Main headlines

January 20, 2014

Hezbollah has supported Damascus regime forces in fighting rebel groups in Syria's civil war (File Archive/AFP)
09:45 GMT

Syria's President Bashar Al Assad told reporters Monday that the Lebanese court trial for the assassination of former leader Rafiq Hariri is "politicized" and an attempt to pressure Syria's ally Hezbollah.

U.N. chief extended an invitation to Iran to attend Syrian peace talks in Montreaux this week (Emmanuel Dunand/AFP)
09:14 GMT

Iran's invitation has stirred controversy ahead of the highly-anticipated Syrian peace talks. France has called on Tehran to "accept the creation of a transitional government" or forego attending the conference altogether, and the Syrian opposition announced that they will not attend if Iran is present.

Hassan Yousef told reporters at the time of his release Sunday that he will work with Hamas to achieve reconciliation with other Palestinian factions (Abbas Momani/AFP)
07:52 GMT

Israel released key Hamas leader Hassan Yousef Sunday after two years of prison detention,

Unblocking billions of dollars in funds to Iran under a landmark six-month nuclear deal with the West, that will take effect on January 20, 2014 will have a significant economic impact on the Islamic republic. [AFP]
07:18 GMT

Iran is looking forward to the beginning of agreements made in Geneva to include the lifting of some US sanctions.

Lebanese army officials were deployed to Tripoli in December last year to restore order in the country's northern city that has been torn apart by sectarian violence (File Archive/AFP)
07:12 GMT

Sniper fire killed at least one woman and wounded 15 people in Lebanon's Tripoli Sunday in a renewed round of violence in the country's main northern city.

Palestinian leader Abbas said Sunday that the peace talks have led to "nothing" for his people (File Archive/AFP)
07:01 GMT

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas told reporters Sunday that Palestine has "gotten nothing" out of the ongoing peace negotiations with Israel.

Lebanese supporters of the Mostaqbal Movement bloc light candles during a vigil as others holds pictures of former Lebanese premier Rafiq Harir and his son former prime minister Saad Hariri in the southern Lebanese city of Sidon. [AFP]
05:41 GMT

After a day of testimonies from those wounded in the Hariri

A picture taken on January 19, 2014 in the northern Syrian city of Aleppo shows buildings that fell following Government warplanes raids .[AFP]
05:10 GMT

The Syrian opposition has threatened to exit upcoming peace talks in Geneva after learning that the UN invited Iran to attend the conference as well.

January 19, 2014

Mursi's trial based on charges related to the mass jailbreak in 2011 is the only case that has opened thus far. It is due to resume on Jan. 28. [AFP]
18:15 GMT

Ousted Islamist President Mohammad Mursi and 24 others including liberal activists who opposed his rule were ordered to stand trial for insulting the judiciary on Sunday, Reuters cited legal sources as saying.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum attends graduation ceremony of the 37th batch of cadet officers of Zayed II Military College in Al Ain. [Emirates 24/7]
17:24 GMT

The United Arab Emirates has begun the process of imposing mandatory military service for adult males for up to two years, the country’s prime minister said Sunday.

A Palestinian boy stands next to a donkey killed in an Israeli air strike in Gaza City, on January 19, 2014.  [AFP]
16:31 GMT

The military wing of a Palestinian faction said Sunday that Israeli violations of a ceasefire with Gaza might lead to the ceasefire's end, the same day Israeli airstrikes injured two in the Strip.

An Iraqi man inspects the site of a car bomb explosion in the Taubchi neighbourhood of the capital Baghdad on January 19, 2014, a day after the attack. [AFP]
16:25 GMT

As Iraqi government forces and allied tribal militias launched an all-out offensive against al-Qaeda-linked militants on Sunday in the Sunni stronghold of Anbar, Iraq’s premier accused “diabolical” and “treacherous” Arab states of being behind strife in the country.

Assad allegedly said that his departure from the presidency was not up for discussion, but the Syrian president's office denied the comment Sunday (File Archive/AFP)
13:28 GMT

Syrian President Bashar Al Assad's office denied comments attributed to him Sunday that say his resignation from power is "not up for discussion."

Iraq soldiers have been deployed to counteract anti-government fighters in Ramadi (Azher Shallal/AFP)
11:37 GMT

The Iraqi army launched a new operation on the anti-government controlled city of Ramadi Sunday and imposed a ban on all movement within the area.

Assad has said he will NOT be relinquishing his control over Syria. (AFP/File)
10:53 GMT

Syrian President Bashar Assad said Sunday that he has no intention of giving up power of his country any time soon.