks with the Shiite opposition majority amidst growing unrest.

Palestinian supporters of the Palestinian leader Mahmud Abbas’ Fatah party wave flags during a rally marking the 49th anniversary of the movement on January 2, 2014 in the West Bank city of Nablus. (AFP)
07:33 GMT

Fatah, the party of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, has reached out an olive branch to rival group Hamas regarding the formation of a national unity government.

AIn Al Hilweh, the Palestinian refugee camp in Lebanon's south considered a "hotbed" for militants, fears a possible armed sectarian clash with Hezbollah forces due to the latter's politics at home and in Syria (Courtesy of the Guardian)
07:29 GMT

Sectarian clashes between Palestinians in Lebanon's south and Hezbollah may be imminent if the latter party does not "revise its policies at home and in Syria," a key spiritual leader told reporters this week.

The conservative Likud party, which Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu heads, ensured that the "left wing" "Two-State Solution" bill was not passed in the Knesset. Opposition MPs warned that Israel will become isolated if it does not reach peace with Palestine soon. (AFP/File)
07:22 GMT

Minority Israeli lawmakers in the Knesset lost their bid to pass a "Two-State Solution" bill that would make it illegal for Israel to randomly annex any Palestinian land, with the conservative Likud party rejecting it on a 44-25 vote.

Rebel fighters gesture next to the bodies of handcuffed and blindfolded dead men laying on the ground of the Aleppo headquarters of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant. (AFP)
07:17 GMT

Since the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS) began freeing hundreds of prisoners in Aleppo, shocking stories about their detention have emerged.

Iran Foreign Minister Javad Zarif, pictured here with EU representative Catherine Ashton in November 2013, will meet with major world powers in Geneva Thursday to discuss how to implement the historic nuclear deal from late last year (File Archive/AFP)
06:53 GMT

Nuclear talks between major Western powers and Iran resume Thursday in Geneva. The talks will focus on how to implement the landmark November deal, but previous disagreement on technical issues like centrifuges may undermine the accord if compromises are not made on both sides of the table.

A 2013 report said that extremists and jihadists now make up more than half of the rebel and opposition forces fighting against Assad in Syria. (AFP/File)
04:00 GMT

The Kyrgyz government announced Wednesday that it had arrested a senior terrorist ringleader who was seeking to recruit militants to fight jihad in the Syrian civil war.

January 8, 2014

Despite the chaos engulfing Anbar province, life must go on as normal for many residents. Here, Iraqi traders sell their goods at an open air market in the center of the city of Fallujah, west of the capital Baghdad on January 8, 2014 (AFP)
19:55 GMT

The Iraqi Red Crescent warned of a growing humanitarian situation in Fallujah and Ramadi, in Iraq's Anbar province, reporting that thousands were in need of aid and fleeing their homes across the violence-torn area.

Mourners carry the body of a comrade killed during battles with members of the al-Qaeda-linked group Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), in the northern city of Aleppo, on January 8, 2014.
19:04 GMT

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said Wednesday that after being battled by rebel fighters, very few Al Qaeda-affiliated militants remain the northern Syrian city of Aleppo.

Assuming the National Congress immediately appoint a replacement, Libyan Prime Minister Ali Zeidan may resign imminently. (AFP/File)
16:05 GMT

Libyan Prime Minister Ali Zeidan said Wednesday that he was ready to resign if the National Congress immediately replace him, and that the new cabinet will be appointed shortly.

A protestor holds up a sign in English as thousands of African asylum seekers who entered Israel illegally via Egypt staged a protest in Tel Aviv on January 7, 2014, slamming the Jewish state's long-term detention of African migrants. The protest continued to Jerusalem on Wednesday. (AFP)
15:18 GMT

African migrants traveled to Jerusalem on Wednesday to protest against Israel's migration policies - where it detains and expels refugees - for the fourth day in a row.