Main headlines

July 2, 2014

Maliki issued a warning to Kurdish leadership Wednesday saying that holding an independence vote "will damage them a lot" (File Archive)
18:00 GMT

Iraq's Prime Minister Nouri Al Maliki has rejected Kurdish leadership's plan to hold an independence referendum, saying that such a vote would be "unconstitutional."

Ajnad Misr, or the Soldiers of Egypt, claimed responsibility for Monday's bombings, but authorities have arrested members from Ansar Beit Maqdis instead (Mohamed El Shahed/AFP)
17:19 GMT

At least four members of the Sinai-based militant group Ansar Beit Maqdis were arrested by Egyptian authorities Wednesday over this week's palace bombings.However, another militant group, Ajnad Misr, claimed responsibility for the attacks on Tuesday.

Israeli forces have continued to crack down on Palestinians after the missing teens' bodies were found earlier this week (Jafaar Ashtiyeh/AFP)
16:00 GMT

Israeli forces demolished the home of a Palestinian accused of killing an Israeli police officer in April. Several were injured in clashes that erupted in response to the demolition.

ISIS declared the establishment of an Islamic State on Sunday (Welayat Salahuddin/AFP)
15:11 GMT

Top leaders among Jordan's jihadist movement denounced the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria's declaration of a caliphate earlier this week.

Most of the personnel killed over the past six months are from Yemen's army (File Archive/AFP)
14:04 GMT

At least 374 Yemeni security force personnel have died this year in Sanaa's offensives, including attacks on Al Qaeda, this year.

Syrian rebels have been intensely fighting ISIS in parts of the Aleppo province, as well as in Raqa and Deir Ezzor (File Archive/AFP)
13:40 GMT

Syrian rebels will lay down their arms within the next week if they do not receive support from the exiled opposition to fight against the jihadist Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS).

Lebanon's army patrols the streets of Tripoli (File/AFP)
13:16 GMT

Four people were injured Wednesday when an unknown assailant on a motorcycle threw a hand grenade into a coffee shop in Tripoli. One of the wounded is believed to be in critical condition according to sources.

The Iraqi army launched a major offensive against ISIL militants in recent weeks after the extremist group took over Mosul (File/AFP)
11:57 GMT

Dozens of ISIL militants were killed in an air raid over the northern city of Mosul, according to the Iraqi army.

Three journalists were also injured by Israeli forces in the Shufat neighborhood of East Jerusalem (File/AFP)
11:26 GMT

Dozens of Palestinians were injured during clashes with Israeli forces in East Jerusalem following the kidnap and killing of a 16-year-old boy.

Israeli policemen search the area after a body of a Palestinian youth was found in Jerusalem's forest area on July 2, 2014. [AFP]
11:25 GMT

In the public statement the Prime Minister called on all sides not to take the law into their own hands and noted that Israel is a nation of laws and everyone must act according to the law.

Israeli soldiers arrest Palestinians in the Israeli occupied West Bank city of Hebron on July 2, 2014. Israel is weighing how it will strike back at Hamas militants it holds responsible for the kidnap and murder of three Israeli teenagers who were laid to rest in an emotional farewell. [AFP]
10:01 GMT

Military spokesman says demolition of West Bank house belonging to Ziad Awad, who was released in Schalit deal, was intended to serve as deterrent to terrorists.

KSA, the UAE and Kuwait are strong allies of Egypt's president, Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi (File/AFP)
09:58 GMT

Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Kuwait released 152 Egyptian prisoners as a goodwill gesture for Ramadan.

Masoud Barzani's statement comes days after Israeli President Benjamin Netanyahu backed an independent Kurdish state (File/AFP)
09:26 GMT

President of the semi-autonomous Kurdistan Regional Government, Masoud Barzani, said on Tuesday that a Kurdish referendum will take place "in a matter of months."

Iraqi motorists queue for fuel following the country's recent violence (File/AFP)
09:11 GMT

Russia called on the UN Security Council to bar crude oil sales by terrorist groups including the the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria.

Young Syrian-Kurdish refugees play in the children zone, recently erected by United Arab Emirate's Red Crescent, on June 22, 2014, at the Qushtapa refugee camp, 15 kilometers South of Arbil, the capital of the autonomous Kurdish region of northern Iraq. [AFP]
08:42 GMT

The UN children’s agency and Human Rights Watch (HRW) have called for the release of more than 100 Kurdish schoolboy and girls abducted by Takfiri militants in Syria late May.