Main headlines

September 14, 2014

US Secretary of State John Kerry  listens during a joint press conference with Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry on September 13, 2014 at the Fairmont Heliopolis Hotel in the capital Cairo. [AFP]
07:45 GMT

Top US diplomat stresses that Egypt is a key partner in fighting Islamist militancy in the region.

Palestinians sit under a makeshift tent they set up amid the rubble of their house which was destroyed by Israeli strikes during the summer's fierce offensive on the Gaza Strip on September 13, 2014 in Khan Yuni. [AFP]
06:53 GMT

Israeli suspicions that Hamas terrorists were operating near schools run by the UN Relief and Works Agency did not justify the attacks against such facilities during this summer’s Gaza war, State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf said on Thursday.

The Islamic State now controls large swathes of Syria's northern territory (Image: Screenshot)
06:37 GMT

Islamic State militants destroyed dozens of Sufi shrines in Syria’s eastern province of Deir al-Zour, according to a British-based human rights group.

Tactics are outlined before the Raqqa attack. [Channel 4]
06:29 GMT

The Jordan Armed Forces (JAF) have strengthened their presence along the Iraqi border on Sunday as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) reportedly inched towards Jordanian territory.

Mr Haines had been working with an NGO in Syria when abducted in March 2013 (File/AFP)
06:20 GMT

IS released a video showing the alleged beheading of captured aid worker David Haines. British Prime Minister David Cameron described the murder as "pure evil".

Omani officials announced Saturday the nation's readiness to take part in the U.S.-led coalition against militants from the Islamic State. (AFP/File)
05:00 GMT

Oman announced Saturday its plans for involvement in the U.S. led campaign against the Islamic State.

September 13, 2014

The border town of Arsal has seen a heightened level of violence in recent weeks, as clashes between armed opposition groups, Lebanese security personal and Syrian refugees end in bloodshed and abductions. (AFP/File)
16:00 GMT

A security source in Arsal said a Lebanese man was taken by gunmen in the Arsal Saturday morning, continuing a long string of violent attacks in the embattled border town.

A group of 15 journalists released a statement Saturday saying they would start a sit-in at the Press Syndicate and hunger strike until Monday. (AFP/File)
15:30 GMT

Several Egyptian journalists launched a hunger strike Saturday in protest of the country's new protest law, which bans protests from occurring without prior police authorization.

IS militants in a Damascus suburb signed a non-agression truce with several armed opposition groups deemed as moderates, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. (AFP/File)
13:59 GMT

Days after U.S. President Obama unveiled a plan to battle IS that consisted of the U.S. arming moderate Syrian rebels, several groups of presumably moderate opposition groups have reportedly signed a non-aggression truce with militants from the Islamic State in a Damascus suburb.

Relations have been tense between Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Hamas leaders, and Abbas' failure to include Hamas representatives in the ICC decision could make things worse. (AFP/File)
12:47 GMT

Palestinian President Mahmoud reportedly blocked at attempt at prosecution in the International Criminal Court for Israeli war crimes committed during the Gaza siege that began in July.

Lebanon's FM Gebran Bassil said Kerry's stance on Iranian involvement should be reconsidered, and that Lebanon would not be part of an "international axis against another international axis." (AFP/File)
11:21 GMT

Amid comments by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry that Iran's support of the Assad regime made its involvement in the anti-IS alliance inappropriate, Lebanon's Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil said a global alliance against the group must work with all countries, including Iran.

Syrian government forces took hold of the town of Helfaya Friday, a central town known for frequent shifts between government and rebel control. (AFP/File)
08:40 GMT

Syrian troops captured the central town of Helfaya Friday after clashes. The Hama-province town is a key location for the regime because of large number of Christian and Alawite communities living in the area, many of whom have started to fear an insurgency from Sunni extremist fighters among the rebels.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has continuously dismissed claims of a plot to set up a Palestinian state in the Sinai Peninsula, an idea the media picked up after a conversation between Abbas and Egyptian President Abd al-Sisi. (AFP/File)
05:00 GMT

Amid international media accusations, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas denies plotting a Palestinian state in the the Sinai Peninsula with Egyptian President Abd al-Fattah al-Sisi.

September 12, 2014

Lebanese troops will receive arms and other military equipment from Washington to help fight the looming threat of insurgency by the IS. (AFP/File)
19:00 GMT

U.S. ambassador David Hale said Friday the U.S. would provide weapons and other equipment needed to help fend off threats Islamic State insurgency in Lebanon.

Kerry met with members of the Gulf Cooperation Council in Jeddah Thursday, where he garnered wide support for U.S.-led campaign against IS militants in Iraq and Syria. (AFP/File)
14:54 GMT

During a meeting with the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Thursday in Jeddah, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry found support among more than 10 Arab nations for the U.S.-led campaign against the IS.