Main headlines

August 29, 2014

Syrian families carry belongings in the southern Damascus district of Qadam on August 21, 2014, as they return to their homes after Syrian authorities and rebels agreed a truce on August 18. [AFP]
08:13 GMT

Almost half of all Syrians have now been forced to abandon their homes and flee for their lives, according to the UNHCR; Syria operation is largest in UNHCR's history, organization says.

A still image from video taken by a US Coast Guard HC-144 Ocean Sentry aircraft shows the oil tanker United Kalavrvta, which is carrying a cargo of Kurdish crude oil, approaching Galveston, Texas, July 25, 2014.
07:57 GMT

Tanker with $100 million Iraqi oil goes dark off Texas coast

US President Barack Obama. [AFP]
07:43 GMT

US President Barack Obama says Washington does not have “a strategy yet” to tackle the ISIL group, which is operating in Iraq and Syria.

ISIS claimed it beheaded a Peshmerga fighter in graphic video and threatened 14 others. [Youtube]
07:34 GMT

The ISIL group has released a video purportedly showing the beheading of a Kurdish man in the city of Mosul.

Palestinians celebrate late on August 26, 2014 what they said was a victory by Palestinians in Gaza over Israel following a ceasefire, in the West Bank city of Ramallah. [AFP]
07:16 GMT

Hamas chief says that Israeli 'failure ... proves that the resistance cannot be blockaded' and calls for Palestinian self-determination through an end to the occupation.

Israeli forces destroyed six homes near Jerusalem Thursday, leaving 51 Palestinians homeless. (AFP/File)
05:00 GMT

Fifty-one Palestinians were left homeless Thursday when Israeli authorities destroyed six homes near Jerusalem.

August 28, 2014

More than 100 Palestinians are currently being held at the Cairo airport for trying to travel on expired visas. (AFP/File)
19:09 GMT

More than 100 Palestinians have been detained by Egyptian authorities at the Cairo airport for more than three weeks after attempting to travel on expired visas.

23-year-old American student Aaron Sofer went missing last week while hiking in the Jerusalem Forest. Authorities believe body recovered Thursday is that of Sofer. (AFP/Jack Guez)
18:11 GMT

23-year-old American student Aaron Sofer went missing last week during a hike in the Jerusalem Forest. Authorities announced Thursday the discovery of a body suspected to be that of Sofer.

UN officials reported Thursday the capture of 43 UNDOF peacekeepers after heavy clashes between opposition fighters and Syrian government forces broke out near the Golan Heights border. (AFP/File)
17:34 GMT

The UN says 43 of its UNDOF peacekeepers were abducted Thursday by masked militants after brutal clashes between various Syrian opposition forces and government soldiers broke out.

Lebanon Education Minister Bou Saab said Thursday the country's clashes with Islamist militants has become a 'state of war.' (AFP/File)
16:31 GMT

Amid renewed Arsal violence, Education Minister Elias Bou Saab said Thursday the situation between Lebanon and thousands of Syrian militants who've crossed over from Syria is a 'state of war'.

Sinai militants released a video on Twitter detailing the execution of four Egyptian men charged with spying for Israel. (AFP/File)
15:30 GMT

Sinai militant group Ansar Bayt Al-Maqdis said Thursday it depacitated four Egyptian men on charges of 'spying for Israel.'

Two Syrians were issued arrest warrants Thursday in Lebanon on charges of belonging to a terror group and plotting the Arsal attack. (AFP/File)
15:00 GMT

In what Lebanon claims to be two separate cases, a Lebanese judge issued warrants form two Syrian nationals. The first is alleged ISIS commander Imad Ahmad Jomaa and the second is Ahmad Jomaa. Sources say the two men are not connected.

ISIS militants have made repeated attempts to take the significant Baiji oil refinery from Kurdish control, but have not yet succeeded. They set fire to the smaller Ain Zalah field Thursday before retreating a Kurdish attack. (AFP/File)
14:33 GMT

Amid a powerful Kurdish offensive, ISIS militants were driven from the Ain Zalah oil field, but not before setting fire to three of the field's wells.

Israeli forces declared the Nablus village of Madama a 'closed military zone' Thursday. (AFP/File)
13:38 GMT

After Israeli soldiers raided Burin Wednesday, the adjacent Nablus village of Madama was declared a 'closed military zone' and residents were reportedly barred from leaving or entering the village.

An IDF soldier keeps watch along the border with Gaza and Israel (File/AFP)
12:46 GMT

Israel's army fired warning shots near the Gaza Strip Thursday after a crowd of Palestinians hurled rocks at the security fence.