Main headlines

February 17, 2014

 Free Syrian Army announced on February 16, 2014, it had fired Selim Idriss as its military chief and appointed Abdel al-Ilah al-Bachir to replace him. [AFP]
04:00 GMT

Syria’s opposition Supreme Military Council announced on Sunday that Salim Idriss, the chief of the main armed opposition group Free Syrian Army, has been removed from his post, with Brigadier Abdullah al-Bashir appointed in his place, Al Arabiya News Channel reported.

February 16, 2014

IRAQ, Kirkuk : Armed policemen stand outside a police post that was attacked at dawn by unknown gunmen on February 16, 2014 in Taza, 30 kms south of the Iraqi city of Kirkuk. [AFP]
19:09 GMT

At least 17 people have been killed in the latest spate of terrorist attacks across Iraq, security and medical sources say.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry blamed the breakdown of the Syria talks in Geneva on the ‘obstruction’ by the regime of President Bashar al-Assad. [AFP]
19:01 GMT

U.S. Secretary of State urged the regime’s supporters to press for the creation of a transitional government

Libya's Prime Minister Ali Zeidan, officials and Ministers arrive for a meeting to mark the 20th anniversary since the founding of the Arab Maghreb Union in Tripoli on February 15, 2014. [AFP]
17:56 GMT

Libya's parliament has reached consensus on holding early elections following popular pressure after it had extended its mandate that ended on Feb. 7, deputies said Sunday.

Sadr, who enjoys a wide base support as leader of al-Sadr movement, comes from a prominent Shiite family and is the fourth son of a highly-respected Shiite cleric. [AFP]
16:46 GMT

Iraq’s powerful Shiite figure Muqtada al-Sadr issued a statement on Saturday saying that he has quit politics and no longer has any political coalition representing him or his family.

It is the first time that Jordan publicly reports an armed attack from Syria, although there have been several smuggling incidents in recent months.
16:31 GMT

Ten gunmen from Syria opened fire on troops patrolling an isolated border area in the north, the Associated Press reported a Jordanian army spokesman as saying.

An Egyptian holds a poster behind barbed wires, as riot policemen stand guard outside the Police Academy where a hearing in the espionage trial of Egypt's ousted Islamist president Mohamed Morsi is opened on Sunday. (AFP)
14:22 GMT

Former Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi's lawyer withdrew from his defence team on Sunday, prompting the trial to be postponed to later this month. The lawyer walked out of the proceedings in protest of the soundproof glass box Morsi is made to sit in at court.

A picture taken on February 16, 2014, shows flames rising from the wreckage of a tourist bus at the site of a bomb explosion in the Egyptian south Sinai resort town of Taba. [AFP]
13:20 GMT

A tourist bus exploded in Egypt's city of Taba Sunday, leaving at least three dead.

The Lebanese army had previously dismantled a car bomb in Bekaa Valley in December (Courtesy of The Daily Star)
12:11 GMT

The Lebanese army discovered and dismantled a car bomb in the Bekaa Valley Sunday, shortly ahead of Hezbollah leader's Hassan Nasrallah's planned speech.

Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zahri released the statement denouncing the idea of having international troops in a future Palestinian state Saturday (Courtesy of Press TV)
10:29 GMT

The Palestinian Hamas movement published a statement Saturday denouncing the idea of having international troops stationed in a future Palestinian state as part of the proposed peace deal with Israel.

Hardline Islamist group Ansar Al Sharia may be behind the attack. (AFP/File)
10:27 GMT

Islamist militants disguised as security officials killed three Tunisian policemen and a civilian in an attack near the border with Algeria, the state news agency reported Sunday.

Iraqi troops killed militants in Ramadi earlier this week as clashes continue between ISIS and government troops in Anbar province (Azhar Shallal/AFP)
09:45 GMT

An Al Qaeda fringe group has claimed responsibility for the death of 15 Iraqi military troops who were killed in their barracks this week near Mosul.

PM Tammam Salam used compromise to form the new Lebanese cabinet - Hezbollah are represented next to Sunni politicians in the new formation. (AFP/File)
08:59 GMT

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has congratulated Lebanon on the formation of the new Lebanese cabinet, and called on Premier Tammam Salam to bring stability to the restive Levant country.

At least 10 tunnels between Gaza and Egypt were destroyed this weekend as part of Egypt's effort to create a buffer zone on its shared border with the Palestinian territory (File Archive)
08:20 GMT

Egyptian authorities destroyed at least 10 tunnels and seven homes Saturday as part of its "new campaign to create a buffer zone" along its shared border with Gaza.

Aid agencies are struggling to bring relief to the thousands of suffering refugees in Yarmouk. (AFP/File)
08:13 GMT

A spokesman for the UN's Palestine refugee agency said Saturday that UNRWA has been unable to distribute aid in Yarmouk for the past week, leading to a potentially "life-threatening" situation for those trapped in the besieged camp.