Main headlines

January 23, 2014

Bashar al-Assad has been starving its people and blocking humanitarian access to them as a “war strategy,”. [Huffington Post]
18:26 GMT

The regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has been starving its people and blocking humanitarian access to them as a “war strategy,” which can be considered a war crime or a crime against humanity, Amnesty International Secretary General Salil Shetty told Al Arabiya News in Davos on Wednesday.

US Secretary of State John Kerry gestures during a press conference closing the so-called Geneva II peace talks dedicated to the ongoing conflict in Syria, on January 22, 2014. [AFP]
17:14 GMT

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry told Al Arabiya News Channel on Thursday that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad had “committed war crimes” and was “not ready for a solution” to the ongoing Syrian crisis.

Violence perpetrated by Islamists in Algeria is declining. (AFP/File)
14:09 GMT

The Algerian army killed four Islamists during an overnight raid on a militant base south of Algiers, the Defense Ministry said Thursday.

Iran's president Hassan Rouhani addresses the World Economic Forum in Davos on January 23, 2014. He said Iran is not interested in acquiring nukes. (AFP)
13:10 GMT

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said Thursday that the Islamic Republic wants to pursue constructive relationships with its regional neighbours, and that it has no intention of acquiring nukes.

It is not clear yet whether or not Sisi will run to be president of Egypt. (AFP/File)
13:00 GMT

Egypt's interim Prime Minister Hazem el-Beblawi has publicly announced his support for army chief Gen. Abdel Fattah Al Sisi to run for president of Egypt.

According to a Human Rights Watch tally, Iraq hanged at least 151 people in 2013. 37 people were arrested this week alone. (AFP/File)
12:41 GMT

11 Iraqi nationals were hung on Thursday on "terrorist offenses", the interior ministry said, bringing the total number of people executed in a week to 37.

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 earlier this month. (AFP/File)
12:29 GMT

According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, nearly 1,400 people have died since rebels started fighting against the Al Qaeda-affiliated ISIL earlier in January this year.

At least 21 people have been killed in a bus accident in Turkey Thursday due to icy road conditions (Courtesy of Neoskosmos)
10:39 GMT

At least 21 people have been killed thus far in a bus accident in Turkey's central Kayseri province Thursday.

The defectors said that they were "deceived" into joining the fight against the regime (Courtesy of The Guardian)
10:29 GMT

Video footage released this week shows Free Syrian Army rebels defecting from their ranks and joining Assad's regime forces.

Rouhani was at this week's Davos World Economic Forum to encourage world investment in Iran (File Archive/AFP)
10:07 GMT

Iran's President Hassan Rouhani told reporters this week that Tehran will normalize relations with Europe once the interim nuclear accord is implemented.

The UAE has become notorious for its poor foreign worker treatment (Courtesy of Al Monitor)
09:48 GMT

The United Arab Emirates blocked Human Rights Watch from holding a news conference on rights violations in the region Thursday.

Ayman Al Zawahiri has been leader of Sunni militant group Al Qaeda since 2009. (AFP/File)
08:03 GMT

Head of Al Qaeda Ayman Al Zawahiri on called on all jihadists fighting in the Syrian war to unite in a YouTube video posted on Wednesday evening.

A woman stands in the devastation of her town of Reyhanli, following a twin suicide bombing attack in May 2013. According to Turkish intelligence, more attacks are coming. (AFP/File)
07:39 GMT

The Turkish authorities have issued a warning to Syrians working with opposition groups in Turkey, citing intelligence reports that Al Qaeda-affiliated rebels are planning attacks on them during the Geneva II peace talks.

A member of the charity Oxfam places a rose by temporary gravestones in a demonstration against the war in Syria on the sidelines of the Geneva II peace talks in Montreux on January 22, 2014. Improving humanitarian aid to Syrians is among the topics that will be discussed by the two warring sides. (AFP)
07:23 GMT

Syria's two sides are both prepared to discuss improving access to humanitarian deliveries, prisoner swaps and local ceasefires, U.N.-Arab League envoy Lakhdar Brahimi said following the conclusion of the first day of the Geneva II conference.

The Shiite leadership in Iraq's government have blamed daily suicide bomb and related attacks on what has been described as an Al Qaeda cell in the Anbar province (File Archive/AFP)
07:22 GMT

At least 50 militants were killed in Iraq's Anbar Wednesday while U.S. President Obama met with Iraqi parliamentarians to discuss Sunni leadership integration into the government.