Main headlines

December 14, 2014

Family members of captive Lebanese servicemen demonstrate for their safe return. At least 25 are still being held captive by Nusra Front and ISIL militants, who are calling for a massive prisoner exchange. (AFP/File)
11:33 GMT

After being approached and detailed by gunman while trying to deliver Qatari-sent aid to Syrian refugees, a resident of the northeastern Lebanese border town of Arsal was released Saturday, according to security sources.

Lebanese authorities have cracked down on Islamists in recent months amid rising tensions following the October attacks in Tripoli. (AFP/File)
10:58 GMT

Three suspected militants were arrested during a raid by the Lebanese army over their alleged involvement in October clashes with army personnel is Lebanon's Tripoli.

American Egypt scholar Michele Dunne, who is also a former US diplomat, has been a critic of the 2013 ousting of president Mohamed Morsi and the handling of Egypt's new government that followed. (AFP/File)
10:14 GMT

Egyptian authorities have refused Egyptian entry to an American Middle East researcher, citing 'security reasons,' despite the researcher being apparent invitation by a "pro-government group" to attend a conference to attend a conference.

A file photo shows demonstrators protesting against freedom of speech infringements and journalists' arrests in Turkey last November. Sunday's raid attempt was only the most recent in a list of trouble journalists have faced with the Turkish government. (AFP/File)
08:46 GMT

Turkish authorities attempted a raid operation on one of the country's most popular newspapers early Sunday, in which they indented to arrest the paper's editor-in-chief, but were not able to enter amid heavy protests by readers.

A Turkish Kurd waves a Kurdish flag at Iraqi peshmerga forces as they enter Turkey on the way to join the fight against ISIL in Syria's Kobani. (AFP/FIle)
08:20 GMT

Two prominent Kurdish parties, the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan and the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan, have been removed from the US terror blacklist by the US Congress.

Kurdish peshmerga fighters scan the horizon at a checkpoint in northern Iraq, the group took back the north-east city of Jaloula from ISIL militants last month. (AFP/File)
07:47 GMT

An Iraqi Peshmerga commander said while the two groups have had trouble in the past, Shiite fighters are helping the peshmerga fight ISIL militants after liberating the north-east Iraqi town of Jaloula from the extremist group last month.

The inciident comes on the heels of American photojournalist Luke Somer's death, who died at the hands of the same al-Qaeda earlier this month during an attempted rescue mission by U.S. special forces.
07:08 GMT

Several suspected al-Qaeda militants dressed in women's niqabs were confronted and killed at the border of Saudi Arabia and Yemen when a bus security search prompted one of the militants to open fire.

Pictured below are the UN Special Envoy to Syria, Staffan de Mistura (left) and Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad. (AFP/File)
05:00 GMT

The deputy to the UN special envoy to Syria arrived in Damascus on Saturday to begin a series of negotiations with Syrian officials and militants.

December 13, 2014

Iraqi military and Kurdish militias have been battling ISIL for months. (AFP/File)
20:09 GMT

Islamic State militants shot down an Iraqi military helicopter in Samarra.

ISIL fighters have recaptured several villages near Anbar governorate. (AFP/File)
19:24 GMT

ISIL militants have recaptured several villages by the Anbar governorate, local officials and tribal figures reported.

Yemeni security forces do routine inspections at checkpoints, but they rarely inspect vehicles carrying women. (AFP/File)
14:00 GMT

Yemeni troops shot dead five Al-Qaeda suspects disguised as women who fired at a solider during a checkpoint inspection.

Thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced out of their homes in the city of Mosul. (AFP/File)
12:33 GMT

A Iraqi Christian lawmaker claimed that at least 160,00 Iraqi Christians have been forced out of Mosul after ISIL seized the city in June.

Pictured are US Secretary of State John Kerry (left), and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas (right). (AFP/File)
10:15 GMT

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and US Secretary of State John Kerry discussed the latest developments in Palestinian-Israeli relations in a Friday phone conversation.

Tensions have been running high in the past few weeks in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. (AFP/File)
08:48 GMT

Israeli forces injured four Palestinians by firing rubber bullets at West Bank protesters.

"Let [the two groups] establish a genuine partnership, far from political wrangling, for the liberation of Palestine," leading Hamas member Mahmoud al-Zahar said in a Friday. (AFP/File)
05:00 GMT

A leading member of the Palestinian Hamas movement has called for a "genuine partnership" with the Palestinian Fatah group – its longstanding rival – against the Israeli occupation.