Main headlines

September 4, 2014

A combo of images taken from the Israeli-annexed Golan Heights shows a file picture  of a Syrian flag hoisted on a flagpole. [AFP]
09:53 GMT

The United Nations (UN) Security Council has once again demanded the immediate and unconditional release of 45 abducted UN peacekeepers by anti-Damascus militants.

Lebanese mourners carry the coffin of Lebanese soldier Ali Sayyed draped in his national flag in the village of Qalamun south of the northern Lebanese city of Tripoli during his funeral procession on September 3, 2014. [AFP]
08:38 GMT

Lebanon bid farewell Wednesday to a slain soldier who was beheaded by militants in a massive, emotional funeral brimming with anguish over his killing.

Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat and US Secretary of State John Kerry. [AFP]
08:29 GMT

Chief PLO negotiator presents John Kerry with plan for establishing an independent Palestinian state within a specific timeline

Iranian Foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif. [AFP]
07:34 GMT

Bilateral US-Iran talks to resume Thursday in Geneva; Steinitz says options under discussion qualify as ‘bad deal.’

Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron
07:23 GMT

British Prime Minister David Cameron has vowed that the ISIL terrorist group will "be squeezed out of existence," as the militants threaten to kill a British hostage.

US President Barack Obama [AFP]
06:30 GMT

Kerry says killers of journalists James Foley and Steve Sotloff will be held accountable ‘no matter how long it takes.’

A supporter of the Shiite Huthi movement waves two of his national flags during a demonstration rejecting the presidential overture to replace the government and reduce a disputed fuel price hike in Sanaa on September 3, 2014. [AFP]
06:19 GMT

Yemeni President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi has threatened to take firm action against Houthi anti-government protesters.

Supporters of al-Fadila party (aka Islamic Virtue Party) perform the simulation of an execution during a protest to ask for justice for members of the Iraqi forces who were executed by the Islamic State. [AFP]
06:10 GMT

A number of Jordanian lawmakers have called on the government to stay out of any war against ISIL Takfiri militants, who have taken parts of neighboring Iraq and Syria.

Gaza-based Fatah leader Faisal Abu Shahla said had already formed a delegation and asked Hamas to do the same in order to take part in meetings outside Palestine. (AFP/File)
05:00 GMT

A Fatah representative announced Wednesday the group invited Hamas to a meeting aimed at a national reconciliation agreement, but have yet to receive a response.

September 3, 2014

Kerry arrived 10 p.m. Wednesday night to begin negotiation talks with the Palestinian delegation. (AFP/Brendan Smialovsky)
20:38 GMT

Palestinian sources said Wednesday night marked the beginning of U.S.-Palestinian negotiations as U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry met with Palestinian negotiation delegation at 10 p.m. local time.

Italian Defense Minister Roberta Pinotti's announcement of arming Kurds follows that of German Chancellor Angela Merkel's earlier this week. (AFP/File)
19:54 GMT

Amid ongoing negotiations between Kurdish forces and Italian Defense Minister Roberta Pinotti, Italy could be arming Kurdish peshmerga troops by Sept. 10.

Putin has been accused by Islamic militants of preventing an Islamic state from forming in Chechnya. (AFP/File)
17:55 GMT

IS militants released a video via Al-Arabiya TV channel Wednesday threatening action against Vladimir Putin for Russia's close diplomatic ties with Syria's Bashar al-Assad.

Hezbollah-backed Syrian forces say they killed a Nusra Front commander said to be responsible for the 2013 abduction of Syrian nuns. (AFP/File)
16:03 GMT

Syrian troops aided by Hezbollah forces carried out an ambush on a Nusra Front convoy, claiming to have killed a commander responsible for several kidnappings last year, according to a Lebanese security source said Wednesday.

Israeli forces shot Husam al-Din Riyala, 26, in the foot before detaining the Fatah activist Wednesday. (AFP/File)
14:07 GMT

After a two-hour stand off Wednesday with Israeli forces in Nablus, a Fatah activist was shot in the foot and detained, according to a security sources.

File photo dated June 02, 2011 courtesy Etienne de Malglaive shows American journalist Steven Sotloff (center with dark helmet) talking to Libyan rebels on Al Dafniya front line, 25 km west of Misrata. [AFP]
13:32 GMT

Sotloff worked in the past for 'The Jerusalem Report,' filing his last dispatch from Syria about a year ago, shortly before he was taken hostage; he lived in Israel for a short period.