Main headlines

March 19, 2014

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.

Israel settlement construction more than doubled in 2013 (File Archive)
10:59 GMT

Israel granted final approval Wednesday to build 186 new settler homes in east Jerusalem.

Egypt's Sinai peninsula has been a site of frequent militant attacks targeting security officials (File Archive/AFP)
10:25 GMT

Two Egyptian security officials were killed during a raid Wednesday in their attempt to uncover a jihadist hideout north of Cairo.

An Israeli border guard shot and killed a Palestinian coming from Jordan last week at a border crossing, which has escalated tension between the Hashemite Kingdom and Israeli counterparts (File Archive/AFP)
09:46 GMT

Israeli soldiers kills a 19-year-old Palestinian teenager in Hebron Wednesday.

The latest round of nuclear talks between Tehran and world powers resumed Tuesday this week in Vienna (Dieter Nagl/AFP)
08:00 GMT

Iran officials told reporters this week that Tehran is trying to first reach common ground with the so-called P5+1 group of wolrd powers during the latest round of nuclear talks rather than sealing the deal prematurely.

The Syrian army captured the last rebel stronghold of Yabroud on the Lebanese border Sunday (SANA/AFP)
07:33 GMT

After taking over the last rebel stronghold on the Lebanese border, Syrian regime forces continue to advance and have taken control of several strategic mountains and hills near the former rebel area of Yabroud.

Four Israeli soldiers were wounded in the Golan Heights border explosion Tuesday (Jalaa Marey/AFP)
07:20 GMT

Israeli forces attacked Syrian army positions overnight Tuesday in response to this week's Golan Heights bombing that left four Israeli soldiers wounded.

Limited food and medical supplies to many besieged areas, including Yarmouk, have caused dozens of civilian deaths since the war began in 2011 (File Archive)
07:08 GMT

U.N. aid flows resumed in the besieged Yarmouk camp in the suburbs of Damascus this week, ending a two-week suspension due to security conditions.