Main headlines

February 2, 2014

Female Al Qaeda soldiers are not unheard of - here, Somali women carry weapons during a demonstration organized by the Al-Qaeda-linked Al-Shabab group in 2010. (AFP/File)
08:45 GMT

The Al Qaeda-affiliated Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) has launched two female battalions in Syria's northern city of Raqqa in a bid to expose anti-ISIS activists.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry "will never apologize for speaking the truth about the brutality of the Assad regime". (AFP/File)
08:04 GMT

The U.S. State Department denied that it had sought to have direct negotiations with the Syrian regime at the Geneva II peace talks, as Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Muallem claimed after the talks to Syrian media.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry's proposed peace plan framework to solve the decades-old Israel-Palestinian conflict has been heavily rejected by Jordanians and Palestinians alike (File Archive/AFP)
07:53 GMT

Jordanians and Palestinians living in the Hashemite Kingdom have become increasingly vocal against U.S. Secretary of State's proposed peace framework to solve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, recently holding a public forum against the framework this weekend.

Medical personnel look for survivors following a reported airstrike on the Tariq al-Bab district of the northern Syrian city of Aleppo on February 1, 2014. (AFP)
07:12 GMT

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said Saturday that the death toll of the crisis has now exceeded 136,000 people, with January 2014 being one of the bloodiest months on record.

Lebanese emergency personnel are seen at the site of a car bomb explosion targeting a petrol station in eastern Lebanon's town of Hermel on February 1, 2014, [AFP]
05:46 GMT

Lebanon officials give public response to Saturday's car bomb that killed five.

Saudi is seeking information on connections to terrorist funding sources. [rediff]
05:25 GMT

Meant to fight terrorism by imposing high penalties to funding sources, Saudi enacts counter-terrorism law.

Medical personnel look for survivors following a reported airstrike on the Tariq al-Bab district of the northern Syrian city of Aleppo on February 1, 2014. [AFP]
04:47 GMT

Aleppo death toll continues to rise as another barrel bomb is unleashed on the city.

February 1, 2014

A suicide car bomb attack in the northeastern city of Hermel Saturday killed at least four people.
17:42 GMT

A suicide bomber driving a vehicle blew himself up in the Lebanese town of Hermel, a Hezbollah stronghold, killing at least five people on Saturday, the interior ministry said.

Syrian governement delegation on peace talks at the United Nations headquarters on January 31, 2014 in Geneva. [AFP]
15:32 GMT

Relief officials in Syria said this week's peace talks inn Geneva, Switzerland, had not opened the doors to humanitarian aid to country's beleaguered civilians.

An Egyptian man holds a placard showing deposed president Mohamed Morsi and fellow defendants behind bars, as police forces stand guard outside the Police Academy in Cairo where a second hearing in Morsi's murder trial is expected to open on February 1, 2014.
14:17 GMT

Ousted President Mohammad Mursi's murder trial has been postponed to Feb. 4, Al Arabiya's correspondent reported Saturday.

He said Fatah officials in Gaza had not been receiving regular salaries, and that families of "martyrs" had not received allowances for six years. [ AFP]
11:43 GMT

The leading body of the Fatah movement in the Gaza Strip submitted its resignation to President Mahmoud Abbas last week, Fatah sources said.

Mursi’s trial is seen as a test for Egypt’s military-installed authorities. [ Press TV]
11:27 GMT

The murder trial of ousted President Mohammed Mursi is due to resume in Cairo Saturday, after the Islamist leader insisted at a separate hearing that he was still the legitimate president, Agence France-Presse reported.

Kerry and Lavrov are in Munich to attend the 2014 Munich Security Conference. [AFP]
11:20 GMT

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry asked Russia’s foreign minister on Friday to put pressure on the Syrian government to accelerate the removal of chemical weapons, which Kerry said is not happening quickly enough, Reuters reported

Supporters of the Shiite Huthi group march alongside a vehicle carrying the body of Ahmed Sharafeddin, a key figure of the Shiite Huthi rebels' delegation to Yemen's reconciliation talks who was assassinated by gunmen during his funeral on January 27, 2014 in the Yemeni capital, Sanaa. [AFP]
04:00 GMT

Fighting between Yemeni tribesmen and Houthi rebels killed at least 60 people in the north of the country on Friday, while at least 15 soldiers were killed by suspected al-Qaeda militants in the south, Al Arabiya News Channel reported.

January 31, 2014

Palestinians inspect the rubble of a house following an Israeli air strike that injured two Palestinians, in the southern Gaza Strip town of Rafah on January 31, 2014. [AFP]
18:44 GMT

Israeli forces shot and injured ten people on Friday in the northern Gaza Strip, a medical official said.