Main headlines

March 20, 2014

A Palestinian woman draped in her national flag from the West Bank village of Nabi Saleh, near Ramallah, stands near members of the Israeli security forces following a march against the nearby Jewish settlement of Hallamish on 14 March 2014. (ABBAS MOMANI / AFP)
07:40 GMT

The Palestinians threatened Wednesday to resume their campaign for international recognition at the United Nations if Israel calls off a planned release of Palestinian prisoners, deepening a crisis that has threatened to derail U.S.-led Mideast peace efforts.

A chemical weapons attack devastated Damascus in April of last year. (AFP/File)
07:36 GMT

The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons says Syria has successfully removed nearly half of its chemical weapons stockpile. Syria says it remains committed to removing all weapons by June 30.

Israel continues to threaten Iran despite Iranian attempts at improving relations with the Western world. (AFP/File)
07:14 GMT

The Israeli army continues to prepare for possible military action against Iran, with Tel Aviv allocating billions in their budget in preparation for a strike.

Lebanese troops are deployed in the Lebanese town of Arsal on the border with Syria on March 19, 2014 after the reopening of the main road out of the town after a night of tension. (AFP)
07:06 GMT

Clashes intensified on Thursday between the Syrian regime troops and gunmen along the Lebanese-Syrian border with shelling and gunfire targeting the Akkar border area.

Flying the Iraqi flag, police and security gather along Street 60 after the southern districts of the city of Ramadi, the capital of the Anbar province, were recaptured by government forces from militants, on March 16, 2014. (AFP)
06:56 GMT

Clashes in Iraq have killed 37 people and wounded dozens of others as the government struggles with the unrest in the country, officials say.

The soon-to-be-vacated Syrian diplomatic buildings and facilities may be entrusted, the State Department said Wednesday, to "a third State." (AFP)
05:00 GMT

The U.S. Department of State provided additional details Wednesday regarding the ordered closure of the Syrian embassy in Washington and its honorary consulates in Michigan and Texas.

March 19, 2014

Lebanon is increasingly being derailed by the spillover of violence in Syria. (AFP/File)
19:52 GMT

At least two rockets from inside Syria have reportedly landed in the eastern Lebanese border town of Hermel.

The uprising in Syria - which quickly turned into a full blown civil war - first began in Deraa, where Gharaz Central Prison is located. (AFP/File)
18:53 GMT

Syrian rebels have taken control of a prison outside the city where the uprising began three years ago and freed dozens of inmates, activists said Wednesday.

Wednesday's attack by the Assad regime took place in a northwestern Damascus suburb. (AFP)
17:01 GMT

Syria’s government air force on Wednesday bombed a northwestern suburb of Damascus, killing eight people, activists reported. The attack violated a truce that was made between rebels and regime fighters in October.

Palestinian protestors from the West Bank village of Nabi Saleh, near Ramallah, waves their national flag as they sit in the road in front of Israeli security forces during a demonstration against Jewish settlers (AFP)
15:59 GMT

PLO official Hanan Ashrawi said Wednesday that Israel's plans to build 184 new settler homes in the occupied West Bank proved that Israel is trying to sabotage the U.S. peace talks and "provoke violence and extremism throughout the region".

The closed Syrian embassy is pictured in Washington on March 18, 2014. The US closed down Syria's embassy in Washington and ordered its remaining diplomatic staff to leave the country if they were not US citizens. (AFP)
15:05 GMT

Russia and Syria have slammed the United States for its decision to close Syrian embassy and consulates in the country, saying that it proves "Washington is seeking a regime chance in Damascus".

Israeli is making it increasingly more difficult for the international community to help Palestinians living in Gaza, the UN said. (AFP)
14:49 GMT

The United Nations says Israel has blocked humanitarian aid worth USD 110 million from reaching Palestinians living in the Gaza Strip.

Iran will meet with the so-called P5+1 world powers in early April in the next round of talks over Tehran's nuclear program (Dieter Nagl/AFP)
14:13 GMT

Iran will meet with world powers in early April after concluding the latest round of meetings in Vienna Wednesday.

Iraq's security forces were able to regain control of Ramadi that was previously under control of anti-government fighters earlier this year (Azhar Shallal/AFP)
13:16 GMT

At least 15 people have been killed in government shelling in Iraq's Fallujah.

The Lebanese army was deployed to the town of Arsal Wednesday following Tuesday evening's protests as well as in response to the growing spillover from the neighboring war in Syria (STR/AFP)
12:16 GMT

The Lebanese army reopened the only road that is connected to the border town of Arsal Wednesday after protesters took to the streets and blocked several major roads throughout the country Tuesday evening.