Main headlines

February 8, 2014

TURKEY, Istanbul : ATurkish security officer stands guard in front of an Airbus A320 parked at the Sabiha Gokcen airport in Istanbul, on February 7, 2014. [AFP]
04:00 GMT

Turkey’s F-16 fighter jets forced down an airliner in Istanbul on Friday after a passenger tried to hijack it, brandishing a detonator and ordering it to Sochi where the Winter Olympic opening ceremony was underway, Turkish officials said.

 Several heads of state arrived in Tunisia to attend a ceremony to celebrate the adoption of a new constitution. [AFP]
04:00 GMT

A U.S. delegation walked out of the ceremony to celebrate Tunisia's new constitution on Friday in protest statements made by the representative of Iran accusing the United States of undermining the Arab Spring uprisings.

February 7, 2014

A man waves behind the window of a bus on February 7, 2014, during the evacuation of civilians from the rebel-held areas of the Syrian city of Homs. [AFP]
19:27 GMT

The Syrian government began evacuating civilians from the besieged city of Homs on Friday, executing the first stage of a deal struck with the United Nations in a three-day ceasefire to allow humanitarian aid to enter the city.

Some 12 civilians came out on the first evacuation bus, among nearly 200 expected to be brought out during the day. [AFP]
13:37 GMT

A three-day ceasefire has been agreed as part of what it called a “landmark” deal to allow for the evacuation of civilians from Homs and supplies of humanitarian aid for those who choose to remain, Reuters reported Russia as saying on Friday.

Palestinian protesters clash with Israeli soldiers on the outskirts of Jalazun refugee camp, near the West Bank city of Ramallah, on January 31, 2014. [AFP]
11:38 GMT

The Israeli military removed Palestinian activists protesting in a West Bank village, the status of which is a central issue in the U.S.-brokered peace discussions with the Jewish state, the Associated Press reported Friday.

Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad [AFP]
11:31 GMT

The Syrian government had decided to participate in the second round of peace talks in the Swiss city of Geneva, state television reported Syria’s deputy foreign minister as saying Friday.

Unlike his hardline predecessor, Iranian President Hassan Rowhani wants to create more of a moderate image for his country. [AFP]
11:22 GMT

A Jewish hospital in the Iranian capital has received about $400,000 from the government of President Hassan Rowhani, in an attempt to further unite “all ethnic groups and religions” in the Islamic republic, the New York Times reported Thursday.

Workers are seen in front of the Cairo Security Directorate, which was damaged by a car bomb attack on Friday, in downtown Cairo January 26, 2014. [AFP]
11:20 GMT

A security source told Reuters the explosions occurred near a police station in Giza, a large district on the outskirts of Cairo. The source said that three people were injured.

Hollande said young people needed to be warned about the dangers of going to Syria. [AFP]
04:00 GMT

Experts from the European Union and eight Arab countries plus Turkey will hold a meeting in Brussels on Tuesday to discuss threats posed by foreign fighters in Syria, a source told Al Arabiya News Channel on Thursday.

“The people want Sisi and the people’s will shall prevail,” journalist Fajer al-Saeed quoted Mubarak as telling her at the armed forces hospital in Cairo. [AFP]
04:00 GMT

Ousted Egyptian President Husni Mubarak said in an interview published on Thursday that military leader Abdel Fatah al-Sisi would be the next president because “people want” him.

February 6, 2014

[AFP]
17:55 GMT

he Iraqi government, which has strong ties to Shiite Iran, has allowed al-Qaeda-linked militants to benefit from “the alienation” of the country’s Sunni population, Agence France-Presse reported U.S. lawmakers as saying Wednesday.

Syrian rebels seized control on Thursday of most of Aleppo’s central prison, freeing hundreds of prisoners. [AFP]
16:55 GMT

Syrian rebels seized control on Thursday of most of Aleppo’s central prison, freeing hundreds of prisoners, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

Israeli military vehicles entered a border area in the southern Gaza Strip on Thursday, locals said.
16:43 GMT

Israeli military vehicles entered a border area in the southern Gaza Strip on Thursday, locals said.

An image of the Virgin Mary and baby Jesus hangs on the partially destroyed wall of a house belonging to a Christian family in a neighborhood besieged by government forces in the central Syrian city of Homs. [AFP]
13:28 GMT

Opposing sides have come to an agreement on allowing aid into the city of Homs.

Iraqi municipality workers clean the street near the wreckage of a vehicle at the site of a car bomb explosion in the industrial Camp Sarah district of central Baghdad on February 6, 2014. (AFP)
11:32 GMT

At least five people have been killed in Baghdad on Thursday as six car bombs ripped through the Iraqi capital, medical officials said.