Main headlines

February 17, 2014

Iran's Ayatollah Ali Khamenei released remarks this week indicating that he is not optimistic about the next round of nuclear talks set to commence Tuesday between Tehran and world powers (File Archive)
09:57 GMT

Iran's Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said Monday that nuclear negotiations between Tehran and world powers will "lead nowhere."

Some Palestinian sources have reported that Taha has been missing for over two weeks. (Image courtesty of Al Arabiya/Al-Sharq)
08:44 GMT

Hamas spokesman Ayman Taha - who may or may not be missing - is reportedly under investigation by the group's authorities over unknown "irregularities".

Nasrallah said that the group's presence in Syria was worth all the sacrifices made by the group - aka the hundreds of men who have been killed in the Syrian conflict. (AFP/File)
07:53 GMT

Hezbollah chief Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah said Sunday that his party would fight on in Syria despite the wave of car bombings targeting predominantly Shiite areas in Lebanon controlled by the group.

Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Al Muallem said that the U.S. created a "very negative climate for dialogue in Geneva" (File Archive/AFP)
07:15 GMT

Syria's Foreign Minister told reporters this week that the United States is to blame for the failure of the second round of peace talks that recently finished in Geneva last week.

An image grab from Hezbollah's Al Manar TV shows Hassan Nasrallah, the head of Lebanon's militant Shiite Muslim movement Hezbollah, giving a televised address from an undisclosed location on Sunday evening. (AFP)
07:06 GMT

In a speech made on Sunday night, Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah said that Saudi Arabia is arming and funding terrorist groups across the Middle East.

As the regime pounded Yabroud and the rest of Qalamoun, it continued its barrel bomb campaign in Aleppo, leaving more civilians' lives in shambles (Khaled Khatib/AMC/AFP)
07:03 GMT

Syrian regime forces continued to shell the town of Yabroud and the rest of the Qalamoun area over the weekend as part of an all-out assault on the rebel stronghold.

Fighters and jihadists trained in Syria are posing a threat to the UK's soil. (AFP/File)
06:51 GMT

Senior British security officials say that two hundred and fifty UK-based jihadists have returned home after fighting in Syria, and that they pose a threat to the country's security and stability.

 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.